Category Archives: Featured

Shafaque Riaz: Moving learning games forward

by Shafaque Riaz
Expert Educator Columnist, UAE

Due to the stretched gap between my posts, I missed the connectivity with my readers, but I am happy to be back and sharing some of my experiences. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this time my focus is to talk over hurdles we as educators face by introducing games in mainstream lessons as a medium of instruction and how can we overcome them to use games effectively for learning.

Primarily we should have clarity that it is neither the computer game nor the technology that promotes learning, but the play surrounding it.… Visit the author's original post

Walid Chaafi: Podcasts- The Forgotten Tool

by Walid Chaafi
Expert Educator Columnist, Tunisia

Technology has advanced and brought new technologies into the fields of education. Teaching languages is not an exception. There are many ways to use technology to teach any language, one of them is Podcasts.

Podcasts are the forgotten tool that educators as well as students can reply on to enhance teaching and learning of any language and mainly speaking and listening skills.

As a teacher of English, I use this tool with my students and it is a success.… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Sharing Test-Taking Tips With Sway!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeekOne year when I was teaching a First Grade class and we were nearing the end of our week-long standardized testing, one little student was so stressed out that he wrote an inappropriate word on his testing booklet. When I showed it to my principal, she sighed and said, “At least he spelled it right.”

No one enjoys standardized testing. Not students. Not teachers. Not administrators. Is that a number two pencil? Did the students bubble things in clearly?… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: OneNote To The Rescue!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

We had to have a Student Success Team meeting for Paris immediately. She had recently completed trimester proficiencies as well as reading comprehension testing in Read 180, and it seemed clear she might need more help than she was receiving. Emails were sent back and forth, but because we were in the middle of standardized testing, it was impossible to schedule a meeting so everyone could review the new data that would guide our suggestions on how best to help her.… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Add New Spark to Your Class with Newspapers!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeekTeachers need fact-based, non-fiction content. We need lots of it. And we need it now.

The adoption of the new Common Core State Standards paired with the lack of approved curriculum and funds have pushed many educators to be creative in finding appropriate, timely reading material. That critical reading material also has to allow students to demonstrate independence, build strong content knowledge, comprehend as well as critique, understand other perspectives/cultures and use technology & digital media strategically and capably.… Visit the author's original post

Nam Ngo Thanh: Bringing Twitter into Primary Class- Why Not?

by Nam Ngo Thanh
Expert Educator Columnist, Vietnam

I believe that application of social media in schools is not new to all of us. Educators are now using it to make the learning more exciting and meaningful.

twitterHow about you? What is your favorite social media? Is it Facebook, Blog or LinkedIn? For me, it is Twitter.

At first, I was hesitant to use social media in my primary class but my perception on using it had change when I read this interesting statement from one of the websites in education:

“Twitter won’t change your life, but it might make your job more fun and a little easier.”

I was challenged with this statement and decided to immediately apply Twitter in my class, but few people told me that elementary school students are still too young to use Twitter.… Visit the author's original post

Poonam Dogra: Fostering Collaboration For Innovative Excellence

by Poonam Dogra
Expert Educator Columnist, India

Rayat International School is a hub of International Collaborative projects.

Encouraging students to reach out to one another to solve problems and share knowledge not only builds collaboration skills but leads to deeper learning and understanding.

Global collaborative learning uses technology as  a  tool  to  build  relationships  by  collaborating,  communicating,  and  sharing  with  others throughout the world. Students are not just using the computer to do the same activity they might do without a computer.… Visit the author's original post

Matt Harris: Encourage Those in Your School to Share

by Matt Harris
Expert Educator Columnist, Singapore

I have discovered that TED talks are a great companion on long walks. I often listen to them for inspiration as I walk to school in the mornings (I live in Singapore, so I can walk to school year-round). The other day, I was listening to one from a volunteer fireman in the US who tells a great story about helping people and giving back to his community. Watch the video here <LINK>

I drew inspiration for a number of things that are now on my blogging and vlogging to-do list to discuss.… 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

“…Spreading technology knowledge is like a seed you plant in someone’s head. The seed grows, and at a certain moment those people can start spreading seeds to others, too.” – Gene Vangampelaere, Belgium

When Gene Vangampelaere realized that developing apps can be lonely and isolating work, he decided to apply his expertise to teaching, and we’re very grateful he did. Vangampelaere is still an app developer, but he also spends considerable time training … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Nam Ngo Thanh: Tip for Parents and Teachers- Limiting Games and Using the Internet Effectively

by Nam Ngo Thanh
Expert Educator Columnist, Vietnam

Life skills education is one of the essential values at Vietnam Australia International School (VAS), Vietnam and is designed to help students adjust to the changes of natural environment or society to work out the sense of vigilance and to protect them.

