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Free Training Will Make Educators Digitally Literate For 21st Century Learning

Digital Educators

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With the realisation that two-thirds of the world’s children will work in jobs that currently don’t exist, higher education institution MANCOSA is preparing teachers for 21st century learning.

Shamon Lortan, the Work Integrated Learning Manager at MANCOSA’s School of Education, says unless children are taught abilities such as problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills and digital literacy, they will struggle to succeed in future society.

Many educators understand the value and importance of digital literacy for the ICT classroom, but have rarely executed it effectively in other subject areas for successful teaching and learning.

It is for this reason, Lortan said, that MANCOSA is offering a Remote Teaching Masterclass webinar series, an immersive online experience which will give educators the opportunity to learn from experts in their subjects and make them future-fit and digitally literate.

“There has been remarkable response to the first two phases of free training being offered to educators to upskill them in teaching remotely with confidence during the lockdown.

“We have constructed phase 3 of our webinar series to assist educators in the reformation to 21st Century Learning.

“These 21st Century e-platforms can be used for remote teaching and school-based contact learning. Educators that implement 21st century skills in their classrooms pave the way for their learners to compete and thrive on a global level,” she said.

MANCOSA has joined hands with leading online teaching experts to ensure that pupils are not left behind during this unprecedented lockdown. (see MANCOSA’s website https://www.mancosa.co.za/remote-teaching-masterclass-series/ for the first three phases).

Professor Zaheer Hamid, Academic Director at MANCOSA, said there had been overwhelming response to the Remote Teaching Masterclass webinar series.

“This is a time for collective action and solidarity to ensure continuation of education for schoolkids. Partnering with existing initiatives will ensure that our efforts achieve maximum reach and impact.

“We have to think creatively about how to minimise the loss of education time for the poorest of pupils. We also need to face the reality that some schools may remain closed for a longer period than envisaged.

As a leading provider of management programmes, MANCOSA has considerable expertise in the design and development of high quality and relevant study materials and teaching instruction for students who study remotely.

“The School of Education was established in 2017 to extend its impact to train and inspire the nation’s next educators. Therefore, MANCOSA’s School of Education can provide most benefit to the education sector during this time of need, by training teachers to provide them with the skills and confidence to teach remotely,” said Hamid.

Lortan, who co-ordinated the remote teaching masterclass, has over 15 years of teaching experience in multiple curriculums across the world and has a desire to consistently improve, challenge and advance teaching and learning for the next generation.

She said: “This current global crisis forces us to change teaching and learning interactions as the world switches to remote online teaching and learning.

“It is with this in mind that professionals from a variety of backgrounds, institutions and countries were brought together to equip and train our educators to serve our South African communities meaningfully during this time.

“The webinar series sequentially lay out several e-platforms and e-skills to empower educators from those with none or limited tech-skills to those looking to refine their ability to teach remotely.”

The MANCOSA School of Education Remote Teaching Masterclass Series has three phases, with each phase consisting of three to five webinars. There will be instruction on sourcing a variety of online resources to engage learners; looking at platforms to engage parents and students to deliver curriculum content; and also providing feedback or assessment.

International and local best practice on online teaching and learning will be related by specialists from South Africa and abroad. The following experts will provide instruction during the third phase:

“Using Google Sites and Oxford Owl as an e-platform” – Lauren Mcnab spent five years teaching in rural schools in southern Scotland and then moved to Dubai to teach at Al Ittihad Private School. She currently serves as the Curriculum Coordinator for grade one to five and is studying towards a Master’s in Education with a focus on Teacher Leadership.

“Using Quizziz as an e-platform” – Nicole Hinds is currently working in Dubai at New Generation School as a senior teacher. She has developed proficiency in many tech-skills to enhance teaching and learning both in the classroom and remotely.

“Using Padlet as an e-platform” – Raceel Katour worked in Dubai for four years before moving back home to Lebanon, where she currently works in Ahliah Private School. She has developed expertise in numerous e-platforms to enrich teaching and learning both in the class and remotely.

“Using Google Earth as an e-platform” – Regina Siles is an American teacher currently working at Next Generation School in Dubai. As a senior-teacher she has developed proficiency in many technology skills and uses various e-platforms to engage and communicate with her learners.

Hamid said the training in remote teaching will enable educators to better navigate their way through multiple challenging environments, and to better cope with stress and uncertainty during the current pandemic.

The School of Education was launched with the objective of revolutionising traditional classroom teaching in a complex school education landscape through bespoke teacher training programmes.

“The MANCOSA School of Education is a game-changing teacher training institution which will produce educators who are agile and responsive to providing a compelling learning experience in any environment.

“The confluence of new technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution encourages institutions of higher learning to upskill, invigorate and enhance teacher education to be more relevant in the 21st century.

“Mindful of the inherent challenges of funding, resources; professional development structures; and lack of technology in education and training, the School of Education is geared to enable quality teaching and learning through a suite of programmes to create demand for sought-after skills in a highly competitive job market,” Hamid said.

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