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  • 10/23/12--08:37: Office 365 in the Classroom
  • Free to schools, Microsoft Office 365 is great for providing educators and students new ways to connect, collaborate and engage. With free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing; it’s not surprising that we are quite excited to see how schools are taking advantage of cloud based learning.

    This month two Derby schools, Ravensdale Junior and Oakswood Junior have welcomed us into their schools to demonstrate exactly how they are using Office 365 in the classroom.

    9Oakswood Junior has set up an online numeracy support group. Making use of Lync students are using the chat feature to provide support to one another on homework issues. Lync can be accessed by students at home and in school and teachers are using the status tool  feature as an ‘Assessment for Learning’ strategy to monitor progress. Hence, if students set their status to red they require assistance, if they show green they know the answer and are available to help others and if they display amber they are still working on the learning activity.

    Oakswood Junior is also using Lync to bring classes together. Two year 6 groups are working collaboratively on projects even though they are located in different parts of  the school building. Taking the meaning of group work to a whole new level, students from the two classes use the group video tool feature to work on problem solving activities and joint presentations.

    Image2Ravensdale Junior is no exception. Teachers have used the class and group site features of Sharepoint 2012 to deliver lessons to students of different abilities. The class discussion tool is often used as a starter activity to get all students contributing to questions and ideas that shape the basis of the lesson. Wiki pages are used to help deliver differentiated learning resources, and students are given opportunities to work in real time on assignments and group projects using the office web apps. Students at this school have created their own learning journals using the online features to share their classroom experiences with parents at home. Ravensdale Junior have found that this method of working motivates students to achieve their very best as work is published online for all to see.

    These are some great examples of how Office 365 can be used by schools to help impact and inform learning.

    You can find out more about Office 365 by joining for free at www.pil-network.com


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    tigvolTo support Microsoft’s Youth Spark, we are pleased to offer free places on TakingITGlobal’s online e- course "Empowering Student Voice in Education."

    This graduate-level, accredited course is designed to help educators understand the value of cultivating and engaging student voice both inside and outside the classroom. Participants will critically examine a set of agreed principles which underpin the development of all student voice work regardless of the initiative and seek to design a project that enables and enhances student voice in their own schools.

    Course material draws on:

    • Student Voice theory and the experiences of educators who have incorporated student voice in their teaching and learning practice.
    • It offers opportunities to engage in Microsoft Youth Sparks with a key focus on Innovate for Good, a global online community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to make a difference in their communities.
    • It evaluates the impact of personalised learning meeting the needs of more students to a fuller extent than ever before and how this can be embedded in a school’s curriculum to reach effective and sustainable results.documentname_6

    How does an online e-course work?

    • The e-course consists of five weekly 90 minute classes.
    • A private virtual classroom space that allows participants to connect between classes to share ideas, collaborate, and engage in meaningful dialogue;
    • Challenging and engaging readings, assignments and projects; and
    • An approach to learning that encourages personal reflection.

    When does it start?

    For more information about the e-course, please email me with initial interest at v-matwal@microsoft.com


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    For one week only, the Bloodhound Super Sonic car is coming to Enfield!

    Metaswitch, in association with the BloodHound SSC Project Team is proud to announce that the actual Bloodhound supersonic car will be visiting the London Borough of Enfield at the following venues:

    6th and 7th November 2012 8th and 9th November 2012
    Barnet and Southgate College
    Southgate Campus
    High Street
    Southgate
    N14 6BS
    The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London
    Enfield Centre
    73 Hertford Road
    Enfield
    EN3 5HA

    Bloodhound super sonic car

    This project is a cutting-edge engineering adventure which is hoping to break the world land speed record.  Education is a key element of the project and Metaswitch are joining with the Bloodhound team to use the project to capture the imaginations of young people to inspire more school pupils in Enfield to continue with STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and to become ground-breaking engineers of the future.

    It’s going to be a fun and fantastic opportunity to celebrate STEM activities and every school in the Borough is being invited to attend. There will be a number of events – including a Launch Evening, a Business Breakfast and two Community Events, as well as interesting projects and activities for the schools.

    If you have any queries or questions, please contact us on bloodhound@metaswitch.com

    Find out more about the Bloodhound project by checking out www.bloodhoundssc.com


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    TWT_HeaderGraphic_940x100

     

    We know that technology on its own cannot help students achieve more in the classroom. Consequently, this is one of the main reasons the current ICT curriculum is going through major changes in English Schools. Whilst plans are being rolled out for a discrete computer science discipline, research shows that innovative teaching practices, supported by technology, strongly predict the development of 21st century skills amongst learners.

    Partners in Learning are pleased to announce support for all teachers who want to roll out technology in the wider curriculum. The ‘Teaching with Technology’ e-course is free, self-paced online professional development, where educators learn how integrating the right technology tools into the classroom can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience of the 21st century learner, regardless of the subject matter.

