Tag Archives: People

“Our students need to find their place in this new digital environment and be ready for the new challenges.” – Stefan Malter, Germany 

Stefan Malter
University Lecturer/Chief Editor
Technical University of Dortmund/nrwision – TV learning channel
Dortmund, Germany

Before becoming a university lecturer, Stefan Malter worked as a television journalist. But he always felt the need to give something back, to offer his knowledge to those who might appreciate his experience.

“When I got the chance to become a media trainer and give workshops as a second job, it felt like two worlds merging: my professional creative and productive urge on the one hand – and my purpose to teach and educate future journalists and interested citizens on the other,” Malter shares with us.… Visit the author's original post

“Attention schools around the country: it is crucial that you redefine what you consider to be your CORE subjects. Computer Science and programming must be an integral part of education at all levels.” – Doug Bergman, USA   

Doug Bergman
Computer Science Department Chair
Porter-Gaud School
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Doug Bergman has contributed to Daily Edventures numerous times since we launched the blog in 2012, and while he always has something new to say, his overall message hasn’t changed. Computer science, Bergman says, deserves an important place in education.

“We need people who are not afraid to dive deep into technology,” Bergman says. “Gone are the days where those people are the nerds — in the decades to come, those people will be the leaders.… Visit the author's original post

“I created an online course for Serbian teachers where I teach them about 21st century skills, and how to use Microsoft products such as OneNote, Photosynth, Photo story, etc. This encourages collaboration, and develops creativity and critical thinking.” – Jugoslava Lulic

Jugoslava Lulic

Teacher, Serbia

“As a teachers’ trainer I realized that, despite domination of the traditional way of teaching in most schools in Serbia, teachers are aware of the 21st century demands and ready for the challenges of using various methods and tools for communication and collaboration with today’s digital generation of students. So, I created an online course for Serbian teachers where I teach them about 21st century skills, and how to use Microsoft products such as OneNote, Photosynth, Photo story, etc.… 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

“One of the best things about the Flipped Class model is that it came from teachers and not from some sort of top-down professional development strategy. Teachers need to be brought to the table in all education reform. ” – Jonathan Bergmann Pioneer of the Flipped Class Movement, Illinois

Jonathan Bergmann Pioneer of the Flipped Class Movement
Illinois, USA

One of the best things about the Flipped Class model is that it came from teachers and not from some sort of top-down professional development strategy. Teachers need to be brought to the table in all education reform. Too much education reform has been done to teachers instead of by teachers. We need more educational reform to come from the teachers in the trenches.” To learn more about how to flip your classroom, check out Bergmann’s blog, or connect with him through his Educator Profile.Visit the author's original post

“My students have always seen the problems in the world, but now we are concentrating on looking beyond the problem to the solution.” – Valerie Anglemyer, USA 

Valerie Anglemyer
Instructional Coach and Seventh Grade Humanities Teacher
NorthWood Middle School, Wa-Nee Community Schools
Wakarusa, Indiana, USA

 When it comes to leading school transformations, empowerment is one of the key ingredients to success. For Valerie Anglemyer, a 2014 Indiana Excellence in Education award winner and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (for the third year), empowering her students has sparked not only an appreciation for the world beyond their four walls, but also an entirely new way to learn.

Last year, Anglemyer and her co-teacher, Steve Bowser, created an inquiry-based pilot class titled Humanities — a combination of Social Studies and Language Arts — with a concentration on connecting the two subject areas.Visit the author's original post

Making technology work for every type of student – Josh Davis, USA

As an instructional technology coach, Josh Davis is not only among the first to try out new technology at his school, he also gets to experience the initial excitement from both teachers and students when they get to try something they’ve never seen before.

A 17-year veteran in his school district – 15 years as a middle school history teacher, two in his current role – he’s seen a lot of change. And school transformation is a big one.

His advice for a successful whole-school transformation plan?… Visit the author's original post

“The first year that I led the Hour of Code in my classroom, I realized that students in my school were missing out on something that could really impact their future.”

