Category Archives: hot topics

Marija Petreska: The Art of Powerpoint

by Marija Petreska
Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia

I bet you have never thought of PowerPoint as a canvas for art work. Nor have we. It was an innocent play with the shapes and colors in PowerPoint that led us to a whole new discovery. We could create our own infographics with handmade clip art and background paper in PowerPoint with the shapes and edit options and the colors. It turned out to be so fun that we now have over ten handmade interactive infographics and at least four more not yet published.… Visit the author's original post

Doug Bergman: STEM- No Longer an All-Boys Club

by Doug Bergman
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Congratulations to hundreds of girls around the country who have just been recognized by NCWIT( National Council for Women in Technology) at the national and state level for their accomplishments and participation in Computer Science. In my state of South Carolina, 5 of the 12 awards were our Porter-Gaud girls! We are very proud!

I am so honored to be part of a Computer Science program that values having females as integral members. In my first year teaching at Porter-Gaud there were exactly ZERO females in my advanced classes.… Visit the author's original post

Koen Timmers: Striving to a Paperless Classroom

by Koen Timmers
Expert Educator Columnist, Belgium

I strive to a paperless classroom. My students don’t receive any printed textbooks when a new school year takes off. Apart from the ecological reason, printed textbooks would be outdated from the beginning, as I offer project based learning. That’s why I decided 5 years ago to create my courseware while I teach.

OneNote is the tool that enables all this content creation. My students get 30 minutes of introduction how to install and use OneNote.… Visit the author's original post

Marija Petreska: Flipboard in the Classroom

by Marija Petreska
Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia

Last weekend a tech geek had a birthday and what does one get a geek for a birthday but a geeky cake. His favorite app was Flipboard and somewhere in the middle of the discussion with the baker when a choice had to be made whether it should be a red base with white letters or a white base with red square on,  it dawned to me that I can think of at least half a dozen ways how to use Flipboard in the classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Mark Sparvell: The Innovation Hunter at Pulteney Grammar School!

by Mark Sparvell
School Leader Program Director, Microsoft

Hello fellow education adventurers!

Continuing my journey across Australia towards Asia and on to Europe and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators 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.

Country Roads take me to INNOVATION

Date: December 2014

Location: Pulteney Grammar School , Adelaide, South Australia

Distance from home:  Adelaide to Seattle is 8338.9 miles

“Sometimes you need to clear some space to allow room for innovation

Troy Thomson is currently one of the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators but is certainly not new to Microsoft in Education!… Visit the author's original post

Matt Harris: Introducing My Column

by Matt Harris
Expert Educator Columnist, Singapore

“Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century.” – Lewis Perelman

Right now, I’m eating peanuts contemplating what to write in my introductory blog post. I want to outline the lessons learned and the value of international education from ed tech perspective.

I was thinking about a rehash of my CV or some Ben Franklin-esque series of quips that encapsulate my intention for this work, but I decided against it.… Visit the author's original post

Paulina Hernandez: Fostering an Interest in Science and Technology in Young People

by Paulina Hernandez
Expert Educator Columnist, Mexico

Have you ever wondering why, when you ask a child, “What will you be when you grow up?” They normally answer with an astronaut, an inventor or any answer really cool, no matter how crazy it sound to us, for them it is actually quiet simple but when you ask them again when they reach a greater age they think completely different and you get most common answers.

I think that everybody knows that there are some educational systems that kill the curiosity and love of learning in children.… Visit the author's original post

Ernani Fernandez: DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) Orientation and Training of ICT Teachers

By Ernani S. Fernandez
Expert Educator Columnist, Philippines

The Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Leyte through the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Ronelo Al K. Firmo and the Division ICT Coordinator Mr. Ismael T. Posion spearheaded the ICT training to teachers in relation to the Kto12 Curriculum and the 21st century education last November 2014.

This training was also part of the commitment of Mr. Ernani S. Fernandez to the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator Program, to train teachers on the use of technology in education and let the students acquire the 21st century skills.… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Manteca Unified’s Going Digital 2015 Has Started!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeekThe quad area before school usually looks a little crazy: students speeding around the benches, yelling to friends across the quad, tossing footballs (hoping to avoid the alert eyes of any yard duty personnel nearby).

But last week on Thursday, things looked much different. Students were still gathered, but there was no yelling or running. Many students were quietly seated on cement benches, some standing happily with their heavy backpacks, others animatedly chatting without an increase in volume.… Visit the author's original post

Shiroma Weerathunge: I Use OneNote to Inspire Learning

by Shiroma Weerathunge
Expert Educator Columnist, Sri Lanka

The teachers in 21st century are leaving from “Chalk & Talk” methods and move to the child centered learning allowing students learn themselves. Today teacher has become a guide who shows the correct path and way to go. If a teacher can inspire students learning with technology they will be exiting to learn with enthusiasm. Today inspirational teachers use Microsoft OneNote to inspire students’ learning.

OneNote is a digital notebook that would allow teachers to organize web articles, videos and other content in one location.… Visit the author's original post

Scott Bricker: The Coach’s Corner- OneNote, My Match Made in Education Heaven!

by Scott Bricker
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

With the creation of one simple program, Microsoft has helped me save a small forest!