    TWT_CurriculumBadge_64x64Online learning designed to give you a deeper understanding of ICT

    The Teaching with Technology curriculum is competency-based and can be customized to meet your needs. There are six online learning e-courses to choose from and each unit of study stands on its own so you can focus on a specific area of interest or need. You can start with what interests you most and progress through the learning at your own pace:

    1. Why promote technology literacy?
    2. How technology and pedagogy mix
    3. Organize and manage the use of ICT in the classroom
    4. Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
    5. Using basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
    6. Technology literacy and your professional development

      How to take advantage of this opportunity:

      For more information on the Teaching with Technology curriculum, please indicate your primary responsibility:

      image   image

       

      All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.


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      global

      Next week the UK Team will join the best of worldwide education at the 8th Partners in Learning Global Forum.

      This forum celebrates the world's most innovative educators and school leaders for bringing technology to life in the classroom and impacting millions of students.  With the theme “Your Ideas Matter,” it is the culmination of a worldwide, year-long series of progressively competitive national and regional events that recognize and celebrate the very best in innovative teaching and learning.

      We are pleased to announce that two of our top educator’s will join participants from more than 80 countries to collaborate, create and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and advanced pedagogy in ways that achieve 21st- century learning outcomes.

      Please look out for Katie Boothman and Nicki Maddams blog interviews with detailed descriptions of their award winning projects.

      A bit about the forum:

      This year, we are honoured to host this forum in Prague and bring together 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers from more than 80 countries. The event will see how;

      • Education Leaders engage in focused discussions exploring the role of policy in creating 21st century learning environments that prepare youth for a knowledge based world. 
      • Innovative school leaders connect and receive invaluable professional development. 35 mentor schools will also be recognized at the Awards Ceremony.
      • Top educators present innovative uses of technology in the classroom and compete for 18 Global Innovative Education Awards

      Laura Ispsen, WWPS CVP, and Anthony Salcito, WWPS Education VP, will join us for the entire PIL Global Forum and will reflect on Partners in Learning’s reaching its 10th year in their respective keynotes.

      We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.

       

      All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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      global

      Top educator, Katie Boothman from Saltash.net school will present her community project, The H.I.T squad at the 8th Partners in Learning Global Forum (Prague). Katie’s project has developed leaps and bounds since picking up an award at the European Forum this year; for outstanding use of technology to support learning outside the classroom.

      Check out her candid interview, where she explains details of the project and more importantly the inspiration that lies behind such a fantastic educator.

      Katie 1 x 2What is the project about?

      The ‘H.I.T. Squad’ is a talented group of students from saltash.net who embrace new technologies to connect and engage communities and learners across all generations. Primary schools, secondary schools and local residents have benefited from learning resources created by the Squad in their on going mission to share the past with the future. This project has been recognized by English Heritage as a sustainable project which they are now helping to facilitate and grow at a national scale. At the heart of the project are three core elements; cross phase learning; building community links; and inspiring a love for history.

      What was the inspiration for your entry? What inspires you as an educator?

      This project is one which is evolutionary in nature and therefore the inspiration for it has altered as the project has developed. Originally this project was put together in order to help Saltash.net’s history department develop through the use of student voice, to help create 21st century learners. However, as the project has grown we have found that engaging learners of all ages has become the genuine inspiration behind the Hit Squad.

      As an educator, I am inspired by the energy of the pupils I teach and this is the driving force behind the project. I have a passion for learning, whether this is in the area of history or not. I see it as a golden privilege that should never be shunned, as an educator I wish to share this passion and drive for learning. I see the technology as the tool through which I can do this. 

      Check out Katie introducing the hit squad from where it all began!

      Why did you start using technology in your classroom?

      I have always used technology as a teacher, starting off with the basic web 2:0 tools such as xtranormal. Ultimately I love to play with the technology as I am a bit of a geek and therefore whenever I hear of something new I like to see if there are ways that it can be a valuable learning tool in the classroom.

      What do you hope to get out of the Global Forum?

      I hope to gain a wider understanding of the latest tools so that I will be able to develop new innovative learning resources for the classroom. I am also excited to see how current technologies have been deployed in schools from around the world, and develop opportunities for the Hit Squad to scale the fundamentals of the project to schools globally. 

      Katie will present her project to over 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers  and compete for one of the 18 Global Innovative Education Awards. Please join us in wishing Katie the best of luck for next week.

      Staying connected:We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.

      All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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      global

      Our next top educator, Nicki Maddams or otherwise famously knows as the Queen of Kodu will present her project, Kodu in the Klassroom at the 8th Global Partners in Learning Forum (Prague). Nicki’s project transforms the way we look at Kodu Game Lab for learning. From use with primary school children to aid literacy, to focusing on programming with game design in secondary schools, the versatile and engaging software has been used to teach, learn and inspire.

      Learn more about Nicki’s project and why she is affectionately deemed as the ‘Queen of Kodu’ in her interview below.

      MicrosoftPicWhat is your project about? As soon as I tried Kodu Game Lab I immediately saw its potential to enable my pupils to engage in programming in a way they have never had before. As an ICT teacher, it is important that I am teaching children the fundamental concepts behind computer programming. I began by writing a scheme of work and creating teaching resources to enable myself and other members of my faculty to begin teaching a game design project using the software.

