The finalists in one of SA’s longest-running ICT in education competitions – the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year and ISPA TechTeacher of the Year – have been selected.

The 10 teachers who will travel to Johannesburg to compete for the titles are:

Louise Fullard of Hoerskool Bergvlam, Fiona Bell of The Rock Academy, Peggy Jona of Bakuba Primary, Lineth Crighton of Brescia House, Anel Flack of Hoerskool Standerton, Mabore Lekalakala of Mapudithomo Primary, Lady Hadio Mei of Moedi Secondary, Matthew Hains of Saheti Secondary, Dimakatso Sefora of Saron Primary and Leanne Bishop of Grantleigh School.

The ISPA SuperTeacher Awards are an annual feature of the iWeek Internet industry conference and exhibition which, this year, takes place at the Indaba Hotel & Conference Centre from 26 to 28 August.

“The judges have roundly applauded the talent that has presented itself for adjudication at this year’s ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year awards,” says Milford Malunga of the Digital Education Institute (DEI), administrators of the annual ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in education awards.

“It is clear to everyone involved in selecting the 10 finalists that the use of ICT in the classroom has really taken hold in South Africa,” he adds. “Some incredible creativity has been displayed in the rollout of these tools in teaching and learning.”

Many past ISPA SuperTeacher award recipients started their training without ever having touched a mouse. They then go on to great things, which include revolutionising teaching in their classrooms and sphere of influence.

“More educators are viewing technology as a legitimate teaching aid and are incorporating ICT into their lesson plans in interesting ways. If anything is going to underpin the transition of South Africa into a digital economy, the classroom is where it must start,” says Malunga.

The judges for this year’s awards are drawn from a variety of industry sectors and organisations such as ISPA, ICT in education, academia, provincial education departments and non-profit organisations specialising in in-service teacher professional development. The judges include Sarah-Jane Capazario and Dorcas Tabane (ISPA), Shadi Mathosa (ICT in education specialist), Megan Rademeyer (Programme Manager at SchoolNet South Africa NPO), Professor Mthulisi Velempini (University of Limpopo), Deon van Vuuren (Branch Co-ordinator for Curriculum at Mpumalanga Provincial Education Department), Moloko Malahlela (Chief Education specialist – Gauteng) and Gerald Roos (Western Cape – Deputy Director in the Directorate: LTSM Policy Development and Innovation).

To be selected as finalists in the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards, teachers were required to register online and submit ICT-related projects for consideration by the panel.

Many of the teachers had participated in educator IT training managed by DEI and sponsored by the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA) and its members,
The finalists’ closing projects were judged to be the best amongst the many received that demonstrated the value of the teachers’ newly acquired ICT skills.