Out of 20 finalists four teachers were honoured on Monday as the South African winners of the Fourth Annual Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum Awards, in Bryanston. 'The awards represent the pinnacle of work done to create local communities of teachers who can share challenges, ideas and best practice solutions with their peers, supported by ICT,' said the Department of Education's National Director of Curriculum Innovation, Trudi van Wyk. She commended the teachers, adding that their hard work will give the future leaders of SA the skills they will need for employability. The teachers designed learning projects using Web 2.0 multimedia technology, which includes content from social network sites such as Facebook, as well as blogging, video streaming, video conferencing, online network groups, virtual classrooms, cellphone photography and DVD compilations.
Fiona Beal, of Fish Hoek Primary, in the Western Cape, was the winner of the Innovation in Community category, for teaching Grade 4 and 5 learners how to blog and, in turn, the learners taught the local elderly community to blog as well. Cheryl Douglas, of Bishops High School, in Cape Town, won the Innovation in Collaboration award for teaching her learners how to use social networking to promote sustainability around climate change. Rae Gagiano, of Eunice High School, in Bloemfontein, was awarded the Innovation in Content prize by showing her learners how to create a virtual reality art museum using digital imagery. Hlengiwe Mfeka, of Mconjwana High School, in Pietermaritzburg, took home the Innovation in Context prize by allowing her Grade 10 learners to address community problems using Web 2.0 technological tools. The winners were chosen from a host of entries submitted by teachers around the country