Category Archives: 21st Century Skills

“My life has been that of a seeker. All my life is learning — both formally and informally.” – Floyd Chanda, Zambia

A willingness to try new things can be just as important for educators as it is for their students. Just ask Floyd Chanda..

“The biggest challenge for education today is to keep up with the pace of the changing technologies — especially in the Third World,” Chanda shares with us. “I am responding to this by encouraging my fellow educators to remain open to learning and change in the 21st century.”

Chanda loves to share the skills and knowledge he’s acquired as a Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert (MIEE) with his fellow teachers.… Visit the author's original post

“I prefer thinking that every day in my classroom will be the best day ever.” – Ramón Rodríguez Galán, Spain

Ramón Rodríguez Galán
Teacher and ICT Manager, MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer
Maristas Mediterránea
Sevilla, Spain
@Profe_RamonRG

Ghandi famously said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” For educator Ramón Rodríguez Galán, being that change has transformed learning for his students and his school.

It all started when Galán decided to take the lead in modernizing the pedagogical approach at his school. Through this process, his school became a Microsoft Showcase School, and Galán himself became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) and an MIE Master Trainer.… Visit the author's original post

“In my work, I know that technology alone cannot build the skills of the 21st century. Information technologies are an accelerator, but the power of change lies with teachers.” – Ivan Gionov, Bulgaria

 

 

Ivan Gionov
Senior Teacher
French Language School
Sofia, Bulgaria

Senior IT teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Ivan Gionov knows how to innovate on a large scale. Gionov’s school was one of the first educational institutions in Bulgaria to introduce cloud technology, and this Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) played a key role in the school’s launch of Office 365. Today, all students and teachers at the school have their own Office365 accounts with the domain feg.bg.

But Gionov also understands that innovation isn’t all about technology.… Visit the author's original post

“I thought I was alone in my ideas for greater understanding and access to technology.” – Linda Sydes, Australia

 

Linda Sydes
Year 5 Primary School Teacher
Meridan State College
Queensland, Australia

Linda Sydes’ favorite classroom activities let her students show their understanding of learning in a creative way – but how they do that is largely up to them.

“Many choose to use Minecraft,” Sydes says, citing a project where her students showed how Moreton Bay (near Brisbane, Queensland) has changed from pre-European settlement to convict times, and from the 1800s to today.

“Students built the first settler camps, the second fleet ships, soldiers barracks, and the Storey bridge,” Sydes explains.… Visit the author's original post

“Working with [a disabled] student really challenged me… I learned to be more flexible, and to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations.” – Anna Mendoza, Australia

Anna Mendoza
Teacher and English Domain Leader, E-pedagogy
Gleneagles Secondary College
Victoria, Australia
@mrsannamendoza

As students spend more time watching videos, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) Anna Mendoza is worried that student attitudes about reading have become increasingly negative.

“Whilst I appreciate a multi-modal approach,” she says, “this is having a huge impact on their literacy skills and ability to accurately comprehend and infer information from text.”

To combat the problem, Mendoza is working hard to embed reading into her school’s classrooms daily, and is using testing data to target the gaps they present with.… Visit the author's original post

“As teachers, we constantly seek ways to engage students and find ways for them to take charge of their own learning.” – Michael Cocks, Australia 

Michael Cocks
Senior History Teacher
Toowoomba Grammar School
Toowoomba, Australia
@HistorySkills

Last year Michael Cocks walked into his classroom with a new idea.

“During the first five minutes of the lesson I gave my students the necessary instructions, and then for the next hour, they all worked quietly, diligently and enthusiastically,” he shares. “Rather than just standing in front of them and talking, I spent the time observing the students and working one-on-one with those who needed help. At the end, I asked the class how they enjoyed their lesson.… Visit the author's original post

“We created a learn-from-each-other environment.” – Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman, Malaysia 

Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman
Geography Teacher
MRSM Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens
Sandakan, Malaysia
@aliffothman04 

When Mohammad Aliff Bin Othman began his career as a Geography teacher, he felt the stress most new teachers feel: How could he best manage his classroom, and make sure his teaching skills were the best they could be for his students? Then in August 2016, Bin Othman was selected as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE), and his world changed dramatically. 

“This program has been a priceless gift for me,” says Bin Othman.… Visit the author's original post

“I cannot imagine teaching without cloud applications.” – Tomasz Lukawski, Poland

Tomasz Lukawski
Head Teacher and Computer Science Teacher
Primary School No.3
Zabki/Warsaw, Poland

Music may seem like an unusual path to computer science, but for principal and classroom teacher Tomasz Lukawski, it proved to be just that.

“I used to be a music teacher,” Lukawski explains. “From the beginning, as soon as I bought my first PC, I composed music on the computer and accompaniment for the school vocal group. Computer science so fascinated me, that I decided to teach it.”

