Submitted by Megan Rademeyer
Applications to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert have now closed and the process of selecting teachers to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Redmond, USA in April 2015 is underway. We were thrilled by the calibre of teachers who applied and were impressed by the more than 50 new Learning Activities that were uploaded to the Microsoft Educator Network.
Thank you to all the teachers who shared their lesson ideas with an international community of teachers through the Microsoft Educator Network. We will announce the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts in our next newsletter, but for now here is a sample of some of the projects that were shared and the teachers who shared them. Whilst teachers were only required to upload one Learning Activity to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator, a number of teachers shared a few lesson plans that showcase how they are using technology in engaging ways in their classrooms.
Kathryn Riva of Micklefield School
Kathryn Riva of Micklefield School has uploaded a record 13 learning activities to the Microsoft Educator Network which show how she incorporates technology into her grade 5 lessons. Kathryn says “I am fascinated with technology and infusing it into my teaching. I believe that children will one day be stepping out into a world where being able to use technology with ease and without fear is essential. I want to instil a love and curiosity for technology into each child that I teach, to enable them to create innovative, blended projects using Web 2.0 Teaching Tools alongside traditional teaching methods”.
Some of Kathryn’s Learning Activities include a “Tutankhamen Newspaper Report”, “Religious Festivals Project” and an “International Day Wiki Project”. One of the really great things about what this teacher does is she shares her activities on her wiki so that the grade 5s can collaborate with their classmates and parents can see what their children are up to. The wiki also allows for flipped classroom activities and showcasing work. http://micklefieldgrade52014.wikispaces.com/Tutankhamen+Newspaper+Report
Mabore Lekalakala of Toronto Primary School
Mabore Lekalakala of Toronto Primary in Limpopo has shared six learning activities on the Microsoft Educator Network focusing on content creation and interactive learning in her Maths lessons. Her learners have been exposed to a range of applications including Microsoft Maths Worksheet Generator, Khan Academy materials and Geogebra. After mastering the subject matter, learners created their own materials using Book Creator, PowerPoint, Song Smith and other applications which they shared with grade 5 learners. Learners especially enjoyed using Kodu to solve problems and sharing photos and video clips through AutoCollage and making their own movies.
If you are a primary school maths teacher, perhaps struggling with few resources, have a look at Mabore’s Learning Activities to see what is possible with enthusiasm and creativity. Learning Activities include “Songsmith to learn maths concepts”; “Worksheet Generator for Practice and Self-Assessment” and “Contextualised Learning Resources to Learn Mathematics”.
Tracy Heath of Brescia House School has shared four Learning Activities on the Microsoft Educator Network – “All about me – where was I born?”; “The Water Cycle”; “Movie about Grade 6” and “Travel brochure for Egypt”.
In addition to teaching some classes, Tracy also offers professional development to her colleagues. Once a week she does a short 20 minute session with staff encouraging them to share ideas. Some of these sessions are just introductions to Apps, whilst other sessions are longer and make use of more formal instruction. Whilst Tracy says her school is blessed to have access to devices, her challenge is to help teachers who are unsure about using technology one step at a time. Tracy’s learning activities show how teachers can maximise the technology that they have access to by creating project-based learning opportunities.
The Microsoft Educator Network – a useful classroom resource
Whilst applications have now closed to become a Microsoft Educator Expert for this year, please continue to share your Learning Activities on the Microsoft Educator Network and look out for next year’s competition. Also make use of the search functionality to find ideas for teaching content you need to cover or ideas for using a tool your would like to try. Out of the more than twelve thousand activities that have been shared, there is bound to be one that you could try out or adapt for use in your classroom.