Wakelet integration with OneNote: from teacher tweet to reality less than in a week

The Microsoft Education team is always listening intently to educator feedback, whether in schools, at conferences, or online.  Recently, we’ve been hearing rumblings in the education world about an amazing app called Wakelet, which allows people to quickly and easily save, organize and share content from across the web.

Last week, we saw a tweet from MIEExpert Becky Keene, an educator we know well.  Her tweet said how awesome it would be if a Wakelet collections could be embedded directly into a OneNote page – see the original tweet below, and read the ensuing thread here.

Becky Tweet.jpgBecky Tweet.jpg

Well the OneNote team thought this sounded like a great idea and sprang into action!  Wakelet seemed like the perfect fit for the OneNote binder metaphor, and the ability to easily embed Wakelet on pages, organize them, or distribute to others in OneNote Class Notebook, seemed like a great match.  It seemed like the right time to jump on to the #WakeletWave 🌊

The OneNote and Wakelet teams connected via Twitter DM, exchanged emails, and made introductions across our engineering teams.  The Wakelet team added Oembed API support within a day, and then OneNote engineers got the Wakelet Oembed working within another day.  After some testing and a little coordination, the integration is now live!

You can now paste any Public Wakelet URL on to a OneNote page and it will render the entire Wakelet as a live embed on the OneNote page.

NOTE: Due to a very recent Chrome browser issue, copying and pasting the URL from the address bar into OneNote will not automatically render the Wakelet.  Pasting the URL from Edge, IE, Notepad, or other any other location works. OneNote is exploring a Chrome browser work-around to fix this

You can now create pages, section, and even entire notebooks chock-full of Wakelets!  It’s a true “Better Together” 🌊💜 scenario!

To see some examples or how easy this is to do, see the example video of a Wakelet pages in OneNote.  This integration works in OneNote Windows 10, Online, Mac, iPad, Android, and 2016


So a big thanks to Becky Keene, and all of the other educators out there who are always sending us great ideas and feedback.  We promise to keep listening 👂 (and acting on it!)


Mike Tholfsen
Microsoft Education Product Manager

This post was originally published on this site.

What’s New in EDU: Earth Day brings updates to your ecosystem of tech tools

Happy Earth Day, educators! We’re celebrating with a suite of updates to your ecosystem of teaching tools, including a playful new set of Earth Day emoticons on Skype. OneNote, Teams, Minecraft Education Edition, Skype and Apple School Manager are all benefitting from added features and functionality this month.

Check out the full roster of updates below and be sure to visit our Earth Day 2019 resource center for ideas, activity plans and access to virtual field trips your students won’t soon forget. Also, for those who missed E2 in Paris last week, don’t miss our event recap.

New for educators this month

To Math Assistant or not to Math Assistant …

Learning Tools, the set of features designed to support you and your students in reading, writing, math, and communication, now includes the ability to control Math Assistant via an on/off switch in OneNote Class Notebooks. As previously announced at Bett, the flexibility to temporarily turn the Math Assistant on or off is especially useful during practice tests or assessments.

When teachers want to turn it back on, it’s just the simple click of a button! The on/off switch is supported in OneNote Windows 10 and OneNote Online.

Also new, teachers can now drag and drop the solutions and steps from Math Assistant to a OneNote page in OneNote Online. This provides students an easy reference when looking back at their work and breaking down solution steps.

Teams adds real-time captions

Microsoft Teams, the digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments and apps together in one place, now includes real-time captioning during meetings. By allowing everyone to read speaker captions in real time, meetings are made more inclusive for students or colleagues who are deaf or hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency, or are connecting from a noisy location. For more on this and the other great new Teams features announced at Enterprise Connect, check out our new blog here.

OneNote navigation updates (based on your feedback)

We heard your feedback and incorporated some new elements to improve navigation in OneNote for Mac and OneNote for Windows 10. The updated navigation allows teachers to switch easily between notebooks, search results and recent notes using the buttons along the left-hand rail as well as use the drop-down button across the top of sections and pages to view additional notebooks. If you want to maximize your canvas, you can hide navigation by clicking the notebooks icon at the top of the left rail. Click the icon again when you need to navigate your way to another page, section or notebook. Read more about the new navigation or find support.

OneNote also now supports EdPuzzle embedded on the canvas. This allows educators who use EdPuzzle to easily integrate their video lesson into OneNote—this update is supported in all versions of OneNote, except OneNote 2016.

Minecraft adds new ways to learn while you play this Earth Day

A trio of updates to Minecraft: Education Edition further empowers educators like yourself to use game-based learning across a variety of curriculum.

