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Teachers: Tune in Sept. 17 for TweetMeet and live event on learning with Minecraft

Announcing the September 17 TweetMeet and a new Live Event

Minecraft: Education Edition has found a place in many classrooms around the world, empowering students and teachers to take charge of their learning, boost their STEM and 21st-century skills to solve problems through inquiry, creativity and collaboration—in the immersive and fun world of Minecraft.

On September 17, in celebration of the new Back to School updates by Minecraft: Education Edition, we’re excited to host two Minecraft-themed events to inspire you for the new school year: a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet immediately followed by a new Live Event.

Keep reading for detailed information about this new, dual TweetMeet event.

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

TweetMeet on Teaching and Learning with Minecraft starting at 10 a.m. PDT

Whether you’re a newcomer to MinecraftEdu or have been working with it for years, our TweetMeet has something for you. Hosted by 21 passionate Minecraft Global Mentors, this Twitter conversation invites you to share and learn from the best ideas, tips and resources. Our hosts will provide you with implementation checklists and exciting examples of interactive lessons and activities that keep your learners motivated while they collaborate on solving real-world problems. With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on September 17 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Meenoo Rami @MeenooRami, Manager for #MinecraftEdu at Microsoft

Meenoo Rami @MeenooRami, Manager for #MinecraftEdu at Microsoft

Live Event with Meenoo Rami from the MinecraftEdu Team at 11:15 a.m. PDT

Just a few weeks ago, Minecraft: Education Edition released the Back to School update for all users, which include Immersive Reader integration, an improved multiplayer experience with join codes, single sign-on (SSO) support and more.

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

Earlier this summer, the Minecraft team released an interactive science curriculum on biodiversity developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund and Naturebytes.

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

That’s why we’re excited that Meenoo Rami from the Minecraft team will be demonstrating the highlights from these major announcements immediately after the TweetMeet, at 11:15 a.m. PDT.

Mark the Live Event in your calendar, join the Live Eventno registration required—and make sure to check out the MinecraftEdu Blog for many more posts detailing these significant updates.

Welcoming newcomers

Our brand-new “You can join a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet” video was created especially for newcomers, so please share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested in joining:

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

Know someone who is totally new to Twitter and could use an introduction? Point them to the Twitter EDU tutorial ebook by David Truss @datruss.

10 Language tracks

We’re offering 10 simultaneous language tracks this month: English, Arabic, Dutch, Finnish (new!), French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators.

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: German-speaking people should use both #TweetMeetDE and #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Show your passion for this month’s Minecraft-themed TweetMeet by uploading this month’s #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo as a banner on your own Twitter profile.

Twitter Header Photos are available in many languages and time zones.

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm for MinecraftEdu and the TweetMeets in general is to create a TweetMeet Friend Card. Share your own version of this image anytime, anywhere. It will come in handy when introducing yourself at the start of a TweetMeet. Just follow the steps in the TweetMeet Friend Cards PowerPoint.

Here’s an example:

TweetMeet Friend Card example

TweetMeet Friend Card example

Looking back on the August TweetMeet on Back to School

We captured highlights from the Back to School TweetMeet in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of 2,180 tweets in this Wakelet Collection.

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 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.

Check out this helpful blog post by former host James Kieft that describes why educators should consider participating in Twitter chats and how to get started.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags  #MinecraftEdu, #MSFTEduChat and#MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). Be sure to double-check your own local event time. You can find the event time for 215 countries with this time zone announcer.

Our next recommendation for you is to set up a Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add columns for the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, #MinecraftEdu and #MicrosoftEDU. 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.

Additional tips are offered in this animated GIF that you’re most welcome to share with newcomers:

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

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 such cases, be sure to include the entire question in your tweet and include the hashtag #MSFTEduChat so that everyone knows to which question in which conversation you are responding.

To better allow everyone to prepare for the event, from now on we’re providing the question timings in a text table:

PDT # September 17–TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Welcome Please introduce yourself. Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat.
10:04 1 Why Minecraft in education?
10:18 2 What helps teachers get started with #MinecraftEdu?
10:32 3 How does Minecraft transform education? Share stories.
10:46 4 What practical Minecraft tips, resources and lessons do you recommend?
11:00 5 What’s the next step in your #MinecraftEdu adventure?
11:15 Live Event Join our Live Event with Meenoo Rami from the MinecraftEdu team.

SuperWakelet: resources curated by this month’s hosts

Wakelet is a useful web service to bookmark, curate and annotate resources, images, tweets and other content. A brand-new addition is the possibility to include a Flipgrid Shorts video in a Wakelet.

Through our new SuperWakelet, each of our hosts uses Flipgrid to introduce and share their personal favorite resources on Minecraft in Education:

Teaching and Learning with Minecraft SuperWakelet, live-embedded:

Hosts

Meet the 21 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet! After going through weeks of preparation for this TweetMeet, they are thrilled to engage with you on their favorite topic: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft.

Check out all the hosts, see what they are tweeting about and consider following them: https://twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2019-09/members

