Tag Archives: school

How one man is using tech to change the lives of children with learning disabilities – Microsoft News Center India

Technology for all abilities

For the first few years, the school relied on traditional teaching methods and computers were only available for office administrative services. But in 2009, the school acquired a few affordable laptops to see how technology could be integrated with the teaching curriculum.

“Once we acquired the laptops, there has been no looking back,” says Kishore Kumar, an alumnus of the school, who returned after finishing his bachelor’s in computer science to serve the school as its IT head. Since then, the school has implemented Microsoft Learning Tools on OneNote to teach and engage with students with different learning disabilities.

For students with dyslexia, who suffer from difficulties in reading, writing, and poor memory, teachers use Immersive Reader widely to enhance their reading skills. For young students, many of whom are first-generation learners in their families, teachers also include picture dictionary to help with memory retention.

“I can see the difference in confidence in children when they start using technology. For older children with dyslexia, who are learning to write, the Dictate feature helps them write simple sentences without worrying about making spelling mistakes,” says Vidhya, a remedial teacher at the school.

Similarly, for students with ADHD, teachers use OneNote to teach vocabulary by encouraging them to create mind maps, linear and web charts to increase their attention span and memory retention. Meanwhile tools like Sway help them learn visually while Kahoot quizzes at the end of every class are handy to test their retention.

It is students with autism, however, who need the most attention. The teachers at Helikx Open School and Learning Center have found the Flipgrid to be an engaging tool for students like Sam (name changed).

“Sam loves to tell stories. When I tell a story in class, he takes some characters from it and creates a whole new story. His imagination comes to full play when creates a new story on Flipgrid,” says Vidhya.

Today, the school has deployed Microsoft Teams for every teacher and student. Kumar has created separate channels as per their grade, which allows them to learn even when they are away from the school, like in the current COVID-19 situation.

An online math lesson in progress for children in the 15-17 age group
A mathematics class in progress for children in the 15-17 age group.

“Most of our students don’t have laptops at home, but they are still able to attend the classes on their phones,” says Kumar.

Moving to Teams has also provided teachers new tools to engage with their students remotely. While some teachers are using Kahoot quizzes at the end of their classes, others are encouraging students to create and share content using Sway, Buncee, and Paint 3D. To replicate the test environment, teachers are also sharing Microsoft Forms on Teams, which they need to fill and send back.

“Considering the students are currently not in school, we are also creating PowerPoint presentations with audio clips and OneNote pages with immersive reader and picture dictionary, which they can download and learn whenever they can,” adds Pradha Senthil, another teacher at the school.

Dreams do come true

When Dr. Senthilkumar returned to his hometown in 2000, he’d never imagined how impactful his vision would turn out to be. Many of his students have managed to make it to the regular workforce.

“One student of mine completed his engineering, worked for some of the biggest IT companies in the country and now runs a startup in Bengaluru,” he says with pride.

So what’s next for Dr Senthilkumar and his team at Helikx?

“We have seen the productive outcome of technology over the past couple of years. We have even established an innovation lab and are keen to expand and upgrade ourselves with tools over the next few years to see our children fly high,” he says.

Top photo: Sam (name changed), a student with autism, uses Immersive Reader on OneNote with picture dictionary to read a story. All images courtesy Helikx Open School and Learning Center.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

‘No matter where we are in the world, this will always be our home.’

Adonis grew up at Taos Pueblo, but his parents sent him to school in Tucson when he was transitioning from middle school to high school. Every summer, he’d return to Taos Pueblo and fall in love with the land more and more.

But spending the school year elsewhere gave him a different perspective when he returned. He wanted to do something with the skills he was gaining every year to help Taos Pueblo keep growing and thriving. This desire eventually solidified into his life’s purpose: to serve indigenous communities. What wasn’t as clear was how he’d do that.

His path led him to graduate school to study business, with the idea that a business degree would provide many useful tools and bring multiple opportunities to fulfil this purpose.

