by Karina Batat
Expert Educator Columnist, Israel
A week ago, on February 12, on Thursday at 15:00, at Microsoft Raanana, this community is meeting for the first time. The event was inspiring and full of innovation so I decided to share with you my experience. Are you ready? Here we go.
The event was full of professionalism and good taste. At Microsoft’s lobby, waiting for teachers was a stand for Registration and refreshments. Since 14:30 teacher started to arrive for all over the country. Each guest registered received a tag and a modest gift (a notebook, see picture above).
At 16:00 o’clock asked the audience to enter the conference hall and Shai Naimi, Education Sales Group Manager, welcome us all.
Then Adir Ron, Strategic Innovation Lead at Microsoft, talks about internet of things (iot) or also known as Internet of objects a vision where objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction (Dr. John Barrett, 2014) . Physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Market examples include smart watches, thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring. This vision is expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations that is aggregated at a very high-velocity, thereby increasing the need to better index, store and process such data.
Afterward he presented the Microsoft Band. Microsoft Band, helps you achieve your wellness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality. It also helps you be more productive with email previews and calendar alerts – right on your wrist. Works with Android, iOS and Windows phones, tracks all-day heart rate, has an impressive set of smart notifications and has built-in GPS for runs.
Adir Ron ended his presentation with Cortana. Cortana is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Band and Windows 10. Cortana’s features include being able to set reminders, recognize natural voice without the user having to input a predefined series of commands, and answer questions using information from Bing, like current weather and traffic conditions, sports and so. Cortana also includes a music recognition service. Cortana also integrates with the Microsoft Band for Windows Phone devices if connected via Bluetooth. Cortana can make reminders and bring phone notifications on the Microsoft Band.
Yuval Shein, Windows Devices Solution Specialist, presented Windows 10. He show us basic characteristics and key benefits to teachers and students. Then he introduced Spartan, the new Microsoft browser lighter, quicker, more intuitive than Explorer. With Spartan users will be able to annotate and share Web pages. He also showed Spartan’s built-in reading experience capabilities and the expected Cortana integration. The good news: he said that it will work on Windows Phones, tablets and PCs.
Wow! Was inspiring. I sat there and my head began to be filled with ideas about “teaching” and the classroom in the future, physically and virtually.
In the second part of the event, the focus was pedagogical.
Roni Dayan, Division Director of ICT Applications in Education, MoE Israel, talked about the Role of Digital Literacy in our Pedagogy. He emphasized the importance of an integrated ICT pedagogical approach in schools. Then it was my turn.
I presented one of my Learning Activities: MyStories as an example of 21st century learning, driven by relevance to my school and its pedagogical approach: Inspire, Empower & Create) for more info about the approach see my previous post). I explained about Office 365, the benefits of VLE and the option of Flipped Classroom in it. I received many compliments on my presentation.
Then, Irit Merhav, another primary school teacher passionate about integrating ICT in her classroom shared her experience with E-books. She shows a demo of layers she build with her students in their E-book.
Orly Fridman Marton, Legal Counsel at Microsoft, locked the meeting and she share with us Microsoft’s contribution to the field of education, for a better future. AMAZING!!!
The event was excellent organized. Thanks to Mali Luzon, Partners in Learning Manager, that took care of all the details before and during the event.
Few “after meeting insights”
- I realize that I am very proud and I feel honored to be a member of this great Teacher Network, all very passionate about education ICT and innovation.
- We have seen the most recent trends in technology. New trends will lead big changes and my hope is to achieve some to my classroom, my school.
- Thus ended the first Meeting “Front of Classroom” Microsoft Israeli Teacher Network. I cannot wait to the next one!