      I have since realised the potential of Kodu across the curriculum and have worked with primary school students on a literacy project focusing on the story-telling aspect of the games. I have also put on ‘Kodu Olympics’ at lunchtime, for which we gave out medals to the winners! Recently, I have been using the new Mars Rover feature of Kodu with my students. After sharing the resources on my blog, teachers from across the globe are now using them to teach their own pupils. I have also visited other schools and venues to teach children and train staff!

       

      What was the inspiration for your entry? What inspires you as an educator?

      I am passionate about computing and programming and when I discovered Kodu Game Lab I was inspired by how simple it was for children to get started with programming and game design. There is other software on the market but none that is so quick and easy with which to get started. The more I experimented with the software the more I discovered its full potential in a variety of different projects.

      Check out Nicki in her very own Kodu world!

      Why did you start using technology in your classroom?

      Being an ICT teacher technology is an integral part of my role in school. It is important for me to be up-to-date with technology because in my subject we will already be teaching pupils to use tools which may, very well, be obsolete by the time they go into the world of work.

      What do you hope to get out of the Global Forum?

      It is a fantastic opportunity to network with a large range of like-minded educators. I am looking forward to hearing about everybody’s projects and sharing my own experiences in the classroom.

      Nicki who teaches at Hartsdown Technology College, will present her project to over 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers  and compete for one of the 18 Global Innovative Education Awards. Please join us in wishing Nicki the best of luck for next week.

      Stay connected: We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.

      All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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      image 

      Microsoft Partners in Learning Teacher Camps have been described by some teachers as ‘the best CPD they have ever had’. This is an open invitation to all Teachers in the YHGfL area to attend. So if you want to spend time with other innovative educators, exploring how technology can have a real impact on learning then this is an ideal event for you.

      Camp YHGfL takes place at
      Stanley St. Peter's CE (VC) Primary & Nursery School
      in Wakefield.

      This is a two day event, starting 10:00am - 3:30pm Thursday 6th and 9:30am to 4:00pm Friday 7th Dec 2012.

      This event is free to attend.

      Click here to register

      What will I be doing at Camp?

      We will give you training in using free Microsoft software to create teaching and learning resources for the classroom. You will have time to design, create and evaluate those resources and collaborate with others. This will include the fabulous visual games creation application , Kodu. You will also get the chance to speak to experts at Microsoft about our technology. In addition you will also be learning how to deliver the same training to colleagues in your own schools. These resources will take the form of screen capture videos, which we call Innovids. You can see examples of these on the Partners in Learning YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/innovativeteach

      How do I apply?

      We don’t want videos or lengthy biographies from you, to apply for this free event,  Click here to register before the closing date 29th Dec. 

      I am not an ICT teacher is it worth me applying?

      Yes, most definitely, we are looking for classroom innovators in learning, rather than techie whizz kids. This event is targeted at those Teachers interested in teaching and learning, and how technology can support that, rather than the technology itself. This event is for teachers in Primary, Secondary and Special school settings.

      What will I need to bring?

      We expect you to bring some of the tools you are using already:

      · a headset with a microphone or Headphones and a Microphone

      · a laptop running Windows Vista or Windows 7,

      · Office 2007 or 2010 (not essential)

      · We will give you a the tools you need to install

      What will I be expected to do?

      We would like to create an innovid , . We will collect these resources and post them to our YouTube Channel and YHGfL website.

      We will offer you support if you wish you recreate this course in your school

      Not able to make the two days?

      No problem , YHGfL be holding a Teachmeet  on the evening of 6th Dec. This is open event for any teachers and educators looking share some ideas about the best use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

      You can find details here - http://www.yhgfl.net/CPD/CPD-programme/YHGfL-Microsoft-TeachMeet .

      So forget that Christmas shopping and come join us.

      You can find more resources on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.


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      clip_image002

      Encouraging women and girls to take up computer science as a subject and career, is perhaps a greater challenge than to get Computer Science / Computing on to the UK National Curriculum. Microsoft runs a number of programmes, such as DigiGirlz that actively encourage woman and girls to take up careers in Computing.

      Recently I was asked to nominate an outstanding teacher who is a role model for encouraging girls to develop an interest in coding and computer science, the name that instantly came to mind was Nicki Maddams from Hartsdown Technology College in Margate. Nicki attended the ‘It starts with a Spark’ event last week. I will let her describe in her own words her experience.

      My Day at Decodedimage

      The day began with looking at the history of programming, introducing people such as Ada Lovelace (first female programmer) and Alan Turing. We then moved onto the history of the Web and were given an introduction to the main languages we would be using, these being:

      HTML – The markup language used to give webpages their content.

      CSS – The language which dictates the design of a website.

      Javascript – The programming language used to control what happens within a page or app.

      We got to grips with these languages one-by-one and each point was introduced gradually in a very simple and easy-to-understand way. I already had knowledge of HTML from my college days many years ago but it was great to refresh my skills and gain an understanding of some of the new tags that are now used. I was particularly keen to understand how CSS is used in conjunction with HTML and I now fully understand how the two operate together. Lastly, learning Java Script was really useful as most of my programming experience in the past has been with Visual Basic. Java Script is particularly useful as it is compatible across many devices due to it running within a web browser so is fantastic for making cross-platform applications.

      The app we each built consisted of an HTML and CSS front-end that runs within the browser. The app then uses JavaScript to display a different message depending on our distance from a specific location, in this case, Decoded HQ; this used the built-in GPS on the tablets and mobile phones. You can take a look at my app here.

      Following the day’s events we were then invited to attend a ‘T-Party’ afterwards where we were able to meet and network with other women in the world of IT. Is was great to meet so many different people and hear about the various jobs available in the industry. This will be great for me to share with my students in school, particularly the girls who often don’t think about the IT industry as being a potential career path.

      The training was run by a new company called Decoded who offer the ‘code in a day‘ course to both groups and individuals. They have also been working on educational resources for teachers through O2 Learn and I can’t wait to see their ‘CodeCards‘ when they become available. I really can’t praise the training enough, many of the ladies on the course with me had no programming background at all and were still able to get to grips with the task at hand which is incredible; programming isn’t generally considered an easy topic!

      I have definitely taken lots of ideas on how I can deliver this topic to my sixth form group in school soon. Their task is to build a game so I am going to show them how to develop the same application as I built here, except they are going to extend this into an educational game to help new students find their way around the school. They will utilise the GPS features of tablets or their mobile phones so they can create an interactive story-style game in which they are told to go to different parts of the school to reveal the next part of the story. Who knows some of them might even add obstacles around the school as well to avoid! (Thanks to Alex from Decoded for the interactive story idea!)

      I’m planning for my sixth form intensive programming day to take place in a few weeks (and we’re even going to buy-in Dominoes Pizza for lunch). I will post an update once I have returned from the Microsoft Global Forum in Prague,where I will be presenting my Virtual Classroom Tour, Kodu in the Klassroom.

      You can find out more about many of the programmes and events Microsoft offers by joining our Global Teacher network –Partners in Learning is Free to join at www.pil-network.com


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      Before we get into taking a look at Windows for education, I thought it might be worth reflecting on what exactly is driving the use of technology in our classrooms today. We are witnessing a paradigm shift in how we discover, access, and use digital content, in ways that are enabling immersive experiences and engagements. As a result, in schools we’re seeing a growing trend towards Bring your Own Device and 1 to 1 Personalized Learning. We’re also seeing learning outside of the classroom made possible in ways we never would have imagined just 20 years ago, and we have started to see some of the potential that the cloud brings to school computing. More than anything though, one of the key drivers behind the adoption of technology in our classrooms has been the commitment and desire to develop, in all our students, a set of core 21st Century skills that will enable them to progress through their education and beyond.

      Skills for tomorrow’s workforce e.g.

      skillsAlthough this list is not exhaustive, it does give us some idea of the types of skills that we wish to impart on our students as they move through our schools and classrooms. These are all skills that are growing in demand in today’s economy. You’ll notice that these are not the traditional skills like  typing or other manual skills and they are not standard routine skills like algebra or math. They are much more inclusive.

      We’ve been doing some research to try to understand exactly what role technology can play in innovative teaching practice and students’ attainment of 21 Century Skills. Over the last two years, Partners in Learning has sponsored a study called the Innovative Teaching and Learning Research, which seeks to investigate the factors that help transform education systems and improve student learning outcomes. The research was conducted by SRI International and guided by OECD, UNESCO, ministries of education and other experts. Nobody has ever tried to isolate the relationship between innovative teaching practice and the attainment of 21C skills, so this is ground breaking stuff! One of the most critical findings from our research included the current use of ICT in classrooms:

       

      ITL research findings

      The ITL data shows that when students use ICT for class-related activities, they are most often using it in basic rather than higher-level uses that demand knowledge-building or collaboration. This is important because basic uses of ICT tend to support traditional teaching practices by simply incorporating technology. The process of teaching is often not changing. This really defines the scope of work that we all should be aware of moving forward with 21st Century teaching and learning. We know that technology can play such a crucial and supportive role in innovative teaching and 21st century learning outcomes, but we need to use technology in the appropriate way. This is our collective challenge.

      We should remember that although we are advocating the use of ICT, the fundamentals of what we are trying to achieve should be the same.

      ‘’In the 21st century it is about learning the skills and the tools

      to remake content. It is about becoming the creator and

      the producer’’

      Diana Rhoten -Director of Digital Media and Learning

       

      Diana Rhoten from the Social Science Research Council puts it nicely when she talks about a need to give children an experience that means something to them personally. Something that they can relate into the context of their own lives. They want to be able to take that experience and reshape it and retell it in this context, and then go further still and use that experience for themselves and with others. We believe that technology can help to make a huge impact in this area. Roughly translated, old models of schooling based on consumption of content must be changed. We need to focus on learning rather than schooling, and so beyond just consumption, we should be thinking about creation, and collaboration. Or production and participation. There are any number of labels we can put on these skills, as we’ve seen, and as we take a look at some of the technology available today, lets keep in mind these three essential elements of 21st century learning: Consumption, Creation & Collaboration.

      Next blog post in this series: ‘Windows 8 reimagined, bringing learning to life.’

       

      All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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      The most significant difference between Windows 8 and what’s come before is the way users interact with it – and that’s incredibly important in an education setting.

      Schools need technology that gives learners the ability to create and think about education through the ages – writing, sketching, annotating and showing process have always been important. Windows 8 has been designed to be much more intuitive for both students and teachers.

      Let’s take a look!

      windows 8 6Windows 8 supports multiple inputs with touch, keyboard, cameras, mics and pen. And the non-compromise nature of Windows 8 devices means that schools no longer have to choose between a light mobile tablet that they can load with textbooks or a full PC laptop. They can have both, the mobility and ease of tablet with the power of a PC. This gives schools the ability to run full software programs that students need to write papers, make presentations and crunch numbers. Multitask, annotate and share.

      Windows 8 delivers an experience that brings learning to life for students and helps schools build 21st century skills. Students and educators can choose a user experience that fits their needs, collaborate like never before, and they can do it all from just about anywhere. With Windows 8, the world is your classroom.

      Start making learning personal.

      • Personalize your Windows 8 experience to meet your needs – whether you’re a student or an educator.
      • Customize the Start screen by pinning your favourite people, apps, study notes, and homework assignments.
      • Picture passwords let you combine a picture with a unique set of gestures to create a truly unique password.
      • Sign in to any of your Windows 8 devices and instantly see your profile, settings, and apps.

      windows 8 6Get immersed in education.

      • Browse the full range of education apps in the Windows Store. From note taking to lesson planning, there’s an app designed for every student and educator need.
      • Live tiles draw you in and deliver relevant information right up front.
      • Multitask and increase productivity by leveraging both apps and the desktop experience. Docking apps side by side makes it easy to research and write a report simultaneously.

        Connect in entirely new ways.

        • Go anywhere and stay connected with built-in apps like Mail, Calendar, Photos, Messaging, SkyDrive and more.
        • With cloud connectivity, Windows 8 provides an anytime, anywhere learning experience across a range of different devices, both in and out of the classroom.
        • With Windows To Go, you can turn any computer into your computer. Sign in and boot up your complete Windows 8 experience directly from a USB flash drive.

        penEnjoy flexibility built in.

        • Windows 8 provides the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a PC.
        • Optimized for a touch experience, Windows 8 is equally comfortable with keyboard and mouse, or pen computing with a stylus.
        • Windows 8 can easily connect to nearly any device or peripheral. Print, access homework from a USB, or project a presentation in a snap.

        Do more. Worry less.

        • Windows 8 provides a more secure learning experience wherever you choose to do your schoolwork.
        • With Smart Screen, Windows 8 PCs check new apps or websites so you’re safer from malware and viruses, no matter what browser you’re using.
        • Web browsing can be easily monitored to ensure safety and privacy online.

        The charms in Windows 8 give everyone in education quick and easy access to the features, functions, and actions that they use every day. From simplified and easy sharing to powerful searching literally at your fingertips, Windows 8 really has been reimagined for learning. Learn more about Windows 8 at www.windows.com

         

        Next blog post in this series: ‘A Partners in Learning Experience’

        All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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        Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, $500M global initiative aimed at supporting schools and educators’ use of technology to help every student receive an excellent education and gain the skills they need in work and life. With governments, academic institutions and NGOs, Partners in Learning has invested in a comprehensive research program, the creation of vibrant community of education stakeholders, and specific Educator and Schools programs to improve teaching and learning and optimize the use of technology within pedagogy. Thus far, the program has trained more than 9 million educators and reached more than 200 million students in 114 countries.

        How can Partners in Learning enhance your ‘Windows in the Classroom experience?

        The critical requirement is to look at the curriculum and choose the technology that will best support the learning intention. Sometimes that will involve a Photo Story, sometimes a podcast, or a video. These are powerful but peripheral tactical aids, and the reality is that they won’t be the primary focus in all subject areas. More importantly, if you don’t link these to student learning, you are using technology for technology’s sake. Sometimes, schools can fall into the trap of the “wow” factor of technology, rather than what constitutes good learning for students. For example, they may focus on one or two fantastic multimedia tools as they are exciting (and they are!) – but students cannot learn everything they need to learn by creating video or music. Therefore, the challenge for a school is to make sense of all the software and hardware that’s out there, and ensure it is used as more than a basic engagement tool.

        Teaching with Technology:

        TWT_CurriculumBadge_64x64The ‘Teaching with Technology’ e-course is free, self-paced online professional development, where educators learn how integrating the right technology tools into the classroom can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience of the 21st century learner, regardless of the subject matter. The Teaching with Technology curriculum is competency-based and can be customized to meet your needs. There are six online learning e-courses to choose from and each unit of study stands on its own so you can focus on a specific area of interest or need. You can start with what interests you most and progress through the learning at your own pace:

        1. Why promote technology literacy?
        2. How technology and pedagogy mix
        3. Organize and manage the use of ICT in the classroom
        4. Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
        5. Using basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
        6. Technology literacy and your professional development

         

        Office 365 for Education:

        office 365 Free to schools, Microsoft Office 365 is great for providing educators and students new ways to connect, collaborate and engage. With free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing; it’s not surprising that we are quite excited to see how schools will take advantage of cloud based learning.

         

         

        The Learning Suite:

        learning suiteThe Microsoft Learning Suite is a set of innovative teacher tools and applications developed by Microsoft labs and research communities. Combined with the power of Microsoft Office and Windows, they enrich learning experiences by bringing to life a robust, creative and collaborative learning environment for students and educators. Available as a free download from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, Learning suite provides a number of desktop apps such as worldwide telescope, autocollage, Math 4.0, Ribbon Hero and many more. Take a look at how some of these technologies in action, and learn how these tools can help you teach 21st century skills in the classroom.

         

        Overview of Free Tools in the Learning Suite
        OneNote–making research easy!
        Kodu explained in three minutes!

        For more tutorials visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/innovativeteach

        All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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        It’s about time I returned to my passion, (or as some are referring to it, my obsession) for highlighting how brilliant Microsoft PowerPoint is. If you have missed my previous posts you can find them here.

        When presenting it would be really useful to zoom in and navigate around to highlight a section of text, diagram or photo on a slide. A great little application from Microsoft  called ZoomIT, provides this functionality. Not only for PowerPoint, but for any application running in Windows. ZoomIT runs in the background and using a combination of key strokes you are able to control its various functions.

         

        ZoomIT  
        Key combinations Action
        CTRL+1 To active/deactivate Zoom Function
        Arrow keys or Mouse Wheel To zoom in and out
        Use the mouse to move around  
        CTRL+2 operates a series of simple drawing tools. Click options in ZoomIT to find all the functions
        To type in drawing mode Press t
        To change text/pen colour press r for red, b for blue etc
        To change drawing shape in drawing mode Press Shift = straight line
        Press CTRL = rectangle
        Press Tab = ellipse
        Press Shift+CTRL = arrow
        To save zoomed notes CTRL+C = Copy notes
        CTRL+S = Save notes

        Another great and useful feature is ZoomIT includes a timer. Run ZoomIT and enter the time you want. Then to activate press CTRL+3. This is can be used not just in PowerPoint but in any activity.

        All this from  a free 256 kilobytes, great stuff. – Download here

        For a great overview of ZoomIT, Check out this video on our YouTube channel from Kristian Still - http://www.kristianstill.co.uk/wordpress/


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        global

         It has finally arrived, the much anticipated flagship event for Partners in Learning and the veritable Olympics for teaching and learning the ‘Global Forum’ will take centre stage this week and celebrate the world’s most innovative educators and school leaders.

        This week 200 educators will compete for a chance to win one of 18 Global Forum Educator awards. Amongst these educators will be our very own Katie Boothman and Nicki Maddams. This track marks the culmination of national and regional competitions that have taken place throughout the year. Congratulations to Katie and Nicki on making it this far and good luck this week!

        The Forum will also welcome representatives from 65 Pathfinder schools from more than 60 countries. Havant Academy and Willows High School were chosen through a global application process to represent the UK – it’s a big achievement and one that deserves celebrating! Leading innovators Saltash.net community school will represent one of the 34 Mentor Schools who are now helping guide this year’s class of Pathfinder Schools.

        So what exactly will this week look like for our educators and schools?

        Nicki and Katie will participate in the teachers track: “Your Ideas Matter”

        • Our educators will be provided with an in-depth study of the findings from the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research and LEAP21 work. Additionally, discussions throughout the event will centre on the themes/trends which are impacting education globally, as well as explore the opportunities and challenges that we all face in our classrooms.
        • They will collaborate with teacher’s worldwide during the event to design a learning activity using a learning excursion as inspiration.
        • Participate in sessions led by education experts who will focus on building 21st century skills in the classroom, as well as be provided peer coaching skills that they can take back to their classrooms.
        • Finally, they will conclude the week with a Global Forum “TeachMeet” session, a unique opportunity to hear educators from around the world share their own learning experiences.

        This years’ teachers track has been designed to elicit tangible outputs that will be published on the Partners in Learning Network and shared with teachers globally.

        Saltash.NET and Havant Academy will participate in the schools track: ‘Your Ideas Matter! Think-Create-Act!’

        • Our schools will focus on leading for innovation, applying human-centred, design-led innovation strategies and processes to address issues and ‘hot’ topics of importance to 21st century leadership and learning.
        • With hundreds of peers from around the world, they will have multiple opportunities to share ideas, be creative and explore future-focused possibilities.
        • Each workshop session will build upon prior sessions and culminate in authentic outcomes for action in their own school setting, with on going opportunities to contribute to the broader global community.

        Stay tuned for more of this week’s happenings!!

         

        Staying connected:We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.

        All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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        imagePartners in Learning has been working with teachers and schools in the UK for 10 years, working with thousands of teachers during that time. The UK team are here in Prague at the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum, with our Innovative Teachers and Pathfinder Schools. We have been privileged , not only to see some amazing examples of the impact of technology on learning from around the world, but to hear some amazing keynotes and announcements. The most significant and exciting of which I want to share with you.

