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    There are many things I don’t understand, but that doesn’t stop me admiring the brilliance of those that can solve problems using advanced logic and mathematics.

    I have already mentioned that 2012 is ‘Alan Turing Year’ and to celebrate this centenary, a group from Nottingham University have developed a collection of one-person games played on a Turing tape. ( What is a “Turing tape” ?)

    The games have infinitely many instances; the team will be posing a large number of them for you to solve in the coming weeks and months. The website shows an example and has the details of the competition.

    So if you are looking for a real challenge for your Maths and computer science students then why not register for this competition. The competition has three categories for pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate students and the first prize in each category is £150.

    ….. and if anybody can tell me how these things are solved in a simple sentence then I would be most grateful. Enjoy!

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    From today, Wednesday 25th April, Get Online @ Home will be teaming up with TalkTalk and SimplifyDigital to offer its best value PC, broadband and phone bundle ever.

    So what is the offer?

    For a limited time only, anyone can buy

    -a reconditioned Windows 7 PC with 12 months of fast, reliable broadband for just £99 [£49 to those on benefits] when taken with TalkTalk Essentials Broadband and Phone at an exclusive price of just £5/month

    -or a reconditioned Window 7 laptop with 12 months fast, reliable broadband for £149 [£119 to those on benefits], when taken with TalkTalk Essentials Broadband and Phone at an exclusive price of just £5/month.

    This will be available to both those on benefits and those who are not. In other words anybody here in the UK can take advantage of this great offer.

    This makes it an ideal option for Parents looking to support their children with an extra PC for their homework and is something your school could support them with. Firstly by letting Parents know about these offers, so why not put the links on your school website or portal. Or mention it in the next Newsletter. Let your student councils and your Digital Leader groups know. Also, if you know of any charities, let them know, as they can take advantage of this offer too.

    To date, over 4,000 PCs have been supplied to people across the UK through Get Online @ Home and research tells us that around 90% of these computers go to low income families on benefits. This programme is genuinely achieving its aim of reaching those who need extra support most.

    For more details go to the Get Online @Home site - clip_image002

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    imageThere are still 8.1 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet and, along with a lack of interest, the cost of getting a computer and internet access is a barrier for millions of people. Research has found that nearly half of the people do not use the internet are on low incomes.This could be having a profound affect on the students in your school and their ability to access and engage with their learning online.

    Get Online @ Home the initiative led by Microsoft looks to provide affordable reconditioned PCs and laptops to people who may not have been online before, is now offering a reconditioned Windows 7 PC for just £99 [£49 to those on benefits] or a reconditioned Window 7 laptop for £149 [£119 to those on benefits], when taken with TalkTalk Essentials Broadband and Phone at an exclusive price of just £5 a month.

    The scheme is backed by UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox’s new organisation Go ON UK which aims to bring the benefits of the internet to every individual and every organisation in every community across the UK. 

    All Get Online @ Home PCs come ready to go ‘out of the box’ with Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft software for documents, emails, messaging and pictures, in addition to Microsoft’s free security software. Users will also benefit from TalkTalk’s free award winning HomeSafe™ security service, which is built into the broadband network itself.

    This deal is only available by calling the specially trained Get Online @ Home team on 0800 090 1297 to have any questions answered and make it as easy as possible to get started.

    UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox said:

    “Of the 8.1 million people in Britain who have never been online there are 5.5 million adults over the age of 50. We know that the cost of buying and connecting a PC is a significant barrier and so being able to offer a PC with a year’s broadband for under £160 will be a lifeline for many. With more support like that of the Get Online @ Home team, we will build the digital skills of individuals and communities across the UK.”

    Since its launch in March 2011, over 4,500 Get Online @ Home ‘Plug & Play’ PCs have been supplied to people across the UK with 90% of these going to low income families on benefits. Within this group, 24% have gone to single parents in the 18-30 age bracket with 15% for single pensioners over the age of 65. This programme is now genuinely achieving its aim of reaching those who need the extra support most.

    Dido Harding, Non-executive DirectorDido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

    “The internet connects and entertains, educates and informs – it even saves money. Yet we know that for some people the upfront cost of getting online can be a barrier. We believe that every family has the right to access safe and affordable broadband and, as the UK’s leading value for money provider, this belief is at the very heart of our business. By teaming up with Microsoft to offer a best value computer and broadband package we hope that more people will be motivated to take their first steps online.”