A side-by-side photo of a boy playing outside and playing baseball

During his time in grad school, he worked on a project for Microsoft and was introduced to one of the project sponsors, Mike Miles. Mike was just putting together a new team at the company, now the Talent Workforce and Community Development Team, whose goal was to build and nurture relationships with the local communities that hosted Microsoft’s datacenters. Adonis took interest in the project because he observed a genuine interest in the company to create meaningful and long-term impact—something that at the time was counterintuitive to his perspective of corporate America.

Over a few months of working with Mike, who Adonis describes as a visionary and authentic leader, Adonis began to soften to the idea of corporate work, especially if it meant he had a way in to develop relationships with local and potentially native peoples. A year later, he started working on Mike’s team.

In addition, Adonis has taken a voluntary leadership role to organize with a group of indigenous employees who work at Microsoft to create their own official employee resource group inside the company.

“I see myself building on top of all of this work to continue to serve indigenous peoples,” he says.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Salesforce.org Education Cloud updates enhance student engagement

Students will be able to better engage with school staff and track their college coursework with the help of some new features in Salesforce.org Education Cloud.

These features can help students and staff get a better view of the student journey throughout the college lifecycle without having to use external systems and help better connect K-12 schools in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Higher education is an industry that lags in terms of digital transformation, said Joyce Kim, a higher education analyst at Ovum. But Salesforce’s foundation in the enterprise has a lot of applicability to the higher-education model.

“Student retention and completion are really important targets for institutions but having the right data and insights that will help a school achieve those goals is a challenge,” Kim said.

Enriching the student journey

A feature that could have a widespread effect is Salesforce Advisor Link Pathways, which assists in degree planning and helps keep students on track to graduate.

Currently, staff and students in the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) use a third-party system called DegreeWorks to aid with degree planning. Students currently have access to Salesforce, but they can only see members of their success team and alerts from faculty — such as a student failed a test, and tasks such as applying for a summer internship, resume review and updating a LinkedIn profile. The Pathways feature can bring degree planning right into the Salesforce system, eliminating the need for a third-party app.

“The big thing for staff and students is being able to have everyone integrated onto one system, and be able to take action in real time,” said Karrie Mitchell, vice president of planning for the SMCCCD. “There are so many different systems that are siloed, and Education Cloud brings it all together.”

Student retention and completion are really important targets for institutions but having the right data and insights that will help a school achieve those goals is a challenge.
Joyce KimHigher education analyst, Ovum

Many students take extra credits and extra student loan debt that don’t add up to a degree, and this will help advisers proactively manage and support students to make it to their graduation goal, said Nathalie Mainland, senior vice president and general manager of Education Cloud at Salesforce.org. Salesforce.com acquired Salesforce.org in April 2019 at a price of $300 million.

Another feature that could be beneficial to SMCCCD is the Einstein Analytics template for recruitment and admissions, using the Education Data Architecture as a foundation. These templates may help admission staff find trends in each year’s class, including demographics, areas of study and who’s taking what classes — and prevent the need to manually input information into the system, Mitchell said.

“This gives you a 360-degree view of the student, and that’s critical for us,” said Daman Grewal, CTO at SMCCCD.

Other new features

Also, in the Education Data Architecture, Salesforce is adding application and test score objects, making it easier to bring in data for the recruiting and admission process, such as application data and test scores. Previously, schools were doing custom builds, and now there will be a standardized way to bring this data into the system, Mainland said.

Other new Salesforce Advisor Link features include queue management — the No. 1 most requested feature from customers — and Salesforce Advisor Link for onboarding and pre-advising. Queue management will enable students to proactively make an appointment with their advisers, and the onboarding and pre-advising feature help catch students that received offer letters to be sure they accept and show up on campus.

And while K-12 institutions already have been using Salesforce.org Education Cloud, there is now a K-12 architecture kit. This will accelerate schools’ ability to use Education Cloud and Salesforce technology, and users will no longer have to customize it themselves, Mainland said.

While Oracle, Ellucian, Jenzabar and Campus management are all competing vendors with end-to-end CRM suites, Salesforce is positioned competitively in the higher-education CRM market, Kim said.

“Because of its user-friendly interface and ability to use emerging technologies for things like predictive analytics and automating processes, end users find their products are intuitive and effective,” she said.  