        Microsoft announced that Partners in Learning will be funded to the tune of $250 million, (Yes , you can Whoop here if you wish)with a five-year renewal, that reaffirms its commitment to education through Microsoft Partners in Learning, bringing Microsoft’s total investment in the program over 15 years to a staggering $750 million.

        Microsoft aims to grow the Partners in Learning community to 20 million of the 75 million teachers worldwide by 2018 with this renewal and to continue preparing students for the changing global workforce. Here in the UK our Partners in Learning team will continue to aspire to that goal, and grow the fantastic network of teachers and schools we already have.

        Why this is so important? I will leave that to a familiar face to explain..image

        “So many of us have a great teacher to thank for our achievements. That’s why I am so proud that Microsoft’s Partners in Learning continues to support innovative teachers.” – Bill Gates, USA …… find out more

         


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         It is with great honour and pleasure to announce that Katie Boothman and Nicki Maddams have each won awards at the Worldwide Global Forum, Prague 2012. There were 18 educator awards up for grabs and the UK is coming home with two of them. We are very proud of their achievements and after spending a fantastic week with both educators I can honestly say they credit their students for their exemplary teaching and learning practices.  They wowed judges, global delegates, school leaders and senior Microsoft employees all week resulting in a great win:

        • Katie won 2nd runner up in the category ‘Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom’ for her project The Hit Squad
        • Nicki won 1st place in the category ‘Cutting Edge use of Technology for Learning’ for her project Kodu in the Klassroom.

         

        45361_10151362965474703_729208107_n

         

        Next week look out for a blog post covering the week’s events and a little insight into both of their experiences. Once again,

         CONGRATULATIONS 

        from UK Partners in Learning!

         All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.


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        It’s inevitable when you put 160 worldclass teachers in a room and ask them to present about the work they do, then you are going to see some amazing examples of how technology can facilitate learning in the 21st century. Microsoft does this annually at its  Global Forum, and to add a twist to the whole proceedings, there is a competition element. Each project submitted is judged by a panel of global education experts, the winners are announced at the event’s closing dinner.

        The UK had two fantastic teachers at event, Katie Boothman from saltash.net community school and Nicki Maddams from Hartsdown technology attending and competing. I am pleased to announce that they both won awards for their projects. This is an exceptional achievement and one we are very proud of.

        Please will join me in congratulating Nicki and Katie, their schools and students on their outstanding work by leaving a comment below.

        You can see details of Nicki’s and Katie's’ projects on the Partners in Learning Network and this blog.

        Nicki’s project involves Kodu and is the first ever computer science based project to win an award. This video explains it. We will have more news on Kodu at BETT .

        Katie's project used a range of Microsoft tools such as Photosynth to support an intergenerational project between her students and older people in their community.

        You can find details of all the amazing teachers and projects on the  Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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        Windows in the Classroom - training advert 

        As you may be aware we have been running PiL camps all over the UK and I can now announce that the next stop for the bus will be the Midlands. We will be running two ‘Windows in the Classroom’ sessions with the Learning Technologies Team in Wolverhampton.

         

        What’s the session about?

        Find out how to make the most of your Windows experience with the latest free software from Microsoft. Maximize the potential of Office and be introduced to our best kept secret the Learning Suite. It’s all free and it’s stuff you can use straight away in your classroom the very next day!

        Not only that, but we have found there is a lot of interest around Windows 8 and how it can be used in the classroom; so there will be an opportunity to see Windows 8 in action with a live demo.

        How do I apply?

        To apply for this free event simply email A.Walker@wolverhamptoncyp.org.uk before the closing date: January 31st 2013, who will send through registration details to secure your place. Please include details of your school, subject expertise and pupil age range and how many places you want. Places will allocated on a first come first served basis.

         

        This is free CPD at it’s best. 

         

        I am not an ICT teacher is it worth me applying?

        Absolutely, this is event is targeted at all primary and secondary educators in and around the Midlands, who are interested in teaching and learning, and how technology can support that, rather than the technology itself. This event is for ALL subject specialists including, Special school settings. The only criteria we have is a willingness to learn!

        What will I need to bring?

        We expect you to bring some of the tools you are using already:-

        -   A laptop running Windows Vista or Windows 7

        -   A headset with a microphone or Headphones and a Microphone (if you have one)

        -   Office 2007 or 2010 (not essential)

          We will send you a list of free tools to download and install when we confirm your attendance. 

         

        What next? – Email Alex:a.walker@wolverhamptoncyp.org.ukand secure your place NOW!!  

        All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network –Join for free today.


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         Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, $500M global initiative aimed at supporting schools and educators’ use of technology to help every student receive an excellent education and gain the skills they need in work and life. With governments, academic institutions and NGOs, Partners in Learning has invested in a comprehensive research program, the creation of vibrant community of education stakeholders, and specific Educator and Schools programs to improve teaching and learning and optimize the use of technology within pedagogy. Thus far, the program has trained more than 9 million educators and reached more than 200 million students in 114 countries.