Nancy Stevens
Business and Information Technology Teacher
First Flight High School
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, USA

Bringing computer science to the classroom: One teacher’s quest

“The first year that I led the Hour of Code in my classroom, I realized that students in my school were missing out on something that could really impact their future. My school did not have any computer science courses, but I could see that students were interested. I’ve spent over 20 years teaching ‘information technology’ — mostly application software — and I realized that I could do something about the lack of computer science offerings.… 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.

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?
Visit the author's original post

“Critical thinking is one of the pillars of our program and in my opinion the most needed skill to be successful in today’s world.  If you have true critical thinking skills you have the ability to analyze and acquire anything else you will need.  It’s also a skill that is almost completely left out of the education systems in most of the developing world.”

Corey Johnson Executive Director, Imagine Scholar Kamhlushwa, MP, South Africa @ImagineScholar

“Critical thinking is one of the pillars of our program and in my opinion the most needed skill to be successful in today’s world.  If you have true critical thinking skills you have the ability to analyze and acquire anything else you will need.  It’s also a skill that is almost completely left out of the education systems in most of the developing world.”

Corey Johnson is executive director with Imagine Scholar, based in rural Mpumalanga, South Africa.Visit the author's original post

“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

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

“Embrace the intimidation. Nobody among today’s adults is an expert at computer science; it is a field of self-learners.”

Hadi Partovi CEO and Founder, Code.org Seattle, Washington, USA @hadip

Embrace the intimidation. Nobody among today’s adults is an expert at computer science; it is a field of self-learners. So, entering a classroom trying to teach a field that you’re not an expert at is expected. In fact, modeling your own learning is one way you can show your kids that this is how you learn. You don’t just get lectured and taught something by know-it-all experts. You, as a teacher, learn alongside your students.… Visit the author's original post

“The moment when I really felt proud to be an educator was when my class and I Skyped with the ocean explorer Fabian Cousteau while he was 63 feet below the surface of the ocean, on Mission 31.”

Skype Master Teacher, MIE Expert, MIE Teacher Trainer, TEDxNiš speaker Niš, Serbia @teacherka

 “The moment when I really felt proud to be an educator was when my class and I Skyped with the ocean explorer Fabian Cousteau while he was 63 feet below the surface of the ocean, on Mission 31. We got the unique opportunity to learn about and see the inside of the world’s only underwater laboratory, which is also used by NASA as a training spot for astronauts.… Visit the author's original post

“Sometimes we make a huge difference when we don’t even know about it and, at the end of the day, students of all ages just want to know that they matter and that they can find a place in your classroom and the world around them.” – Scott Bricker, USA 

Scott Bricker
Director of Educational Technology
Santa Margarita Catholic High School
Rancho Santa Margarita, California, USA

When Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Scott Bricker was named Director of Educational Technology at Santa Margarita Catholic High School (SMCHS) in 2013, he knew he had a big job ahead of him: leading the full implementation of the school’s 1:1 tablet PC program.

After first distributing devices to faculty during the ‘13- ‘14 school year, all 1725 students received tablets during the summer of 2014, and the school rolled out Office365, OneNote and other Microsoft tools.… Visit the author's original post

The updated Microsoft Educator Community: A journey to personalization

The updated Microsoft Educator Community launching this month reflects the insights of educators around the globe and months of hard work. It’s also more functional, more engaging, and perhaps most important — according to team lead Dr. Iris Yuster — more personal.

Yuster, a user experience (UX) expert who joined Microsoft last February after working on a slew of innovative apps and products, heads up the team responsible for the community’s redesign. Her background, while somewhat unconventional, made her uniquely qualified for the task.

Visit the author's original post

“The best opportunity for innovation will happen if we allow and expect innovation and personalization in every classroom by harnessing the power of teachers and students. I believe the ‘on the same page’ movement can stifle innovation and in fact, is stifling it. Learning should be personal and powerful and push every student to reach a little further. It isn’t a ‘no child left behind’ world but should be an ‘every child move ahead’ scenario.”

Vicki Davis


Westwood Schools Camilla, Georgia, USA Read more from Vicki Davis, at her “Cool Cat Teacher” blog, including her 163 Cool Tools for Schools Handout.

