Archive for the ‘conference’ tag
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.
The “Good Vibrations” Project by Sarah Hanton, Boudina McConnachie and Anna Wertlen has been selected for the finals of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum competition! The project involves peer-teaching, outreach and obviously the usage of awareNet and is described in detail in our previous blog.
This year, finalists are not only invited to attend the Forum which includes a workshop and the award ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Durban (1.-4.4.12), they are also being sponsored by Microsoft to attend the South African Basic Education Conference as part of their prize. Congratulations and the VSA is holding thumbs that the presentation will be successful!
Anna Wertlen was invited to give a talk at the 2nd Annual Women in ICT Conference at the Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel in Johannesburg (24/3/12). Her talk was about “Community-driven ICT Enabled Development: Making the ICT services accessible to the communities and to develop awareness of these resources.” Other speakers were Meryl Malcommess (Marketing Director, SYSPRO South Africa), Robynne Erwin (CEO of SmartXchange) and Teryl Schroenn (CEO of Accsys).
In an online social network, everyone is equal, because everyone has exactly the same space, rights and opportunities. Gender makes no difference to a computer unless you ask the computer to do so.
Equality is the basis for development. You cannot force a group to become more active by giving them superior rights. But equality means that everyone has the same right to come up with a new idea or with a special need.
To be able to define a special need or come up with an idea you have to be well educated: First, one needs to learn about the existence of choice, then get a real sense of choice, then comes the most challenging part of actually using choices and then only the achievement of choices become visible (Kleine 2010).
Development is increasing (peoples’) choice. Others also call it empowerment.
The Conference opened eyes of a very interesting and multicultural group of women, and everyone was of the opinion that there should me more such conferences.
The 6th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training took place in Dar es Salaam in May 25-27 2011. Ron attended the Conference and his talk was subsequently mentioned in their press release. They gave him quite a lot of attention in the section New technologies for learning integration:
“Ronald Wertlen from eKhaya ICT, South Africa, highlighted how the open source platform ‘awareNet’ was significantly improving education in some of the poorest schools in South Africa. He said, “Many young Africans grow up in a culture where personal self-respect is squashed by gross disrespect for human life. Sub-standard services in terms of health, policing, education, etc., and subsequent high mortality rates, as well as dismantled cultural traditions, teach young people that intrinsic motivation is worthless since the self itself is worthless. awareNet teaches young people that their voice can be heard and that there is someone listening.“
We are proud of this positive feedback. Find the whole press release here.
RLabs is a partner of the VSA. I work for the VSA and also happen to be the chairperson of the Grahamstown branch of RLabs called RLabs Rhini. RLabs is a living lab that works to rehabilitate ex-gangsters and ex-drug dealers. Here in
Grahamstown we are going to focus on peer pressure because many matriculants end up drinking themselves into a stupor at taverns just because they want to fit.
I had the privilage of representing this branch at a conference run by Living Labs in Southern Africa at the RLabs headquartes in Athlone, Cape Town on 1st & 2nd March 2011. It was a success considering that all present Living Labs shared their information freely in order to grow together.
Present at the conference were: Siyakhula Living Lab from Rhodes University; RLabs, the hosts; RLabs Rhini; North West Living Lab; ENoLL who was representing Open Living Labs and Living Labs Global and LAUREA a member of the Europian Network of Living Labs.
The first day the different Labs shared how they were established and the kind of challenges they are facing as a Lab. On the second day RLab facilitators shared Social Media information and the importance of the way forward as the LLiSA Network to get maximum publicity using the Social Media Tools.
I spent Thursday and Friday with the RLabs’ team. From that information we are starting our work in a week’s time. RLabs Rhini’s first generation of trainees will work over a period of 28 days which will be broken into fourteen weeks. That is, four months. We will introduce them on the uses of communication websites and I hope my hometown will gain from my trip to Cape Town.