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Julie Hembree: Learning 21CLD Collaboration Skills Through Reading

by Julie Hemree Expert Educator Columnist, USA Sometimes the lessons of teamwork come from situations where you least expect it. Athletes who play team sports like football, soccer or baseball know that your team is only as strong as your weakest player. It takes a team to lose and it takes a team to win. On the other hand, a reading incentive program isn’t usually considered as a collaborative model. Battle of the Books however, it not your typical reading program, and has everything to do with authentic teamwork skills. The Oxford dictionary defines teamwork as the “combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.” Of all the 21st century learning design skills, I believe the ability to work effectively in a collaborative team rises above all others. In a traditional school, teachers most often assign students to complete individual tasks such as worksheets, reports or assignments for a singular grade in the gradebook. While this model has value, overuse of this style of instruction sets students up for failure in …

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! Troy was a very active participant in his previous school as part of the Microsoft Global Mentor School program and was certainly the no. 1 contributor within the YAMMER community established for this purpose. Troy took me on a tour of this beautiful gentrified, inner city private school on a slightly wet afternoon. …

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. DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) is the program of the Department of Education that aims to provide public schools with appropriate technologies that would enhance the teaching-learning process and meet the challenges of the 21st century. This program shall respond to the computer backlog of public schools by providing them hardware and software, and training on simple trouble shooting (DO No. 78, s. 2010).

Koen Timmers: Using Lync to Enable Blended Learning

by Koen Timmers Expert Educator Columnist, Belgium Fourteen years ago, I started my lesson by searching for chalk. Nowadays, I sip on my coffee and play a short fragment of Jimi Hendrix. Welcome to the world of distance learning! My school started a blended learning project, more than 5 years ago. My students are attending 50% of their lessons in the classroom and the rest at home. This miracle is enabled by some tools. Never heard of Lync? Microsoft Lync is a web conferencing tool which allows people to set up meetings, online workshops and even distance learning. By using screen, microphone and webcam, students and teacher can see and hear each other. Screen sharing allows students to pick up the information their teacher is sharing with them. Lync allows synchronous distance learning but it has more to offer. By recording lessons, ill or weaker students can catch up. The chat allows to share urls, or pieces of code. By setting up a whiteboard, teachers and students can use annotating tools to brainstorm, instruct or collaborate.

Champa Rathnayake: Need To Use Technology In The Classroom

by Champa Rathnayake Expert Educator Columnist, Sri Lanka Some decades ago, the teachers get their pupils to use slates to write on. As a pre-school child I used a slate with pencils, which made with slate too. Sometimes it made a screeching sound when it scratches the slate surface. Sand boards are still used to train students the shapes of letters and numbers, in the kindergarten and primary classes. The way that I used them as a pupil, is a memory I still cherish. Even though blackboards and chalk are still in use in our schools, they are gradually being replaced by whiteboards and marker pens. Many people talk about Interactive multimedia projectors and interactive whiteboards in the classroom as well. New computer labs and wireless network facilities are installed in schools. Students are provided with well-equipped classrooms comparing to those of two decades ago. Yet, the student in the present school is always subjected to criticize by the common elder, that student is not like the kid in our good old days. They use …

Andrew Howard: The Problem of Being a 21st Century Principal

by Andrew Howard Expert Educator Columnist, UK When I started teaching, a quarter of a century ago, the school I started teaching in had the most modern technology out – one black & white photocopier (only used by the Senior Management) & a couple old fashioned ‘Banda’ machines ( were the height of technology… the young people had all the problems of being young, without the overlay of technology – the biggest ‘complaint’ was that the house phone cord would not stretch enough for young people to have a private conversation with friends! To get a feel for my journey into teaching, please see my interview on Anthony Salcito’s blog, Daily Edventures; I am as passionate today (if not more so) about changing young people’s lives as I was 25 years ago!

Olalekan Adeeko: Did You Know?

by Olalekan Adeeko Expert Educator Columnist, Nigeria In today’s 21st century schools and classrooms, good ethics is an issue that needs serious attention. I couldn’t agree more with Aristotle– “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Olalekan Adeeko is my name, an ICT teacher/ registrar at Baptist Boys High School, Ogun State, Nigeria. Preparing the students of today for the challenges of tomorrow with the right 21st-century teaching and learning methods is what I stand for, and inculcating my students with a love of learning. “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil” C.S Lewis

Jamie Ewing: Education + Corporations + Standards + Change = Makers of Success

by Jamie Ewing Expert Educator Columnist, USA The proudest moment for any teacher is hearing the words my former student once told me, “[Technology] made me feel smart.” Then learning a year later, that student, who is in special education and an English Language Learner, has become more confident and is thriving in the 6th grade; performing at grade-level in math and above grade-level in reading. I don’t think you are gong to find many arguments against the basic idea that the state of education is ready for change. Change, in the truest sense of the word, is wanted, needed and happening. The arguments become heightened when you start to discuss how it is happening. Our students are falling behind not because there are too many high stake test, not using enough or using too much technology, that they come from high income or low income homes, or that their teachers is only being evaluated on test scores: they are falling behind because they are bored!

Student Spotlight: The Power of a Selfie

Hi, everyone! Anyone who’s worked with Millenials probably knows about their affinity for selfies. Turn the camera towards yourself, snap a picture, and admire. But who knew that it could be life-saving? Anaemia is a silent killer, affecting over two billion people worldwide — including 293 million children. The red blood cell deficiency, which accounts for an astounding 20 percent of all maternal deaths, can be difficult to detect – especially where access to healthcare is limited. But thinks to the Eyenaemia app, diagnosing this threat is as simple as taking a selfie. Eyenaemia is the winning 2014 Imagine Cup project and app, developed by Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah, two medical students from Australia. “Every single day in the hospital, we look at ways that we can actually improve things,” says Tang. “We just think, OK, we want to find any possible way that we can solve this problem.” And they did just that. Eyenaemia is an elegantly simple, non-invasive and easily accessible screening tool for anaemia that anyone with a mobile device can …