Category Archives: Project Based Learning

“Engaging students, whether K-12 or adult learners, in real life, inquiry-based problems empowers them to become the protagonists in their story.” – Miguel Guhlin, USA

Miguel Guhlin
Director of Professional Development
TCEA.org
Austin, Texas, USA
@mguhlin

Working with bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the small Texas town where President Lyndon Baines Johnson once taught transformed Miguel Guhlin’s views on education. But it was when Guhlin started sharing his teaching experiences with others that he truly found his calling.

“When I moved to East Texas, I began to write about what my students and I were doing, then share it online via the Texas Education Network (TENET),” Guhlin explains.… Visit the author's original post

“I thought I was alone in my ideas for greater understanding and access to technology.” – Linda Sydes, Australia

 

Linda Sydes
Year 5 Primary School Teacher
Meridan State College
Queensland, Australia

Linda Sydes’ favorite classroom activities let her students show their understanding of learning in a creative way – but how they do that is largely up to them.

“Many choose to use Minecraft,” Sydes says, citing a project where her students showed how Moreton Bay (near Brisbane, Queensland) has changed from pre-European settlement to convict times, and from the 1800s to today.

“Students built the first settler camps, the second fleet ships, soldiers barracks, and the Storey bridge,” Sydes explains.… Visit the author's original post

“Confining students behind desks will not work anymore in a technology classroom because that is not how engineers, designers, and other creative professionals work.” – Shepherd Simango, South Africa

Shepherd Simango
Design & Technology Teacher/Computer Applications Teacher
St. Stithians Girls’ College
Johannesburg, South Africa
@shex72

As a technology teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE), Shepherd Simango encourages his students to be explorative, especially when they are faced with a problem. For Simango and his students, mobile devices have proven to be invaluable.

“[Mobile devices] can be used for content creation using Office apps,” says Simango. “They can also be used as tools to capture and store data such as images and voice and video recordings.… Visit the author's original post

“Innovation is not trying something too strange and new. It is returning to your old places, using Microsoft tools to inspire students, making things more productive and organizing a better community.” – Tran Thi Thuy, Vietnam

Tran Thi Thuy
English Language Teacher, MIE Expert
Duc Hop Upper Secondary School
Hung Yen Province/Vietnam
@TdGreenhouse

Educators overcome obstacles every day to ensure their students get the best education possible. For Tran Thi Thuy, that meant bringing her own network connection to her rural Vietnam classroom. It also meant investing in her own career so that she could take her teaching to the next level.

In just one year, Tran completed courses in 21st Century Learning Design, Teaching with Technology, Teaching with Technology Basics and MIE Trainer Academy Learning Path through Microsoft in Education.… Visit the author's original post

“I thrive on promoting my students and their ideas. Microsoft in Education gave me and my students a voice. It gave my students validity, support, encouragement, and inspiration that was lacking in the most imminent way.” – Patricia Ragan Stokes, USA

Patricia Ragan Stokes
Business Teacher
Fayetteville-Manlius High School
Manlius, New York
@PatriciaRagan1

For MIE Expert Patricia Ragan Stokes, attending her first MIE event in 2012 was a career-defining experience.

“As a business teacher, my overriding mission is to get my students hired, promoted, or accepted into the college/career of their dreams,” she explains. “I was literally feeling like I was hitting dead ends as a teacher who wanted to push boundaries. That’s when I found out I was accepted to go to the forum, and that I would be competing with other educators from around the country.… Visit the author's original post

“We must break the mold. We must find ways to de-compartmentalize learning – change schedules, combine classes, stop teaching in ‘boxes’ of math, science, English, etc.  It is hard to break out from the norm and move beyond the comfort of what we know. But if we want to ensure a quality education for our students, we are going to have to find ways to move outside of our comfort zones and take risks.” – Kelli Etheredge

Kelli Etheredge
St. Paul’s Episcopal School
Mobile, Alabama
@ketheredge

Learn more about how Etheredge and her students use OneNote through her Educator Community learning activity here.  

