This post come to us fresh from the UK contingent of MIEEs who were flying the flag for us at the E² Global Educator Exchange held last week at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Featuring contributions from MIEEs Marie Renton (Lochfield Primary School), Matthew Davies (Treorchy Comprehensive School), Emma Hicks (Arnold Hill Academy), Mark Martin (St Mark’s CoE Academy), Anthony Lees (Broadclyst Community Primary School) and Kevin Sait (Wymondham High Academy), this should give you an idea of what went on during the TeachMeet sessions last week, and the ideas and practices our UK representatives were sharing with the broader, global community of Expert Educators.
E2 TeachMeet Sessions – a view from the UK MIEEs
This was a fantastic opportunity to meet other educators from around the world and share our great practice with each other. 249 teachers from 87 different countries set up to share their innovative practice from their classroom, sharing their experience. We were asked to present our project on PowerPoint or Sway for 4 minutes. Here is Marie setting up her Sway presentation on the use of xGames and Kinect Games in the classroom. National dress was optional, so Marie turned up in a Scottish tartan dress and offered Scottish sweets (tablet) to anyone brave enough to try the xQuiz.
Marie said “It was a fantastic opportunity to share this free downloadable software to teachers all over the world. Students find Xbox and Kinect fun, so using these devices in our teaching and learning improves student motivation and engagement. The learning style is active and kinaesthetic, and research shows this produces the highest rate of retention, thus attainment.
Matthew shared about an Enterprise topic he undertook with students, which he found engaged them with their learning and focussed on 21st Century learning skills. The project included the use of games based learning to support pupils in understanding the concepts of running a business. Matthew felt “it was an excellent opportunity to share the work that I have been undertaking in the classroom and to also hear the excellent practice that is going on worldwide. I am definitely going to use some of the projects I heard about in my classroom!”
Emma shared the fantastic work she has been doing using OneNote with her English and Drama students in high school. When asked what her superhero power is, she answered empathy. What a great superpower! Emma said “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting teachers from across the globe and sharing the common goal of improving quality of teaching and learning.”
Mark presented on what it means to be an inspirational teacher and providing inspirational lessons. Mark enjoyed meeting different people. Mark said “when teachers come together from different backgrounds, not only does it open your eyes to see new practices but also it inspires you to achieve more and do more.”
Anthony presented on a Global Enterprise Challenge now being run annually by his school, Broadclyst Primary School. Based on a dragon’s den style enterprise project the challenge encourages pupils to run a small business in groups of 5 or 6 in collaboration with other pupils around the world also selling the same product. As a PBL project it covers much 21CLD around collaboration, decision making and problem solving in a real-world context that the pupils find highly motivating. Anthony talked to many other MIEEs and had some very positive reactions and schools looking to sign up for the 2016 challenge.
Everyone had to select one of the presenters with a ‘Most Inspirational’ teacher award. We were very honoured to have been selected as inspirational several times by Expert Educators from around the world.
Kevin is a Microsoft Fellow and he presented to the MIEEs on the use of Yammer in his establishment. Kevin said “As an IT technical guy it was impressive to see a Teach meet in action at the Microsoft Global Forum. There was a lot of creativity literally on the table, with teachers using technology in different ways. It’s important for the technical staff in schools to work with teachers to allow this creativity to happen in the classroom.”