Today, the internet and online gaming addictions are seen as problems of the teens in the major metropolitan. Consequence which is easy to realize is the children get involved in the virtual world, neglecting education and external activities.… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Learning on the Edge of Chaos

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA teachergeekSuccessful learning is less about what’s memorized and much more about having the ability to make the right connections. But should teachers be the ones making all those connections for their students? At the CUE 2015 Conference, TED Prize winner Professor Sugata Mitra spoke about creating a “Self-Organized Learning Environment” or SOLE. As he points out, it’s often called “learning on the edge of chaos” because it requires an educator to truly be the “Guide on the Side” rather than the “Sage on the Stage.” Sugata postulated: What would happen if we presented our students with goal-oriented challenges that allow them choice and provide opportunities to solve problems on their own?… Visit the author's original post

Meenakshi Uberoi: Dubai Global Forum – Melting Pot of Leaders in Transformation of Education

by Meenakshi Uberoi
Expert Educator Columnist, India

Microsoft’s Global Forum in Dubai was a great ‘melting pot’ of leaders in education and policy makers who are driving transformation in education and supporting students to be equipped for work and life.

It was an honour for me to participate as a speaker in 3 sessions, namely, ‘Concepts & Contexts of Deep Learning’; ‘’Learning Design for Impact’ and ‘Technology Enriched Instruction’ and I am thankful to Microsoft worldwide & Microsoft India for entrusting me with such a great opportunity.… Visit the author's original post

Maja Seguljev: Make Your Own Master Plan of Cooperation!

by Maja Seguljev
Expert Educator Columnist, Serbia

Real life challenge! Have you already created your quarterly plan for support the colleagues, students and parents? Do you have in plan to share your knowledge, to teach your colleagues?

Being MIE and MIEE is great honour. We learn and work a lot. We want to do more, because it can always be done better. We bring a positive and active energy in our collective and among students. We share our ideas over internet.… Visit the author's original post

Becky Keene: Try Something New!

by Becky Keene
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Have you ever noticed that kids seem to have a better handle on trying something new than adults? I think anyone who’s watched a child learn can see that children can switch between pieces of information very quickly, and they can soak up new pieces of information like sponges.

I was at a school last week helping students get started with Office 365 accounts. Our goal was to have each of them login, create a new document in Word Online, and then see how to access it from any other device.… Visit the author's original post

Mohammed Khattab: Top 10 Mistakes Teachers Make When Using Technology and How to Avoid Them

by Mohammed Khattab
Expert Educator Columnist, Qatar

  1. Design the lesson so that technology works in the lesson.  Do not build a lesson around a piece of technology.
  • Start with the outcome or lesson in mind
  • The technology is secondary
  • Build a great lesson first and then think of how to integrate tech
  1. Have the students “publish” the work instead of “handing in” the work.  This way students will take more ownership in what they are doing.
  • Tie into CCSS requirement to publish student work
  • Blogging, Tweeting
  • #Comments4Kids
  1. Mistake – not connecting with experts. 
Visit the author's original post

Kemi Olurinola: The Forgotten Technologies

by Kemi Olurinola
Expert Educator Columnist, Nigeria

Early definitions of instructional technology focused on instructional media – the physical means via which instruction is presented to learners. Over the years, many attempts have been made to define this field because new ideas and definitions have affected the practices in this field.

One definition of interest to me is that produced in 1970 by the Commission on Instructional Technology established by the U.S government.

…. Instructional technology means the media born of the communication revolution which can be used for instructional purposes alongside the teacher, textbook and blackboard…………(Commission on Instructional Technology, 1970)

There are two points I would like to focus on in this definition.… Visit the author's original post

Floyd Chanda: New Beginnings at Libala Secondary School

by Floyd Chanda
Expert Educator Columnist, Zambia

As an MIEE 2015, many thanks to the team that came to train us in December, 2014; that is Mr. Phil Oduor from Kenya and Mr. Victor Ngobeni from South Africa. Personally, I benefited a lot and learned that for ICT to be effective we need to have the basics of knowledge and equipments so as to function. However, I also learned from them that you can also improvise so as to effectively build and share knowledge.… Visit the author's original post

Sachita Jeeta: Why Did I Start My Website New Tech Primary Resources?

by Sachita Jeeta
Expert Educator Columnist, Mauritius

“As educators we should help facilitate goals and help cast a vision for students that will, not only, stretch their immaginations, but also their beliefs regarding what is possible.” – Sam Pabon

New Tech Primary Resources is a newly developed website. I am still planning how to make the website simple and user-friendly, thus, making it easily accessible to everyone. The website caters for creating, designing and sharing of educational resources to educators and primary schools of Mauritius.… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: A Genius Idea!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeek“Have you heard of Nancy Wake?” Isabella had just run up to my desk and her eyes were wide with excitement. “I read a story about her when I was younger, and I thought she wasn’t real. But I just found out that she IS real and she was a spy and they called her the White Mouse! May I please study Spies in World War II for my Genius Hour project?”

Genius Hour, or 20% time as some call it, is a movement that started more than 60 years ago.… Visit the author's original post

Jason Messer: Fostering Effective Education Transformation

by Jason Messer
Superintendent, Manteca Unified School District

In 2013 The Manteca Unified School Board allocated 30 million dollars (as a foundation) and directed myself, Superintendent Jason Messer, to take the District digital by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  In the past 18 months we have successfully identified the tools, support and resources necessary to meet the School Boards expectations and provide every teacher (1,200+) with a Surface Pro 3 and every student in grade K-12 (23,500+) with a purpose built computer, Microsoft 8.1 two-in-one tablet. … Visit the author's original post

Engaging Parents – and students – with OneNote – Barry Corrigan, Northern Ireland

When we first spoke with Barry Corrigan back in 2012, our discussion centered on what some students (and parents) may consider a dirty word: homework. But Corrigan is dedicated to making homework for his students anything but a chore. In … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Kelli Etheredge: Virtual Breakout Sessions with Office 365

by Kelli Etheredge
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

How do you gather over 120 educators in one place to collaborate, learn, and have collegial conversations about their profession? 

This question is a continual focus for me.  Once a month, St. Paul’s faculty, PK-12, meet as a whole school team for professional development.  As the Director of Teaching and Learning Resources, and the person in charge of these professional development opportunities, I am continually exploring ways for our faculty to have meaningful gatherings. Visit the author's original post

Karina Batat: Front Classroom- Teachers and Educators Network

by Karina Batat
Expert Educator Columnist, Israel

front-classroomFront Classroom is the new teachers and educators Israel network. The purpose of this network is to bring together passionate teachers, empower them and build a culture of sharing and innovation.

A week ago, on February 12, on Thursday at 15:00, at Microsoft Raanana, this community is meeting for the first time. The event was inspiring and full of innovation so I decided to share with you my experience. Are you ready? Here we go.… Visit the author's original post

Walid Chaafi: Practicing listening and speaking with technology

by Walid Chaafi
Expert Educator Columnist, Tunisia

If you have been teaching a foreign/second language since a long time, you may come cross many problems finding suitable resources before the revolution of the web. But now things has changed for good. The focus will not be on any specific language as this article can be applied to any taught language, which is known as EFL /ESL.

I will focus in this article on the online audio and video materials which may help in improving the listening and speaking skills.… Visit the author's original post

Anil Saccaram: Make a Difference with Gamification

by Anil Saccaram
Expert Educator Columnist, Mauritius

I would like to start my first blog #mieexpert2015 by sharing with you my experience with game-based learning and gamification. A lot of researches have been carried out on the benefits of game-based learning and the literature review shows a mixed feeling, some find it very beneficial while others are more cautious and find substantial drawbacks. It is true that game- based learning is not always the best strategy because it is quite difficult to find off-the-shelf games which are tailor made to suit the school curriculum and meet the specific learning objectives set.… Visit the author's original post

Dai Nguyen Thi: Project-Based Learning Makes Physics Fun!

by Dai Nguyen Thi
Expert Educator Columnist, Vietnam

My stance in teaching is that: “Applying information communication technology in the teaching is an artistic job. The Information technology must go in hand with teaching methodology then it will make itself radiant.

As I think, the teaching methodology is for the whole world. However, in the other countries, other regions, depending on the actual situation in education and the development of information technology, using teaching methodology with information technologies requires the creation of educators. … Visit the author's original post

Matt Harris: Global Not International

by Matt Harris
Expert Educator Columnist, Singapore

When I was asked about writing this column, Microsoft asked what unique view or approach could I take to Educational Technology. My frame was one of working in a leadership capacity in an international school. I am not directly tied to a national system or central cultural influence (despite the words German and European in my school’s name). Rather, I work with people and pedagogies from all over the world. I am “international.”

And that is what Ed Tech has become: international.… Visit the author's original post

Bozena Kraj: Classical Music Makes Us Fly High in Project Based Learning

by Bozena Kraj
Expert Educator Columnist, Poland

pbl-1Project Based Learning, which is learning through experience, should be full of activities which let us our students gain knowledge in an exciting and practical way. Those challenging tasks could be one, two or three dimensional. And the truth is that as long as my students use music as the part of our projects, their work should be regarded as three dimensional. It means that these activities influence my students in an effective way, developing their talents, imagination and sensitivity, opening them to what “cannot be expressed into words and which cannot remain silent,” as Victor Hugo once wrote.… Visit the author's original post

Andy Li: Coding for Kids Made Easy with Kodu

by Andy Li
Expert Educator Columnist, Hong Kong

Is it necessary for kids to learn how to code?

Kids Coding has been a hot topic especially in ICT, education and even among parents. Programming or coding used to be regarded as alien languages and seldom chosen by students in school. People always make fun of programmers for being nerdy with thick glasses. So why is coding suddenly becoming popular and many countries becoming more eager to drive in schools?

From the birth of tablet devices and smartphones from 5 years ago, huge impacts have been made not only to IT industry but also the popularity and the use of electronic devices.… Visit the author's original post