List of hosts and their profiles

  • Anis Amouri @Anis_amouri (Fine arts teacher, MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer, Master Skype Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, SDG Ambassador, EU Code Week Ambassdor, HundrED Ambassador, CoSpaces Ambassador—Sfax, Tunisia)
  • Becky Keene @BeckyKeene (Director, Content and Professional Learning, insight2execution; Director of Amazing Things, Phygital Labs; Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador, OneNote Junkie—Seattle WA, USA)
  • Bryan Sanders @nayrbgo (Doctor of Education, Educational Technology Researcher, Academic Technology Specialist, High School English Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor—Los Angeles CA, USA)
  • Carlos Solano @Carlos_Rsolano (Teacher and NTI coordinator, passionate of learning gaming, using Minecraft in daily classes and also to promote social inclusion of both gifted and autistic childs, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert—Madrid, Spain)
  • Cheryn Ridge @cherynbaier (MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, Teacher, EdTech Teacher Support at Computers 4 Kids—Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Elena Vladescu @VladescuElena (Physics teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, eTwinning and Scientix Ambassador—Slatina, Romania)
  • Erik Post @ErikPost9 (Geography and Technology teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer—Hardenberg, The Netherlands)
  • Francisco Tupy @FranciscoTupy (Minecraft PhD (literally). Game designer, speaker and consultant on education and innovation projects worldwide—São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Jeff Gearhart @TechJeff09 (Technology Director at Brinnon School, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Trainer, Surface Pro Expert, MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor—Brinnon WA, USA)
  • Kristoffer Thomsen @kristoffer_th (Solution Specialist on Education at Microsoft, Former Minecraft Global Mentor. Technology and Education excites me—Oslo, Norway)
  • Mary Elizabeth Pearson @pearsonmep (Educator, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, Madison International School Technology Consultant and Minecraft in Education academy coordinator, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor—Merida, Mexico)
  • Merry Willis @merrywillis (Instructional Technology Specialist, Cherokee County, GA School District, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, MIE Fellow and Master Trainer, Fulbright DAT Alumni—Woodstock GA, USA)
  • Michael Flashhacker @MiFleischhacker (Secondary teacher at NMS Kinzerplatz, Minecraft Global Mentor, flipping the classroom, passionate about game-based and lifelong learning—Vienna, Austria)
  • Mike Washburn @misterwashburn (Head of Curriculum and Training at Logics Academy, Host of OnEducation Podcast, Minecraft Global Mentor; MIE Expert—Barrie ON, Canada)
  • Nelly Hamed @nelly_hamed (MIEE fellow, Minecraft Mentor, MergeCube Ambassador, Cospaces Ambassador, Microsoft Trainer, ScreenBeam Expert, Work in Hayah International Academy, Associate at Immersive Minds UK, Hayah International Academy—Cairo, Egypt)
  • Noreen Dooley @nodooley (Classroom Technology Designer, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, passionate about preparing students for success in the real world—Katy TX, USA)
  • Paola Lopez @pacsita (EdTech entrepreneur enthusiast, passionate about neurodiversity and Google Certified Innovator #MEX18 & Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Flipgrid Ambassador and Minecraft Global Mentor—Monterrey, Mexico)
  • Pekka Ouli @pekkaouli (eLearning Specialist and Minecraft Global Mentor who loves international Minecraft projects and collaboration—Äänekoski, Finland)
  • Stéphane Cloâtre @StephaneCloatre (Technology Teacher, Robotics educator, Minecraft Global Mentor, Digital Education Consultant at Immersive Minds, passionate about making learning fun AND meaningful—Fougères, France)
  • Tina Coffey @elemitrt (Instructional Technology Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, passionate about finding ways to engage students, make learning relevant, promote global literacy, and foster 21st Century skills—Roanoke VA, USA)
  • Trish Cloud @trishcloud (Coordinator, Personalized Digital Learning, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Minecraft Global Mentor, using Minecraft: EE to integrate CS into elementary and middle schools throughout CMS—Huntersville NC, USA)

Next month’s event: STEM and NASA

October 15 Tuesday at 10 am PDT | 1 pm EDT STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat

October 15 Tuesday at 10 am PDT | 1 pm EDT STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat

The theme of the TweetMeet on October 15 will be STEM and NASA. We’re looking forward to this event and hope you’ll spread the word!

Got questions about the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @TweetMeet on Twitter if you have any questions about the TweetMeets or how to become a host at a future event.

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Microsoft Store, Larry Fitzgerald and Garth Brooks seek to level the playing field for students

Microsoft Store recently teamed up with the Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s The First Down Fund to provide 32 deserving schools in the Phoenix and Minneapolis areas with Microsoft technology and devices.

It’s part of the organizations’ shared commitment to support educators and students and a belief that effective use of technology in schools can transform teaching and learning. Helping develop digital literacy in students is crucial to setting them up for success in school and beyond, and we are proud to be a part of this effort to level the playing field for all students. Each school received custom Digital Literacy All-Star packages including Surface Go devices, keyboards and Microsoft Office access. Larry and Garth worked closely with local Microsoft Store associates to surprise students, teachers and administrators at the selected schools.

It’s not the first time Microsoft Store has collaborated with these philanthropies. Microsoft Store has contributed to the Teammates for Kids Child Life Zones program to outfit hospitals with Microsoft devices and technology. When the Teammates for Kids Foundation started in 1999, it wanted to work with leaders like Microsoft to close opportunity gaps and give kids all around the world an even start and shot at success, and the foundation is excited to continue this work.

“It’s matches my priorities to partner up as teammates and try to level that playing field for these students by working with Microsoft and Garth Brooks’ foundation… to make sure that these students have even opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”

Larry says he’s inspired by the chance to help others and give well-deserving kids a better start, getting them one step closer to achieving their dreams. He sees both Phoenix, where he plays, and Minneapolis, where he grew up, as “home fields,” giving him a personal connection to both areas.

As an extension of this collaboration, Microsoft Store also launched the Digital Skills All-Star Program, a collection of community-based workshops hosted for student groups taking place at Microsoft Store locations across the U.S., led by all-star athletes who are passionate about giving back to their communities and helping elevate students’ digital skills in three areas: coding, entrepreneurship and STEM learning. Since the first store opening in 2009, Microsoft Store has been committed to offering free, year-round workshops, trainings and programs to the communities where it operates, so the new workshops are a perfect extension of our mission.

Jessica Wicklund, Marketing Events Manager, Microsoft Store, stated “Microsoft Store locations around the country are the fabric of local communities where they operate and empower nonprofits and local organizations to achieve more through the latest technology that Microsoft offers.  The Microsoft Store Digital Skills All-Star Program is such an integral part of achieving this mission and by partnering with The First Down Fund and Teammates for Kids we are bringing digital literacy skills and the best technology to students.”

Visit Teammates for Kids and First Down Fund to learn more about Garth and Larry’s organizations. For more information on Microsoft Store’s Digital Skills All-Star Program and other community workshops and events, visit your local Microsoft Store in person or online.

