Last week Microsoft’s UK Education Team were lucky enough to visit this year’s Digitally Confident Conference at the Sage, Newcastle. At the event participants were given a wide range of presentations, from educators to academics. As well as the chance to network with a wide range of companies and other teachers.
Claire Lotriet spoke about how influential social media can be for making change in a positive way. Whilst teaching PHSE she discovered that a large amount of her students were confused between the definitions of arrogance and pride. She was keen to change these student’s perceptions and make them proud of their achievements. Claire had noticed the huge impact of hashtags in social media. She had taken part of #nomakeupselfie, a sweeping trend to take photos without wearing makeup and then donate money to Breast Cancer research. This led Lottie to creating #proudofmyselfie for her students.
Students loved the idea! In no time pupils begun sharing the things they were proud of with others at their school. Examples included homework, grades and one student was proud of their Kodu game! Claire recommended using an internal sharing platform depending on your schools social media policy. Office 365 is a perfect example of such a platform. Students and teachers can post in a safe environment in which only they can access or view.
Claire did not stop there, she realised there was more to learn from social media which she could apply to her teaching. As a lover of Instagram she realised the potential for 15 minute second videos within education. Claire created these short clips, realising that they enabled someone to quickly gain a little more understanding on a subject. She would often challenge students at the end of a lesson to create these short videos, she found this a great tool to make sure all students listened! A brilliant way these videos could be used within the classroom, especially if teachers are sceptical of the Instagram platform within lessons, is OfficeMix. OfficeMix enables students and teachers to create short videos which can be included onto a PowerPoint presentation. This means students could create these short videos very easily and then they can be stored in one place – maybe even for revision purposes or for students at home unwell.
All in all the event was a brilliant opportunity for educators to see the potential within the classroom. We are very excited to see how technology can continue to enhance the learning experience!