Pip Cleaves

Pip Cleaves

Pip Cleaves is a senior education consultant from Sydney, Australia: "I thrive on working with educators to integrate 21st Century Learning Practice into their teaching and learning. In my perfect classroom all students are engaged in learning about their world, how they can make a difference, and how they can innovate the communities in which they live. I am driven by the need to ensure all students are prepared for whichever 21st century workplace they choose to enter. My daily work builds networks and opportunities for educators around the globe. I hope to build on this and create an open community where educators share and grow together to ensure the best possible learning opportunities for students everywhere."

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Improving Literacy Skills with Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Guest Post by Ross Johnson - Microsoft Expert Educator



In terms of the world of Information Technology, 2014 was a very eventful year indeed. As per every year, their has been some major releases in hardware and software. These releases are always looked on as a potential learning opportunity in the secondary education realm. Honestly, some more than others based on historical issues and how they will integrate with our current state run infrastructure.

But I digress….

The major hardware release was, in my opinion, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and it’s wonderful pen.… Visit the author's original post

MIXing it Up – Using Microsoft Office Mix to Improve Learning

Repost from Microsoft in Education UK Schools Blog

Office Mix is a new additional function to give super powers for PowerPoint. Quite often educators refer to a blank presentation as a ‘blank canvas’ and to some extent that has been true if you think of this in terms of words and pictures. PowerPoint Presentations are just that, a blank canvas, there are no bad PowerPoints only bad presentations! Office Mix now enables you to have a much richer palette or ‘toolbox’ at your disposal including audio, visual and interactive tools.… Visit the author's original post

Sway into Resources

Guest Post by Lynette Barker - Microsoft Expert Educator

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As we prepare for the ANZAC Centenary this year, I have been looking at ways to engage my young students (Stage 1) in a discussion on our war history.

I have found some great resources that highlight the contribution of animals in wartime which I know the students will love! These resources will be used to spark conversations, encourage thinking and foster questioning about the role and value of animals during wartime.

Colleagues may also find these resources useful in their classroom, so I am making the resources easily accessible to a wider audience by creating a Sway!

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32 Engaging Ways to use Microsoft in your classroom

Looking for new ways to do new things in your classroom in 2015? Want to use some new tools to engage students, parents and peers in teaching and learning? Here’s 32 ideas just for you. We have categorised these 32 strategies into the 8...(read more)Visit the author's original post

SAMR Meets Microsoft

The SAMR Model of technology integration is used by many teachers across the globe to ensure their use of technology leads to better learning outcomes for students. After reading lists of learning activities and apps sorted into this continuum using other platforms, we thought it might be nice to create a list of how Microsoft apps, services and software might fit into this popular model. Check out the ideas below and print out our handy infographic to inspire some ideas in your classroom this year.… Visit the author's original post

Choosing a Device for my own 21st Century Learner

Guest Post by Nikkie Laing

School starts again for the year in a few weeks and as a family we have the option of providing our 11 year old with a mobile device for school to help support her learning. We are in boots and all! The benefits of being able to connect and collaborate with other learners both within and beyond a school day are already clearly evident to us.

For us the hardest part is not choosing whether to participate it's deciding which device suits best.… Visit the author's original post

Sway – The star of your 2015 Classroom

Bored of using the same old presentations? Want a new way to share information with students? Why not take a presentation overhaul by diving into Office Sway-  It’s free, doesn't require installation and works on all browsers and devices.

What is Sway ?

Sway is a fresh new way to show content. I think of it as a one page website in which you can add a variety of communication modes. When published it can be shared with any device anywhere in the world.… Visit the author's original post

Turn on new learning initiatives with PowerPoint

Guest Post by Toby Trewin, Microsoft Expert Educator

Whilst PowerPoint is often typecast as a just a presentation tool, there are a number of effective uses of this application to create innovative initiatives with your students in the classroom. With a short learning curve to use the program or often previous experience and skills in using the popular application, PowerPoint becomes the logical choice for a number of new tasks. Below are a few ideas to get you thinking outside the 'Presentation Box'.… Visit the author's original post

Back to School and BYOD – What do students really need from their devices?

Is your school starting a BYOD Program this year? Wondering what information to give parents to ensure they purchase the right device? Below and at the Microsoft and Intel Parent Guide to School Devices website, there’s a simple list of 11 items that we think should be included in all school devices.


