29 May 2015

Microsoft Educator Network

 Microsoft Educator Network

Last week we had a great staff workshop on the Microsoft Educator 
Network, which can be found at https://www.educatornetwork.com/.  
We went through the various things that can be found on the site like 
the great learning activities that can be searched according to subject, 
as well as grades. 

   We went through all the great free tools that are 
available that can be incorporated into our classrooms. (http://www.educatornetwork.com/resources/tools)

As a bonus I also introduced our staff to Office Sway, which is now 
included in the Office 365 cloud, so all of our staff have access to this.

I also showed the staff the new Office Mix and how they could use 
these great new features in their class and how they could use it to 
improve the teaching and learning.  Some of our staff have already 
started using this and I cannot wait to see how this will transform 
how we are teaching in our school.

27 May 2015

Microsoft Redmond Day 4 Reflection

Microsoft Redmond Day 4 Reflection

This to me was a bit of a manic day.  I have been feeling a little 
nervous about today as I am doing my Office 365 talk.  I have been 
doing a great deal of preparation for this and I feel confident that it 
will go well, but more of that later ….

We strated the day with our keynote speaker, Ziauddin Yousafzai.  
All I can say was WOW!! HE was really inspiring.  He is Malala’s 
father and for me personally it was one of the greatest speeches I have 
ever heard.  

This was a talk about a father and his daughter and the 
things he did with his daughter or should I say the things he did not do.  
He spoke about how he would give his daughter the choice of doing 
things and not reprimanding her for things that she wanted to do, but 
were against the countries policies and beliefs.  To me as an educator, 
is this not what we want our students to have, the freedom of choice, 
to do things that they believe in?

Then our Track sessions started.  For me that meant Office 365.  I had 
two sessions of an hour each.
The entire presentation can be found here:
http://bit.ly/1KxsVS6 (500 MB)  
I have included Mix into this so there are many videos explain how we 
have integrated Office 365 into our school.
Overall I think that the presentation went very well.

The one thing I was a little unhappy about was because I was presenting 
I could not see some of the other great presentations that were happening.

We then had the opportunity to work on the Educator Challenge.  
WOW what a great team I have!!  Croatia, Canada, Singapore and China!

In the afternoon we were driven to the 2015 Kent Technology Expo.  
This was amazing to see what students and teachers are doing in their classroom!

26 May 2015

Skype in the classroom

Skype and OneNote in the classroom

One of the great things about Skype is that you can bring other countries 
into your classroom real-time.  A group of 5 educators from South Africa, 
Canada, Singapore, China and Croatia have been working on a project about fear.  

As a class we discussed what fear meant to each of us.  We realized that fear and 
overcoming our fears was unique to each individual.  We created a shared
 Microsoft OneNote file that the students were then able to share their own fears.  
We used a guest login so that the students could type in their own personal 
feelings allowing them to keep their own anonymity.

Click below to view the OneNote shared file

Today we conducted our first Skype session with these countries.  
Each of the different classes from around the world had turns in discussing 
their fears and how they could overcome them.  It was really an awesome session!

One of the students commented: 
“It’s comforting to know everyone around the world has fear, 
and our fears is like different shades of the same color.”

The WOW factor is amazing!  
Bringing different countries into your class
and let children share their experiences!

#Microsoft #MIEExpert15 #MSFTEduE2  #MSFTEdu #MSToolsInEdu15 

24 May 2015

Ultimate Student Guide To Using Microsoft Surface 3

Ultimate Student Guide To Using Microsoft Surface 3

These are absolutely incredible.
I had the chance to play with one of these in America.

15 May 2015

Office Mix

Office Mix

If you have heard of Office Mix, but need to know more about it,
have a look at the video I created.

This is a really cool free add on for PowerPoint!!

#‎msftedue2‬ ‪#‎mieexpert15‬

12 May 2015

Microsoft Redmond Day 3 Reflection

Microsoft Redmond Day 3 Reflection

Woke up very early, or should I say did not really sleep…  
Jetlag …

Upon arrival we were treated to a drumming session.  
I must admit that I am not really a great drummer…, 
but this was awesome.  What was really amazing was 
that the Drum Cafe had created songs about Microsoft 
and education and we sang along with our theme.  
This was really amazing.


This was followed by Anthony Salcito, who is the 
Vice President for Microsoft Worldwide Education.  
He really is an awesome speaker!

Then I had to present my first talk all about TPACK 
(Technology, Pedagogy and Content Creation) with the 
incredible Angela Schaerer from Microsoft South Africa.  
Awesome workshop with teachers been able to create lessons 
based on this model.

We then had our Teachmeet where we were able to see what 
other teachers had been doing.  I thought that what teachers are 
doing around the world is really awesome.  After looking at the 
various projects, I was also able to come home and tell the other 
teachers in my school about these projects so that they can adapt
 them and use them in their classrooms.

Mette and Josh then introduced our Educator challenge.  
We were divided into groups of five teachers from various countries.  
My group, group 1, was made up of people from South Africa, 
Canada, China, Croatia and Singapore.  


We made an awesome 
project, project courage and our pitch can be seen below.

We were then taken to a technology showcase hosted by Kent School 
District were various schools and students use technology to learn new 
skills to prepare for their futures every day.  WOW, there is such 
remarkable and amazing things that schools, teachers and students are doing!

11 May 2015

Project Courage

Project Courage

Our Pitch for Group 1

08 May 2015

Microsoft Redmond Day 2 Reflection

Microsoft Redmond Day 2 Reflection

Today is when the work started.
I woke up early and went for a walk around Redmond.  
It is really beautiful, some places remind me of Cape Town.

Caught the shuttle to Microsoft Head Office, it only took 10 minutes.
Took the mandatory picture in front of the Microsoft Sign….

I was amazed at the size of the Microsoft Campus, it is really massive.  
Walked around the Microsoft Store for the first time.  WOW really cool.

Then booked a Microsoft shuttle to take me to building 92.  
This is really well run!

and write my first exam, MCE.

Back to the first building and prepare with Mette for our Office 365 presentation.
All eight of the presenters from around the world were really fantastic and I 
really appreciated the comradery that existed between all of us.  
Thank you all for this, it was really appreciated!!

In the evening there was a great welcome reception at the Westin Bellevue
Hotel where I had the opportunity to meet other educators from around the world.  
It was truly amazing how although we come from different parts of the world, 
spoke different languages, we all had something in common, 
education, technology and students.  

I learnt so much about other teaching practices and how the various 
countries do different things and how their education systems worked.

‪#‎MSFTEduE2 ‪#‎MIEExpert15 #MSFTEdu

Microsoft Redmond Day 1 Reflection

Microsoft Redmond Day 1 Reflection

Now that I have settled back into a normal routine, I thought it 
appropriate to give a reflection of my time away at Microsoft 
Head Office in Redmond.

Leaving on Sunday, 26 April it took 39 hours for me to arrive 
in Seattle via Dubai.  A very long trip indeed.

Upon arrival at my Hotel, Silver Cloud Inn in Bellevue, Redmond 
I was immediately impressed with the staff and how friendly the 
people were.  I would highly recommend the hotel to any person 
that would like to stay here.  (http://www.silvercloud.com/)

For our first supper we went to The Cheesecake Factory.  
WOW what a great menu and great food!! 

Then back to the hotel and sleep, really needed this!!

‪#‎MSFTEduE2 ‪#‎MIEExpert15 #MSFTEdu