All posts tagged: Featured

Mark Sparvell: School Dinners, Ancient buildings and Innovation

by Mark Sparvell Microsoft in Education Showcase Schools Program Hello fellow education adventurers! Date: January 2015 Location: Broadclyst Community Primary School Exeter, UK, EX5 3JG Distance from home:  Redmond, USA to Devon, UK is 4732.589 miles Continuing my journey across the globe , capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators and the leaders of the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows. In its latest Ofsted Report, Broadclyst Primary School was rated as grade 1 (outstanding) . With an international reputation for the use of ICT….but what is it really like? I decided to take a plane from London City Airport and taxi ride along the narrow lanes to see for myself.

Nam Ngo Thanh: Limitless Creativity with Animation Project

by Nam Ngo Thanh Expert Educator Columnist, Vietnam What do your students think about History and Literature? Do they like it or not? Those subjects are really important in education, but how would you make it interesting to students? According to my survey, the group of student was not really interested in History and Literature. They claimed that both History and Literature are not attractive enough for them.  In my opinion, these subjects are very important for their lives. Teachers should find different ways to teach these subjects. I would like to share with you some good ways we are using in my school “VIETNAM AUSTRALIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL” about making those two subjects much more interesting. If your students just listening your talk, they will be boring fast. But, if you allow them to involve in discussion, and ask them to do some practice work, it will help them remember knowledge easily and learning will become fun. Thus, we conducted for our student to do cartoon animation project related to the History, Literature, Arts and Information Technology subjects.  Two projects we have conducted successfully were “When the ocean was the confronted by an olive tree” – the story about the birth of Athens in Greek mythology – …

Bridget Crooks: Creating a Student Technical Team

by Bridget Crooks Expert Educator Columnist, New Zealand I am a great believer in collaboration and co-construction. As a teacher I am only one part of the education equation. So, when our school was undertaking the change to WiFi and byod, it seemed axiomatic that we should share some of the leadership with the students. It took a bit of searching to find out what form this would take – but we settled on a team of student experts – who would bridge the gap between the staff and the student body. I was looking for a group of I.T Ninjas. Students who were users of technology, students who were able to work with others and students who were keen to give something back to the school. These students would be part of the communication in regards to the technical direction of the school – the student voice that is so important in 21st century education. The Application Process and Selection I started the process six months before the roll out of the WiFi and …

Angels Soriano: Creativity & OneNote- Tracking the Creative Process

by Angels Soriano Expert Educator Columnist, Spain Many of us use OneNote to encourage collaboration, teamwork, and self-regulation when it comes to projects, or even to promote creativity in students learning. The most beautiful word is creativity… Creativity at school that Sir Ken Robinson tells us about (which envy who has been able to listen to him live, must be pure energy!). During these last two months (December and January) in my language and literature class, we have been evaluating the reading process: We could have made an oral presentation, or a small essay on the opinion that they expressed their book, but why not go one step further and encourage them to make a video overview (book trailer) as an element of creating content from reading?. In this way we could develop different skills such as creativity, collaborative work and the use of ICTs; offering them the possibility to demonstrate their participation and the empowerment of their learning. Sharing OneNote through Office365 platform enables students to work autonomously through different phases of the project …

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. This post is a step by step guide how to create your own clip art and background paper, how to connect it all in a story on a slide, how to merge the slides into an infographic and make it an interactive one. Step 1 Creating Handmade Clip Art The one thing you need to be skillful with is the edit shape button

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. I think one reason why females have not been attracted to Computer Science is because it is oftentimes seen as an all-boys club. What girl wants to be the only one on the class? I can see that. And traditionally, for whatever reason, the public face for Computer Science has been seen as predominantly male. Although if we dive deeper, we find that females have played a significant part in getting us to where we are today—they just don’t …

Tammy Dunbar: Can I Sway You to Blog?

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Outdoor School (aka Science Camp) is an amazing experience for students in the fifth and sixth grades: hiking along redwood trails with banana slugs or tide pools with colorful sea anemones, learning about precious ecosystems, practicing teamwork in cabin groups and singing joyful campfire songs for five whole days. But the hardest part about convincing parents their students should participate in this incredible life-changing experience is the fact their students are gone for five whole days. One great solution to making parents comfortable enough to allow their students to attend Outdoor School is for the teacher going with the students to blog from camp. Most Outdoor Schools have wireless internet available (at least in the administration cabin), so all a teacher has to do is bring a camera and a computer (or just a smart phone) and spend a little time after lights out to post their blog and pictures. We just returned from five incredible days at San Joaquin Outdoor School in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains …

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. They can choose to use the software or webapp. They also get a quick guide. I share my OneNote document with 3 different classes. While I teach my students how to create a website, I paste screenshots in my OneNote document. Instead of drawing schemes on the blackboard, I draw them in the document. One section is called “collaboration”. My students can add wishes or comments, newly found sources or own written tutorials in this section. It’s wonderful to see this document and thus my courseware grow by the participation of my …

Kalpana Kishorekumar: Yammer- APPY Communication Approach for Organizations!

by Kalpana Kishorekumar Expert Educator Columnist, Brunei Let this article roll out in high fashion, as I expound my walk with Yammer- an appy communication approach for organizations! Day in and out, I have seen teachers in my school using Facebook when they are free. Who am I to complain? I use Facebook too, but what bothered me was: Why teachers use Facebook to send official messages? Why don’t they use their organizational email or just email? Is it the RIGHT communication channel for educational institutions? I wondered and piqued about it, for a while… Have you ever fantasized about social networks only for organizations? Will they be as popular as Facebook and Twitter? Questions whirled my mind… as usual I was lost in my own question bubble! When I asked this question loud and clear, the look I received from my colleagues was priceless, a look that proved that I am crazy… Good job, I had to profane myself! While working on my assignment on Educational Technology, I stumbled upon Yammer, I jumped as …

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 …