Students use Windows 8 Apps to plan their next World Challenge Expedition

Meet Mark Gilbert, a secondary school teacher from Alec Hunter Humanities College. Mark is one of our Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators (MIEE) and is doing some great stuff on how to integrate Windows 8 effectively in the classroom. You will be hearing a lot from our MIEE’s who will be sharing their teaching and learning stories with us on the schools blog. 

For now, hear from Mark and see how his students are using Windows 8 Apps to help organise a World Challenge Expedition to Uzbekistan:

Mark Gilbert 

‘‘Without a shadow of a doubt teaching is my most challenging career yet. There are days when I feel that I have the best job in the world, where I really make a difference and students have engaged in their learning. Then there are days when I feel that I made little difference and that there can be no other job with quite the same problematic challenges to hurdle. I am always open to suggestions of how to improve my own teaching and the learning of my students .That is why I believe that with support and training from Microsoft and a sharing of ideas between Microsoft and the teaching community; can only result in good things for all those involved. Whether it is increased aspirations and experience, greater use of skills for the work place or simply a more enjoyable way to learn, I believe that by joining forces with the corporate world students will stand a better chance of having a successful future.’’ 

Win 8 Apps helping Nicholas and Peter plan their next school trip…

IMAG0359Two students from Alec Hunter Humanities College, Nicholas Murray and Peter Malams aged 13 have been using Windows 8 to prepare for their World Challenge Expedition in 2014. Their task was to use windows 8 to research apps and websites that might help them in preparing for their trip. Firstly, it is worth pointing out that they took to Windows 8 like ducks to water. Having not used it before, and after only 30 seconds of instructions on the basics, they were able to flip between screens and tools efficiently and with an ease that demonstrates the accessibility of the new Windows 8 functions and layout.


Apps used by Nicholas and Peter:

SAS Survival Guide


Handy Currency Converter

Money Pier

Calculator HD

Nicholas and Peter decided to research areas that would be of practical help to them and aimed to find information that helped them with travel, first aid, food, money management and language. Firstly, they researched MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and using the new BING explorer tile were able to find numerous websites which supplied them with what they would need. They then shared the information needed into OneNote, which importantly included a reference for them so they wouldn’t have to search again. Then using the search function and the Win8 store they, like me, found the ‘SAS Survival Guide’ app, priced at £2:59, an unbelievably valuable resource in preparing for any situation. Nicholas and Peter highly recommended this app for all of its relevant information and simple layout.

They both then decided to focus on money management and thought that the ‘Handy Currency Converter’ to be a really great app to work out currency exchange rates. Coupled with the ‘Calculator HD’ app they were sure their money (which will be substantial) would be managed appropriately and professionally. Furthermore, the ‘Money Pier’ app gave them an easily understandable and accessible accounting tool which meant they could record and budget each expenditure in order to make sure all expenses are covered and affordable. Due to the fact that this app is so simple and easy to use, they thought it would be perfect to use whilst on the trip, just in case they have to deal with difficult scenarios in Uzbekistan.

Nicholas and Peter found the new Windows8 tools enjoyable and easy to use, they easily managed to access all the different functions, find download and utilise tiles and flip between the apps and the internet with ease. They have discovered some excellent apps which will really make our expedition that much easier and the students that much more prepared for their adventure. I look forward to updating you with more exciting finds and eventually detailing how Windows 8 helped us complete our expedition successfully in August 2014.

Mark Gilbert (@MrGilbert1978)

You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Education offers teachers by joining for free!

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