    For more information, please go to or call 0800 090 1297.

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    After the great success of the previous Microsoft Partners in Learning Teacher Camps, we are taking the event on the road – this is an open invitation to all Teachers in Wales. So if you want to spend time with other great innovative educators, then this is an ideal event for you. This is possibly some of the best CPD you will ever get.

    Camp Wales takes place at Willows High School, starting 4:30pm - 8:00pm Friday 29th and finishing 9:30pm - 3:00pm Saturday 30th June 2012.

    This event is free to attend.

    What will I be doing at Camp?

    We will give you training in using free Microsoft apps to create teaching and learning resources for the classroom. You will have time to design, create and evaluate those resources and collaborate with others. You will also get the chance to speak to experts and award winning teachers 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 –

    How do I apply?

    We don’t want videos or lengthy biographies from you, to apply for this free event, just email three tweet-esque type statements (140 characters or less) to Gareth Ritter – before the closing date Monday 18th June. These statements should be ideas of how you would, or are using Microsoft technologies to support learning across the curriculum. For example:-

    · using conditional formatting in Excel to help visual learners in numeracy

    · using PowerPoint to create animated flicker books

    · using the Songsmith to create mobile ringtones

    Also include details of your school, subject expertise and pupil age range in your application. We will select 25 applicants who will be notified by 22nd June 2012.

    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 in Wales 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 send you a list of tools to download and install when we confirm your attendance.

    What will I be expected to do?

    We will help you create two innovid resources, including the one you will create on the course. We will collect those resources and post them to our YouTube Channel.

    We will offer you support if you wish you recreate this course in your school and you will receive a certificate welcoming you as a Partners in Learning Innovative Teacher and more ideas about how to enhance pupil through the use of technology.

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    Following on from our last Power Up tip for PowerPoint ( which was a while ago now !) This is another great idea,so that you don’t have to exit your presentation to let students share their ideas during a lesson.

    It’s really useful to collect feedback and ideas from students during a presentation and add that to the slide deck. Usually this means jumping out of a presentation, typing the text on a slide, then returning back to the presentation. But there is a really simple way of doing this without having to leave your presentation.

    imageFirstly, You need to find the Developer Tab in PowerPoint. This does not appear by default in PowerPoint 2007 & 2010. You need to go to Options and add it to your Ribbon. Once you have done this you will have a number of new tools available to youimage.


    Select the Text Box (ActiveX Control). Click and drag to create a text box on your slide. Now you need to change it’s properties. Do this by right clicking on the box you have just created and select properties. From the list that appears change the following properties.

    Dragbehaviour – enable this, it will allow you to drag text to other boxes. In the slide show highlighting and dragging the text will allow you to move it to another box. Great for organising ideas.

    EnterKeyBehaviour – Select True , to allow the use of the enter key to move down a line

    Multiline – Select True, to allow separate lines of text

    TabKeyBehaviour – Select True, to allow use of the Tab key, great for creating lists

    You might also think about changing ScrollBars to Both, just in case the amount of text exceeds to the box size.

    Once you have done this for one box, right clicking and copying and pasting it , creates more boxes with these properties very quickly. Combine this with additional text and graphics and you can create a motivating way of collecting ideas from students.

    Any text added to the slide can be saved by simply saving the presentation. This means it can be used for  review, revision and reflection in other lessons.

    For a simple video tutorial, check out this Innovid from our YouTube Channel

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  • 06/01/12--02:38: Kodu at Cadoxton Primary
  • filter.bokubotLast week I had the pleasure of working with the Digital Leaders at Cadoxton Primary School in Barry, South Wales. We looked at and explored Kodu . They all had a copy to take home, to begin to investigate for themselves. Our options in school were limited at the present time, as the school is developing an innovative PC network, based on Windows Multipoint Server and powered by Solar Energy, which sounds amazing and will be fantastic and innovative resource when the installation is completed.

    So we discussed Kodu, I did some demos and we thought about what skills they might employ to develop computer games.

    Here are two initial reactions from Rhys and Tegan, two of this great and talented group of pupils.