      • A Partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation
        Minecraft Education Edition is partnering with the World Wildlife Foundation on a month-long design challenge focused on the theme of zero waste. Throughout the month, we’re encouraging our educator community to share Flipgrid videos and social posts that feature their students’ boldest, most thoughtful designs. At the end of the month, we’ll publish a blog showcasing the best student submissions. Educators with Minecraft: Education Edition licenses can launch the challenge’s starter world here. Also, check out the World Wildlife Fund’s Zero Waste Toolkit. Starting Monday, we’ll be sharing daily tips on how you can easily reduce waste via Twitter and Facebook. A special Earth Day OneNote full of ideas, activities and resources is available here.
      • Minecraft Math Curriculum
        Now educators can access a full math curriculum for all grade 3 and grade 4 aligned to Common Core math standards. Featuring over 60 activities including lesson plans, rubrics, student worksheets and downloadable worlds, these curricula are designed to complement and enhance math teaching and learning. Browse our Math Subject Kit or download the guides directly (grade 3 or grade 4) for descriptions of standards alignment.
      • New Badges & Community Resources
        We have re-launched our Minecraft educator community page, now including digital badges. Join our global community to get advice on teaching with Minecraft: Education Edition, share and discuss lesson plans and classroom management strategies, and earn badges! Start by creating a profile and signing up for the community newsletter. Once you’ve unlocked the first two badges, share your experience and expertise with the world and apply to be a Minecraft Mentor.

Hacking STEM portfolio for Earth Day
Hacking STEM has you covered with ready-to-use lesson plans on earth science, environmental science, chemistry and physical science. These lessons include hands-on, interdisciplinary, inquiry-driven activities like monitoring water quality from a local waterway, measuring ocean depths to map the ocean floor and designing a windmill to generate electrical power. They teach 21st-century technical skills like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and data science. You can find these and other standards-aligned Hacking STEM lesson plans at the Hacking Stem site

Celebrate Earth Day with new emoticons

Each year, Skype in the Classroom celebrates Earth Day by bringing a world of exciting activities directly into your classroom throughout the month of April. This year, we’re adding to the fun with a custom collection of Earth Day-themed emoticons. Use them before, during and after your Skype sessions this month to raise awareness about our fragile planet.

New for IT administrators this month

Apple School Manager now supports Azure Active Directory for easy access for students and staff

We’re excited to announce that schools can now connect Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory to setup easy access for students and staff. By setting up Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory, students and staff members can automatically be set up with Apple services for seamless access. Instead of remembering separate usernames and passwords, students and staff members can simply use their existing Microsoft account to sign into an iPad, Mac, iCloud and Schoolwork. Students and staff members can now use the same account to sign into Apple devices and services as they do to Microsoft services such as Office 365. By connecting Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory, schools can benefit from:

      • Streamlining processes: When you federate Apple School Manager with Azure AD, Managed Apple ID’s are created automatically.
      • Increasing timely access: Reduce the time that students or staff members can get access to relevant Apple services and devices by allowing them to sign into their Apple devices with their school email address and password.

To link your Apple School Manager to Azure Active Directory follow the steps below:

      1. Start the federated authentication process
      2. Connect to your identity provider by linking Apple School Manager to Microsoft Azure AD
      3. Verify your Azure AD domain ownership
      4. Turn on and test federated authentication

You can find additional details on how to configure this for your school on Apple’s documentation (need link here). We’re excited about bringing this integration to schools to help better provide seamless access for students and staff members.

Intune for Education makes it easy to set up and manage Windows 10 and iOS devices in just a few steps, including deploying apps or settings to users and managing shared devices.

      • Refined list of iOS Settings in Intune for Education – We’ve refined the list of iOS settings in Express configuration to help you get devices up and running even faster. Express configuration enables you to quickly set up devices and only features the essential settings. For more customization, view the full list of Windows 10 or iOS device settings.
      • Improved iOS settings names and tooltips – We’ve revised many of the iOS setting names, tooltips, and categories in Intune for Education to make settings easier to find and understand. For a detailed list of these settings see iOS device settings in Intune for Education.
      • New iOS device naming options – We’re adding new naming settings to help you group and identify your iOS devices. During iOS enrollment and MDM server token setup, Intune for Education will automatically name each of your devices with their unique device serial number. You’ll then have the option to add a custom name, such as Contoso or Math1, to the prefix. If you do customize the name, the device serial number will be attached to the end of it. For example: Contoso012a345b67c8.
      • New settings for Windows 10 – We’ve added new settings to give you more control over areas such as security power management, and Windows Update. Among the changes are new Windows notifications settings, which allow you to choose whether or not users see notifications about Windows Updates, and new Manual Windows Update settings, which allow you to choose whether or not users have access to the Windows Update scan, download and install features.

