We believe in anytime, anywhere learning. We also believe your achievements should be recognised so that you can share your accomplishments and knowledge with your colleagues and communities. That’s why the Partners in Learning Network awards badges for the skills and knowledge that are learned and shared through our online professional learning community, in our in-person events, and in school communities around the world.
Check out the badges you can earn and add to your Partners in Learning online profile. Earn enough and you can establish yourself as a Microsoft Expert Educator (more info to follow on this).
If you have met the criteria to earn one of these badges and it is not turned on in your profile, please let us know. We’ll be happy to confirm that you have met the criteria and turn your badge on.
Once signed in, don’t forget to complete your profile. Check out this innovid created by Jonny Carter, from St-Malachy's Primary school, who demonstrates how easy it is to build your profile on www.pil-network.com
The Windows 8 Theatre at Bett 2013 (stand E270) will offer bite size chunks of content throughout the day, across all 4 days of the show, to help inspire and inform teachers and IT professionals, alike. These sessions will be delivered by Microsoft staff, Top App partners and our OEM friends. Sessions are pretty informal, so feel free to drop in when you can, either before or after any of the sessions being delivered in the Learn Live Theatre.
The Windows 8 theatre sessions will include demos from our top app partners, showcasing their education specific Windows 8 apps. You can also visit our devices stand to try these apps out for yourself.
Some of the great Windows 8 education apps that will be shown on the Microsoft stand at Bett are:
Make sure you visit the Windows 8 theatre at Bett 2013 to see these education apps in action!
Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald is a freelance writer who regularly writes for the Microsoft UK Education Blogs.
My recent short visit to Royal Wootton Bassett Academy produced several memorable moments. For example, I had my first Christmas dinner of the year – turkey and all the trimmings followed by a mince pie and custard. Thank you so much kitchen staff. I intended to say that personally as I left the dining hall, but you were far too busy with a long queue of very hungry but very well behaved students.
Before that, though, I had the great pleasure of joining Year Seven in PC-equipped classroom as they explored Windows 8 on 23 inch touch screens. That, of course, rather than the Christmas dinner, was why I was there.
In early November I’d had an email from Steve Gillott, Strategic ICT Leader at the Academy informing me that all ICT teaching classrooms had been newly equipped with touch –screen PCs in preparation for Windows 8.
I sat up straight when I read it, because Steve was no stranger to me and I knew him to be an innovator. I’d first met him at a Microsoft function in Spring 2009 when he’d attracted attention through his creative use of what was then Office Communications Server for video-mentoring Year Nine students at home. Then a little later he again popped on to the radar when we were looking at how schools were saving large amounts of money through using Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper V. Steve’s school was one of the first to go down this route, and the considerable savings that the school continues to rack up are detailed in a blog I wrote in March this year.
So, when I read Steve’s email I knew this would turn out to be a real, potentially groundbreaking story, something I had to see and write about, once Windows 8 was up and running in at least one of the rooms.
Steve met me at Reception and we went straight into a PC-equipped classroom where Year Seven students were exploring Windows 8 on 23 inch touch-screens. To be honest, it was a revelation. There are those – I’ve met them – who, while ready to acknowledge the value of touch technology for very young children who either can’t use the mouse or aren’t turned on by it, are sceptical about its value with older age groups.
Well, I’ve got news for them. On the admittedly thin evidence of my short visit to one classroom, secondary school students take to the touch-screen like ducks to water. Every single student praised it as natural, immediate, responsive and comfortable in every way. Significantly, I saw several who, in the process of trying out touch-screen PowerPoint were using the on-screen keyboard in preference to the ‘real’ one within easy reach. Very clearly, once they were on the screen, they were staying there.
Then there was the students’ engagement with Windows 8. Again, I’ve met those who dislike the Start Screen and miss the familiarity of the Windows ‘Start Button’. There’s news for them, too, in the way that those Wootton Bassett youngsters took all that in their stride and immediately appreciated the way that the start screen laid out everything they needed in one place.