Salesforce plans to dig into this Education Cloud news during Dreamforce, which takes place Nov. 19 to 22 in San Francisco, Mainland said.

The Education Data Architecture and K-12 architecture kits are both free, open source and available to both Salesforce and non-Salesforce users. They will be available on AppExchange and GitHub.

The Education Data Architecture features will be available in January. Everything else will be available by Nov. 18.

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Back to school for the first time at Wilburton Elementary |

For students and educators around the world now heading back to school, it’s a time filled with emotions and opportunities to make new friends, connect with old ones, and embark on new learning opportunities.

For one school in Bellevue, Washington, it’s been a momentous week: Wilburton Elementary opened its doors to a new community of students, parents, and educators, for the very first time. Over the past year we’ve been sharing this school’s journey, from its earliest planning stages to partnering with Wilburton to bring the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework to life every step of the way.

More than 400 Wilburton Wolves are in for an amazing year ahead, and I couldn’t be prouder of what the teams have accomplished in creating a holistically impactful environment for these students to dream big, expect more, and give back.

A framework for leadership

For Bellevue School District Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran, the new school represents a big step forward in the transformation of learning. “Wilburton Elementary is the first school we’ve built from the ground up in over 25 years, in order to serve a fast-growing and diverse area in our district,” Superintendent Duran tells us. “The state-of-the-art campus reflects the district’s commitment to creating innovative approaches for equitable and inclusive learning, enabled by Microsoft technology. Working in partnership with Microsoft Education, we’ve created a learning environment that will give students the skills and opportunities they need to be affirmed and inspired as creators of their future world.”

What I’ve learned over the years, through our Showcase School program, is that amazing schools are the output of an incredible leader. Beth Hamilton, Wilburton’s passionate and energetic principal, is a testament to turning a vision into a real-life, fully functioning school. Hamilton has been a leading light throughout the entire project, ensuring that every detail  – from the building construction, the design of the learning environments, through to the learning approach – has placed students at the heart of every decision.

“We’re going to help each other, take risks, get things wrong,” Hamilton says. “We’re going to laugh and cry, but it’s all to make sure that we have a relevant, adaptive, and rigorous learning experience for all of our kids.”

It’s been a privilege to work alongside Beth and listen and learn along the way. And what we’ve learned throughout the journey will help inspire and educate the next generation of new schools.

The Microsoft Education Transformation Framework (ETF) has been instrumental in helping Hamilton to consider every aspect of learning and design. Across Leading and Policy, Modern Teaching and Learning, Intelligent Environments, and Technology Blueprint, we’ve trialed and tested various approaches and options to best craft this amazing new place to learn.

And the new teachers at Wilburton couldn’t be more excited.

From day one to the first day

“On day one, the teachers were excited, but tentative,” Hamilton says. “Today, they’re excited and full of energy – all because of the relationships and trust they’ve built with each other. They believe in each other; it’s the mindset we’ve created.”

Wilburton’s educators, some of them brand new, spent the summer getting their classrooms ready and investing in their own development. Leveraging the Teaching and Learning component in the ETF, along with resources like the Microsoft Educator Community, these educators participated in over 100 hours of professional development, with a focus on connecting as a team and going deep with the innovative technologies designed to take student learning and experience to the next level.

First-grade teacher Mandy Sin says, “Coming in as a first-year teacher, I’m nervous about this whole new chapter in my life, but after our PD there’s a sense of togetherness. We’re a wolf pack – a family – and it feels like whatever I do, say, or try – it’s ok.”

And all of Wilburton’s staff is looking forward to the new resources they can access – including their partnership with nearby Bellevue Botanical Garden and the school’s learning terrace, which is an indoor/outdoor environment connected to their Maker Space. It’s an area for raised gardens, creativity, community building, with all the resources of a classroom. The school is also designed with pods that create open spaces, for students in different classes to connect as a community.

Built for today, built for everyone

From the very beginning, the school was designed to consider opportunities for technology to play a key role in driving digital transformation in both the learning environments and the efficiency and effectiveness of the school and facility itself. Using the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework, they executed on a plan that identified the tools their students and educators need today, and the systems and solutions the school needs to be more productive, efficient, and secure.