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Teachers: Bring World Wildlife Fund experts into your classroom via Skype and access their Minecraft Biodiversity Curriculum

We are excited to be partnering with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to bring teachers the Our Planet Live collection of activities for teachers to join live via Skype. The collection consists of experts and scientists from around the world who can give a deeper insight into the species, locations, issues and solutions introduced by the “Our Planet” series and website. The series explores rich natural wonders, iconic species and wildlife spectacles that still remain and reveals the key issues that urgently threaten their existence.

We spoke to Matt Larsen-Daw, WWF-UK

Matt is Education Manager for “Our Planet” and a member of the Education Leadership Group for the WWF Global Network. His background is as a campaigner, trainer and consultant in participatory community development. Matt is also Chair of socio-educational charity HVP Nepal-UK. 

Tell us a bit about “Our Planet”

WWF’s 2018 Living Planet Report revealed the scale of human impact on our precious natural world. “Our Planet,” launched on Netflix in April, takes the story further. The eight-part series, voiced by David Attenborough, reveals the natural wonders that remain and explores what we need to do to ensure a future in which nature and people thrive.

Why is it important to WWF to involve students in this?

Today’s young people will be the stewards of our planet in the years to come, and the future of all life depends on them gaining the knowledge, skills and passion for nature necessary to transform humanity’s relationship with the natural world and build a more sustainable future. With just 10 years to bring huge changes to lifestyles and business practices worldwide if we are to avoid global environmental collapse, young people will be faced with a turbulent and challenging world as they move into adulthood and make decisions about their own personal and professional futures. 

How can teachers get their students involved?

Students have a great opportunity to connect in real time with the experts behind the series—you can request a free session via the Skype in the Classroom collection—you can filter by subject, location and availability to find the right expert for your students to engage with. In addition to the live experience, you can support their learning with a range of resources and activities for schools and young people that build on “Our Planet” and ensure that the important subjects and messages in the series can be accessed by a wide spectrum of young people around the world. We are empowering educators in primary and secondary schools to draw on the incredible wealth of free high-quality video resources on ourplanet.com to delve into the key issues of our time with their students.

What are some examples of the sorts of connections teachers can make?

polar bears on vast tundra

polar bears on vast tundraThrough his own personal story, polar expert Rod Downie will give students an insight into what it’s really like to visit the frozen Arctic and come face to face with a polar bear.

https://education.microsoft.com/wwfpolar

bat eating at night

bat eating at night

You could meet a film producer from Silverback Films—the talented team behind “Our Planet”—and learn about the highs and lows of capturing breath-taking footage of the natural world.

https://education.microsoft.com/wwffilming

headshot of author Nicola Davies

headshot of author Nicola Davies

You could connect with bestselling nature author Nicola Davies and explore how fiction can encourage a connection with nature.

https://education.microsoft.com/NatureOnThePage

Collaborate with classes in schools around the world as you explore your local biodiversity and take action to protect and restore nature in your area, guided by the Our Planet LAB toolkit. Find out more and register your interest here: https://education.microsoft.com/ourplanetlab

More experts and educators are joining each month throughout 2019—bookmark the page and look out for exciting opportunities to gain new insight on our planet and the fight for its future.

Extra Resources for you and your classroom

  • Bring the story of our planet to life for young people with the spectacular videos and interactive explorable globe available for free on OurPlanet.com.
  • Take inspiration and guidance from the Our Planet educator guide, which includes ideas for sparking ideas, discussion and engagement with videos.
  • Present to the whole school or even the wider community with the Our Planet Assembly Pack.

And if you are using Minecraft Education Edition in your classroom…

Image of giant Minecraft-created rhino and moose with World Wildlife Fund logo in lower right hand corner and Minecraft Education Edition logo in lower right hand cornerImage of giant Minecraft-created rhino and moose with World Wildlife Fund logo in lower right hand corner and Minecraft Education Edition logo in lower right hand corner

Minecraft: Education Team launched a new curriculum in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to help educators teach biodiversity and conservation. The curriculum includes an immersive Minecraft world and three standards-based lessons. Students will learn about what causes extinction, interact with scientists and tackle threats to our planet’s ecosystems in different Minecraft biomes. Explore these resources for hands-on learning and download the Minecraft world at aka.ms/biodiversity. Tens of millions of educators and students are licensed to use Minecraft: Education Edition. Visit aka.ms/meegetstarted to learn how to use this tool in your classroom!

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Teachers: Check out back to school how-to videos and innovative classroom tools

As you say goodbye to summer and hello to your students, we’re grateful that so many of you see us as a resource for bringing continuous improvement and innovation into the classroom.

We’ve packed a lot of news into this month’s What’s New in EDU to help you get the year off to a great start. From short videos answering your top questions to free professional learning opportunities and big updates on classroom tools, we’re confident there is something here for you.

You Can in :90 videos

First, we hope you check out the video above—hosted by the most enthusiastic and adorable team of video journalists in the world: Amiyah, Soren, Estelle and Jorian. They’ve taken over this month’s What’s New in EDU, and we have a feeling you’ll want to see more of this crew in the future.

As Jorian explains, we have a new “You Can in :90” video series ready for you to view. The series features 90-second “how-to” videos based on your most-requested tips for using Microsoft Education tools. Check out a few of the videos below.

Professional learning and collaboration

Also just in, as reported by Soren: we’re announcing the new class of Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts and are inspired by the 9,600+ passionate educators joining our team. If you’re interested in checking out the program for next year, please note that we’ll begin accepting nominations between April 15 and July 15, 2020. Congratulations to all our MIE Experts for 2019-2020! You can see the names of them here: http://aka.ms/mieexpertlist

And there are plenty of other ways to get involved in our educator community:

  • Discover the power of networked learning through our Minecraft Mentors program by connecting with other teachers using Minecraft with their students. Mentors are selected monthly. You can apply here.
  • The Student Voice Ambassador community is made up of educators working together and with the Flipgrid team to exchange ideas and further develop the tool that’s done wonders to amplify student voice. New classes are announced quarterly, and we’ll be putting together another group this fall. You can apply here.
  • And please check out our Skype Master Teacher program if you’re looking for ways to broaden your students’ horizons. We just welcomed a new class, but find out how to get involved next year here.