This month, we hope you’ll join us in highlighting Earth Day for your students. Inspiring them to take positive action begins with educating them on how to be responsible stewards of the planet, and that’s a mission we’re honored to put our resources behind.


How to teach kids music without instruments? Teacher plays bandleader with ensemble of apps

At Kaenoisuksa school, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we face the unique challenge of bringing music education to roughly 600 students who don’t have the benefit of real instruments to practice with. Adding to the complexity, our student body is a diverse mix Shan, Yunnan and Lahu students who all bring a different set of cultural values and learning techniques to the classroom every day. Our curriculum has to be nimble if it’s going to serve all of their unique needs.

As the school’s music and dramatic arts teacher, it’s my job to find educational solutions that will strike a chord with my students. In the common smartphone, I found a tool perfectly fit for the job—so long as it was equipped with the right apps.

Learning music isn’t just a matter of knowing how to play this song on that instrument. Using Microsoft apps like Office, Sway, OneNote, PowerPoint, Windows Movie Maker and others, I weaved together a 21st-century lesson plan that covered a range of musical topics, from theory to technique to history and cultural context. I call it Mobile Music Learning, and through it, my students have learned both the fundaments of music education as well as the value of technology in exploring their own questions in their own ways.

Things That Worked in My Classroom

  • Mobile VR Thrills: My students loved exploring international music and concert videos with apps like WITHIN and YouTube VR, which help turn your mobile screen into a virtual-reality headset. Access to music videos—from Operas in London to Indonesian dance routines in Bali—seeded them with questions about instruments, dance and other cultural elements that led to lively discussion as a class.
  • Strum Your Screens: Countless apps will turn your phone into a real-live instrument, replete with keys, strings, skins or some other music-making analog of your choosing. This let students get their hands a little dirty with playing where they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Even better, they got to do so from home long after class was over—and on just about any instrument they could think of.
  • Tech Does Double Duty: I want my students to learn music education, of course, but through it, I also want them to learn tech fluency. They are emerging into a world where success will depend on their ability to confidently navigate tech tools. Employing integrated apps like Microsoft Sway, Word, PowerPoint and Windows MovieMaker to explore, share and present the material helps them build that confidence along the way.

Practicing an instrument on a smartphone may seem like a novel concept, but for my students, a familiarity with mobile devices meant they brought more confidence to the initial lessons than they might’ve in a class with traditional instruments. The portability of our devices also empowered them to continue exploring the lessons for themselves once class had finished.

By applying the tech tools they’re already familiar with, I encouraged my students to explore, and ultimately synthesize, the subject matter in ways that felt natural to them as digital natives. The result was not only a newfound appreciation for music education but also the fostering of a rich and informed dialogue about other related subjects.

The Mobile Music Learning curriculum I created is little more than a collection of everyday Microsoft software applications. On their own, any one of the apps provides an important, specific tool. When combined in symphony, though, they strike a harmony that is greater than the sum of their unique parts. For my students, that approach helped fuel a modern, imaginative curiosity that made the curriculum more engaging and the group discussion more meaningful.

Ready to unlock limitless learning for your students? Check out our tools for educators. Already experiencing the difference in your classroom? Share your changemaker story with us!

Safeguard your students, online and on campus

When students and parents are choosing a college or university, safety and security are often key considerations. And for educators, security is one of the greatest concerns they face today.

What’s behind these concerns?

Both physical threats, including assaults and property crimes, and online cyber threats are on the rise. Institutions have become a major target for phishing attacks, ransomware, and data theft – with higher education institutions accounting for 17% of all data breaches where personal information is stolen. Only the medical sector is victimized at a higher rate1. Safeguarding physical and digital security on campus is more critical and complex than ever before.

Higher education institutions need powerful, comprehensive security solutions to reduce risk by more proactively addressing cyber security and physical safety threats.

Why is an end-to-end approach important?

In a world of internet-connected smart devices (IoT), cyber and physical security are increasingly connected. Access systems, security cameras, and even telephone systems are often controlled through an organization’s network, leaving the network vulnerable to attack if not protected. Consider the case of the former computer science student who launched a botnet attack on a large university computer network: implanting malware on security cameras and other IoT devices, this hacker caused one of worst outages in the history of the internet by launching denial of service attacks on service providers and websites, and demanding Bitcoin payment for their release.

Ensuring that the right people have the right access to the right physical spaces and digital information is also important. If a student’s identity is logged in from one location and then, three minutes later, the same student ID card is trying to access a resident hall on the main campus hours away, an increased layer of security is required.