Wilburton Elementary provides every student with access to a device while they are at school, where they will use Office 365 with digital inking and a stylus to support their ability to collaborate with each other and be more productive. Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Forms and more will be used throughout the school to enable learning, improve feedback and assessment, and provide more personalized learning to every student.

The school is also taking a holistic approach to accessibility and inclusion, using Microsoft Learning Tools to support every student, regardless of learning differences. STEM is considered fundamental in the curriculum, with the Maker Space leading to hands-on experiences, Minecraft and MakeCode introducing coding and creative thinking, and computer science serving as core.

 

Technology leads the way

Katherine Gorin, a 2nd grade teacher, is most excited about using technology to differentiate learning and make her classroom more inclusive and equitable. “When technology wasn’t as integrated in the classroom, it was a lot more difficult to make all the materials accessible,” she tells us, “but with technology that we’re extremely lucky to have, it’s so much easier to make sure all students have the opportunity to access what they need to be successful.”

Physical Education teacher Marnie Kazarian looks forward to bridging the connection from the classroom into the gym with technology. “I need to assess and check for understanding, and technology creates that environment where classroom teachers and I can connect to talk about health and skill concepts outside of the 40-minute class period,” she explains. “We’ll know what’s happening in both worlds and can make that connection visible to students so that they come into the gym with a focus.”

Lessons learned

Building a new school – and a new community – from the ground up has presented its share of challenges. The lessons Hamilton and her team have learned in the process apply not only to new schools, but to any school seeking to transform learning:

  1. Relationships, relationships, relationships. According to Hamilton, leading any school is all about building relationships, both within the broader school community and between teachers. “You can have all the procedures and routines figured out, but if you don’t have the relationships, it’s never going to work,” she says. “It’s the culture, climate, and relationships that staff, families, and students are creating with each other that will make the school amazing.”
  2. Less is more. The work of leading a new school requires Hamilton to wear many hats. “My Type A personality wants me to have everything in order and done,” Hamilton shares. “I’ve learned this year to focus what’s the most important – what we need to do right now – because an overwhelmed teacher is never going to be at their best.”
  3. Model the technology. Hamilton stresses that school leaders can’t just tell teachers about technology tools, they have to use them. “If you want teachers to use technology in an innovative way that is intentional and purposeful, you have to show them and model how it can be done,” says Hamilton. “And if they use it as a student, they have a better understanding of it’s potential, and they can pass that on to their students.”
  4. Throughout the journey, Wilburton leaned on the advice and support of many partners and stakeholders in the process, including Microsoft, ISTE, NPDL, Sam Labs, ST Math, Steelcase and local community partners.

Wilburton’s journey has been a learning experience for Microsoft, too. Putting innovation into practice continues to inform our products and our relationships with schools, educators, and students. We’re also excited to share the Wilburton story with the many education officials, school leaders, and educators, who visit the Microsoft Redmond campus every year. As part of our collaboration, Wilburton has a dedicated space for Microsoft to welcome those who want to learn more about the school from both students and educators.

As this part of the journey ends, another one (this time, with students!) begins, and we’ll be there every step of the way to provide support. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire Wilburton Elementary community! Thank you for an amazing journey. I am humbled that you chose Microsoft be a part of it.

Learn more about becoming a Microsoft Showcase School.

Catch up on the full Wilburton Elementary story, start to finish:

  1. Building for innovative learning: A new elementary school takes shape
  2. A new community breaks ground on creativity
  3. Staffing from scratch
  4. Professional development and the art of vulnerability
  5. The women of Wilburton Elementary are reinventing STEM for K-5
  6. Building community, one parent and one student at a time
  7. Making it personal: New approaches for inclusive learning at Wilburton Elementary

New Skype features make sharing classroom experiences easier |

As a new school year quickly approaches, many teachers and students are eagerly anticipating engaging in new Skype collaborative projects, virtual field trips and guest speakers. Recently, Skype released some new features that will make those connections even easier. To get them all, upgrade your Skype today and learn more here.