About Kelli Etheredge

  • Educational background:Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Auburn University; Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law
  • Favorite book: Too many to list, but some of my favorites include A Tale of Two Cities; the Harry Potter series; The Count of Monte Cristo; Life and Death in Shanghai; A More Beautiful Question
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology:OneNote with a digitized device.
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“My vision in changing the paradigm of education was to combine teaching methods with the great possibilities of technology.” – João Carlos Ramalheiro

Photo of Joao Carlos

João Carlos Ramalheiro
Music Teacher, Founder/CEO of Insignio Labs, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Fellow
Lousã, Portugal

“I founded Insignia Labs with the goal to develop educational tools inspired by video games,” says João Carlos Ramalheiro. “We are not focused on making irresponsible profits. We want to fulfill our social and ecological responsibilities. What makes our water app so special? At the same time, we’re raising awareness about [water conservation], we are going to donate our sales to the Clearwater Project.”

João Carlos Ramalheiro and his team are developing a video game dedicated to the children of Ecuador and to the ClearWater Project.Visit the author's original post

Catapulting school students into space with Cuberider

If the idea of sending something into space on a rocket to the International Space Station seems like a far-out concept, you’d probably not be alone in your thinking.

However, two people passionate about space, science and technology have made this reality for over 1000 Australian high school students. In 2016, Solange Cunin and Sebastian Chaoui launched the Cuberider learning program with the aim of turning STEM into an  exciting, creative and highly collaborative exercise.  The program gives young students practice in the highly sought-after skills they’ll need for their future careers, such as coding, data analysis and critical thinking.… Visit the author's original post

Ormiston College STEM Day

There is no doubt that PBL (Problem or Project Based Learning) and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) has captured the current zeitgeist of contemporary learning around the globe.  There are many schools in Australia that have realised that they need to do something quickly to enable their students to have the skills and dispositions to survive and thrive when they leave their stretch of education.

One school that is leading the way in Australia is Ormiston College, also a Microsoft World Showcase School.  Visit the author's original post

Bringing diverse students together with technology — Classroom technology eases transition for refugees

Olivier Dijkmans
Elementary School Teacher
Stedelijke Basisschool Omnimundo
Antwerp, Belgium

Olivier Dijkmans’ school is on the front lines when it comes to adapting to a diverse student body, including many refugees who have never attended school, and don’t know how to read, calculate or write.

Olivier DijkmansOlivier, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, uses everything from green screens to Legos to engage his class that represents different lands of origin, different religions and different education levels.

“This is not an easy challenge,” Olivier tells us, “but it has to be taken, because good education is the key to success for the future of our community and society.… Visit the author's original post

“My experience working in the business world taught me the importance of thinking independently and solving problems using available resources. Preparing students to meet these same challenges requires teaching strong information literacy skills that will give them the ability to fight economic poverty, improve quality of life and increase opportunities.”


Educator
Tecumseh Vista Academy Department Head at Greater Essex County School Board
Ontario, Canada

@quagliaspace

Andre shares his Project Based Learning in Business Education lesson on his page on the Educator Community, and on his website, cloudoflearning.com. Check them out!Visit the author's original post

“Giving students the opportunity to connect with peers from all around the world and from different cultural backgrounds opens their eyes and minds. Skype in the Classroom, apart from practicing communication skills, takes learning outside of the classroom and provides authentic learning experiences!” 

Iro Stefopoulou Skype Master Teacher United Kingdom

Iro shares even more Skype in the Classroom tips, insights and projects on her Educator Community profile
To give your class a once-in-a-lifetime experience, be sure to sign up for Microsoft’s global Skype-a-Thon, November 29-30, 2016.