Schoolwide programs include:

  • Our Microsoft Schools If you’re part of a school community working to integrate technology effectively and transform learning, this could be a perfect fit.
  • The Microsoft Showcase Schools program in which participating schools use the Microsoft K12 Education Transformation Framework to bring about innovation with an emphasis on personalized learning.
  • And the Microsoft Flagship School program, a collaborative effort to transform education from the ground up by designing and delivering amazing new places to learn. You can read more about it in our recent blog post.

You can also get started anytime on free training tailored to your individual needs through the Microsoft Educator Center. You’ll find courses to help you use Microsoft tools, develop new skills and build on existing knowledge.

New Tools and Resources

As you can tell from the kids’ enthusiasm in the What’s New in EDU video above, we’ve also rolled out some new tools and updates that we think your students will love and benefit from academically.

Immersive Reader has been integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition to help learners read and decode in-game text.

If you’re a fan of the Mystery Skype game, in which students from different classrooms around the world guess where each group is located, you can download new activity plans here.

And we’ve got a new graphics feature for Word, Excel and PowerPoint that students will find useful when working on diagrams and models. It’s an outline style with a sketch-like quality that allows you to convey that a work is in progress and not finished. You can read more about it in this recent post.

We also have a new feature for storing work. It allows documents created in Word, Excel or PowerPoint to automatically be stored on OneDrive.

Microsoft Teams has some updates too. We redesigned the Assignments tab, making it easier for you to track existing assignments and create new ones. When creating an assignment, you can now add resources from any team and even set a close date to ensure no submissions will be accepted after that date. Once created, you can preview the assignment as students see it and students can use Immersive Reader to read assignment instructions and feedback Check out these and more Assignments updates here!

With the help of educator feedback, we rolled out a host of new Flipgrid features earlier this month. Every Flipgrid response video is now transcribed and delivered through an updated closed-captioning experience. Plus, full response video transcripts are now available. We’ve also enhanced storytelling capabilities with the Shorts Camera, allowing students to stitch together unlimited segments into one simple video. Finally, Flipgrid videos can now be viewed in augmented reality with FlipgridAR. 

Whew. That was a lot for one month! We hope the start of the year goes well for you and your students and that you’re able to put these new resources to good use. Keep in touch, and let us know what you’d like to see more of and how we can continue to partner with you to amplify student voice and engage all learners.

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Student actors get help memorizing their lines in drama class with Immersive Reader

Hello all, my name is Lauren Mayhew, and I’m Head of Drama, Gifted and Talented coordinator and MIE Expert at Dubai British School. I’ve been teaching for ten years in the UK and abroad and, over that time, have discovered the power of technology in the classroom and how, as educators, we can develop these resources for subject-specific ideas. Recently, I was able to do just that with Immersive Reader in my Drama class.

Fortunately, my school is an innovative and forward-thinking establishment that believes in putting teachers’ expertise at the forefront of student progress and achievement. From the first day I joined the school, I knew I’d have the chance to reshape the new Drama curriculum through technology.

I started thinking about the GCSE and A-level students I teach and realized that, even though Drama is seen as a practical subject, it is based on a theoretical understanding of scripts and texts. Because my school encourages its teachers to reimagine how to instruct their courses to appeal to all learning styles, I began to strategize how I could adapt technology to make my teaching methodologies more accessible.

One of my students had a Special Education Need (SEN) and struggled with the reading in my GCSE course. I asked her how I could better support her efforts to retain information, and she expressed feeling overwhelmed by trying to learn a script for an entire performance. I set to work exploring how I could help alleviate that fear.

As an MIE expert, I’ve used new apps and resources to develop students’ learning with new methodologies. I had used Microsoft Teams in the past to develop collaborative learning for assignments, but I had yet to fully explore Immersive Reader. Here was a perfect opportunity to use this valuable resource in an innovative way: I was asking students to learn entire scripts for one of their GCSE components on a tight timeline, but I needed to further break down the task. And Immersive Reader was just the tool to help students learn their scripts for their practical unit and take the pressure off.

So, if my student was having trouble understanding the basic narrative structure of the script, how could she develop her character? I had her type up her script so that OneNote’s Immersive Reader could read not only her character’s lines but the other characters’ parts, as well. Now, while she was practicing at home, she could develop a better understanding of her own lines and the narrative structure as a whole by using Immersive Reader to rehearse the dialog at her own pace.

Immersive Reader also allowed her to highlight parts of the script where she was struggling, which helped her define and breakdown sections that were giving her trouble to come back to later. This encouraged independent learning and provided a clear path for progression. Thanks to these features and her own persistence, she began to feel in control over her own success. Immersive Reader became an everyday tool in and out of lessons for not only this student but for the entire class.

This led to the next step in my Immersive Reader journey. I decided to try and use it for an entire class to see how it could impact their learning. I wanted the students to develop their own original scripts and, having seen this process work so well for memorizing lines, Immersive Reader became a method for students to edit their work and track if the narrative followed their original idea and theme. This allowed for a more thoughtful redrafting process, especially when the points they wanted their character to get across weren’t translating. The process of redrafting became less scary and more of an opportunity for development.

Every educator faces diverse challenges every day in the classroom, but my hope is that my students can drive their own success. They should feel empowered to challenge themselves beyond the classroom by fully utilizing the support they are offered. Teaching is not a career for me, it’s a lifestyle. I believe that being a reflective practitioner has allowed me to consistently evaluate my own learning and, after ten years of teaching, I am still finding new ways of delivering topics and units of study within my own classroom to ensure that I’m able to offer the best opportunities possible to all of my students. Immersive Reader is just the beginning—who knows where it might take me next!

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Teachers can get free top-rated English Language Arts curriculum for their student

Microsoft Education & Open Up Resources partner to launch top rated English Language Arts curriculum

Today we’re announcing the general availability of the Open Up Resources ELA curriculum and Microsoft Education free offering. Open Up Resources is an education nonprofit that creates high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum, and provides it for free to improve education equity. This English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum was written by EL Education, and currently spans grades K–5.  Recently, EdReports.org rated this curriculum as the highest rated K–5 ELA curriculum.