Afterwards I had a chat with Steve, who confirmed the children’s enthusiasm,
‘They take to it quickly and naturally. Touch is so prevalent after all. It’s the language they have on their phones and in a very short space of time it’s become embedded.’
It’s the immediacy of the technology that brings the implications for learning. Bypassing the mouse instantly improves engagement and encourages collaboration in ways that teachers will surely be quick to exploit.
The upshot of my visit was that I came away resolved to write, over the coming weeks, a full case study of the adoption of Windows 8 at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, keeping up with the full roll-out to the school’s 800 desktops, and with more than a passing reference to some of Steve’s other plans. These include the installation of touch-screen information points around the school and his innovative ideas for educational use of Lync2013, building on that earlier OCS experience.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t let this first encounter go without flagging up here what promises to be a terrific story of the innovatory use of ICT in support of learning.
Partner image above from Novotronix
Work better together! We are really excited that Microsoft Office 365 is available for FREE for education. Office 365 will help transform the way students and educators work in real time on assignments and group projects. Easily share information, view and edit documents in a browser or in Office. Check out this video that shows 21st century collaboration at it's best...
To demonstrate how teachers are utilising Office 365 in the classroom we are creating ‘Teaching in the Cloud’ innovids (tutorials) that will help show you how to get started with your very own Office 365 experience. Today’s post will explore how teachers are using Office 365 SharePoint in their classroom.
Teachers have used the class and group site features of Sharepoint 2012 to deliver lessons to students of different abilities. The class discussion tool is often used as a starter activity to get all students contributing to questions and ideas that shape the basis of the lesson. Wiki pages are used to help deliver differentiated learning resources, and students are given opportunities to work in real time on assignments and group projects using the office web apps.
Check out the 2 minute Innovid tutorials below that have been created by teachers to show how easy it is to start teaching in the cloud with Office 365 SharePoint.
Class surveys in Office 365
Setting homework in Office 365
Attach a workspace in Office 365
Look out for future posts that will explore other key tools and features of Office 365, however more Office 365 Sharepoint innovids and resources can be found on the Partners in Learning Network – Join for free today.
It’s simple, all you need to do is visit all of our participating Bett 2013 partners with one of our handouts (available at the show from our stands D270 and E270 or any Microsoft staff member), and get each partner to stamp their allocated partner boxes on the flyer. Once you have had this stamped by all of the partners on the trail and completed your details on the back, submit your entry to the Treasure Trail box on the Microsoft stand. Winners will be drawn daily during our 16:00 session ‘New Era in Digital Learning’ at the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre. You must be at the draw to receive your prize, so don’t miss it!
There are a number of prizes, courtesy of our partners, up for grabs each day including Surface devices, Xbox and other hardware.
Prize draws will be at 16:00 from Wednesday to Friday at the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre (stand D270). The Partners to visit to get your stamps on the Bett 2013 Treasure Trail are:
Civica – stand E50 eLearningForce – stand F274 Ergo – stand F241 European Electronique – stand C92 Joskos – stand B270 Promethean - C80 RM – stands C160 and C170 Stone Group – stand C70 Viglen – stand E140
Each day the winners will be drawn from entries submitted on that day only.
Full terms & conditions available on request.
Guest post by ITWorx, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners.
In a rapidly changing knowledge society, besieged with a continuous onset of new technologies, students need to develop a wide range of competencies that give them the skills to manage change throughout their lives. Traditional competencies like languages, math and science, and basic digital skills, will continue to be important, but competences that enforce lifelong learning, or “learning to learn” skills, will become more valuable and indeed a necessity to sustain a globally competitive economy. These key competencies include creativity, the ability to think laterally, adaptability, a willingness to take initiatives, and entrepreneurship.