    Last Wednesday I worked with Microsoft using a programme called KODU . KODU is a programme were you create your own video games .I enjoyed using KODU because it was like I was a professional programmer. When we learnt how to work it we created our own game. I liked it when we found out how to score points because I want to challenge anyone who might play my games. Now we have KODU on our memory sticks we can access it at home it is amazing.boom


    I attended a Kodu workshop with Microsoft, I enjoyed Kodu because it was an easy, interesting and engaging way for me to create games it used lots of colours and the design was cool. The character (Kodu) was adorable. It was amazing making him turn pink! I liked the fact that you had to use lots of computer keys in the game. It filter.fishwas interesting to program the Kodu, their simple sentences used some confusing language! I loved the fact that we could use it at home as well as school. It had a wide variety of characters suitable for boys and girls. Overall I was ecstatic that I could make create and design my own using the Kodu software.

    Thanks to all the Digital Leaders at Cadoxton Primary School , I look forward to hearing a lot more from you in the future.

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    What is a Teach the Teachers Meet?
    imageDigital Leaders, a group of students at Fulford School are set to host a unique event to showcase how classrooms can be brought into the digital age. The Teach the teachers Meet, taking place June 28, will be an opportunity for students to show teachers how it can be done. Students of all ages will present and share their ideas on technology as an educational tool to an audience of teachers and education professionals.
    Usually organised by teachers around the country as a way of networking and sharing good practice in teaching with technology, this TeachMeet, a kind of unconference, is the first of its kind to be planned and presented entirely by students. Major sponsorship has been brought in by the Digital Leaders from industry giants such as Microsoft Partners in Learning.

    A-level student and project manager of the event, Mikey Carr said “the event itself is concerned with education and technology. The combination of the two is, we believe, extremely powerful and will enable education to be enhanced dramatically… It’s essentially a student voice encompassed into an event”.

    The Teach the Teachers Meet event at Fulford School in York has been arranged by eight pupils, known as Digital Leaders but who are we? 
    We are students interested in technology as a means to lead the way in digital innovations in education. Since establishing the scheme at Fulford in January 2011, our team have been involved in such projects as training staff, monitoring ICT suites, running special interest clubs, renovating the school website and exploring the ways in which video, mobile and web technology can positively transform the learning experience to name but a few.
    Outside of school, the Digital Leaders have presented and trained teachers, educators student teachers in Universities, Primary schools and national conferences. The culmination of the last year’s work, will be the Teach the Teachers Meet and  will provide an opportunity for the students to recount their experiences as Digital Leaders to education experts. The Digital Leaders will also have the chance to present and debate the ideas that they have generated through their work alongside other Digital Leaders, PGCE students and Microsoft, whose headquarters they visited last year.

    So how can you get involved?
    Either come along as a curious teacher/educator, bring students to speak or to be part of the audience. Or if you can’t make it, the event is going to be live streamed, with the hope of using the student-led Fulford event as a model to other schools. (Keep an eye on #TtTMeet hashtag on Twitter for the link).

    Teach theTeachers Meet Fulford School, York, 28 June from 4.30pm- 6.30pm.
    Featuring a range of guest speakers, with keynote from Bob Harrison, the Teach Meet is open to anyone with an interest in discovering new perspectives on education.
    For more information go to:
    To register your attendance go to:
    Any questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch on either @FulfordDLs or

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    When I first started using PowerPoint (many moons ago), images had to manipulated and edited in a graphic package, then imported into a presentation. It could be a lengthy process and I suspect it was one of the reasons teachers filled up their hard drives with clip art to get instant images.

    But now, PowerPoint 2010 has an amazing array of graphic tools and functions, that rival many graphic packages, with functionality that allows teachers and students alike to create and manipulate images simply and easily, without having to learn and use another piece of software.


    I have been using the graphic tools along with the text formatting tools to create logos like this one for an event in Wales. This is so easy to do and with the live preview feature, students can instantly see the results their formatting.


    There are a range of tools in PowerPoint that allow you to edit an image. These include:- Removing an image background, cropping, resize, corrections to colour, brightness and contrast, artistic effects such as mosaic and pencil sketch, special effects such as shadows, reflections and glow.

