It has finally arrived, the much anticipated flagship event for Partners in Learning and the veritable Olympics for teaching and learning the ‘Global Forum’ will take centre stage this week and celebrate the world’s most innovative educators and school leaders.
This week 200 educators will compete for a chance to win one of 18 Global Forum Educator awards. Amongst these educators will be our very own Katie Boothman and Nicki Maddams. This track marks the culmination of national and regional competitions that have taken place throughout the year. Congratulations to Katie and Nicki on making it this far and good luck this week!
The Forum will also welcome representatives from 65 Pathfinder schools from more than 60 countries. Havant Academy and Willows High School were chosen through a global application process to represent the UK – it’s a big achievement and one that deserves celebrating! Leading innovators Saltash.net community school will represent one of the 34 Mentor Schools who are now helping guide this year’s class of Pathfinder Schools.
So what exactly will this week look like for our educators and schools?
Nicki and Katie will participate in the teachers track: “Your Ideas Matter”
This years’ teachers track has been designed to elicit tangible outputs that will be published on the Partners in Learning Network and shared with teachers globally.
Saltash.NET and Havant Academy will participate in the schools track: ‘Your Ideas Matter! Think-Create-Act!’
Stay tuned for more of this week’s happenings!!
Staying connected: We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.
It’s about time I returned to my passion, (or as some are referring to it, my obsession) for highlighting how brilliant Microsoft PowerPoint is. If you have missed my previous posts you can find them here.
When presenting it would be really useful to zoom in and navigate around to highlight a section of text, diagram or photo on a slide. A great little application from Microsoft called ZoomIT, provides this functionality. Not only for PowerPoint, but for any application running in Windows. ZoomIT runs in the background and using a combination of key strokes you are able to control its various functions.
Another great and useful feature is ZoomIT includes a timer. Run ZoomIT and enter the time you want. Then to activate press CTRL+3. This is can be used not just in PowerPoint but in any activity.
All this from a free 256 kilobytes, great stuff. – Download here
For a great overview of ZoomIT, Check out this video on our YouTube channel from Kristian Still - http://www.kristianstill.co.uk/wordpress/
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, $500M global initiative aimed at supporting schools and educators’ use of technology to help every student receive an excellent education and gain the skills they need in work and life. With governments, academic institutions and NGOs, Partners in Learning has invested in a comprehensive research program, the creation of vibrant community of education stakeholders, and specific Educator and Schools programs to improve teaching and learning and optimize the use of technology within pedagogy. Thus far, the program has trained more than 9 million educators and reached more than 200 million students in 114 countries.
The critical requirement is to look at the curriculum and choose the technology that will best support the learning intention. Sometimes that will involve a Photo Story, sometimes a podcast, or a video. These are powerful but peripheral tactical aids, and the reality is that they won’t be the primary focus in all subject areas. More importantly, if you don’t link these to student learning, you
How can Partners in Learning enhance your ‘Windows in the Classroom experience?
The critical requirement is to look at the curriculum and choose the technology that will best support the learning intention. Sometimes that will involve a Photo Story, sometimes a podcast, or a video. These are powerful but peripheral tactical aids, and the reality is that they won’t be the primary focus in all subject areas. More importantly, if you don’t link these to student learning, you are using technology for technology’s sake. Sometimes, schools can fall into the trap of the “wow” factor of technology, rather than what constitutes good learning for students. For example, they may focus on one or two fantastic multimedia tools as they are exciting (and they are!) – but students cannot learn everything they need to learn by creating video or music. Therefore, the challenge for a school is to make sense of all the software and hardware that’s out there, and ensure it is used as more than a basic engagement tool.
Teaching with Technology:
The ‘Teaching with Technology’ e-course is free, self-paced online professional development, where educators learn how integrating the right technology tools into the classroom can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience of the 21st century learner, regardless of the subject matter. The Teaching with Technology curriculum is competency-based and can be customized to meet your needs. There are six online learning e-courses to choose from and each unit of study stands on its own so you can focus on a specific area of interest or need. You can start with what interests you most and progress through the learning at your own pace:
Office 365 for Education:
Free to schools, Microsoft Office 365 is great for providing educators and students new ways to connect, collaborate and engage. With free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing; it’s not surprising that we are quite excited to see how schools will take advantage of cloud based learning.
The Learning Suite:
The Microsoft Learning Suite is a set of innovative teacher tools and applications developed by Microsoft labs and research communities. Combined with the power of Microsoft Office and Windows, they enrich learning experiences by bringing to life a robust, creative and collaborative learning environment for students and educators. Available as a free download from the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, Learning suite provides a number of desktop apps such as worldwide telescope, autocollage, Math 4.0, Ribbon Hero and many more. Take a look at how some of these technologies in action, and learn how these tools can help you teach 21st century skills in the classroom.