A campus imperative

As the lines of separation between the digital and physical worlds continue to blur, it’s imperative that universities have a planned approach to security that considers how to both protect information online and ensure a safe campus environment.

Microsoft can help with smart cloud technology that integrates physical and cyber security. Microsoft’s Smart and Secure Campus solutions combine security and threat protection with sophisticated artificial intelligence that works seamlessly in the background — sharing intelligence and working smarter to automatically address and remediate security threats online.

To learn more, download the Smart and Secure Campus e-book.


Teaching happiness around the world: Join #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on April 16

Announcing the April 16 TweetMeet on ‘Teaching Happiness and Social-Emotional Learning’

Every year, March 20 marks the International Day of Happiness, a campaign launched by the United Nations that is now celebrated worldwide. This program aligns with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet.

In support for the UN campaign and to raise awareness for the emotional well-being of students as well as teachers, we invite you to participate in the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet of April 16.

In this edition of our monthly global and multilingual Twitter conversations, we’ll discuss the role that happiness and social-emotional learning (SEL) play in classrooms around the world.

Keep reading for detailed information about this TweetMeet.

Language tracks and SuperSway

We offer seven simultaneous language tracks this month: English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Serbian. The new SuperSway offers a TweetMeet Invitation in each of these languages:

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. As always, we’re super grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language. For example: Polish-speaking people should use both #TweetMeetPL #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Every month more and more people discover the unique flow and characteristics of the TweetMeet events and become excited to participate.

Show your passion for the TweetMeets right from your own Twitter page by uploading this month’s #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo to the top of your own Twitter profile.

In the same file folder, the Twitter Header Photo is available in many other languages and time zones.

Looking back on the March TweetMeet on ‘MakeWhatsNext & STEM’

The March #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet inspired educators around the world to share ideas, insights and resources. We captured highlights from this Twitter conversation in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment.

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

We’re grateful to have a support group made up exclusively of former TweetMeet hosts, who volunteer to translate communication and check the quality of our questions and promotional materials. They also help identify the best candidates for future events, provide relevant resources, promote the events among their networks and, in general, cheer everybody on.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #TeachingHappiness, #SEL and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). Be sure to double-check your own local event time, as this may be different this month. You can find the event time for 215 countries with this time zone announcer.

Too busy to join at event time? No problem!

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or may even be asleep–well, no problem! All educators are welcome to join any time after the event. Simply look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best.

You can also schedule your tweets in advance. In that case, be sure to include the entire question in your tweet and mention the hashtag #MSFTEduChat so that everyone knows to which question in which conversation you are responding.

The exact question timings are in this helpful graphic:

Resources to help prepare for the TweetMeet

Microsoft Education has just announced the availability of the full report: Emotion and Cognition in the Age of AI. The new report is based on global research by The Economist Intelligence Unit supported by Microsoft.

Read the blog post Happy International Day of Happiness: New Research Suggests Happy Students Achieve More.

Discussion Questions

Fasten your seatbelts. Because of the significance of this month’s topic, we will start and end the TweetMeet with a bonus question. Watch the animated GIF with all the questions:


Meet the 15 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet! They are all passionate about #TeachingHappiness and #SEL and very eager to engage with you.

Check out all the hosts, see what they are tweeting about and consider following them:

