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Meet the Minecraft Education team at Bett 2019 Jan. 23-26 in London

The Minecraft: Education Edition team will be travelling to the UK next week for Bett 2019! Bett is the first industry expo of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 800 leading companies, 100 startups and more than 30,000 attendees from the global education community.

We will be running hands-on workshops and demos at the new Minecraft Classroom (stand F280), an immersive space next to the Microsoft stand where attendees can learn how to teach and code with Minecraft: Education Edition, speak with members of our team for customer support and take fun photos with Minecraft mobs. Sign up for workshops here. Read this Education blog to learn what’s offered at the Microsoft stand (E300).

We hope you will follow along on social media @playcraftlearn #MinecraftEdu #Bett2019.

Here is a breakdown below of the Minecraft team’s Bett schedule, and what we will be covering during our workshops and demos:

Workshop – Code with Minecraft
Location:
Minecraft Classroom, Stand F280

Wednesday, January 23, at 11AM and 3PM GMT
Thursday, January 24, at 1PM GMT
Friday, January 25, at 11AM and 3PM GMT

Minecraft: Education Edition offers educators all you need to get started teaching computer science. In this interactive workshop, learn the basics of using Code Builder, the new in-game coding feature, and explore new lessons and standards-aligned curriculum that you can put to use in your school. Devices will be provided. Register here.

Workshop – How to Teach with Minecraft
Location:
Minecraft Classroom, Stand F280

Wednesday, January 23, at 1PM GMT
Thursday, January 24, at 11AM and 3PM GMT
Friday, January 25, at 1PM GMT
Saturday, January 26, and 11AM GMT

Attendees will be immersed in a hands-on experience to learn how to use Minecraft: Education Edition, from login to game-play. In addition to learning how to play the game, we’ll show you how to navigate our lesson library to find classroom activities that fit into your curriculum. Devices will be provided. Register here.

Stage Demo – Building STEM skills with Minecraft: Education Edition
Location: Learn Live Theater, Stand E300
Times: 1PM daily

In this 30-minute demo on the Learn Live Theater stage in the Microsoft stand, see how you can engage your students in STEM subjects using special features in Minecraft: Education Edition, from Code Builder to the Chemistry Resource Pack.

Customer Support

Stop by the Minecraft Classroom (stand F280) to have your questions answered. Learn how to deploy licenses, empower educators to get started with Minecraft in their classrooms and discover professional development resources available online. We’re here to help!

Not at #Bett2019? You can always visit the Help Center for technical support.

Introducing New Computer Science Curriculum!

We just launched a CSTA-aligned computer science curriculum to accompany Code Builder. This flexible, 30-hour curriculum includes downloadable lessons, worlds and teaching resources to help students ages 11-16 learn fundamental coding concepts.

Code Builder is the in-game feature that allows you to code in familiar learn-to-code environments including Microsoft MakeCode and Tynker. Once you are in the Minecraft: Education Edition world, simply press letter ‘C’ on the keyboard to launch Code Builder or press the Agent if using touch controls on a tablet. (The Agent is a character who can be programmed to run different coding commands, from mining to building and farming in Minecraft.)

Check out the Computer Science lessons for easy activities and standards-aligned lessons across STEM subjects. Minecraft: Education Edition also offers two MEC training courses to help educators learn how to teach CS with Minecraft.

New Digital Badging Program

We have also re-launched our digital badging to engage more educators in the global Minecraft community. Earn badges to access exclusive learning content, provide early feedback on new features and support other educators using Minecraft: Education Edition. Visit our Community page learn more.

We can’t wait to meet educators from around the world and share the transformational power of Minecraft in education. Come learn with us and explore the future of education technology. See you in London!

The post Meet the Minecraft Education Team at Bett 2019! appeared first on Minecraft: Education Edition.

This post was originally published on this site.

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Presenting the 2019 Microsoft Showcase Schools

At Microsoft, we believe in the potential of every student. We believe educators deserve more time to teach. And, we believe that with the right tools, everything is possible. The schools nominated into our Showcase School program exemplify these beliefs in action by implementing innovative practices into their leadership, teaching, and learning practices into the development of their environments, and their technology choices. The result demonstrated at each one of these schools is increased student outcomes.

The diverse practices among schools stem from the unique cultures, local educational requirements, down to the needs of individual students. The common element in each of our Showcase Schools is passionate educators working for the common good. Their contributions go beyond the school into their communities and beyond. We see educators who use Minecraft in the classroom to empower students to solve real-world problems. Some use Skype to offer their students an understanding of world events and cultures. These schools lead by example and we are proud that their leaders select Microsoft solutions to better enable increased student outcomes and greater educational transformation success school-wide.

Take a tour of Showcase School Strumienie Szkola Podstawowa in Poland:

Twice a year, we pause to recognize some of the world’s most innovative School Leaders whose work drives increased student outcomes and educator/leader development on the ground, in each of these diverse schools, and globally. It is with awe and inspiration that this year we welcome to the 2018-2019 Showcase School program, 366 Showcase Schools and their School Leaders, who call 65 countries across the world home.

