IT teacher wins African EdTech adventure

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An IT teacher from Harrogate Grammar School won a trip to South Africa while attending an EdTech Show.

Stephen Woollard was a guest in Pretoria for a week with the competition sponsors and e-textbook and e-learning provider ITSI.

Commenting about his trip, Stephen said: “I was both surprised and delighted to hear from ITSI that I had won the trip to South Africa.

“I was a teacher from 1997 to 2000 in Kenya, and having the opportunity to visit another part of Africa is a dream come true.”

Stephen visited seven schools across the country, some leading the way with state-of-the-art technology and others more rural.

“From a professional point of view, I found the trips to all of the schools incredibly inspiring.

“My role involves developing our use of technology, and there were many common areas of interest in the schools I visited compared to my own.

“It was fantastic to see how some South African schools are embedding technology into their curriculum.

“Technology isn’t just viewed as something to include in the classroom for fun, to use when you complete all of your schoolwork; South African students really consider it to be a learning tool, and it is used with almost every activity.”

He added: “The context of the schools in South Africa were very different to that of my own in the UK.

“I observed students who really valued and understood the opportunities school provided academically but also socially with sport and the arts high on the agenda.

“Perhaps the nature of free education in the UK leaves some students taking for granted what is on offer.

“My time in South Africa gave me a lot to think about, and I am so grateful to ITSI for providing me with such a valuable experience.”

Gary Bryant, UK manager for ITSI, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to give Stephen the chance to see how South African schools have embraced and embedded education technology.”