Tag Archives: always

New survey: What parents think about technology in the classroom |

As a former educator, I’ve always been conscious of the parent’s role – essentially as their child’s first teacher – and their unique, valuable perspective on learning. Parents remember the ways they were taught in school and often have valid questions and thoughts on the new ways children learn, and about the curriculum being taught.

With summer coming to an end and parents sending their children back to school, Microsoft wanted to understand how parents felt about technology in the classroom. What did they really think of the importance of learning digital skills? Microsoft Education partnered with YouGov and surveyed parents in the U.S. with children aged 18 and under and found most parents are hopeful about what technology will do for their kids. [Download the accompanying infographic here.]

Parents optimistic about technology

The survey asked parents how they felt about the role of technology in their child’s life as that child grows up. In reply, 60 percent said they felt “optimistic” or “hopeful.”

Understandably, parents felt differently about tech depending on where it’s being used. When asked about tech use between home and school, 63 percent of parents cited concerns about their kids spending too much time on devices at home, while 86 percent of parents believed tech in school – including computers and educational software – would be helpful to their child’s education.

When I was teaching I would often talk to parents about screen-content, not just screen-time, and whether the engagement with digital content was active (like creating an animation) or passive (viewing a movie). It’s encouraging seeing parents understand that, when used in the right way, technology can help prepare their children for the jobs of the future and help them succeed.

 

The importance of Computer Science and learning digital skills

Using technology to learn isn’t the only way to prepare children for the future, however. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, 52 percent of job growth by the year 2020 will be in the fields of computing and mathematics, which shows a great importance in teaching Computer Science and digital skills in classrooms today.

According to the survey, half (50 percent) of parents believed coding and computer programming to be the most beneficial subject to their child’s future employability.

Another promising result: Parents felt strongly about the positive role federal and state governments can play in ensuring their children are learning these subjects. The survey sample indicated strongly that parents would like to see increased government support to help schools build kids’ digital skills.

When asked about the technology industry’s involvement, 75 percent of parents said they believe big tech companies should be involved in helping schools build kids’ digital skills. Many companies, including Microsoft and organizations like Code.org, are working to do just that. Programs like TEALS, which is supported by Microsoft Philanthropies, pairs trained Computer Science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach the subject.

Tech tips for teachers this school year

With parents seeing the importance of their children learning with technology and being taught Computer Science, coding and digital skills, the survey points to good news for teachers who work every day to ensure the children in their classrooms are prepared for the future.

Teachers work incredibly hard to bring the best and most inspiring learning opportunities to their classrooms. We celebrate and thank them.

For those teachers just starting to explore the potential of Computer Science in their classroom, I’d recommend these three simple approaches:

  1. Open up the conversation with your students. What do they understand CS to mean? What jobs are unlocked with CS?
  2. Take a short course and get started in Computer Science.
  3. Get involved with the Hour of Code.

Happy teaching!

Survey methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3927 adults, of which 1011 were parents of children under 19. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd – 6th August 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults.

Use the new Activity Plans to organize your Skype in the Classroom experiences |

Skype in the Classroom has always been one of my favorite resources for engaging students in real-life, relevant learning experiences. I recently learned that using Skype in the Classroom has become even easier for teachers with the addition of FREE activity plans! These are activity plans written by educators for educators.

5 Reasons to get excited about the launch of these helpful new resources:

Teachers always have a long to-do list. Want to engage your students with a Skype in the Classroom experience but short on time? These activity plans will help make it happen! The plans are free and easy to download in just a few seconds. Each one includes objectives (GREAT to share with parents and administrators), activities to activate background knowledge, research, brainstorming, preparing students for the call, assessment, reflection and more.

  • Easy to adapt

Each activity plan can be followed step-by-step or easily adjusted to best fit your students’ needs. Once you download, each plan is fully editable, making any adjustments quick, seamless and easy. This is also a great way to save any changes after the Skype experience, so you will be able to remember how you adapted the lesson for the next time you use it with students.

  • Aligned to ISTE Standards

Not only are objectives listed for each activity, they are also aligned to ISTE standards. This is a nice way to keep the big picture in mind. It’s a valuable resource to share with students, parents, administrators and colleagues.

  • Help other teachers

Do you know other teachers who are curious about using Skype in the Classroom with their students but are unsure how or where to start? This handy resource will give them a step-by-step guide, including question prompts, research and assessment ideas, and more.

  • Deep(er) learning

Each activity plan includes ideas to launch the lesson, research, prepare students, reflect and assess. These ideas help teachers plan intentionally for each aspect of the learning experience and provide a framework of ideas for before, during and after the Skype experience.

Whether you are looking to launch a new school year with an exciting Skype call, planning for Skype experiences throughout the year, dreaming of Skype-a-Thon connections, or whatever your Skype in the Classroom goals may be, be sure to check out and download the free activity plans to support and enhance the experience for you and your students.

E3 2018: Gaming for Everyone, a Conversation with Phil Spencer – Xbox Wire

E3 is always an incredible time to come together to appreciate the breadth of creative energy that abounds in our industry and to celebrate what’s ahead for gamers. At this year’s E3 Coliseum series, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox sat down with Tina Summerford, Head of Programming at Xbox, to discuss Microsoft’s approach to gaming, his perspective on E3 and to hear why the industry has a responsibility to make gaming for everyone.

Other topics discussed during the panel were the unique games Xbox is looking to bring to the ID@Xbox program, insight into the creation of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, from matching thematic elements to creating an engaging experience, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The discussion also included insights from Phil on his conversations about gaming with CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, his appreciation of and participation in the gaming community. Spencer also took a variety of questions from the audience, ranging on bringing more games to Xbox created by Japanese developers and growing the Women and Gaming initiative.

