March 13, 2019
“Technology has become a part of education and it should be available to everyone.” – Chad Botha, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa
Access to quality education – and the technology that supports it — can be an issue for students everywhere. MIEE Chad Botha is part of the solution.
“Education from a global perspective is developing at a rapid rate, and it’s very exciting to be a part of it,” Botha says. “Unfortunately, there are still a huge number of children in underprivileged countries that don’t have access to quality education, especially with the use of technology to promote digital literacy. Technology has become a part of education and it should be available to everyone.”
“I am part of a training team that helps educators and learners use technology to empower themselves in the teaching and learning process,” he explains. “We are able to reach people in all corners of South Africa and we have recently expanded to Namibia and Botswana.”
Botha reaches students by helping them understand their history by immersing them in a study of a heritage trail through South Africa.
“South Africa is an incredibly diverse country with different cultures and backgrounds,” he says. “The lesson involves researching the different provinces in South Africa and the long-lasting heritage that can be found there. Learners worked in groups and used a variety of tools to research, create, collaborate, and present projects based on the province assigned to them.”
Teaching with these tools was eye-opening for Botha. He started with Microsoft Forms to set up weekly mental math tests for his Grade 5 class.
“A week before the school was set to write their term assessments,” Both shares, “I found that the class had taken it upon themselves to use Microsoft Forms to quiz each other on their upcoming assessments. They hadn’t had any lessons or training on the app; they learned it all on their own. It was great to see an actual example of children being empowered by technology and have the confidence to teach themselves. Since then, they have been using OneNote and Teams — in some cases — without teacher input.”
About Chad Botha
- Educational background: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education and I have recently completed an Honors degree in Educational Management.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: I honestly love them all but if I had to choose, I would say Microsoft Teams. It’s amazing!
- Favorite book: Captain in the Cauldron by Mike Greenaway
- Website I check every day: At this time of the year it is Superbru. It’s a sports predictor platform and it is now Super Rugby season.
- Favorite childhood memory: Catching my first fish with my Grandfather. It was a Bronze Bream and it was caught at a place called Umzumbe, on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. I was five years old and it felt like I was reeling in a whale. It was about a kilogram.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? It is actually a quote I was told by a family member, and it has always resonated with me: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” It’s not something I consider my favorite quote, but I have taken it as advice which has helped me a lot over the last few years.