“Via playful learning, children can acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes in a stimulating environment.” – Symeon Retalis, Greece

“Via playful learning, children can acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes in a stimulating environment.” – Symeon Retalis, Greece

“One of the greatest tools available is BrainPOP, an animated video resource that covers all subjects, all areas, and all grade levels. In short, 6 minute videos, students are able to get great instruction on any topic.” – Adina Popa, USA

“One of the greatest tools available is BrainPOP, an animated video resource that covers all subjects, all areas, and all grade levels. In short, 6 minute videos, students are able to get great instruction on any topic.” – Adina Popa, USA

“Innovation rules the future. The advancements in technology have changed the lifestyle of every individual.” – Meka Ramakrishna Sayee, India

“Innovation rules the future. The advancements in technology have changed the lifestyle of every individual.” – Meka Ramakrishna Sayee, India

“In my honest opinion, education is not tied strongly enough to reality.” – Dani Casanova, Spain

“In my honest opinion, education is not tied strongly enough to reality.” – Dani Casanova, Spain

The True Power Of The Global Forum

The True Power Of The Global Forum

“We need creative minds because there’s no easy or obvious way to achieve great solutions for the challenges the world faces today.” – Cristina Isern, Spain

“We need creative minds because there’s no easy or obvious way to achieve great solutions for the challenges the world faces today.” – Cristina Isern, Spain

“We wanted to be able to offer our students and teachers a tablet device that would do all of the computing they were used to with a laptop, then take that further.” – Kimberly Evelti, USA

“We wanted to be able to offer our students and teachers a tablet device that would do all of the computing they were used to with a laptop, then take that further.” – Kimberly Evelti, USA

“I truly believe that in today’s world when you’re not learning, you’re falling behind.” – Emily Douglas, USA

“I truly believe that in today’s world when you’re not learning, you’re falling behind.” – Emily Douglas, USA

“We need a lot of work to be done, and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?”  – Professor Dr. Amro Khater, Egypt

“We need a lot of work to be done, and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?” – Professor Dr. Amro Khater, Egypt

“Being an entrepreneur can be frustrating and time-consuming, of course. Patience is key.” – Johnnie Lovett, USA

“Being an entrepreneur can be frustrating and time-consuming, of course. Patience is key.” – Johnnie Lovett, USA


Focus

Celebrate World Book Day: Create an e-Book with your Students


I believe that one of the most important gifts we can give our children is the ability to read a book. As Kofi Anan said, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”  Reading opens doors to new worlds, cultures, ideas and people. Today — UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day – is a global celebration of the importance of reading and the contribution of books in advancing social and cultural progress.  

How can you promote reading and literacy in a meaningful way on World Book Day? Create and share an original e-book with the world. We’ve made it easy, and available to everyone through the Matuto™ Literacy For Life partnership. Here’s how:

  1. Use the online Chekhov multimedia book creator tool, with easy, step-by-step instructions, to create and publish your e-book.  Here is your chance to write a story with your students. What do they love? Does your class – or one student in particular student – have a story that needs to be told? Now is your chance! Whether it’s a fun ghost story or work of non-fiction, all ideas are welcome. If you do want even more inspiration, you can also discover thousands of free e-books from The Microsoft Educator Network.
  2. Once approved (usually in a few days), your e-book will be published in the Windows App Store! Look for the category that is specifically dedicated to education, where you will find free e-books, apps, and so much more.

I am very proud of Microsoft’s partnership with UNESCO, including the The Matuto™ Literacy For Life partnership, which aims to reach 100 million new readers by the year 2020.
 Matuto leverages the power of mobile technologies and seeks to enable anyone, anywhere, to produce and distribute literacy content. But it will take a concerted effort by many to bring these goals to fruition, and these readers must also develop a broad set of skills to be successful in the 21st century. 