These days, Lukawski takes full advantage of technology to not only manage his school and communicate with parents, students and teachers, but to take the curriculum to the next level.Visit the author's original post

“We need to change the notion of ’employment for my whole life‘ to ’employability for my whole life‘ because nobody knows where your next chance to succeed will be.” – Ovi Barceló, Spain

To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on August 14, 2012.

I have always seen education in a different way,” says Ovi Barceló. “I have never believed that it was about sitting down (at a desk) and listening. So since the very beginning of my professional life, I tried to listen and learn in order to know how to change that perception.

As a teacher at Julio Verne school in Valencia, Spain, Barceló championed the use of technology in education.… Visit the author's original post

“The biggest challenge is parents believing in the school’s vision of digital transformation.” – Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon, India

Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon
Head Teacher
Kamla Nehru Public School
Punjab, India
@pkdhillon08

It’s been one year since Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon’s school decided to implement 1:1 learning, and while it’s been a huge success for the students and teachers, the road to 1:1 was anything but easy. And the main reason was the hesitancy on the part of parents.

“Regular meetings had been held with the parents regarding digital transformation in the school,” shares Dhillon, a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert and Trainer.… Visit the author's original post

“Discovering the Microsoft Educator Community was a huge turning point for me as an educator.” – Liz Wilson, UK

Liz Wilson
Class Teacher, 21st Century Learning Lead
Danesfield School
Marlow, United Kingdom
@Primarymrsw

No matter how old you are, few things can capture attention like a game. That’s why gamification is gaining such a foothold in the world of education. For Liz Wilson, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and MIE Master Trainer, using the gamification pedagogy as well as games like Minecraft Education completely transformed her classroom.

“I absolutely love using Minecraft in the classroom,” says Wilson. “It is such a fantastic, versatile technology that can be used across the curriculum to inspire students and enhance their learning experiences.… Visit the author's original post

“I learn a lot from my students – their minds process new learnings faster than mine.” – Soma Singh, India

Soma Singh
Science Teacher in Secondary School; Innovation Club and International Activities Leader
Delhi Public School Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad, India
@somasinghdpsg

Soma Singh was born into a family of educators, so you could say she was born to be a teacher.

“I have a deep interest in learning collaboratively,” says Singh. “Not only through professional development, but by being a part of the learning process with each student.”

Singh’s personal philosophy of constantly striving to explore and provide new opportunities for her students blossomed in 2014, when she became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE).… Visit the author's original post

“We must teach competencies rather than content. Students must learn how to solve problems and face new situations.” – María Florencia Conforti, Argentina

María Florencia Conforti
English Teacher
Belgrano Day School
Buenos Aires, Argentina
@florconforti1

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) María Conforti may teach English literature and grammar, but she’s just as interested in helping her students learn how to think. And when she taught the novel Pax last year to her fourth grade students, she put that approach to the test.

“After reading the novel, I asked my students to make an object that might be useful for any of the characters in the story,” Conforti explains.… Visit the author's original post

“Resources are not the problem. Our ability to work with, around and without the resource to achieve the student learning outcome is what matters.” – Abdikadir Ismail, Kenya

Abdikadir Ismail
Principal
Mwangaza Muslim Mixed Day Secondary School
Maralal, Kenya
@Abdiism

At the recent gathering of Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs) in Toronto, one enterprising school leader earned the nickname “No Problem” – and for good reason. Abdikadir Ismail leads an under-resourced school so remote that it “can’t even be found on Google Maps.”  But despite the challenges, Ismail has the attitude that any problem can be solved with hard work and a bit of ingenuity.

“At E2, I saw inspired educators and learners seated all around me,” he shares.… Visit the author's original post

“Our students need to find their place in this new digital environment and be ready for the new challenges.” – Stefan Malter, Germany 

Stefan Malter
University Lecturer/Chief Editor
Technical University of Dortmund/nrwision – TV learning channel
Dortmund, Germany
@StefanMalter

Before becoming a university lecturer, Stefan Malter worked as a television journalist. But he always felt the need to give something back, to offer his knowledge to those who might appreciate his experience.

“When I got the chance to become a media trainer and give workshops as a second job, it felt like two worlds merging: my professional creative and productive urge on the one hand – and my purpose to teach and educate future journalists and interested citizens on the other,” Malter shares with us.… Visit the author's original post

“The biggest challenge facing education is teaching for a future that is unknown.” – Ben Eilenberg, Australia

Benjamin Eilenberg
Teacher/STEM Coordinator/Media Coordinator
Silverton Primary School
Victoria, Australia
@ben_eilenberg

Ben Eilenberg may have come from a teaching family (his father was a lecturer, his mother a speech pathologist, and his sisters are secondary teachers), but he wasn’t prepared for what he experienced at one of his first teaching jobs.