The seeds for lifelong learning are propagated in the first stages of education and nurtured throughout life through training. With this in mind, traditional forms of formal and informal learning must be reconsidered and new systems developed that enable students, both young and older, to become part of a new digital era. This modern learning environment extends to everything from content and curricula, assessment, learning and teaching practices, organization, values and leadership, collaboration and communication, and infrastructure. It provides the opportunity for learners to develop real-world 21st Century skills.
Essential to this new environment is the seamless integration of mobile devices into the educational system and pedagogy. Mobile devices have become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives and indeed can no longer be excluded from mainstream education and training. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used to enhance student engagement. They provide a new way to create and consume educational materials and services and a means to deliver personalised learning. Mobile devices of course deliver anytime anywhere learning opportunities, introducing a new paradigm in learning.
AuthorKit Reader, part of the AuthorKit suite, delivers an engaging and intriguing experience by allowing learners to preview, navigate and interact with e-lessons.
We have been working alongside Microsoft to deliver state-of-the-art tools to teachers and schools to allow them to build a dynamic social learning environment that opens a space for creativity and collaboration, and that ultimately enhances learning outcomes. The launch of Windows 8 is a new milestone in these efforts to bring students, teachers, parents, and administrators together to change traditional pedagogical practices in a sustainable manner.
Our touch handwriting tool is a Windows 8 app that teaches children aged 3 to 5 how to write by tracing letters, numbers and shapes with their finger or by using a stylus. We will also reveal a new Windows 8-based studying suite this year at BETT. It includes a teacher authoring tool for creating interactive digital content, an offline desktop e-reader for students, and a student mobile app that seamlessly integrates with our social learning platform, CLG.
Based on Microsoft technologies, CLG combines social networking with easy-to-use tools for teaching, learning, management and administration. It provides a dynamic educational space enriched with collaboration, personalisation, interactivity, real-time feedback and assessment, and mobile learning.
StudyLIVE combines learners’ most needed functionalities into a single app, making the management of day-to-day learning easy.
Our new learning analytics tool is a must-have for school and district managers. It brings together disperse and large volumes of PK-12 learning data (linking assignments and exams, online social interactions, extracurricular activities, etc.) into a single view. It provides the ability to interact with this data to make timely, informed decisions, identify the root cause of discrepancies, and understand performance trends. School administrators and policy makers can access real-time information from mobile devices and easily produce informative reports.
Drop by our booth (F260) to give these new products a spin. Learn more about how to transform your school and class into an innovative, creative and collaborative learning environment, and what steps you can take to engage students, teachers, parents, and school administrators in the process.
Guest post from Anthony Salcito, VP of education for Microsoft Corporation.
There’s no shortage of innovation happening in schools today. I see it every time I visit a new school – whether it’s in my own backyard or on the other side of the world. But while all of that innovation is encouraging, it tends to happen in isolation – in a single classroom behind closed doors or in a few schools or districts. In order for meaningful changes to take hold in education, we must find a way to scale this good work. So I’m especially excited to announce that tomorrow, we’re taking an important step toward making that happen.
Education policy makers, school and district leaders, government leaders and teachers will gather tomorrow at one of Microsoft’s Innovative Schools, Cornwallis Academy, in Kent, England, to learn how they can scale innovative teaching and learning in their own schools, districts and countries. Cornwallis Academy is part of 33 schools participating in the Innovative Schools World Tour, which officially kicks off in March of this year. These schools have demonstrated true innovation through personalized learning, physical and virtual learning spaces, online learning, and more, and are opening their doors to help others scale such practices. Host David Simon, headmaster of the Cornwallis School, is ready. “We’re looking forward to sharing what we’ve accomplished and the lessons we’ve learned along the way,” he told me. “But we’re even more thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with this impressive group of innovative school leaders.”
