Category Archives: Classroom resources

Episode 1: IT IQ Series – Every class should teach collaboration. Here’s how.

Summary: Collaborative skills play a vital role in students’ prospects. Educators can use digital platforms to develop those skills no matter what subject they’re teaching. Do our classrooms encourage collaboration? They certainly ought to: research suggests that highly-skilled jobs in Australia require higher degrees of collaboration than ever before, particularly as the workforce becomes increasingly...… Visit the author's original post

Why Australia’s private schools need automation

Australia’s independent schools face more competition than ever before. Enrolment numbers can’t keep up with demand from parents, and expectations of high academic and co-curricular results put the pressure squarely on teachers like never before. Private school boards are doing their best to optimise operations and attract top teachers – but is there more to...… Visit the author's original post

Digital classrooms aren’t a distraction. Here’s why.

Many people assume that devices and technology distract students and negatively affect how teachers run their lessons. That’s not the case when implementation is done purposefully, with learning tools that support existing structures in the classroom. In other words, tech doesn’t replace the teacher, but enhances their capabilities in teaching and administration. One of the...… Visit the author's original post

The first Australian space mission, featuring Australian students


This Friday (9th December), Cuberider will make history when the experiments of 1,000 students from 60 Australian schools will launch into space on board a Japanese H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Station, on the first Australian space mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Cuberider is the first Australian organisation to win government approval to fly a mission to space, and delivers a revolutionary educational program designed to support STEM learning in secondary schools. The experiments will be run with assistance by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and data beamed back to earth and provided to schools for analysis.… Visit the author's original post

Creating effective learning videos – lessons I’ve learnt

imageI’ve just recently finished delivering an online course for my colleagues, where I used Office Mix to create resources (Office Mix is an add-in to PowerPoint, and a set of smart web services that make it easy to create an online learning resource, mixing PowerPoint, video, audio, assessment questions and other interactive resources). And I found that creating effective learning videos is much more than just pointing a camera at me and a screen, and starting to talk. I’ve never been a teacher, however I’m often asked to talk in lecture-style settings, and I’ve learnt that doing an effective in-person presentation to a room of 100 people is a very different challenge from making online learning more effective.… Visit the author's original post

OneNote, SmartBoard and students with autism

Autism activities K-5Our global Office blog recently published an excellent article from a teacher in the US, sharing their experiences of using OneNote for students with autism. They found it supported their use of tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom, with the OneNote notebook allowing students with autism to engage in interactive exercises, and bringing together the learning journey for students and teachers across the different devices.

Alexis Parker, the teacher from Florida, introduces her students briefly before sharing her professional practice:

  I am a special education teacher for kindergarten through 5th-grade students who are highly impacted with autism.
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Login to Mathletics with Office 365 Single Sign On

Yesterday I wrote about the way to make Single Sign On easier for staff and students by using their Office 365 Education login on third-party websites. This week one of the most popular student learning websites in Australia (and elsewhere) has been added to the list, as your students and staff can now sign into Mathletics with their Office 365 Education identity.


Here’s the news straight from the Mathletics team:


Mathletics has evolved… to integrate with Office365! The multi award-winning e-learning platform now has integration with Office365 Active Directory, so you can sign into Mathletics using your Office365 account!

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Sway for publishing curriculum resources–helpful updates for teachers in April

When the Office team launched Sway, the newest member of the Microsoft Office family, I wrote about how helpful it would be for teachers and students.

imageThe simplest way I can describe Sway is that it lets you publish visually attractive materials, including multimedia elements, that will look good on a PC browser or a student’s smartphone, without you having to know too much about design or the device the reader will see it on. It’s very different to PDFs, which might look great on a big screen, but become unreadable on a phone as you’ll be constantly zooming in and out on text and diagrams.

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5.5m students in Australia can get Office 365 ProPlus free

In 2013 we announced that students can download Office 365 ProPlus free (that’s the suite of Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher etc) onto their personal devices – Windows PCs, Macs, phones, tablets etc. We called this programme “Student Advantage”, and it applied to every education institution which had licensed Office for their staff. But because each customer had to enable the service for their students, and order the free licences from us, it meant that some students who qualified couldn’t get it, and every school/TAFE/university had a different sign-up page for students.… Visit the author's original post

Why the pen is mightier than the keyboard: The evidence

When I wrote about “How to help students to remember more” towards the end of last year, I shared a video of my colleague Travis Smith talking about the power of pen-based input for students, over a simple keyboard interface, for key tasks such as note taking. (I recommend either the 15-minute or 60-minute version of his talks).

You’ll see that we strongly believe in the need for digital paper and pen in the way that our products have evolved.… Visit the author's original post

Get support from Microsoft for accessibility questions via the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

Click the visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

The Microsoft Support team run the “Microsoft Disability Answer Desk” service, and have just announced that it’s now available for Australian customers, to allow you to get telephone support from Microsoft for accessibility questions. This service allows you to call a toll-free number and speak with an expert who can provide support for accessibility questions and assistive technology.

This is in addition to the general support available for all customers from the main Answer Desk page.

The Disability Answer Desk supplements the huge set of resources already published on our Microsoft Accessibility website, which provides detailed sections on accessibility in Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 365, Office 2013 and Office 2010.… Visit the author's original post

edX and Microsoft partnership for teachers

imageedX is an online learning environment which is extensively used for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), founded as a non-profit partnership between Harvard and MIT. They’ve just announced a partnership with Microsoft to help online course creators to develop content with Office Mix.

Many faculty currently use PowerPoint slides as the basis of their lectures on edX. But creating videos, updating and revising them, and adding interactive elements to lectures can be time-consuming. With Office Mix, educators can easily produce videos and online lectures that deliver an engaging experience to students, with support for audio and video recordings, screen captures, hyperlinks, and digital ink.… Visit the author's original post

PhotoMath: Should you ban Windows Phone in the Maths classroom?

Remember when calculators were banned in the classroom, because it made calculation too easy? Well, in the same spirit there’s going to be a maths teacher somewhere that will decide to ban their students from having a Windows Phone in their maths classroom. And all because of PhotoMath and how it makes it too easy to solve mathematical expressions.

It’s really simple to use….

Point your phone at a maths equation:

Photomath (1)

PhotoMath shows you the solution:


Photomath (2)

..and the steps to solve it:

PhotoMath (3)

OneNote and stylus to the rescue for creating complex equations!

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Digitise everything – Office Lens and teachers.

The Office team have been doing some great work recently with adding new features to the Office suite of products, that are especially useful for teachers and students.

OneNote has been getting a lot of attention on mobile devices including for iOS, Android and Windows phones. For example, this week we released OneNote support for Android Wear watches (yep, you can appear to be a spy whilst you whisper into your wrist “Take a note. Buy paint from Bunnings”) and we also announced the Share extension for OneNote on iOS 8 devices (so you can clip a web page or photo straight into your OneNote notebook from your iPad or iPhone).… Visit the author's original post