Category Archives: australia

“Through Skype, I have shown my students and their families so many amazing places around the world and created a sense of wonder in them.” – Blair Smith, Australia

Blair Smith
Year 5/6 Classroom Teacher
St Therese’s Catholic Primary School
Queensland, Australia
@mrsmiths56class   

Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert Blair Smith says that traveling with his parents as a child opened his eyes to the opportunities available to those with the desire to pursue their dreams. But at the small rural school where he teaches, he found that most students had never even left Central Queensland, let alone the country.

Then Skype changed everything.

“When I discovered Skype in the Classroom,” Smith explains, “I knew this would change the way I teach.… 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

“How do schools prepare for this diversity? I believe it is through quality leadership that builds a culture from within.” – Fiona Forbes, Australia

In today’s fast-changing education environment, principals must not only provide day-to-day leadership for their teachers and schools, they must also drive whole-school transformation. As the Microsoft in Education team prepares to attend the annual meeting of the International Confederation of Principals in Perth, Australia next week, we’re excited to highlight the work of its President-elect, Fiona Forbes.

Forbes has worked in the early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and special education fields for 25 years, and for the past 14 years has been the principal of a unique special school that caters to early childhood students with language disorders.… Visit the author's original post

“Technology can transform learning, taking students beyond the textbook and into the real world where authentic experiences can take place with those who live there.” – Ann Mirtschin, Austalia

There was a time when students in remote, rural communities were at a distinct disadvantage to peers in big city schools. But technology has changed all that, and teachers like Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Ann Mirtschin are a big reason why.

Mirtschin, whose first experience teaching with computers involved Commodore 64s, is part of a new breed of educators committed to breaking down the walls of the classroom.

“Technology and computers have had a big impact on my students, classes and the general community over the years,” Mirtschin tells us.… Visit the author's original post

“We are sitting at the cusp of a collaborative individualized learning experience like no other.” – Daren Mallett, Australia

Daren Mallett’s early school experience has played a major role in shaping who he is as a teacher. A happy student in primary school, his love of learning faded when he reached high school, where his teachers were over-extended, not invested in his success and short on ideas for motivating their classes.

Mallett, who attended the recent Microsoft E2 Global Educator Exchange in Budapest, was determined to be a different kind of teacher.

“I needed to be a teacher who didn’t turn students away when they asked for help,” he says.… Visit the author's original post

“When teachers actually see a benefit in a particular [technology] and how it’s going to improve student outcomes, they’ll invest their time in being able to use that [technology] efficiently in the classroom.”– Tamara Sullivan, Australia

In a career spanning 15 years, Tamara Sullivan has been a teacher, a digital pedagogy coordinator and a dean. And having witnessed the transformation taking place in education from multiple angles, she has a good sense for how to translate new technology into better student outcomes.

Sullivan, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the recent BETT Conference in Singapore, works at one of Microsoft’s Showcase Schools, a program designed to give developing schools the guidance they need to be successful.… Visit the author's original post

From music to technology, fun and creativity are the keys to learning – Mark Savery, Australia

Wearing many hats has suited Mark Savery well. In over a decade of teaching at Emmanuel College, he has been a music specialist teacher, a primary-level classroom teacher, the director of teaching and learning, dean of year six and eLearning coordinator. All very distinct and diverse roles, each providing Savery the opportunity to hone new skills

In his current role as head of eLearning for prep to year 12, Savery gets to tap into his love for innovation and creativity.… Visit the author's original post

Social Media and Gamification Take Center Stage in Learning – Noelene Callaghan, Australia

For Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Noelene Callaghan, her career and passion were a matter of happy circumstance. As an IT educator trainer in the corporate world, Callaghan loved teaching others to use technology.

“Coincidentally, I began teaching at university and teaching young adults and really found my passion,” says Callaghan. “I loved that and thought, ‘I want to work with younger children and make a real difference.’” Callaghan went back to school herself, and became a teacher.

And lucky for her students that she did.… Visit the author's original post

Innovation Hunter: Hot Potatoes and Cool Learning

by Mark Sparvell
School Leaders Program, Microsoft in Education

Hello leaders and learners!

Continuing my journey across the globe and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educations and the leaders in the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows.

HOT POTATOES AND COOL LEARNING

Location: Silverton Primary School, Victoria, Australia

Distance from home: 13266 miles

Silverton Primary school has a very long history with Microsoft as an Innovative School, World Tour School, Global Mentor School and now, proudly, Showcase School.… Visit the author's original post

Mark Sparvell: The Innovation Hunter at Pulteney Grammar School!

by Mark Sparvell
School Leader Program Director, Microsoft

Hello fellow education adventurers!

Continuing my journey across Australia towards Asia and on to Europe and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators and the leaders in the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows.

Country Roads take me to INNOVATION

Date: December 2014

Location: Pulteney Grammar School , Adelaide, South Australia

Distance from home:  Adelaide to Seattle is 8338.9 miles

“Sometimes you need to clear some space to allow room for innovation

Troy Thomson is currently one of the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators but is certainly not new to Microsoft in Education!… Visit the author's original post

Troy Thomson: Wanting to be a Highly Accomplished Teacher? Change Learning Through 21CLD

by Troy Thomson
Expert Educator Columnist, Australia

Which one are you – the sage on the stage or the guide on the side. In fact, why can’t you be both? I would contend that a highly accomplished teacher would be – they just know when to switch between the two. Furthermore, I would go as far as to say that the highly accomplished teacher should be explicitly directing ‘whole class’ learning for no more than 20% of the time. The remaining time, students should be engaged in inquiry, project based or discovery learning.… Visit the author's original post

Troy Thomson: Surface Pro 3- A Foundation for Innovative Teaching and Learning

by Troy Thomson
Expert Educator Columnist, Australia

Now four months in, and the Surface Pro3 is over the initial hurdles that any new device suffers from. It has been very well received by independent reviewers and the general public alike who have purchased the device in any of its available configurations. But can it make an impact in educational circles?

Whilst the previous versions of the Surface made their ways into schools, there was very little momentum built and some of this was to do with device design, some to do with marketing and some to do with school leaders not understanding how this device indeed was different.… Visit the author's original post

Mark Sparvell, Innovation Hunter: Update #3 from Kadina Memorial School

Hello leaders and learners,

Continuing my journey across Australia and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educations and the leaders in the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows.

Country Roads take me to INNOVATION

Date: November 2014

Location: Kadina Memorial Schools, Adelaide, South Australia

Distance from home:  Adelaide to Seattle is 8338.9 miles

A School that honors its past and positions its future.Visit the author's original post

Innovation Hunter: Sparvell on Assignment in Asia

by Mark Sparvell
School Leaders Program Director, Microsoft in Education

Hi everyone, Mark Sparvell on assignment here in Australia. I am visiting some inspiring #ShowcaseSchools and innovative Expert Educators across 4 Australian States on my way to Singapore where I will be celebrating the Asia Pacific Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators and the Showcase School leaders just before the incredible BETT ASIA event.

I’d love to share with you some of the learning insights along my road trip.

Let’s start with some context:

Photo Credit: National Geographic

Here’s Australia! Visit the author's original post