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    For this week’s extract from our Teaching with Technology tutorials on SlideShare, we’re going to look at two different scenarios; one to help the teacher with their own organisation and management, while the other explores a way in which to engage students and help them develop an all important 21st century skill.

    Managing assessment data with Excel web app

    Regular assessment is critical in developing students’ skills and helping them to manage their own learning. End of topic or term assessments are still valuable but more consistent formative assessment has been proven to benefit students’ acquisition of skills and knowledge. Managing more assessment data can be time consuming. However, grading software enables you to manage grades more efficiently and to keep track of students’ progress and achievement.

    In this tutorial you will:

    1. Understand how Microsoft Excel can be used to keep track of students’ grades, assignments and exams.
    2. Create a cloud-based Excel spreadsheet as an e-Gradebook.


    Using OneNote for ePortfolios

    In today’s workplace people move from job to job on average every four years. Often this means moving organizations but also sometimes a complete change of career. In order to get prepared for the 21st century workplaces, it is a useful skill for students to be able to develop and maintain an e-portfolio which will help them acquire self-regulation skills, become autonomous learners and reflect upon their learning practices and achievements.

    In this tutorial you will:

    1. Introduce Microsoft OneNote to students who will use it as their e-portfolio.
    2. Understand how Microsoft OneNote can be used to enhance students’ reflective skills and to support evaluation, self- evaluation and peer-evaluation.
    3. Create a Microsoft OneNote notebook template to be used as an e-portfolio.


    If you’ve missed our previous Teaching with Technology blogs, you can find them here:

    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Supporting absent students and those with physical impairments
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials – Using Bing Maps and Translator for global collaboration within Office 365
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials – Researching with OneNote & Word; Creating digital stories
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Office 365 for cloud based learning; Remove classroom walls with Skype
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Preparing for students for employment; Learning Suite for project based learning

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    This week’s spotlight on our Expert Educators using tech in the classroom comes to us once again from guest writer Gerald Haigh.


    At one level, equipping a tablet with a pen, for digital inking, might seem like a throw back to the days when a ‘PDA’ (Portable Digital Assistant) came with a stylus. It may be, indeed, that those Surface users who are slow to explore the possibilities of the pen still have memories of those rather hit-and-miss early devices in the backs of their minds.

    Fortunately, there’s no shortage of MIEE enthusiasts who are keen to put them right. Matthew Davies, Deputy Head at Treorchy Comprehensive says,

    “The good thing about being able to write on the screen is that I am able to keep everything in one place. My typed and written notes are all on my Surface Pro 3. The pen along with OneNote has created an excellent environment in which I can organise and keep my notes. The ability to search hand written notes is amazing! Being able to use Office Lens to scan a document and then the inking feature to annotate them is also excellent, and it’s also great that I can annotate diagrams in documents without having to print them out.”

    And, adds Matthew,

    “The ability to annotate work on screen and not having to carry all of the books home has also saved my back!”

    Annette Iafrate, teacher at Gryffe High School for example, comments on the MIEE Yammer feed that she finds the pen to be a time-saver. Students email work to her, she annotates it with the pen and sends it back.

    “So students aren't needing to wait until they are next in my class to collect it, also they have less excuses of ‘forgot to put it in my bag’.”

    Annette Inking

    Yet another MIEE colleague, Mark Martin, enlists the pen to support his style of teaching, which is to be among the students, sharing the tablet with them and inviting them to contribute to the lesson.

    “They use the pen with Python programming – students write their coding ideas.”

    Then a really thoughtful and knowledgeable take on inking with the Surface Pro comes from Microsoft Student Ambassador Jason Brown, student at Microsoft Showcase School Wymondham High. I interviewed him in a call, because I was sure he would have some firm ideas. I was not disappointed.

    “A Surface without a pen is like a dog without a bone,” said Jason. “The pen makes the tablet what it is – they go together perfectly.”

    Jason is just finishing Year 12, about to embark on his A Level year. His Surface Pro 3 is a constant companion, proving its worth when it comes to taking notes.

    “Instead of writing with a biro on lined paper I write on my Surface Pro with One Note and the Surface pen. It’s a fantastic alternative.”

    When I spoke to Jason he was just back from the Microsoft’s ‘E2 Global Educator Exchange’ at Microsoft HQ in Seattle. One presentation gave him food for thought about his note taking.

    “We were shown a chart that compared methods for taking notes – type on a keyboard or write on paper or tablet. Writing comes out best because you relate the movement of your hands to what you write, and you remember what you’ve written better than you do with typing.”

    Surface 3 pens

    There’s also some research suggesting that writing notes by hand forces the learner to be selective and focussed, whereas typing tends simply to produce an undifferentiated nearly verbatim record.

    Pen Mightier than the Keyboard for Learning - Research Study from Princeton & UCLA on the benefits of digital inking to Learning. Student retain and learn more when writing longhand notes vs. typing.

    (This is a fascinating area, which interests me as long-time advocate of the benefits of touch-typing. It’s worthy of a blog of its own, so watch this space.)

    Jason is very impressed by the quality of the handwritten notes on Surface,

    “If your handwriting is neat on paper, it’s the same on Surface. The pens are so well calibrated, a hundred percent accurate. And OneNote can convert your handwriting to formatted text if necessary.”

    He’s at pains, too, to point out that the Surface pen is not just about writing.

    “It’s a multifunctional device, and you can use the pen in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. It removes the need for a graphics tablet, presenting you with a blank canvas where you can draw with the brush or the pencil tool. It’s a really free way of designing, just as you would on paper. We saw some amazing art by students at E2, even calligraphy. So why not introduce Surface and Surface pen for art lessons?”

    Jason is clearly closing in on the idea that inking with the Surface pen is much more than just a useful tool. It’s actually a conceptual shift that can play its part in transforming learning. I know Andrew Howard, head of Microsoft Showcase School Sandymoor believes that; in an email to me he writes,

    The concept of digital inking that comes with the Surface Pro 3 pen is a game changer!”

    Would he expand a little on that? I asked. He certainly would, and over what for most of us was a holiday weekend he wrote this for us:

    “The one thing that computers have always been bad at is the immediacy of feedback; the ability to interact with the words and pictures in front of you, as you can with a piece of paper. The screen becomes a barrier to rich learning. The introduction of touch screen technology broke that down somewhat, but it is the introduction of the touch screen pen that has, in my opinion, broken this final barrier. The concept of 'digital inking’, the fact of being able to write naturally on a screen as if writing on paper, is the real game changer. I now hold a device, no bigger than a pad of A4 paper and no heavier than a paper notebook would be, and have in my pocket a digital pen. I can now open up my Surface Pro 3, and with a click of a button, be writing notes on the screen as easily as if I were writing on a pad of paper.

    But it is in the integration of pen, Surface and software (in particular, OneNote) that the real power lies. First of all, there's the ability of the software to include my handwriting in searches, so I need never lose an important note again (providing my handwriting is legible enough, but that is not the fault of the pen!). And, of course, the fact that I cannot lose a scrap of paper; it's instantly saved and synchronised into the cloud, so I can retrieve those important notes from any device, without worrying about sticky notes losing their stick. Finally, though, is the collaborative element; I can share a note with colleagues, and we can all collaborate, with pen, or keyboard, to highlight and explore ideas and concepts with ease.

