Archive for April, 2012
Vega Schools’ Annual Brand Challenge can help the Village Scribe Association communicate better! Pending selection by the Vega Brand Challenge — we hope we are worthy of this honour!
How does it work? A multidisciplinary student team, tutored and coached by veteran communication experts, constructs a brand strategy for awareNet and the VSA. Included are new designs for the Association’s image and for awareNet, making it a more effective education tool.
Win-win: through awareNet and VSA, the student team can experience first hand effects of their ideas on a wide audience. Further, VSA partners based in Cape Town will soon be able to introduce the students to awareNet sessions. Everyone benefits from the interaction, including the young township users of awareNet!
Vega School is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd, a private provider of tertiary level education. They specialise in creativity and innovation, and their graduates are highly sought after designers, promoters and marketers, especially in the new media sector. As they put it themselves: “Vega aims to graduate a new breed of brand thinker; one with the expertise to generate innovative and sustainable brand ideas that solve 21st century problems.”
We know that to reach the next level, the Village Scribe Association needs to communicate its work, ideas and plans better to the public. Reaching the public is a tough thing, and Vega can help.
Everyone, feel invited to donate to the Village Scribe Association’s work in developmental work in the ICT field. Now, it’s easy and tax free with our PayPal donation button on the VSA website.
The VSA is a non-profit (091-910) and public benefit (930 038 006) organisation. Thank you very much for your support!
The VSA submitted another photo to The eLearning Africa Photo Competition 2012. The theme is year is The African Century: ICTs Inspiring Innovation. Photos were meant to describe the following: ‘ICTs are increasingly present in everyday African life, enhancing the way we live, learn, cooperate and connect. How have ICTs inspired you? How is technology fostering innovation in individuals and communities in Africa? Let us see this through your eyes! Share your pictures and send us a brief description outlining the inspiration behind your idea.’
So, we submitted this picture with the following description:
‘Helping learners to think “out of the Box”! Here, learners at Mary Waters High School in the Grahamstown township expand their horizons in a fun educational project, in which they develop an innovative board game explaining social networking and the Internet to other learners who do not have access. The objective is to use technology to teach new ways of thinking out of the box about common things like board games.’
Anna Wertlen went to TEDxChange – The Big Picture in Berlin. The event was co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TED and took place in the Trafo Hall on 5/4/12. The aim of the event was to bring together diverse voices from around the globe representing unique perspectives on the theme, The Big Picture. Everyone tried to take a step back and applied new perspectives to big picture issues: Why, as a global society, should we continue to invest in overseas development? How can we work across borders and political boundaries to bring about positive change? And what returns can we expect on our investments?
Speeches were held by Melinda French Gates, Theo Sowa, Jeff Chapin, Sven Giegold and more. Find my thoughts about the talks on twitter. Most of them had good points, but they were missing new, innovative solutions to the problems they discussed. I was most impressed by Melinda Gates who is a very eloquent talker and fights for women’s and couples’ rights to contraception which is – in my eyes – one very important part of education. You can find all the talks on YouTube, why don’t you have a look yourself and join the conversation?
During the networking part of the event and thanks to Patrick Paulisch and Thomas Schindler, I met Bea Beste from playDUcation, which turned out to be very fortunate. Bea has fantastic ideas about fun, games and education, which we are now planning to implement in awareNet on a collaborative basis. Keep being curious!
The teacher group consisting of Sarah Hanton, Boudina McConnachie and Anna Wertlen were one of the top 20 finalists in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum, South Africa 2012. Hanton and McConnachie took part in a judging process at the Durban Hilton on the first and second of April, where they presented their work on awareNet and were awarded a Judges Award for Innovative Use of Social Networking. They won prizes including software for schools and a 3 month subscription to Brittanica online, and also spent a day at the SA Basic Education Conference.
McConnachie describes the day: “The judging was quite strenuous, we did 4 different sessions each with a different judge. Some other teachers presented good projects, too.” Hanton also thinks that the team could have done better and commented: “The judging process was so hectic that we didn’t really get a chance to network with other teachers there or really get to grips with their projects.” Better feedback on how the projects were scored would help for next years entry, which will hopefully build on this success.
Although the project didn’t make into the top 4, we are very proud that it was rewarded, and we are sure that the audience has become aware of the benefits of our work and ideas of innovative teaching and online collaboration. Thank you very much for your hard work!
If you are interested to also start a project on awareNet as part of your curriculum or co-curriculum, please contact us.