A few months ago, Selena was tweeting away (nothing new there) and spotted some free PD opportunities being run by the fabulous Microsoft Education Team over in Melbourne and Sydney. At Edufolios, we have a great relationship with the innovation team here in Adelaide and, being a teacher, Selena was keen to find out how we could bring the Microsoft Edu team here to our own state of SA. A few tweets, emails and Skype conversations later and Troy Waller, Teacher Ambassador for VIC, TAS, SA and WA found himself on a plane to Radelaide. With only a few weeks to share the news of the two events we had planned we were delighted to see the tickets fly out the virtual door very quickly! The result, Adelaide now has 34 new Microsoft Innovative Educators in its ranks! Here’s how the days played out.
It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of these learning experiences. Watching educators really understanding the concepts of “the Cloud”, tenants and data sovereignty was amazing! This understanding was fostering some real confidence building for those who had been a little unsure of whether or not to use the free 1TB of storage provided for them by their school’s tenant. They quickly understood the security measures (and sometime restrictions) of using this tenant and developed their understanding of how to manage files securely and consciously (Standard 4). Most had to create their own personal account at outlook.com until they can go back to their site and explain all of this to their principals. trust me, there are some excited educators ready to roll with some amazing learning ideas to share!
I think, it’s pretty safe to say that One Note was the tool that got most educators excited. Especially when they realised it’s potential in assessment (Standard 5), knowledge sharing and every day development of planning and organisational documentation. Office Lens, coupled with the Classroom Tools actually caused audible intakes of breath!! lol. The fact that that thing can read a text from a photograph, identify basic grammar features (and much more) impressed most!
Then of course, there was Skype.. You know Skype, it’s been around for years. What we didn’t all know was that it translates from one language to another. With a simple setting your students can be talking to people in Asia and the technology will remove all language barriers for you! We also explore Microsoft’s Education online portal and discovered the vast array of virtual tours that can happen via Skype. What I have always loved about this, is the fact that it makes it super easy to find the “unknown audience” that students are required to interact with from Year 4 on wards (ICT Gen Cap oh.. and Standard 2).
We will definitely be inviting Troy back in October to run this workshop again as well as run a one day One Note Spectacular! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter to be the first to hear about these new dates. Once again, Edufolios would love to thank Microsoft and their generous and passionate team from Microsoft Education Australia! Troy did an amazing job and everyone walked away fired up and ready to experiment. I can’t wait to read their evidence posts in their Edufolios. It will be great to see how each individual has contextualised their learning to their site and context. If you’re willing share the link to your post below in the comments!