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What’s New in Edu: Closing the broadband gap, improving teacher training and boosting accessibility in the classroom

With the start of the new year, we’re excited to head to London for the annual Bett UK education technology show where we’ll preview a number of new products and updates coming for the 2020-2021 school year. We’ll bring you along to Bett too, from the booth every day of Bett live from London in: “What’s new in Edu: Live from Bett”.

Join Leslie Fisher, and see for the very first time, new devices, tools and training resources coming soon to ensure you and your students have your best year yet!

Video for Our vision to close the broadband gap, improve teacher training and boost accessibility in the classroom

Closing the broadband gap with new devices that connect to cellular service and Community Learning Centers

One of the biggest challenges in global education is a lack of access to the internet. Students who lack broadband access at home or school are deprived of the information they need to complete their assignments and keep up with their peers, creating educational inequality and disadvantages that can impact them throughout their lives. In the U.S., the FCC estimates 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires broadband access, yet broadband is not available to nearly 25 million people, 19 million of whom live in rural areas. Even among those who do have a connection, our data shows that nearly 163 million Americans are not using the internet at broadband speeds.

We’ve been investing in solving this multi-faceted problem for years with programs like the Airband Initiative, which aims to expand broadband access to underserved rural areas around the world. Today, we’re continuing to build on this commitment to connect every student to the internet by introducing two new Connected PCs, built and priced especially for education – the JP.IK Turn T101 and Positivo Wise N1212S.

These new devices, which will ship this summer, are our most affordable Connected PCs yet, with all the capabilities of Windows and Office and can be used anywhere there is cellular service. These devices will save schools thousands of dollars in server infrastructure and startup time and help the more than 1.15 billion students in rural and emerging markets around the world connect to the internet for the first time or dramatically improve their current connection. The JP.IK Turn T101 starts at just $299 USD and the Wise N1212S will start at $575 USD, both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c with twice the battery life and 25 percent better performance than competing platforms, and like our other Windows PCs boasting the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, they will have blazing-fast cellular connectivity.

We’re also proud to collaborate with T-Mobile to kick off a pilot next month that offers select districts in rural and underserved areas in the U.S. a chance to test the newest Connected PCs. T-Mobile shares our vision to empower students and provide connectivity and educational equality through their EmpowerED™ 2.0 program – and will provide the pilot schools with SIM cards and free 4G LTE coverage plans to get their new PCs up and running. For the rest of the world, we’re excited to partner with Vodafone to provide education-specific cellular connectivity plans to customers using the newest Connected PCs in Vodafone and Vodacom markets in Europe and Africa. Through the Connected Education program, Vodafone endeavors to digitalize school infrastructure and accelerate adoption of fast, secure internet access to schools and students around the world. Together, we’re excited to learn how these new devices and alliances could reshape the education landscape and reduce the broadband gap.

These new devices mark a big milestone in bringing equitable educational opportunities to students around the world, but it’s just the beginning. We’re also thrilled to partner with JP.IK to bring their Community Learning Centers – solar-powered, pop-up schools – to more than 130 underserved areas around the world, giving students a truly connected digital learning experience.

Our most affordable Windows 10 devices get even better

No matter your needs or your location in the world, we have the perfect Windows 10 device for you and your students, starting at $219 USD. Today, we’re excited to announce that our portfolio is getting even better. Together with our partners at Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, JP.IK and Positivo we’re enhancing 14 of our most affordable Windows 10 devices so you get even more bang for your buck, including:

  • NEW! Faster performance. Seven of our new devices include the newest Intel processor, which will give you 46 percent more system performance than before. Students can have multiple web browser tabs open while working on documents and collaborating with classmates without missing a beat.
  • NEW! Safekeeping for pens. One of the biggest complaints we hear from educators is that – while they love the benefits of having students write directly on their device screens – pens get lost frequently. But great news! In addition to a number of devices that include ways to tether pens, the newest Acer TravelMate Spin B3 and Lenovo 300e also have a pen “garage” built into the device so it’s less likely to wander off.  
  • NEW! Introducing indicator lights to show student progress. Teachers, have you ever wished you could look at the classroom from your desk or podium and see which students are good to go on their devices? Now you can! Five of our newest devices will include a built-in LED indicator light on the back of the device that can be used to indicate whether a device is charged and connected to the internet. Simply look for the light!