But tomorrow’s field trip is just the first step. Participating school leaders from all 33 selected Microsoft Innovative Schools are getting ready to greet key decision-makers from around the world, who will visit their schools to experience first-hand how these highly recognized schools have successfully implemented technology to support world-class learning environments. Participants in the tour will see how these school leaders have applied their vision to re-imagine pedagogy and teacher capacity, helping their schools raise attendance, improve student behavior, increase test scores, inspire students and help them develop 21st century competencies.
The Innovative Schools World Tour will shine a light on some of the most ground-breaking education practices taking place in this new era of digital learning on nearly every continent. Leaders visiting these schools will experience open classrooms and collaborative teaching, anywhere/anytime learning, 1:1 technology access, inventive assessment practices, and individualized, student-centered learning. The Microsoft Innovative Schools participating in the tour are part of an elite program that seeks to drive system-level changes where school leaders develop a vision to transform their school community into an environment that fosters 21st century learning and pioneering teaching practices. These schools have demonstrated excellence in leadership and a culture of innovation; teaching, learning, and assessment; teacher capacity building and unique physical and virtual learning environments. And soon, each of these schools (you’ll find a complete listing at the end of this post) will play a critical role in influencing leaders who can make a real difference in re-shaping education policy and decisions for the better.
Because seeing is believing, I applaud the school leaders for their willingness to collaborate, share and open their doors so that schools and students around the world can benefit.
Innovative Schools World Tour Participants
1. Silverton Primary, Melbourne, Australia
2. Dallas Brooks Primary, Melbourne Australia
3. Varsity College, Brisbane, Australia
4. Ngee Ann Secondary, Singapore
5. Crescent Girls Secondary, Singapore
6. Nan Chau Primary, Singapore
7. Botany Downs Primary, Auckland, New Zealand
8. Ferguson Intermediate, Auckland, New Zealand
9. Cornwallis Academy (Primary & Secondary), Maidstone, UK
10. Saltash Community (Secondary), Cornwall, UK
11. Hellerup Primary, Copenhagen, Denmark
12. Julio Verne Primary, Valencia, Spain
13. Santa Maria La Blanca College, Madrid, Spain
14. HAEF College, Athens, Greece
15. Doukas, Athens, Greece
16. Metsokangas Comprehensive (Primary & Secondary), Oulu, Finland
17. Björknäs (Primary & Secondary), Stockholm, Sweden
18. Lycee Aline Mayrisch (Secondary), Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
19. Kuršėnai Laurynas Ivinskis Gymnasium (Secondary), Kuršėnai, Lithuania
20. The National College of Computer Sciences (Primary and Secondary), Romania
21. Center of Education 548, Tsaritsyno (Primary & Secondary), Moscow, Russia
22. High Tech High (Primary & Secondary), San Diego, California, USA
23. St. Thomas School (Elementary & Middle), Medina, Washington, USA
24. Kent Schools (Primary & Secondary), Kent, Washington, USA
25. Cincinnati Country Day (Primary & Secondary), Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
26. School of the Future, Philadelphia, USA
27. Colegio Fontán (Primary & Secondary), Envigado, Colombia
28. NAVE School (Secondary), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
29. Al Makassed High School, Beirut, Lebanon
30. King’s Academy (Secondary), Amman, Jordan
31. Futures Tech High School, Cairo, Egypt
32. Eunice Girls High School, Bloemfontein, South Africa
33. St. Cyprians (Primary & Secondary), Cape Town, South Africa
- Anthony Salcito
Wow - I can't believe Bett 2013 is nearly upon us. It only seems like yesterday that we were packing up our stand at Olympia after a fun and rewarding 4 days at the show. In this case, time definitely does fly!
So, with a fairly wide remit at Bett 2012 that was built around the theme of 'Anytime, Anywhere Learning… for all', what's on the cards for Microsoft @ Bett for 2013?
Well, with the move to Excel, we are all definitely going to need to find a new café for that much needed bacon sandwich in the morning (Franks Sandwich bar, you will be missed). On a more serious note, though, we are super excited about many of the new opportunities that the new venue, and the fresh new approach by the Bett organisers for the 2013 show, provides to help us add greater value to our community.