Showcase Schools’ thoughtful leaders empower educators and students to re-imagine and re-design leading, teaching, and learning in their schools and in their regions. These leaders also come together as a group to tackle challenges, celebrate successes, and share their learnings in a vibrant online community available exclusively to Showcase School Leaders in Microsoft Teams. They are committed to developing their own strengths as leader-learners and work together to learn about global trends in education and test new solutions locally, adjusting to meet the specific needs of their own communities.

Each year, Microsoft Showcase School Leaders and the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts in their schools share best practices both online, through Microsoft Educator Community and Skype in the Classroom, as well as in-person at local events hosted by each Showcase School and global events, such as BETT, UK.

In addition to reaching out to their local communities and reaching within to empower educator and student outcomes in their own schools, Showcase Schools also:

• Provide Microsoft engineers with valuable insights and ideas, to evolve technology and improve teaching and learning practices based on classroom experience;
• Gain access to professional and career development opportunities and certifications;
• Host regional events showcasing their use of Microsoft solutions

The impact of Showcase School excellence is felt globally, as these schools support their local communities by providing the opportunity to experience tomorrow’s transformation, today.

Thank you, Showcase School Leaders, for all the work your educator teams and you do to transform education one school at a time.

Welcome to the Microsoft Showcase School community.

Find a Showcase School near you.

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Educators: Learn to transform classroom time in Jan. 15 TweetMeet

Educators around the world are fully aware that empowering students to prepare for their future also means embracing change in their classrooms and in their approaches to teaching. The big question is: How do you best go about transforming your classroom? What does it mean, how do you start, and where do you go for inspiration?

You don’t have to wonder aloud into the void, thankfully – that’s what the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet is for! In January’s event, we’ll bring together educators and experts to discuss Transforming Classroom Time. The act can mean different things to different people, even more if you consider that classroom circumstances can vary significantly from one place to another. Key recurring elements in the conversation are to look for small, affordable steps of change that save teachers precious time and that help their students take ownership of their own learning.

Join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Tuesday, January 15, at 10:00 a.m. PST (check your time zone here) to find out more. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

We offer 11 simultaneous language tracks this month and we’re super happy to have a host from Turkey this time again. Here’s an overview of all language tracks and their hashtags for the January TweetMeet:

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: Portuguese-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetPT #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

Find out how teachers all over are transforming classroom time with a new #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet! Join us on Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST. #MSFTEduChat #ChangeMakers Click To Tweet

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 passionate about them. 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. Besides English, this same Twitter Header Photo is also available in each of this month’s 10 additional language tracks.

Looking back on the December ‘Best of 2018’ TweetMeet

The December edition of the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet was special in many ways. In a very lively conversation discussing ‘Best of 2018’, as many as 140 former TweetMeet hosts engaged with educators around the world in 17 different languages. Look at some of the highlights from that Twitter conversation collected in this 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.

Our hosts are thrilled about this upcoming TweetMeet:

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, January 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #ChangeMakers and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or maybe even asleep – well, no problem! All educators are most welcome to join after the event. Simply take a 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 quote the entire question and mention the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, so that everyone knows the right question and conversation to which you are responding. Mark the exact timings – they are different this month.

How can I best prepare?

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time. You might also find something useful in one of these resources:

TweetMeet questions

Hosts

Please meet the 19 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet. They are all passionate about classroom transformation and very eager to engage with you. Several of this month’s hosts have already blogged about the positive impact of being a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet host and why you should join. You can check these posts out in this brand-new Sway:

We also made a Twitter List so that you can easily follow all the hosts and see what they are tweeting about.

  • Abeer Almihdar @AbeerMehdar (Microsoft Learning Consultant – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • Arnaud Markert @ArnaudMarkert (Religious culture teacher and digital referent teacher – Strasbourg, France)
  • Cornelia Melcu @CorneliaMelcu (Primary school teacher, teacher trainer, mentor and eTwinning and Scientix ambassador- Școala Gimnazială Nr. 9, Nicolae Orghidan, Brașov, Romania)
  • Eileen Heller @EileenHeller (Instructional Technology Trainer for Omaha Public Schools – Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
  • Felix Malombe @Felmalo (ICT Curriculum Leader and Maker Lab (STEAM) teacher for Crawford International School – Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Flavia Giannoli @flagia3 (Math & Physics teacher at High School/ teachers Mentor and Trainer / Innovative Design Thinking and e-learning expert/ MCE & MIE Expert – Milan, Italy)
  • Gülşen Korucu @gulsen_korucu (English teacher at Saimbey Secondary School – Osmaniye, Turkey)
  • Ian Phillips @ianhabs (I am Assistant Head and Director Computing & ICT at HabsBoys and independent school near London in the UK. I am an Intel Visionary and Chair of the ISC Digital strategy group)
  • Joël McLean @jprofnb (Elementary school principal and leadership coach – Callander, Ontario Canada)
  • Josh Arnold @GuyCivics  (Middle School Teacher/Educational blogger – Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA)
  • Lynne Oakvik @LynneOakvik (Instructional Technology/School Library Consultant, Lilead Fellow – Boone, North Carolina, USA)
  • Małgorzata Kulesza @Malgosia38 (Secondary school teacher of chemistry and science, coordinator of international projects, nominated as an European Hero by Scientix, MIE Expert, passionate global educator- Krakow, Poland)
  • Marina St Mircic @s13_marina (Italian and Civics Teacher in secondary school, MIE Fellow, Skype Master Teacher, MIE Expert, passionate blogger and translator  – Zajecar, Serbia)
  • Nicole Caldwell @n_caldwellEDU (1:1 Technology Resource 3rd – 5th Grades/NCCE Professional Learning Specialist – Tampa, Florida, USA)
  • Paula Barnard-Ashton @PaulaBarAsh (21st century learning design lecturer & trainer @ Wits University, School of Therapeutic Sciences – Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Sascha Sohn @SohnSascha (Mathematics and Physics Teacher at Gymnasium Johanneum Loburg – Ostbevern, Germany)
  • Shannon Davenport @sdavenport931 (Director of Professional Learning for NCCE, The Northwest Council of Computer Education – Clarksville, Tennessee, USA)
  • Stu Ayres @StuAyres (Senior Deputy Head and computer science teacher, Raspberry Pi certified educator, teacher trainer, 21st-Century learning design practitioner – Denbigh, Wales, United Kingdom)
  • Víctor Rodríguez @VRS_ae (HP/lntel Teacher Ambassador, teacher trainer at Grupo Advanced Education, MIE Expert – Spain)

