Day Three @ BETT 2017 – Surface Studio, Microsoft Whiteboard and more…

Three down, one to go… Hang in there! But what an exhibition it has been so far! It was another busy day on the Microsoft Stand and adjoining Partner Campus, with many other engaging activities dotted around the whole exhibition floor.

Earlier this morning Jonathan Bishop - head teacher of Microsoft Showcase School Broadclyst Community Primary, and founder of the Global Enterprise Challenge - delivered a Future Gazing session in the School Leaders Summit around Developing a Digital Academy. Focussing on how the physical and virtual sides of a learning environment can work together to facilitate better learning outcomes and practices, Jonathan reflected on the way technology has been introduced at Broadclyst (which has some buildings over 200 years old), and how those experiences are shaping his approach to developing new digital academies.

"How can we maximise the virtual spaces we use, within the physical spaces that we have to work within?"

For Jonathan, the goal was creating spaces that are going to be able to be used with digital tools at heart of it, that will empower children's learning - multiple displays in a classroom, 1-1 device usage, and sufficient power supplies. It really does make you stop and think about how the curriculum can be impacted by the shape of the room you are in. Is there enough flexibility in that space for occupants to be taught as 70, a place to be taught as 8, and a place them to be taught 1-1? Lots to think about.

Back on the Microsoft stand there was plenty of buzz and excitement around the Surface Studio. A device that is opening up a whole new world of digital creativity, we were fortunate enough to have Adobe's Tony Harmer join us… the images speak for themselves!

tony-harmer tony-harmer2

Those who attended the Secondary Learn Live Theatre in the morning may well have caught the session by #MIEExpert Paul Watkins, that explored the adventures of his students (and him!) via Skype in the Classroom. It's hard to overstate the scope of discovery and student development that Skype in the Classroom has brought to Paul's corner of sunny Wales. His biggest regret about Skype in the Classroom - as he revealed at the start of his session - is that he didn't start using it sooner.

As a school in one of the less affluent parts of the country, frequent field trips to wonderful and faraway places are not a luxury that can be enjoyed by many. But, with Skype in the Classroom, these places are within reach from the ease of the school itself, with the experience just as inspiring and educational for the students:

"How many pupils in your school can go home and say "we've been to visit Yellowstone National Park today" and talk about it as if they were there? As a school, we've travelled half a million virtual miles... And it hasn't cost us a penny."

Visit the Microsoft Educator Community to learn more about Skype in the Classroom and hold your first session!

Lastly, another new feature of Windows 10 to be found on the stand is Microsoft Whiteboard. This new, large screen experience from Microsoft allows users to draw geometric shapes from freehand, write, design, add a ruler, and even search - based upon the words hand-written on the board - right from within the app:

Microsoft Whiteboard is still in private preview but anyone wishing to try it can sign up here:

That's about all from us today, but just a quick reminder to look at our announcements earlier this week around School Data Sync, Intune for Education and new OEM devices!

We hope you've enjoyed the first three days of BETT 2017, and that we see as many of you as possible on the stand tomorrow for the final push! Click here if you need to remind yourselves of our Learn Live Theatre and Showcase Classroom Schedule, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

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