    These combined with the drawing tools, provide and amazing range of options for students to be creative with their image design. This is a great example from Paul Horrell from community school. These vector cartoons were created by year 7s in a single hour lesson after a short tutorial on the different shapes. They could choose their own cartoon character, and capture it by using the screen clip feature in PowerPoint and then recreate it as a vector drawing.  They can copy their completed cartoon , using the Snipping tool in windows to save it as a JPEG. You have to admire the skills of these Year 7 students in creating these cartoons.


    As Paul says ‘Apparently Powerpoint can be used to create slideshows too!’

    You can find more creative ideas on how to use the drawing tools in PowerPoint on our Youtube Channel . Here’s a great innovid that shows how to use a little known Combine Shapes function, that lets you combine simple shapes to create more complex ones.

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    imageSince working at Microsoft I don’t think there has been such an exciting time as at the moment for in the UK Partners in Learning Team. The recent plethora announcements of the latest innovations, have us very excited on how we ensure that they have a real impact on teachers and learners

    Last night, (yes, I did stay up and watch the announcement ) Microsoft  revealed the amazing Microsoft Surface - a new family of computing devices. Surface, with Windows 8 will offer some amazing opportunities for education. Like many I suspect, I can’t wait to get my hands on one.

    This great news along with the fact that  Windows 8 is on it’s way, have a look now by downloading the Windows Release Preview, and there has been a significant redesign of Bing that includes social search. There are also some amazing developments with XBox, in particular SmartGlass which will offer some amazing opportunities for teachers, I am really looking forward to the teachers in the K-Team getting their hands on it.

    So keep tuned to  this blog and we will bring to you the developments as they happen in Partners in Learning .

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    Don’t panic this not a latest add-in for PowerPoint , but research from Denmark suggests that careful use of fonts and colours in presentations can have an effect on the audience's concentration. I first encountered this research from Ole Lauridsen, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, a few years ago and whilst sitting in a presentation where he used this research , I can tell you it works.

    You can download the full document from here

    Some of the great ideas it suggests are:-

    We perceive colours in different orders


    Red in the foreground, green and yellow in the middle and blue in the background, so put things you want remembered in red.

    Our working memory processes information step by step and can never handle more than 5-9 bits of information
    units at the time. Units include text, images and graphics. As a guideline 7 units is the average that we should use on a slide in presentations. Providing less than 5 information units, we are not exploiting the full the potential of the memory to a sufficient degree, and if we exceed 9 units, it becomes too much for the memory to process – thus when creating a slide you should adopt the 7±2 rule.

    There are a lot more insights like this in this research and if you are looking to avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’ this is well worth a read.

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    Many of you will know Dan Roberts from the work we have done with him and his schoo,l community school in Cornwall. We announced in March , that Dan would be moving to pastures new. But he was back in the UK recently to collect another well deserved accolade. Dan was the first recipient of the TES ICT Visionary in Education Award .

    During the last 6 years I have had the pleasure of seeing Dan receive honours such as a National Teaching Award, UK, European and World Partners in Learning Teacher awards, a Learning without Frontiers Award and last year he was awarded a UK Partners in Learning Lifetime achievement award. But, whatever you think of awards in education, be you a supporter or sceptic, I know, despite all these accolades, Dan is most proud of the legacy he has left not only with his colleagues, and more importantly the students at community school, but the wider community of educators across the globe he has influenced and inspired through twitter, his blog and his involvement with the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network.

    You can find Dan and more educators like him on the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network  . Join today, its free and might possibly be the best piece of CPD you ever do.

    For those that have never heard Dan speak, then check out his TEDx talk. You will see why he is a visionary. Follow him on Twitter @chickensaltash

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    imageAQA has partnered with Microsoft to support a GCSE Computer Science qualification with course content aligned to the new Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification.  MTA is a new entry-level certification at Level 2 that helps to enhance students learning and support them build towards a career in IT with industry recognised skills and qualifications.  There are also a range of Microsoft resources and tools such as the IT Academy Programme, Dreamspark, Kodu and .NET Gadgeteer.

    In addition to Microsoft resources, teachers signing up the AQA qualification will get access to:

    - a specification that focuses on programming in the real world

    - specimen papers and mark schemes

    - a scheme of work

    - CPD for all levels of experience

    - FAQs and an IT pathfinder to show you routes through our qualifications

    - your own personal subject adviser from September

    - Preparing to Teach courses and web conferences

    - updates on when new and exciting resources are released.