“I walked in to a school that had only one computer per classroom and that was it, no other technological resources available,” Eilenberg recalls. “It made me think about what the students were missing out on, and how this is preparing them for the future.… Visit the author's original post

“Innovation is not trying something too strange and new. It is returning to your old places, using Microsoft tools to inspire students, making things more productive and organizing a better community.” – Tran Thi Thuy, Vietnam

Tran Thi Thuy
English Language Teacher, MIE Expert
Duc Hop Upper Secondary School
Hung Yen Province/Vietnam
@TdGreenhouse

Educators overcome obstacles every day to ensure their students get the best education possible. For Tran Thi Thuy, that meant bringing her own network connection to her rural Vietnam classroom. It also meant investing in her own career so that she could take her teaching to the next level.

In just one year, Tran completed courses in 21st Century Learning Design, Teaching with Technology, Teaching with Technology Basics and MIE Trainer Academy Learning Path through Microsoft in Education.… Visit the author's original post

“The use of Sway is the most powerful activity that enables students to do more in a short amount of time.” – Amna Manzoor, Dubai

 

Amna Manzoor
Innovation Coordinator and ICT Teacher Post 16
Pristine Private School
Dubai, UAE
@AmnaInnovatist

Amna Manzoor is on a mission to connect her students to the world globally. This mission has often been challenging, but with the help of technology – especially Skype in the Classroom – Manzoor and her classes are making great strides.

One such project that has had a major impact on the students in Manzoor’s class involves a global mural message. Titled 100 Days of Positivity, the mural was created in 2016 for the children of Fukushima, Japan, who were still recovering from the 2011 tsunami.… Visit the author's original post

“When I started to realize that I didn’t have to teach alone, and that there were many mentors and resources to turn to, my teaching was transformed.” – Meenoo Rami

Meenoo Rami
Manager, Minecraft Education at Microsoft
Seattle, Washington, USA
@meenoorami

Meenoo Rami has taken a diverse path as an educator – both in the traditional sense, and also in the world of technology. Rami is a national board certified teacher who taught students English for ten years at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. She is the author of Thrive, and currently works as manager for Minecraft Education at Microsoft, where she helps educators, districts, and organizations reimagine game-based learning for classroom practice.… Visit the author's original post

“The Global Enterprise Challenge helped our youngsters foster their role as global citizens and increase their awareness of cultural, economic, educational, technological, and environmental issues.” – Rana Sabbidine, Lebanon

Rana Sabbidine
School Principal
Makassed Khalil Shehab School
Beirut, Lebanon
@ranasabbidine

When you ask Rana Sabbidine, principal of Makassed Khalil Shehab school in Lebanon, about an experience that defined her as an educator, she doesn’t hesitate.

“Participating in a real-life project and winning the first prize worldwide in the Global Enterprise Challenge (GEC),” Sabbidine tells us. “This project gave our students the chance to develop their entrepreneurial and 21st century skills, as well as highlight new insights that help them widen their future career choices.… Visit the author's original post

Connecting students to science and fun – Tom Gamble, USA

Tom Gamble
Middle School Math and Science Teacher
Omaha Virtual School
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
@gambletg

“One of my favorite activities is having students model elements, compounds, and mixtures in Minecraft aligned with my eighth-grade standards in Physical Science. Students were excited to model their products using the components within Minecraft. They created an “arena” to put their items, used signs to describe them, and photographed them to export to their exit tickets for the day as their evidence. Whether they turned iron ore into iron, or sand into glass, they found multiple models to show their understanding.… Visit the author's original post

“We must break the mold. We must find ways to de-compartmentalize learning – change schedules, combine classes, stop teaching in ‘boxes’ of math, science, English, etc.  It is hard to break out from the norm and move beyond the comfort of what we know. But if we want to ensure a quality education for our students, we are going to have to find ways to move outside of our comfort zones and take risks.” – Kelli Etheredge

Kelli Etheredge
St. Paul’s Episcopal School
Mobile, Alabama
@ketheredge

Learn more about how Etheredge and her students use OneNote through her Educator Community learning activity here.  

About Kelli Etheredge

  • Educational background:Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Auburn University; Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law
  • Favorite book: Too many to list, but some of my favorites include A Tale of Two Cities; the Harry Potter series; The Count of Monte Cristo; Life and Death in Shanghai; A More Beautiful Question
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology:OneNote with a digitized device.
Visit the author's original post

“Encouraging our students, listening to them, mentoring and guiding them has an incredible impact on their lives.” – Jason Holt, USA 

Jason Holt
Instructional Technology Specialist
Newman International Academy of Arlington
Arlington, Texas USA
@jasonthegodman 

Jason Holt, an instructional technology specialist and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, sees success stories every day. In addition to teaching Computer Science classes, including Windows Programming in C# with Visual Studio 2015, this year alone, he has effectively rolled out school-wide programs using OneNote, Skype in the Classroom, and Skype for Business.

