Category Archives: Education Highlights

March Monthly Student Challenge – Highlights

Last month for our first Monthly Student Build Challenge, we invited your students to reimagine a space in your community, school, or home in Minecraft: Education Edition: What will the space look like 100 years in the future? What did the space look like 100 years ago? How can the space change to meet a current or future need? What necessitated the changes over time?

Thank you to everyone who participated! As promised, we’re sharing some of the amazing creations that were posted on social media below.

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“Every student can learn effectively and has the right to learn.” – Sophia Christina Andrioti, Greece

 

 

Sophia Christina Andrioti
Special Educator
130th Primary School
Athens, Greece
@AndriotiSophia

In today’s classrooms, diversity is the norm. MIE Expert Sophia Christina Andrioti has made empowering that diverse set of students – especially those with special needs – her focus.

“The moment that defined me as an educator is when I attended seminars about phonological awareness and teaching English to students with dyslexia to become a certified practitioner of these methods after I had finished my MA in Special Educational Needs,” Andrioti says.… Visit the author's original post

In Music Classroom Without Instruments, An Ensemble of Apps Play Bandleader

At Kaenoisuksa school, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we face the unique challenge of bringing music education to roughly 600 students who don’t have the benefit of real instruments to practice with. Adding to the complexity, our student body is a diverse mix Shan, Yunnan and Lahu students who all bring a different set of cultural values and learning techniques to the classroom every day. Our curriculum has to be nimble if it’s going to serve all of their unique needs.

As the school’s music and dramatic arts teacher, it’s my job to find educational solutions that will strike a chord with my students.… Visit the author's original post

How one Minecraft Mentor designed a cross-disciplinary landmark lesson

Minecraft Mentor Nelly Hamed Hadima is an Arabic teacher at Hayah International Academy in Egypt. Nelly’s students had been studying famous landmarks from around the world when she had an idea: use Minecraft: Education Edition to design the landmarks, then 3D print them in the real world.

Nelly proceeded to create a new cross-disciplinary Minecraft lesson with these five goals in mind:

  1. Combine different subjects (Arabic, math, history, and computer science).
  2. Encourage collaboration by having students work in teams.
  3. Utilize Minecraft: Education Edition to bring the landmark history to life.
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Teaching happiness around the world in the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on April 16

Announcing the April 16 TweetMeet on ‘Teaching Happiness and Social-Emotional Learning’

 

Every year, March 20 marks the International Day of Happiness, a campaign launched by the United Nations that is now celebrated worldwide. This program aligns with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet.

In support for the UN campaign and to raise awareness for the emotional well-being of students as well as teachers, we invite you to participate in the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet of April 16.… Visit the author's original post

“I love exploring the exciting ways that [technology] can revitalize practice and open up a world of possibilities for students.” – Laura Bain, Australia

Laura Bain
Head of Digital Learning and Innovation
The Springfield Anglican College
Queensland, Australia
@larubain

When Laura Bain was teaching in the United Kingdom, she had her first taste of classroom technology. This set her on a course of discovery — exploring the ways that technology can transform education.

“The defining moment for me came when I witnessed disengaged and low-performing students suddenly motivated and enabled to produce amazing learning outcomes with technology tools,” she shares. “I remember thinking, ‘this is what I want for my students all the time.’.… Visit the author's original post

Cloud and CRM graduate with flying colours for UNSW, transforming campus experience and boosting efficiency

UNSW is a leading Australian university, one of the Group of Eight, and ranks among the top 100 universities in the world.

It has even bigger ambitions.

The UNSW 2025 strategy is focussed on establishing the University as Australia’s Global University with a stellar reputation for discovery, innovation, impact, education and thought leadership. It is investing $3 billion in the program of work to establish a level of research excellence that will place it in the top 50 global universities, while transforming its approach to teaching and learning.… Visit the author's original post

“My work really began to flourish once I had access to the internet and realized that my students could collaborate with the world.” – Margaret Simkin, Australia

Margaret Simkin
Head of Library
The Hamilton and Alexandra College
Victoria, Australia
@margaretsimkin 

An education veteran, Margaret Simkin has experienced many changes in her teaching career. She began as a Geography and History teacher many years ago, and her current work is managing the Information Services Department in an independent school. As the sole teacher-librarian, her life is busy, and as resources become more digital, so do her skills.

