" I love to see the spark in someone’s eye when they ‘get’ something for the first time. "
The story of
Amanda Calitz is currently a lecturer in 21st century learning design based in the eZone as part of team eFundanathi at the School of Therapeutic sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Amanda is a leader that connects people by building bridges through strong communication and technology. From a young age, she’s been involved in community projects. One of the first projects she can recall was when she involved all the kids on the farm in a paper recycling project that created material to make a fire to cook food and generate heat- she was 14 years old when they started.
She became an educator because she loves to see the spark in someone’s eye when they “get” something for the first time. She approaches teaching using the blended learning approach that is grounded in connectivism. She emphasizes game-based learning in her teaching. Her goal is to allow everyone to be the best they can be. She is an experienced educator and has taught students from preschool – postgraduate level in various settings – from rural Eastern Cape, North West, Sandton to Soweto. She sees her career goal to encourage and equip educators to be the best version of themselves so that they can reach future generations. “Ke utlwela botlhoko” is a SeTswana idiom that rings true to her. It means- directly translated- I feel your pain in my heart. She makes a point to get to know people’s backgrounds and always tries to find the reasons behind people’s actions. She has empathy and identifies with the need of the teacher (scholar/educator) through a Just-in-time approach to providing a holistic delivery of training and support. She leads by example and aims to give people space to grow without taking away their responsibilities.
She has a keen interest in game-based learning and gamification as well as simulation. By gamifying learning and implementing game-based learning approaches, she has overcome many of the problems that are faced in classrooms today. She shares teaching practice with scholars and educators in such a way that they can implement it in their setting. Training sessions are left with a toolbox of activities to implement in both under-resourced and highly resourced learning spaces.
She sees herself as a lifelong learner and enjoys sharing ideas with everyone that she meets. Amanda is actively looking for opportunities to network and has started a company called CreateAndExpand that aims to create a platform to tell African stories through games.