At Microsoft, we believe that a great education must include building skills that lead to meaningful employment. Reading is step one in that skill set. We are also dedicated to helping educators easily access tools that can help students succeed as they advance in their learning, so we have made the following Windows Apps available in the Windows 8 store:

Creating Fresh Paint; Movie Moments; Photosynth; 3D builder; Kodu; Project Spark; Small BASIC; Touch Develop; Movie Maker; Visual Studio 
Evaluating Skype; Publisher; Yammer; Lync; Bing News; Project; Interactive Classroom 
Analyzing Sticky Notes; Excel; Chronozoom; Mathematics 4.0; Visio 
Applying iXplain; PowerPoint; Deep Zoom; Songsmith 
Understanding Word; Free Books; Flashcards; Project Tuva; Worldwide Telescope; IT Academy; Internet Explorer 
Remembering Notepad; OneNote; Bing Maps; AutoCollage 

 E-books, combined with the knowledge and skills that these apps can build, are fantastic ways to help students access and apply knowledge in sophisticated ways, and increasingly, students are working on these complex problems in teams, as in the 2015 PISA collaborative problem-solving tasks. The Windows Apps are designed to build on these skills and more.  

I hope you join us today as we celebrate World Book and Copyright Day. Thank you for encouraging your students to read, to learn, and to create. Make sure you let me know about the e-books you and your students create at @Anthonysalcito. I look forward to reading them all!

-Anthony

Focus

Tree Key Brings Students and Nature Together


It’s always rewarding when, in the weeks and months following the Microsoft in Education Global Forum, we begin to see the fruits of the connections made there. In the case of one project – those fruits are actually entire trees.  

The Tree Key project, part of our Learn-a-Thon, brought app designer Koen Timmers together with co-authors Julie Hembree, Karina Batat and Noriyuki Fukui to create a lesson plan that combines botany and technology. Working together, students from around the globe learn important 21st century skills and identify and appreciate the many uses of trees. Ultimately, the project encourages students to seek solutions to local and global environmental challenges, including Japan’s deforestation crisis.    

In the project, students gather five leaves of different local trees. They work in pairs to collect information on each leaf (its use, medicinal value, etc.). Then these five trees are presented to the other schools in the USA, Japan, Israel and Belgium using Skype (or videos due to the time difference). Subtitles, enabled by Bing Translator, help to bridge language issues. And Timmers’ app provides all of the data the students need to complete the assignment. 

Does this sound like something you’d like to try in your classroom? The lesson plan is available on the Partners in Learning network, and the app is free in the Windows store. We’re excited to share these tools, and looking forward to sharing even more innovative lesson plans and apps born in Barcelona this year. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Koen Timmers. 

What inspired you to start using and making education based apps?
I was very honored to be named an Expert Educator and very excited to be invited to the Global Forum in Barcelona. During the inspiring keynotes and workshops I was inspired to find out how to develop my own app. I also decided to write a tutorial – instead of a reflection – that explains how to create your own educational app. By offering an educational app and a tutorial, I wanted to show my gratitude by giving something back to the community. 

So after the Global Forum I started to research how to create Windows apps. I created an app inspired by our Learn-a-thon project “Trees Please!” The app – Tree Key – replaces books and helps to identify trees by its leaves.  

Since 2000, I’ve been posting courseware and tutorials on my website zelfstudie.be. This tutorial was the first one I wrote and shared in English. The purpose is to show teachers how to develop their own educational apps. Students, too, will be able to enlarge their creativity and use their teachers’ apps. I also wrote a sequel: how to create your own Flappy Bird app. 

Last but not least, I want to thank my team members Karina (Israel), Nori (Japan) and Julie (USA) of the Learn-a-Thon. I still have contact with some of them on a daily basis. Karina and I are brainstorming how to improve the app — for example, by adding the possibility to let everybody submit new trees 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to create education apps?

  1. Explore the existing store. No need to reinvent the wheel!
  2. Your first app? Don’t aim too high.
  3. Think and plan before you build and be creative. You might have to teach yourself a little bit of HTML and CSS.
  4. Need any help? Ask your fellow Expert Educators’ advice. It would be my pleasure to help you (email: koen@timmers.me)
  5. Share your app!

How have apps/mobile devices changed the way you view education?
Apps can replace books, promote collaboration and presentation, visualize abstract things and enable gamification and augmented reality. In short: they make students well motivated and bring learning to a higher level of efficacy.

Focus

Watch Anthony Salcito’s 2014 Global Forum Keynote Speech


It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month since the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona. Since that time, we’ve shared some incredible stories from the Forum. We’ve featured a guest blog from Todd La Vogue (a Microsoft Expert Educator and Global Forum winner), we’ve showcased the students from ESADE and Saltash.net who brought their unique and important perspective and energy, we’ve shared The Pitch competition, and of course, announced all the winners.