Any educator can now easily sign up to use the Open Up Resources curriculum. With today’s announcement, Microsoft Education is offering this ELA curriculum through OneNote Class Notebooks. This solution is free and can be used by teachers and students on any platform and device. 

Any educator can now easily sign up to use the curriculum. With today’s announcement, Microsoft Education is offering this ELA curriculum through OneNote Class Notebooks. This solution is free and can be used by teachers and students on any platform and device. 

Classroom-Friendly Materials Access with OneNote Class Notebooks

The Office 365 Education solution takes the EL Education K–5 Language Arts curriculum by Open Up Resources and pairs it with a free solution for content.

Organize all your class materials, including those provided by Open Up Resources, into one digital notebook with OneNote Class Notebooks. Then, create more compelling, interactive content that you can easily collaborate on with students and colleagues.  Students can also use the built-in Immersive Reader to help access content. To get a sense of the solution, we put together a video for the original Math pilot demonstrating the overall concept.

OneNote Class Notebooks integrate seamlessly with common LMS and SIS platforms and now it’s easy to import any OneNote content (such as Open Up Resources!) into your Microsoft Teams Class Notebook.

Get Started today!

To help teachers and schools get up and running, we have put together Getting Started materials on the Microsoft Support site which includes instructions and support information.  You can also file a Help ticket easily here.

If you or your district would like to begin using the new offering,

  1. Go to the Open Up Resources contact page
  2. Fill in your information, and scroll down the page
  3. Request sign up instructions and check the boxes for “EL Education K–5 Language Arts” and “OneNote integration
    ELA Choice.jpgELA Choice.jpgExample of choosing ELA and OneNote

We look forward to your feedback on this exciting new offering for the new school year!

This post was originally published on this site.

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

What’s New in EDU – ISTE Edition: Technology to empower inclusive, student-centered learning

In today’s classrooms, diversity is the new norm. By creating student-centered, inclusive learning environments, educators have the flexibility and opportunity to meet the needs of the diverse group of learners in every classroom. Technology has the power to help teachers not only navigate, but also benefit from, their students’ unique learning styles.

In this month’s What’s New in EDU, we’re excited to announce tools and resources to help teachers empower all students to find their voice, grow their confidence and build 21st century skills. Also, join us from ISTE next week on our Microsoft Education Facebook Channel for more live updates from Philadelphia on Monday, Wednesday and Hack the Classroom on Tuesday.

Reach every student with new accessibility features from Windows and Office 365

We are excited to share new features that enable educators to tailor learning to ensure every student has a voice in today’s classrooms, 72% of which have students with special requirements. Whether a permanent or temporary disability, personal preference, or a unique learning style, the robust set of built-in and third-party accessibility features in Windows 10 and Office 365 let students choose how to use technology and express their ideas.​ Today, we’re unveiling new resources to help every student unlock his or her potential.

  • Improve reading comprehension with Immersive Reader, now available in Minecraft: Education Edition and other popular education apps. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Immersive Reader, a proven resource to improve reading and writing for students regardless of their age or ability, will now be integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition to read in-game text, character dialogue, chalkboards and more. Immersive Reader will also be available as an Azure Cognitive Service, allowing third-party apps and partners to add the tool into their products to help both students and parents read text within the apps. In our pilot program, Skooler integrated Immersive Reader into its parent portal, enabling better communication with parents and guardians who are non-native English speakers. These partners will be the first to integrate Immersive Reader:

Immersive Reader Cognitive Services gf

Immersive Reader Cognitive Services gf

  • Help students speak with confidence using Presenter Coach in PowerPoint. To give teachers and students an easy way to practice their presentations and improve their public-speaking abilities, we’re launching Presenter Coach in PowerPoint online this summer, which uses best practices and academic research to provide tips and tricks for more effective presentations. Presenter Coach allows teachers and students to enter rehearsal mode and receive on-screen guidance about pacing, inclusive language, conciseness of language, profanity, filler words like “um” or “uh,” culturally inclusive words, and originality as they speak into a microphone. At the end of each rehearsal session, the presenter receives a detailed report with metrics for additional practice. Check out this post and video for more details.

Motivate students ​to share their voice with Flipgrid and Teams

This month, we’re also rolling out some big updates coming to Teams for Education that will make it simpler and more comprehensive than ever before, saving teachers time when creating new Teams, communicating with parents and students, and grading assignments. These updates include:

  • Big, easy-to-find visual icons for each of your teams and classes
  • A new way to create and track all of your assignments
  • A new gradebook so teachers can view and grade all of their assignments for a class directly from the channel’s Grades tab and view a single student’s progress across assignments
  • A new “Share To Teams” button that allows teachers to share resources with their classes directly from a learning source like Brittanica, Kahoot, Buncee, ThingLink, and Wakelet
  • The ability to import existing OneNote content into your Class or Staff Teams, allowing you to access all your information from a single location

On Monday during FlipgridLIVE at ISTE, we shared some exciting new Flipgrid tools that empower students to share their voice, practice their storytelling skills and engage in meaningful discussions inside and outside of the classroom. Details below or watch the livestream archive here.

  • Redesigned with a focus on inclusion, accessibility and performance. Now, every Flipgrid response video is automatically transcribed by Microsoft Azure and delivered through an updated closed-captioning experience. The updated Flipgrid video player leverages Microsoft’s Immersive Reader to make full transcripts available in all response videos.
  • Enhanced storytelling capabilities with the Shorts Camera. Students can now:
    • Stitch together and rearrange unlimited segments into one simple video.
    • Pause and flip the camera, add live inking over videos, select from thousands of text and emoji stickers, and apply unique video styles to add creative flare to videos.
    • Turn on whiteboard mode in videos to add context to stories.
    • Easily record and embed Shorts videos in platforms including Teams, OneNote, Remind and Wakelet with even more partners coming soon.
  • Unlock a new world of possibilities with FlipgridAR. Teachers and students can now:
    • Easily create and print new FlipgridAR stickers for any response to place Flipgrid videos in augmented reality on everything.
    • Transform homework, family nights and school events by “sticking” student voice everywhere with FlipgridAR stickers.
    • Take advantage of the hundreds of millions of existing Flipgrid QR codes that currently decorate classrooms and schools around the world as they now work automatically with FlipgridAR.
  • Ignite engagement with Topics from Code.org, HackingSTEM, Find Your Grind, Wonderopolis and more.
    • Find launch-ready discussion prompts (“Topics”) inside your Flipgrid Educator Admin in the Disco Library.
    • Search thousands of educator-created Topics by audience, subject and goal.
    • Explore enriching, activity-packed Topics from Code.org, Microsoft Education and NASA, Find Your Grind, and Wonderoplis with additional partner content in the works.