    You can sign up here to teach AQA’s innovative GCSE Computer Science qualification. It uses today's technology to create tomorrow's programmers, bringing programming alive by giving students the chance to design apps and software.

    For more information and support , contact ITSkillsman  , or e-mail

    If you are interested in a free “Taster session” on 13th September or a  subscription to a course then you can find out more information here .

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    imageExactly 4 years ago this month , we published our first blog post. So on such an anniversary, it gives me great pleasure to make this announcement. It’s seems an age since the Partners in Learning UK team were a dynamic duo. Today I am pleased to announce that one of our most Innovative Teachers has joined us on a secondment as the new Partners in Learning Network Manager. I will let her introduce herself, but please join me, leave a comment and welcome Mandeep Atwal to the team.

    Hello I’m Mandeep Atwal, and I can’t believe that I am actually saying this, but I am the new Partners in Learning UK Network Manager for Microsoft Education UK. I am really excited to join Stuart to form the Partners in Learning team and work alongside with a wealth of people who are responsible for the strategic enhancement of technology in learning.

    I am a teacher by nature and have been a secondary RE teacher for six years, where I developed Young Voices’, a school based project focused on how young people could use technology to encourage open debates between pupils from different ethnic and religious backgrounds; from anywhere in the world. This project was recognized by Microsoft Partners in Learning, and awarded both the Microsoft UK and European Innovative Teacher's Award in 2009.  Young Voices then went on to achieve first place at the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Education Forum Award in 2009 for the category ‘Community’.

    In 2010, my quest for exploring new ways to make learning fun and meaningful for students truly began when I joined TakingITGlobal as their UK Programmes Manager. In this role I was able to support educators across the world to utilize technology to create transformative international learning experiences for their students. This included co-ordinating ‘Shout’, an environmental education programme in collaboration with Microsoft and the Smithsonian and designing and delivering the accredited TIG Student Voice e-courses.

    I have been very fortunate to have travelled to different parts of the world to meet with great teachers, educators and school leaders who have all shaped and transformed learning.

    Through my new role with Partners in Learning I hope to do for you what Partners in Learning has done for me….are you ready?

    Find out more – Join for free the Partners in Learning Network today

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    Our Microsoft Partners in Learning teacher training camps continue to be a huge success. We are holding these across the UK this year and our next stop will be London. A day of simple, but effective professional development that will leave you with loads of resources, and creative ideas for the classroom, along with new friends to connect with. image

    So, if you work in anyway with Primary schools, e.g. as a teacher, advisor, assistant or NQT and want to spend time with other great innovative educators, then this is the training event for you.

    Camp London will take place at

    Microsoft Offices – Cardinal Place , Victoria London (map)

    Friday 5th Oct 9.30am – 4.30pm

    Lunch & refreshments will be provided

    This event is free to attend.

    What will I be doing at Camp?

    We will give you training in using free Microsoft curriculum apps to create teaching and learning resources for the classroom. You will have time to design, create and evaluate those resources and collaborate with others. We will preview our latest free offering of ‘Office 365’, and leave you with the sound knowledge of how you can get it and other apps for FREE to use straight away in your school. You will also get the chance to speak to experts and award winning teachers about our technology and how it can enhance learning for your pupils.

    How do I apply?

    To apply for this free event simply email before the closing date September 24th. 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. So, it could for yourselves, you and your colleagues or if you have a training day planned , why not use this day and bring the whole staff! This is free CPD at it’s best. You will be  notified by September 25th if you have been allocated a place or places.

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

    Absolutely, this is event is targeted at all primary educators in and around London, 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?

    You should join the for free the  Partners in Learning Network now, here you can access the the types of resources we will be creating, along with a vast array of free applications, many of which we will explore at London Camp. The site also provides you  with the tools to  share ideas about how to enhance pupil learning through the use of technology with teachers across the world.

     So don’t delay apply now, looking forward to seeing you at Camp London #mscamplondon

    Join today for free the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, 4 million global educators can’t be wrong…

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    imageTo highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, education and technology in achieving positive social change, Microsoft and the British Council would like to recognize three outstanding Young Education Leaders from around the world who have contributed significantly to the development of globally awareness and globally competitive young people through the innovative use of technology.