One new feature is the Chat Media Gallery. Files, links and photos shared through the chat are stored in the Gallery, making them easily searchable and accessible. People no longer need to scroll through their chat history to find a file. They can simply click on Gallery under the chat name to locate a file that has been shared through the chat.

Snapshots is another new feature. When people are on a Skype call, they can click the Snapshots button and a picture will be taken of all parties on the call. The photo will automatically appear in the Skype chat box for anyone on that call. This is a handy feature for classes doing a Mystery Skype or collaborative project. Their interactions can be quickly captured with a click of a button and shared on social media, with parents, or on a school bulletin or website. This is also a great way to capture the magic of a virtual field trip and share what the students learned in a school yearbook or email to parents.

A third new feature, Sharing Emotion, allows participants to click on an Emotion icon to cause it to automatically appear over the video during a Skype call. This is a fun way to communicate non-verbally during a call or to respond to a question during a Mystery Skype.

Skype Call Recording has just been added as a new feature, as well. It is cloud-based, and all participants in the call are notified when someone starts recording the call. It records everyone’s video, as well as any screens that have been shared. If there is a special Skype guest speaker or virtual field trip that a teacher wants to capture, or if there is a unique class-to-class Skype collaborative project, the recording feature is an ideal way to capture and preserve the learning experience.

These new features are a welcome addition to Skype and will further enable students and teachers to have engaging and world-changing Skype in the Classroom experiences!

Teachers: You are invited to explore all these amazing features here and start using them with your Skype in the Classroom activities.

If you are new to Skype in the Classroom, join our free and global community at skypeintheclassroom.com to expand the walls of your classroom and inspire your students.

Free Back to School PD: Join our Microsoft Learning Consultants for online webinars |

Looking for great ideas and time savers for Back to School? We are pleased to kick off the season with these free webinars – just the right thing to help get you motivated for the new school year.

To join our free webinar series, pick a class that interests you most and join live with the links and dates provided below, or access the recording of a webinar you might have missed. These webinars are hosted by educators and tailored for educators just like you.

We look forward to chatting and learning with you soon.

Upcoming Webinars include:

Here’s what’s new in education apps |

With the new school year fast approaching for the Western Hemisphere, we thought it would be useful to look at some of the most recently released apps on the Microsoft Store for Education. These apps work seamlessly within the Microsoft Education ecosystem to enable us all to empower every student to achieve more.

 

Cashtivity is passionately focused on preparing students for success, in college, career and beyond. It’s this focus that drives them every day. They recently released Mindsets Learning – a digital library of inquiry based, real-world lessons for K12 math, science and STEM.

Students collaborate, predict, analyze and apply their math skills to solve a real-world challenge using design thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. Educators are able to mentor & monitor students using real time data and facilitation tools provided in the app.

 

Music lessons will never be the same again with Flute Master from Classplash, a company founded by an educator with a passion for creating sustainable digital content for music education.

With Flute Master, students will learn how to play the soprano recorder! It’s easy and a lot of fun! They play a real recorder, and the sound will be recognized through the microphone. Flute Master presents an immersive story, lovely animations and includes 30 original music tracks that gradually teach each note on the recorder.

Besides learning how to play a real instrument, they will improve their music, fine motor skills and make progression in sight-reading by using the sheet music play-along for each track.

 

In Rhythmic Village you’ll discover the crazy and happy music notes named “Rhythmiacs.”

In this adventure you’ll learn the basics of sheet music reading, play percussion instruments and improve your sense of rhythm. Use your device and start right away in the app.

 

Shape robotics journey started in 2011 just outside of Copenhagen, at the Technical University of Denmark.

Moises Pacheco and David Johan Christensen, an Associate Professor and Robot Researcher respectively, shared the same vision: to develop a robot system that was extremely easy-to-use, even for younger school pupils. This resulted in the launch of the Fable Robotics System, a modular robot that allows you to build advanced custom robots in seconds.

Fable Blockly is the official programming Windows 10 app that enables Fable to become a walking Fable, a social Fable, Fable as a snake, and even an industrial Fable who can perform tasks such as sort colors.

