Category Archives: Blog

Tech Advice A Click Away

This post first appeared in the September 2016 edition of the College’s Regulus Magazine Three computer whiz kids in Year 8 are acting as technology mentors for the entire Preparatory School student body, and even quite a few teachers. Caleb, Cameron and … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Managing Minecraft In A School

Note: this is quite a lengthy and, at times, technical post about configuring and deploying Minecraft in a school when choosing not to use the new Microsoft Education Edition. The following is structure of the blog if you want to … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

eLearning Through The Lens Of Key Competencies

In the last week of Term 2 I had the opportunity to present at the NZ Tech Advance Education Technology Summit hosted at Massey University’s Albany Campus. Key topics and subjects discussed include: Inquiry | Creativity | Collaboration – The role of … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Guest Post: Mr Dekker’s Journey With OneNote & Minecraft

This is a repost of a blog on the official Microsoft Education blog where Mr Wilj Dekkers, a Year 6 teacher at St Andrew’s College and Microsoft Innovative Educator, recaps the journey of his classroom over the last two years with Microsoft … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Modelling Google Earth Tours & Internet Research

I was recently invited to speak at the weekly St Andrew’s College Chapel Service. One of the features of these services is the Deputy Head Prefects walking up the centre aisle at the conclusion of the first hymn, and saying … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Hosting a TeachMeet at St Andrew’s College

This week, St Andrew’s College hosted the first TeachMeet event in Christchurch for 2016 and over 40 staff from 15 different schools attended. If you’re unsure of what a TeachMeet actually is, you can find more at the website  but … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Presenting At Microsoft Analyst Summit 2016

This week I’ve had the privilege of attending, as well as co-presenting, at the annual Microsoft Analyst Summit for Asia Pacific, hosted at the St Regis Hotel in Singapore.⊗ The focus of this summit was Fuelling Customer Digital Transformation Through Innovation and was an … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Guest Post: Mr Wilj Dekkers Attends Microsoft Educator Exchange

This post was written by Mr Wilj Dekkers who attended the Annual E2 Conference. He is the second St Andrew’s College teacher to be invited to this global conference, after Mr Ben Hilliam attended in 2015. Microsoft Education hold an … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Video Showcases Innovative Educators

On the 23rd November 2015 Microsoft NZ arranged for a TV crew to film and interview a number of staff and students at St Andrew’s College. The focus of the day was showcasing how the Surface Pro 3 and OneNote … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Teacher Perspectives On The Surface Pro 3

As we approach the first anniversary of the Surface Pro 3 release in New Zealand, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that we now have 26 staff members using them across the school. An earlier update on how how teachers … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

5th Grade Learns about Astronomy from Dr. Dean Hines

As part of our "Career Cafe" series, our fifth graders had a Skype call to learn from Dr. Dean Hines about his job as an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland.

Video call snapshot 6

Students were excited to hear about the telescopes and and asked a plethora of questions about stars, planets, and our universe until we ran out of time.  We learned that there are approximately  1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 solar systems in the universe, and that most of them are believed to have planets. … Visit the author's original post

Kindergarten Students Learn about Cooking from Chef Eric LeVine

One of America's best chefs took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with our kindergarten students about his job and about ways to use the vegetables they are growing in tasty, healthy recipes.

Video call snapshot 4

The students were very interested to learn that Chef Eric has his own farm-to-table garden on the roof of his restaurant, where he grows 16 types of foods.  They also enjoyed a tour of the kitchen, and asked lots of questions.


The students were surprised to hear that Chef Eric uses different colored carrots in his cooking (purple carrots!), that he started learning to cook when he was only 6 years old, and that he has written two cookbooks.… Visit the author's original post

Combining OneNote & Moodle For Assessment Submissions

One of the great things about Microsoft OneNote is the ease with which teachers can provide feedback to students on their work, helping them to develop their ideas towards the submission of assessment. This was explained in detail by Ms … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Reflections from the AIS NSW ICT Leadership & Management Conference 2015

I have been fortunate to attend the AIS NSW (Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales) ICT Management and Leadership Conference over the last few days and I thought I would share a few reflections on it here. As this … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Verslag Global Educator congres



Afgelopen week was het zover. Ik heb samen met nog twee docenten de Global Educator Exchange bezocht.