Check out these and our other great Windows 10 devices on our Windows Device Finder today!

 

Three Free New Tools to Make Teacher Training More Effective

Preparing students for the jobs of the future starts with training and retaining great educators today. Our new research – Staff of 2030: Future Ready Teaching – indicates only 38 percent of teachers believe their current training has equipped them to use digital technology for instruction, which is critical to their success as well as their students. As new Gen Z teachers are entering the workforce, it’s more important than ever for schools to offer a variety of training tools and build powerful professional development communities that help them thrive throughout the school year. We’ve got some great new (and totally free!) tools to help, including our new and improved Microsoft Educator Center with hundreds of great training resources available in more languages than ever before.

  • NEW! Conduct training and engage everyone in the audience using PowerPoint Live Presentations. Using PowerPoint for Web, which is part of Office 365 Education, you will soon be able to train teachers and engage every participant with the new live presentations feature. Schools can present slides and using a QR code or short link, viewers can join and follow along with live subtitles in more than 60 languages on their personal device, making it easy to present to a large group of teachers, students or parents who speak different languages. The feature also includes live reactions and a survey for participants that generates an email to the presenter with the aggregated audience feedback and corresponding recommendations, offering insights to improve future presentations and trainings.

  • NEW! Use Microsoft Stream to create training videos on web and mobile, including transcription in eight languages. Microsoft Stream, included in Office 365 Education, empowers organizations to teach and learn with video easily and securely. Now available to the Stream mobile app, video creation with the new Flipgrid camera integration makes it fun for anyone to personalize and share content in seconds. Stream will also soon support browser-based screen recording and editing, giving teachers and students new ways to create learning and training materials by recording and sharing screens, applications, or device camera feeds. Automatic captions and searchable transcripts now support eight languages, which allow learners to find information quickly. And to help improve learner focus, videos on Stream will soon support a voice enhance capability that removes background noise from videos recorded in classrooms and other noisy environments.
  • NEW! Unlock your students’ potential with Microsoft Teams Class Insights. Teaching is a team sport that requires students, teachers and parents to work together. That’s why we introduced capabilities like Class Insights in Microsoft Teams, to equip educators with more data on student performance and activity. We also made it possible for you to collaborate in safe and focused environments with Private Channels and added the Parent and Guardian Emails that summarize a student’s weekly progress and the week ahead. All these Teams improvements are designed to strengthen collaboration and engagement at your school.

And last, but certainly not least, we’re proud to be rolling out:

Free, built-in accessibility features in OneNote and Microsoft Edge to help every classroom be more inclusive

  • NEW! The new Microsoft Edge – secure, accessible and compatible with all your favorite websites and extensions! The web browser is the most used app in the classroom, so it’s crucial it has the built-in flexibility and accessibility to support every educator and learner. Now available for IT to download and deploy, the new Microsoft Edge web browser is designed to support inclusive classrooms with built-in tools allowing students to change text size, reading text aloud and even inking on PDFs right in the browser. Plus, we made Microsoft Edge even easier for users. Microsoft Edge is now powered by the same technology as Google Chrome to provide better compatibility for websites and extensions, allowing you to experience the web without using multiple browsers. You can even customize your web experience to access Office documents quickly when opening a new tab. Students and teachers working on shared computers can also sign into one or more profiles for quick access to their favorites, passwords, and more. Finally, the new Microsoft Edge browser has Microsoft security features and is simple to manage, with tools that make it easy for IT administrators to deploy and set district- or school-wide policies, as well as features to help protect students from phishing attempts and tracking.
  • NEW! OneNote Live Captions to help students’ focus, comprehension and retention. Recent studies have shown that students who use closed captions and interactive transcripts can maintain their focus and retain information better. You can already use captions and transcripts in many of our products like PowerPoint, Teams, Stream and Flipgrid, and now you can use captions inside OneNote as well! This month, we are rolling out a private preview of OneNote that allows students to connect OneNote to a Microsoft Translator session via a Join Code and receive the captions and translation stream. This allows captions from the educator speaking to flow directly into OneNote for reading, while still allowing the student to take notes. In addition, the student can pause the captions, highlight portions, and then have the entire transcription saved as a page into OneNote, features that will benefit all learners but especially those who may be hard of hearing or speak multiple languages.