Today, I’m excited to share my full opening keynote speech from the event.  

As I noted in my speech, the Global Forum plays host to some of the greatest educators in the world. It is this elite, special community of teachers, school leaders and innovators that is transforming education. They are pushing traditional boundaries and discovering new ways to innovate through technology. They inspire me – and all of us at Microsoft — each and every day.

And while I do love to share my view on the future of learning – and of course demo the latest apps from Microsoft and our partners – the true magic of the Global Forum is in the connections that are forged at this incredible event. If you were not able to be at the Global Forum in person, this is a great way to share in the spirit of the Global Forum, and the incredible, powerful work that takes place in every corner of the globe to provide students with the education they need to succeed in the 21st century. 

I hope you watch this keynote, and then let me know your thoughts. What are you most excited about? What do you plan to do to make a change – even a small one – in your community?  Tell me @AnthonySalcito. Thank you! 

-Anthony

Video

Personalized Learning in a Showcase School in Colombia


This video showcases a school in Colombia, Colegio Fontan , that using Microsoft technology in creating a Personalized learning system for students and teachers to use so that students drive their own learning.

 

Infographics

Extending The Reach of Excellent Teachers Infographic


Why does every child need consistent access to excellent teachers, and how can we, today, extend the reach of the excellent teachers our nation already has? This infographic illustrates four ways school can use job redesign and technology to put excellent teachers in charge of every student’s learning. It also highlights the role of extending these teachers’ reach in building an “Opportunity Culture” in which excellent teachers, other educators, and students can excel

Interview

“Via playful learning, children can acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes in a stimulating environment.” – Symeon Retalis, Greece


(more…)

Interview

“One of the greatest tools available is BrainPOP, an animated video resource that covers all subjects, all areas, and all grade levels. In short, 6 minute videos, students are able to get great instruction on any topic.” – Adina Popa, USA


(more…)

Interview

“Innovation rules the future. The advancements in technology have changed the lifestyle of every individual.” – Meka Ramakrishna Sayee, India


(more…)

Interview

“In my honest opinion, education is not tied strongly enough to reality.” – Dani Casanova, Spain


(more…)

Video

School Leaders at The Microsoft in Education Global Forum 2014


We’re still feeling inspired by the events that took place at The Microsoft in Education Global Forum a few weeks ago! Check out this video of our school leader attendees. 

Video

2014 Global Forum – Educator Spotlight – Venezuela


Alberto Castellano’s incredible project focuses on helping hearing-impaired students in the classroom.

Guest Blog

The True Power Of The Microsoft in Education Global Forum


I had the privilege of being a member of the United States delegation at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month. During this event, I tweeted many examples the power of the Global Forum.

Being able to organize and create project based learning activities with like-minded educators from all parts of our planet is one such example of the power of the Global Forum.

On Thursday morning, March 13, I sat down at a table with an educator from Taiwan, Indonesia, France and Tunisia. We were given a one-word topic – poverty – and asked to create a learning activity from this one word.

We started simply as Team 28 but eight hours later, five teachers from four continents, teaching at three different grade levels, created one project, “Five Countries Fighting Poverty”, that will help all of our students in their learning in so many ways. That is the power of the Global Forum.

Here is the breakdown of our roles:

  • I teach middle school environmental science. My students will research how poverty affects the environment and how the environment affects poverty in the five participating countries.
  • Woro Wulan, from Indonesia, teaches second grade. Her students will learn about each country and illustrate what poverty looks like to them.
  • Hsueh-Wen Fang, from Taiwan, teaches high school literature. His students will research and write about poverty in the participating countries from a literary perspective.
  • Mansar Rached, from Tunisia, teaches high school mathematics. His students will research and compile all the data (numbers) associated with poverty in the participating countries.
  • Marc Aurelien Chardine, from France, teaches high school physics. His students will collect all the data from the other students and build an augmented reality manipulative to house the data. Students will be able to manipulate an augmented reality model of Earth. In each of the five countries, the students will be able to access all data from all participating students from five countries.

There were language and cultural differences that came into play but at no time would it become a barrier to reaching our goal. I was so impressed at how much every member wanted to contribute. I was swept up in the enthusiasm of my team members. We brainstormed and entertained ideas from everyone. We agreed on a structure and roles for completing the learning activity. We worked together to create a realistic learning activity that will be implemented in our classrooms.

