Category Archives: Teaching Tips Tools

This teacher’s getting her students to design their own games. Here’s how.

The Microsoft Innovation Educator (MIE) Expert program connects high-potential teachers across Australia – and from around the world – to share their vision and expertise in applying technology to the classroom. In the first of our MIE Expert profiles, we talk to Laura Bain of Springfield Anglican College about how she’s turned ICT into a vehicle for student creativity – and gotten parents sold on digital learning in the process.

Tell us a bit about your background, and where you feel technology can help students most.

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Making a difference – NSW Education and Office 365 changing school culture.

Making a difference - how NSW Education is changing school culture.

Drop in on any classroom in NSW and you’ll find that one in five students have a learning difficulty (ABS 2016). Some struggle to read small print on a white background, others need text to be read out loud. And for some, the physical act of writing is impossible.

To support these students, the NSW Department of Education is at the forefront of creating a vital change in school culture across the State.… Visit the author's original post

Eltham High rethinks teaching and learning with Surface Pro and cloud – 21st Century skills

Technology has taken learning from slate to paper to screen; from pencil to pen to stylus. Consequently, each generation of students should emerge with the skills and smarts to participate fully in the workforce of the day.

Victoria’s Eltham High School is keenly aware of the need to equip today’s students with 21st century skills, and understands that digital technologies and the cloud provide the platform that allows students to connect, collaborate and create both within and out of the classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Future-proofing and expanding students horizons at Toowoomba Christian College

Alison-JamesWe all have that one special teacher who we recall had a big impact on us, someone who helped shape our future through their dedication, encouragement and most of all, confidence in us when we were faltering.

One such mentor is Alison James, Specialist Computer Studies Teacher from Toowoomba Christian College in Queensland.  Founded in 1979, the school is a P-12 co-educational school with over 700 students.

Alison’s dedication, paired with her students hard work has recently seen 4 pupils from the school compete in the Queensland State Microsoft Office Specialist Championships.… Visit the author's original post

Find out What’s New in Microsoft EDU for May

What’s new in Microsoft Education for May?

We know educators and school leaders are always looking for the latest product updates to keep productivity, teaching, and learning maximised for their students. With that feedback in mind, we recently launched a Facebook Live video series with Teacher Ambassador Megan Townes, to recap key product and feature updates across all of the Microsoft Education communities and products, including Windows 10 devices, Office 365, Minecraft: Education Edition, Intune for Education, and more that our education customers can use every day.… Visit the author's original post

Are outdated computers reverting students to a prehistoric era?

Guest Post by Peter West, Director of eLearning, Saint Stephen’s College. Originally published at eSchool News.

3 reasons why there’s an increased need to get rid of keyboards and move to pen-based computers for today’s students.

If today’s educators continue to encourage the use of keyboards instead of digital ink and paper, they run the risk of being a ‘pager’ teacher in a smart phone world, holding on to a past that has outlived its usefulness and limits students’ cognitive potential…at least, that’s what human history and recent research is telling us.… Visit the author's original post

MIE Spotlight: Bringing Ancient History studies into the digital era

In this MIE Spotlight, we hear from Michael Cocks, Senior Ancient History Teacher at Toowoomba Grammar School


I am in my seventh year of teacher after a career in advertising. As a specialist in my teaching area, I love passing on my passion for History to my students. I find the subject area to be one of the most important in equipping students to be critical thinkers and to become engaged future citizens of the world.

I use digital solutions to meet the needs of my students, and other students around the world.… Visit the author's original post

Surface Book pivots sage on stage model and transforms learning experience

Digital technology in higher education is allowing the sage on stage to pivot; transforming the model used in lecture halls since mediaeval times.

Today’s students demand a more flexible blended learning environment, with the option of mixing face-to-face and online lectures and tutorials.

surface-roadshow_unswDr David Kellermann, lecturer in mechanical engineering at UNSW, is an education innovator with a deeply pragmatic streak. When the university signed up 470 students for a course he was teaching, in a lecture theatre with 320 seats, he had to quickly come up with a solution.… Visit the author's original post

Keeping focused with Admin Templates in OneNote

About a year a go I began working on a OneNote system to organise myself.

