Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What a celebration our carnival #tabletfunday was!

On the 15th of November, Queenstown came alive with the sounds and bright colours of our Carnival #tabletfunday. Nothing could stop us, not the gale force wind, or the marquee nearly blowing away, or the nip in the air..... we were all ready to party, learn and celebrate our success! Our host school, Get Ahead College, rolled out the red carnival carpet and jumped right in joining us to make this day memorable and fun for all the Cofimvaba ICT4RED teachers.

As per usual we had a bumper day planned using a large scale learning strategy. Like last year we also used the learner volunteers to "man" our fun learning stations and assist the teachers to get on top of new mobile skills and brush up on some of the old skills. This reversal of roles went down well and a lot of fun was had by all. This year we were also joined by volunteer NARYSEC youth who will be assisting the #ict4red schools and teachers in the coming years as part of a learnership programme from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) who were also present on the day.

On the Friday before we did a briefing with all the volunteers and prepared the school for the onslaught of happy teachers. We also used this opportunity to make sure that the learners and volunteers are ready for their stations and how to get their groove on! We all got our groove on!

Our host school, Get Ahead College in Queenstown went out of their way to make sure that we feel welcome. They even pitched a marquee, organised a DJ and sound equipment and had lively African carnival music set the mood. Our teachers arrived from early on Saturday, ready to rumble and dressed in their carnival paraphernalia. They were not in the least put out by the trying weather conditions and spend the morning happily going from station to station collecting their stickers and stamps after completing the learning and fun tasks at every station.

At each of the stations the teachers had to do something and learn something. Some of the learning clues were hidden in QR codes. At the Rugani carrot station they had to figure our what a "cold chain" is and compete for the prizes of who can eat the most carrots in half a minute. The most pieces of carrots eaten in half a minute was 13 with an average of 4. Each of the teachers walked away with at least 1 packet of juicy sweet carrots.

At the Google station they had to learn about what GEGs are and how to join a GEG. There where wonderful prizes for composing a Google song as well. They also received Microsoft disks with lots of free educator programmes. This station was (wo)manned by Hlengi, our change management facilitator and ICT4RED logistics manager from Schoolnet. Her station also won the best station award.

As it was a tablet fun day, the teachers had to use their tablets at every station, either to take photos or videos, make collages, set their timers, read QR codes or demonstrate some of the skills learned during the course so far.

Learners from our Cofimvaba schools decided to do a flash mob at the carnival and did impromptu entrepreneurial stalls to showcase their worthy projects. The teachers were very appreciative and proud of their efforts!

The day culminated in a fun prize giving ceremony where we celebrated our success. Nobody went away empty handed. We want to thank our sponsors who so generously donated prizes. Our teachers felt valued and special!!

Rugani carrots sponsored carrot flash drives, shirts, pencil cases and 300 bags of carrots. Afrihost sponsored a cell phone. Vodacom sponsored home TV  internet, calculators and pencil cases, as well as Madiba T-shirts making sure that all the learners went away with something as well. Benita Williams and Associates sponsored fun mignion speakers and mp3 players. Google sponsored caps and T-shirts. Schoolnet sponsored cameras. Thank you to all our sponsors for helping to make the day such a success. Jaribaaaaaa!!

A twitter storify tweet summary can be found here:

All our fun day photos can be found here:

Thursday, 6 November 2014

#Carnivaltabletfun day preparations!! Jaribaaaaa

It is that time of the year again when we look back and celebrate our success!! And what a successful year we had! All our schools have earned their data projectors and some have even earned  mobi-kits for their learners through their sheer determination and hard work. To date our badge collectors have collected 1950 badges- Wow, wow,wow! So we sure have a lot to celebrate. (For more information on how our badging Earn As You Learn System works, click here)

Our theme this year is Carnival tablet fun and we are planning a bumper celebration!! This year we will again be doing a large scale learning stations strategy. This will show the teachers how this strategy can work on a larger scale to learn stuff while at the same time having fabulous fun! They have been exposed to this learning and teaching strategy as part of our 10 module learner centered TPD course (See

We are hoping to trend again on Twitter like we did last year with lots of happy stories abound! See our Twitter #tabletfunday story here: . There will be food stalls and a few exhibitors and lots and lots and lots of prizes for our teachers.

This year our hosts are Get Ahead College in Queenstown  ( who has enthusiastically agreed to allow us to change their school into a carnival funland! There will be entertainment on the Bus-stage and the classrooms will be the locations for fun learning stations!!