Simkin, a new #MIEExpert, completed a second Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) in 2015and attended  E2 in Paris.… Visit the author's original post

Kristine Kopelke transforms professional development with Learning Hub

Like many teachers Kristine Kopelke wears a number of hats. One of them is a very big hat indeed.

Beside teaching digital technologies at Queensland’s Meridan State College, Kopelke is the manager of the Contemporary Learning Hub based at the college. The Hub provides professional development (PD) through online and face to face workshops for educators across Australia.

Most of the 4,800 people who have used the Hub’s services to date have been from Queensland, but teachers from other states and territories also have access to its PD services.… Visit the author's original post

‘You are the generation that will shape the future. We need more women in tech,’ says Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK CEO

“There will be some amazing things happening in the future, and your generation is the one that will help shape it.” These were Microsoft UK CEO Cindy Rose’s opening words as she addressed an auditorium of Year 8 and 9 girls at Microsoft’s DigiGirlz event on Tuesday. DigiGirlz is a Microsoft event which schools can apply to, […ellipsis]Visit the author's original post

Making an Impact for STEM Education in Europe

Europe desperately needs STEM skills. International assessments show that one in four adults in Europe lack basic skills in numeracy . By 2030, there will be 50 million open vacancies worldwide for positions requiring STEM skills. And skepticism of science, research and fact-based arguments in public discourse is on the rise. To reverse this trend, European education leaders, along with policymakers and industry partners, recently came together at the STEM Alliance High Level Event on STEM Education to explore solutions.

Opening the event, Malta’s Minister for Education Evarist Bartoli underlined the possibility of implicating STEM-based approaches in sustainability and environmental challenges, which are increasingly of interest to all young people.… Visit the author's original post

Making an Impact for STEM Education in Europe

Europe desperately needs STEM skills. International assessments show that one in four adults in Europe lack basic skills in numeracy . By 2030, there will be 50 million open vacancies worldwide for positions requiring STEM skills. And skepticism of science, research and fact-based arguments in public discourse is on the rise. To reverse this trend, European education leaders, along with policymakers and industry partners, recently came together at the STEM Alliance High Level Event on STEM Education to explore solutions.

Opening the event, Malta’s Minister for Education Evarist Bartoli underlined the possibility of implicating STEM-based approaches in sustainability and environmental challenges, which are increasingly of interest to all young people.… Visit the author's original post

Making an Impact for STEM Education in Europe

Europe desperately needs STEM skills. International assessments show that one in four adults in Europe lack basic skills in numeracy . By 2030, there will be 50 million open vacancies worldwide for positions requiring STEM skills. And skepticism of science, research and fact-based arguments in public discourse is on the rise. To reverse this trend, European education leaders, along with policymakers and industry partners, recently came together at the STEM Alliance High Level Event on STEM Education to explore solutions.

Opening the event, Malta’s Minister for Education Evarist Bartoli underlined the possibility of implicating STEM-based approaches in sustainability and environmental challenges, which are increasingly of interest to all young people.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Education & Open Up Resources partner on English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum pilot

Today we’re announcing the pilot availability of the Open Up Resources ELA curriculum and Microsoft Education free offering. Open Up Resources is an education nonprofit that creates high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum, and provides it for free to improve education equity. This English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum was written by EL Education, and currently spans grades K–5.  Recently, EdReports.org rated this curriculum as the highest rated K–5 ELA curriculum.

Any educator can now easily sign up to use the Open Up Resources curriculum.… Visit the author's original post

Join us at CoSN 2019 for sessions and workshops

 

We’re excited to be a Platinum Sponsor of CoSN and the CoSN 2019 Annual Conference.  The CoSN Annual Conference offers a variety of session structures designed to foster hands-on and collaborative learning that focus on K-12’s most pressing challenges, opportunities and technological implementations. Microsoft’s conference lineup is jam-packed with engaging activities, workshops and informative sessions.

Read on to learn more about Microsoft at the CoSN 2019 Annual Conference, running April 1st to April 3rd in Portland, Oregon.

 

Microsoft Pre-Conference Workshops

 

Prior to the conference, Microsoft will host several teacher/trainer academies on Monday, April 1st. … Visit the author's original post

New grade 4 standards-aligned math activities

As promised, our team has released an additional 31 lessons and 18 new worlds to cover all of the grade 4 Common Core math standards!