More specifically, the theme for Bett 2013 is going to be a 'New Era of Digital Learning'. With a number of sub-themes that align to this umbrella theme, such as Windows 8, Office 365 for education, 1:1 Computing and tablets in education, we will be discussing how technology can help create more engaging and emotional connections with learning that is steeped in real world problem solving.
Furthermore, in response to the tremendous amount of innovation in the technology available in classrooms, we will also be extending our focus on supporting teachers in the resulting shifts in pedagogy, practice and management needed for us to deliver on the promise of a new era of digital learning through Partners in Learning (PiL) and our Windows in the Classroom seminar programme.
Microsoft @ Bett 2013: So what about the detail…
New for Bett 2013 is the Bett Arena, and we are proud to be sponsoring its inaugural year. We have been busy working closely with the folks at Bett to curate an amazing line-up of insightful, entertaining and informative speakers that will add a new dimension to visitors experience at the show. With a mix of household names and passionate in-sector speakers, visiting the Bett Arena is going to be an essential part of your day at the show.
Our very own VP for Education, Anthony Salcito, will be presenting in the Arena on the opening day of the show and we are also running a computer science in the curriculum panel discussion. More details on both of these will be available via the blog at a later date.
Moving beyond the Bett Arena, Microsoft's presence is very much focused around sharing best practice and solving your problems. With the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre, we are delivering a wide range of keynotes across all 4 days of the show that address the sub themes associated with the show.
As with previous BETT events, Learn Live Theatre sessions will be delivered by a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft Staff. We feel privileged to work with some amazing teachers and I highly recommend taking the time to visit the theatre to learn more about how the likes of Charlotte Beckhurst, David Rogers, Janet Hayward and Kristian Still are using technology to raise attainment and help their students realise their full potential.
Full details regarding the schedule for the Learn Live Theatre sessions will be made available in a future blog post.
In addition to the Learn Live Theatre, we are also hosting a Windows 8 stand for 2013. This space will complement the Learn Live Theatre by giving a more direct focus on Windows 8, devices (including Surface RT) and apps.
The Windows 8 stand will include representatives from a selection of our OEM community - Acer, Toshiba and Asus- and the partners behind our Top Apps in Education. Our Surface RT device will also be available to trial on the stand. I personally can't get over the build quality of this device and can't wait to make it available for you to test on the stand. It really is a thing of beauty!
The Windows 8 stand will also feature an intimate theatre where we will be showcasing short presentations around the core focus of the stand - Windows 8, Devices, Apps, WMS and Windows Phone 8.
But what about the demos?
Across both the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre and Windows 8 Stand, we will be signposting to our partner community who are exhibiting at the show to help demonstrate how our technologies, in conjunction with the experience and expertise of our partners, can help make a difference within your institution.
We will be making a handy flyer available on our stands that list all of our partners, combined with their area of expertise and stand number, so you can easily find someone to answer your questions or offer a demo. Additionally, we will be signposting to relevant partners at the end of each Learn Live Theatre presentation. Our Microsoft @ Bett Microsite (available soon) will also feature a list of the partners at the show if you want to plan your visit ahead of time.
Microsoft staff will be available on both stands if you have a question or need guidance on which partner to speak with. Just shout and we will be happy to help!
More details on our theatre agenda and overall presence at Bett 2013 will be shared via the blog over the coming weeks, but just wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about our Treasure Trail. The Treasure Trail will be run in conjunction with participating partners and will offer visitors to the show the ability to win some amazing prizes that range from a Surface RT Device, Xbox 360 and a PC.
Entry cards can the collected from the Microsoft Stand. Visit each participating partner stand, answer the question, and you will receive a stamp. When completed, the card should then be dropped off at the Microsoft Stand. We will be carrying out 2 draws per day at 4pm on the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre (Wednesday – Friday).
