Meet South Africa’s top information and communications technology teacher

| November 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Tinny Molepo of Mothibedi Combined School in Limpopo has been named ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year 2015.

The long-running national Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) SuperTeacher Competition1 is acknowledged as the foremost information and communications technology (ICT) in education competition for South African teachers, and has been held annually since 2001. Joining Molepo on the winner’s podium on 11 September 2015 were the ISPA TechTeacher of the Year, Matthew Hains of Woodlands International College, and ISPA ChampTeacher of the Year, Mabore Lekalakala of Toronto Primary School in Limpopo.

Congratulating the winners, Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Education, said: “We place great value in awards like this. The provincial education department is trying to create an entirely different ethos centred on information technology (IT) in education, and also acknowledges the kind of creativity that we have seen here tonight.”

Limpopo leads the way

According to Fiona Wallace, CEO of the competition organisers and ICT in education advocates, CoZa Cares Foundation, Molepo continues the proud tradition of Limpopo teachers featuring strongly in one of South Africa’s leading ICT in education awards. “Molepo, as the well-deserved ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year, and her ISPA TechTeacher and ChampTeacher colleagues, are an inspiration to the national teaching community. The three winners demonstrated that technology alone doesn’t produce winners – their perseverance and creativity helped power them right over the finish line,” said Wallace.

Molepo was one of 10 previously announced finalists in the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards 2015, which took place at Vredenheim Estate in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, following the conclusion of the annual ISPA, Internet Exchange – South Africa (INX-ZA) and ZA Central Registry (ZACR)-sponsored iWeek annual internet industry conference.

Serious about Skype

Molepo was judged the teacher who had used newly acquired ICT knowledge in a way that had made the most positive impact on learners, her colleagues and her community. Her project was called ‘Techno reading goes viral through Skype’, and was about teaching grades 3–6 learners how to use ICT skills to boost their command of the basic but key skills of reading and writing. The project was especially worthwhile in that it enabled learners to communicate via Skype with an American philanthropist who had previously donated books to Mothibedi Combined School.

Incentives and awards

Each year, ISPA funds some of the ICT training conducted by the CoZa Cares Foundation for teachers from under-resourced South African schools. Since the inception of the programme, training has been provided to over 4 000 teachers, thanks to continued support from ISPA’s members.

Prizes for the competition’s three winners include trophies, sponsored attendance at a national education conference in 2016 and Mustek’s3 donation of an ES500 BenQ projector and an eBean classroom tool. Teraco Data Environments4 and the Foundation for Internet Development sponsored the awards evening in Stellenbosch.

The awards evening was followed by a workshop for all the teacher finalists at Spier Wine Estate. The workshop was titled ‘A digital makeover: creating and managing your digital identity’.

Thank you, CoZa Cares

The CoZa Cares Foundation’s work includes digital content curation and delivery, particularly open education resources (OERs), via its pioneering Nolwazi OER repository; teacher professional development, via its ICT in Education capacity- building arm; and monitoring and evaluation, via its innovative mobile auditing tools.

References:

1. See:http://www.cozacares.co.za/competition-2/. 2. See:http://www.iweek.org.za/.
3. See:http://www.mustek.co.za/.
4. See:https://www.teraco.co.za/.

Category: Summer 2015

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