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.

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

Join for next month’s topic: Literacy

Click here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resources

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Join Microsoft Education at Bett 2019 online or in London Jan. 23-26

A new year brings new opportunity to learn about all the latest and greatest from Microsoft Education. Join Microsoft at Bett 2019 in London on January 23-26, either online or right there with us at the event, being held at London’s ExCeL venue.

Bett is an annual event that explores how technology can empower educators and students to reach their full potential. Microsoft, as a worldwide partner of Bett, will be hosting a wide array of sessions and hands-on demonstrations on the show floor, along with inspirational talks to support educators looking for new ways to engage and empower their students.

To kick off a whole week of Bett, we’re releasing a special episode of What’s New in EDU, our show that gets you caught up on the exciting new tools and updates coming from Microsoft Education. Our special Bett episode will be available on January 22 – watch it to learn more about new classroom technology coming to Microsoft Education this year. And don’t forget to stay tuned to the Education Blog for more as it comes in!

We’ll also have special edition What’s New in EDU live events streaming daily from Bett in London. You can register to catch the livestreams events each day with the following links:

Whether you’re looking for the latest in mixed reality for education, some grounded advice on how to transform your classroom digitally, or want a peek at what’s next for Minecraft: Education Edition, the schedule below is a good place to start, learn and participate. Make sure to stop by Booth E300 to see all the new experiences we have relating to STEM, Virtual Reality and new tools for the classroom.

For more information and to book your sessions, visit this page. If you can’t visit us in person in London, consider joining us on the road as Microsoft Education goes on tour around the UK. You can find out more as we continue to add more dates all the time.

If you’re joining us at Bett in person, we hope to see you at one of the following highlights:

Microsoft keynote | Bett Arena | Wednesday, 23 January, 16:30 – 17:15

Emotion and cognition in the age of AI

Speakers: Barbara Holpfazel, GM of Education Marketing, Anthony Salcito, VP Worldwide Education, Microsoft, and Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University.

This group will describe how education and work will change thanks to AI. We will unveil new research describing the critical role of emotional well-being to position students for success in the age of AI and will examine an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning, already in use by more than 1,500 schools globally. We will be joined by a student whose amazing educational journey has already been transformed by AI.

Microsoft sessions

In addition to joining for our keynote in the Bett Arena, be sure to visit us across the Bett show floor at our own Learn Live Theatre, Microsoft Training Academy, the Bett Schools Theatre and the Bett Post-16 Theatre!

Learn Live Theatre

This is the perfect place to go if you are looking to see and hear about the latest product releases, see demonstrations, and discover ways you can unlock learning in your students. Each session is held on Microsoft stand E300 and lasts 30 minutes.

Time Title
Wed – Sat / 10:00-10:30 What’s new in EDU?
Wed – Sat / 10:30-11:00 How to set a cloud first digital transformation strategy
Wed – Sat / 11:00-11:30 Demystifying Microsoft 365 Education for teachers
Wed – Sat / 11:30-12:00 Increasing accessibility and fostering inclusive classrooms
Wed – Sat / 12:00-12:30 Driving collaboration and teamwork to save teachers time and reduce costs
Wed – Sat / 12:30-13:00 Developing global citizens and driving future-ready skills
Wed – Sat / 13:00-13:30 Building STEM skills with Minecraft: Education Edition
Wednesday / 13:30-14:00 Ask me anything on Microsoft Education Tools
Thursday / 13:30-14:00 Evolving technologies for the scientists of the future
through the Natural History Museum
Friday / 13:30-14:00 Amplify Every learner with Flipgrid
Saturday / 13:30-14:00 Amplify Every Learner with Flipgrid
Wed – Fri / 13:00-14:30 How to set a cloud first digital transformation strategy
Wed – Fri / 14:30-15:00 Demystifying M365 and O365 to drive learning outcomes and impact
Wed – Fri / 15:00-15:30 Increasing accessibility and fostering inclusive classrooms
Wed – Fri / 15:30-16:00 Driving collaboration and teamwork to save teachers’ time and reduce costs
Wed – Fri / 16:00-16:30 Developing global citizens and driving future-ready skills
Wed – Fri / 16:30-17:00 Growing computer skills with MakeCode
Wednesday / 17:00-17:30 Implementing a device buy-back programme or school
device scheme
Wednesday / 17:30-18:00 Tweet meet – using social media to drive community and new ideas
Thursday / 17:00-17:30 Growing computer skills with MakeCode
Thursday / 18:30-18:00 Unlocking learning through a connected classroom
 Friday / 18:00-18:00 Using Minecraft: Education Edition to expand learning experiences
 Friday / 17:30-18:00 Teaching and assessing Math with Microsoft