List of host names and their profiles

  • Aoife Cantwell @acantwelled (Spanish and English teacher, focused on student well-being, personal development and providing a happy atmosphere in life – Dublin, Ireland)
  • Brian Romero Smith @BrianRSmithSr (Passionate about meeting each and every student where they are in order to make learning addictive from their inside out – Grand Prairie TX, USA)
  • Gizelle Simpson @Gizelle_Simpson (Passionate about inspiring students to reach their full potential and also equipping them to be future-ready – Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Hayfa Majdoub @haymajd (English language teacher, passionate about ICT, eTwinning Coordinator – Ben Arous, Tunisia)
  • Javier Ramos Sancha @javiramossancha (Primary English teacher at Colegio San Gregorio (Aguilar de Campoo) MIE Expert, MIE Fellow, ClassDojo Ambassador and eTwinning Ambassador – Burgos, Spain)
  • Jessica Pilsner @jess_pilsner (Middle school teacher with a passion for human‑centered design and emerging technologies – Renton, WA USA
  • Karolina Żelazowska @KsieznaKarolina (Educator, teacher, trainer, tutor, mentor and PhD-student (digital humanities). Member of SuperBelfrzyRP, Coding Masters and Digital Dialog teams – Warsaw, Poland)
  • Khalid Bayla @Bayla_Khalid (Primary school teacher, MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, E2 Singapore attendee, changemaker, speaker, coder, designer, author, founder of “21st century child project” and “ICT and Innovation club” – Settat , Morocco)
  • Katie Felix @MrsKFelix (Kindergarten teacher who brings tech, play, and learning together – Tacoma WA, USA)
  • Mirjana Kokerić @MirjanaKokeric (Math teacher and Life coach passionate about personal development and happiness in education – Smederevo, Serbia)
  • Robert Dunlop @dunlop3339 (Educator and technology consultant with a passion for happiness in education – Niagara Falls, Canada)
  • Rohit Kumar @rohit2093 (Co-founder Khoj Community School, an SEL-integrated School by Apni Shala, and Community and Social Responsibility Coordinator at American School of Bombay – Mumbai, India)
  • Surani Maithripala @sue_maithri (Lifelong learner, educator and edtech guru passionate about preparing future-ready students – Colombo, Sri Lanka)
  • Toney Jackson @HeRhymesWithMe (Classroom superhero with poetry powers. 4th‑grade teacher, speaker & passionate learner putting fun into the fundamentals of any subject – Hackensack NJ, USA)
  • Tullia Urschitz @utullia (STEM teacher and trainer, Scientix Ambassador, using ICT, robotics and tinkering to promote learning and social & emotional skills – Verona, Italy)


Our hosts are thrilled for the upcoming TweetMeet. Each of them wants to invite you to the event in their own way.

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

TweetChat expert Madalyn Sklar recently published this helpful introductory guide:
Your Complete Guide to Twitter Chats: Why You Should Join & How to Make the Most of It

Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC on Twitter if you have any questions about TweetMeets or helping out as a host.

Next month’s event: Inclusive Classrooms and Accessibility 

The theme of next month’s Tweetmeet on May 21st will be Inclusive Classrooms and Accessibility. We’re looking forward to this event and hope you’ll spread the word!

How to participate in a TweetMeet

We recommend setting up a Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add a column for the hashtag #MSFTEduChat. If you are new to TweetDeck, then check out this brief TweetDeck tutorial by Marjolein Hoekstra.

When a tweet appears that you want to respond to, press the retweet button and type your comments.

Don’t forget to add the hashtags #TeachingHappiness, #SEL, #MSFTEduChat and #MicrosoftEDU.

Additional tips are offered in this animated GIF that you can share with newcomers:


Check out the PBS documentary on ‘CyberWork and the American Dream’

Every day the world is becoming more digital and every company is becoming a technology company. Cloud computing and AI combined with new productivity, communication and intelligent tools and services enable us to do more, do it more quickly and in ways that were simply unimaginable a generation ago. But participating in the digital economy means that people need digital skills and companies need skilled workers.

There will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs by 2020, yet U.S. college graduates are expected to fill less than a third of those jobs. Millions of Americans whose skills were valuable just a few years ago, find themselves underemployed — or worse, out of work altogether. PBS’ new documentary, “CyberWork and the American Dream,” examines this challenge and delves into the history of solving problems posed by technological disruption.

Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the digital economy means that we need to change the way people are educated, trained and hired. This isn’t a challenge any one company can address alone. It will take a focused public-private approach to ensure everyone can participate in the digital economy. Microsoft is working hard on this issue and will share more about our approach in the coming months.

If America’s leaders come together and take on the challenge of preparing all Americans for the economic opportunities of tomorrow, we can unlock the potential of our nation’s best asset: our skilled and talented workforce.


Tech to take you to the top – Microsoft courses will tackle digital skills gap one student at a time

Students will be able to study for qualifications in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and data science alongside their chosen subject as part of a new higher education initiative from Microsoft.

The technology company has teamed up with the University of London, Staffordshire University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), as well as two institutions in the US, to offer courses that will help young people learn key digital skills that they can use throughout their career.

The move is designed to tackle the digital skills gap across the UK, which risks holding back businesses in all sectors.

The Microsoft technical skills programme contains nine self-study courses, which have been created and are taught online by experts – Data Analysis, Data Science, Big Data, Cybersecurity, DevOps, IT Support, Internet of Things, AI and Entry Level Software Development. Each course teaches students about some of the most popular programs in use today, including Microsoft Excel, Power BI, Python, SQL Server, JavaScript, CSS and Azure.

The three UK institutions are integrating the courses in different ways to ensure they have the most impact on their students. The University of London is integrating an entire course into its Master’s in Data Science, so that students can learn the digital skills that employers need. In the data science course, for example, they will “learn how to apply technology to real-world problems and gain an understanding of emerging technologies, statistical analysis and computational techniques” as well as “transferable skills that will help advance your career”. Students will get support from tutors or online tutor groups.