About Vicki Davis

  • Education background: BS in Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, first in class and named “outstanding management major”, teaching assistant and research assistant, President of Executive Round Table. Since my curriculum director convinced me that my destiny was in teaching, I’ve taken over 150 hours of education courses.
  • Person who inspires me most: My husband, Kip Davis.
Visit the author's original post

“It is crucial that all children have access to high-quality pre-school and kindergarten programs—the earlier the better.” – Devon Caldwell, Canada

When we first talked with Devon Caldwell back in 2013, she shared her collaboration with first-grade teacher Leah Obach. Caldwell and Obach’s two classes are “partner classrooms,” Skyping, video Kinecting, and collaborating together regularly. Today, their partnership continues, strong as ever, but with some new twists and activities.

“I trained as a yoga teacher last year and now integrate yoga and mindfulness practices into my kindergarten program,” says Caldwell. “Leah Obach was eager to make yoga part of her Grade 1 program, and it made sense for our two classrooms to connect via Skype for weekly yoga practices together.… Visit the author's original post

Technology takes French class to the next level – Myria Mallette, Canada

At first glance, using technology in French class may not seem like a natural fit. But for Myria Mallette, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) who has been teaching French for seven years, it’s the best way she knows to get students communicating and interacting in French with growing confidence.

“[Technology] provides engaging and personal experiences when it comes to learning new words and expressions needed in the target language,” says Mallette. “Students can work at their own pace, we can draw easily off of their interests, and they can easily work from home and share their progress with their parents.”

Mallette’s students have the opportunity to connect with real-world audiences via platforms such as Skype, Twitter or blogging.… Visit the author's original post

“Educational technology is now more about pedagogy first and then choosing the appropriate tool(s) for the job.” – Kathy Schrock, USA

As an independent educational technologist with more than 20 years in the field, Kathy Schrock has experienced first-hand how technology has transformed education — not only by engaging students, but by helping teachers manage their classrooms. Today, Schrock is helping fellow educators do the same.

When she isn’t teaching at Wilkes University, Schrock travels both nationally and internationally to conduct workshops and presentations that demonstrate how technology can support classroom instruction. She also blogs about her insights on Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch, a platform that offers an “informal gathering place” for readers who want to learn the latest developments in education technology.… Visit the author's original post

“You can build upon [your] power by believing in yourself, your skills and the value these skills can bring to the education system and your students.” – Cynthia Gozzard, Canada

Professional development is a requirement for educators, and there is no shortage of great on-line and person options to get it done. For some educators, though, professional development isn’t just something they have to do – it’s a way of life. Microsoft Innovate Educator Expert Cynthia Gozzard is one of those teachers.

After reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which discusses the need to set personal learning goals 18 months at a time, Gozzard was inspired.… Visit the author's original post

“How do schools prepare for this diversity? I believe it is through quality leadership that builds a culture from within.” – Fiona Forbes, Australia

In today’s fast-changing education environment, principals must not only provide day-to-day leadership for their teachers and schools, they must also drive whole-school transformation. As the Microsoft in Education team prepares to attend the annual meeting of the International Confederation of Principals in Perth, Australia next week, we’re excited to highlight the work of its President-elect, Fiona Forbes.

Forbes has worked in the early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and special education fields for 25 years, and for the past 14 years has been the principal of a unique special school that caters to early childhood students with language disorders.… Visit the author's original post

“I see technology as a great tool that can be a difference-maker, a gap-bridger, a motivator, an enabler, a voice, a problem-solver, and more. There is always more to learn, create and share.” – Dean Vendramin, Canada

Dean Vendramin always knew he wanted to be a teacher. And after nearly 20 years in the classroom, he’s as motivated as ever.

“I have been fortunate to experience amazing moments in my career,” Vendramin says. “And what some may see as ‘simple’ moments still define what I am most proud of. That look in someone’s eye when they ‘get it’ still motivates me.”

Vendramin, who received a Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award, has been recognized locally, provincially, nationally and, with his Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) designation, globally.… Visit the author's original post

“My hope is for students to realize they are agents of change now. They do not have to wait to become adults or start their careers to evoke positive change in their communities, schools and even in the world.” – Vickie Morgado, Canada

Vickie Morgado knows that connecting students to the world is one of the most important things any teacher can do. But for this veteran teacher with more than 15 years of classroom experience, connecting to other educators is just as critical.

