Microsoft’s Next Level Learning series of education events culminated in Perth on Tuesday 22nd March. Hosted by The Hale School, NLL Perth showcased the very best Microsoft in Education tools and strategies to promote innovative anywhere, anytime learning.
After a thought-provoking keynote presentation from Aidan McCarthy, Director of Worldwide Teaching and Learning Team, teachers took their place in the Platform for Learning sessions. All teachers were provided with a touch-screen Surface tablet and stylus, enabling them to interact with the ultimate teaching and learning device. After a quick introduction to Windows 10 and shortcuts for easy use, attendees were immersed in the dynamic Microsoft cloud-based environment. Office 365 is the hero here, fuelling real-time, secure collaboration and communication through the power of the internet.
Teachers were designated to take in collaborative session that mimicked classroom use of these apps, such as completing a group KWL to build a student-sourced summary sheet. Other apps such as Video and Yammer were covered, showing the versatility and customisable features of O365.
There is never enough time to demonstrate OneNote, and we briefly showcased how OneNote Class Notebook, and the new ‘Class Notebook’ add-in, can enable a truly manageable and efficient scenario for using OneNote in the classroom.
OneNote is the supreme educational app, and attendees were shown how OneNote is being used the world over to drive collaboration and learning. Real notebooks were used to highlight the proprietary features of OneNote and are not available on any other app is such a seamless, integrated experience. Elements such as ink to text, searchable handwriting, notetaking that syncs with multimedia playback and a potent search engine take OneNote above and beyond every other note-taking app.
Office Mix was also showcased, demonstrating how teachers can transform their existing PowerPoint lessons into interactive, dynamic, analytics-driven learning objects. Office Mix is the ultimate flipped / online / blended learning tool that will free up time spent delivering content and create time better spent interacting with individual students and conducting hands-on experiences.
Matt O’Brien (Bunbury Cathedral College) and Toby Trewin (Hale School) then showed us the potential of embedding ICTs and Microsoft education tools in the teaching and learning process. As Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts and leading technology specialists, these two teachers are at the cutting edge of eLearning, and showcased amazing learning in motion. Highlights included using drones to analyse swimming stroke techniques, game based learning with Project Spark and using OneNote to take notes with the Cornell approach. It was invaluable for teachers to see high-end use of Microsoft products like OneNote and Mix with current examples from teachers and students.
STEM-based learning was showcased brilliantly by Steven Payne of Standout Education. Steven ran a maker table and also walked us through using Minecraft for educational outcomes and learning how to code with Touch Develop. Teachers were also shown the game-making app Kodu, as well as a scenario on how to use a Surface and OneNote in the STEM learning process. Coupled with the Windows Store app Physamajig, this hands-on session enabled teachers to play and learn with some amazing Microsoft apps, perfectly designed for use in the STEM space.
Below is a handful of resources that were discussed throughout the event.
- Window 10 in Education – here
- Managing devices in a BYO world – here
- Harnessing data in your school - here
- Journey to the cloud with Azure in education - here
- Cloud Trust framework summary –here
- Office 365 -Under the covers –here
Educator Track Content
- Education Resources
- Matthew’s Teacher Ambassador page
- Kodu GameLab
- Project Spark
- Office Mix
- Minecraft Education Edition
Finally, check out these resources for other areas that we mentioned throughout both tracks at the various different venues.
- Microsoft Australia Education Website
- Australian Education Blog
- Australian Teachers Blog
- Apps for Learning (Download guide)
- Windows 10 in education
- 1-to-1 Guidance for Schools
- BYOD Guidance for Parents
Professional Learning Resources
- Office 365 Learning Hub - For online training and professional development on all aspects of Office 365
- Local Professional Learning Partners – Standout Education is a Microsoft professional learning partner based in Perth
- Online Professional Development – Quick-tip videos, courses and learning paths to help teachers integrate technology effectively
- Microsoft Educator Community – Join the new Microsoft Educator Community to attend online events and connect with other educators.
- Help Students Learn to Code – Find software and courses to help students learn to code