Pop by the Microsoft stand for the entry card or if you have any questions about the competition.
Other than to say keep an eye out on the blog for more information about all the latest news regarding our presence at Bett 2013, I just wanted to share the stand numbers for our stands at the show.
More news to follow and if you have any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via Twitter - @tbush
Look forward to seeing you at Bett 2013!
At Bett 2013, our Microsoft Learn Live Theatre will be host for sessions, delivered by teachers, network managers and Microsoft staff to reveal how technology can make a real difference within your institution.
Our Time to upgrade to Office 2013 and Office 365 for education, but why? session will be delivered by Microsoft MVP’s Alex Pearce and Alan Richards, at the Microsoft Learn Live theatre at Bett 2013 (13:00 and 16.30 Wednesday – Friday and 12:30 and 15:00 on Saturday).
This is the presentation to come to at Bett to learn more about SharePoint 2013 and more.
For those schools currently on live@edu or Office 365 for education there will be an update over the next year allowing you to take advantage of the next wave of Microsoft Office products. Alex Pearce and Alan Richards, who are both Microsoft SharePoint MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) will give you live demonstrations of Office 365 for education including Lync with its video conferencing capabilities. Also Office Web Apps and how documents, spreadsheets and presentations can be changed in the browser without any need for Office being installed on your computers (yes this means it works on any device with a browser). Alex and Alan will also take a look at the new features of SharePoint 2013 and show you how some of these can be used in the classroom to help with group work, collaboration and social networking. Plus information about the new Office with the new features including integration with Skype, SkyDrive and increased features with Office 365 for education.
And the best bit about the presentation is that when you walk away from the session you will be able to get it all completely for free (for A1 and A2 plans) by signing up for Office 365 for education.
You can register here for Bett 2013.
Full schedule details for the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre can be seen here.
Guest post by Naace, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners
Excitement builds as we approach our first Bett at a new location, ExCeL London. It is hard to believe that only a few short months ago we were celebrating the Olympics events being held there and now the world’s largest education technology show is coming to the venue that saw history being made.
It has certainly been a year of history making for ICT as a subject since the last time educators and industry met up in January 2012, when Michael Gove announced plans for dis-application of the programme of study and the Royal Society report was published. Consultation processes have been the order of the day in England and the recommendations of a panel for the draft ICT programme of study were sent to the DfE at the end of November. In the meantime, Welsh curriculum consultation processes have also begun. A theme running through both processes is the need for a greater emphasis on developing the computer science aspects of ICT within the curriculum. This is reflected in the Naace ICT Curriculum Framework (published in May 2012), which includes those areas within a broad and balanced approach to ICT. It is imperative that we continue to provide a rich approach to all aspects of ICT, including those elements of computer science, programming and coding, without losing valuable IT and digital literacy skills. These are needed for the children in our schools to become empowered citizens who are able to make valuable contributions to our future society.
In the light of all these developments, it is timely to see Nicki Maddams’ work with Kodu being recognised at a the Partners in Learning Global Forum and we are pleased to be joining with Microsoft, a long-standing Naace partner, at Bett 2013 to share ideas for how this powerful tool can support a rich, revised and revitalised ICT curriculum. Watch out for some exciting Kodu announcements that will be coming up during Bett!
We are looking forward to sharing other great Microsoft tools to support the ICT curriculum, such as Kinect SDK, as well as those that can transform teaching and learning across the whole school curriculum. We will be considering how the technology will be used to have an impact on learning so that we get the best possible value for any technology investments made in school. Strategic, considered approaches to developing school ICT will be an important feature of our stand, as will equipping and empowering teachers so they are able to develop ambitious visions for future learning success.
It is valuable partnerships like this that help our members to continue navigating a way through an array of amazing technologies, powerful learning opportunities and an evolving curriculum landscape. Come and join the discussions on our Naace stand, where you can be sure of a warm welcome.