Skype-a-thon
About Iro Stefopoulou

  • Connect with Iro Stefopoulou on the Educator Community
  • Read Iro’s blog
  • Birthplace: Trikala, Greece
  • Educational background: BA English Language and Literature, MA in Education
  • Website I check every day: Edutopia, Microsoft Educator Network
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Skype, OneNote and Sway
  • What is the best advice you have ever received?
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“As an Innovative Educator, you not only get products and training, you get over-the-top support, celebration and inspiration, so I’m very excited about the future of the program.” – Suzy Lolley, USA

Suzy Lolley Instructional Technology Specialist, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
Cherokee County Schools, Acworth, Georgia, USA
@lolleytchr

For teachers settling in to a new school year, last June may feel like a distant memory. But the conversations we had with educators at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference over the summer provide some welcome back-to-school inspiration. Suzy Lolley was one of those educators, and we caught up with her as she attended ISTE for the very first time.

As a third-year Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Lolley is no stranger to innovating with technology.… Visit the author's original post

The day Microsoft’s CEO met ordinary kids doing extraordinary things from Sydney Secondary College

Satya Nadella meets with kids from Sydney Secondary College

By Pip Cleaves, head teacher, learning innovation, at Sydney Secondary College – Leichhardt Campus

Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus works hard at being future focused by experimenting with new ways to learn that encourage students to dream big. So when we heard we would meet Satya Nadella at the flagship Microsoft Store in Sydney, plenty of them said they were keen to show him what they’ve achieved. We asked students to showcase their ideas so we could decide on two groups to take to the store.… Visit the author's original post

Maker Movement pioneer offers sage advice to creative educators – Dale Dougherty, USA

As part of last month’s Hack the Classroom event, we heard from some true education innovators who have hacked learning spaces around the world to provide students with transformational learning experiences.

One of the innovators we were fortunate enough to hear from was Dale Dougherty. Dougherty, founder of MAKE Magazine and a Maker Faire pioneer, shared some fascinating insights on why – and how – the global Maker Movement has become so successful, so quickly.

“The Maker Movement is a platform for creative expression for adults and kids…it’s the community coming out to show what they’re doing,” Dougherty told me.… Visit the author's original post

Complimentary BBC Earth Enchanted Kingdom DVDs for Schools

Through Microsoft in Education's partnership with BBC Earth, we are pleased to be offering complimentary copies of the Enchanted Kingdom DVD to schools looking to create their own project based learning activities inspired by the film.

...(read more)Visit the author's original post

Passive users or critical thinkers? Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology

Passive users or critical thinkers?

Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology



Had enough with your students using their tablets or mobile devices to play games for non-thinking users? Project based learning with the aid of technology can be used creatively to stimulate students interest and develop their critical and creative thinking skills. This post is about activities and tools that can help students use their creative and critical abilities while learning.


A brief intro
Technology has often been accused of creating passive learners, who rely heavily on visuals and are used to a superficial approach to learning, rather than developing their creative and critical thinking skills.Visit the author's original post

Passive users or critical thinkers? Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology

Passive users or critical thinkers?

Developing critical and creative thinking skills with technology



Had enough with your students using their tablets or mobile devices to play games for non-thinking users? Project based learning with the aid of technology can be used creatively to stimulate students interest and develop their critical and creative thinking skills. This post is about activities and tools that can help students use their creative and critical abilities while learning.


A brief intro
Technology has often been accused of creating passive learners, who rely heavily on visuals and are used to a superficial approach to learning, rather than developing their creative and critical thinking skills.Visit the author's original post

Fundamentals of Deep Learning

Education is at a major turning point. This is a time when the educators have started to question their teaching and learning practices. Questions like ‘Am I able to teach my students the length and depth of the content and the learning taking place is deep learning?’ These deliberations often cross the minds of thoughtful educators. But the big question then arises, ‘what is deep learning and what does it involve?’

Let me begin by defining what is deep learning?

Deep learning involves critical analysis of ideas, linking them to already known concepts, principles and experiences, which lead to personal understanding and long-term retention.Visit the author's original post

Fundamentals of Deep Learning

Education is at a major turning point. This is a time when the educators have started to question their teaching and learning practices. Questions like ‘Am I able to teach my students the length and depth of the content and the learning taking place is deep learning?’ These deliberations often cross the minds of thoughtful educators. But the big question then arises, ‘what is deep learning and what does it involve?’