Microsoft Training Academy

If you are looking for a hands-on opportunity to try, test and experiment with Microsoft products and devices, this is the perfect stage for you. Get tips and tricks and learn about the best way to use a Microsoft solution in the classroom, from and with our own teachers, trainers, and Microsoft Learning Consultants. Each session is held on Microsoft stand E300 and lasts 30 minutes.

Time Title
Wed – Sat / 10:00-10:30 Setting up a Cloud IT solution for your school in 30 min
Wed – Sat / 10:30-11:00 Building a collaborative classroom with Teams
Wed – Sat / 11:00-11:30 Utilising Windows 10 tools to support an untethered classroom
Wed – Sat / 11:30-12:00 Working together with Office Online
Wed – Sat / 12:00- 12:30 Fostering an inclusive classroom with free tools from Microsoft Education
Wed – Sat / 12:30-13:00 Saving time and making assessment easy with Microsoft Education
Wed – Sat / 13:00-13:30 Growing STEM skills in the classroom using MakeCode and Minecraft:  Education Edition
Wed – Sat / 13:30-14:00 Bringing future technology to your classroom (AI, MR, Bots and Personal Workflow)
Wed – Fri / 14:00-14:30 Set up a Cloud IT solution for your school in 30 min
Wed – Fri / 14:30-15:00 Build a collaborative classroom and school with OneNote and Teams to save you time and achieve better learning outcomes
Wed – Fri / 15:00-15:30 Utilising Windows 10s tools to support an untethered classroom  (Speech to Text, Text Suggestions and Edge Learning Tools)
Wed – Fri / 15:30-16:00 Getting the most out of O365 online
Wed – Fri / 16:00-16:30 Organising your classroom and empowering your students with  OneNote
Wed – Fri / 16:30-17:00 Saving time and making assessment easy with Microsoft Education
Wed – Fri / 17:00-17:30 Growing STEM skills in the classroom using Make:Code and Minecraft  for CS Fundamentals
Wed – Fri / 17:30-18:00 Bringing future technology to your classroom (AI, Bots and personal  workflow)


Microsoft on the Stage (Schools Theatre)

Wednesday, 11:45-12:15 | A day in the life of a digitally enabled child

Speaker:

  • Jonathan Bishop, Chief Executive Office and Executive Headteacher, Cornerstone Academy Trust

Wednesday, 12:30-13:00 | Sparking 21st century communication in your classroom

Speaker:

  • Michelle Zimmerman, Educator and Leadership Team Member, Renton Prep – USA

Wednesday, 15:30-16:00 | Using technology to drive cross-collaboration and support better student outcomes

Speaker:

  • Tom Rees, Education Director, Northampton Primary Academy Trust – UK

Wednesday, 17:00-17:30 | Making informed decisions for your school through efficient data analysis

Speaker:

  • Sir Mark Grundy – CEO Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust Team

Thursday, 11:00-11:30 | How physical computing better addresses real world challenges

Speakers:

  • Steve Hodges, Principle Researcher, Microsoft Research
  • Joe Finney, Researcher/Lecturer, Lancaster University
  • Sue Sentence, Researcher, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Thursday, 14:00-14:30 | A Personalised Learning Initiative to improve the educational experience

Speaker

  • Philip Neufeld, Executive Officer of Information Technology, Fresno Unified School, California – USA

Friday, 11:00-11:30 | Digital transformation at Curro Schools

Speaker:

  • Angela Schaerer, Head of Curriculum Technology, Curro Schools – South Africa


Microsoft on the Stage (Post-16 Theatre)

Wednesday, 11:00-11:30 | Preparing Students for jobs that don’t exist yet: Teesside University

Speakers:

  • Dr. Jonathan Eaton, Academic Registrar, Teesside University
  • Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), Teesside University

Wednesday, 12:30-13:00 | Chichester College’s digital transformation: borderless learning for students and teachers

Speaker:

  • Terry Molyneaux, Professional Learning Coach – Digital Innovation, Chichester College

Wednesday, 14:45-15:15 | {Devel<>p}: a makerspace that fosters digital and soft skills

Speaker:

  • Hannah Mathias, E-learning Manager – Cardiff and Vale College

Thursday, 11:45-12:15 | Using Minecraft as a virtual field trip – an academic’s journey

Speaker:

  • Prof. Tim Thompson, Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) – Teesside University

Thursday, 13:15-13:45 | Enable and empower student voice through fostering active learner communities

Speakers:

  • Andrew Sprake, Lecturer in Physical Education – University of Central Lancashire
  • Chris Melia, Learning Technologist – University of Central Lancashire
  • Nick Bohannon, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing – University of Central Lancashire