Mary Stiasny, Pro-Vice Chancellor at University of London, said: “Our mission at the University of London is to develop internationally aware, innovative and employable graduates. Our online MSc Data Science programme encourages them to explore ideas, challenge boundaries and investigate fresh ways of thinking. For this reason, we are particularly excited about our collaboration with Microsoft for its potential to help our students meet and exceed the changing needs of the 21st century workplace.”

Staffordshire University is encouraging students to study individual modules that complement their degrees. Someone studying fashion design, for example, could take a web development course, so they can learn to build a website to sell their clothes.

Helen Holt, Head of Partnering and Digital Skills at Staffordshire University, said: “It’s important that we’re offering all our students the chance to learn digital skills and help them stand out in the workplace. The Microsoft Professional Programme will help them do that.

“Our lecturers and students like that there is a range of content in these courses and they can pick and choose what works for them. Our students are telling us they want digital skills. They might be good with tablets and phones but they might not know how to use Excel, and they want to learn how.

<img data-attachment-id="74446" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="7000,4669" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"Rob Kalmbach","camera":"","caption":"by Rob Kalmbach Photography","created_timestamp":"1513862980","copyright":"Rob Kalmbach","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"Microsoft by Rob Kalmbach","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Microsoft by Rob Kalmbach" data-image-description="

Female student sitting on stairs at university campus

” data-medium-file=”×200.jpg” data-large-file=”×1067.jpg” class=”size-full wp-image-74446″ src=”” alt=”Female student sitting on stairs at university campus” width=”7000″ height=”4669″ srcset=” 7000w,×200.jpg 300w,×512.jpg 768w,×1067.jpg 1600w,×640.jpg 960w” sizes=”(max-width: 7000px) 100vw, 7000px”>

The courses will help young people learn digital skills that they can use throughout their career

“We are based in Stoke-on-Trent and some of our students are the first generation of their families to go to university. Alongside specialist knowledge gained through their courses, they are learning digital skills that are recognised globally.”

LSE is encouraging students to study the courses, but it will be optional for them. It has been piloting Python and Excel courses over the past few months, with dozens of students gaining qualifications and giving positive feedback to teachers.

Jeni Brown, Head of Digital Skills Lab at the LSE, said: “The courses align really well with what we are doing at LSE, as they focus on the range of skills people will need in these roles rather than just the technologies. Students and staff have told us they want more opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as AI, big data and data science, to complement and enhance their academic programmes.

“The content is high quality and we can use it in a number of ways. Our students can study the courses independently online but we can also embed modules into what we already deliver. More than 60% of our students have come to LSE from outside the UK, and they will take those skills around the world. We want to create social science graduates who can really engage with a world that is becoming more immersed in technology and who understand how it impacts on their particular field.”

According to US Department of Labor, 65% of today’s students will end up working in jobs that don’t exist yet. Separate research has found that 808 million people need to learn new skills for their jobs by 2020, 40% of employers said skill shortages have a negative impact on their business, and 50 million people are needed to fill open, technical jobs by 2030.

Karen Kocher, General Manager of 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability at Microsoft, said: “The incredible transformation we’re witnessing in the 21st century workplace calls out for key organizations – governments, higher education institutions, employers, the non-profit sector – to step up and work together to teach, train and prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. This is a crucial part of our purpose at Microsoft and we are proud to join forces with seminal, global learning institutions to help make good on that purpose.”

The Microsoft technical skills programme, delivered by Fast Lane, will also be run at Bellevue College, near Seattle, and the online-based Purdue University Global, with Microsoft hoping to agree more collaborations in the future.

Tags: , , , , ,


Home of World War II codebreakers at Bletchley Park to be turned into Institute of Technology

A consortium that includes Microsoft has been awarded Government funding to transform part of Bletchley Park into an Institute of Technology that will teach digital skills.

The eight organisations have been granted £28 million to refurbish Block D at the historic site, which was home to Britain’s codebreakers in the Second World War, including Alan Turing, and the famous Enigma machine.

Around 1,000 students aged 18 and over are expected to attend the Institute every year for technical qualifications, higher apprenticeships and training to help tackle the UK digital skills gap in roles such as cybersecurity.

It is estimated that more than 500,000 highly skilled workers are needed to fill digital roles by 2022. That figure is three times the number of computer science graduates that the UK has produced over the past 10 years.

