Posted on March 1, 2011 · Posted in Siyavula

Siyavula is a Shuttleworth Foundation seeded project that supports and encourages communities of teachers to work together, openly share their teaching resources and benefit from the use of technology. We believe that it is through collaboration and the freedom to adapt and contextualise teaching material to suit their specific needs, that a higher standard of education can be achieved. We are looking for a dynamic and enthusiastic person to join our small team.

Interested candidates should send a curriculum vitae and motivation letter to Mark Horner at mark.horner@shuttleworthfoundation.org. We would like to fill this position as soon as possible and will begin interviewing candidates from 15th March 2011.

The successful candidate will be required to work in four primary areas (the relative weighting of these activities is negotiable, based on the candidate’s qualifications and experience).

  1. FHSST / FullMarks content authoring and editing
    Working on our core products will require the candidate to:
    • be proficient in mathematics, science and information technologies;
    • be able to assess and review resources / tools and integrate them, as appropriate, into:
      1. FHSST books,
      2. FullMarks,
      3. Training courses, and
      4. Workshops; and
    • support the improvement and refining of the PDF generation process for texts from the Connexions platform. [Familiarity with LaTeX will be an advantage.]
  2. Event support
    Our events are run by our team as a whole, with national demand, and this requires that the candidate be:
    • comfortable managing a group (10-15 people);
    • comfortable managing and training diverse groups (culture, socio-economic background etc.);
    • comfortable presenting to a large audience (~100 people); and
    • willing to travel within South Africa for periods of a few days.
  3. Training workshops
    We conduct training on various platforms and tools that support both educators and learners to achieve improved collaboration and educational outcomes. This requires that the candidate:
    • will have to run technical training workshops with:
      1. educators,
      2. learners, and
      3. management staff;
    • be comfortable acting as the primary trainer;
    • be comfortable supporting a primary trainer; and
    • facilitate group discussions.
  4. Technical support of all activities
    The candidate will be required to provide technical support at events and workshops showcasing the various tools and products.

In addition, the candidate needs to fit into the Siyavula team and the general working environment. This requires the candidate to:

  1. be comfortable working in teams;
  2. demonstrate a willingness to participate in group work, including:
    1. strategy discussions,
    2. brainstorming,
    3. workshop and course design, and
    4. product analysis;
  3. be passionate about
    1. improving education both locally and globally, and
    2. the use of technology; and
  4. embrace transparency and openness as a general operating procedure.

Basic day-to-day tasks require that the candidate have:

  1. excellent writing skills;
  2. a high-level of IT literacy;
  3. excellent communication skills;
  4. a high-level of independence and initiative; and
  5. abundant enthusiasm.

Minimal formal requirements are a BSc. (Hons), BSc. Eng. (Hons) or higher degree. An education diploma would be significantly advantageous.

It would also be to the candidate’s advantage to:

  1. be familiar with open-source software;
  2. be familiar with Creative Commons licences;
  3. have knowledge of or familiarity with openly licensed educational resources; and
  4. be familiar with social media tools.

About the Author

Mark Horner is the CEO of Siyavula Education, a social enterprise working in the school sector in South Africa. While working as the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for Open and Collaborative Resources, Mark was able to transform the Free High School Science Texts (FHSST) project, which he co-founded, into Siyavula Education. In this process, openly-licensed, collaboratively authored textbooks have been printed and distributed nationally in South Africa. Working at the intersection of community, openness and technology; Mark intends to leverage this success to make Siyavula an innovative, technology provider in education that works effectively as part of the education community to ensure better learning opportunities for all. A recent notable event being the delivery of Siyavula's textbooks over Mxit, the most popular mobile chat solution in South Africa. Mark has a PhD in physics from the University of Cape Town and conducted his research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California on the results from the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. His work is carried out in the belief that the liberation of information and support of education in South Africa will lead to a peaceful and prosperous future for all South Africans.