Friday, 11:45-12:15 | Overcoming barriers of space and time, PLN for better education

Speaker:

  • Esam Baboukhan, eLearning Manager – City of Westminster College

Friday, 12:30-13:00 | Enabling academic and business support staff to improve the learner’s experience

Speakers:

  • Deborah Millar, Group Director of Digital Learning Technology – Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
  • Elaine Topham, Senior Learning Technologist – Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education


Solutions Showcase
| Platinum Suite 1 |Wednesday, 23 January & Thursday, 24 January, 10:30 – 17:15

We will be sharing some of the most impactful stories of Digital Transformation in Education, including real-life K-12 stories from educators who have achieved great things using partner solutions built on, or with, Microsoft’s technology. Learn more.

MakeCode Saturday | Platinum Suite 1 | Saturday, 26 January 10:00 – 14:00

This one is open to teachers, parents and students. Microsoft MakeCode is an open-source platform for creating engaging computer science learning experiences that support a progression path into real-world programming.

As an educator, you will also see how some schools and educators are creating inclusive, engaging learning experiences with Microsoft MakeCode. Learn more about MakeCode Saturday.

For more on Bett 2019 and What’s New in EDU, follow along on the Microsoft Education Blog.

Click here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resources

10 Learning Tools updates for the new year, including Translate and inclusive math improvements

With the kickoff of 2019 and school back in session again, we want to help you reinvigorate your teaching and reach all your students! Our product updates include ways to help you communicate with every student through translation capabilities, improve reading and writing skills, and even support math development. With all these updates, we’re sure you’ll find at least one feature to help you kick off the new year right – read on for more information!

1. Translate comes to the Immersive Reader
Today’s classrooms are extremely diverse and teachers have the incredible responsibility of reaching every student. It’s no secret that communication is key, so as announced in October, we’re including Translator features in the Immersive Reader!

We’ve added the ability for anyone to translate a page, or single word into another language, in real-time all within Immersive Reader. This new capability will support Read Aloud, Syllables, Parts of Speech and Picture Dictionary.  Translate in Immersive Reader will be available in: Word Online, OneNote Online, OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote iPad, OneNote Mac, Outlook Online, Teams and Flipgrid. Translate will begin rolling out worldwide this week and into next week and you’ll find the list of supported languages here.

Immersive Reader Translate.gifImmersive Reader Translate.gif

For an even more compelling scenario, try to take a picture of a book with Office Lens using iPhone, iPad, or Android.  Then send the page to OneNote Windows 10 or Online.  OneNote runs automatic Optical Character Recognition (OCR), so you can launch the Immersive Reader on the picture with text, and then use Translate to change the text to another language, and read aloud, or any of the other Immersive Reader features.

2. Immersive Reader reading the Math Assistant’s Step-by-Step solutions
In OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote Online, we are now combining the power of step-by-step solving in Math Assistant and the reading aloud in Immersive Reader. Math pane now has an additional button that launches the Immersive Reader for math step-by-step solutions.Math.gifMath.gif

3. Immersive Reader math in Word Online
In addition to being able to read math equations from your page in OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote Online, the Immersive Reader will now read math equations from your Word Online documents, both in view and edit modes.

4. The modern Immersive Reader interface comes to OneNote Desktop Learning Tools
With many students and schools still using the original OneNote 2016 Learning Tools addin, we wanted to allows the students to get many of the benefits of the updated capabilities of the immersive reader.  With the most recent update of the Learning Tools Addin to version 1.9, IT Administrators can now push out the Immersive Reader app from the Microsoft tore that interacts with the Learning Tools addin.  After deploying this Microsoft Store app, when students click the Immersive Reader button, the newer features and interface will appear.  This includes:

  • Updated and modern user interface
  • Adverb highlighting
  • Parts of speech labels
  • Ability to set custom colors for different parts of speech
  • More Page Color options
  • Line Focus
    Learning Tools toolbar.gifLearning Tools toolbar.gif

5. Word Desktop Line Focus

A popular capability of the Immersive Reader is Line Focus, which allows a focus of 1, 3, or 5 lines of text.  Line Focus is coming to Word Desktop, and can be accessed on the View tab, and then clicking Learning Tools –> Line Focus.  This feature has begun to rollout to Office Insiders, and will slowly be rolling out worldwide to all Office 365 customers.  Later in spring, Line Focus will also be coming to Mac and iOS Word.

Line Focus in Word Desktop.jpgLine Focus in Word Desktop.jpg

6. Page Colors in Word Desktop

One of the most popular features of the Immersive Reader has been page theme colors, which allows the changing of the background color of the page.  Many people have challenges reading with an all-white or all-black background, so we’ve expanded the choice of colors in Word Desktop.  This will start rolling out to Office Insiders in January, and roll out more broadly after January. Page Colors will be coming to Mac and iOS Word later in spring.  To try this out, go to the View tab and choose Learning Tools, and then Page Color.PageColorCeladon.pngPageColorCeladon.png

7. Parts of Speech and Picture Dictionary support for Korean, and coming soon for Arabic and Hebrew

Korean support for parts of speech (nouns/verbs/adjectives/adverbs) and picture dictionary are starting to roll out today, and in early February, we will be rolling out Arabic and Hebrew support for parts of speech and picture dictionary.  These new languages will be supported in Word Online, OneNote Online, Windows 10 app, iPad and Mac, Outlook Online, Teams and Flipgrid.  You can learn about all the languages and features supported in the Immersive Reader here: http://aka.ms/LearningToolsLanguages.