Derrick McCourt, General Manager of the Customer Success Unit at Microsoft UK, said: “In a world being transformed by technology, many of the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow will require skills and expertise rooted in technical aptitude. This new Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park will offer a much-needed pathway for young people to develop digital skills and practical expertise so vital to building a fulfilling career as well as addressing the digital skills gap across the UK.”

<img data-attachment-id="74730" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="3264,2448" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.2","credit":"","camera":"iPhone 6","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1520425037","copyright":"","focal_length":"4.15","iso":"250","shutter_speed":"0.030303030303","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="IMG_0157" data-image-description="

Sir John Dermot Turing, Alan Turing’s nephew, views the plans for the Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park

” data-medium-file=”×225.jpg” data-large-file=”×1200.jpg” class=”size-full wp-image-74730″ src=”” alt=”Sir John Dermot Turing, Alan Turing’s nephew, views the plans for the Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park” width=”3264″ height=”2448″ srcset=” 3264w,×225.jpg 300w,×576.jpg 768w,×1200.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 3264px) 100vw, 3264px”>

Sir John Dermot Turing (left), Alan Turing’s nephew, views the plans for the Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park

The Government invited consortiums of universities, further education colleges and companies to bid for £170 million of funding to create a network of 12 technology institutes across the country, in a move politicians called the “biggest shake up to technical education in a generation.”

Microsoft’s group is led by Milton Keynes College and also includes KPMG, McAfee, Evidence Talks, VWFS, Activate Learning and Cranfield University, who will also help the institute deliver manufacturing and engineering skills. It is supported by the Bletchley Park Trust.

The consortium will use its funding to create a state-of the-art facility that will build on and complement further and higher education institutions in the Buckinghamshire area. It will contain cutting-edge equipment and have access to the latest research from university partners to anticipate the skills that employers will require in the future. Local employers and partners will contribute additional investment, teaching staff and equipment.

Announcing the plans of the 12 institutes that have received funding, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I firmly believe that education is key to opening up opportunity for everyone – but to give our young people the skills they need to succeed, we need an education and training system which is more flexible and diverse than it is currently.

<img data-attachment-id="74729" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="3264,2448" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.2","credit":"","camera":"iPhone 6","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1520424293","copyright":"","focal_length":"4.15","iso":"32","shutter_speed":"0.00126422250316","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="IMG_0137" data-image-description="

Derrick McCourt (right) from Microsoft joins other members of the consortium and Sir John Dermot Turing outside D Block at Bletchley Park

” data-medium-file=”×225.jpg” data-large-file=”×1200.jpg” class=”size-full wp-image-74729″ src=”” alt=”Derrick McCourt (right) from Microsoft joins other members of the consortium and Sir John Dermot Turing outside D Block at Bletchley Park” width=”3264″ height=”2448″ srcset=” 3264w,×225.jpg 300w,×576.jpg 768w,×1200.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 3264px) 100vw, 3264px”>

Derrick McCourt (right) from Microsoft joins other members of the consortium and Sir John Dermot Turing outside Block D at Bletchley Park

“New technologies are transforming the world of work, and to harness the opportunities on offer we must equip our future workforce with the technical skills they need to thrive, and that the economy needs to grow.

“These new Institutes will help end outdated perceptions that going to university is the only desirable route and build a system which harnesses the talents of our young people.”

Microsoft, which runs a digital skills initiative and hosts events to encourage girls to consider a career in technology, said the Bletchley Park plan would help young people embark on successful careers.

“Microsoft’s collaborations with Milton Keynes College and Cranfield University are helping to develop the next generation workforce,” McCourt added. “This announcement is a hugely positive step forward in ensuring that students and employers are armed with invaluable skills – both now and in the future.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Colleges and universities team up with Microsoft to address the technical skills gap by building global talent pipelines for AI, data science, computer science and cybersecurity

REDMOND, Wash. — April 11, 2019 — On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. announced new partnerships with global higher education institutions to align and integrate Microsoft’s technical skills programs and credentials to help address the growing 21st century talent gap. The skills programs will help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow with in-demand technologies in fields like artificial intelligence, computer science, cybersecurity and data science.

Across the globe, there’s a growing skills gap that threatens to inhibit economic growth for workers, businesses and governments. According to ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, approximately 45% of employers report that skill shortages have a negative impact on their businesses. Microsoft is helping to prepare students and the world’s workforce to effectively move from the classroom to a 21st century career. The use of Microsoft courses by colleges and universities will provide cost-effective educational choices for students, helping them acquire the skills needed to fill the looming skills gap emerging across the global economy.