I wanted a system that worked on most of my devices, which included: 

  1. Phone (iOS), 
  2. Laptop (Surface Pro and later Surface Book), 
  3. Home laptop (MacBook Pro), 
  4. Department imaged Desktops (Windows 7 and Office 2010), and 
  5. Tablet (iPad Mini). 

I wanted a system that allowed me to create to do lists, and keep up with school day-to-day activities such as my timetable, weekly events etc. 

I had used page templates, and created my own in the past, so decided that I would trial some different set ups and see which worked the best. Visit the author's original post

Programmed for discovery

Guest post by Ian Fernée, Head of Computing Faculty / 1:1 eLearning Coordinator (Years 10 – 12) St. Patrick’s College Ballarat

I consider coding and the broader notion of computer education in schools to be a constructive means to teach the developing student a plethora of skills that are practical such as learning how to use software: advantageous for cognitive development such as knowledge construction, problem-solving, computational thinking and decision making, and beneficial for forming personal affective and dispositional attributes like self-regulation, resilience, collaboration and creativity.… Visit the author's original post

Utilising the power of OneNote and Surface to develop visual thinking skills

Guest post by Steve Brophy, Director of ICT & eLearning at Ivanhoe Grammar School.

In 2010, Sir Ken Robinson gave a speech titled “Changing Paradigms” at a Renaissance Society of America public event. As usual, Sir Ken was at his poetic best and his call for a redefinition of our current school model echoed throughout the world thanks to a broadcast on the TED network. As well as Sir Ken’s message, the talk was also famous for the introduction of the RSA Animate series.… Visit the author's original post

2017 Planning | Q&A Expert Tips


If you missed our 5-part #Back2SchoolHELP live webinar series last week, we have a full recap for you. The series aimed to help out our community of school teachers preparing for the new teaching year ahead of them. Educators joined the live Q&A sessions for expert teacher tips and tricks with the host, Megan Townes, a Microsoft NSW Teacher Ambassador.

In this post, we’ve compiled the most common #Back2SchoolHELP questions we received from teachers looking to set up collaborative and interactive classrooms in 2017.… Visit the author's original post

7 great ways to hit the ground running this school year

Guest post by Helen Gooch, Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer. Connect with Helen on the Educator Community. 

List of new students for your class. Check! 

Classroom arranged for optimal learning styles. Check! 

Bulletin boards done. Check! 

Now let’s discover seven great ways to hit the ground running this school year by getting your curriculum ready, getting to know your students, and helping your class get started with technology. 

By putting together some tools that will help you to deliver highly effective lessons, you will be set up for the year ahead and hit the ground running.Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Surface Vs Apple iPad in high school classrooms

In my role as a high school teacher, I have three devices from which to work: a laptop, an Apple iPad Air 2 and a Microsoft Surface Pro. Whilst the first two are supplied by my school, the Surface is something I have personally purchased.

Yet people wonder why I only ever use the Surface whilst the other two gather dust on my staffroom desk.


Short answer: because the Surface does everything a laptop and iPad do, and more.

Now, such questions usually arise from students who are surprised that I don’t love iPads as much as they do.Visit the author's original post

Cultural connections using Skype at Sheldon College

Which of these scenarios would engage, entice and enthral your students?  Reading about fossils found in the Australia, or taking part in a live video call with an archaeologist on site in the Western Australian outback as they unearth a 3.5-billion-year-old fossil?  

Even ancient protozoa can tell you the answer to that question.

Students at Sheldon College using Skype in the classroom

Students at Sheldon College using Skype in the classroom.

Skype in the Classroom is a global phenomenon.  Only last year, Microsoft Vice President – Worldwide Education, Anthony Salcito hosted a Microsoft Skype-a-Thon for 48 hours straight, traversing the globe in a way that only Skype in the Classroom can manage.  Visit the author's original post

John Paul College – Equipping technology confidence for the future

John Paul College in Queensland prides itself on delivering enhanced learning experiences for students and equipping them for the future.

The college has junior to senior levels of education, including Prep to year 12 levels with more than 2000 devices connected to the college network.

Currently the college uses these Microsoft products:

Windows 10 Education Edition

To fulfil its long-term STEM and digital transformation strategy, John Paul College extended its one-to-one program by rolling-out Windows 10 Education Edition across 1,600 student devices, giving teachers and students access to the latest education-ready Windows Store resources.Visit the author's original post