Download the alignment guide for a complete list of applicable standards along with links and descriptions of Minecraft activities that focus on each objective. (Hint: Control+F, or Command+F on a Mac, is the perfect tool to help you search for a specific standard or math topic.) Educators can also access these lessons and worlds for free at any time via our math subject kit.

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To Help Other Teachers Adopt Tech, We Capture the Journey in Our Own Classrooms

From the very first moment you step foot inside your classroom, you become a part of the “family” of educators. As you form bonds working alongside others in the family, there’s a good chance you’ll connect with someone special—someone who reflects your passion for teaching and fuels it even further. You share ideas, successes, let downs and questions.

You may have a person like this in your building or at your school, but we—Joe and Kristin Merrill—have the unique opportunity to build this relationship together, both in school and at home.… Visit the author's original post

“Through technology we are finally able to level the playing field enough so that each student can contribute and grow successfully.” – Colleen Horzelenberg, Canada

“Through technology we are finally able to level the playing field enough so that each student can contribute and grow successfully.” – Colleen Horzelenberg, Canada

Colleen Horzelenberg
Grade 2 Teacher, Principal Intern
Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Hamilton, Ontario
@Chorzele 

Even as a young teacher, Colleen Horzelenberg leaned toward a student-centered approach to teaching and found great enjoyment in seeing her students have fun while learning. But only after 15 years of teaching did she finally feel validated in this approach —  mainly thanks to her colleagues and the leadership at Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board.… Visit the author's original post

Building a sustainable future with the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge

Looking for ways to engage your students or community in imagining a more sustainable future?  Here’s an idea: run a design challenge using Minecraft to spark ideas and encourage civic participation.

Students in Exeter, a vibrant city in the UK with unique Roman history, are invited to reimagine their city’s future in Minecraft for the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge. This program launched in February 2019 with a series of workshops and citywide competition in which students use a downloadable Minecraft map to design a more sustainable city, addressing issues like renewable energy, public transit, traffic and bicycle infrastructure. The Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge is hosted by nonprofit Exeter City Futures in partnership with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Gallery and Exeter City Council.

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“AR/VR/MR technologies help me to bring my lessons to life and the world to my classroom.” – Vineeta Garg, India

“AR/VR/MR technologies help me to bring my lessons to life and the world to my classroom.” – Vineeta Garg, India

Vineeta Garg
IT Head
SRDAV Public School
Delhi, India
@vineetagarg123

 “AR/VR/MR technologies help me to bring my lessons to life and the world to my classroom.” – Vineeta Garg, India

 Vineeta Garg has been an IT leader for 25 years, and she can still get excited about new technology. This #MIEExpert, who will participate in next month’s Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) in Paris, learned about VR/MR in during Microsoft’s Hack the Classroom event, and was so impressed by the tech’s capabilities to create an immersive experience using Paint 3D, Remix 3D, and the Mixed Reality Viewer, she decided to add MR and VR to her classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Talkin’ Chalk; Bec West transforms teacher education one video at a time

Bec West has been a teacher for 16 years, and like most of her peers is an advocate for inclusive learning, and passionate about building strong learning communities.

Unlike most of her peers Bec also has about 8,000 people from around the world who subscribe to her YouTube videos where she shares her teaching insights and experiences. While just over half of the subscribers to her Talkin’ Chalk series are Australian, around 1,000 Americans are signed up along with teachers from, quite literally, all over the world.… Visit the author's original post

“Technology has become a part of education and it should be available to everyone.” – Chad Botha, South Africa

“Technology has become a part of education and it should be available to everyone.” – Chad Botha, South Africa

Chad Botha
Training Facilitator
Curro
Johannesburg, South Africa
@ChadBotha4

 Access to quality education – and the technology that supports it — can be an issue for students everywhere. MIEE Chad Botha is part of the solution.

