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Happy holidays

This is why it is time for me to go on leave…catsleeping

Wishing you all restful, safe and most enjoyable break!



. *Sources of photographs – unknown. Recieved via emails

Digital immigrant diary- Case study of a digital native (resident)


 I read quite a lot on how students of today have changed radically from the students of the past. Many blogs, slides on Slideshare and books  deal with this issue.  At ORT SA  I find myself “preaching” to teachers about the importance of ICT integration in education and taking into consideration these changes.

And, then, it caught on me in my own home…

Here is a conversation between my daughters that I would like to share with you

6 year old: “ Mom, I need a laptop”

Me: “Hmm”

6 year old : “ An Apple laptop mom”

Me: “Hmmmm”

12 years old: “ what do you need a laptop for?

6 year old in reply : “ I’m starting school next year, grade 1, Hello!”

12 years old in amazement: “exactly, so what do you need a laptop for?”

6 year old  “so I can do my homework and calculations, Daa..”

12 years old : “You don’t need your laptop for homework and definitely not for calculating”

So how do I calculate and work out staff?

With your brain?

And how do I rub staff?

“With eraser?



Grade one teachers, be prepared.  These are the children in your 2009 class:

·         Although they seem to be clued up with computers, they still need to acquire computer basic skills.  As, most of them have gained their skills mostly from computer games.

·         Their conception about computers is that computers can do nearly everything. Homework, calculations,  etc.

·         Many have played educational games and have learnt that learning is fun…

·         They can read better then previous grade 1 learners did (in SA writing and reading starts mostly at Grade 1)  and are able to type (as many games required them to type their names and they learn to type URLs)

·         These  learners live in a world where information grows exponentially

·         They may have jobs that didn’t exist when they were born

How do we as teachers accomodtae these changes and how do we parents prepare them for a future filled with challenges and opportunities? Feel free to add your comments, feedback and suggestions.

Merry Twitter

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and Chanukka Sameach to all.

There are many useful sites, blogs and posts on Twitter. Decided to share the following Comic that appeared on the Saturday Star – SA local Newspaper

Happy Twittering!


Technology integration


A definition of technology can be taken from any technology curriculum, but what it means to each individual is dependent on ones understanding of technology.

The National Curriculum Statement of South Africa  defines technology as follows: “the use of knowledge, skills and resources to meet people’s needs and wants by developing practical solutions to problems while considering social and environmental factors. “. A definition that follows by Learning outcomes and assessment criteria’s with guidelines for teaching the subject in integrated manner in the foundation phase and as a subject on its own as from Grades 4-9.

Based on three years project that ORT SA conducted at schools in Johannesburg working with teachers in the integration of the subject of technology from Grade R to Grade 7 here are three lessons learnt about good technology integration:

To ensure good technology integration, the following RSA should take place:

1.       Relevancy

2.       Skills

3.       Assessment


1.   Relevancy

In Technology we provide solutions to needs, wants or problems.

Have a technology project dealing with REAL needs and REAL problems.

Example: Designing toys to a needy crèche / playschool in your area.

Case study: King David Linksfield Primary Grade 6 learners designed mechanical toys to Mai Mai crèche.  An underprivileged crèche situated in the city of Johannesburg in the midst of a sangoma  village.

Grade 6 learners were invited to the crèche to hand out their handmade toys to the infants at the crèche. It was a truly fascinating experience for both King David learners and the Mai Mai children. The Sangomas from the Mai Mai Village put on a traditional show where they displayed their individual culture. This was then followed by a guided tour of the Mai Mai village.

The King David students and the kids from the crèche bonded instantly. Tiny tots were being passed from person to person for cuddles, interactive games were played, high fives were given all round, counting lessons, and storytelling was the order of the day.


Grade 6, 12 years old learners have had such a sacred experience that went beyond the technology project and gave a whole different meaning to their school work.


2.       Skills

To ensure good integration is taking place, we have to ensure that learners gain skills and knowledge in technology.  Knowledge includes technological design (Design process) using indigenous knowledge and the environment. It covers the three core areas of: Structures, Electrical and mechanical systems and control and Processing of materials. 

To achieve the above when most teachers do not specialize in Technology, the following is adviced:

·         Technology Coordinator at the school ensure that all outcomes and assessment criteria are achieved in each grade

·         Collaborative work amongst the different subject teachers

·         Outsourcing expertise. Example – by inviting Lego experts, food technology experts or by visiting factories or technology labs


3.       Assessment

Assessment is the ultimate proof for good integration.

I believe that in order for it to take place a structured syllabus needs to be provided or designed by teachers prior to the beginning of the year.

Please comment: How do you ensure proper assessment is takingg place when integrating technology?



ICT budget – Use or loose

Money, Money, Money, Must be funny in ICT at school……

Here you are nominated to be the ICT coordinator at your school, a role you have asked for (or not), and you are given a budget you are told to spend on software.

What do you do?

First mission  – bring together  the teachers you suppose to coordinate and get their buy-in. (probably the toughest mission of the lot)

Second – get infrastructure right and your technology savvy at the school on board with you

Third  – Use the budget!  As you are told if you snooze you loose!

Here is where you use Web 2.0 to get connected with professionals and know how to = and ask for advice:

Please comment

 How would you use a budget that has given to you to promote ICT integration in your school?

You are invited to post your suggestions –

Points to ponder-

·         Use budget for the purchase of software or rather suggest otherwise

·         Use budget for digital equipment (such as digital camera, MP3, Wii etc)

·         If budget is used for software, what types of software? The ones that provide syllabus support, or those that are based on developing computer skills, others?