8. Dictation in OneNote Online – rolled out 100% worldwide

As previously announced in October, Dictation is now rolled out 100% worldwide for all OneNote Online customers.  Just look for the Dictate button on the Home tab.Dictate in OneNote Online.jpgDictate in OneNote Online.jpg

9. Dictation in Word Online

As announced in October, Dictation is rolling to Word Online for Office 365.  This is currently about 50% rolled out worldwide and was delayed for some improvements, but now we’ve resumed rollout, and we aim to have this at full 100% worldwide by February.

10. Auto-language detection

Auto-language detection is helpful Immersive Reader feature that is also rolled out 100% worldwide.  An example of how auto-language detection works is to copy text from a Spanish website and pasting into Word Online.  Now go to the View tab and choose Immersive Reader.  The text will be automatically detected as Spanish, and switch to the proper text-to-speech language, syllables, and parts of speech.  Auto-language detection is supported in Word Online, OneNote Online, OneNote for Mac and iOS, Teams, and Flipgrid.Auto Language detect.gifAuto Language detect.gif

Any questions, give me a shout any time. Thank you for being part of the Microsoft Education community and thank you for your commitment to students!

– Mike Tholfsen

@mtholfsen

This post was originally published on this site.

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How 50 classrooms used Skype to help save a school in Kenya

Ben Honeycutt is the Executive Director of non-profit Open World Cause and a Social Studies Teacher at Woodland Park Middle School in Colorado. As an educator, Ben’s mission is to provide his students with real world opportunities, so they can learn more about the world around them and take action to make a difference. One of their latest achievements was to help fund the construction of a school in Kenya. We met with Ben to learn all about this amazing, life-changing learning experience:

It all started with a Skype call

In June of 2015, we had a Skype call with Livingstone Kegode, the director of HIPAfrica, and were so impressed with his work that we were committed from the moment the call was over. A little over a year later, Livingstone informed us that the country of Kenya had changed its zoning standards for schools, and unless HIPAfrica could raise over $14,000 for three new classrooms, a new washroom, and new fencing, HIP would have to close its doors to the 59 children who attended its school.

We traveled out to Kimilili to survey HIP and the surrounding community in May of 2017. We surveyed that over half of the students would no longer be able to attend a school if HIP closed down. Additionally, we observed that 10 of the students had descended stomachs on Monday morning, and teachers had guessed that up to 15 of them received their only meals at the school.

The structures the school were using were deteriorating, as they were using semi-permanent structures for their classrooms. We found through conversations with a local architect that the bathrooms were about to collapse. It was at a point where it was creating unsanitary conditions for the entire student body.

HIP’s administration was completely committed to doing all they could to help their students. We were inspired to not only help lead a campaign to save HIP, but to look into providing sustainable clean water, nutrition, and educational programs to ensure that HIP’s students were receiving the best long-term education possible.

At the time, when we found out about the challenges facing HIP in 2016, I couldn’t conceive how to start a successful initiative to help solve this problem. Instead, I focused on what I could do on a micro level to start helping from my classroom. Two of my middle school students, named Amelia and Christina, came up with an idea to start a project called “Kenya Help?” where they collected shoes on behalf of an organization called Funds2orgs – “Kenya Help?” collected over 1,000 pairs of shoes and in exchange received over $1,000 toward HIP for their efforts.

It was after seeing my students go above and beyond that I started wondering about how this movement could go from my classroom to classrooms around the world. I designed and published a Collaboration on Skype in the Classroom’s website, calling for classrooms all around the world to join. In six months, over 50 classrooms from around the world got together and helped raise $8,000 for HIP, helping us collect a total of over $16,000 to fund the construction of three new classrooms, a washroom with hand-washing and sanitizing stations, and fencing. All this allowed HIP’s students to continue their education.

The new washrooms

After this experience, I would encourage every educator to start their own global projects and give their students real world issues to solve. Take the leap and don’t look back!

I was inspired early on from Dr. Neil Gershenfeld’s 2005 work, FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop—from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication. Gershenfeld talked about how students have the potential to create “laboratories of learning” when they have ownership of their projects. Gershenfeld articulated that when students have this ownership, they often go above and beyond their outlined expectations. It’s 13 years later, and I believe Skype in the Classroom can be a platform for what Dr. Gershenfeld was advocating. In the “Day in the Life” project, when middle school students had the agency that Dr. Gershenfeld advocated, they soared past the outlined goals and propelled each other to do something as impactful as saving a school in Kenya.

With resources like Skype in the Classroom and the tools that universities provide, teachers can have their students not only start incredible real-world projects that they will remember for the rest of their lives, but also ones that make a real impact around the world. I’ve seen students go on to use technology to help people, start businesses, and take a classroom project and turn it into a worldwide campaign. Students today have the power to change the world from the screens of their devices – what’s stopping them?