    We are looking for individuals who have made an impact in solving a non-commercial problem within the education space, using Information and Communications Technology not only within their institution but also at a wider, more systemic level – either nationally or internationally.

    The three finalists will be celebrated at an Education Leaders Briefing, taking place alongside Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum in November, 2012, the Education World Forum ministers conference and linked Education Leaders Briefing, and will also be invited to participate in a study tour in the UK, organized by the British Council. We will also involve them in PR and Social outreach. In addition to that the best ten applications will be eligible to an online course on Social Entrepreneurship through Taking it Global; one of the leading organizations around social entrepreneurship and education.

    You can find out more and apply at -

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    P1020152Microsoft Partners in Learning not only works with teachers, but also has a Schools Programme that can help and support a school in achieving it’s vision towards 21st century learning. This global programme connects schools around the world to share best practice on how technology can help deliver a 21st century learning experience for their students. You can find out more about the Partners in Learning Schools Programme at

    I am pleased to announce that the two UK schools accepted on the programme for this year, as part of a global group of 60 schools are :- Willows High School in Cardiff and Havant Academy in Hampshire.

    Willows High School are the first school in Wales to be accepted in the programme, and are looking for help in engaging the number of students who opt out of school. Ian Whittaker, Deputy Headteacher, said ‘the solutions that we think we need are difficult to achieve. To be able to explore strategies from schools around the world is a unique opportunity, we are convinced will help achieve our long term goals’

    Havant Academy are in the process of a complete school redesign. Building learning spaces around the needs of learners and identifying how technology can allow them to do that. Julie Taylor, Headteacher said ‘ The opportunity to work with experts from Microsoft, not just in terms of technology, but world experts in teaching and learning, is exciting and highly motivating for staff and students alike’

    You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Partners in Learning offers by joining for free at

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    Are you looking for great professional development, delivered online?

    Sign up for one of TakingITGlobal’s accredited e-courses that aim to empower teachers around the world to utilize technology to create innovative and transformative global learning experiences.

    TakingITGlobal (TIG) empowers educators to understand and act on the world's toughest challenges through a multilingual online learning community (at and innovative education programs (through These education programs are framed by the three pillars of global citizenship, environmental stewardship, and student voice in education.

    Educators can choose from the following e-courses and dates to suit them:
    Project-based Learning for Global Citizenship
    • September 17 - October 22, 2012
    • October 29 - November 26, 2012

    Education for Environmental Stewardship
    • October 9 – November 9, 2012
    • November 13 - December 11, 2012

    Empowering Student Voice in Education
    • October 11 – November 8, 2012
    • November 15 – December 13, 2012

    A typical e-course will feature:

    • Weekly classes facilitated online, in real time, by an experienced global educator and recorded to ensure full flexibility and access;

    • 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.

    For more information about TIGed’s e-courses and to register today, visit

    You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Partners in Learning offers by joining for free at

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    imageLooking for some great advice, examples and best practice in the use of the wide range of Microsoft technologies and programmes in schools? Then this series of events hosted by some of our school partners could help. Each month we will publishing a list of events being held around the country.

    • Here are the events for October and November, so get booking.
    • All events are free to attend.

    To attend any event, please contact the school directly or by the email contacts listed here.

    When? Where? What? Who?
    8th Oct 4pm community school Innovative use of mobile technologies Ben Rowe
    9th Oct 4pm New Line Learning Academy PowerPoint – Beyond the basics Alan Enfield
    10th Oct 4pm Sawtry Community College Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum Pam Kitchen
    11th Oct 4pm Djanogly City Academy Microsoft Free Stuff Paul Leatham
    11th Oct 4pm Calderglen High School Microsoft MovieMaker Odette Frazer
    15th Oct 4 pm Broadclyst Community Primary School Using Media across the curriculum Jonathan Bishop
    26th Oct 4pm community school Bring and Brag – Share your ideas Ben Rowe
    30th Oct 4pm Calderglen High School Using Microsoft OneNote Odette Frazer
    5th Nov 10am Hugh Christie Technology College Office 365 – Email Ken Fassum
    5th Nov 12pm Hugh Christie Technology College Skydrive in the Classroom Ken Fassum
    6th Nov 10am Hugh Christie Technology College Kodu in the Classroom Ken Fassum
    7th Nov 4pm Sawtry Community College MOS accreditation & Self Learning Programme Pam Kitchen
    14th Nov 5pm Calderglen High School Microsoft Free stuff Odette Frazer
    26th Nov 4pm Broadclyst Community Primary School Working collaboratively online Jonathan Bishop
    28th Nov 4pm Sawtry Community College Strategic Leadership of ICT Pam Kitchen