 

Many teachers teach using text ,but 65 percent of students learn by visuals. Squigl solves this problem.

Squigl is software that utilizes AI to allow teachers and students the ability to transform their text into animated visual presentations in minutes. A user inputs text into Squigl, and with a couple of clicks, an animated video is produced.

Squigl allows anyone to make animated videos in minutes with ease. A student enters text into Squigl or through Word, and within a couple of clicks an animated video is produced. Squigl generates a full package that includes an MP4, sound file, a specially formatted PDF document, and the digital assets used in the project for consumption in other systems.

 

Vidigami is a collaborative, private and secure media management platform designed exclusively for schools. It is a cloud-based, members-only application available on web and mobile that allows staff, faculty, families, and students to crowdsource authentic school memories.

Photos and videos of everything from sporting events and field trips to class projects and artwork can be easily captured, centralized in on place, intelligently organized, and finally, privately shared with other members of the community, so they can be easily archived and transformed into incredible content for engagement, education and more.

To learn more about these solutions and thousands of other apps that could support you, please visit the Microsoft Store for Education.

Back to School tips and tactics in August’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet |

It’s a big planet, so we don’t all go back to school at the same time. Sooner or later, though, students and educators inevitably head back to the classroom – hopefully with maximum momentum intact. The #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet of August is a great way to broaden your horizon to encompass different ideas, approaches and opinions about getting Back To School and hitting the ground running.

Our next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, starting on Tuesday, August 21, at 10:00 a.m. PDT (check your time zone here), will focus on good tips, tactics and ideas for heading Back to School with aplomb. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

We’re still taking a global approach to the TweetMeet by offering 13 simultaneous language tracks for the event. This month we’re adding עִברִית (Hebrew), norsk (Norwegian), svenska (Swedish), Nederlands (Dutch) and Deutsch (German).

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. We’re once again most grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language. For example: French-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetFR #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

Our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet with Back to School tips is on Tuesday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT. Everyone is welcome to join. #BackToSchool Click To Tweet

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

Our hosts often use Flipgrid to share their excitement and thoughts around TweetMeet topics, and you’re welcome to participate above!

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags#MSFTEduChat, #BackToSchool and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

How can I best prepare?

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time.

You can also revisit our blog post, Back to School season gets easier with live tips and hands-on help from #MicrosoftEDU, and check out all event sessions and relevant resources from the Microsoft Educator Community: aka.ms/backtoschoollive2018

You can also catch up on the latest Back to School features for:

TweetMeet Questions

Time # Question
10:00 Ice Breaker What excites you about going back to school? Share an image, GIF or story.
10:06 1 What tools and strategies do you use to welcome new students?
10:15 2 What is your main focus this coming schoolyear?
10:24 3 How will you improve communication and collaboration?
10:33 4 How can technology help you meet your goals for this schoolyear?
10:42 5 What’s your best tip to create an inclusive classroom?
10:51 6 What new idea are you eager to try in the new schoolyear?
11:00 Takeaway Question Who or what has inspired you in today’s TweetMeet?

Hosts and coaches

Matching this month’s topic, we have invited 20 global educators to be our hosts. They can’t wait to engage with you and share ideas about Back to School. Check out their profiles and projects, follow them all on Twitter, and check their tweets in this Twitter list.

