All posts filed under: Featured

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Tammy Dunbar: Learning on the Edge of Chaos

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Successful learning is less about what’s memorized and much more about having the ability to make the right connections. But should teachers be the ones making all those connections for their students? At the CUE 2015 Conference, TED Prize winner Professor Sugata Mitra spoke about creating a “Self-Organized Learning Environment” or SOLE. As he points out, it’s often called “learning on the edge of chaos” because it requires an educator to truly be the “Guide on the Side” rather than the “Sage on the Stage.” Sugata postulated: What would happen if we presented our students with goal-oriented challenges that allow them choice and provide opportunities to solve problems on their own? In a remote village in India, he placed a computer and track pad in a Hole in the Wall three feet above the ground to see what would happen. What Sugata discovered, as he outlined in his 2013 TED Prize winning talk and at CUE 2015, is that if children were allowed to work in groups to …

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Meenakshi Uberoi: Dubai Global Forum – Melting Pot of Leaders in Transformation of Education

by Meenakshi Uberoi Expert Educator Columnist, India Microsoft’s Global Forum in Dubai was a great ‘melting pot’ of leaders in education and policy makers who are driving transformation in education and supporting students to be equipped for work and life. It was an honour for me to participate as a speaker in 3 sessions, namely, ‘Concepts & Contexts of Deep Learning’; ‘’Learning Design for Impact’ and ‘Technology Enriched Instruction’ and I am thankful to Microsoft worldwide & Microsoft India for entrusting me with such a great opportunity. As a self-reflection, I would like to share some insights and perspectives gained on the first day of the event. Vibrant and welcoming opening remarks of Eve Psalti put the event in the right perspective and top gear. Next came the powerful words from Anthony Salcito – ‘Expect More, Do More, Be More’ – to set the tone and lay out expectations for the event. The 2-day event was abuzz with insightful discussions, new pedagogies to adapt and availability of impactful resources for thoughtful integration of technology to …

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Maja Seguljev: Make Your Own Master Plan of Cooperation!

by Maja Seguljev Expert Educator Columnist, Serbia Real life challenge! Have you already created your quarterly plan for support the colleagues, students and parents? Do you have in plan to share your knowledge, to teach your colleagues? Being MIE and MIEE is great honour. We learn and work a lot. We want to do more, because it can always be done better. We bring a positive and active energy in our collective and among students. We share our ideas over internet. But, can we do much more? Always. Create your cooperation project. Share what you know in your school and in schools in the region. Invite colleagues to cooperate. WHY? There are important message we are sending while we are cooperating with our colleagues: we are responsible to our colleagues, we are responsible to our school systems from which we have grown, we are responsible to our students. We should help them to realise they can be better. Only with our colleagues we will be able to move forward together, to develop new projects, improving …

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Becky Keene: Try Something New!

by Becky Keene Expert Educator Columnist, USA Have you ever noticed that kids seem to have a better handle on trying something new than adults? I think anyone who’s watched a child learn can see that children can switch between pieces of information very quickly, and they can soak up new pieces of information like sponges. I was at a school last week helping students get started with Office 365 accounts. Our goal was to have each of them login, create a new document in Word Online, and then see how to access it from any other device. As I got students going (by typing in a URL – yuck; then pinning it to their Start screens – hooray), there were a few students at a table who were, I thought, a little off task. As I walked around to help, one had music streaming and another had a game open. The third boy was drawing with his finger in an app. “Hey boys,” I started, “Let’s go ahead and minimize those so you can …

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Kemi Olurinola: The Forgotten Technologies

by Kemi Olurinola Expert Educator Columnist, Nigeria Early definitions of instructional technology focused on instructional media – the physical means via which instruction is presented to learners. Over the years, many attempts have been made to define this field because new ideas and definitions have affected the practices in this field. One definition of interest to me is that produced in 1970 by the Commission on Instructional Technology established by the U.S government. …. Instructional technology means the media born of the communication revolution which can be used for instructional purposes alongside the teacher, textbook and blackboard…………(Commission on Instructional Technology, 1970) There are two points I would like to focus on in this definition. The media born of the communication revolution: this would depend on the present communication revolution in different countries. According to Marsden et al, those of us in the developed world live in an environment where information is literally everywhere. In addition to physical media such as newspapers, books, and magazines, invisible signals carry data to our smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The …