Over dit bezoek en alle andere activiteiten heb ik een digitaal verslag gemaakt en dit wil ik graag met jullie delen. Voor dit verslag heb ik gebruik gemaakt van Sway. Een nieuwe presentatie tool van Microsoft die op dit moment in ontwikkeling is. Je kan nu nog alleen inloggen met een Microsoft account. Als het goed is komt deze maand ook de mogelijkheid beschikbaar om met een Office365 account in te loggen.… Visit the author's original post

Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton Reads His New Book to Our 1st Grade Students


The first grade students in Mrs. Wyckoff’s and Mrs. Rickert’s homerooms got a special treat yesterday.  LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow called us via Skype to read his new book “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm” and to talk to our students about ways they can deal with being sad.

In preparation for the call our students created animal masks to wear and made posters sharing some things they do to feel better when they are sad or scared.  The animal masks were meant to represent some of the animal friends in the book that helped the protagonist feel better.… Visit the author's original post

2nd Grade Mystery Skype with North Carolina

Mrs. Seifert’s second graders connected with another second grade class last week to play a game of Mystery Skype.  As the call started, neither class knew where the other was located.  The classes took turns asking yes/no questions to see who could figure out the location of their new friends first.

Using the help of maps, our students were able to narrow down their location to either North or South Carolina before the other class guessed our state correctly.  It was a very close game, and both classes had a great time.… Visit the author's original post

Kindergarteners Travel to Kenya via Skype to Learn about Gardening

As a continuation of the South Elementary Farm-to-Table project that has been going on this year (below is a picture of the green earth that Mrs. Conklin and our students created as part of that project), our kindergarten students took a virtual field trip via Skype to the Mitahato Teaching Farm in Kiambu, Kenya to learn about sustainable farming. The Mitahato Farm is a location where rural Kenyan communities and schools can come to learn how to use their land to produce organic food.… Visit the author's original post

Bijlagen toevoegen vanuit de cloud in Outlook


Meedoen met de preview van Office2016 levert je soms al een mooie blik in de toekomst van Microsoft. Zo maak ik nu al een tijdje gebruik van de publiekelijke preview van Office2016 en zien voorzichtig al de eerste kleine updates.

De eerste vraag die ik nu nog steeds krijg nadat Office365 op een school is uitgerold: “Hoe krijg ik nu een document uit Office365 als bijlage in Outlook gekoppeld” . Bij het delen van document binnen de omgeving probeer ik de knop delen te introduceren.… Visit the author's original post

5th Graders use Video Messages to Learn about Africa

Mrs. Lavoy’s 5th grade students recently started a social studies unit on Africa.  Each student chose a country that he/she wanted to research for an upcoming project.  In a few weeks students will be creating digital presentations about their countries for the rest of the class.

In order to obtain primary source information, we used Skype Video Messaging and YouTube Videos to connect with students and teachers all over Africa.  In countries where we were able to make a connection, students recorded videos asking the questions they needed to know for their research.  … Visit the author's original post

Kindergarten Students Skype with NY Botanical Garden

The kindergarten students in Mrs. Conklin’s class recently led a school-wide project to recycle milk carton containers and use them to plant vegetables.  As soon as the ground thaws, they will be planting them in an outdoor garden.  Recently, they had some questions about plants and gardening, so Mrs. Conklin and classroom volunteer Mrs. Toppi set up a Skype call with the New York Botanical Garden so that they could get their questions answered.

The call started with a tour of the facilities where students got to meet the bunnies who “help” with the gardening.  … Visit the author's original post

1st Grade Skype with Author Jonathan Emmett

Our first graders had a blast recently when they got to connect on Skype with author Jonathan Emmett in England.  The children had recently read one of Mr. Emmett’s books in their reading program about a duck named Ruby.  In order to share with Mr. Emmett how much they liked his story, each student created and wore a duck hat, and students created posters illustrating different scenes from the story.  During the call Mr. Emmett took some time to read This Way Ruby, one of his many books.… Visit the author's original post

Pi Day 2015 – Global Math Lesson

Every year Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3.14) and students around the world explore the significance of this irrational number. This year, we celebrated the Pi Day of the Century (3.14.15 at 9:26:53)! To signify this once-in-a-lifetime event, we invited students from all around the world to learn with us.

