“I use education technology to target the same skills in a variety of ways.” – Nathalie Mathieu, France
Lycée Saint Bénigne
Like most educators today, Nathalie Mathieu sees a big challenge in the gap between the diverse groups of students in her classes and an education system that tends to favor standardized testing. And for this #MIEExpert who’s attending E2, creating differentiated experiences for these students hasn’t always been easy to put into practice.
That all changed for Mathieu in January 2018, when one of her colleagues introduced her to OneNote and Teams, the Microsoft Educator Community, and the potential of Twitter to connect with worldwide educators. From that day on, her teaching practices have radically evolved.
“I use education technology to target the same skills in a variety of ways,” she explains. “Students have the same final tasks, but they can choose how to present them. It allows them to either show specific skills they have already mastered or try new tools in order to acquire new skills. Once again, it makes them feel more confident, which is my main challenge since French students often feel uncomfortable when speaking English.”
One of Mathieu’s favorite classroom activities is having students work on concrete, real-world projects, which get the students naturally more involved and motivated.
“Taking into account their own specific skills, they have to distribute roles, take on responsibilities, work on a variety of tools, and carry out their projects,” she tells us. “This year we worked on projects linked to Sustainable Development Goals. The students discussed the project in different group conversations in Teams and used OneNote to work on mails and to design promotional posters. They sent the mails to the principal in order to receive his seal of approval, and they used Mindmeister to sum up everything they had done.”
Mathieu is also a big fan of FlipGrid, and has been using it in all of her classes since September.
“At the beginning, I was not quite sure how high school students would respond to it, especially knowing that they had to speak English in their videos,” she shares. “I started with class introductions and, to my surprise, they all had a blast recording and sharing their videos! It was much more efficient and fun for them than the usual class introductions done inside the classroom when they barely know each other. Since then, I often create topics based on the subject studied and encourage the students to practice their English that way.”
About Nathalie Mathieu
- Educational background: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathalie-mathieu-b29b85159/
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Teams
- Website I check every day: Twitter/Facebook /LinkedIn
- Favorite childhood memory: Summer holidays in Corsica.
- Favorite book: The Complete Unexpected Tales by Roald Dahl
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Get out of your comfort zone.