“The incredible transformation we’re witnessing in the 21st century workplace calls out the need for organizations — governments, higher education institutions, employers, the nonprofit sector — to step up and tackle one of the fundamental challenges of our time: closing the skills gap by teaching, training and preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Karen Kocher, general manager, 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability, Microsoft. “This is a crucial part of our mission at Microsoft, and we are proud to join forces with these seminal, global learning institutions to help make good on that purpose.”

Among the first higher education institutions to collaborate with Microsoft are:

  • Bellevue College is offering a blended and flex-learning model in AI, big data, data science and cybersecurity based on Microsoft courses.
  • Purdue Global University will grant credits toward a full degree when students complete Microsoft technical skills programs in areas like AI, cybersecurity, data science and more.
  • London School of Economics and Political Science is embedding data science skills and knowledge into first-year students’ curriculum.
  • Staffordshire University is delivering Microsoft courses across their student population, integrating modules as part of their “Staffordshire Award” employability program.
  • University of London is integrating the Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science into its new MSc Data Science degree course.

Microsoft’s technical skilling programs prepare workers for in-demand job roles at the forefront of technology, such as data science, AI engineering and Internet of Things (IoT) administration. By creating blended learning programs that include Microsoft technical skills programs, higher education institutions help students and workers earn an industry credential and college credits at the same time, supporting students’ acquisition of skills to help them access new opportunities with the latest technology in today’s rapidly changing workforce.

“Our mission at the University of London is to develop internationally aware, innovative and employable graduates,” said Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of London. “When our students work toward and achieve these ends at university before they enter the workplace, we realize our mission and our graduates can thrive. For this reason, we are particularly excited about our collaboration with Microsoft and its potential to help our students meet and exceed the changing needs of the 21st century workplace.”

In addition, in support of assisting students and workers in obtaining the skills and credentials they need for employability, Microsoft has worked with the National College Credit Recommendation Service to determine college credit equivalencies for its technical skills programs, including new Microsoft Azure role-based certifications. Courses offered by Microsoft, including data science, AI, IoT, cybersecurity and computer science, among others, are now eligible to earn college credit at participating universities.

“We’re delighted that Microsoft, a global technology leader, has chosen Purdue Global as one of its initial partners to help address the growing challenges of attracting, developing and retaining highly trained workers, while creating a personalized, high-quality educational experience for students,” said Dr. Betty Vandenbosch, chancellor of Purdue University Global.

Additional collaborations with universities, colleges and other degree-granting institutions are in development and will be announced in the near future.

About Bellevue College

With an annual average enrollment of over 32,000, Bellevue College is one of the largest educational institutions in Washington State. BC offers associate degree programs covering the first two years of a college education as well as four-year bachelor’s degrees, certificates and continuing education programs in nearly 100 professional and technical fields, such as information technology, telecommunications, business, education, health and public safety. Visit and learn more at

About the London School of Economics and Political Science

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) studies the social sciences in their broadest sense, with an academic profile spanning a wide range of disciplines, from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance.

The School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is one of the most international universities in the world. Its study of social, economic and political problems focuses on the different perspectives and experiences of most countries. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations — no matter where they are in their life journey.

Purdue Global serves approximately 29,000 students, most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates 14 locations in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Indianapolis campus. For more information about Purdue Global, please visit

Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University is a connected university; connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society. Our main City campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have specialist Centres of Excellence in Healthcare Education at Stafford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

We were recognised with a ‘silver’ award in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – confirmation that we regularly exceed national standards for learning and teaching. Excellent employability has contributed to our rise in the UK League Tables and Staffordshire University is celebrating its best ever performance in the Guardian League Tables 2019 – we’re now 44th out of 121 higher education institutions!

We aim to be a leading university for digital technologies building on our proud computing heritage and our strengths in computer games. We are also a national leader in the design and delivery of Higher and Degree apprenticeships. We are connected globally and more than 20,000 people are studying Staffordshire University degrees overseas.

About the University of London

The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to the 1858 Royal Charter, which was awarded to the University of London by Queen Victoria.

In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.

Today, students of the University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes, with some taking the award through self-study or through support from Recognised Teaching Centres across the world.

The University of London’s distance and flexible learning provider has come to be known as the ‘World’s Largest Classroom’, with 50,000 students across the globe, and just under 1.6 million learners on the Coursera online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing this global reach to just under 1.6 million people around the world in more than 190 countries.

Further information about the University of London is available at:

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

Nicole Beattie, Bellevue College, (425) 564-2486,

London School of Economics and Political Science, +44 (0)20 7955 7060,

Peter Tosches, Purdue University Global, (901) 692-2220,

Maria Scrivens, Staffordshire University, 01782 294375,

Binda Rai, University of London, 07920476483 (mobile), 020 7862 8545 (landline),

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at