    You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Partners in Learning offers by joining for free at

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  • 10/19/12--07:33: Be the Spark of Change
  • Youth SparkThe world stands at a crossroads. While there are more young people on the planet than ever before, youth unemployment is double that of the adult population. Countries are struggling to develop modern workforces due to the growing gap between the skills of unemployed workers and the skills needed to perform the jobs of today and tomorrow. Today’s young people face an opportunity divide – a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. Closing this opportunity divide is one of the most important actions we can all take to secure the future of our youth and the future of our global economy.

    Microsoft YouthSpark is a companywide initiative designed to create opportunities for hundreds of millions of youth around the world. Through partnerships with governments, non-profits and businesses, we aim to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. We want to empower youth to change their world.

    Microsoft YouthSpark marks a new focus for our philanthropy efforts.  Given the size and scale of the crisis we are committing the majority of our corporate cash giving to support non-profit organizations that serve youth. While the focus is new, we are building on 30 years of philanthropic experience and our commitment to strong community partnerships that drive our work.

    Opportunities to change your world are within reach. Whether your goal is getting new skills, a better job, or a better planet, we have tools and programs to help you get there. Dream it. Learn it. Live it. To get started please visit some of our new youth-focused Citizenship initiative, including:

    Give For Youth: a global micro-giving marketplace focused specifically on raising funds for non-profits that support youth causes around the world with Microsoft’s support, harnessing the power of technology and the passion of the global community to connect donors with beneficiaries;

    Microsoft YouthSpark Hub: an online space where young people can explore and access all of the services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and select non-profit partners for education, skills, employment and entrepreneurship.  We know these programs work and we want to ensure that every young person can easily find the opportunities they need;

    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. We know one of the most powerful catalysts for change is young people themselves and bringing this community together across borders and boundaries is a powerful driver of change and opportunity.

    For more information about YouthSpark and how to get involved, please visit:


    You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Partners in Learning offers by joining for free at

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    With the recent launch of the new James Bond film and in many people’s opinion the best James Bond was Scottish. Then is seems a good time to tell you about a great resource launched recently in Scotland.

    Polybius Games are providing their award winning Spy Quest educational game to all Scottish primary and secondary schools. Under the scheme up to 750,000 Scottish pupils will benefit annually by learning core skills in a fun and engaging way.

    Schools in Scotland only have until  9th November 2012 to register their interest at

    Two teachers from each school will be invited to attend a 3 hours local training event. Prior to them attending Polybius will liaise with each school and have their game constructed so that they can ask relevant questions on the day and start straight away with their new game.

    Through gameplay learners develop knowledge and understanding of a variety of curriculum areas. Importantly, learners also develop a range of transferable skills to better equip themselves and prepare for future situations in school, at home and life. They also have great fun.for learning, life and work. These are encapsulated in four key areas of successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

    Spy Quest embodies the aims of the Curriculum for Excellence and each game is designed to develop a range of transferable skills, some of which are listed below.

    Motivation - Spy Quest is motivating for children as it links suspended disbelief with real world problem solving with the competitive but non-threatening world of a computer game.

    Communication - Spy Quest encourages learners to communicate using verbal and non-verbal

    Partners in Learning’s very own ‘James Bond’ , Ollie Bray,  formerly Senior Policy Advisor & Consultant for Scottish Government & National Adviser for Emerging Technologies in Learning wrote a white paper on how games such as Spy Quest epitomise how valuable a playful approach learning is.

    You can find out more about SpyQuest in this TESS article


    But, don’t despair if you are a school not in Scotland , Polybius Games intend to extend the offer to all UK primary and secondary schools in 2013.

    You can find more Playful Learning resources on the Partners in Learning NetworkJoin for free today.

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