“Education from a global perspective is developing at a rapid rate, and it’s very exciting to be a part of it,” Botha says.… Visit the author's original post

Empower learners to #MakeWhatsNext with #STEM

To inspire and empower learners around the world–especially young women–to pursue a career in one of the many fascinating STEM fields, we invite you to participate in the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet that will take place on Tuesday, March 19th, at 10:00 a.m. PDT (check your time zone here). (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

In this global and multilingual Twitter event, we’ll discuss the impact and benefits of STEM education as well as share activities and best practices to keep all learners excited to MakeWhatsNext.… Visit the author's original post

Adventures With Microsoft AutoPilot On Education Shared Devices (Part 2)

Last week I posted Part 1 of this blog series, exploring how schools can automate the configuration and deployment of their shared devices using Microsoft AutoPilot and Intune. Again, if AutoPilot is new to you, then I encourage you to watch this very short video explaining how it works:

Autopilot for Edu

Overview:

As this blog post will be a little longer (and more technical) I’m going to give you a break down of what is to come so you can skip to the important sections relevant to you:

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Pioneering the next generation of genomics research—in the cloud

Australian National University (ANU) is the top-ranked university in Australia, and the 24th best university in the world.[1] Researchers at ANU contribute to this prestigious ranking by advancing knowledge and conducting groundbreaking studies, including cutting-edge genomics research.

Over the past year, Dr. Sebastian Kurscheid, a research fellow in the Department of Genome Sciences, has turned to Microsoft Azure to save time managing technology so he can focus more effectively on his research. Microsoft Azure also allows Sebastian to share research results quickly and securely with fellow researchers around the world.… Visit the author's original post

Adventures With Microsoft AutoPilot On Education Shared Devices (Part 1)

In my job I chat a lot with both school leaders and IT admins about how they can simplify the management of their devices, making it faster and easier for their end users (usually students, teachers and admin staff) to get started and complete the work they need to do on a device.

Unlike many corporate environments, schools have a very high number of “shared devices” in operation, where students of different year levels require access on the same device and, in some scenarios, even teachers need to log into the same device and access different apps and security settings.… Visit the author's original post

Virtual bombs and Immersive Reader transform learning intervention

Teaching children with autism brings a unique set of challenges to the classroom – which is why Matt Harrison encourages them to first defuse a bomb.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a co-operative virtual reality computer game where the player wearing the VR headset is trapped in a (virtual) room with a bomb they must defuse. The other players have the manual that explains how to do that – but they can’t see the bomb.

To succeed, everyone has to communicate clearly and swiftly what they see, interpret what they read, ask the right questions, provide the right advice and make informed decisions about what to do next – otherwise Kaboom!… Visit the author's original post

Immersive Reader comes to OneNote iPhone, and Mac and iPad now support Math in Immersive Reader

In March we released a set of inclusive updates to enable students of all abilities to more easily access content.  These updates are across both OneNote and Word, and have rolled out broadly and for the most part are available today.

  • Immersive Reader for OneNote iPhone – we brought the Immersive Reader to OneNote for iPhone, making content even more accessible on the go. This is at 50% rolled out worldwide, and going to 100% next week (March 11th)iPhone.jpg
  • OneNote iPad and Mac support for math and equations – if a student has math equations on a page, when launching the Immersive Reader, the math and equations are recognized, and all immersive reader capabilities work, including Read Aloud, Line Focus, Page Theme Colors, and more.
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“I knew that I wanted to help others to learn English so that they wouldn’t feel like outsiders.” – Luis Oliveira, USA

“I knew that I wanted to help others to learn English so that they wouldn’t feel like outsiders.” – Luis Oliveira, USA

Luis M. Oliveira
Director of Unified Arts/ELL Teacher
Middletown High School
Rhode Island, USA
@loliveira55

When Luis Oliveira moved to the US as a nine-year-old child, he didn’t know any English. But two English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers he met on his first day of school not only made him feel welcome, they changed the course of his life.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Education Webinar Series

Join us in our upcoming webinars aimed at school educators and IT managers.

The Inclusive Classroom

Wednesday March 20th
4-5pm AEDT
Presented by: Troy Waller
Click to register now:  The Inclusive Classroom Webinar

Microsoft’s mission is to empower all people and all organisations to achieve more. The classroom is no different. Microsoft Windows and Windows-based applications like Office, together with other assistive technologies, offer features that make computers easier to use for everyone – giving teachers the opportunity to provide personalised learning, and students an improved experience and equal opportunity in the classroom.Visit the author's original post