For more tutorials visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/innovativeteach
Blog posts in this series:
The most significant difference between Windows 8 and what’s come before is the way users interact with it – and that’s incredibly important in an education setting.
Schools need technology that give learners the ability to create and think about education through the ages – writing, sketching, annotating and showing process have always been important. Windows 8 has been designed to be much more intuitive for both students and teachers.
Let’s take a look!
Windows 8 supports multiple inputs with touch, keyboard, cameras, mics and pen. And the non-compromise nature of Windows 8 devices means that schools no longer have to choose between a light mobile tablet that they can load with textbooks or a full PC laptop. They can have both, the mobility and ease of tablet with the power of a PC. This gives schools the ability to run full software programs that students need to write papers, make presentations and crunch numbers. Multitask, annotate and share.
Windows 8 delivers an experience that brings learning to life for students and helps schools build 21st century skills. Students and educators can choose a user experience that fits their needs, collaborate like never before, and they can do it all from just about anywhere. With Windows 8, the world is your classroom.
Start making learning personal.
Get immersed in education.
Connect in entirely new ways.
Enjoy flexibility built in.
Do more. Worry less.
The charms in Windows 8 give everyone in education quick and easy access to the features, functions, and actions that they use every day. From simplified and easy sharing to powerful searching literally at your fingertips, Windows 8 really has been reimagined for learning. Learn more about Windows 8 at www.windows.com
Before we get into taking a look at Windows for education, I thought it might be worth reflecting on what exactly is driving the use of technology in our classrooms today. We are witnessing a paradigm shift in how we discover, access, and use digital content, in ways that are enabling immersive experiences and engagements. As a result, in schools we’re seeing a growing trend towards Bring your Own Device and 1 to 1 Personalized Learning. We’re also seeing learning outside of the classroom made possible in ways we never would have imagined just 20 years ago, and we have started to see some of the potential that the cloud brings to school computing. More than anything though, one of the key drivers behind the adoption of technology in our classrooms has been the commitment and desire to develop, in all our students, a set of core 21st Century skills that will enable them to progress through their education and beyond.
Skills for tomorrow’s workforce e.g.
Although this list is not exhaustive, it does give us some idea of the types of skills that we wish to impart on our students as they move through our schools and classrooms. These are all skills that are growing in demand in today’s economy. You’ll notice that these are not the traditional skills like typing or other manual skills and they are not standard routine skills like algebra or math. They are much more inclusive.
We’ve been doing some research to try to understand exactly what role technology can play in innovative teaching practice and students’ attainment of 21 Century Skills. Over the last two years, Partners in Learning has sponsored a study called the Innovative Teaching and Learning Research, which seeks to investigate the factors that help transform education systems and improve student learning outcomes. The research was conducted by SRI International and guided by OECD, UNESCO, ministries of education and other experts. Nobody has ever tried to isolate the relationship between innovative teaching practice and the attainment of 21C skills, so this is ground breaking stuff! One of the most critical findings from our research included the current use of ICT in classrooms:
The ITL data shows that when students use ICT for class-related activities, they are most often using it in basic rather than higher-level uses that demand knowledge-building or collaboration. This is important because basic uses of ICT tend to support traditional teaching practices by simply incorporating technology. The process of teaching is often not changing. This really defines the scope of work that we all should be aware of moving forward with 21st Century teaching and learning. We know that technology can play such a crucial and supportive role in innovative teaching and 21st century learning outcomes, but we need to use technology in the appropriate way. This is our collective challenge.
We should remember that although we are advocating the use of ICT, the fundamentals of what we are trying to achieve should be the same.
‘’In the 21st century it is about learning the skills and the tools
to remake content. It is about becoming the creator and
Diana Rhoten -Director of Digital Media and Learning
Diana Rhoten from the Social Science Research Council puts it nicely when she talks about a need to give children an experience that means something to them personally. Something that they can relate into the context of their own lives. They want to be able to take that experience and reshape it and retell it in this context, and then go further still and use that experience for themselves and with others. We believe that technology can help to make a huge impact in this area. Roughly translated, old models of schooling based on consumption of content must be changed. We need to focus on learning rather than schooling, and so beyond just consumption, we should be thinking about creation, and collaboration. Or production and participation. There are any number of labels we can put on these skills, as we’ve seen, and as we take a look at some of the technology available today, lets keep in mind these three essential elements of 21st century learning: Consumption, Creation & Collaboration.
The next part in this series: Windows 8 reimagined, bringing learning to life.’
My Day at Decoded
The day began with looking at the history of programming, introducing people such as Ada Lovelace (first female programmer) and Alan Turing. We then moved onto the history of the Web and were given an introduction to the main languages we would be using, these being:
HTML – The markup language used to give webpages their content.