And that’s just the beginning! Tune in throughout next week as we join education technology expert, Leslie Fisher in London to walk you through how to make this news you can use in the upcoming school year!

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Educators: Submit student questions by Feb. 7 for a live talk with astronauts aboard the International Space Station

Students around the world are invited to take part in an extraordinary STEM learning experience with your students. On March 2, a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station will answer questions from students via a live, in-flight education downlink. Microsoft Education is honored to partner with The NASA STEM on Station, and The Museum of Flight in Seattle to host the downlink event, and we want you and your students to be there with us.

During the live March 2 downlink, students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the astronaut. Inquiries should focus on the experience of living and working in space, the Artemis lunar exploration program and questions related to the Astro Socks activity, part of our Hacking STEM lessons.

Student questions are due by midnight PST Feb. 7 using this form. Students who are located outside the Greater Seattle area will be asked to submit a video recording if their question is chosen.

Visit the Microsoft Education Downlink event page to get started today.

Tackling the reality of being a “first”

NASA has a long history of “firsts”—from the first orbit of the moon to the first footprint on the moon to the first space telescope. Today’s students are also pioneers: they are the first members of what NASA calls the Artemis Generation. They’ll become the first commercial space travelers, the first long-term inhabitants on the moon, and the first to apply lessons learned from living on the moon to exploring Mars. 

They’ll join the ranks of Alan Shephard, the first American astronaut to travel into space, and Katherine Goble Johnson (featured in Hidden Figures), who solved the complex orbit and trajectory equations required for Shephard’s journey. They’ll continue the work of Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space whose lesson plans were recently published by The Challenger Center and the NASA STEM on Station team. And they’ll follow in the footsteps of Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, who participated in the first all-female space walk.

Being a first comes with challenges and we know we still have a long way to go to prepare our students for their futures. Today’s astronauts have diverse backgrounds in STEM fields, and it’s clear future generations will need to have strong and varied STEM training and experiences as well. While research shows STEM fields will expand faster than non-STEM jobs, (growing to more than 9 million by 2022) the path to STEM careers is uneven, particularly for under-represented minorities and female students. Having the opportunity to talk with astronauts actively aboard the space station is one of the ways we are expanding educational STEM opportunities and providing students with access to role models. This is critical to ensuring all students are inspired and can see themselves as a members of the Artemis Generation.

Join us for a live, NASA, In-flight downlink on March 2nd and become inspired by the astronauts onboard the International Space Station.

 

Get hands-on in the classroom with the Astro Socks Design Challenge

Did you know astronauts in space use their feet like hands? They grip and grasp bars and belts situated around the International Space Station to help them stabilize themselves while working in microgravity. Over time, this leads to significant discomfort on the tops of their feet.  The Astro Socks Design Challenge is a standards-aligned lesson plan that incorporates design thinking with an introduction to working with sensors and live data. Students take on the role of biomechanical engineers, product designers, and user researchers to solve the astronaut’s foot pain. They study the daily tasks performed on the space station, build sensors and collect foot pressure data in Excel. Then, they design and build prototypes to mitigate the load and test the effectiveness of their design in a simulated microgravity environment. The last step is to write and record an advertisement to explain their solution. 

The lesson plan is located here and for those looking for a plug and play way to bring this into your classroom, Carolina Biological has just released a kit.

The Astro Socks Design Challenge is one of eight lesson plans recently published by the Microsoft Hacking STEM team in partnership with the NASA STEM on Station team. The collection celebrates 20 years of humans living aboard the space station and provides an opportunity to introduce your students to considerations that astronauts need to think about when living and working in space.

Start today: visit the Microsoft Education Downlink event page.

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#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on Jan. 21 to explore how devices can help students succeed

Announcing the January 21 TweetMeet

Laptops, computers and other technical equipment are common assets in modern classrooms. It makes you wonder: how do all these devices help our students succeed? What selection criteria, preparatory steps, professional training and other factors should be taken into consideration for a successful implementation, and what tips, tools and resources can be helpful?

