Wysersdrift PS: integrating technology in teaching
11 June 2021
Wysersdrift Primary School is situated in a rural area near Worcester. Under the guidance of the acting principal, Geraldine Petersen, the teachers are excited about the opportunity technology offers to enhance teaching and learning.
Petersen sets an example to teachers at the school by integrating ICT into lessons.
Recently, she presented a Natural Sciences and Technology lesson about ‘Metals and non-Metals’. She used the SMART Classroom technology for e-Teaching and the learners used tablets for eLearning. The learners enjoyed the learning experience.
Rozane Louw, a final year BEd student specialising in the Intermediate Phase, was appointed as an assistant to support Petersen with her administrative duties in the office. Louw is of great value to all the teachers and is implementing lessons learned at the school.
One of the teachers, Letitia van Leeuwen, marveled at the accomplishments of her Grade 4-6 learners ever since using Green Shoots in her teaching. Some of her success stories include a learner who has always struggled with Mathematics but never gave up. The immediate feedback she receives when using the Brain Quest online tool offered by Green Shoots has boosted her confidence and she is going from strength to strength in Mathematics.
Another learner is two years older than his peers. He did not want to be at school and often the teachers had to fetch him at home. Ever since the tablets were introduced in the class, he has not missed a day of school.
The teachers of Wysersdrift Primary are enthusiastic about the eLearning opportunities presented by Cape Winelands Education District and the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP). During May, sessions included how to plan for an ICT integration lesson and how to design appropriated eResources to use during the lessons.
The teachers had to explore new educational apps like EdPuzzle, InsertLearning, AnswerGarden, Kahoot!, Google Fundamentals like Google Classroom, Google Forms and Google Quiz, during the sessions. All teachers were actively involved throughout the sessions where the presenters demonstrated ideas for blended learning in the classroom. Several 21st Century skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, leadership, social skills, etc. were also introduced throughout the sessions.
Van Leeuwen’s experience at the first training session was not easy due to challenges with her laptop and software problems that hampered her ability to follow the training. She left the session overwhelmed, but that evening she decided to go over it again.
She was able to follow the links and acquaint herself with the content that was covered in the session and now she is excited to start implementing the new eResources during her lessons.
Her experience teaches us to never give up and to adopt the attitude of being brave enough to explore technology.
Rosalynd Murray came out of retirement in September 2020 to teach Afrikaans to Grades 4 - 6 learners and proved that advanced age was no excuse not to integrate technology into teaching.
She was initially doubtful about her capability, but with Louw’s assistance she enjoys using technology in her classroom and she is up to date with all her eLearning assignments.