REPORT FROM BARCELONA
Phuti Ragophala’s Short report about the trip to Barcelona in Spain to present IT project after selected to be amongst the 250 Microsoft Expert Educator (out of more that 29,000 entries from more that 150 countries.)
Date 9th to 16th March 2014
Microsoft came up with a programme whereby educators are encouraged to plan and design learning activities using project based learning approach whereby curriculum is incorporated with the IT tools: (That is driving education using the IT tools more that a chalk and a chalkboard.) The activities were guided by a rubric that guide the educators to indicate how the 21st centaury skills like( communication ,creativity, problem solving, knowledge and skills acquirement, collaboration and critical thinking) were used during the lessons and activities and how learners were assessed using information technology tools and the kind of activities that learners designed that will end up solving a problem(learners as solution seekers)
My project called PLANTING SEED! CHANGING LIVES! proved to be amongst the best and made me stood out as a visionary leader who is paving the way for her peers and learners by using technological tools effectively for better learning and teaching. That’s what made me fly to Barcelona to represent South Africa in Microsoft Global conference. From South Africa we were only two accompanied by Microsoft SA and departmental representative nationally
Coming from a very small rural school ,Pula Madibogo primary, in Limpopo Mankweng circuit, ,competing internationally in IT projects, made me believe that service that is accompanied by passion love and empathy is priceless.
What I learned from the conference is that learning has changed. The old methods of teaching and learning used in the 19th centaury are longer used. We are in the 21st centaury where learners learn by creating knowledge and not by absorbing it.
From the conference, I earned my school a stage to conduct research on “how to fight poverty using education” where 20 learners will lead the process of researching using the IT tools. My country is grouped with USA, Mexico, El Salvador and China. The five schools from the five countries will collaborate, communicate and share ideas about poverty in their respective environments. After six months learners from each country will report to each other on skype, UTube,Power point, Movie maker or any other IT tool that can convey the message. Learners have started and they are very excited to learn that they will be interacting with people from inside and outside their country to acquire more learning and IT skills.
Secondly I have educators action plan where im expected to share the IT skills acquired from the conference and assist 150 educators to register in Partners in Learning Forum with Microsoft so that they are also able to drive teaching and leaning with Technology.
Challenges: Our school have limited IT resources that cannot cater many educators as such training is not possible now . We believe that one day a good Samaritan will come to our rescue and donate a lively computer laboratory building where every body will gain access for better education of our learners.
Im encouraged by Nikos Katzansakis , a Greek philosopher, who said: Ideal educators are those who use themselves as bridges and invite their students to cross. Then having facilitated their crossing, they joyfully collapse and encourage them to build bridges of their own”