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Deputy Minister Surty deliveres his keynote addressDeputy Minister of Education Enver Surty
delivered the opening address on Tuesday.
Image: Arthur Preston
2 July 2013 - This week sees hundreds of teachers converging in Bloemfontein for the 2013 Schoolnet ICT in the Classroom conference. From 2-4 July attendees will attend inspiring keynote addresses, expert workshops, TeachMeets and service providers' demos.


This year's conference venue is the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. Keynote addresses are spread over the three days and cover the topics of technology trends and their impact on learning and teaching, Open Educational Resources (OERs) and tips to encourage ICT integration in the classroom. ICT in education experts like Megan Rademeyer, Maggie Verster and Fiona Beal will be presenting workshops on social networking, tablets and mobile devices in the classroom, flipping classrooms and digital writing and storytelling. Various service providers will demonstrate their education solutions, including Mindset Learn, Intel and Microsoft. The full conference programme can be downloaded here

Innovative educator experts

During April and May this year Microsoft has hosted a number of innovation workshops for teachers to provide insights and practical strategies. A range of tools and examples of how teachers use them in their lessons were presented. The sessions were practical and encouraged teachers to devise their own learning activities. Loading their activities to the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network before 30 September makes the teachers eligible to present at the 2014 Partners in Learning Global Forum which will be hosted in Barcelona.

Fifteen teachers who uploaded their learning activity before 3 June have been selected to present their ideas to their peers at the Bloemfontein conference. A full list of their topics can be found on the Partners in Learning Network website. The selection includes activities for various grades and showcases interesting combinations of digital tools and media. Visitors can vote for their favourite contributions by liking them or sharing them via Twitter with the #schoolnetsa hashtag. The teacher with the most votes will win an interactive projector for her or his school.

For the first time the innovation workshops were also hosted at the Vodacom ICT Resource Centres. The participants provided their feedback on the Centres' discussion forum. An outstanding outcome of these workshops is that two educators from the Mobile Education Programme have been selected to present at the conference. Bongani Ncube from eMalahleni will demonstrate his maths lessons on trig graphs with grade 12s using ICT. Jonas Mutengwa from Makhado shared a video made by his grade 12 learners with an awareness campaign against lack of focus by learners as learning objective. The centre managers from the ICT Resource Centres are present at the conference to cheer them on.

The conference proceedings will be reported on Twitter via Schoolnet and via conference participants using the #schoolnetsa hashtag.

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