All posts tagged: hottopics


Tammy Dunbar: OneNote To The Rescue!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA We had to have a Student Success Team meeting for Paris immediately. She had recently completed trimester proficiencies as well as reading comprehension testing in Read 180, and it seemed clear she might need more help than she was receiving. Emails were sent back and forth, but because we were in the middle of standardized testing, it was impossible to schedule a meeting so everyone could review the new data that would guide our suggestions on how best to help her. The new data was difficult to review without getting together: only I had access to her district proficieny scores, our Read 180 teacher was the only person with access to Paris’ reading comprehension data, her cumulative file was in a secure room, and our administrator had the only copy of the original SST recommendations which were on paper.  Then it hit me: why not create a OneNote for our Student Success Team? We had been training on using OneNote for ourselves and our classrooms for several months …


Innovation Hunter: Hot Potatoes and Cool Learning

by Mark Sparvell School Leaders Program, Microsoft in Education 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. HOT POTATOES AND COOL LEARNING Location: Silverton Primary School, Victoria, Australia Distance from home: 13266 miles Silverton Primary school has a very long history with Microsoft as an Innovative School, World Tour School, Global Mentor School and now, proudly, Showcase School. Silverton school is situated in an diverse community with lower than average mean incomes and higher than average unemployment…yet Silverton shines bright in national testing results and the school, staff and principal have received multiple recognition for excellence at local, state, national and international . Silverton are experts at hosting visitors, people travel from across Australia and globally to visit this high performing school which defies expectations based on social or economic context. What …


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 …


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 …


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 …

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Anil Saccaram: Make a Difference with Gamification

by Anil Saccaram Expert Educator Columnist, Mauritius I would like to start my first blog #mieexpert2015 by sharing with you my experience with game-based learning and gamification. A lot of researches have been carried out on the benefits of game-based learning and the literature review shows a mixed feeling, some find it very beneficial while others are more cautious and find substantial drawbacks. It is true that game- based learning is not always the best strategy because it is quite difficult to find off-the-shelf games which are tailor made to suit the school curriculum and meet the specific learning objectives set. Also, it may happen that due to lack of proper supervision and monitoring students give more attention to the game side than to the pedagogical interest in playing these games. However, gamification, which is the inclusion of video game design and game elements in learning environments (Wikipedia), can be a more interesting path to explore as you can fix your own objectives and design your activities accordingly while at the same time retain similar …


Dai Nguyen Thi: Project-Based Learning Makes Physics Fun!

by Dai Nguyen Thi Expert Educator Columnist, Vietnam My stance in teaching is that: “Applying information communication technology in the teaching is an artistic job. The Information technology must go in hand with teaching methodology then it will make itself radiant. As I think, the teaching methodology is for the whole world. However, in the other countries, other regions, depending on the actual situation in education and the development of information technology, using teaching methodology with information technologies requires the creation of educators. The success in the application of information technology in teaching, that is fit and high feasibility for many teachers and students working together and help students to improve the 21st century skills. Project-based learning is one of the best teaching methodology. However, when I applied PBL of teaching, I and my colleagues just knew mostly PowerPoint Apps. I asked myself about the question “: How application of information communication technology in teaching projects could be used as an effective tool supporting students learn well.

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Tammy Dunbar: A Very Edtech Spring Break

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA Spring Break usually means traveling to some exciting exotic destination with family or friends to enjoy some much-needed rejuvenation. But this year, I find myself in a Spring Break Stay-cation where everyone in my family has to work except me. Doing laundry and lesson plans all week does not sound like much fun. Instead, I’ve decided it’s the perfect week for a little professional development in the comfort of my own home. First, wearing my cozy slippers, I registered for and attended the March edition of Microsoft Edcast’s monthly webinars to learn about “Prepping Students for 21st Century Skills Using Office 365.” It was eye-opening to see the International Data Corporation (IDC) Skills Research for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs. The top three skills employers ask for include oral/written communication, detail orientation and Microsoft Office. I also learned at the webinar that Microsoft is not only offering Office 365 free for certain students and teachers, they are also offering MS Office Specialist certifications to students and teachers (and the testing …