“One of the best pieces of technology and innovation is being able to connect globally with educators all over the world,” Morgado tells us. One way she does this is through Skype and CHAT (Care and Hope through the Adoption of Technology) to the Future, a Canadian charity founded by teachers in 2011 to bring together sustainable development, global citizenship and social entrepreneurship in classrooms.… Visit the author's original post

“Technology allows us to teach students where they are.” – Alfred Thompson, USA

Alfred Thompson considers himself a “computer science education activist,” helping young people make the world a better place through software. 

A high school computer science teacher, Thompson got into teaching almost by accident. “I worked in the computer industry for a number of years before being laid off from my job,” he says. “A principal I knew asked me to be a last-minute replacement for an elementary school computer teacher who quit just before school started.”

Thompson figured he’d teach while he decided what to do next.… Visit the author's original post

“My biggest hope through these shifts in education is that students feel respected and empowered to pursue their passions and learn how to be lifelong learners.” – Wendy Loewenstein, USA

For Dr. Wendy Loewenstein, innovative education is all about giving students the freedom to learn in the way that suits them best. And as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer who facilitated the MIE program for her entire district, she has a great many tools to do that.

Lowenstein is the new director of Omaha’s first K-8 virtual school, responsible for the curriculum, instruction and assessment of both staff and students. It’s an environment that should prove to be a perfect fit for her student-first educational approach.… Visit the author's original post

Pioneering project-based learning in Tennessee – Brent Thrasher, USA

Brent Thrasher first started to consider a career in education during high-school. A frequent volunteer to help his peers with homework, Thrasher was often complimented on his ability to reteach content. He found it very rewarding to help others and to share in their success. And like many educators we profile on Daily Edventures, Thrasher didn’t have to go far for inspiration.

“My Advanced Biology teacher, Mr. Pat Grimes, could be credited with planting the idea of becoming an educator in my mind,” says Grimes.… Visit the author's original post

“I am excited for the day when high schools look more like K-2nd grade, where it is difficult to determine if they are learning English, or Math and Science, or character development, or skill development.” – Ian Fogarty, Canada

As a multidisciplinary science teacher, you’d expect Ian Fogarty to be passionate about technology – and he is. But it’s Fogarty’s passion for how tech can transform his students’ lives that sets him apart.

His innovative Xenotransplant project, presented at Microsoft in Education’s Cape Town Global Forum a few years ago, combined the science of viruses, HIV-AIDS and organ transplant with economics, political science, cultural studies, graphic and media studies and ethics.

“Students created a political party and wrote a bill in both our official languages,” Fogarty explains.… Visit the author's original post

From typist to Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – MaryJo Slater, USA

Without a doubt, technology changes quickly. Just ask MaryJo Slater, who first took the technology plunge in 1989 and has never looked back.

“The Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) asked me to join them for a short term because the catalog was going to desktop publishing and the college needed the entire college catalog typed over using Word,” Slater tells us. “I agreed, and showed up to the campus. There was a computer on the desk. I asked what it was.… Visit the author's original post

“Effective instruction from a passionate and dedicated teacher is the single most critical factor in student success.” – Stepan Mekhitarian, USA

As immigrants fleeing war-torn Lebanon, Stepan Mekhitarian’s parents knew that education was the key to helping their son achieve his dreams – whatever they happened to be. After working in public accounting post-graduation, that belief in the power of education ultimately drew Mekihitarian to teaching.

“I came to the realization that it was education that had given me the opportunity to pursue my aspirations,” Mekhitarian says, “and I made a commitment to help others find the freedom to shape their destiny.”

Mekhitarian, who has both taught secondary school and served as a middle- and high-school administrator, now makes his contributions as a blended learning coordinator.… Visit the author's original post

A flipped approach to better teaching, and a better school – Jon Tait, United Kingdom

“Education is still caught in a bit of a time warp,” says Jon Tait. “Our children are able to learn how to build, how to create, how to construct and design villages, towns and whole cities on things like Minecraft. They are able to communicate and collaborate with students on the same street, in the same town and across the world via things like xBox Live. Yet as teachers, it saddens me that we still, in so many classrooms, bring our students in and say, ‘Put that technology aside.… Visit the author's original post