  • Can Van Truong @CanVanTruong (MIE Expert, Thach Xa junior high school teacher – Passionate about helping teachers use technology to empower students – Thach That, Ha Noi, Viet Nam)
  • Chandni Agarwal @chandni1910 (Head IT Department & teaching Computer Science Grade 12, National ICT Award Winner 2016, MIELA Winner, MIE Expert, Master Trainer, Cyber Security Resource Person, Love to implement Microsoft tools for Power to Empower – Delhi, India)
  • Elsabé Hart @HartElsabe (Former Teacher Ambassador and Microsoft Learning Consultant, Microsoft Certified Educator, MIE Master Trainer and MIE Expert. Minecraft Certified Trainer and an advocate for Game-Based Learning and 21st Century Learning Design – Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Erin Holland @erinjurisich (Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator (DLTF) for Onslow County; passionate about helping teachers utilize technology that empowers students, both in the classroom and beyond! – North Carolina, USA)
  • Esam Baboukhan @soslearning (e-learning manager, lifelong learner and passionate advocate of meaningful, relevant and engaging teaching, learning and assessment – augmented through the use of accessible Edtech, MIE Expert – United Kingdom)
  • Ferdinand Stipberger @stipberger (MIE Expert, Middle School Teacher up to 10th grade – helping teachers and students to redefine their teaching and learning by using technology. I love all things the Microsoft Education world is about. – Neunburg v. Wald, Bavaria, Germany)
  • Jeni Long @jlo731 (Instructional Technologist with EMSISD. Passionate about technology integration and making learning accessible and fun for all! MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, & Flipgrid Ambassadors – Ft Worth, Texas, USA)
  • Kim Aarberg @KAarberg Teacher (I teach a global classroom. I’m a Flipgrid ambassador, Soundtrap expert and Google-certified teacher. Students learn in a collaborative environment. – Norway)
  • Kristina Johansson @johfam (Teacher. Interested in how technology can help us learn together. We don’t know what the future will be like! MIE Expert – Sweden)
  • Lucian Duma @lucianecurator (Teacher for SEN students, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Social Media Manager and Curator – Romania)
  • Luis Oliveira @loliveira55 (ELL HS Teacher, Tech Coach and Director, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Flipgrid Ambassador, Certified Newsela, Flipgrid, and Formative Educator. Passionate about providing a voice to all – Middletown, RI USA)
  • Manuela Valentim @fatela1971 (Interested in PBL and Digital Citizenship. Coordinator of UNESCO’s Projects, MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher and Teach SDG’s Ambassador – Portugal)
  • Michel Girard @theMoat (Computer science teacher at DIIAGE, Office 365 administrator, MIE Expert, love sharing teaching practices and empowering students and teachers in their learning paths – Dijon, France)
  • Natalija Budinski @NatalijaNovta (Math teacher and External Adviser of Serbian Ministry of Education, My fields of interest are STEM disciplines, teaching math through origami and other art disciplines. MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher, Scientix ambassador, blogger – Serbia)
  • Noa Lahav @supervxn (Working for the Innovative Tech Unit in the Ministry of Education, MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor and Flipgrid Ambassador – Israel)
  • Rhea Flohr @RheaFlohr (Teacher in secondary school, EdTech Specialist, OneNote-lover. I am curious and I love to share my classroom experiences always wondering: could technology enhance learning? otherwise don’t use it! – Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
  • Sachelle Dorencamp @SachelleD (Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator (DLTF) for Onslow County Schools. I am a fangirl of all things Microsoft Education and love helping teachers positively impact the lives of students. I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator and Microsoft Master Trainer – North Carolina, USA)
  • Sallee Clark @SalleeClark (Instructional Technologist with Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD. As an MIE Expert & MIE Trainer, I am passionate about making learning accessible and fun for all! – Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
  • Thuy Nguyen @NguynTh10903062 (English teacher from Minh Dam High School, BRVT; MIE Expert; MIE Trainer; SDGs Ambassador. I love inspiring teachers and engaging students with technology in order to transform education together with the global educator community – Vietnam)
  • Vicent Ferrís @vicent_fd86 (Technology and Mathematics teacher in Maristas Algemesi. A lover of new technologies in education. I love innovating with my students. Microsoft Innovative Expert and MIE Trainer. Lover of Microsoft Teams – Valencia, Spain)

Finally, we’re introducing Francisco Texeira (@fcotexeira) to help us coordinate the TweetMeet. He is a former TweetMeet host himself and has already been assisting hosts in their preparations for the event. Francisco is a multilingual high school teacher and IT coordinator based in Spain and very passionate about professional development. Thanks for joining us!

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

The #MSFTduChat event time is 10:00 a.m. PT. If this time isn’t convenient for you, please follow your local channel or even consider hosting your own #MSFTEduChat in your country and language. Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC on Twitter for more info on hosting in your language and time that works best for the educators and MIE Experts in your country.