But one student in particular has made a major impact on Holt’s teaching – and his life.… Visit the author's original post

“When I stood in front of a class for the first time, all the memories of my childhood teachers came flooding back to me. I was so thankful for them, as teachers and now as role models.” – Paul Watkins, UK 

Paul Watkins
IT Teacher
Ysgol Bae Baglan
Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom
@lanny_watkins

“A student said to me, ‘I’m never going to let anyone tell me I am too young to make a difference!’” Paul Watkins tells us. “This was after a 12-hour Skype Learn-a-thon I organized last summer, where pupils travelled the globe meeting inspirational guest speakers and partaking in some amazing virtual field trips. Over the course of the year I came to learn and appreciate how powerful a tool Skype in the Classroom truly is.”

For Watkins, Skype in the Classroom has been a transformation tool, transporting both students and staff to entirely new worlds through virtual field trips and more.… Visit the author's original post

“As teachers, we are futurists.” – Lisa Anne Floyd, Canada

Lisa Anne Floyd
Director of Research and Inquiry, Fair Chance Learning/ Instructor, Western University Faculty of Education/Teacher,Thames Valley District School Board
London, Ontario, Canada
@lisaannefloyd

For Lisa Anne Floyd, teaching students how to use technology effectively is critical, but it isn’t the ultimate goal.

“I believe it is even more important for students to be given the opportunity to become creators and authors of technology,” she says. “They can do this by learning how to code. No matter what field they pursue, they will at least need to have a basic understanding of how computers work, how we program robots to be artificially intelligent and how most of the objects around them will be connected to the internet of things.”

Floyd, a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator knows that computational thinking – taking large problems, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts – is key to helping students think “differently, efficiently, productively and creatively.” And she knows that coding promotes this type of thinking.… Visit the author's original post

Certifications empower both students and teachers – Lakesha Kirkland, USA

Lakesha Kirkland
Business Education Teacher, Future Business Leaders of America Advisor
Shaw High School
Columbus, Georgia, USA

Out of 1.6 million high school students in the state of Georgia, last year only 50 achieved “Master” status based on their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. Half of those students came from just one classroom, under the direction of teacher Lakesha Kirkland.

“For the outstanding job my students did, Microsoft recognized my students at the Georgia Department of Education for our ‘phenomenal Microsoft office Specialist Certification accomplishments’,” Kirkland tells us.… Visit the author's original post

“Attention schools around the country: it is crucial that you redefine what you consider to be your CORE subjects. Computer Science and programming must be an integral part of education at all levels.” – Doug Bergman, USA   

Doug Bergman
Computer Science Department Chair
Porter-Gaud School
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
@dbergmanusa

Doug Bergman has contributed to Daily Edventures numerous times since we launched the blog in 2012, and while he always has something new to say, his overall message hasn’t changed. Computer science, Bergman says, deserves an important place in education.

“We need people who are not afraid to dive deep into technology,” Bergman says. “Gone are the days where those people are the nerds — in the decades to come, those people will be the leaders.… Visit the author's original post

“With OfficeMix I was able to give voice to my students.” – Emie Baylon, Philippines

Emie C. Baylon
Education Technology Coordinator, Economics and Political Science Teacher
De La Salle Santiago Zobel School
Philippines
@eminion6

 

When Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Emie Baylon and I spoke recently at BETT Asia, she enthusiastically shared how technology has converted students who were once “bored” into engaged, life-long learners.

“With OfficeMix and with Sway, I was able to make my class into an engaging one,” says Baylon.

And while technology is one part of Baylon’s teaching toolkit, it’s not the only reason her classroom is successful.… Visit the author's original post

#TheFeed – Meet This Year’s Showcase Schools

The following post features in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of #TheFeed, our online magazine bringing you the best stories from Microsoft Showcase Schools and #MIEExperts, thought leadership, and news from the Microsoft in Education team. This short extract providing a visual overview of all of our Microsoft Showcase Schools in the UK, and where they are located.

Head over to SlideShare to browse all the latest stories from this edition of #TheFeed:


Meet This Year’s Microsoft Showcase Schools

2017-02-09-2

Click on the image above to enlarge it.Visit the author's original post

“I am focused on each student’s growth. If each student can come away with knowledge that will enhance their personal or professional life, then we have both succeeded.” – Pamela Orbison, computer science teacher, USA

Pamela Orbison

Business, Finance, IT and Computer Science Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert

Rowan Salisbury Schools in Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
Pam Orbison (@CLMS_CTE on Twitter

How one teacher manages testing pressure

“It seems that a score on a test determines the current educational measure of success.  I have had students in my class crying because they feel so much pressure to meet a certain standard (even on pre-tests). I realized that these scores have the potential to cause students to define themselves according to their score.… Visit the author's original post