The Rock Academy - ICT


ICT – Mrs Beal

We have an ICT lab with 12 Windows 10 computers. Fiona Beal is our Grade 1 – 7 computer teacher. Fiona has been selected by Microsoft as a 2016/2017/2018 Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in South Africa. She is also recognised as a Google Certified Innovator after being selected for attendance at the Google Teacher Academy in New York a couple of years back. Fiona says:

“In our computer lessons, I try to keep the learners abreast of world trends in ICT. We also try to work in with what the classes are doing in the classroom. Consequently, we learn how to use Microsoft and Google applications, as well as many useful Internet applications. Last year the Grade 7s learned to create e-books from their projects using both Microsoft and Google programs.”

Here are a few highlights from our lessons

We like to connect with other classrooms around the world doing various collaborative projects. In 2015 we entered a Global Virtual Classroom competition with our Grade 5 class. We were placed in a team with a school in Taiwan and one in the United States. We had to come up with a collaborative project and we connected several times via Skype. The three classes did a collaborative project on recycling called ‘Recycling to live green’ and created a website together using Google Sites. The details can be viewed here. We won some money for the school as a result.

Our focus is on emphasising Internet safety as well as the ethical use of the Internet. The Grade 5s – 7s have blogs which we use as digital portfolios, but these are also used to teach digital citizenship and online safety. One of our Grades usually participates in the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge in March every year along with around 2000 other schools around the globe.

Since many first world countries are recognising the importance of introducing coding right from Grade 1 (since it is flagged as a future required skill in our digital world), our Grade 1-7s participated in Microsoft’s worldwide Hour of Code last year. The Hour of Code is completed in 180 countries around the world. All our learners received their Hour of Code certificates. I am planning to introduce the Grade 4-7s to a free coding program called Scratch this year.

We are a Google School, which means that our learners have free access to Google Drive and all its wonderful offerings for schools using a safe, monitored school account. I store most of my lessons on Google Classroom so that everything is kept together in one place and shared with the learners.”

Below are a few photos from the computer room.

Global Virtual Classroom competition winners

Hour of Code – Grade 7s received dark glasses from Microsoft

Hour of code completion certificate

Grade 7 creating e-books with sound using Office Mix

A Mystery Skype 2017