Contact me through the Microsoft Educator Community to learn how your class can help teachers and schools in Nepal and Kenya today!

P.S. I’d like to thank our partners Jacqueline Jumbe-Kuhara, Fredrick Manzugu, Livingstone Kegode, Michael Soskil, Eric Crouch, Garrett Wilkinson, Sue Levine, Dr. Joe O’Brien, Professor Melissa Collum, Professors Beth and Jeremy Gulley, and acknowledge the works of Dr. Eric Hartman, Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Dr. Paul Farmer as well as our many supporters who make our work possible.

Teachers: Explore all the available Skype Collaborations to connect your students with classrooms around the world to work on projects, explore different cultures, and build greater compassion and empathy for one another. You can also create your own Skype Collaboration—learn more by taking the Skype collaboration course.

Click here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resources

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First episode of #EduTechTalks podcast looks at managing your school’s devices

For a while now, my good friend and colleague Amit Pawar and I have been talking about launching a podcast to talk about the crossover of technology and education. After a bit of back and forth, we have finally made it happen (with a lot of help from Liezl Milan!)

In this first episode, we discuss why you should manage devices, the role of an MDM in supporting this, and how Microsoft Intune can simply this process for schools.

There are more pods in the works, so stay tuned.

Podcast Image

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Tomorrow’s innovators: First class graduates from Global Innovation Exchange

Archisa Guharoy and other graduates watch a video
Archisa Guharoy and other graduates watch a video during the graduation ceremony.

“When I measure the value of education, I look at those ‘aha’ moments. I had a lot of those moments here. I’ve been really happy with the program.”

GIX trains students to think globally and ethically in an era of rapid change and increasingly shorter business and technology cycles, says Vikram Jandhyala, GIX’s co-executive director and vice president for innovation strategy at the University of Washington.

“How can we build a future set of innovators who will create products and services and be part of organizations that can navigate this changing landscape and lead innovation?” Jandhyala asks. “That is the premise. It’s not business as usual.”

Most of the 10 team projects of GIX’s inaugural class were sponsored by the institute’s industry partners, which include Microsoft, Boeing, T-Mobile, AT&T and Chinese technology company Baidu. Company leaders pitched loosely defined projects to GIX students, then mentored the teams as they developed their projects, leveraging the companies’ technologies.

That approach to learning makes GIX unique, says Ranveer Chandra, chief scientist for Microsoft Azure Global and an advisor on the chicken-monitoring project, named Cluck AI.

“The students are able to take the latest research from industry, build on top of it and show what can be achieved,” Chandra says.

Students give a presentation
Students (from left) Xu Yan, David “Davo” Franco, Padraic Casserly and Ibtasam “Ibi” Sharif present their Cluck AI solution, which uses machine learning to identify when farm chickens are in distress.

“This kind of an industry-academic collaboration, where industry’s not just handing off something to students but providing them with cutting-edge research and working closely with them, is something I haven’t seen before as part of a curriculum.”

The Cluck AI team worked with Microsoft engineers to use machine learning to identify when chickens on a farm are in distress — when a predator is nearby, for example, or when they are overheated. A microphone captures the animals’ sounds and sends them to Azure storage containers. When an anomaly is detected, the audio data is pushed to a dashboard, along with an image of the chicken in apparent distress. The farmer, who may not be onsite to monitor the livestock at all times, gets an email notification and can assess what’s wrong.

“It’s kind of like a baby monitor for poultry farmers,” says team member Padraic Casserly, 32.

The solution uses technology developed for Microsoft’s FarmBeats project, an artificial intelligence and Internet of Things platform that harnesses data to increase farm productivity and cut costs. The four-member GIX team launched the project after Chandra, then the principal researcher behind FarmBeats, suggested that audio data could have untapped potential in farming.

The team decided to focus on chickens, interviewing farmers and even buying two chickens of their own — named Margarita and Daisy — to record them. The students hope to develop the solution further and are looking into possible funding for a start-up.

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What’s New in EDU: All the news wrapped up for the holidays

As much as we enjoy tearing open a cozy couple of socks or peeling back the paper on a snazzy blender (you shouldn’t have!), we’re of the firm belief that educators reign supreme when it comes to giving the perfect gift. For them, giving is an almost year-round thing, and the results are useful for the rest of your life. In our last episode of What’s New in EDU for 2018, we look back on a year’s worth of tools that supercharged learning and the amazing educators who brought it all to life for students around the world.

If that’s you: Thank you! Over the past year we’ve heard from thousands of teachers, districts, students – even parents – who are excited to step foot in today’s classroom and step up the possibilities available to their students in the future. With your feedback, we’ve been able to keep tailoring tools for educators want to boost and protect student voice, elevating it above the din of our demanding lives. We’ve seen that when students feel heard, feel seen, and feel acknowledged, their motivation to learn grows substantially.

Our passion for empowering all students went big this year, with our CEO Satya Nadella announcing our partnership with the Made by Dyslexia initiative. Together, we’ve rolled out new features to make learning more accessible for the 700 million students living with dyslexia.

Our Learning Tools also got major updates, like the Picture Dictionary, and continued to grow alongside the students who rely on them for reading every day.