Nominate your school for Microsoft’s Showcase Schools Program |

School leaders committed to improving student outcomes benefit when they share best practices with one another. Over my time working in education, I’ve continued to be inspired by school leaders who push the boundaries of innovation and strive to set new benchmarks for what’s possible. It’s clear that the most important part of the journey is about people. The role of the school leader in making positive change to the school, community and for students, is critical to ongoing, sustained success.

Above: Hardenhuish School

The Microsoft Showcase Schools program provides an opportunity for diverse yet like-minded leaders to learn from and support one another’s journey through transformation. It’s designed to support innovative school leaders who commit to bringing their vision to life – through the development of a growth mindset in their educators, students, parents, local community, and in themselves. I’ve had the great opportunity to engage with many of these school leaders and to visit their schools over recent years. I am always impressed by the energy, commitment and undeniable passion they have to make their schools incredible places to learn.

While no two Showcase Schools look the same, many share similar challenges. In the Showcase Schools program, success and best practices are shared and amplified through a global network of school leaders. These innovative leaders work together to solve transformation’s toughest conundrums and celebrate momentum and successes as they reflect, grow and develop along the way.

School Leaders love the opportunity to engage directly with Microsoft through the Showcase Schools program, not to mention how easily the program helps develop deep connections with education thought leaders around the world.

If you are a school leader committed to transforming your school and increasing student outcomes, Microsoft encourages you to nominate your school for consideration in the Showcase Schools program. If accepted into the program, you will join a community of passionate and knowledgeable school leaders, innovate alongside Microsoft product teams and partners, and amplify your school’s success through tours and events. Other school leaders will look to you to provide them with an education transformation vision for tomorrow – today.

“The work we are doing at Renton Prep is disruptive. That means there are challenges, roadblocks along the way, and it’s hard work,” says Michelle Zimmerman, Director Renton Prep in Renton, Washington, USA. “But the reward of being a member of the Showcase Schools community, knowing that other educators are going through the same thing, makes it worth it because we can tackle some of those challenges together and find solutions we wouldn’t have alone.”

Microsoft is looking for schools whose leaders are innovative agents of change and who meet the following criteria:

The school demonstrates: 

  • Thought leadership in at least one area of educational transformation, as outlined in the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework.
  • Innovative use of technology, using Microsoft solutions, to drive positive impact and student success with 21st century skills.

The school leader demonstrates: 

  • Innovation, as evidenced through the actions and attitudes of a growth mindset and commitment to the K-12 Education Transformation Framework Journey.
  • Empowerment of educators and students to innovate and exercise a growth mindset.
  • Willingness to drive efforts to connect with educators locally practices.
  • If the above criteria describe your school and your leadership style, follow these three easy steps to nominate your school for consideration in Microsoft’s Showcase Schools Program for 2018 and 2019.

1.  Join the Microsoft Educator Community and complete your profile. You will need to submit the URL to your public profile as part of the nomination process. You can find your URL under Edit Profile -> Basic Information.

2. On your nomination form, provide the public URLs for any additional social media profiles you may have (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc).

3. Create a two-minute video or Sway in which you share your story of innovative educational transformation. Remember to use these prompts to guide your story:

  • This is what we thought about educational transformation before we engaged with Microsoft . . .
  • This is what we learned about educational transformation since working with Microsoft . . .
  • This is what we are doing next . . .
  • This is what we are keeping in mind . . .
  • These are our current blockers and challenges . . .

Nominations are open on a rolling basis, although some regions and countries’ nomination dates may vary based on local academic schedules. Your local Microsoft team will provide you with details once your completed nomination form is submitted.

We look forward to reviewing your school’s nomination.

Wanted – MacBook Pro retina 2013/2014/2015 model

H,

My son wants a MacBook for when he starts big school in Setp.

Anyone selling a well looked after MacBook?

Just a few question, if that’s ok?

1. Battery cycle on MacBook?
2. All keys and trackpad working ok/
3. WiFi works?
4. How long have you had the MacBook for and are you the original own?
5. Any warranty left?
6.Screen is in excellent condition?
7.Any marks on the outside?
8. Spec of the MacBook?

Cheers
Ridd

Location: Lincoln

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