Tools & Resources for Student-Centered Learning

Here are some useful resources to help you plan for the upcoming school year and connect with other educators who are also working to build a student-centered approach:

More Microsoft Education news from ISTE

Learn about additional updates from Microsoft Education in the blogs below, or if you are attending ISTE next week, stop by and see them for yourself in the Microsoft booth.

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Back to School #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and live event coming Aug. 20

Announcing the August 20 TweetMeet and a new Live Event

On August 20, right after the Back to School Facebook Live event, we’re bringing you two more opportunities for inspiration ahead of the new school year: an #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and a Teams Live Event.

Keep reading for detailed information about this new, dual TweetMeet event.

TweetMeet: "Back to School" Tuesday, August 20, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST, #MSFTEduChat, Follow @TweetMeet

TweetMeet: "Back to School" Tuesday, August 20, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST, #MSFTEduChat, Follow @TweetMeet

TweetMeet on Back to School starting at 10 a.m. PDT

Back-to-school season is starting soon in many parts of the world. Our global TweetMeet invites you to share your best ideas, tips and resources to design activities for your learners that will keep them engaged and excited as they transition back into the classroom. We’ll also discuss how you can support and empower your colleagues and other topics. With all this in mind, we’re hosting a 75-minute TweetMeet on August 20 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Adam Parker Goldberg @AdamShortShorts, Minneapolis, MN, US: Flipgrid engagement manager, Student Voice enthusiast, University of Iowa alumnus in Industrial Design, indulging in running, water skiing and late-night comedy.

Adam Parker Goldberg @AdamShortShorts, Minneapolis, MN, US: Flipgrid engagement manager, Student Voice enthusiast, University of Iowa alumnus in Industrial Design, indulging in running, water skiing and late-night comedy.

Microsoft Teams Live Event with Adam ShortShorts (aka Adam Parker Goldberg) at 11:15 a.m. PDT

The exciting Live Event that Mike Tholfsen led after the July TweetMeet was very well received (play it back on demand).

On August 1, Flipgrid announced their biggest feature update to date, from FlipgridAR and the new Flipgrid camera to the powerful Shorts feature and Disco Library Playlists. In our Live Event this month, which takes place immediately after the TweetMeet, Adam ShortShorts (aka Adam Parker Goldberg) from the Flipgrid engagement team will demonstrate the highlights from these major announcements.

Don’t forget to mark the Live Event in your calendar, join the Teams Live Event and make sure to check out the recent Flipgrid launch post detailing these significant updates.

Language tracks and SuperSway

We’re offering nine simultaneous language tracks this month: English, Arabic, Dutch, Hindi, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish. 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 in their own language. For example: Hindi-speaking people should use both #TweetMeetHI and #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 as a banner on your own Twitter profile.

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

Join us: August 20, 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT, 18:00 BST

Join us: August 20, 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT, 18:00 BST

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm for going back to school and the TweetMeets in general is to create a TweetMeet Friend Card. Share your own version of this image anytime, anywhere. It will come in handy when introducing yourself at the start of a TweetMeet. Just follow the steps in the TweetMeet Friend Cards PowerPoint.

Here’s an example:

TweetMeet friend: Marjolein Hoekstra @TweetMeet, The Netherlands / We're very excited to bring you the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet about #BackToSchool. Tune in Tuesday, August 20.

TweetMeet friend: Marjolein Hoekstra @TweetMeet, The Netherlands / We're very excited to bring you the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet about #BackToSchool. Tune in Tuesday, August 20.

Looking back on the July TweetMeet on Microsoft Teams

With our very active host team, the July #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet was our busiest ever. The hosts inspired educators around the world to share their ideas, insights and resources. We captured highlights from the July TweetMeet in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of 2,000+ tweets in this Wakelet Collection.

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, August 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags  #BackToSchool, #MSFTEduChat and#MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). Be sure to double-check your own local event time. You can find the event time for 215 countries with this time zone announcer.

Our next recommendation for you is to set 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. Great news is that Twitter now supports adding images, animated GIFs and videos to your comment retweets.

Additional tips are offered in this animated GIF that you’re most welcome to share with newcomers:

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

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 such cases, be sure to include the entire question in your tweet and include the hashtag #MSFTEduChat so that everyone knows to which question in which conversation you are responding.

To better allow everyone to prepare for the event, from now on we’re providing the question timings in a text table:

PDT # August 16–TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Welcome Please introduce yourself. Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat.
10:04 1 What works well for you in planning for the new school year?
10:18 2 What does it take to create a positive school atmosphere?
10:32 3 How do you inspire and empower your colleagues and learners?
10:46 4 What’s your favorite activity to engage learners? Share tips, tools and resources.
11:00 5 What ideas from this chat will you try this school year?
11:15 Live Event The party continues now! Join our Teams Live Event with Adam Parker Goldberg from the Flipgrid team.

Resources to help prepare for the TweetMeet

Microsoft offers multiple resources to help you get up to speed with your Back to School preparations:

Video for Back to School—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on August 20

Toney is a former TweetMeet host. Find him on Twitter at @HeRhymesWithMe.

Hack the Classroom Speaker Series, June 25, Toney Jackson presents an original piece of inspirational poetry

Hack the Classroom Speaker Series, June 25, Toney Jackson presents an original piece of inspirational poetry

SuperWakelet: resources curated by this month’s hosts

Wakelet is a useful web service to bookmark, curate and annotate resources, images, tweets and other content. Through our new SuperWakelet, each of our hosts shares their personal favorite resources on Back to School:

Back to School SuperWakelet, live-embedded:

Hosts

Presenting our hosts

Presenting our hosts

Meet the 16 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet! After going through weeks of preparation for this TweetMeet, they are thrilled to engage with you on their favorite topic: Back to School.

Check out all the hosts, see what they are tweeting about and consider following them: https://twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2019-08/members

List of hosts and their profiles

  • Álvaro San Segundo @asansegundo67 (Primary Teacher. MIE Expert, MIE Trainer and eTwinning Ambassador. Microsoft Teams and OneNote enthusiast – Ávila, Spain)
  • Damien Lonergan @languagesdude (French Teacher, MIE Expert, eTwinning Ambassador, and PhD student. I’m researching the areas of reflective practice and curriculum reform – Waterford, Ireland)
  • Daniela Shapkaroska @DaniBoSh (English language teacher in primary school, MIE, Mystery Skype enthusiast, OneNote user, SDG goals supporter, e-twinner – Ohrid, Macedonia)
  • Felisa Ford @APSITFelisa (Digital Learning Specialist for Atlanta Public Schools. MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer. Teams and OneNote Lover, creator of Minecraft Student Ambassador Program, passionate about accessibility tools – Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
  • Jessica Liivlaid @liivlaid (English teacher, lead teacher and ICT educator. Creative MIE in love with OneNote, Surface and equal opportunity. Language nerd – Bräcke, Sweden)
  • Kornélia Lohyňová @lohynova (Teacher in Showcase School Hotel Academy, teacher trainer focused on PBL and Entrepreneurial Learning with ICT, MIE Expert – Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • Lars Knol @Lars__Knol (Geography and Technology teacher. MIE Expert, MIE Trainer and Student Voice Ambassador for Flipgrid – Vroomshoop, The Netherlands)
  • Lisa Bray @BrayLisaM (Digital Integration Specialist – West Ada School District. NCEE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Expert, Trainer, inspiring and empowering learners with Microsoft – Meridian, ID, USA)
  • Michael Sinclair @fillthegaplearn (Director of Fill the Gap Learning Ltd, course developer and curriculum analyst, co-founder and co-organiser of Connected Educator Appreciation Day – Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Milijana Petrović @milijanapet (Computing and Programming teacher in high school, MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer. Developing creativity and digital literacy among students – Lajkovac, Serbia)
  • Monica Alicea @Teach_Serve (Technology Training and Integration Specialist with Cobb County Schools, MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, Passionate about Skype, sharing the Global Goals, and service learning – Marietta, GA, USA)
  • Nancy Nelson @NNelsonLearn (Tech Coach, MIE Expert, NBCT, Common Sense Ambassador. Excited about how technology provides access and voice for all – Puyallup, WA, USA)
  • Noel Donnelly @bradenroad24 (English Teacher and Vice Principal at Christian Brothers’ Grammar School (Showcase School). MIE Master Trainer, Surface Master Trainer and OneNote enthusiast – Omagh, Northern Ireland)
  • Ranjit Disale @ranjitdisale (Teacher in ZP Primary school, Maharashtra MIE Fellow, Skype Master Teacher who believes the world is his classroom – Solapur, India)
  • Rizwan Arif @rizraphael (IT Manager at The Lyceum, MIE Master Trainer, National Geographic Educator, passionate about social and academic development – Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Sameerah Alzahrani @lifeishope_2010 (English Teacher. MIE Expert and MIE Fellow. Interested in integrating technology in education and translation – Makkah, Saudi Arabia)

Flipgrid

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

Next month’s event: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft

The theme of the TweetMeet on September 17 will be Teaching and Learning with Minecraft. We’re looking forward to this event and hope you’ll spread the word!

Tuesday, September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: TweetMeet - Teaching and Learning with Minecraft, #MSFTEduChat, Follow @TweetMeet

Tuesday, September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: TweetMeet - Teaching and Learning with Minecraft, #MSFTEduChat, Follow @TweetMeet

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Video for Back to School—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on August 20

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.

If you’re new to Twitter, consider the free Twitter for Education course in eBook form by David Truss @datruss.

Still wondering why and how to join Twitter chats? Former host James Kieft has got you covered with his post Twitter chats explained.

For even more in-depth discussion of Twitter chats, 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 @TweetMeet on Twitter if you have any questions about the TweetMeets or how to become a host at a future event.

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Students: Demonstrate your tech chops via the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

Students around the world are using their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification to show colleges and future employers that they have a true mastery of the Microsoft Office suite. In fact, some talented students even go on to compete in a world competition for Microsoft Office.

Each year, Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, and the leading provider of learning curriculum, practice tests and performance-based IT certification exams that accelerate academic and career opportunities, hosts the MOS World Championship. This event is a global competition, testing top students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Are you a hard-working student, looking to show the world your Microsoft Office skills? Check out these four easy steps below to find out how you can get involved in the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship.

  1. Learn. Before you’re ready to compete, make sure you’re a master of the Microsoft Office Suite. Certiport has collaborated with multiple learning partners to make preparation easy. You can learn the skills you need to earn a top score on your MOS exam.
  2. Practice. Now that you’ve expanded your knowledge, it’s time to apply it. You can hone your Microsoft Office skills using various practice exams. These performance-based assessment and test preparation tools will prepare you to earn your MOS certification by creating a true “live in the app” experience. You’ll be a master in no time, because you’ll be practicing skills as if in the Microsoft Office application.
  3. Certify. You’re ready to show your skills! Microsoft Office Specialist exams are only delivered in Certiport Authorized Testing Centers. However, with more than 14,000 testing centers worldwide, there’s bound to be one close by. Find a testing center near you, and don’t forget to reach out to the testing center to schedule an appointment. Make sure to push for a score over 700 to be eligible for the MOS World Championship!
  4. Compete. If you’ve earned a top score, then the MOS Championship is your next step. Qualification is simple. When you take a Microsoft Office Specialist exam in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you’ll automatically enter the MOS Championship and could be chosen to represent your country.

