In today's guest blog post, we shine our MIEE Spotlight down on a newly appointed MIEExpert, Andrew Jeffrey, Automotive programme director & Lecturer at East Kent College. Read how he is using technology to transform the way both himself and colleagues are teaching and strives towards a future that is very different from that of today, using Microsoft Education tools to drive change.
What has been your MIEE journey so far?
As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed finding and using the latest technologies. Within my previous work settings in industry, starting in a garage workshop, I enjoyed the technology in helping diagnose problems and also in one of my hobbies of using a 36 channel digital sound desk. As a manager in the motor industry, I was always looking for more effective ways of tracking jobs and invoices. As a teacher using technology, to help engage students and help staff whether that was with PowerPoints, quizzes, electronic portfolios or flip cards. My passion is to look at the systems we all use and make them easier and more effective. I have strived to use Technology to make life easier, more enjoyable and to be more creative.
How has this and any Microsoft tools benefitted your institution?
At our college, we have embraced many Microsoft systems and I have watched as Microsoft has developed and expanded its educational tools. The introduction and continued growth of Microsoft 365 has benefited our teaching and staffroom organisation, making both of these areas far more effective. Apart from the usual office tools of PowerPoint, Word and Excel we started using OneNote several years ago. Our department staff have noticed tremendous benefits for organising and collaborating as a team from meetings to invigilation planning. We also started around this time to use OneNote in the classroom, this gave the same live collaboration tools we had grown to trust in the staff room now in a discrete secure classroom environment.
Later we adopted OneDrive as one of the cross-college drives using this alongside our college SharePoint system. In the coming months all of our daily files will be transferred onto this space. This gives us more flexibility, 24/7 access, synchronizing documents and safe backup, with both offline and online access.
Many of the other tools we have explored including the use of Forms for student feedback, quizzes and questionnaires.
Over the past two years, we got used to using classroom and were initially disappointed that it was removed. As we started this year using the new Teams programme (with built in classroom) and the regular upgrades it has worked really well with our students for communication, live assignments and the other abundance of helpful tools and connections and links from the interface.
What do you see for the future of your institution utilising Microsoft in Education?
The future is positive, I see a world where online activity is as natural as asking a question within a classroom setting. Where students and staff interact with each other in real time no matter of their surroundings, 'breaking down the classroom walls' and where discussions create creative thinking.
Furthermore, the introduction of Interactive learning the likes of which has never been experienced in our learning environments with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and MS HoloLens. The future of education is exciting but not as we know it now. With Microsoft’s Education tools, we will explore the future in the words of Captain James Kirks - to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Keep up to date with the great work Andrew is doing following the social media accounts below:
Automotive and Engineering Department
FB, twitter, Instagram: @EKCautoeng
Twitter - @Eastkentcollege