In my nearly 20+ years as a Teacher, Basketball Coach, Life Coach and Student, I was the self-proclaimed “Notepad Guy.” You know, the person that carries around one or more 8.5 x 11 inch notepads, with those adorable, equally spaced lines for me to take meticulously organized notes on the meeting, or doodle randomly when I get distracted. It was so great to be able to flip back and forth between the pages weeks on down the road, and when I was done, I could just add the notepad to the stack in the back corner of my office while I watched that pile grow to be a gigantic eye sore in my office.Visit the author's original post

Tasha Candela: Presenting at a Conference- You Can Do It!

by Tasha Candela
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

Have you ever thought about speaking at a conference?

I have always had confidence issues so that thought would have never crossed my mind. I love sharing my knowledge with others, but in a small setting. The fewer audience members, the better.

As I continued to attend conferences, I learned that I could add value. I watched others engage learners by demonstrating the latest technology tools and teaching techniques. Some presenters were more poised and knowledgeable than others, but all were there because they had a passion for their topic.… Visit the author's original post

Lidija Kralj: Yammer in Education, Part 1

by Lidija Kralj
Expert Educator Columnist, Croatia

Social networks are important part of our lives and lives of our students. Last few years we witnessed that social networks have no intentions to disappear and that we can’t banned them from schools effectively. So let’s embrace them and convert them into powerful tool for learning and teaching.

Safety first

Social networks are risky because lots of students share too much data about themselves, their friend and family and without thinking post naughty messages or even spread hate speech.… Visit the author's original post

Andrew Howard: Changing Student Engagement in Technology

by Andrew Howard
Expert Educator Columnist, UK

When preparing my talk for the Microsoft Education Leaders’ Briefing at BETT, London, I was reflecting further on the issue of student engagement. As I said in my last blog, students are, in fact, resistant to adopting technological solutions and educational experiences. Yes, they will do something with glee if it is presented via technology, but only in fact because it is a gimmick and something different. When you try to instil long term change and technology adoption in a student body, you quickly come against resistance.… Visit the author's original post

Getting Foreign Language Classroom with Nature Research Activity


Usually students’ learning language takes place at classroom or language laboratory. Have you ever imagined what they are doing when they learn language outside classroom and working with plants or tree? They are learning to write a report of some plant. The students work collaboratively with their peers and some sources (writers through books, blogs, websites, and biology teachers). They also draw their natural science or biology knowledge on language product in form of report writing. This is applicable activity for them as student.… Visit the author's original post

Bridget Crooks: Being a Connected Learner

by Bridget Crooks
Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand

I stumbled upon the above quote last week.

Well, it came up on my facebook feed – shared by a wonderful teacher I know. And it really made me think.

I live in a small town and work closely with one other colleague who teaches the same subject I do. What do I do when the answer isn’t in the room with me? What do I do when I don’t understand a concept?… Visit the author's original post

Bozena Kraj: In Nature’s Footsteps with Project Based Learning

by Bozena Kraj
Expert Educator Columnist, Poland

Project Based Learning connected with botany seems to be a kind of a school adventure, which opens our eyes to what is around us, or let us discover even what is hidden deep inside the school world of science: unrecognizable beauty of biological phenomena. We cannot experience that without great emotions of joy, and such moments stay in our memory forever. I cannot refrain myself from quoting Sir Joseph Paxton, a British MP, a gardener and an architect who wrote “If we range through the whole territory of nature […], we shall not find a more refined or purer source of amusement, or a more interesting and unfailing subject for recreation, than that which the observation and examination of the structure, affinities, and habits of plants afford.Visit the author's original post

Marija Petreska: Dear Reader- I Won!

by Marija Petreska
Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia

And here is why:
1. Round Up the Usual Suspects

Aim: past simple and past continuous
Level: pre-intermediate, intermediate
Time: 15-20 minutes

Preparation: Create collaborative OneNote Detective book, download Camscanner and Toca Hair Salon Me or this wWindows 8 Toca Salon app
Create a OneNote collaborative detective notebook. Have a section for each criminal case you are about to investigate and a different page for each witness questioned signed by all the detectives working on the case.… Visit the author's original post

Karina Batat: Office 365- Our Way of Life

by Karina Batat
Expert Educator Columnist, Israel

In the previous post, I shared with you how we got to the idea of integrating Office 365 as our virtual learning environment, the benefits and the way we’ve chosen to implement the environment in school. In this post, we will talk about virtual learning environments in Office 365. We will see how they promote meaningful learning and many 21-Century learning skills.

From my experience VLE motivate teachers and students, as well. In my school, I developed our first VLE in Office 365 for my Global Project: “Trees Please!” and started to work on it with Lea Tziofiof, the Science teacher.… Visit the author's original post

Shiroma Weerathunge: Global Teacher Friends

by Shiroma Weerathunge
Expert Educator Columnist, Sri Lanka

It is not easy to have global friends around the world for each person in their life time. But as Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators (MIEEs) in the world we could have to get that great opportunity as the great Microsoft Cooperation. The Microsoft Cooperation has built this great bridge to connect the educators in the world.

