All posts tagged: MSFTEdu


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 …


Champa Rathnayake: PBL 30 years ago and citizens of 21st Century

by Champa Rathnayake Expert Educator Columnist, Sri Lanka This is something I am trying to analyse. Beyond 25 years, I had noticed how my mother taught to her students. She was teaching in primary classes. So, I heard always the phrases “subject integration”, “learning by doing “with regard to her professional talks with her colleagues; and I was not a teacher. I review that, John Dewey’s idea of “learning by doing” advanced and applied in education as a teaching learning methodology called Project –based learning (PBL), was well implemented in her classroom. Her class often went out of the school; surely with permission and with an assistant teacher. (As a child of her, I remember I was worrying about her walking and getting tired, with a class of kids).She had walked along village roads with her students creating a playful and enjoyable atmosphere. She had visited some places with streams or small lakes, tea plantations, paddy fields and official places like surveying institute. Students had come back with a lot of knowledge and experience and …


Sharon Rosenblatt: The ADA Enters the Digital Space in its 25th Year

by Sharon Rosenblatt Guest Columnist, USA The Internet allows us all to relive our glory days. If you celebrate Wayback Wednesay, Throwback Thursday, or Flashback Friday (with their associated social media hashtags, of course), some of the images, videos and memories might time travel you back to 1990. If that’s a year that’s near and dear to you, perhaps you would fondly remember looking forward to an episode of a new cartoon called, “The Simpsons”, or maybe you waited with anticipation for the first imagines to come from the Hubble Telescope. Probably more than care to admit were synchronizing hand motions to Madonna’s “Vogue” or jamming to MC Hammer. But do you remember where you were when President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act? That was the equivalent of disability advocacy going quadruple platinum. And it’s still rocking our charts twenty five years later. So strike a pose, because ‘U Can’t Touch This’ blog from taking a ride on a nostalgia rocket.


Marija Petreska: I Explain iXplain

by Marija Petreska Expert Educator Columnist, Macedonia I’ll be starting my fav Windows 8 apps blog posts series and this Friday is reserved for iXplain. iXplain is the simplest and best video creation tool I have come across. It is a screen recording tool that is just imagined for teachers. You can record lessons and presentations in a minute and create videos. There are two video creating options the first one is quick recording where you can record your voice and drawing. And the other option is base recording where you can record just the drawing and add voice in the end. The best feature is that you can save the recordings as mp4 files and share the videos with your students. Here is an example And this is how I teach passive voice But this is just an idea what you can do with iXplain. I have recently shared my ideas of using iXplain in the classroom for some teaching techniques like for example draw a word technique Or one word stories Here are …


Tammy Dunbar: Never Have a Subpar Class with Digital Sub Plans!

by Tammy Dunbar Expert Educator Columnist, USA It’s three in the morning, your nose is ridiculously stuffed, your throat is sore from all that coughing and you are convinced you are coming down with the next big flu. You definitely aren’t feeling well, but even so, you are struggling with the same decision most every teacher dreads: should I put in for a sub? Unless you are unable to crawl, you ultimately decide against it because being at work sick is much easier than making sub plans. Or is it? With a connected classroom, Microsoft Office and proper training, sub plans from home are now relatively simple to create and share. One method is to create a PowerPoint that walks the sub and the class through their assignments screen-by-screen. My class is very used to starting lessons with a short PPT presentation to get them into the topic and then lead them to the actual assignment. Since we have done many of these together in class, the next logical step was to create a PowerPoint …


Lidija Kralj: Yammer in Education, Part 3

by Lidija Kraj Expert Educator Columnist, Croatia Last thing I expected from Yammer was possibility to use it as presentation tool. So greater was my impression how good social network we have in our hands now. My students are attending last year in our school. Primary or elementary school in Croatia lasts 8 years and then students have to choose secondary school they will attend next 3 or 4 years. They could choose among gymnasium, vocational school, technical or economic schools. Whatever they choose they will have to travel to some city 25 – 35 km far from their homes. Presenting as professionals As part of our citizenship education I asked students to prepare presentations about their future schools and present it to the whole class. They created presentations in Office 2013 as usual and attached them to the posts in our Yammer group. This time posts were tagged properly as #skole so we could easier find all presentations later. That is lesson we learned while creating digital gallery :).


Erliza Matacot and Nam Ngo Thanh: MIE- More Than What You Think

by Nam Ngo Thanh and Erliza Matacot Expert Educator Columnists, Vietnam and Philippines “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” This adage from a French author and a Nobel Prize winner in Literature André Gide may be best applied to all educators who want to sail their own ship in seeking for the best education. With the rapid development of the society, approach in education has also changed. Thus, teachers and students should not be left behind and should be courageous in embracing the changes brought by the new generation. 800 educators from different countries around the globe, trying to cruise their vessels with technology and enhancing their professional knowledge and skills, met together in one ocean and became Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. There, they are tasked to be sailed in one ship together, share to each other what they know, learn the things what they don’t know and experience the journey of the real innovative educators. Being selected as MIE Experts is not an easy …


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 …


Matt Harris: Coding is a Universal Connector that We (You) Should Teach in (Y)Our Schools

by Matt Harris Expert Educator Columnist, Singapore I must confess: I am a coder. I like to create and build through computer programming. I find it engages a special part of my brain and calms me when I need a break of administrative or educational work. In fact, I used to code for Microsoft. I also teach coding and I love that coding teaches them to grow as analytical thinkers and problem solvers. In short, I am a big proponent for learning how to code. What has struck most of late is just how universal coding has become as a connector of people. When I first played around with the topic for this post, I considered titling it as, “Coding is a Universal Language,” but a set of colleagues corrected me. Coding does not follow the rules of common languages; it exceeds them. Coding ties people together from all backgrounds and ages with the universal concepts of planning, creativity, design, and development. It is both constructive and destructive, fueling collaboration in some and isolation in …