The Microsoft Education Academy
Last week CSE teamed up with Microsoft Education to host an Academy full of tips and tricks for teachers, and senior leadership staff using Microsoft programs in their schools. Schools from Sheffield, Solihull, Uxbridge, Crystal Palace, Witney and Highworth all took part in the Academy and spent a very interesting and rewarding day learning about Office 365, Windows 10 and lots of other Microsoft products that most schools hold licenses for.
Our Sales Manager, Kevin Osborne, talks us through what he learned.
The day started with Jose Kingsley-Davies, our Microsoft Trainer, who showed us the new features in Microsoft Edge browser. As with all of the training delivered, the teaching and learning benefits were highlighted. Jose is a former teacher himself and so all of his coaching is built upon lessons he has taken and methods he has used to good effect.
A great example of this within Edge is the ability to turn a web page into a learning resource or collaboration piece where the teachers and students can note, highlight and edit the web page, converting it into a new piece of work or document that can be saved and referred to later.
The example here shows my level of wildlife knowledge and my lack of ability as an artist but I hope that the ease of use and flexibility of the software comes across.
I would not have believed I’d be sharing the classroom with a fish when I left home in the morning, however that was the reality as Jose showed the class how to draw in 3D. He then talked us through how to use the newly created 3D object and drop it into a photo or video. This meant that the array of coloured fish we had created were bobbing around the Microsoft classroom. A bit of fun for us, and a lot of teaching and learning potential.
Microsoft have spent a lot of time enhancing this communications platform. They have also been busy setting up education contacts across the world so that it’s now easy to have a virtual field trip to the North Pole and speak with a scientist on location. Or have a biologist in the Amazon talk through their studies live to your class. The only tricky part is getting the time differences accommodated but the possibilities are endless.
Teams is a very powerful and collaborative tool; it allows the whole class to work together. Other Microsoft products such as Word and Excel are embedded into Teams so the class can work on the same project together, even work on the same document simultaneously. As a teacher, you are able to manage, coach, observe and interactive with the work going on, it really moves into the world of educational software like Impero or RM Tutor with its ability to control, highlight and direct the learning and research taking place.
In my opinion One Note is the most powerful piece of software that we learned about. Once you have set your class up as a group, you can assign work and add resources to that assignment so that all of the required learning material is at hand for your students. You can then watch the progress of each student as they work towards the deadline you have set. You can be soft and allow work to be handed in after the deadline, or introduce some reality to your lessons and prevent this from happening. It is extremely easy to use. Jose described how using One Note effectively during his teacher career helped to reduce marking time from six hours on a Sunday afternoon down to just one. You have the choice to write feedback on your student’s work, record a voice memo or even a video memo that gives your student the feedback they need to progress.
Lesson planning becomes much easier too as One Note can be an ordered, easy to use depository for all your teaching resources and lesson plans.
We have all been guilty of overcomplicating and deliberating unnecessarily with Powerpoint presentations and I am told that students are even worse! Sway allows presentations to be compiled very quickly. As a teacher you can have a presentation that forms the basis of your lesson and is compiled in minutes. In the same way that Edge allows you to personalise material, you can do the same with Sway.
I am going to be putting my learning to the test as I send out feedback forms (see below) to the delegates that attended last week. Forms can be used to create multiple choice questionnaires or quizzes, or you can set assignments and longer questions with guidance given to you students on how and what you want them to respond with. Another great teaching tool!
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