“Confining students behind desks will not work anymore in a technology classroom because that is not how engineers, designers, and other creative professionals work.” – Shepherd Simango, South Africa
Design & Technology Teacher/Computer Applications Teacher
St. Stithians Girls’ College
Johannesburg, South Africa
As a technology teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE), Shepherd Simango encourages his students to be explorative, especially when they are faced with a problem. For Simango and his students, mobile devices have proven to be invaluable.
“[Mobile devices] can be used for content creation using Office apps,” says Simango. “They can also be used as tools to capture and store data such as images and voice and video recordings. For both individual and group tasks, mobile devices can be used to create sketches, share resources, and for presentation and communication purposes. In most of my lessons, I have embraced the use of mobile devices as they represent 21st century productivity tools that promote personalized, authentic, and situational learning.”
Simango’s teaching philosophy mirrors what he believes his students will need when they leave school. “My teaching approach is that the classroom environment should be flexible and feel like the working world,” he shares. “Confining students behind desks will not work anymore in a technology classroom, because that is not how engineers, designers, and other creative professionals work. Technology education creates problem-solvers who will be able to work as engineers and designers. They must be flexible in order to work collaboratively in teams.”
In a recent classroom project, “Systems and Control: Hydraulics,” Simango encourages his students to build a hydraulics product and create an advertisement marketing the product. “Students can give each other special roles, such as chief designer, chief engineer, video script writer, actor and technical staff,” he says.
Learn more about Simango’s projects on his Microsoft Educator Community Profile.
About Shepherd Simango
- Educational background: Masters in Education
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Office Remote (keeps me in control of my presentations)
- What is the best advice you have ever received? All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. Don’t just wish things will happen the way you want while you are not making a move.
- Website I check every day: My favorite websites are those with “How to” tips, e.g. http://www.popularmechanics.co.za/ . They’re very useful. I also enjoy technology sites, e.g. https://techcrunch.com/
- Favorite childhood memory: Building our own toys with my friends. From a simple soccer ball to a treehouse. Parents never really bought us any toys so we made our own.
- Favorite book: The Pelican Brief by John Grisham