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All teachers who opted in, and were able to, completed the course and earned their tablets. A total of 3, badges were earned, and 91 teachers completed more than half of the optional badges to earn a merit graduation.


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All these badges were assessed according to criteria supplied by assessors who were not directly involved in the facilitation process and were verified by an external party for quality control. In addition, all the schools earned their equipment and received tablets for the learners. The creation of a course like this is not an easy undertaking. It is part science and part craft. The resulting design is by no means a perfect course, but initial results have suggested that it does equip rural teachers with a toolkit consisting of technology hardware, pragmatic pedagogical and technology knowledge and skills, and practice-based experience.

The use of tablets has been a catalyst for teachers to use other forms of technology. In addition, the teachers demonstrated sufficient confidence to experiment with the use of software and hardware in their teaching practice. The course is also currently being translated into Afrikaans for use in the Northern Cape.

The gamification of the course was no easy task, and it took two iterations to arrive at a point where it was not merely 'badges on leader boards'. We use the term gamification rather broadly and acknowledge that it is a contentious term. The flow from training experience to classroom practice was facilitated by the interim goals, articulated by the badges.


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  7. The badge goal, achievement, assessment and the conferring of the badges served a number of functions:. It outlined clear transparent expectation;. It provides an opportunity for the teacher to demonstrate individual proficiency;. It acknowledges achieved competence;. It allows teachers to individualise and appropriate learning into practice;. It acts as a scaffolding environment for achieving the teacher development goal;.

    It allows the initiative initiators to acknowledge individual growth;. It acts as an early warning signal of teachers falling behind;. It allows for timeous investment in further technology needs; and. It allows for champions to surface and to be acknowledged. Initial success is suggested when one regards the completion and participation rate. Technology was applied to support teachers in adapting their method of teaching. Instead of teaching learners with chalk and a blackboard, teachers are now teaching learners in small groups, armed with a tablet and assisting learners in groups to facilitate meaningful engagement with the content.


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    The innovation of the course lies within unique combination of elements and the methodology used, to encourage participation and spill over into classroom practice. TPD remains a costly endeavour, and these costs escalate when remote, rural areas are targeted. The investment that is made in monetary value is significant, but so is the opportunity cost for the teachers involved. As such, careful consideration needs to be made as to how the investment will be evaluated, and what the required short, medium and long-term changes will be.

    Technology in and of itself will not influence classroom practice and teachers that are not comfortable with the personal use of the technology will be very hesitant to use it in their classrooms. The TPD endeavour needs to bridge the gap between the potential and the teacher's reality in such a way that they are empowered, and remain in control of their classroom practice. Although the specific application of the ICT4RED TPD course lies within a very contextualised area, there are many elements that could be replicated with due consideration to the nature of the course.

    As an available artefact, the opportunity is available for practitioners and organisations to adapt it to their own needs. An online connected iteration and success in other environments could be possible areas to investigate as a next step. Module outline is attached as Appendix A. The reviewers and editors of this journal are acknowledged for their hard work and effort on our behalf.

    This article remains a proudly South African tribute. Abell SK Twenty years later: Does pedagogical content knowledge remain a useful idea? International Journal of Science Education, 30 10 The effect of student teaching experience on preservice elementary teachers' self-efficacy beliefs for technology integration in the UAE. Educational Technology Research and Development, 60 5 Teacher adoption of technology. Computers in Human Behavior, 29 3 Influence of models' reinforcement contingencies on the acquisition of imitative responses.

    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1 6 A review of the social movements literature: Implications for large scale change in the NHS. Accessed 25 November Toward technology integration in the schools: Why it isn't happening. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13 4 The empirical base for professional development in science education: Moving beyond volunteers. Louis, MO, 26 March. Botha A Gamification beyond badges.