    For the teachers with Surface Pro 3 devices, marking is now so much easier; we already have digital exercise books, with students’ work being all online in OneNote, so annotating and marking work, with the Surface pen, is as simple as always; in fact simpler - the pen allows highlighting as well as noting, so students' work can be marked up and commented on without losing the original under the teacher's marks.”


    Bonus content:

    See the Microsoft Surface pen in action:

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    For our MIEE’s who made the trip over to Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA, last week, part of the experience involved stopping by the Kent Tech Expo. ‘Urban Teacher’ Mark Martin was part of our delegation and has been kind enough to give us an overview of what went on that day, and provide us with some further quotes from the other UK MIEEs who accompanied him to the ShoWare Centre on April 30th…


    Thoughts from the Kent Tech Expo – 30th April, 2015

    The Kent Tech Expo is annual event that helps to showcase student’s digital skills through using technology in and out of the classroom. Over 5000 attendees and thousands of students excited to show off their class work.

    The event was jam packed with innovation and creativity, making it an awesome experience to witness. The thing that made the event even better was MIEE experts sharing practices with the Kent teachers and encouraging students as they went around the event. It was a phenomenal occasion, and shows what can be possible when students take ownership of their own learning.

    My MIEE peers and I who were went along to the Kent Expo tried to summarise our experience on the day in a few short lines:

    MM E2 - 1“Great to see many children excited and engaged with technology and confidently sharing their learning with teachers. My favourite was the 12 year old boy who told me how he learns much better and at his own pace using the flipped classroom approach.” - Marie Renton, Lochfield Primary School



    MM E2 - 2“I saw over 500 students showcasing their classwork, they were proud, passionate and creative in their presentation skills. My favourite moment is when a 13 year old boy showed me his project on life skills using Prezi.”– Mark Martin, St Mark’s CoE Academy



    MM E2 - 3“The event was really inspiring hearing about how students are using technology to enhance their learning. I was inspired by how students took ownership of their learning and has open my eyes to how capable students are with digital learning.”– Emma Hicks, Arnold Hill Academy



    MM E2 - 4“I really enjoyed the event and loved the way students took ownership of their work. Their creativity and innovation was second to none and I’m inspired to take some these practices back to my school.”– Anthony Lees, Broadclyst Community Primary School



    MM E2 - 5“Excellent to hear from pupils instead of sales people as is normally the case. Good to see the impact of the projects being describe by pupils.”– Matthew Davies, Treorchy Comprehensive School

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    The following post comes from Anthony Lees of Broadclyst Community Primary School. Anthony is one of the UK MIEEs who recently travelled to the E² Global Educator Exchange at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, Washington


    How Big Is Your Brave?

    by Anthony Lees

    Day three of E2 started with a Keynote by Angela Maiers, which I had been much looking forward to following her brief appearance earlier in the week. Within minutes of her opening comments for 'How Big Is Your Brave?' I knew we had been right to be excited, and that no brief illness in the interim period would soften her ambition to make herself heard. Angela started the keynote by asking for examples of bravery during the event by the delegates, and listened to many from the audience, selected by a Twitter-born list, which included my name. This gave me an exciting but still daunting opportunity to show my own bravery!

    E2 - Anthony 1

    Following a timely revision of the inspiring keynote of the previous day, by Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Angela then went on to explain as educators that to inspire, we should not only understand what brave is, but also what brave is not. She threw open to the floor: What does brave mean to you? Numerous positive messages followed this; Standing up for your convictions; Risking failure; Letting your hardships develop you, not define you; Believing in your own genius.

    These messages defined the session, and led us to her inevitable and defining conclusion: There is nothing comfortable about courage. Referencing Seth Godin, Angela explained that as human beings we have a need to feel ready. Our need to feel in control prevents us striving beyond the norm, and therefore prevents us achieving.

    In concluding this she made a point that will stay with me: The opposite of bravery is not cowardice, it is being comfortable. We want predictability, we want to know what will happen. We are genetically risk-averse. It takes effort to decide to be uncomfortable.

    Maiers' next key point built on this truth, that you should 'own your bravery'. She quoted:

    “Most of us want to see bravery in others but not in ourselves.” - Ziauddin Yousafzai

    Over the next half hour Angela continued to define and build this ideal around the idea that as educators we are highly at risk of not nurturing ourselves and our own bravery. She explained that in understanding that as educators we matter, and that knowing this should not be an ego thing, but that it is essential to our essence.

    E2 - Anthony 2

    Her continuing points radiated from a key message about understanding your genius (and later the inspiring story of her Genius Hour project) and about revealing and using your superpower. She implored the MIEE audience to understand their deep sense of responsibility in revealing and nurturing this in our young people. In her words:

    "These are the citizens we need; those that reveal their superpower to help others, by helping them reveal it in themselves. By six years old we have trained children to hide their genius and want not to be seen."

    Angela's final messages of the morning led towards the inspiring call to action that she modelled through her choose2matter work in schools (#choose2matter). She argued that we need to develop children who have this mind-set in order to make real and immediate change to our world, and that to do this we should "BE That. Now and every day after." This is the key point that can be seen to have inspired her Genius Hour work, and though (as she explained):

    "As adults we teach children to moderate their ideas down to small goals, not dream big and strive for global changes," we must help pupils to work out "What breaks your heart about the world? Act on that!"

    In closing she again echoed the earlier words of Ziauddin Yousafzai:

    "If you are not being fearful you are not challenging and building yourself. You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs."

    It is a message not lost among a morning of equally powerful messages, neither to myself or (by the ovation which followed) to the other three hundred MIEEs who wished to demonstrate their appreciation of her words and the strength of their support for her message. Fellow UK MIEE Marie Renton summed up the experience for all of us; "A great motivational speech by Angela Maiers, on stepping out of our comfort zones and being brave."

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    Any device, Any web browser, Hack it with Touchdevelop. –

    We are holding a student Hackathon event at our Headquarters in Reading .

    This is your opportunity to bring your students to Microsoft and work with our developers and to learn about this great development tool and its capabilities.

    The day will consist of learning the fundamentals of Touchdevelop and how to build an app. There will be a special guest appearance of the BBC Microbit and Touchdevelop Minecraft libraries.

    1st June – 10.30am – 3.30pm

    Maximum 10 students per school + 3 Staff max

    Lunch provided

    Sign up here -

    Your students will need to bring a device that they can access the internet via a browser and the associated power supply.

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    We are getting close to the closing date for the Kodu Kup 2015. If you have any question contact me on

    I wanted to run through the upload process to

    Before you start, as  teacher have an existing Microsoft Live Id or create a new one at

    or use an existing Facebook account (one linked to the school).


    Next check is that Kodu is configured to show the Community.

    Find the Grey Kodu, usually on the Desktop when Kodu is installed.