The programme so far looks like this:

  • 8h00-9h00 Registration 
  • 9h00-9h30 Welcome, housekeeping, introduction of Exhibitors and introduction to the twitter backchannel.
  • 9h30-13h00 Learning stations:
  • Exhibitor stations (Rugani Carrots, Schoolnet, Google, Microsoft)
  • Twitter stations
  • Badge collection station
  • Tech and app station
  • Mouse station (Monitoring and evaluation story collection)
  • Blog station
  • Flower and feather station 
  • Game and joke station
  • Shoe-shoe station
  • Drawing and face painting station
  • Mobile skill challenge station
  • So far...... 
  • 9h00-13h00  Refreshment stations throughout the day (hot dog stations, pancake stations, cappuccino stations
  • 13h00-15h00 Carnival draw and fun

Our funday would not be a funday without lots and lots of prizes. We really want to thank our sponsors for coming to the "party" and donating lovely prizes for our teachers.

Some of the amazing sponsors so far are:

  • Afrihost is again sponsoring a great Zest 2 Dual sim Mobile phone like they did last year. They also have great mobile data deals. (for more see their website here:
  • Schoolnet is sponsoring 3 cameras and goodies (
  • Google is coming loaded with caps, bags, usb drives and stuffies
  • Casio and NMMU counts in with calculators and a really fab ladies and gents watch
  • Rugani carrots will keep us healthy with loads of carrots, usb drives and goodies. ( /
  • Lymmyl Technologies is keeping our teachers connected with data bundles
  • Benita Williams and Associates is donating a R1000 to spend on cool stuffies
We will also be handing over the earned data projectors to the various schools, earned incentives to teachers,  as well as announcing which schools have earned their learner mobikits. 

Prizes categories
Some of the categories that we will be fun-ning for:
  • Completing the carnival journey. 
  • Biggest learning twit (most tweets)
  • Best photogragh/ photo collage
  • Best tweet
  • Best blogpost
  • Lovely-est flower power photo
  • Most original shoe-shoe
  • Best edu-tab story
  • Highest game score
  • Best joke
  • Best carnival picture drawn
  • Best carnival dress-up.
  • .......

If you want to still donate some cool prizes please send us an email to so that we can organise collection and transport to Queenstown! See our sponsor letter here for more information on how you can get involved. 

Come prepared!!
Sooooo, we are in for a wonderful, let our hair down and have our tablets ready to capture fab-fun- moments-kind-of-a-day. Teachers must make sure that their tablets are loaded and ready for action. 

Everybody must come dressed up already. Put on your feathers and curls or come in traditional Xhosa gear- you must be dressed up!. there will be a big prize for the best dressed teacher!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Game Based learning Module 7

I can't believe that we are already on Module 7. Time just flies when you are having fun. During the week of the 27th to 30th of October the hills of Cofimvaba came alive with the sounds of music, fun and laughter while we play-acted our Game Based Learning strategy.

Even though the entire ICT4RED TPD course has embedded elements of gamification that drives it, we have one whole module dedicated to exploring just how it can be used to create fun and exciting learning opportunities. The facilitators met on the Monday prior to the weeks training to fine-tune arrangements and to make sure that they can model the fun elements required to invite their teachers to participate in the fun.

The first activity demonstrated how traditional gaming apps ( in his case Angry birds) can be used to
focus learners while they learn important lessons that could enhance their 21st century skill set. We explored what Game Based learning really means and what constitutes a game. Is a game just a game? The teachers set about defining elements needed to make a game a game. It was mentioned that most games requires at some rudimentary set of rules. Healthy competition helps to fuel interest and to focus learners. By embedding learning objectives connected to the CAPS within games, enthusiastic learning is guaranteed (as was demonstrated by the teachers). One of the added benefits of incorporating the Angry birds app into this lesson structure was that it gave some of the teachers who still was a bit scared of technology the opportunity "to fly". We also looked at other apps that can be used in the classroom and apps specifically geared towards promoting education outcomeswithin a fun environment. For more ideas on how and why to use Angry Birds in the classroom, refer to the following slideshow by Edgar Joe.

The teachers then had to get to grips with the various pitfalls of copyright, fair use and creative commons licensing and prepared to take each other on using a quiz game show. Competition was tough and in two of the sessions there were a dead draw which resulted in a frantic scramble for the highest score. Everybody agreed that this was a great way to do revision or to make sure if learners have grappled with topics in a flipped classroom scenario.

Our final gaming activity had the creative juices flowing with the teachers using their tablets to compose songs about the project. We looked at how assessment rubrics can be used to make game adjudication more fair.We solicited esteemed judges from the district office to help with the process.

Now the teachers will go and implement this fun strategy with their learners and we are looking forward to see what they come up with! Let the (edu) games begin!!

For all the photos from our sessions click on the links below: