Category Archives: For Teachers

O’Dea High School’s story of digital transformation

Letting go of old habits takes time, unless you’re the dedicated and innovative educators of O’Dea High School.

Beginning in August of the 2017-2018 school year, O’Dea launched a one-to-one single device program featuring the Microsoft Surface.  Shortly after the launch, in October, Microsoft’s EDU Product Manager, Mike Tholfsen, visited O’Dea.

He visited some classes to observe how our educators and students were using Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class Notebooks. Mike took some student questions and offered students some tips and tricks in OneNote.… Visit the author's original post

Celebrating International Mother Language Day

In today’s interconnected world, the ability to speak multiple languages and communicate across linguistic divides is a critical skill. Even partial knowledge of more than one language is beneficial. Proficiency in additional languages is a new kind of global literacy. Language learning needs to be expanded for all – young and old.

Advances in machine translation technologies can reduce the barriers to communication, even before language proficiency develops, and tools like Skype in the Classroom can connect young people across space, time and language barriers.… Visit the author's original post

Olympian and engineering graduate shares the power of mentorship through Skype

Monique Sullivan is a two-time Olympian cyclist and mechanical engineering graduate student. She was an athlete mentor with Classroom Champions, which works in partnership with teachers and local education districts to connect athletes with students in grades K-8, for the school year. Following her participation in Skype in the Classroom events last year, Monique now shares her story and inspirational viewpoint with the Education Blog in this Q&A.

 

Why do you think mentoring students is important?

 

As an athlete, I learned the power of mentorship from a very young age.… Visit the author's original post

Lisbon school’s Minecraft project takes learning through multiple subjects, disciplines and worlds

Minecraft in the classroom is redefining learning and building stronger relationships between teachers and their students.

My name is ​Kyriakos Koursaris​ and I am the Head of Educational Technology at ​PaRK International School​ in Lisbon, Portugal. I am also an MIE Expert and Fellow, as well as a Minecraft Global Mentor. For me, everything started three years ago.

We decided to participate in an international project promoted by the ​Asia-Europe Foundation​, called “My country, your country.” In this project, students had to recreate their country geographically through Minecraft and Kodu, thereby offering students an interactive and fun way to study the geography of the ASEM member countries.… Visit the author's original post

Become a Microsoft Certified Educator in 3 simple steps

When teachers have the skills and confidence to engage their students and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow, they don’t just do more things – they do amazing things.

To help teachers shape the leaders of the future, Microsoft has recently revamped the Microsoft Certified Educator Exam (MCE). This certification is based on the 21CLD and Innovative Teaching & Learning Research, which provides a set of rubrics for educators to identify and implement learning opportunities for students to build 21st century skills.… Visit the author's original post

Hearts on fire: How educators are using Skype to ignite idealism in their students

Our guest writer for today’s blog post is PK Dauer of the IF Hummingbird Foundation and Hearts on Fire, a program of the foundation identifying and showcasing some of the most inspirational and committed individuals working to change the world for the better. 

 

Elise Higgins-Steele, an eighth-grade English Language Arts teacher at Sterling Middle School in Quincy, Massachusetts, had become so disenchanted by the stifling requirements of the curriculum, she was considering a career change.

“We get so much pressure about testing that it limits some of the stuff kids love,” Elise says.… Visit the author's original post

Chalkup founder is joining Microsoft Education and bringing the best of Chalkup to Microsoft Teams

As part of our continued investment to help save teachers time, build collaborative classrooms and drive better learning outcomes for students, we are excited to announce that Chalkup’s co-founder, Justin Chando, is joining Microsoft Education!

In 2013, Justin set out to build a more compelling digital classroom experience for all students. Since then, Chalkup has delivered numerous innovations proven to increase student engagement and save teachers time. Together with Justin, we’re excited to bring the best of Chalkup to Microsoft Teams.… Visit the author's original post

More than books: The Cultivate World Literacy project is empowering schools and students to reach new readers globally

The 126 million illiterate youth in the world today are looking at an almost certain life of poverty. This fact is what has driven my passion to give children books as much as I am able, and to travel to South Africa – twice so far – to make a difference.

In my month as a volunteer teacher in Africa, I saw state-of-the-art schools. I also saw schools where children shared desks with three others in overcrowded classrooms. I recorded and later played back a chant one classroom of 6th graders sang to me, “Julie, we need you!” and felt discouraged.… Visit the author's original post

Celebrate and help cultivate world literacy with new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Feb. 20

With Literacy Month firmly in mind, we are inviting educators to join us online for a new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet to celebrate and cultivate the literacy skills of students, locally and globally. Whether it’s connecting students to real authors through Skype in the Classroom, or using technologies like Microsoft Learning Tools to improve their reading skills, there’s more than one way to support student literacy development in your community.

Anyone can join in and connect with the passionate educators (and avid readers!) in this TweetMeet, who will share their thoughts on reaching more readers and using the right tools to bring literature to life.… Visit the author's original post

How a New Jersey middle school uses Minecraft: Education Edition to teach game design

How do you teach game design in a middle school setting? According to Steve Isaacs, who teaches at the William Annin Middle School in New Jersey, just 45 minutes west of New York City, it looks a bit like this:

Steve teaches Game Design and Development via a quest-based (or choice-based) learning environment, providing students with a variety of options as they work through activities, often set inside the worlds of Minecraft: Education Edition. Students create minigames in Minecraft, or even full story-driven games, by working with the game’s functional Redstone and command blocks, which can trigger in-world events.… Visit the author's original post

Connect with NYT best-selling authors Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, and hundreds of writers for Skype in the Classroom’s Literacy Month

Today is World Read Aloud Day, signaling the start of Skype in the Classroom’s month-long celebration of reading, writing and storytelling. We are proud to work with LitWorld and our global publishing partners, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Arbordale, Andersen Press, Candlewick and others to offer hundreds of free virtual visits from authors to classrooms. You can look up guest author information easily for Skype in the Classroom by checking our literacy collection.

To cap our month-long celebration this year, Microsoft is teaming up with Penguin Young Readers for a free broadcast event in which classrooms and families can meet actor, producer and author Henry Winkler, as well as his co-author, Lin Oliver. … Visit the author's original post

Wilburton Elementary: Staffing from scratch

Wilburton Elementary is a state-of-the-art school being built from the ground up, following the guidance of the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework, and is a collaborative effort between the Bellevue School District (BSD) and Microsoft. Follow Wilburton’s progress as it happens, from breaking ground to becoming a true 21st century learning community when it opens its doors in September 2018.

 

When Wilburton Elementary opens next fall, its more than 400 students will experience a state-of-the-art campus and an innovative curriculum designed to help them thrive.… Visit the author's original post

What’s New in EDU: 10 newly announced Microsoft Education experiences you don’t want to miss

We’re in the midst of exciting transformation in education. This change is critical for our schools, educators and students, as it is for our countries, industries and planet. 

Students are becoming creators, in disciplines that didn’t always seem creative. They are comfortable in blending the digital and physical worlds and they understand the importance of envisioning a future for themselves. Empowering these students to succeed should be our greatest societal challenge and opportunity.   

Teachers recognize this talent and work every day to unleash student potential. … Visit the author's original post

What’s New in EDU: 10 newly announced Microsoft Education experiences you don’t want to miss

We’re in the midst of exciting transformation in education. This change is critical for our schools, educators and students, as it is for our countries, industries and planet. 

Students are becoming creators, in disciplines that didn’t always seem creative. They are comfortable in blending the digital and physical worlds and they understand the importance of envisioning a future for themselves. Empowering these students to succeed should be our greatest societal challenge and opportunity.   

Teachers recognize this talent and work every day to unleash student potential. … Visit the author's original post

Know before you go: Microsoft’s education partners appearing at Bett 2018

Bett 2018 is set to be another exciting, action-packed event, filled with lessons for us all.

For a number of years, we have showcased the strong bond between Microsoft and our partners via our Microsoft Education Partner Pavilion at Bett. We are simplifying our approach this year to showcase the holistic solution that is Microsoft Education, and we are proud to incorporate some of our inspirational partners into the Microsoft Campus.

In this immersive space, you will experience how these solutions, which are integrated with our full Microsoft Education offerings, can help you improve student outcomes and enable every student to reach their full potential.… Visit the author's original post

Class of 2030: Predicting what today’s kindergartners will need to be life-ready

The future of learning will be profoundly social, student-centric, personalized, and supported by technology.

 

Today’s kindergartners will graduate better prepared for their futures if they have a strong social and emotional foundation developed in a personalized learning environment, according to new Microsoft-commissioned research. The study explored the expectations, aspirations, and experiences of young people, along with the skills and competencies required to thrive in learning, work, and life.

Students are both clear and bold in their vision for the future, and they want greater choice and control over how they learn, so they can solve social and global challenges not yet imagined.… Visit the author's original post

Mapping and tracking discussion in Humanities using OneNote Class Notebook

As a Humanities teacher, I love having full class discussion on the books we read, particularly when the students drive the conversation. Getting students to work together and successfully navigate and sustain a discussion on complex topics is often as important to me as the content they are talking about. Since a large part of my teaching uses the Harkness Method, participation is a large part of my class grade, and I want to be sure my students feel they are being assessed fairly.… Visit the author's original post

Intune for Education is helping make fully connected classrooms a reality

Behind every connected student in every classroom, whether that’s online or in person, there are teams of people working to make the learning experience as seamless as possible for everyone involved.

Joel Palmer, program coordinator for Maryland’s Calvert County Schools and the 16,000 students who learn there, is among such a team. Joel’s job centers on implementing and managing the district’s new technology, and with 9,000 desktop computers and 9,000 laptops to manage he and his team have their work cut out for them.… Visit the author's original post

Tacoma School district uses data to provide needs-based training and support

Tacoma Public Schools started a Microsoft Innovative Educator program last year, hoping to create an ongoing support system for technology in the classroom. In the past, instructional technology support and training would fall on the shoulders of the district Instructional Facilitators. They would provide training by posting a district-wide class at a not-so-central location, on a topic of their choosing and at a time that fit a handful of schedules. Does this sound familiar?

Tacoma is moving past the old approach to professional development, where one would shoot at the target and hope to hit a bullseye.… Visit the author's original post

Florida educator rethinks social media as skill for students

A designer, surfer, father, foodie, photographer, sketch artist, lover of technology, and just an all-around geek: Josh Murdock (@professorjosh) sees himself as many different things. However, if you ask any of his students, many of them faculty at his college and more destined to be future educators themselves, they’ll say he’s a teacher of teachers.

Finding ways to change and keep up with new teaching methods, and connecting with students through collaborative learning, is all part and parcel of Josh’s role.… Visit the author's original post

Get device advice for student success in new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Jan. 16

Properly introduced, devices should be saving you time in the classroom, augmenting your own teaching style, and helping improve student outcomes.

Getting started is a lot easier with the right advice, so we’ve invited some IT experts, working at the school district level, and some educators from our Microsoft Educator Community to join the latest #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet. They’ll discuss what they’ve done to boost student success and get the most out of their resources, having deployed thousands of devices across their school districts.

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How and where to join Microsoft for BETT Jan. 24-27, 2018

Microsoft is joining with the education world’s leaders, experts and innovators as they unite at London’s ExCel venue for Bett 2018. To kick off our presence at the show, we’re releasing a special episode of What’s New in EDU, on January 22, where we’ll share our plans for new classroom technology coming to Microsoft Education this year. Stay tuned to the Education Blog for more information.

As worldwide partner to Bett, an annual event that explores how technology can empower educators and students to reach their full potential, Microsoft will be hosting a wide array of hands-on experiences on the show floor, along with talks to support educators looking for new ways to unlock limitless learning.… Visit the author's original post

Virtual tools help explore computer science and robotics in the classroom

I am sure everyone enjoyed Computer Science Education Week and its amazing focus on enabling the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. We live in an amazing time of technological progress. Every aspect of our lives is being shaped by digital transformation. However, with transformation comes disruption. There’s growing concern over job growth, economic opportunity, and the world we are building for the next generation. So, the real question is: How can technology create more opportunity not for a few, but for all?… Visit the author's original post

Best of 2017: The educators who pioneered the new shape of STEM and computer science

In 2017, we met educators who are taking a 21st century plunge into new ways of teaching, creating and coding – and in case you missed it all, we’d like you to meet these stars too. Whether its forging a new path from traditional teaching to a paperless classroom, or hacking STEM in everyday classrooms, these educators took a bold step forward in preparing their students for the world of tomorrow. Take a look at the playlist below and peek into the classrooms of people like Doug Bergman, Summer Winrotte, Jason Ewert, James Burke, Jeff Gearhart and Tammy Dunbar:

1.

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What’s New in EDU: Best of 2017 and 10 top tech guides from educators

We look back on 2017 and pour water on a computer in our December episode of What’s New in EDU, a monthly round-up of the latest efforts and products from Microsoft Education. Don’t worry, the computer’s just fine and, no, we don’t usually do that.

What we’d like to make more routine is thanking all the educators around the world who make a difference each and every day, and 2017 demonstrated your amazing contributions as clearly as ever. In a year which saw the launch of Microsoft Teams, over 250 lesson plans for Minecraft: Education Edition and new features for Learning Tools, we were humbled by the wealth of information and expertise shared with us by educators so far.… Visit the author's original post