All posts tagged: EdTech


Mohammed Khattab: Top 10 Mistakes Teachers Make When Using Technology and How to Avoid Them

by Mohammed Khattab Expert Educator Columnist, Qatar Design the lesson so that technology works in the lesson.  Do not build a lesson around a piece of technology. Start with the outcome or lesson in mind The technology is secondary Build a great lesson first and then think of how to integrate tech Have the students “publish” the work instead of “handing in” the work.  This way students will take more ownership in what they are doing. Tie into CCSS requirement to publish student work Blogging, Tweeting #Comments4Kids Mistake – not connecting with experts.  Field trip around the world Use Twitter search to locate, then connect via Skype Do not buy into the “digital natives” hype.  Age doesn’t matter.  It’s the person’s experience.  Students that are comfortable with technology can help students that are not. Kids don’t always know how to use technology as well as we think they do OR may not know how to use tech tools for learning Always back up your data. Desktop on computers are not backed up.  Keep more important …


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 …


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 …


Walid Chaafi: Practicing listening and speaking with technology

by Walid Chaafi Expert Educator Columnist, Tunisia If you have been teaching a foreign/second language since a long time, you may come cross many problems finding suitable resources before the revolution of the web. But now things has changed for good. The focus will not be on any specific language as this article can be applied to any taught language, which is known as EFL /ESL. I will focus in this article on the online audio and video materials which may help in improving the listening and speaking skills. The web provides teachers and learners with lots of opportunities to work with online audio and video- both listening to, watching it and creating it. There are lots of materials online. However, before accessing these materials it is important to consider what to use and how you are going to use them with your learners. Recent improvements in technology design and connectivity have led to significant developments in web-based video communications. It is now not only very simple and easy to connect and communicate across the …


Matt Harris: Global Not International

by Matt Harris Expert Educator Columnist, Singapore When I was asked about writing this column, Microsoft asked what unique view or approach could I take to Educational Technology. My frame was one of working in a leadership capacity in an international school. I am not directly tied to a national system or central cultural influence (despite the words German and European in my school’s name). Rather, I work with people and pedagogies from all over the world. I am “international.” And that is what Ed Tech has become: international. Take the MIE Expert program for example. How many Twitter and Facebook posts have you read that come from people in countries around the world. The Arabic posts alone on the MIE Expert forum on Facebook have me astounded as an English mother tongue speaker. There is enough reach within this community to hold that dialogue in a different language/script/direction and maintain engagement around the world.


Kelli Etheredge: Personalized Learning for Global Citizens (White Paper Interviews)

by Kelli Etheredge Expert Educator Columnist, USA Personalized Learning is a hot topic in education.  As with many buzzwords in education, however, depending upon who are you listening to, sometimes, it is hard to quantify what personalized learning really means and what value it adds to learning environments.  Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to read the whitepaper Personalized Learning for Global Citizens and then interview its authors, Kathryn Kennedy, Joseph R. Freidhoff, and Kristen DeBruler from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.  The whitepaper is part of Microsoft in Education’s Transformation Framework series.  In it, Dr. Kennedy and her colleagues discuss the research on personalized learning, the value technology offers when designing a personalized learning environment, and the guiding principles for leaders and educators when implementing a personalized learning program.  I highly recommend Personalized Learning for Global Citizens for all educators and education leaders.  Kennedy and her team not only highlight the research on the topic, but provide practical applications and concrete examples related to the research.  Specifically, the paper itemizes the twelve elements …


Lidija Kralj: Yammer in Education Part 4- Settling Down

by Lidija Kraj Expert Educator Columnist, Croatia Here we are, four weeks passed by and we learnt a lot. Yammer is no longer novelty for students and me, it is something we rely on and something we expect to have handy quite often. You’d be surprised how fast we get addicted to Yammer We continued working on our citizenship topics, sharing, commenting and publishing presentations about future schools in Yammer. Now we have nice collection of dozen school presentations on one place, all neatly marked with hashtag #skole (that means schools in Croatian). Collection of files raised to 35 items and I started to ask around what is our limit but administrator tells me not to worry about limits. That sounds pretty good for me. Also I discovered that Yammer is amazing in handling files, every time I discover some new option – this time I found out how to see all files organized by time, groups and types. Did you know that one post in Yammer could have up to 25 files attached (see …


Koen Timmers and Angeles Soriano: Breaking Language Barriers via Skype Translator

by Koen Timmers and Angeles Soriano Expert Educator Columnists, Belgium and Spain 14:30. Angels just finished her lessons in a sunny Spain. Koen is teaching his class remote in a cloudy Belgium. Both are meeting up using Skype to collaborate on a column. Except… for this time they are speaking in their own language. Skype Translator is translating their words on the fly. After using this cutting edge tool, both educators are really excited. A wonderful experience. Let’s move to Belgium. Koen: The first time you send an email, the first website you visit, your first smartphone, your first Skype Translator call. All unforgetable moments. Let’s take a closer look at this cutting edge tool. Skype Translator is in preview. You can request an invite at After installing the Windows 8 app, you can choose a voice which will represent you (see above picture). Later, you can choose your language. Unfortunately Dutch isn’t current supported so the call would happen in Spanish – English. Don’t expect Skype to translate your words in text. No …


Mark Sparvell: Innovation Hunter 6- Port Said, Egypt

by Mark Sparvell School Leader Program Director, Microsoft Hello leaders and learners! Continuing my journey across the globe and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educations and the leaders in the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows. SEVEN WONDERS OF THE EDUCATION WORLD: Port Said, Egypt Date: February 2015 Location: Port Said, Egypt Distance from home: 6839.3 Miles (11006.8 Kilometers / 5939.2 Nautical Miles) The early morning drive from my hotel on the Giza Plateau towards Cairo was breathtaking. The sun, through the haze reflecting rose gold on the pyramids, coaxing activity into the street vendors as they stockpiled oranges for sale. Port Said, a bustling vibrant city, is a couple of hundred kilometers from Cairo and was established 1859 as a base to house workers engaged in the construction of the Suez Canal. I enjoyed the experience in the afternoon of a short ferry rise across Suez from the continent of Africa to …


Shafaque Riaz: Gamified Learning Experience for 21st Century Learners

by Shafaque Riaz Expert Educator Columnist, UAE Gamification is the use of game elements and design techniques in non-game contexts. I will start with an example of Nike Plus Accelerometer fitted in Nike Shoes. This device tracks every single step you take when you are running. It tells how far and how fast are you running. It communicates wirelessly with a smart phone. It makes the experience of running more like a game that tells how fastest you run, the longest run you ever had and various kinds of tracking data. You can compare yourself to previous times. You can establish goals and challenges. You get medals and points for achieving those goals. You can compete with your friends and get encouragement from friends. It makes the experience of running more like a game. You are not sitting down in front of your computer and playing a running game, you’re actually going out and running. The game structure around this built in device helps to encourage you to run and make whole experience of running …