Innovative Teachers Forum Awards - 2008
The forum culminated in the Innovative Teachers Awards during which finalists and winners were presented with prizes by Trudi van Wyk of the National Department of Education and Vis Naidoo of Microsoft.
Each finalist walked away with a P4350 HTC cell phone sponsored by Leaf and content provided by Mindset. They also each got a “goodie bag” crammed with software and gifts from SchoolNet SA, Microsoft and Learnthings.
Four teachers whose projects were judged to be the best by the panel of judges each won a Laptop sponsored by the Dell South Africa Development Fund and a Titan II cellphone sponsored by Leaf.
Microsoft will also be covering their expenses to attend the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum which will be taking place in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2008.
Listed below are the four categories in which these prizes were awarded as a brief description of each winning project:
Innovation in Community
Sarietjie Musgrave (Eunice High School: Free State)
Spread the Sunshine
The project for Grade 10 Computer Applications Technology involves learners investigating the needs of disabled people and then using their skills to create useful ICT based artefacts for disabled people. A range of applications are used including an animation package to design a public awareness campaign and Clicker to design software to support the disabled.
Innovation in Collaboration
Peter de Lisle (Hilton College: KwaZulu-Natal)
Thinking Tolerance - Do We Hate?
This Grade 10 Life Orientation project involves using various tools to promote thinking and to learn specific analytical skills. These skills are then applied to understanding conflict situations and prejudiced responses. Through interacting with others from different backgrounds, greater understanding and tolerance is promoted.
Innovation in Content
Jacqueline Batchelor (Cornwall Hill College: Gauteng)
Dissections for All
The aim of this Grade 11 Life Sciences project was to digitally record dissections and to then create learning objects. Content was easy to transfer from cell phone to cell phone and is downloadable from the internet. In this way privileged learners could share their experiences with others.
Innovation in Challenging Contexts
Thamsanqa Makhathini (Mpophomeni High School: KwaZulu-Natal)
Local is Lekker@Mpophomeni
Groups of Grade 11 Computer Applications Technology learners designed research instruments and interviewed community members about Mpophomeni Township pre- and post-1994. Findings, photographs and audio-clips (recorded using cell phones) were then used to create a website.
Peer Review Prize
Each finalist had an opportunity to vote for the project that he or she believed to be the most innovative. The following teacher’s project won the Peer Review prize which consisted of a Smart interactive whiteboard donated by Smart Technologies and a data projector donated by NEC.
Mmipe Mokgehle (Toronto Primary School: Limpopo)
Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Biodiversity Conservation
Through participating in this Grade 7 Technology project, learners found out more about the indigenous trees and herbs in the school’s garden. They then used ICT to create awareness of the sustainable use of indigenous plant materials and herbs in the community.
All of the teachers agreed that the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum had been a valuable opportunity to meet with like-minded colleagues to network and share ideas. Our hope is that each of the finalists will share what they have learnt at the forum with other teachers at their schools and that they will encourage more teachers to enter next year’s competition.