CSS – The language which dictates the design of a website.
We got to grips with these languages one-by-one and each point was introduced gradually in a very simple and easy-to-understand way. I already had knowledge of HTML from my college days many years ago but it was great to refresh my skills and gain an understanding of some of the new tags that are now used. I was particularly keen to understand how CSS is used in conjunction with HTML and I now fully understand how the two operate together. Lastly, learning Java Script was really useful as most of my programming experience in the past has been with Visual Basic. Java Script is particularly useful as it is compatible across many devices due to it running within a web browser so is fantastic for making cross-platform applications.
Following the day’s events we were then invited to attend a ‘T-Party’ afterwards where we were able to meet and network with other women in the world of IT. Is was great to meet so many different people and hear about the various jobs available in the industry. This will be great for me to share with my students in school, particularly the girls who often don’t think about the IT industry as being a potential career path.
The training was run by a new company called Decoded who offer the ‘code in a day‘ course to both groups and individuals. They have also been working on educational resources for teachers through O2 Learn and I can’t wait to see their ‘CodeCards‘ when they become available. I really can’t praise the training enough, many of the ladies on the course with me had no programming background at all and were still able to get to grips with the task at hand which is incredible; programming isn’t generally considered an easy topic!
I have definitely taken lots of ideas on how I can deliver this topic to my sixth form group in school soon. Their task is to build a game so I am going to show them how to develop the same application as I built here, except they are going to extend this into an educational game to help new students find their way around the school. They will utilise the GPS features of tablets or their mobile phones so they can create an interactive story-style game in which they are told to go to different parts of the school to reveal the next part of the story. Who knows some of them might even add obstacles around the school as well to avoid! (Thanks to Alex from Decoded for the interactive story idea!)
I’m planning for my sixth form intensive programming day to take place in a few weeks (and we’re even going to buy-in Dominoes Pizza for lunch). I will post an update once I have returned from the Microsoft Global Forum in Prague,where I will be presenting my Virtual Classroom Tour, Kodu in the Klassroom.
You can find out more about many of the programmes and events Microsoft offers by joining our Global Teacher network –Partners in Learning is Free to join at www.pil-network.com
Microsoft Partners in Learning Teacher Camps have been described by some teachers as ‘the best CPD they have ever had’. This is an open invitation to all Teachers in the YHGfL area to attend. So if you want to spend time with other innovative educators, exploring how technology can have a real impact on learning then this is an ideal event for you.
What will I be doing at Camp?
We will give you training in using free Microsoft software to create teaching and learning resources for the classroom. You will have time to design, create and evaluate those resources and collaborate with others. This will include the fabulous visual games creation application , Kodu. You will also get the chance to speak to experts at Microsoft about our technology. In addition you will also be learning how to deliver the same training to colleagues in your own schools. These resources will take the form of screen capture videos, which we call Innovids. You can see examples of these on the Partners in Learning YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/innovativeteach
How do I apply?
We don’t want videos or lengthy biographies from you, to apply for this free event, Click here to register before the closing date 29th Dec.
I am not an ICT teacher is it worth me applying?
Yes, most definitely, we are looking for classroom innovators in learning, rather than techie whizz kids. This event is targeted at those Teachers interested in teaching and learning, and how technology can support that, rather than the technology itself. This event is for teachers in Primary, Secondary and Special school settings.
What will I need to bring?
We expect you to bring some of the tools you are using already:
· a headset with a microphone or Headphones and a Microphone
· a laptop running Windows Vista or Windows 7,
· Office 2007 or 2010 (not essential)
· We will give you a the tools you need to install
What will I be expected to do?
We would like to create an innovid , . We will collect these resources and post them to our YouTube Channel and YHGfL website.
We will offer you support if you wish you recreate this course in your school
Not able to make the two days?
No problem , YHGfL be holding a Teachmeet on the evening of 6th Dec. This is open event for any teachers and educators looking share some ideas about the best use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.
You can find details here - http://www.yhgfl.net/CPD/CPD-programme/YHGfL-Microsoft-TeachMeet .
So forget that Christmas shopping and come join us.
Our next top educator, Nicki Maddams or otherwise famously knows as the Queen of Kodu will present her project, Kodu in the Klassroom at the 8th Global Partners in Learning Forum (Prague). Nicki’s project transforms the way we look at Kodu Game Lab for learning. From use with primary school children to aid literacy, to focusing on programming with game design in secondary schools, the versatile and engaging software has been used to teach, learn and inspire.
Learn more about Nicki’s project and why she is affectionately deemed as the ‘Queen of Kodu’ in her interview below.