You can watch the full interview with Phil Spencer above from the E3 Coliseum.

E3 2018: Gaming for Everyone, a Conversation with Phil Spencer – Xbox Wire

E3 is always an incredible time to come together to appreciate the breadth of creative energy that abounds in our industry and to celebrate what’s ahead for gamers. At this year’s E3 Coliseum series, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox sat down with Tina Summerford, Head of Programming at Xbox, to discuss Microsoft’s approach to gaming, his perspective on E3 and to hear why the industry has a responsibility to make gaming for everyone.

Other topics discussed during the panel were the unique games Xbox is looking to bring to the ID@Xbox program, insight into the creation of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, from matching thematic elements to creating an engaging experience, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The discussion also included insights from Phil on his conversations about gaming with CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, his appreciation of and participation in the gaming community. Spencer also took a variety of questions from the audience, ranging on bringing more games to Xbox created by Japanese developers and growing the Women and Gaming initiative.

You can watch the full interview with Phil Spencer above from the E3 Coliseum.

Proposed Microsoft-GitHub buy confirms open source role in cloud

Microsoft has not always been about the developer. That is just its roots. At a time when software development was limited to people with access to mainframes, the company forged its early fortune on the backs of easily available developer tools.

Some would say the developer focus dimmed at Microsoft with the departure of co-founder Bill Gates — one of the most exemplary programmer nerds there ever was. With the ascendancy of Satya Nadella to CEO in 2014, the developer’s song is being heard again. And it’s being heard particularly loudly now, as Microsoft-GitHub nuptials loom; last week, the company agreed to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock.

Microsoft is a well-established commercial presence. Its status with open source is less established, despite its much-reported cuddle-up to Linux. Because it has often been aggressive in pushing its own standards, its proposed acquisition of GitHub has naturally been met with rumblings of concern.

Satya Nadella, CEO of MicrosoftSatya Nadella

However, the Microsoft-GitHub pairing should not be unexpected, according to Warner Chaves, a long-time Microsoft data developer and principal consultant at technical services provider Pythian, based in Ottawa.

“People have strong memories of the anti-open-source Microsoft, but the fact is that Microsoft is the corporation with the largest number of [GitHub] open source contributors,” Chaves said. “It wants to keep attracting this type of developer to Azure as part of the ongoing war for cloud market share.”

‘Doubling down’ on open source

People have strong memories of the anti-open-source Microsoft, but the fact is that Microsoft is the corporation with the largest number of [GitHub] open source contributors.
Warner Chavesprincipal consultant at Pythian

If nothing else, the GitHub move confirms developers are foremost again at Microsoft and elsewhere. Data professionals don’t really need to be told that is the case. All the hallmark technologies of big data — NoSQL databases and machine learning, as well as Apache Hadoop and all its friends and family — have been driven by developers. Hadoop and its ilk have returned the developer role to prominence in decisions about data architecture — something they hadn’t enjoyed since the early days of the relational database.

In fact, GitHub has been home to important open source projects — many of the big data variety. As many as 1,500 Apache projects and over 500 Eclipse projects are hosted on GitHub. Much of the new machine learning activity reposes on GitHub, not the least of which is TensorFlow — the library of tools open-sourced by Google in 2015.

Merv Adrian, GartnerMerv Adrian

In recent years, the Microsoft Azure cloud has driven more openness in APIs at the company. Apache Hadoop, Hive and Spark are notable cases of open source support on the Azure cloud. The reality is, if Microsoft does not have a heaping helping of open source software on Azure, its cloud could lag in overall developer support. Buying GitHub means the company is “doubling down on open source,” said Gartner analyst Merv Adrian.

Microsoft’s move is “consistent with the need to attract developers to the Azure platform,” Adrian wrote in a blog post on the GitHub purchase. He said the company could increase the connection between GitHub and Azure, but noted its vow to maintain the openness of any such connection.

Home is where the GitHub is

Microsoft could very well be a good home for GitHub, according to Ian Skerrett, a technology marketing consultant and former Eclipse Foundation executive.

“Microsoft definitely understands developers and will be able to help push GitHub into the enterprise development world,” Skerrett said.

Still, open source is very much about choices, and the fact that so many of those choices came to reside on GitHub may give pause, Skerrett indicated.

“GitHub has a near monopoly on open source project hosting,” he said. “There aren’t many alternatives, and this is a problem.” Skerrett added that he hoped one side effect of this blockbuster purchase is competition will arise for GitHub.

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

Selling my trusty 980Ti, which has always served me well. No issues and never used for mining, only gaming.

Comes with the original box but I no longer have the accessories / paperwork.

Looking for £320 delivered or can be picked up in SW18.

Price and currency: £320
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

Selling my trusty 980Ti, which has always served me well. No issues and never used for mining, only gaming.

Comes with the original box but I no longer have the accessories / paperwork.

Looking for £320 delivered or can be picked up in SW18.

Price and currency: £320
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

Selling my trusty 980Ti, which has always served me well. No issues and never used for mining, only gaming.

Comes with the original box but I no longer have the accessories / paperwork.

Looking for £320 delivered or can be picked up in SW18.

Price and currency: £320
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

Selling my trusty 980Ti, which has always served me well. No issues and never used for mining, only gaming.

Comes with the original box but I no longer have the accessories / paperwork.

Looking for £320 delivered or can be picked up in SW18.

Price and currency: £320
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+

Selling my trusty 980Ti, which has always served me well. No issues and never used for mining, only gaming.

Comes with the original box but I no longer have the accessories / paperwork.

Looking for £320 delivered or can be picked up in SW18.

Price and currency: £320
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference…

EVGA GTX 980Ti SC ACX 2.0+