Day 22: Why I love South Africa: Everyone can vote.

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Everyone knows about South Africa’s past.  I don’t want to talk about all the sadness of the past here. There is enough information about it on the internet. What I do want to celebrate is the fact that everyone can vote now. I voted for the first time in 2002. My husband and I voted earlier this year in the National elections. (It is our thumbs in the picture) I hope that our country will stay inclusive and will keep on getting better and better.

Please remember to visit  this website for more information. Please do join me on this adventure.

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Welcome To South Africa!

South Africa has a diverse variety of food. There are people from all over the world that are living in South Africa. The one thing that brings everyone together is the South African Braai. It spans all culture and is so important to us that we have a national braai day at the end of September each year.

My personal favourite South African food is biltong and rusks.

Biltong is a dried meat that is made by a secret recipe. My husband enjoys making biltong in winter. Some families hunt every winter and make biltong with that meat.

Below is a Wakelet that was made for the Techwomen 20_21 culture week. Enjoy!!

Day 21: Why I love South Africa: Rhino

My first memories of rhino’s are when I’m about 10 or 11 years old at the Botsalano Game reserve in the North West Province, South Africa.

We were walking in the veldt with game rangers and we had to stay wind up in order for us to go closer to the rhino’s.

A rhino cannot see very well and I think of them as gentle giants.

They are very endangered  because people kill them for their horns.

I hope we can stop them so that future generations can also see them.

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Kruger National Park October 2011
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Here is a link to a website with rhino facts.

Please remember to visit  this website for more information. Please do join me on this adventure.

Click here for more blogs taking part in this challenge

Day 20: Reasons Why I love South Africa: Giraffes

My lovely sister in law loves giraffes and I have written a post about them before. You can find it here. 

You can find giraffes in groups or on their own. Older bulls usually stay on their own.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

31 days

Please remember to visit  this website for more information. Please do join me on this adventure.

Click here for more blogs taking part in this challenge

Game based learning a perspective from 3 continents.

I’ve enjoyed interacting with educators from different continents around game based learning. The webinar was hosted by  #LEARNWithTeacher with panelists Talitha Amalia of Solve Education!, Indonesia; Amanda Calitz of University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; and Sonia Michaels of DigiPen Institute of Technology, USA.

What I found interesting was the fact that even though Talitha, Sonia and I are on three different continents we shared some of the same experiences. Talitha shared her experiences from Indonesia and she also mentioned that data is expensive there- just like in South Africa. Sonia shared about her experiences in teaching people how to create games.

I shared about my experience in Health Science Education. If you missed the webinar you can watch it here.

Techwomen 2020_2021

One of the biggest highlights of my career so far is being selected to be part of the Techwomen cohort for 2020_20201.

From the early days as a child and an emerging woman in STEM I never thought that this honor was possible. There was a lot of questions in the application forms and it helped me to delve deep and think about my life journey. The interview with members of the South African selection team went well and I enjoyed it. Their poker faces didn’t let anything slip if I did well or not in the interview but they were friendly throughout.

Teaching in Sonderwater and later on being involved in Science Expo’s have prepared me for this journey. I am sure that I will learn and give a lot during this programme.

I usually have a countdown to an event but Techwomen have already started- we hit the ground running and I am enjoying every moment of it.

The Techwomen team are just amazing as well as the cohort of emerging leaders. I’ve already learnt a lot and we are at the beginning of this amazing journey!! For more information about this programme please click here.

There is no point in teaching if you are not learning alongside your students.

I met Gizelle in 2018 and soon realized that she is an awesome teacher and a great person. Since I started this blog I thought that I had to ask her to share her story because she is an inspiration. Gizelle has the ability to see an opportunity and grab it with both hands. If the going gets tough as they say Gizelle gets going. I am honored to have her as a friend and a colleague. Here is her story in her own words:

“My name is Gizelle Simpson, and I started teaching in 2010. I started teaching in the rural area of Atlantis in the Western Cape. I taught there for a year and then got a permanent position in Malmesbury at a high school. I was there from 2011-2018. This is where my passion for teaching with technology arose.

The class sizes were between 40-60 and teaching English to high school kids under those circumstances in itself was a challenge. I then decided after having an interactive whiteboard put in my class that I was going to have to use this in order to get my students excited about learning and me about teaching.

I decided to do some courses on the Microsoft educator center, and here I discovered the power of using technology effectively. My students started being engaged, they were no longer truant and started enjoying coming to class. They were engaged and I saw an increase in their performance on tests.

It was here I decided to an IBL project with my Grade 11 students using their novel at the time Buckingham Palace. It was the first time that this school was exposed to IBL. I entered this project into the Microsoft educator exchange program for an opportunity to go to Paris. This project awarded me the opportunity to go and meet and collaborate with 300 educators from across the world. What a life changing experience. I then decided to venture out and look for another opportunity. I wanted to share my new skill set with teacher and inspire them to teach with technology. In 2019 I started at Wynberg Girls’ Junior school as their ICT integrator. In this space I could not only share my knowledge and skills with the students but also with the teachers.

I will continue to advocate 21st century teaching and learning and encourage teachers to use technology in their teaching pedagogy. I want to inspire teachers and students alike to see the endless possibilities which lay ahead of them if they embrace the power of technology in teaching.

“There is no point in teaching if you are not learning alongside your students”

Gizelle Simpson”