What is your project about? As soon as I tried Kodu Game Lab I immediately saw its potential to enable my pupils to engage in programming in a way they have never had before. As an ICT teacher, it is important that I am teaching children the fundamental concepts behind computer programming. I began by writing a scheme of work and creating teaching resources to enable myself and other members of my faculty to begin teaching a game design project using the software.
I have since realised the potential of Kodu across the curriculum and have worked with primary school students on a literacy project focusing on the story-telling aspect of the games. I have also put on ‘Kodu Olympics’ at lunchtime, for which we gave out medals to the winners! Recently, I have been using the new Mars Rover feature of Kodu with my students. After sharing the resources on my blog, teachers from across the globe are now using them to teach their own pupils. I have also visited other schools and venues to teach children and train staff!
What was the inspiration for your entry? What inspires you as an educator?
I am passionate about computing and programming and when I discovered Kodu Game Lab I was inspired by how simple it was for children to get started with programming and game design. There is other software on the market but none that is so quick and easy with which to get started. The more I experimented with the software the more I discovered its full potential in a variety of different projects.
Why did you start using technology in your classroom?
Being an ICT teacher technology is an integral part of my role in school. It is important for me to be up-to-date with technology because in my subject we will already be teaching pupils to use tools which may, very well, be obsolete by the time they go into the world of work.
What do you hope to get out of the Global Forum?
It is a fantastic opportunity to network with a large range of like-minded educators. I am looking forward to hearing about everybody’s projects and sharing my own experiences in the classroom.
Nicki who teaches at Hartsdown Technology College, will present her project to over 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers and compete for one of the 18 Global Innovative Education Awards. Please join us in wishing Nicki the best of luck for next week.
Stay connected: We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.
Top educator, Katie Boothman from Saltash.net school will present her community project, The H.I.T squad at the 8th Partners in Learning Global Forum (Prague). Katie’s project has developed leaps and bounds since picking up an award at the European Forum this year; for outstanding use of technology to support learning outside the classroom.
Check out her candid interview, where she explains details of the project and more importantly the inspiration that lies behind such a fantastic educator.
What is the project about?
The ‘H.I.T. Squad’ is a talented group of students from saltash.net who embrace new technologies to connect and engage communities and learners across all generations. Primary schools, secondary schools and local residents have benefited from learning resources created by the Squad in their on going mission to share the past with the future. This project has been recognized by English Heritage as a sustainable project which they are now helping to facilitate and grow at a national scale. At the heart of the project are three core elements; cross phase learning; building community links; and inspiring a love for history.
This project is one which is evolutionary in nature and therefore the inspiration for it has altered as the project has developed. Originally this project was put together in order to help Saltash.net’s history department develop through the use of student voice, to help create 21st century learners. However, as the project has grown we have found that engaging learners of all ages has become the genuine inspiration behind the Hit Squad.
As an educator, I am inspired by the energy of the pupils I teach and this is the driving force behind the project. I have a passion for learning, whether this is in the area of history or not. I see it as a golden privilege that should never be shunned, as an educator I wish to share this passion and drive for learning. I see the technology as the tool through which I can do this.
I have always used technology as a teacher, starting off with the basic web 2:0 tools such as xtranormal. Ultimately I love to play with the technology as I am a bit of a geek and therefore whenever I hear of something new I like to see if there are ways that it can be a valuable learning tool in the classroom.
I hope to gain a wider understanding of the latest tools so that I will be able to develop new innovative learning resources for the classroom. I am also excited to see how current technologies have been deployed in schools from around the world, and develop opportunities for the Hit Squad to scale the fundamentals of the project to schools globally.
Katie will present her project to over 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers and compete for one of the 18 Global Innovative Education Awards. Please join us in wishing Katie the best of luck for next week.
Next week the UK Team will join the best of worldwide education at the 8th Partners in Learning Global Forum.
This forum celebrates the world's most innovative educators and school leaders for bringing technology to life in the classroom and impacting millions of students. With the theme “Your Ideas Matter,” it is the culmination of a worldwide, year-long series of progressively competitive national and regional events that recognize and celebrate the very best in innovative teaching and learning.
We are pleased to announce that two of our top educator’s will join participants from more than 80 countries to collaborate, create and share their experiences on how to integrate technology and advanced pedagogy in ways that achieve 21st- century learning outcomes.
Please look out for Katie Boothman and Nicki Maddams blog interviews with detailed descriptions of their award winning projects.
A bit about the forum:
This year, we are honoured to host this forum in Prague and bring together 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers from more than 80 countries. The event will see how;
Laura Ispsen, WWPS CVP, and Anthony Salcito, WWPS Education VP, will join us for the entire PIL Global Forum and will reflect on Partners in Learning’s reaching its 10th year in their respective keynotes.
We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.