There are not many conferences where this kind of global learning activity could be created. That is the power of the Global Forum.

At home, I am ahead of the curve among educators. At this table, on this day, I was working hard to keep up with a team of focused and driven overachievers. I admire them greatly and was honored to be grouped with them. I learned from each and every person I came in contact with during this event.

It was humbling; and that is the power of the Global Forum.

So where do I go from here? When I have been exposed to so much knowledge, ability and passion, what is my next steep? The Microsoft in Education Global Forum is a hard act to follow.

It is my obligation as a professional educator to pay it forward. I have created an action plan for the next year that will provide professional development, enhanced by my experiences at the Global Forum, to countless educators, both locally and globally. My plan includes mentoring as many of the nearly 13,000 educators in my school district through monthly Teach Meets with area teachers, small group professional development with teachers at my school and district-wide professional development.

I will present at School Advisory Council and Parent Teacher Student Council meetings.

I have a social media professional learning network that covers 50 countries. I will use this global reach to spread the word that there is a group of passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated Microsoft Expert Educators who can help teachers better their craft, and as a result, improve the educational opportunities for their students.

And that is the true power of the Global Forum. To learn more about the work I do day to day,  visit his blog – The Innovative Educator.

- Todd LaVogue

 

Focus

Students Rock the 2014 Global Forum


In our coverage of the 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, we’ve talked a good bit about the students from the Saltash.net Community School in Cornwall, England. Four students from this Microsoft Innovative School not only attended the event, they played a key role in communicating student perspectives to the educators, school administrators and government leaders in attendance. From their opening presentation during the School Leaders Track, to their presence throughout the three-day event, these students made a lasting impression. 

George, Amy, Jack and Rowenna, who call themselves the @OffPerts (Microsoft Office Experts), shared insights and ideas, provided help desk support for attendees and launched a student leadership project for schools around the world. They also won second runner-up, along with their teacher Scott Wieprecht, in the Cutting Edge Use of ICT for Learning category. 

I was lucky enough to sit down with these inspiring young people and hear from them, first-hand, how they enjoyed their time in the spotlight and learned their view of the future of technology. Not surprisingly, they valued the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sharpen their presentation skills and boost their confidence. They also loved to share their thoughts on what really engages students in learning. “To get teachers excited,” one of the students shared, “show how much the students like it.” 

And in spite of their busy schedules – in addition to their regular studies, the @OffPerts create Microsoft Office tutorials for students and teachers around the globe – they’re already thinking about their futures. I was encouraged to hear that “computer scientist” and “app designer” were high on their list for potential careers. 

I know you’ll enjoy these students’ enthusiasm and insights as much as I did. Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with the students of the Saltash.net Community School. 

-Anthony

Interview

“We need creative minds because there’s no easy or obvious way to achieve great solutions for the challenges the world faces today.” – Cristina Isern, Spain


(more…)

Interview

“We wanted to be able to offer our students and teachers a tablet device that would do all of the computing they were used to with a laptop, then take that further.” – Kimberly Evelti, USA


(more…)

Interview

“I truly believe that in today’s world when you’re not learning, you’re falling behind.” – Emily Douglas, USA


(more…)

Video

Microsoft World Tour School – Hellerup School, Denmark


Hellerup School is one of the Microsoft World Tour Schools in the Innovative Schools Program. The school is operating in one big open classroom environment without walls. Students are encouraged to work according to their individual learning styles in a synergy relationship with educators, management and parents that is based on trust and mutual commitment.

Hellerup School frequently has visitors from the education environment on all continents that want to see the innovation and creative way the schools work with education in the school.

Video

2014 Global Forum – Educator Spotlight – India


Bijal Damiani of India walks us through her project, Creative Capitalists, Let’s Make World a Better Place.

Focus

From Teachers, for Teachers: The Innteach Blog Celebrates an Anniversary


One year ago – April 3rd, 2013 – the Innteach (originally titled “Teachnology”) blog was born from the shared vision of three educators who met at the 2013 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Prague. The vision was to help other teachers navigate the sometimes challenging waters of education technology adoption. Original founders Ovi Barceló (from Spain), Luis Fernandes  and João Cunha (from Portugal) wanted to create a “from teachers to teachers” blog focused on Windows 8 apps for education.  Expert Educators Barceló and Cunha, along with Mentor School Leader Fernandes, quickly discovered just how large the appetite for this kind of information was. 