        The critical requirement is to look at the curriculum and choose the technology that will best support the learning intention. Sometimes that will involve a Photo Story, sometimes a podcast, or a video. These are powerful but peripheral tactical aids, and the reality is that they won’t be the primary focus in all subject areas. More importantly, if you don’t link these to student learning, you

        How can Partners in Learning enhance your ‘Windows in the Classroom experience?

        The critical requirement is to look at the curriculum and choose the technology that will best support the learning intention. Sometimes that will involve a Photo Story, sometimes a podcast, or a video. These are powerful but peripheral tactical aids, and the reality is that they won’t be the primary focus in all subject areas. More importantly, if you don’t link these to student learning, you are using technology for technology’s sake. Sometimes, schools can fall into the trap of the “wow” factor of technology, rather than what constitutes good learning for students. For example, they may focus on one or two fantastic multimedia tools as they are exciting (and they are!) – but students cannot learn everything they need to learn by creating video or music. Therefore, the challenge for a school is to make sense of all the software and hardware that’s out there, and ensure it is used as more than a basic engagement tool.

        Teaching with Technology:

        TWT_CurriculumBadge_64x64The ‘Teaching with Technology’ e-course is free, self-paced online professional development, where educators learn how integrating the right technology tools into the classroom can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience of the 21st century learner, regardless of the subject matter. The Teaching with Technology curriculum is competency-based and can be customized to meet your needs. There are six online learning e-courses to choose from and each unit of study stands on its own so you can focus on a specific area of interest or need. You can start with what interests you most and progress through the learning at your own pace:

        1. Why promote technology literacy?
        2. How technology and pedagogy mix
        3. Organize and manage the use of ICT in the classroom
        4. Selecting ICT resources to support curriculum outcomes
        5. Using basic ICT tools to support teaching and learning
        6. Technology literacy and your professional development

         

        Office 365 for Education:

        office 365 Free to schools, Microsoft Office 365 is great for providing educators and students new ways to connect, collaborate and engage. With free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing; it’s not surprising that we are quite excited to see how schools will take advantage of cloud based learning.

         

         

        The Learning Suite:

        learning suiteThe Microsoft Learning Suite is a set of innovative teacher tools and applications developed by Microsoft labs and research communities. Combined with the power of Microsoft Office and Windows, they enrich learning experiences by bringing to life a robust, creative and collaborative learning environment for students and educators. Available as a free download from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, Learning suite provides a number of desktop apps such as worldwide telescope, autocollage, Math 4.0, Ribbon Hero and many more. Take a look at how some of these technologies in action, and learn how these tools can help you teach 21st century skills in the classroom.

         

        Overview of Free Tools in the Learning Suite
        OneNote–making research easy!
        Kodu explained in three minutes!

        For more tutorials visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/innovativeteach

        Blog posts in this series:

        All information and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.

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        Pil header

        Last month, we were quite excited to have Bill Gates join Anthony Salcito on Daily Adventures. Gates revealed a genuine sincerity towards improving teaching and learning and specifically a need for a personalised approach to technology in education. His interview was clear in concept and direction, highlighting the challenge and opportunity for PiL is to continue to be a learning organisation as it works to empower educators and their students.

        Here’s an extract from the full interview:

        thCA618XOPANTHONY SALCITO: You helped launch Partners in Learning 10 years ago. Do you remember what your early goals were for the program?

        Bill GatesBILL GATES: As a leader in the technology industry, we were thinking quite a bit in the late 1990s and early 2000s about how we could improve education on a global level. We knew education was the cornerstone of social and economic opportunity. We understood from previous initiatives that just giving away software or offering computer training courses wouldn’t enable the kind of changes needed. We also recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t work with a global initiative. So the goal with Partners in Learning was to create an integrated set of resources that could be tailored locally to increase technology access for schools, encourage innovative approaches to pedagogy and professional development for teachers, and provide education leaders with the tools to envision, implement, and manage change.

        thCA618XOPANTHONY SALCITO: Microsoft was founded on what was at the time a bold vision for a PC in every home and on every desk. We’re still working to make this a reality globally…but projects are growing broadly in education with rise of tablets and 1:1 computing. What are you most excited about regarding impact on learning with this trend?

        Bill GatesBILL GATES: When done right, technology can definitely help teachers be more effective and make learning more interesting. We’re seeing an explosion in the use of the Internet to broadcast and post teacher lectures and curriculum. The next step is teasing out the best of that. There are huge opportunities to create more engaging and interactive ways of learning, including personalized learning that gives students and teachers important real-time feedback. “Blended learning” that combines the best parts of classroom teaching and online learning is still a work-in-progress, but an important and exciting one. And we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to the use of social networks to increase collaboration among and between teachers and students. We are in an extraordinary period of change in education. My hope and expectation is that PiL will continue to push the frontier over the next five years as it has over the last decade.

        So, are you a partner in learning?

        Check out this innovid created by Angie Gardner, from Hull City Learning Centre, who demonstrates how easy it is to join more than 4 million teachers,  in 119 countries on  www.pil-network.com

        Created by Angie Gardner, from Hull City Learning Centre.

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