    Disconnected electronic badges in resource constrained environments: A use case from the rural Nciba district in the Eastern Cape. Bower M Affordance analysis - matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45 1 Factors influencing teachers' adoption and integration of information and communication technology into teaching: A review of the literature. Carney JM SIGTE research award winner: Integrating technology into constructivist classrooms: An examination of one model for teacher development.

    Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 15 1 Practical skills training for family caregivers. A study in play, pleasure and interaction design. In Proceedings of the conference on Designing pleasurable products and interfaces. New York: ACM. What factors support or prevent teachers from using ICT in their classrooms?

    Department of Basic Education Department of Education Foundation phase Grades R to 3 policy document. Pretoria, SA: Department of Education. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining "gamification". Learning design research: advancing pedagogies in the digital age. Educational Media International, 50 1 Which factors obstruct or stimulate teacher educators to use ICT innovatively?

    Better learning through structured teaching: A framework for the gradual release of responsibility 2nd ed. Design research on professional development in a systemic reform context. Linking teacher and student learning to improve professional development in systemic reform. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19 6 Using iPods to enhance the teaching of games in physical education.

    New technologies, new pedagogies: Mobile learning in higher education. Wollongong: University of Wollongong. Accessed 26 November Fullan M The new meaning of educational change 4th ed.

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    Oxon: Routledge. Gadamer HG Praise of theory: Speeches and essays. Glover I Play as you learn: Gamification as a technique for motivating learners. Proceedings of EdMedia: World conference on educational media and technology Positioning and presenting design science research for maximum impact. MIS Quarterly, 37 2 Grossman PL The making of a teacher: Teacher knowledge and teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press. Teaching competencies for technology integration in the classroom.

    Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25 5 Teachers' continuing professional development: framing a model of outcomes. Journal of In-Service Education, 23 1 Towards a disruptive pedagogy: Changing classroom practice with technologies and digital content. Educational Media International, 48 1 Design principles for mobile learning. Hevner AR A three cycle view of design science research.

    Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 19 2 : Article 4. Design science in information systems research. MIS Quarterly, 28 1 Integrating technology into K- 12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Students like it because it makes learning feel more interesting and engaging, and they find that understanding is something they can use, rather than simply possess.

    Learning through disciplines entails learning not only the knowledge of the discipline but also the skills associated with the production of knowledge within the discipline. Through disciplinary curriculum and instruction students should learn why the discipline is important, how experts create new knowledge, and how they communicate about it. Continued learning in any discipline requires that the student—or expert—become deeply familiar with a knowledge base, know how to use that knowledge base, articulate a problem, creatively address the problem, and communicate findings in sophisticated ways.

    Therefore, mastering a discipline means using many 21st century skills. Lower-order exercises are fairly common in existing curricula, while higher-order thinking activities are much less common. Higher-level thinking tends to be difficult for students because it requires them not only to understand the relationship between different variables lower-order thinking but also how to apply—or transfer—that understanding to a new, uncharted context higher-order thinking. Transfer which we will discuss in more detail below , tends to be very difficult for most people.

    However, applying new understandings to a new, uncharted context is also exactly what students need to do to successfully negotiate the demands of the 21st century. Higher-level thinking skills take time to develop, and teaching them generally requires a tradeoff of breadth for depth.

    Students must apply the skills and knowledge they gain in one discipline to another. They must also apply what they learn in school to other areas of their lives. This application—or transfer—can be challenging for students and for adults as well. There are a number of specific ways that teachers can encourage low- and high-road transfer. Teachers can use other methods to encourage high-road transfer. For example teachers can ask students to:. Shanghai education experts believe that training students to transfer their knowledge and skills to real problems contributed to their success on the Programme for International Student Assessment PISA.

    The importance of transfer brings us back to the fundamental rationale for learning 21st century skills in the first place—so that students can transfer them to the economic, civic and global 21st century contexts that demand them. There is a limit to the skills, attitudes, and dispositions that students can learn through formal schooling.