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Floyd Chanda: New Beginnings at Libala Secondary School

by Floyd Chanda Expert Educator Columnist, Zambia As an MIEE 2015, many thanks to the team that came to train us in December, 2014; that is Mr. Phil Oduor from Kenya and Mr. Victor Ngobeni from South Africa. Personally, I benefited a lot and learned that for ICT to be effective we need to have the basics of knowledge and equipments so as to function. However, I also learned from them that you can also improvise so as to effectively build and share knowledge. Above all, teaching using the Microsoft education applications as an effective and easy way of reaching out to learners. However, for me and my school we are on the preparation stage. We just finished fixing the computers for our school lab and two other sister schools. We are now currently on setting up the computer lab as shown in the picture below. Finally, we believe we are on track given the new curriculum in our country Zambia has made ICT and Computer studies compulsory. Thanks for the Microsoft educational applications that …

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Sachita Jeeta: Why Did I Start My Website New Tech Primary Resources?

by Sachita Jeeta Expert Educator Columnist, Mauritius “As educators we should help facilitate goals and help cast a vision for students that will, not only, stretch their immaginations, but also their beliefs regarding what is possible.” – Sam Pabon New Tech Primary Resources is a newly developed website. I am still planning how to make the website simple and user-friendly, thus, making it easily accessible to everyone. The website caters for creating, designing and sharing of educational resources to educators and primary schools of Mauritius. Once set up, I planned to make it internationally recognizable where I want to help other educators globally. New Tech Primary Resources is offering its service through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and YouTube where the contents are shared worldwide. Image source: *preview of the actual website – http://newtechprimaryresources.com Why I started New Tech Primary Resources?

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Tammy Dunbar: A Genius Idea!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA “Have you heard of Nancy Wake?” Isabella had just run up to my desk and her eyes were wide with excitement. “I read a story about her when I was younger, and I thought she wasn’t real. But I just found out that she IS real and she was a spy and they called her the White Mouse! May I please study Spies in World War II for my Genius Hour project?” Genius Hour, or 20% time as some call it, is a movement that started more than 60 years ago. The 3M Company (originally known as the Minnestoa Mining and Manufacturing Company) started their “15 Percent Program” in 1948, which allowed all employees to pursue ideas that came up in the course of their work day but which they did not have time to follow up on. Art Fry, a 3M scientist, wanted a bookmark for his church hymnal which would stay in place without runing the book, and his inspiration became the Post It Note. Then …

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Jason Messer: Fostering Effective Education Transformation

by Jason Messer Superintendent, Manteca Unified School District In 2013 The Manteca Unified School Board allocated 30 million dollars (as a foundation) and directed myself, Superintendent Jason Messer, to take the District digital by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  In the past 18 months we have successfully identified the tools, support and resources necessary to meet the School Boards expectations and provide every teacher (1,200+) with a Surface Pro 3 and every student in grade K-12 (23,500+) with a purpose built computer, Microsoft 8.1 two-in-one tablet.  We have also built out the wireless infrastructure necessary to support more than 25,000 computers accessing our network and the internet at the same time.  In addition each of our teachers has received more than 18 hours of staff development time and instructional resources. As well classroom management software has been deployed as a key component.  Please visit www.digitalschoolstoday.netand/or www.mantecausd.net to learn more about our story.  In order to successfully take MUSD digital, I used the Microsoft Transformation Framework to guide our effort. I strongly suggest that …

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Kelli Etheredge: Virtual Breakout Sessions with Office 365

by Kelli Etheredge Expert Educator Columnist, USA How do you gather over 120 educators in one place to collaborate, learn, and have collegial conversations about their profession?  This question is a continual focus for me.  Once a month, St. Paul’s faculty, PK-12, meet as a whole school team for professional development.  As the Director of Teaching and Learning Resources, and the person in charge of these professional development opportunities, I am continually exploring ways for our faculty to have meaningful gatherings.  It sounds easy, right?  Just gather everyone up and meet.  Easy.  Maybe.  IF you have everyone on the same campus; IF you have facilities large enough (and small enough) for collaborative meetings; IF everyone has the same professional development needs.  The reality, however, is none of these “Ifs” are true.  (We have two campuses for our school; a theater is large enough for all of us, but not small enough for the real work of collaboration; and our professional development needs are as varied as the children in our classrooms.)  I am sure we …