In 2018, Abigail Fortuin deregistered from an accounting course at Boland College due to personal reasons. A few months later, she went knocking on MiDO Technologies’ door to apply for a 12-month internship as a Hub Coordinator at one of the seven Digital Technology Hubs that MiDO manages at schools in the Western Cape.
Today, thanks to that internship, she is employed as an Assistant Administrator at Franschhoek High School in Franschhoek. “A friend told me about the training that MiDO offered to young persons to become hub coordinators at the schools where they had digital hubs,” says Abigail. She applied for the internship, was selected and soon after started MiDO’s Google Workspace training. “I learnt how to use my e-mail account effectively, how to use Google Docs, and even how to create a website for the school at which I now work. I also did robotics as part of my training, which allowed me to later teach kids at our school about robotics too.”
Once she had completed her training, Abigail was placed at Franschhoek High, which houses one of MiDO’s Digital Technology Hubs. “Initially, I found it very stressful to work with the learners as I had never worked in a school environment. There were also some behavioural challenges amongst learners which I had to learn to deal with and later address, however, it taught me to also find creative ways to teach the learners and to use a reward system to encourage behaviour change. By June, I had become completely comfortable working with the learners, and they started to also engage with me more,” says Abigail of her first few months in a teaching environment.Her face lights up as she talks about the Google Workspace, drone and sound engineering training she did with the learners.
“The internship helped me improve my people’s skills as I was a very shy person before. Today I work with people more often than not, and I have also learnt how to work within teams where people have different personalities. All the training I received on how to use a computer and the software on it effectively, has helped me work faster and improve my time management skills as well.” In February 2021, Abigail’s hard work, dedication and innovation paid off when she was appointed as an Assistant Administrator at Franschhoek High. “Last year, I was responsible for creating online portfolios for the kids and moved everything we had on a paper filing system online. The problem with storing documents, is that you struggle to find information easily and need to find places to store those documents each year.”
“I showed the teachers how we could create a folder for each learner and how they could all update the information in one folder which all the teachers could access. This year, we have started working with that online filing system,” says Abigail. After witnessing the challenges that teachers faced in 2020 because of the pandemic, Abigail wants to focus on how she can make 2021 “easier for each and every teacher by helping them find ways to do their work effectively”. “Thanks to my digital and technology skills, I have also been asked to work closely with the D6 team to find out how our school can use their platform to communicate with parents. We are also moving all school tasks online for the learners so that we can share links to the work they need to do via WhatsApp, which many learners and their parents have easier access to.” Looking back on her journey over the last two years, Abigail says: “I am extremely grateful to MiDO. Their internship has made it possible for me to find work and had it not been for MiDO’s training and support, I would not be where I am now, working as an Assistant Administrator at Franschhoek High School.”