“Who can connect together the educators in many schools in the world?”

“Who can create the friendship among the educators in the world?”

Yes.… Visit the author's original post

Troy Thomson: Wanting to be a Highly Accomplished Teacher? Change Learning Through 21CLD

by Troy Thomson
Expert Educator Columnist, Australia

Which one are you – the sage on the stage or the guide on the side. In fact, why can’t you be both? I would contend that a highly accomplished teacher would be – they just know when to switch between the two. Furthermore, I would go as far as to say that the highly accomplished teacher should be explicitly directing ‘whole class’ learning for no more than 20% of the time. The remaining time, students should be engaged in inquiry, project based or discovery learning.… Visit the author's original post

Paulina Hernandez: Engage Your Students Through Animation!

by Paulina Hernandez
Expert Educator Columnist, Mexico

Today I’d like to tell you about the use of animation as a learning method in education.

In recent school years I have been working with projects where animation is concern. I have learned with my students about all the good work that it takes, so today I can say that it is an excellent method of learning that goes along with the use of ICT.

Why it is an excellent method for learning?… Visit the author's original post

Tammy Dunbar: Enhancing Reading With Technology!

by Tammy Dunbar
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

teachergeekIn a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

My husband and I used to read to our two children every night until they were almost out of high school. … Visit the author's original post

Puji Lestari: Improve Pronunciation of the English Language Through the Speak Cell

by Puji Lestari
Expert Educator Columnist, Indonesia

English in the State of Indonesia became one of the local subjects. But there are problems in implementation. As an Indonesian citizen who daily use the Indonesian language is even more likely to use the local language difficulties in pronunciation of foreign languages. Microsoft provides us with the presence of solutions to the Bing Translator which uses internet access. This is a good news. However, in some circumstances the facility could not be used because of several factors.… Visit the author's original post

Shafaque Riaz: Learning Happens in Every Problem-Solving Experience

by Shafaque Riaz
Expert Educator Columnist, UAE

This time focus of my post is that how game design naturally supports learning. For me, learning is something that happens across every context that you’re in. Each time you’re involved in a particular form of problem solving whether it’s easy or hard, you’re engaged in some form of learning. Now a days the modern games are designed with a provision of set of experiences assuming that learners are active constructors of meaning with their own drives, goals, and motivations.… Visit the author's original post

Teacher Marija: Mix a Tube and Sway It!

by Marija Petreska
Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia

Another Sway feature I simply adore alongside with Swaying tweets is Swaying YouTube videos. And I devote this blog post on tips and ideas how to mix some video lessons and sway them.

1. Lip Sync

There are a few short animated fims that I’ve been dying to share and just thought of how to create lesson plans with them. I’ll start with with Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty.

Not a very pleasant bedtime story, right?… Visit the author's original post

Ahmad Syairozi: Let’s Find the Fun of Pi!

by Ahmad Syairozi
Expert Educator Columnist, Indonesia

Pi is an irrational number, which is worth 3.14159 … Pi has a very long history, ranging from century BC until now many scientists are researching about Pi. One of them is Archimedes (287-212 BC), allegedly, when the Roman army would kill him, he is engrossed in solving math problems by doodling on the ground. He did not run but instead told the Roman army “do not disturb my circles!” Suppose he used to use OneNote sure we can know the question as to what he was thinking at the time.… Visit the author's original post

Bijal Damani: My Tips for Successful ICT Integration

by Bijal Damani
Expert Educator Columnist, India

Wishing a very happy new year to all!

I am Bijal Damani teaching Business to Grade 11-12 students at The Galaxy Education System, Rajkot – India. In my first blog, I am going to talk about four points of why and how teachers should embrace technology in their classroom.

During my 15 years of teaching-learning experience, following are my observations about effective integration of technology into classroom.

Your lesson plan still matters

Being pressurized to use the technology, many teachers start with the technology first.… Visit the author's original post

Julius Reyes: CineMATHLaya- A Fusion of Cinema, Mathematics and Freedom

By Julius Reyes
Expert Educator Columnist, Philippines


…. “Who cares?:”

…. “Not that, it’s so difficult.”

….”Not my type!”

…..”Can I have something else?”

These were the few thoughts I’ve heard even when I was in elementary. Mathematics became a nightmare to almost school children and even adults too during their schooling years.

But how can we live a life without loving it and embracing it. There is nothing to fear about learning Mathematics.

But, how we can break the stigma about it?… Visit the author's original post

Angeles Soriano: My 2015 Goals- Sharing, Collaborating, and Creating

by Angeles Soriano
Expert Educator Columnist, Spain

In a few days I will have the opportunity to see how a small idea that you comment via twitter with different people, (you don’t know personally), but who also believe that education can be improved with small actions, becomes a reality.

This group of teachers have planned a forum for discussion and dissemination about the ICT and education: @Xatac5

This Forum will use twitter as a communication tool to discuss a topic based on questions that are thrown to the audience to generate one hour debate.… Visit the author's original post