    Therefore, educating them for the 21st century requires teaching them how to learn on their own. To do so, students need to be aware of how they learn. Another well-documented science-of-learning theory is that learners have many misunderstandings about how the world really works, and they hold onto these misconceptions until they have the opportunity to build alternative explanations based on experience.

    To overcome misconceptions, learners of any age need to actively construct new understandings. Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies. Bottom line : You pay for quality with Goalbook Toolkit, including access to clear, well-crafted learning goals and strategies that allow for far easier differentiation.

    All-in-one standards planning, assessment tool supports quality instruction.

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    Bottom line : With adequate time and resources, the tool can be a fantastic organizational support to those transitioning to standards-aligned planning and assessment. Bottom line : Impressive resource opens access to quality materials for all educators. Handy one-stop digital lesson planner saves time in the long run. Bottom line : Although it requires a lot of setup time, this snappy tool centralizes the essential components of lesson planning. Slick course creator is full-featured, but lessons remain traditional. Bottom line : A great option for putting your course materials online in a clean, attractive way, but don't rely on it for all your instruction.

    Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring, feedback, and assessment for 1-to Bottom line : It's a great option for teachers who want to go paperless, provide specific feedback, and encourage collaboration among students in 1-to-1 classrooms. Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents. Bottom line : A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

    Multimedia reflection app puts a new spin on class discussion. Bottom line : By promoting regular self-reflection and inquiry through Recap, teachers can support more authentic learning and self-assessment among their students. Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool. Bottom line : Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.

    A fresh way to capture, document, and share student learning. Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for 1-to-1, BYOD classrooms. Bottom line : Cleverly designed for teachers, Formative offers a flexible and attractive solution for gathering a variety of student response types and offering individualized feedback. Bottom line : Effortlessly fun quizzing that can lead to productive formative assessment and student reflection if implemented effectively.

    Bottom line : If your classroom relies a lot on Google Docs, this might just be the feedback tool you're looking for. Bottom line : Google Classroom is a great way to manage and organize learning, though teachers who need more features may need to look elsewhere. Encourage original work and give feedback with this valuable tool. Bottom line : Beyond the convenience factor, it's almost a necessity for the teaching of writing in today's digital world. Versatile annotation tool helps users critically connect with content. Bottom line : Kami is an effective way to promote student interaction with texts, authentic documents, and pictures.

    Organize digital content with full-featured web clipper and notebook. Bottom line : Students and teachers can learn to better manage their digital lives via this comprehensive organizational tool. Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects.

    Exciting New Course at RIAM – The Music Teacher’s Tool-kit

    Bottom line : It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations. Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities. Bottom line : An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities. Curate and organize all kinds of content into customizable notebooks. Bottom line : From the novice to the super-organized student, Notebook's versatility is a rare free find.

    Social bookmarking encourages discovery, collaboration, and sharing. Bottom line : With a Diigo educator account, teachers and students have a safe space to organize, customize, and share Web content while learning about a variety of subjects. Handy management and portfolio tool can promote student growth. Bottom line : With thoughtful implementation, it can help teachers and parents support students' growth through goal-setting, feedback, and celebration. Bottom line : One-stop multi-tool for parents, teachers, and students.

    Teachers' text reminders keep students -- and parents -- up to speed. Bottom line : Well-designed, highly effective messaging tool has the potential to keep students and families connected with their schools. Live video communication has potential to open lots of doors.

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    Bottom line : With a bit of work and a measure of patience, Skype can be an excellent classroom tool to expand students' horizons. Manage classes, content, and communication with social LMS platform. Bottom line : This free platform allows for teacher-monitored classroom communication but lacks excitement. Communication, learning, and fun converge nicely in Google's slick platform. Bottom line : It runs like a dream, works on all devices, and can be used in so many ways to enhance interactive learning. Real-time, moderated online discussions can engage and encourage.

    Bottom line : Backchannel Chat offers a fun and safe way to hold real-time online discussions that might just increase engagement, interest, and even learning.