Let me begin by defining what is deep learning?

Deep learning involves critical analysis of ideas, linking them to already known concepts, principles and experiences, which lead to personal understanding and long-term retention.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

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

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

By Julius Reyes
Expert Educator Columnist, Philippines

“Mathematics?”

…. “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

Collaborative Feedback Using OneNote

Business students are now in the process of completing their final summative evaluations. Learners are using personal technology devices to encourage idea sharing and constructive feedback using familiar forms of mobile technology. My goal is to extend learning outside the traditional classroom.

mobile device with app

Introduction to Business (grade 9) and Entrepreneurship (grade 10) are the two current courses that will be using OneNote. The final summative evaluation (FSE) will require grade 9 students to design, build, and market a product. Grade 10 students must research and prepare a presentation in order to “pitch” a product or service to a panel of teacher judges.… Visit the author's original post

Collaborative Feedback Using OneNote

Business students are now in the process of completing their final summative evaluations. Learners are using personal technology devices to encourage idea sharing and constructive feedback using familiar forms of mobile technology. My goal is to extend learning outside the traditional classroom.

mobile device with app

Introduction to Business (grade 9) and Entrepreneurship (grade 10) are the two current courses that will be using OneNote. The final summative evaluation (FSE) will require grade 9 students to design, build, and market a product. Grade 10 students must research and prepare a presentation in order to “pitch” a product or service to a panel of teacher judges.… Visit the author's original post

Bozena Kraj: Project Based Learning and Curiosity – Practice Makes Perfect

by Bozena Kraj
Expert Educator Columnist, Poland

As a Polish teacher working for a school, which is called a gymnasium (students are 13 -16 years old), I really appreciate Project Based Learning. A few years ago, obligatory school educational projects were introduced to secondary schools in my country. The educational rule says a student has to do at least one registered project during his/her three years at gymnasium; however, it seems that what is obligatory does not look as attractive as a project which is voluntary.… Visit the author's original post

Sukmawati Rahmad: Project Based Learning- Evaluation and Improvement

by Sukmawati Rahmad Expert Educator Columnist, Indonesia Many teachers are still confused conducting Project Based Learning (PBL) in class. Many questions are asked? What is PBL? What materials or core competencies can run PBL? What should be prepared for running PBL? Is the time enough for running PBL in school? How do students get involved in PBL? What activities are in PBL? Actually, those questions had been my questions before I tried PBL myself. I applied PBL for the first time just by following my understanding.  … Visit the author's original post

Erliza Matacot: My Journey as a Teacher With Microsoft and Project-Based Learning

By Erliza Matacot
Expert Educator Columnist, Philippines

Change is constant. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “We must be the change we want to see in this world.” As a teacher, I know that I can make a difference in bringing my 21st century students in the right path of embracing the technology.

During the first year of my teaching in a private school, I noticed how dedicated I was as a teacher. I directed musical plays, I trained my students in different school level competitions, and also managed our campus journalism.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program

My experience with Microsoft based products has been extensive since my earlier career in the private I.T. sector. Since becoming an educator in 2005, my prior knowledge was invaluable as Microsoft operating systems and productivity software  comprised a large percentage of computing resources in the board.

I took a personal interest in cloud-based computing in the spring of 2013 when the GECDSB implemented SharePoint throughout the organization. As  a power user, I was provided an opportunity to participate in a SharePoint Power Users Portal project.… Visit the author's original post

Introducing and implementing innovation successfully

Introducing and implementing innovation successfully

A time of crisis and a time of opportunities...

Flying to Barcelona, on my way to the Microsoft Global Forum and can't help noticing my fellow passengers reading about the economic and social crisis that's spread globally like the Plague.  I bet most of them would raise their eyebrows in disbelief if they heard that a school from Greece - a country devastated by the austerity measures imposed in the past four years- is a World Tour, Mentor school, one of the 35 schools from all over the globe, chosen to share their best practices and pioneering spirit.
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