Through a posting on the Skype in the Classroom website, we encouraged students from all over the world to  measure the diameter and circumference of circular objects and to share then on a collaborative online spreadsheet.… Visit the author's original post

World Read Aloud Day Skypathon

March 4th was World Read Aloud Day. To celebrate, several South Elementary classes participated in a World Read Aloud Day Skypathon in which they were partnered with classes from around the world to read picture books. Classes connected via Skype or sent videos reading their favorite picture book to their partner class, and then took a turn listening to a story from their new friends.

Mrs. Conklin’s Kindergarten class was partnered with a class in Alabama, Mrs. Jones’s Kindergarten class Skyped with a class in Maine, Mrs.… Visit the author's original post

2nd Graders Learn about “Unhuggable” Animals on Virtual Field Trip to North Carolina

Our second grade students had the opportunity to travel to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences yesterday to meet some “unhuggable” animals.  Kaytee, a biologist at the museum taught them about adaptations that the animals have to survive, answered lots of questions, and taught students some of the ways that these animals are misunderstood.  Kids got the chance to see a live tarantula, snake, baby alligator, hedgehog, and a group of hissing cockroaches from Madagascar.  We were able to set this experience up through the Skype in the Classroom website.… Visit the author's original post

Kindergarteners Interact with a Live Penguin via Skype

Our Kindergarten classes were fortunate enough to Skype and visit with Talya Hanor at the SANCCOB disease and research center for injured sea birds.   The foundation is located in South Africa and many of the birds at the research center are penguins who need medical care.
We enjoyed  listening to a story about a Penguin who had been hurt and then also met a “live” Penguin named Skipper.  He warmed ours hearts with his purring and longing for affection from Talya. … Visit the author's original post

Aanwezig op de Global Educator Exchange



Zoals in een vorige bericht geschreven heb ik meegedaan met de Sway Contest. Via een Sway heb ik op een zo goed mogelijke manier proberen te laten zien hoe wij bij ons op school op een innovatieve manier Office365 inzetten.

Begin maart zou de uitslag volgen. Afgelopen vrijdag was het dan eindelijk zover. Mail van Microsoft. Samen met twee andere Sways was mijn Sway als winnaar uit de bus gekomen. Ik mag dus mee naar de Global Educator Exchange in Redmond.… Visit the author's original post

Aanpassen van de inlogpagina van Office365



Vorige week had ik op Linkedin al  een klein fotootje laten zien van onze inlogpagina van Office365. Ik heb gebruik gemaakt van een nieuwe mogelijkheid binnen Office365. Tot voor kort had je Azure AD premium nodig (een betaalde toevoeging) om je inlogpagina vorm te geven. Sinds afgelopen week valt dit niet meer onder de betaalde versie en krijg je binnen je beheergedeelte de mogelijkheid om je logo en foto te uploaden. In een blogpost heeft Microsoft beschreven hoe het mogelijk moet zijn om dit te regelen.… Visit the author's original post

Samenwerken met OneNote op school en in de klas


OnenoteOoit heb ik wel eens ergens een mooie vergelijking gelezen. OneNote zou te vergelijken zijn met een Zwitsers zakmes. Net als bij zo’n mes zitten er in OneNote heel veel mooie functies om het gebruik te vereenvoudigen en om het voor veel doeleinden te gebruiken. Zelf ben ik het actief gaan gebruiken tijdens de nieuwbouw van onze school. Veel informatie die tot mij kwam heb ik georganiseerd in een OneNote. Hierna ben ik er gebruik van blijven maken om al mijn taken bij te houden en belangrijke berichten te archiveren.… Visit the author's original post

Uitgekozen als #MIE expert 2015


swayEen aantal maanden geleden ontving ik een mail dat ik uitverkozen was tot Microsoft Innovative educator expert. Samen met nog een aantal andere leerkrachten uit Nederland. De reden was dat wij Microsoft producten op een innovatieve manier inzetten in het onderwijs.

Afgelopen maand kreeg ik de uitnodiging om mee te gaan naar de Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, USA.


Ik moest dan wel via een Sway laten zien hoe wij Office365 op een innovatieve manier inzetten bij ons op school.… Visit the author's original post