    Make sure ‘Show Community on the main menu’ is checked.
    Collect all your students Games . Games can be saved to the same destination by using the Export command image
    You will need to rename the game . Using the following format.
    <Game Name>_<Team Name>_Kodu Kup UK

    To do this edit the game in Kodu and re-save with the new name.

    Do this for all games you are going to enter

    Once renamed. Click on Load a World
    Select the game you want to upload.
    You should see the following.

    Click Share , you will be asked to login with a Microsoft Account or a Facebook account. You will then remain logged in.

    Repeat this process for all your games.
    Go to Find the games you have uploaded. Click on each game copy the URL. Paste this into the document along with game details and associated plans and photos. Send to image

    You entry can be one single document of you or create a zip file with each entry separate. Its up to you.

    Please get in touch with any questions.

    I am so looking forward to seeing this years games.

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    Microsoft Expert Educator

    As we continue our blog series detailing the creative uses of technologies and teaching techniques in and around the classroom by our Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators, we’re amassing some fantastic examples that can be put into practice by teachers in their very next lessons. So far we’ve covered the following topics:

    Surface in the Classroom
    OneNote in the Classroom
    Sway in the Classroom
    Office Mix in the Classroom
    Skype in the Classroom
    Inking in the Classroom

    Today we're going to look at some of the ways in which Minecraft has been utilised by members of the MIEE community in order to help students work their way through concepts and problems by using a medium that is not only familiar to them, but hugely engaging. And that’s half the battle with teaching in general – creating an environment in which the children actually want to learn.

    Ray Chambers, Head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College, is continually finding new and innovative uses for Minecraft in classroom. Earlier in the year Ray was the main focus of the TechRadar article How Minecraft is helping kids learn code one block at a time, which went into some depth about the hugely popular sessions he was presenting to packed audiences in our Theatre during BETT 2015 in January.

    Ray - Theatre

    On his own blog, Ray has been sharing all sorts of helpful video guides and lesson plans that allow other educators from all over the world to get started with Minecraft and replicate the positive learning outcomes that are evident in the classrooms at Uppingham Community College. His Theatre Sessions at BETT 2015 were a huge success, and Ray has created a Sway of this content:

    A short while ago, James Protheroe, ICT leader at Darran Park Primary school in the Rhondda Cynon Taff district of South Wales, told us of his vision to use Minecraft as a way to bring together students from a number of schools within the LEA to collaborate on wider project based learning assignments:

    “The plan is take Year 5, 6, and 7 pupils children from three clusters of schools to the Rhondda Heritage Park. The Rhondda Heritage Park is a museum dedicated to the history of coal mining in South Wales, built on the site of a former colliery. Each class will be given the task of using Minecraft to work collaboratively to create a virtual Rhondda Heritage Park. Once the virtual landscapes have been constructed, they will be printed on the 3D printer, thus creating a virtual and physical model of the Rhondda Heritage Park…

    …Within a cluster, the group of schools feeding the same secondary school, each school will have a different area to research. Each school will use OneNote to record their research and share this with the other school’s in their cluster. This research will then be used to create a shared animation about coal mining within the Rhondda Valley.”

    And now it looks like the project is about to go live!


    We look forward to hearing more about this from James in course, and we’ll let you know how they all get on.


    For another example of how schools are using Minecraft to engage students, we’ll stay in Wales and turn towards Ynsyboeth Primary:



    While not being used in every school just yet, Minecraft as an education medium is certainly on the rise, thanks in no small part to teachers like Ray and James who are experimenting with this technology and sharing their experiences and ideas with other educators. We’re only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible when using Minecraft in education, and there is huge excitement around what students and teachers will be able to achieve going forward.

    With our MIEE TV blogs we like to get to know a little more about one of the Expert Educators we’ve quoted, so this week we’re going to meet James Protheroe and discover how he got involved with the Microsoft Expert Educator programme and how he sees technology playing a role in the classroom:

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    The following post comes from Matthew Davies of Treorchy Comprehensive School in the Rhondda Cynon Taff district of South Wales. Matthew is one of the UK MIEEs who recently travelled to the E² Global Educator Exchange at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, Washington.


    E2 Workshop Sessions - What is available to teachers from Microsoft?

    Be more, Do more, Expect more – The mantra of Microsoft and Anthony Salcito.

    Microsoft is working hard to produce software for education. Today gave us the opportunity to receive training on the products currently being developed and those being used by educators around the globe to enhance the opportunities provided to their students.

    Flipped Classroom with Office Mix

    E2 - MD - 1

    If you are not aware of the term “flipped classroom” this relates to the pedagogical model in which the students view the content prior to the lesson, while class time is devoted to activities, exercises, and discussions. The approach ensures that class time is used to discuss subject content and undertake tasks to test understanding.

    Office Mix has been created to support teachers in creating resources to be used in the flipped classroom. The beauty of the software is that it is an extension to PowerPoint, a piece of software that nearly all teachers use on a daily basis, existing presentations can be adapted, and it’s also free!

    The main features are the ability to include the following in your PowerPoint presentations:

    • Recordings of the teacher as either a video or audio.
    • Screen recording.
    • Quizzes, polls and live websites
    • Embedded Khan academy content, Fluid math resources and other resources.

    Anthony Lees could see the benefit of using Office Mix in enabling teachers to make “efficient use of classroom time.”

    Further details regarding Office Mix and the free download can be found here.

    Organisation, Collaboration and creativity with OneNote

    E2 - MD - 2

    The Microsoft Global forum really showed that no matter what your level of expertise is people still want to learn from others and find out more of what can be done.

    Marie Renton particularly enjoyed the OneNote session hosted by our very own Kevin Sait and Joshua Sawyer. She said “Whatever your level of experience using OneNote I’m sure you would have learned a few new tricks from these very knowledgeable guys.”

    After Josh’s run through of the wow factor, delegates were engaged and interested in the Wymondham High story and how OneNote has become a killer app. Further information on the use of OneNote at Wymondham High can be found here.


    Minecraft in the classroom


    E2 - MD - 3

    For anyone unfamiliar with the game Minecraft, the goal of the game is simple – students can create structures using “virtual lego”. The educational value here is immense and topics such as proportion and ratio could easily be taught and skills such as collaboration can easily be developed.

    Some excellent examples of the use of Minecraft in the classroom from around the world were demonstrated by some inspiring teachers. Even Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in his speech picked up on the benefits of using Minecraft in the classroom and its role in inspiring students. “The power of Minecraft in education is a great addition to empowering students.”

    For anyone interested in using Minecraft in the classroom MinecraftEdu is definitely worth a visit.

    Office Sway for education: Engaging teachers with interactive content

    E2 - MD - 4

    Sway, the newest offering from Microsoft, is a great new tool which can be used to present information and can also be used so that students can collaborate. Sway is a simple, web based application and is in the process of being added to Office 365.

    The presentation by Marija Petreska and Tammy Dunbar showed just how easy Sway is to use and the potential that it has in the classroom.

    Emma Hicks really liked the idea of getting students to create revision notes and test taking tips using Sway.

    For an excellent example of a Sway please see Marie Renton’s Sway on the E2 experience here.

    Global learning with Skype – Bring the world to your classroom

    E2 - MD - 5

    For anyone who hasn’t heard about Skype, Skype can bring in experts from around the world direct to your classroom. This is an excellent tool which is allowing collaboration between schools around the world.

    Anthony Salcito made excellent use of Skype in his talk where he Skyped a school who had been doing a project with a school in Kakuma refugee camp. It was great to hear the enthusiasm of the pupils and their use of Skype was life changing for some of the pupils they helped.

    The Future

    As you can see the software mentioned above is being used by teachers across the world in innovative ways.

    Examples of how the above are being used in UK classrooms can be found on the MIEE TV page.

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    Teachers are constantly sharing great ideas and their own stories of success to allow their peers both locally and around the world to replicate their practices and further education as a whole. Twitter is a great way to get those messages out there, with #ukedchat being a popular hashtag for educators in this country. Every Thursday at 8pm there is a dedicated hour for teachers to congregate online via #ukedchat to have real-time discussions. Last night’s #ukedchat was all about Project Based Learning, and hosted by Lenny Dutton, who recently attended our Showcase Classroom for the TeachMeet organised by MIEE Mark Martin.

    A lot of the early discussion last night focussed around the logistical aspects of project based learning, and how it can be effectively organised so that doesn't prove to more distracting than it is engaging:


    Other questions focussed on how technology can be used to aid project based learning, and what the advantages of giving the students control can be. As is the way with this approach to education, it's just as much about the experiences and skills that are developed through the studying of various subjects, as it is about the specific subject knowledge itself. Giving students the opportunity to lead the direction that the projects go in only serves to further expand and strengthen their skill sets.

    There were some great examples of this being shared during last night’s #ukedchat, including this one making use of Minecraft:


    Anyone wishing to view all of the tweets from the entirety of last night’s project based learning discussion can find them here: UK EdChat Session 252: Project Based Learning.


    Project Based Learning and Microsoft

    Here at Microsoft we are firm believers in project based learning, having earlier this year launched the Enchanted Kingdom in partnership with BBC Earth and Broadclyst Community Primary School. Featuring lesson plans and activities inspired by the nature film documenting the wondrous plant-life, creatures and landscape that is Africa, the Enchanted Kingdom is scheduled to be released later this year. The children and teachers at Broadclyst who were involved in creating the lesson plans and accompanying educational eBook have already worked through the projects, and documented their progress. We’ll be profiling their videos on this blog over the course of the next few weeks.

    Another Microsoft Showcase School is also planning on using ‘Enchanted Kingdom’ as a stimulus to unite six schools from a local trust for project-based learning this summer. Tom Rees, head teacher at Simon de Senlis Primary in Northampton, is organising a number of events with other schools that will see the students working in collaboration to run campaigns to make change to the world, inspired by the realms of Africa within the Enchanted Kingdom film.

    We’ll bring you more information about this in due course, but in the meantime feel free to read through the Enchanted Kingdom educational eBook:

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    Since the returned from the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond a few weeks ago, we’ve been bringing you the personal stories of our UK MIEEs, hearing first hand about the people they met, the experiences they had and the ideas and practices they shared with other teachers from all over the world. Now we’d like to share the roundup of events from the global Microsoft in Education team, which also includes the announcement of the Global Educator Challenge… Keep an eye out in the results for our very own Emma Hicks and Harry Traynor flying the flag UK MIEEs and students respectively!



    Microsoft E2 Global Educator Exchange: Global Challenge Winners Celebrated for Innovation and Inspiration

    Originally posted by Microsoft in Education team, 11th May 2015

    Last week, days of collaboration and learning among hundreds of educators and students at the Microsoft E2 Global Educator Exchange event culminated with a celebration of the inspiring teachers in attendance and the announcement of the Global Educator Challenge winners.

    "Education, as you all know, is the single most important thing that we can do to change the lives of youth and adults around the world."

    Addressing the audience at a prestigious ceremony held at Seattle's iconic Experience Music Project, Margo Day, Vice President of US Education for Microsoft, highlighted her personal experience with the teachers that shaped her life and passion for education before recognizing the more than 60 educators - from more than 40 countries - making up the winning Challenge groups. These teams were honoured for their ability to demonstrate innovative uses of Microsoft technologies within the E2 event theme of Bravery, Courage, and Leadership.

    During E2, educators teamed up with peers from diverse parts of the world to brainstorm and design projects that reflected new ways to leverage technology to improve educational outcomes and enable teachers and students to expect more, do more, and be more. This aspiration was one that Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education at Microsoft, challenged event attendees to strive for every day.

    Following a competitive day of presenting learnings and projects to a panel of judges and onlookers, winners were selected across 12 categories that covered themes such as enhancing student collaboration, building educator capacity, and product innovation, among others. Also recognized at the ceremony was the winning Student Case Competition group, made up of passionate Microsoft Student Ambassadors hailing from Chile, India, United Kingdom, and the United States.

    At the ceremony, Margo left the educators with a message that every day "you are making an impact on the lives of your students in ways that you don't even know." These are words that can serve as a reminder of the lasting impression educators have on students as they return to their respective countries and schools, passing on the knowledge and learnings from the week.

    Watch the video:

    Below is a complete list of winning groups of educators. We congratulate each and every one of them and say thank you to all the teachers and students in attendance at this year's E2 event.

    Best Achievement

    Overall Challenge

    • Winning Group: Floyd Chanda (Zambia), Prissy Ko (Hong Kong), Dianne Krause (United States), Shane Mann (New Zealand), Masahiko Mizuno (Japan), Dobely Ruiz (Costa Rica)

    • First Runner-Up: Jasmin Guelland (Germany), Mokhudu Machaba (South Africa), Thanh Nam Ngo (Vietnam), Sarah Platero (Canada), Jan Voda (Czech Republic)

    Learning Activity

    • Winning Group: Krystel Al-Akl (Lebanon), Edgars Bajaruns (Latvia), Bernd Liebenwein (Austria), Matthew O'Brien (Australia), Fernando Reyes (Chile)

    • First Runner-Up: Kostas Dimitriou (Greece), Otniel Hambira (Namibia), Trent Ray (Australia), Maria Lorraine Ruiz-Alma (Dominican Republic), Srinivasan Sriram (India), Muhammad Zulham (Indonesia)

    Project Plan

    • Winning Group: Marilene Bauer (Brazil), YoungSang Cho (Korea), Lara Dabbagh (Ireland), John Gichuri (Kenya), Bozena Kraj (Poland), Kristen Messer (United States)

    • First Runner-Up: Efraín Cornejo (El Salvador), Kaylyn Dorland (Canada), Jaana Hekkanen (Finland), Puji Lestari (Indonesia), Akimichi Matsuyama (Japan)

    The Pitch

    • Winning Group: Zainab Al Baloushi (United Arab Emirates), Patricio Antimán (Chile), Gareth Callan (Ireland), Ke Hu (China), Thi Lieu Nguyen (Vietnam), Giedrė Prialgauskiene (Lithuania)

    • First Runner-Up: Angel Angelov (Bulgaria), Emma Hicks (United Kingdom), Jiuke Ma (China), Zoe Tostevin (United Arab Emirates), Francisco Tupy (Brazil)

    Project Excellence

    Building Educator Capacity

    • Winning Group: Kelli Holden (Canada), Lidija Kralj (Croatia), Ding Xuan [Andy] Ng (Singapore), Warren Sparrow (South Africa), Wei Wang (China)

    Enhancing Student Collaboration

    • Winning Group: Chamila Priyanka Bandara (Sri Lanka), Holly Dornak (United States), Osnat Hayak (Israel), Yen Lin [Jenny] Lee (Singapore), Antoine Moussy (France), Mariana Pedro (Brazil)

    Product Innovation

    • Winning Group: Tammy Dunbar (United States), Sachita Jeeta (Mauritius), Padma Sukumar (India), Steffi Marita Miland Svendsen (Norway), Pey-yu Twu (Taiwan)

    Mind Shift

    • Winning Group: Kamilah Abdullah (Malaysia), Mireia Gussinye (Mexico), Nelly Hamed Abdelmoneim (Egypt), Zhanara Nurmaganbetova (Kazakhstan), Anika Remerij (Netherlands), Soma Singh (India)

    Office Mix Award

    • Winning Group: Alejandra Gonzalez, Deblin Lawan, Dr. Lakshmanbhai ChaudhariMarija Petreska, Rachel ChisnallSalin Raisa, Sanggeun Lee, Tamara Sullivan,Tammy Brecht Dunbar, Trent Ray

    Student Case Competition:

    · Winning Group: Kelsey Yin (United States), Dyuthi Sutram (India), Thomas La Guardia (United States), Andres Gonzales (Chile), Harry Traynor (United Kingdom)

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    Earlier this year Michel Van der Bel first announced Microsoft’s involvement in the BBC’s ‘Make It Digital’ campaign, and we are now pleased to be able to share some more information about the overall project, and introduce the Micro Bit.

    Microsoft is proud to be supporting the BBC with the Micro Bit project, along with a number of schools, universities, coding clubs and other tech companies, and we look forward to revealing more about our involvement at a later date. But for now here is the latest update from the BBC which will explain a little bit more about the Micro Bit, and hopefully get you even more excited for the ‘Make It Digital’ campaign as a whole.


    Inspiring a Generation – the BBC Micro Bit

    by Sinead Rocks, Head of BBC Learning [original article]

    It’s the time of year that many students (and parents) dread and for us in BBC Learning, it’s when what we do also really gets put to the test. For over 15 years, through Bitesize, we’ve been helping children and young people across the UK prepare for and survive, exam season.

    Curriculum learning has always been important to us. We want to inspire our audience to achieve their academic potential and we usually do that by making films, games and resources that help consolidate what’s been learnt in the classroom.

    But over the past 12 months, we’ve been plotting a more hands on approach – one that puts creative control in the hands of our audience and one which we hope will genuinely inspire an entire generation.

    We started working on the early prototyping for a ground breaking device in September last year. Since then, we’ve created a small device which we’ve nicknamed the BBC Micro Bit and by working with a host of amazing partners, we’re planning to give one to every child in the UK starting their first year of secondary school (or equivalent) this autumn, as well as those who are home schooled.

    But this is no ordinary giveaway – the BBC Micro Bit is codeable. And there’s no real way to tell you what it does – because that will be entirely dependent on how the children who get one, choose to programme it.

    Since we first announced the Micro Bit in March we’ve been working on the final version and are now in the last stages of design and testing, with my colleagues in the BBC collaborating with the organisations that have chosen to work with us on this brave and bold venture.

    So I can’t yet unveil the finished product just yet, but I can reveal some details.

    The Micro Bit is part of the BBC’s big educational campaign this year Make it Digital. It aims to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology and you can find out more about it here.

    From the word go, we’ve been talking to teachers and getting their guidance on how best to create something that will work for them and for the curriculum. Their support has been invaluable, but we also need the Micro Bit to really appeal to the children themselves. We’ve been working with our partners to ensure that the branding and design captures the imagination of our 11 year old target audience.

    From a tech perspective, we’ve been focusing on how best to create something that gives instant gratification for the most basic beginner but also, has the potential to handle much greater complexity. In our trials, we’ve seen children programme the ‘Bit to simply see their name in LED lights. But then in just a few short weeks, they’ve started attaching it to other devices – things like Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and that’s when the possibilities can really blow your mind. There has been talk of metal detectors, thermometers, real time messaging and weather forecasting and more, which can all be created by children with a Micro Bit.

    In those trials, nine out of ten students said that they had learned something new, eight out of ten said that the Micro Bit made them more interested in coding, and seven out of ten said they’d be interested in going on to do more coding, using the Micro Bit or another device. And crucially, every teacher in the trial thought that the Micro Bit could be useful in teaching the curriculum.

    For me, if I’m honest, this project has been massively daunting. I knew nothing about coding this time last year and I suspect many parents and teachers will have similar anxieties. So with that in mind, we’ll be working with our partners to provide resources that make it all make sense and that help suggest ways in which to bring the Micro Bit to life.

    We are really excited by the Micro Bit and the potential we think it has to introduce a generation of children to digital technology that could literally change their lives – inspiring them along a path they’d never before considered. We’re excited about what that could do for digital industries and the sector as a whole within the UK when this generation comes of age. But we’ll need the help of teachers, parents and carers across the UK to really ensure this is all as good as it can be. You can register your interest to find out more by emailing us at In the coming weeks, we’ll be emailing teachers at all the relevant schools in the UK to let them know that this initiative is coming, and that we’ll make sure that teachers have the chance to get up to speed on the device.

    Finally, I wanted to flag that our ambition can only be realised through the hard work of over 25 partners, who are working on the hardware, software or educational aspects of the Micro Bit initiative. They are:

    Product Partners - who are taking the lead on design, manufacture and distribution:
    Lancaster University
    Premier Farnell
    Technology Will Save Us

    Product Champions - who are involved in outreach and educational resources:
    Bluetooth Special Interest Group
    Bright Future
    Code Club
    Code Kingdoms
    Creative Digital Solutions
    Institution of Engineering and Technology
    London Connected Learning Centre
    Open University
    Python Software Foundation
    Tinder Foundation

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    Microsoft Expert Educator

    For this week’s MIEE TV blog post, we are going to look at a theme we touched upon last week in our regular blog updates, and that is Project Based Learning. For those of you who follow @ukedchat on Twitter and regularly participate in the hour long live discussions (every Thursday at 8pm - #ukedchat), you will have seen that last week the theme was Project Based Learning, with the discussion revolving how technology can play a part in PBL, and how teachers should approach the concept in general, so that the students can get the most out of it. Our blog about the PBL #ukedchat can be found here:

    Last night’s #ukedchat – Project Based Learning


    Today we’re going to continue that theme, but looking at how our Expert Educators are using Project Based Learning, and in particular, the Global Enterprise Challenge, in the classroom. This story actually begins at last year’s Global Forum in Barcelona, when Jonathan Bishop, head teacher at Broadclyst Community Primary School, pitched the idea to bring students together from around the world to collaborate and create, all while learning the ins and outs of running a business.


    The competition ran for the first time during the 2014-15 academic year, and included 1,500 students from 32 schools, spanning 20 countries. The objective was to then run a number of international companies, each with regional offices/teams. Their start-up funding from the Microsoft award was £30 (€40/$50) per team, £30 (€400/$500) per school, and with that investment the teams had to develop, produce and market their products, take them to Dragons’ Den style pitch situation, and ultimately compete with each other to become the most successful company globally.

    During BETT 2015 earlier this year, Microsoft Expert Educator Anthony Lees was on our stand, talking about Broadclyst’s involvement in the Global Enterprise Challenge, going into detail about how through using Office 365 as the framework for the project in all schools, the students were able to not just communicate, but actively collaborate and with others all over the world to deliver tangible results. As part of his Theatre Session during BETT, Anthony would hold a Skype for Business call with Matthew Pitts – another teacher at Broadclyst – to talk about the ways in which the students got involved in the project, and how it improved their learning and output in general.

    Speaking of the positive learning outcomes of project based learning, Matthew said:

    "[collaboration through project based learning]… allows children to produce work of a quality that is probably higher than they could produce on their own, which is the definition of what project based learning should be. Office 365 has really supported with that."

    Anthony’s BETT 2015 Microsoft Theatre session all about project based learning and the Global Enterprise Challenge is on the MIEE TV YouTube Channel, and can also be watched below:

    A few weeks ago, at Microsoft's Global Forum for Education, E2, the winning GEC team for 2015, R.N. Podar School, Mumbai, were presented with their trophy and certificates. They also had the chance to meet Jonathan Bishop, and also Anthony Salcito, VP of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. Jonathan was recently featured on Anthony’s Daily Edventures blog, and you can read the post here:

    Daily Edventures: “Share your passion and excitement and love of learning with your students” - Jonathan Bishop, UK

    Registration for the 2015-2016 competition is now open, so for more information and to find out how to get involved, please visit Global Enterprise Challenge.

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    On Saturday, June 20th the UK DX team are partnering with a Not4Profit organisation called Devoxx4Kids to deliver a one day workshop at Cardinal Place for 10-16 year olds to create and, in doing so, learn some simple programming concepts.  It will involve some Minecraft hacking; it will involve playing with MS Research’s TouchDevelop programming tool.  It will also involve programming some robots!  The organisers have also partnered with the largest coding clubs in the UK so there is a long tail for any children that attend the event and want to continue learning how to create through coding. 


    The event details are summarised below if you want to come along with your kids (aged 10 to 16) or you want to share out to your friends network for them to sign up their children.


    Volunteering to help…….we do already have a number of volunteers from the DX team to help on the day but if you would like to offer your services to either help deliver sessions with the DX team or help with “child traffic control” just let me know.


    Event Details

    Devoxx4Kids is an event run all over the world with the aim of engaging 10 - 16 year olds with technology, including simple programming concepts, robotics, electronics, and games making. Above all else, the event is about providing children with a challenging yet supportive environment, enabling kids to taste the feeling of success that comes from solving problems.

    The event is formed of a series of concurrent workshops that cover a range of topics. Children select their chosen workshop for each session and are mentored through age appropriate tasks, supported by mentors who are experienced in technology.

    The event is being held at Cardinal Place on Saturday, June 20th from 9.30am to 4.30pm


    Each child will be expected to bring a laptop (Windows or Mac) - the required software will be provided in advance and an IT support desk will be run before the event starts. All workshops have children working in pairs.

    Lunch and light refreshments will be provided throughout the event. Please let us know by emailing about any dietary requirements you may have and we'll do what we can to accommodate.

    If you or your child would like to take part but have physical or mental conditions, please reach out to us by email at to discuss. The venue can be made wheelchair accessible with advance notice.

    NOTE: Tickets are non-refundable.


    Devoxx4Kids is not day care and we do not assume any responsibility for attendees. As such, a parent / guardian is required for all children in attendance. There will be an area for adults to stay and support for any who would like to better understand what the children are experiencing. We don't expect parents to be involved in the workshops, although if you are interested in helping out, please see the section on volunteering.

    For more about Devoxx4Kids events, see

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with one of the organisers.


    If you have a technical background or experience working with children and would like to offer your time to support a great cause, we are accepting volunteers to help with the event. No prior experience with any of the technologies is required.  Please email for more information.


    You can register here.  £10 for each child.  Parents are free (how about that for the inverse of the normal situation J)

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    Teachers are constantly sharing innovative ideas and best practices with each other by a variety of means, both online and offline, and just last week we looked at how teachers from all over the country were able to join the conversation around Project Based Learning, through #ukedchat on Twitter. Another way for likeminded educators to come together and exchange their thoughts is through Teachmeets, which not only allow them to discuss broader educational practices in person, but also provide a platform for teachers from schools within close proximity to one another to have real-time conversations that can kick-start ongoing collaboration on projects between school in the local area.

    We’re pleased to share details of an upcoming Teachmeet in Glasgow, that is being run by Ian Stuart, a MIEE Fellow who also runs Glow Connect - Scotland’s nationally available digital environment for learning. The event is open to all teachers, and is free to attend. See below for registration details.


    TeachMeet Glasgow

    Tuesday 2nd June, 5pm
    citizenM Glasgow
    Renfrew St
    G2 3BW

    “This Teachmeet will be a traditional style. Where we will look to share teaching and learning ideas to take back to the classrooms to help Engage, Enthuse and Inspire our students. “

    Consisting of a number of 2 or 7 minute presentations (with or without ICT), the event is driving by the participation of the attendees, with everyone encouraged to take prepare their own content to present their techniques, practices, ideas and thoughts to the rest of the group over the course of the evening.

    Making a presentation is by no means obligatory, however we do recommend that you take part in the resulting discussions and get to grips with the topics.

    Confirmed to speak so far from the MIEE community are Natalie Lochhead, Annette Iafrate, David& Marie Renton, and of course the host Ian Stuart. Other local teachers will also be contributing their own short presentations, giving the evening a nice balance of topics, ranging from the latest technology, exams & assessment, and time management.

    The event is free to attend, and you can register here for the Teachmeet Glasgow.

    If you cannot attend but wish to follow the event, those there will be tweeting using #TeachmeetGLA, so keep an eye on that to stay up to date.


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    Regular readers of this blog should be familiar with Sandymoor School in Runcorn, and its head teacher, Andrew Howard. Sandymoor itself is one of six Microsoft Showcase Schools here in the UK, last year being awarded Global Showcase School status, and earlier this year Andrew was shortlisted for the Naace 2015 Leadership Impact Awards.

    sandymoor new

    Becoming a Showcase School isn’t simply an acknowledgement of the intelligent use of technology to raise standards within the confines of your own gates, it is also about sharing your successes and best practices with other schools, making sure that the positive impacts being enjoyed by one set of teachers and student can ripple outwards into the immediate local community, as well as the further geographical reaches of academia.

    On that note, we’re please to share details of an event at Sandymoor School next month, organised in conjunction with Kelway, and hosted on the day by Andrew Howard.

    Transforming Learning through Tablet Computing

    Transforming Learning through Tablet Computing will be held on June 11th, and is an opportunity for school leaders learn about tablets available within education, via speakers from both schools and technology providers.

    The event is entirely free and includes refreshments, including a buffet lunch. Click here to REGISTER.

    Steve Beswick, Director of Education, Microsoft UK, will outline the vision of Microsoft Education, both within the UK & globally, before attendees experience how this vision has been enacted in a real school. Andrew Howard will then share the journey Sandymoor has been on since it's creation in 2012, and how the staff and students have been using tablets and Office 365 as part of a carefully considered digital strategy, along the way to becoming a Microsoft Showcase School just two years on from when the school was founded.

    Of course no two schools are the same, and while many of the facets of a digital strategy can be largely mirrored to reasonable effect in other institutions, the differences in budgets, time frames, existing set ups and school sizes mean that in order for the students and teachers to really get the best out of any technology – and for the school to get the best return on its financial investment in technology – a bespoke solution is required.Kelway logoKelway is a Microsoft in Education Partner, and will be on hand at the event to help school leaders and IT managers with any questions they might have during the day, and to work with them going forward on any digital strategy they wish to explore as a result of having seen the successes of Sandymoor.


    As well as the tablet computing event, the day also signals the launch of a new Innovation Hub and Microsoft Showcase Classroom right in Sandymoor School:

    Take a Tour of the New Innovation Hub

    Sandymoor School in conjunction with Kelway and partners, are launching the Innovation Hub & Microsoft Showcase Classroom on this day. You will be provided with a tour so you can come and try out all the new technology including the latest Windows 8 Devices from all of the leading manufacturers including Microsoft, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu and Toshiba.  Visitors will be guided through the Office 365 ecosystem to understand how this technology can so easily and affordably be integrated into the everyday working of a modern school.

    Sandymoor School are also hosting a TeachMeet in the evening; further details will be available, but places for this can also be reserved. The Teachmeet runs from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and includes a Curry Tea following the conclusion of the event.


    Transforming Learning through Tablet Computing takes place on June 11th at Sandymoor School in Runcorn. For more information and to register, please visit Kelway.

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    Normally on a Thursday you’ll see a post from our MIEE TV blogs that looks at how our expert educators are using a certain technology or approach ‘in the classroom’, but seeing as it’s half term and most teachers up and down the country are not in fact in the classroom, we thought we'd also take a half term break and pause this pause this particular blog series at its midway point.

    Fear not however, as we still have #MIEExpert15 news and content to bring you this fine late May afternoon!

    Every now and then we share the views of Anthony Salcito, Microsoft Worldwide VP for Education, via his Daily Edventures blog. Recently he caught up with UK MIEE Mark Martin (aka The Urban Teacher) while the two were attending the Microsoft E2 Global Educator Exchange event in Redmond. Here is Anthony’s blog from earlier in the month:

    Lessons from the Urban Teacher - Mark Martin, UK

    Originally posted on Daily Edventures by Anthony Salcito on May 18th 2015

    Urban Teacher

    You may not know Mark Martin by name, but there’s a good chance you’ve run into his alter-ego online. As the Urban Teacher, Martin has a significant social media presence as an evangelist for getting the best available technology in the hands of those who can most benefit from it – the students.

    At the recent E2 Conference in Redmond, we had the opportunity to chat with Martin. In today’s Daily Edventure, the Urban Teacher shares his perspective on topics ranging from meeting students where they are to helping educators rediscover their love of teaching.

    Urban schools are famously challenging — social issues, the digital divide and low expectations often hamper teachers’ ability to make a difference. Martin has managed to overcome these challenges, translating them into opportunities for both students and teachers.

    “There’s a massive digital skills gap,” Martin notes. “We’re getting a lot of young people that are leaving school and falling into the unemployment category. How are we preparing young people for the 21st century? It’s about linking those [jobs] that are out there to their interests, and I think we can do a lot more.”

    Martin, a 2015 Innovative Educator Expert, not only pushes the boundaries of learning in his classroom, he offers invaluable insights to fellow teachers – especially those working in inner cities. He uses his considerable influence to share tips on everything from linking technology and curriculum, to raising the aspirations of his students, to utilizing mobile and web apps in the classroom.

    “A lot of teachers are under pressure, so they fall into the ‘playing it safe’ culture,” he says. “In the process, they lose out on the excitement, the creativity and innovation – a lot of those things that will help young people to have those life-long learning tools in their toolbox.”

    Martin’s tweets are filled with inspiring quotes like, “You don’t build a top school. You build top teachers and the top teachers build the school,” and, “Just as teachers don’t work from 9am – 3pm, students don’t learn from 9am-3pm.” But you need to look beyond the quotes to understand the significance of what Martin is accomplishing.



    Engaging with the broader community plays a big part in Martin’s success. He links with Tech City, the East London cluster of technology start-ups and businesses, and brings experts in every Thursday to showcase their latest work. He also ensures that parents are engaged in their students’ journey, holding an hour-long after-school session each week called “Digital Families.” And Martin recently hosted a well-attended Teach Meet at the Microsoft Showcase Classroom, encouraging fellow teachers to share their best practices on everything from gaming in the math classroom to using Sway and Office Mix.

    To learn more about Mark Martin, aka Urban Teacher, be sure to check out his blog, website and Twitter.

    Anthony Salcito

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    Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with some of the courses and qualifications available to teachers and students, such as Teaching with Technology. Over the last few weeks we’ve been sharing a number of short tutorials aimed at supporting those teachers who are taking the TwT course or perhaps planning to do so. While these resources were created with those teachers in mind, they are still useful in isolation, and as such we hope they can provide inspiration and support to any teach you is looking to make better use of technology in their classroom.

    Today we’re going to look at two more tutorials, which include the use of free tools within the classroom, and how using Office 365 can facilitate the practice of flipped learning.

    Office 365 is available to schools at no cost. Check your eligibility at


    Building a class community with free tools

    In an increasingly globalized world social inclusion is an important consideration in all aspects of life, not least at school. The start of a school year is quite often decisive for social integration. This tutorial will help you set up introduction activities to enable you to understand your students and to build a positive community in your classroom from the very start of the school year.

    In this tutorial you will:

    1. Learn to create a set of activities for social integration.
    2. Learn to create a class blog where students can contribute through Microsoft Word.
    3. Learn how to create a visual link between the class environment and the home by using Photosynth.


    Flipping the classroom with Office 365

    The flipped classroom is a concept that is taking the educational world by storm. Briefly described, it means that students do their homework assignment before the lesson so that the class time is dedicated to discussions and different activities that will help students master the concepts and achieve better results. A flipped classroom is great for creating a collaborative learning environment where teachers can dedicate more time to each student individually. This tutorial is designed for educators who have used some features of Microsoft Office 365 and shows in simple steps how it can help teachers create a flipped classroom environment.

    In this tutorial you will:

    1. Use Microsoft Office 365 to flip the classroom.
    2. Create activities, calendars and discussion for students.
    3. Use a video conferencing tool to communicate with students.


    If you’ve missed any of our previous Teaching with Technology blogs, you can find them here:

    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Supporting absent students and those with physical impairments
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials – Using Bing Maps and Translator for global collaboration within Office 365
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials – Researching with OneNote & Word; Creating digital stories
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Office 365 for cloud based learning; Remove classroom walls with Skype
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials - Preparing for students for employment; Learning Suite for project based learning
    Teaching with Technology Tutorials – Managing assessment data, creating e-Portfolios

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    The MIE Minute newsletter was sent out to our Expert Educators all over the world last week, and we’re pleased to be able to share some of the items included within it to our wider education audience.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the MIE Minute, it is an email publication sent out to our MIE Experts on a bimonthly basis, including various items of content and activities that they, as Microsoft Expert Educators can act upon to help not only their own students and immediate colleagues, but other teachers in their local area and, through digital channels such as social media, the broader global education community.

    In each edition of the MIE Minute are three news items or teaching resources which the recipients are encouraged to share out into their networks, and we’d like to do our bit by posting them here as well.

    Microsoft Expert Educator

    4 Ways to Bring the World into Your Class with Skype in the Classroom

    Skype in the Classroom is an online community that enables thousands of teachers to inspire the next generation of global citizens through transformative learning over Skype. Here are some ideas to spark your next lesson and give your students something to look forward to!

    Skype logo


    Sway has started rolling out to Office 365, added more languages, and more!

    It’s been an exciting month for Sway and our journey with Sway Preview! At the Ignite conference, we announced that Sway would roll out to Office 365 business and education customers and add support for more languages. We’re excited to announce the start of these rollouts, as well as other changes that expand the type of content you can add and the ways you can visualize the multimedia that brings your Sways to life. Check out the details on the Office Blog!

    Sway - insert image


    OneNote gets ready for summer technology planning with updates for everyone

    We are announcing a number of top requested features for OneNote Class Notebooks, OneNote Staff Notebooks, and OneNote across platforms coming soon to Office 365 customers. We realise that many schools and their IT administrators need a little time to prepare for major changes, like automatic installation of the OneNote Class Notebook app for Office 365 Education tenants. These updates will be available worldwide beginning in late May through mid-June - so you can count on them showing up in your summer planning for technology next school year in most of the world!

    Get the full lowdown via this post on the Office Blog by the OneNote Team.


    OneNote - summer update


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    Microsoft Expert Educator

    This weeks MIEE TV blog is all about Office 365 in the classroom. Say 'Office 365' to a lot of people, and they immediately just think 'Word, Excel and PowerPoint'. Well, while these commonly used applications (and so many more) are indeed found within the Office suite, Office 365 is much more about the working environment and the interconnectivity it enables between these applications, allowing the students and teachers who use it the freedom and ability to collaborate whenever and wherever they are.

    Office logoOffice 365 is available within education to all staff and students at no cost. Check your eligibility at

    To illustrate this, we can look to a recently published article in the Summer edition of the PTA Magazine, in which Tom Rees – headteacher of Simon de Senlis Primary (a Microsoft Showcase School) – talks about how using Office 365 has removed the barriers he encountered with other online learning environments in schools over the last 10 years.

    "The way Office 365 can be used across many devices – phones, tablets and laptops for example – is key. There's no barrier to collaboration, as there would have been with the use of different operating systems."

    He also spoke of how Office 365 enables them to make use of technology has also had a positive effect in the way that the teachers can now use their time:

    "We've now got tools which are no more complicated than the hundreds of tools people use in their everyday lives. It's a tool for teachers, who can focus on the learning, teaching, questioning and feedback which we know makes a difference."

    The whole article can be found on our SlideShare account:

    Another example of our Showcase Schools embracing Office 365 in the classroom and using it as the basis for their teaching and learning comes from Sandymoor School in Runcorn, where two of the teachers are MIEEs. Here are just some of the ways Office 365 has been embraced at Sandymoor:

    • All students have a virtual homework diary that is linked to their calendar.
    • It provides a staff intranet
    • Online form completion such as leave of absence forms
    • Improved staff-student communication
    • Currently working on developing behaviour reporting for the students to eradicate bullying

    At a Civica event earlier this year, headteacher Andrew Howard spoke of how his school has embraced Office 365 and talked through their innovative use of it to excite, engage and teach their students. You can view his talk below:


    If you’ve missed any of the previous blogs in the MIEE TV series, you can find them here:

    Introducing MIEE TV – bringing you weekly tips and best practices from Expert Educators
    MIEE TV - Mark Martin: Freedom to roam
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using OneNote in the classroom
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Sway in the Classroom
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Office Mix in the Classroom
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Skype in the Classroom
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Inking in the Classroom
    MIEE TV – Expert Educators using Minecraft in the Classroom
    MIEE TV - Global Enterprise Challenge in the Classroom

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    This post is from Emma Hicks, English and Drama teacher at Arnold Hill Academy in Nottingham. Emma is also one of out MIEEs, and recently attended the E² Global Educator Exchange in Remond, WA, a few weeks ago. Below are her thoughts after listening to the keynote address from Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala.



    An awakening by Ziauddin Yousafzai

    by Emma Hicks

    So often it seems that we lose sight of the core purpose of education; the fundamental basic human right to learn. This morning Ziauddin Yousafzai spoke to us of the courage and bravery that happens all over the world as people fight for their right to an education. It was, without doubt, the awakening that so many of us needed to remind ourselves of what we can do to improve our world.

    Yousafzai opened by warming the hearts of educators by joking that his daughter, Malala, had pitied his audience for having to listen to him for an entire hour. This light humour could not have been further from the truth. As Yousafzai described his experiences with Malala as she grew up in a society under the rein of the Taliban, not a single listener wasn’t captivated. He told us that “most of us want to see bravery in others, not in ourselves”, but Malala was different. Her bravery led her to fight and to be heard. Her bravery inspired the world to speak up. Her bravery has changed the futures of so many young girls.

    The strong message of this keynote was that education transforms an individual, it is a mechanism for power and it is our responsibility to make sure that it is accessible to all. Yousafzai identified us as “changes makers” with the potential to transform our communities. He closed with a command that will drive every educator at E2 as they return to their schools: bring up an amazing generation that will make this world more peaceful.

    Ziauddin Yousfzai

    Responses from our MIEExperts:

    “Very interesting and incredibly thought-provoking” - Matthew Davies

    “Humbling and inspiring keynote by Ziauddin Yousafzai on the importance of bravery in educators as agents of change” - Anthony Lees

    “Malala’s call to teachers to take action for the rest of the world’s children really struck a chord with the responsibility that we have to teach Global Citizenship. It inspired me to think along these lines for our Educators’ challenge.” - Marie Renton

    “I’m completely moved by Ziauddin’s speech, what a privilege to listen to someone who speaks of bravery and courage with such passion and warmth” - Emma Hicks

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