We also saw another brilliant Hack the Classroom event, where changemakers in education and the passionate innovators in student-centered learning invented new ways to help students build future-ready skills and ignite their interest in STEM learning.

Computer science got a bit of a makeover in 2018 as well – as you’ll see in the video above, there’s a reason “the world doesn’t need any more computer scientists,” with educators expanding the subject to include all different kinds of creative projects, passions and people.

You might also remember catching #FlipgridFever this year. We were happy to announce that Flipgrid joined the Microsoft family, helping recast the role of video in the classroom, from a passive experience to a tool that empowers and amplifies every student’s voice. We also kicked off our You Can series of Tips (You Can catch up on all of them here).

And we can’t forget Minecraft: Education Edition’s year of cool coding updates: We announced the new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, Voyage Aquatic, where students use their creativity and problem solving skills to explore and build underwater worlds with code. We also expanded coding possibilities in Minecraft: Education Edition with the new Code Builder update. If you’re looking forward to having some time off during the holidays, you can download a free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition now and practice coding at home!

Finally, let’s squeeze in one more thank you to all you hard-working educators. You’re changing the world, inspiring us constantly and always pushing us to think of new ways to help you write those student success stories. From inclusivity to STEM, to the addition of new tools like Flipgrid into the Microsoft family, it was an amazing year.

We’re primed and ready for next year – and beyond!

Catch up on 2018:

Click here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resourcesClick here for free STEM resources

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Over 140 educators to recap the best of 2018 in Dec. 18 TweetMeet

Wow, 2018 has been a remarkable year for educators. Our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets have brought us together every month and unfurled so much knowledge, we’re going to need some extra help looking back and capturing the highlights. Well, with over 140 hosts joining us for this special Best of 2018 TweetMeet, we just might do it!

Over the last twelve months, many of you joined the Microsoft Educator Community and have taken part in the courses, learning paths, lesson plans and other resources it offers. The global MIEExpert community continues to grow with incredible collaboration projects taking place between classrooms around the world.

Here on the Microsoft Education Blog, our 2018 was just a flurry of great news about OneNote Class Notebook, Learning Tools, Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition, Flipgrid, Skype in the Classroom, Hacking STEM and Microsoft Whiteboard for Education. Thanks for following along and helping us wrap up the year with a collaborative recap for the TweetMeet.

Join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Tuesday, December 18, at 10:00 a.m. PST (check your time zone here) to learn more. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

This month we’re offering more simultaneous language tracks than ever before, for a total of 17. New this month are Македонски (Macedonian), हिंदी (Hindi) and Česky (Czech).

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: Portuguese-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetPT #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

Our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet is celebrating the best learnings from 2018! Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST. #Bestof2018 #MSFTEduChat Click To Tweet

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet changes in 2018

The monthly #MSFTEduchat TweetMeets by Microsoft Education themselves underwent significant changes in 2018 as well. Our events are now multilingual and more global than ever. Team TweetMeet, which organizes the events, now consists of three people: Marjolein Hoekstra, Francisco Texeira and Anica Tričković.

Last September we decided to move all preparations for these Twitter events to Microsoft Teams. The switch to the Teams platform allows Team TweetMeet and our expert hosts to collaborate more effectively, because it combines the power of group conversations, file sharing and meetings all in one system. Being able to add guests to our teams is an incredible benefit, too.

Celebrating 2.5 years of TweetMeets

The first Microsoft Education TweetMeets were held in the summer of 2016. To celebrate their 2.5 years in existence, and to close 2018 in style, we decided to invite all former hosts to return once again. As many as 143 of these former hosts immediately accepted this invitation. They are very much looking forward to your best experiences, products and resources from 2018.

With so many hosts coming together for this special occasion, we just had to make a video to introduce (or re-introduce) them all to you:

More ways to participate

  • Post-event summary: We will publish a new post after this #MSFTEduChat event summarizing the key lessons from the conversations during the TweetMeet. The hosts will collaborate to curate a top selection of the tweets and trends they found most significant. For even more highlights from the TweetMeet, the blog post will offer multiple Twitter Moments – curated stories and conversations from Twitter. Look for this blog post on Thursday, December 20.
  • TweetMeet fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile: Every month more people discover the unique nature of the TweetMeets and become passionate about them. Well, you can now show your passion for the TweetMeets right from your Twitter page. The dimensions of our Twitter Header Photo are 1500×500 – the perfect size for your Twitter profile. Get this month’s image here: #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo.

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.

Our hosts are thrilled about this upcoming TweetMeet. Watch how each of them has their own exciting way of inviting you to the event:

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, December 18 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #Bestof2018 and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or maybe even asleep – well, no problem! All educators are most welcome to join after the event. Simply take a 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 quote the entire question and mention the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, so that everyone knows the right question and conversation to which you are responding. Mark the exact timings – they are different this month.

How can I best prepare?

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time. Because of the enormous scale of the December event, we will have 4 questions this month. This will give everyone more time to engage with each other.

TweetMeet Questions

Hosts

With 143 educators on this month’s #MSFTEduChat hosts team, it’s not possible to list everyone’s profile in this announcement like we normally do. We did once again make a Twitter list so you can easily follow everyone.

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.

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

Join for next month’s topic: Transforming classroom time