The blog became so popular, they expanded its scope and added five additional languages – including English and Chinese – to the original Spanish and Portuguese, with more to come. They’ve also added native-speaking contributors and now feature four sections: 

  • App Reviews: Contributors try apps in classrooms and share their opinions about them with suggested uses.
  • App of the Month: In-depth app reviews from contributors.
  • Faces Behind the Apps: App developers are invited to present their work and plans for the future.
  • In My Opinion: Special contributors from around the world share their opinions about education and technology. 

To make their valuable content even more accessible, Innteach launched their own Windows 8 app in conjunction with this year’s Global Forum in Barcelona. The bloggers also launched an App of the Year contest, with the special partnership from Corinth, giving readers a voice in voting for the best education apps of 2013. To celebrate Innteach’s first anniversary, the winner is being announced today, and you can find the results here.   

The Innteach blog has over 600,000 visitors, and features some impressive expertise (contributors are listed below; many are familiar names for Daily Edventures readers). But the team tells us they’re just getting started. Innteach is already planning the blog’s next enhancements: more languages, collaboration with app developers, implementing a quality badge system for the best apps and becoming a go-to reference for Windows 8 education apps reviews. They’re also growing — and continue to look for additional contributors. 

It’s tremendously rewarding for me to see how the innovative spirit we spark at the Global Forum spawns more and greater innovation after educators return home. Join me in congratulating these tireless innovators who not only support their students, but also work to help their fellow educators each and every day.  

-Anthony

 Innteach Contributors

Chinese section: Andy Li, Expert Educator (Hong Kong)
English section: Clive Bridges, World Tour School leader (Spain)
Spanish Section: Mariló Martinez, Mentor School leader (Spain)
Danish section: Pernille Reenberg, Expert Educator (Denmark)
App of the Month Section: Todd LaVogue, Expert Educator (USA); Daniel Sharpe, Mentor School leader (USA)
Catalán/Valenciano section: Àngels Soriano, Expert Educator (Spain); Toni Zarzoso,
Expert Educator (Spain)
Portuguese section: Jorge Dias, Mentor School leader (Portugal)
Finnish section: Tommi-Pekka Niukkanen, Expert Educator (Finland); Paula Vorne, Expert Educator (Finland)   

Special Contributor
Ondrej Homola, Innovator and Corinth CEO (Czech Republic)

Interview

“We need a lot of work to be done, and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?” – Professor Dr. Amro Khater, Egypt


We’ve just completed an amazing Microsoft in Education Global Forum, but it’s not too soon to examine how participants – and other educators around the world – can raise the bar for teaching innovation. To that end, I recently sat down with one of our esteemed Global Forum judges, Dr. Amro Khater, to gain some insights on what inspires our judges, and what educators can do to get their attention. 

Dr. Khater has worked with the world’s leading universities – including Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford — to identify and shape talent. He’s devoted his life’s work to attracting international investment to his region, and is recognized as an expert in emerging markets. He and his team have also developed management coaching strategies for British Gas, Qatar Petroleum, BP, Shell, Halliburton QAPCO and TOTAL to strengthen workplace communication and team work.   

When assessing talent, Dr. Khater places a high value on intangibles. “I like to feel the passion,” he says, “and it has to be felt, not said.” He also likes to understand the mechanics of how knowledge is built, how innovation and technology come into play and how the project impacts society.    

Of course, education innovation is of limited value if it is confined to a single project in a single classroom. So how do you scale innovation and provide a blueprint for others to replicate it? According to Dr. Khater, it all starts with awareness – making people see the project’s impact.

Dr. Khater notes, “To me, whenever something great happens, if you cannot make others really benefit from it, then what’s the use of it?” 

This wasn’t Dr. Khater’s first experience as a Global Forum judge, so he’s had the opportunity to see how innovation in education – especially around technology – is accelerating. “It’s all about great teamwork, collaboration and how to make efficient knowledge construction in a way that helps to build up new ideas,” he told me.  

But most important, according to Dr. Khater, is that the progress we’re seeing is sustainable. “We need a lot of work to be done,” he says, “and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?”  

I am inspired by Dr. Khater’s commitment to excellence, and I hope you will be, too. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Dr. Amro Khater.