  1. 10” Minimum screen, touchscreen and keyboard – In a typical day a student might type an English assignment, jot down history notes, figure out maths equations, video a science experiment and record a speech.
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The Twelve Days of Christmas according to a Microsoft in Education Expert Educator

Wondering just what you can do with a Microsoft Surface? Need to know more about how other educators are using them? This post will give you a bunch of ideas about the sue of Surface Pro 3 in education

Our Expert Educators in Australia and New Zealand are an amazing bunch of inspirational and innovative professionals. Matthew O'Brien has just written 12 blog posts in a row, highlighting a variety ways you can use the Surface Pro 3 in your classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Skype Translator, I can not wait to use it in the classroom!

Guest Post by Ineke McGuire

I can not wait to use Skype translator in my classroom. It will allow my students to communicate with other students across the world. But this is not what has me excited. What I am keen to try is using Skype within my classroom.

Let me explain.

My school has the highest intake of refugee students in the state of Tasmania. Many will just arrive in the classroom with no notice and no English. More than half will have signifiable trauma issues and all will have varying levels of prior education.… Visit the author's original post

The Top Microsoft in the Classroom blog posts of 2014

This blog has been sharing the best of Microsoft in the Classroom since late 2013. We thought you might like a recap of the most popular posts since we began. We dived into the statistics to check out what was read, shared and re-read the most. Below are our top 12 posts. Why not use your holiday time to catch up on the best of our best?

Interestingly OneNote was our big star. This was no surprise to us at the Microsoft Education Team in Australia as we all love OneNote and use it in our daily work.… Visit the author's original post

Just pinch me… Or ink me….

Guest Post by Matthew O'Brien - Microsoft Expert Educator

A few weeks ago I had an life changing experience whilst presenting using PowerPoint. Its best summed up with the text I posted on the Microsoft Expert Innovators Yammer group:“Amazeballs!!!

Did you know the pinch gesture works when presenting in PowerPoint – you can zoom in, and zoom out takes you to the thumbnail slide deck so you can select non linear slides…, couple this with annotations and, well, amazeballs!!!” I was a little excited when I wrote that!… Visit the author's original post

A Teacher’s Guide to using Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook Creator

Guest Post by Tamara Sullivan - Microsoft Expert Educator

I have been an avid user of Microsoft OneNote in my classroom for years. I first started using the program to design unit outlines and course materials to share with my colleagues. As the technology improved, then came the ability to be able to collaboratively work on the same notebook with multiple users.

Microsoft OneNote soon worked its way into my classroom as a shared class notebook with my students. They would take the content pages and then copy and paste them into their own personal OneNote.… Visit the author's original post

Which Microsoft Professional Development course will your school choose?

Looking for some Microsoft focussed professional development from the best ICT Educators in Australia? Need some guidance around ICT integration? Want to inspire your school to use technology in new ways? We have a perfect solution for you.

Microsoft Australian Education team and its Microsoft in Education Master Trainers have put together a list of amazing professional development opportunities for your school in 2015.

From short 3 hours workshops to longer one day and three day courses, there is a huge variety to help:

  • Develop Windows 8 Skills
  • Understand the potential of Apps
  • Work with Office 365
  • Know the power of 21st Century Learning Design
  • Build Peer Coaching skills
  • Understand new ICT focussed pedagogies

Once you’ve been inspired by and discussed the catalogue, contact auspil@microsoft.com to get started.… Visit the author's original post

An Hour of Code in 2014 – Ideas for your classroom

Want to join in on all the Hour of Code fun? Simply follow the Hour of Code guide, and pick an activity from some of the ideas below. Enjoy!

Hour of Code is taking place right across the globe this year from 8-14 December. This global movement introduces programming and coding to students and is growing from strength to strength with over 15 million students joining in an Hour of code from schools worldwide last year.… Visit the author's original post

Teacher Dashboard makes it easy for teachers to share content and organise their students in Office 365

Wish it were easier to share files from OneDrive with your students? Want to easily share files with specific groups of students? How about set assignments, provide feedback and grade assignments all from within Office365?  If you want to make the most of the powerful functionality that Office 365 offers, you need the Teacher Dashboard.

What is the Teacher Dashboard?

Teacher Dashboard is a web-based tool that has been designed to complement Office 365 and allow teachers to get the most out of their school's Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint (Sites) environments.… Visit the author's original post

Creating Surveys with Excel Online

Need to send out a survey quickly? Want to have all the data in a familiar format? Excel Surveys, part of the Office 365 environment, are a fantastic tool to get you started.

What are Excel Surveys?

Excel Surveys are part of the Office Online suite of apps that can be accessed from any device on the web. Excel Surveys are a data collection tool. There is no desktop version of Excel Surveys. It only exists online. Excel Surveys They can be used in a school setting for:

  • Assessments and quizzes
  • surveys
  • feedback forms
  • referrals
  • student data collection assignments
  • contact request forms
  • registration for events

Responses are saved in an Excel Online workbook for analysis later.… Visit the author's original post