To represent your country at the MOS World Championship, you’ll need to first be named your nation’s champion by competing in a regional competition hosted by Certiport’s network of Authorized Partners. You can see the full list of partners and nations that compete here. In addition, each country has its own selection process, so make sure to connect with your local Partner to find out how you can prepare to compete in the MOS World Championship in 2020.

Interested in learning more about the MOS World Championship? Connect with us at [email protected].

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Transform learning with new Microsoft Teams Assignments

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Earlier this summer we announced new updates coming to Teams for Education to celebrate our two-year anniversary. We’re excited to share the previously announced Grid View–a simpler, faster and more seamless user experience is now available! See it in action here

We’d like to take a moment to thank you—our vibrant worldwide community of educators—for all the insightful ideas and feedback you’ve shared with us. All of these updates were driven and inspired by you.

Over these past two years, we’ve been amazed by the successes of educators at every grade level who use Teams to assign work and leave impactful feedback that helps students achieve more. Thanks to you, today we’re thrilled to launch a new Assignments experience worldwide. 

Let’s dive into what’s new! 

A fastermore streamlined design 

We’ve redesigned Assignments while listening to educators of every grade level so that everyone can get more done.  

1_ListView.png1_ListView.png

The Assignments tab now shows a clear view of what’s coming up next. Think of it as your to do list. If you’re a teacher, this means work you have left to review or grade. For students, that means approaching due dates. 

It’s easy to assign engaging learning activities  

We’ve refreshed the assignment creation experience with a new single-column layout. You’ll notice that details are grouped in a more intuitive way, based on what we heard from you. 

Create.jpgCreate.jpg

And we’ve given you more space—a larger canvas to view and edit documents and more screen space to create the perfect grading rubric. 

Add assignment resources from any team 

Working on a lesson plan in a Staff or PLC team? When it’s ready to assign, simply select Add resources on your assignment and choose it from the file picker. No need to move your content between teams. 

FilePicker.jpgFilePicker.jpg

See what your students see  

From the beginning, you asked us for a way to preview how assignments appear to your students. Now, just click the new Student view option and you’re there. 

StudentView2.gifStudentView2.gif

Add Close dates to your assignments 

Edit all the dates that matter to your assignment with new, more fine-tuned controls. Schedule to assign in the future, add a due date, and now, specify when you want to close turn-ins, tooNo submissions will be allowed after the close date, granting you more flexibility on if/when you’ll accept late or revised work from students. 

Assignment-Timeline.pngAssignment-Timeline.png

Assign content from your favorite education apps using the Share to Teams button 

We know inspiration for a lesson can come from anywhere, even when you’re on the go. With that in mind, the new Share to Teams feature makes it simple to create assignments or send links to your class directly from your favorite education apps and learning resources.  

Shorts_Flipgrid_31July2019.jpgShorts_Flipgrid_31July2019.jpg

We’re thrilled to share that some of our favorite education apps have already integrated with Teams! You’ll now find Share to Teams buttons in Kahoot, FlipgridBunceeWakelet, Pear Deck, Flat.io, SoundTrapKano, and so many more. (If you’re an Edtech developer interested in adding your own Share to Teams button, head here to get started.)  

Use Immersive Reader to read assignment instructions and feedback 

When it’s challenging to read the assignment instructions, it can be difficult for students to share their best work. Immersive Reader implements proven techniques to improve reading for students regardless of their age or ability. That’s why we’ve integrated the Immersive Reader into all student assignment instruction pages! 

Bring Microsoft MakeCode computer science activities to your classroom 

Assign Microsoft MakeCode activities right from TeamsMakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels.  

MakeCode_190111.gifMakeCode_190111.gif

Check out the live demo from the MakeCode team to see an activity in action. (IT Admins can enable MakeCode in the Teams Admin Center.)  

Review student work in a snap 

Select an assignment from your list. Start grading. No extra clicks necessary. :smile::smile:

2_TeacherView.png2_TeacherView.png

It’s also easier to tell what you have left to grade and which student assignments you’ve already graded and returned. Sort by submission status to view who’s turned in work at a glance. 

Grading-Complete.pngGrading-Complete.png

And when you’re finished grading? It’s time to celebrate! Take a break; you deserve it. 

Grading that goes with you 

You asked and we answered. Now, teachers can grade Teams Assignments from anywhere on an iOS or Android device using the Teams app. In fact, all our new assignments updates work well on mobile devices!  

MobileGrading.jpgMobileGrading.jpg

Deter plagiarism and grade in one step with Turnitin 

We’re excited to expand our release of Turnitin in Teams Assignments! Turnitin helps teach the value of academic integrity, proper attribution, and authentic writing by empowering teachers to identify similarities between student work and the world’s largest collection of internet, student papers, and academic journal content. With our new integration, Turnitin subscribers can screen assignments directly in Teams. 5_SpeedTurnitin.png5_SpeedTurnitin.png

Join the Early Access Program and get an exclusive opportunity to test drive the integration before it’s launched more broadly. (You must have a Turnitin license.) 

 

Up next: We saved the best for last 

We want to continue delivering you the best possible Assignments experience, and that’s why we’re building a gradebook in Teams. Our new gradebook gives you the perspective you need on average scores on assignments and individual student progress. We’re rolling this out to our beta customers soon, collecting invaluable educator feedback, and then delivering this experience right to you. We can’t wait!

 

Tips & trainings for back to school 

1920-Panel10-3up-Communication.jpg1920-Panel10-3up-Communication.jpgGet all the how-tos on the latest Teams for Education updates by browsing the Education help centeror boost your knowledge with the new course on the Microsoft Educator Center. Plus, jump into back to school prep and check out this quick tip on how to reuse all your assignments and content from last year. 

And a reminder – Teams is part of Office 365 for Education which is free to all schools worldwide. Get started here 

Thank you for everything you do. We hope you have an amazing school year. Reach out to me anytime with your questions—we love your feedback. 

Justin Chando and the Teams for Education team 

This post was originally published on this site.

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