Tag Archives: classrooms

Connect with NYT best-selling authors Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver, and hundreds of writers for Skype in the Classroom’s Literacy Month |

Today is World Read Aloud Day, signaling the start of Skype in the Classroom’s month-long celebration of reading, writing and storytelling. We are proud to work with LitWorld and our global publishing partners, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Arbordale, Andersen Press, Candlewick and others to offer hundreds of free virtual visits from authors to classrooms. You can look up guest author information easily for Skype in the Classroom by checking our literacy collection.

To cap our month-long celebration this year, Microsoft is teaming up with Penguin Young Readers for a free broadcast event in which classrooms and families can meet actor, producer and author Henry Winkler, as well as his co-author, Lin Oliver. Together, they’re creators of the NYT best-selling book series, Here’s Hank, featuring the quick-witted and ingenious character, Hank Zipzer.

Henry and Lin will discuss their books and what makes every kid a hero while answering questions live on Twitter. The broadcast and live Twitter chat will on Wednesday February 28th at 9 a.m. EST and 1 p.m. EST.

Henry and Lin created their character, Hank Zipzer, based on Henry’s own real-life struggles with dyslexia. Hank is smart and resourceful, always finding ways to overcome challenges through friendships, determination, and a whole lot of humor. His story has resonated with kids around the world, providing some kinship and advice for those tougher times in school. Henry’s main message in the books, “Every one of you has greatness in you,” comes from his personal life experience. He proves that having learning challenges can’t keep you from greatness!

Teachers and their students, or parents with their children at home, are invited to register here and submit questions in advance or during the event for Henry and Lin to answer. We’ll be using the @skypeclassroom Twitter account and the #Skype2Learn hashtag to organize the conversation.

That’s not all for this celebratory month of reading and writing: Teachers around the world will also share their own Skype Collaborations related to literacy. Your class can join with others – across borders or close to home – to work on a writing project, share stories, and read aloud to one another. Cultivate World Literacy is just one example of many lessons devised by teachers.

This month we also celebrate the educators around the world who are using experiences like Skype in the Classroom and technologies like Microsoft Learning Tools to support literacy development. We will share and learn from their creativity and experience advancing the literacy skills of their students on the Microsoft Education Blog throughout the month.

One more thing: Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge has returned for 2018. Today, the search for five golden ticket winners begins. Students across the U.S. ,aged five to 12, are invited to submit 100-word stories for the chance to win prizes related to creative storytelling. Entries will be open for three months until 1st May 2018.

One golden ticket winner will see their story idea transformed into a Minecraft world, in partnership with Minecraft Education. They will be flown to Seattle with their parent or guardian and work with a team of Minecraft builders and Youtube creator Stacyplays, transforming their story idea into a playable Minecraft experience for anyone in the world to download and play.

Another golden ticket winner will be flown to Los Angeles and get to work with actor, producer, director and author Henry Winkler and his writing partner, Lin Oliver, to transform their story idea into their very own published short story. To enter, students simply submit their 100-word story idea at imaginormouschallenge.com.

We hope you’ll join us for this celebration of all the new and innovative ways children are being inspired to read and write. If you haven’t tried Skype to add inspiration and additional relevancy to your classroom’s curriculum, Literacy Month is a great time to start. With the hundreds of authors available to talk with your students and your Skype connections, you may just be witness to the next Hank Zipzer!

A full list of Penguin authors who visit classrooms virtually, for free over Skype, is available online.

OK, I’m in! How do I participate in Skype in the Classroom’s Literacy Month?

Teachers/Parents:

  • Register now, for free, to have your children/students to join NYT Best Selling Authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver on February 28th, as they discuss the uplifting messages from the Hank Zipzer book series, Here’s Hank. Get a head start by submitting your student questions now through #Skype2Learn. Some of your student questions may be included during the broadcast by Henry and Lin, or answered on Twitter immediately following the event on Feb 28th at 9 a.m. EST and 1 p.m. EST.
  • You can find the Hank Zipzer and Here’s Hank book collection at the Microsoft Store.
  • If you haven’t tried Microsoft Learning Tools yet, take a look and see how it can make a difference for your students.

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 Students:

  • Don’t imagine small, Imaginormous! Join the Roald Dahl Estate in the annual Imaginormous contest by submitting a 100-word story idea at imaginormouschallenge.com before      May 1.

Join us for Skype-a-Thon: Microsoft’s global event on Nov. 28-29 aiming to unite nearly half a million students |

Our annual Skype-a-Thon is here again, connecting thousands of classrooms to help open hearts and open minds. In our increasingly complex world this could not be more important. The students of today represent our hope for a better tomorrow. They are building our future.

This annual event is a celebration of the power of connecting students to each other globally, and an opportunity to teach greater empathy and compassion for our planet and for each other. Through sharing stories and projects, playing games, and collaborating on similar subjects, students’ hearts and minds are opened, allowing them to become more engaged global citizens.

Skype-a-Thon is a 48-hour event in which we, as a global community, count the distance all students travel virtually during any Skype calls made from November 28th through November 29th.  Last year, thousands of classrooms participated across all seven continents. This year we’re setting a goal for our global community to travel over 10 million virtual miles, and aiming to connect nearly half a million students.

As someone fortunate enough to visit classrooms around the world, I’m always heartened to see today’s students learning about global citizenship. One of the best ways they are gaining this knowledge is by using video communications technologies, like Skype. Classrooms are opening their walls to connect with different cultures and environments that can offer different perspectives, and model compassion for each other, the environment, and the health and welfare of students and their neighbors, near and far.

The impact of these experiences is best realized through the voices of the students participating.

“The world seems really large, and it would take a long time to go all way around it. But with things like Skype it seems so small.” Quentin, 8th Grade

Classrooms also use Skype to connect virtually with guest speakers, in fields of study where local experts are not available. They also take virtual field trips to visit landmarks and places of interest.

We created the Microsoft Global Skype-a-Thon to shine a light on the value of these virtual experiences.  It’s been exciting to see thousands of teachers and students participate to celebrate this kind of teaching, and to learn about empathy and appreciation of others and our world.

How do you join and have your students Skype with other classrooms and professionals?

There are many ways to get started and engage with this year’s Skype-a-Thon.  You can Skype with a classroom in another country, play Mystery Skype or share traditions and stories, take a virtual field trip to a place of interest, or get great advice from an expert during a Skype call with a guest speaker.

Visit skypeathon.com to plan your experiences and decide how many virtual miles your classroom can travel over the 48-hour celebration of global learning!

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New to Skype in the Classroom? That’s ok! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Sign-up on the Skype-a-Thon page: skypeathon.com
  2. Once you are signed up on the Microsoft Educator community, you can schedule a Skype call for November 28-29. Here you’ll be able to find a Skype activity in which to participate with your class. It could be any of the following Skype Classroom activities:
  • Skype with another class
  • Skype with a Microsoftie
  • Skype with a guest speaker
  1. Once you have scheduled your Skype calls for your students, share your plans and goals and virtual destinations. During the event, please share your experience and miles traveled with us on social networks using #skypeathon and #MicrosoftEDU.

For even more ideas, check out this Sway with even more information on all the ways you can participate in this year’s Skype-a-Thon:

 

Plus: Don’t miss the TweetMeet on Nov. 21, 10:00AM PST, in which you can talk to other educators about how they’re prepping for Skype-a-Thon.

Please join us on Nov. 28 to make this Skype-a-Thon another exciting journey through open hearts and open minds. To learn more, visit skypeathon.com today.

Join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using:

#skypeathon

#MicrosoftEDU