With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on Tuesday, January 21 at 10am PST.

Brand-new hashtag #TweetMeetEN

Every month, we welcome more and more educators to our events, obviously resulting in large volumes of tweets. Many of you tweet in your preferred language and are already using #TweetMeetXX. It’s now time to also invite all English-speaking TweetMeet participants to start adding hashtag #TweetMeetEN to your tweets. This will help to filter the large volume and will make it easier to find tweets back in your preferred languages.

Looking back on the December MSFTEduChat on Best of 2019

For last month’s special-edition TweetMeet we invited all #MSFTEduChat hosts from past years to come back another time, to commemorate and celebrate all the wonderful experiences of the past year with you. The TweetMeet was a tremendous success, with many hundreds of participants and thousands of tweets, as you can see in the Thank You animated GIF below.

We captured highlights for this TweetMeet event in a new @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive archive collection of all tweets from this event in this Wakelet Collection.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it with our new Sticky Note!

With the new TweetMeet Sticky Note, you can announce the next TweetMeet right from your own, existing Twitter Header Photo. Look at the various examples we created in the image below.

To generate such a custom Twitter Header Photo for yourself, open our new TweetMeet Sticky Note 📌 PowerPoint and follow the instructions.

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm about Devices for student success and the TweetMeets in general is to create a TweetMeet Friend Card.

Share your own version of this image anytime anywhere, for example to announce the TweetMeet to your followers, and of course when introducing yourself at the start of a TweetMeet. Just follow the steps in the TweetMeet Friend Cards PowerPoint.

Here’s an example:

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.

We’ve invited our hosts to share their personal favorite resources and introduce their resource collections with a Flipgrid video. Find all of these resources in our new Devices for student success SuperWakelet, live-embedded here:

Flipgrid topic for January 21

Many TweetMeet hosts have exciting stories to tell about this month’s topic. Be inspired with the new Flipgrid topic for January 21: flipgrid.com/9d43961f

Introducing our hosts

Please meet the 11 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: Devices for student success.

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

twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2020-01/members

List of host names and their profiles

  • Brian Merrill @brianfmerrill (Educational technology analyst, Central Bucks School District, MIE Fellow, Minecraft Global Mentor, interoperability specialist, passionate about immersive learning – Morrisville PA, USA)
  • Charu Chhabra @charuchhabra2 (Vice-principal at Kamla Nehru Public School, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer; adopted BYOD, Microsoft Certified Educator, Minecraft Global Mentor, amplifying Microsoft Teams – Phagwara, India)
  • Dave Sands @dhsands (Principal of technology implementation, international presenter, MIE Expert and Microsoft Teams evangelist, School District 43 – Coquitlam BC, Canada)
  • Douha Jemai @ochifaysel (Computer science teacher, MIE Expert and Trainer, TeachSDGs ambassador, passionate about making teaching a job of the heart not just a duty – Jundubah, Tunisia)
  • Gary Henderson @garyhenderson18 (Director of IT at Millfield School, MIE Expert and Trainer, Microsoft Certified Educator. Passionate about digital citizenship and how we prepare students to thrive in a digital world – Somerset, UK)
  • Jane Basnett @basnettj (Head of Modern Languages at Downe House School), MIE Expert and Microsoft Certified Educator.  Passionate about making the most of technology to achieve the best educational opportunities – Berkshire, UK)
  • Jason Laurence @jlaurence24 (Digital learning and teaching coordinator, Onslow County Schools; MIE Expert and Trainer. Dedicated to empower teachers and students with technology skill sets through Microsoft Education – Jacksonville NC, USA)
  • Liz Cox @lizforeducation (Program manager for Microsoft Education, specializing in classroom device management, passionate about the ability of technology to help transform the classroom – Seattle WA, USA)
  • Maria Turner @Turner4EDU (Coordinator of Professional Learning for NCCE, Microsoft Certified Educator, MIE Expert and Master Trainer. Passionate about sharing the impact innovative learning facilitation brings – Central Florida, USA)
  • Oscar Herrero @oscarherreroedu (Teaching technical advisor for educators in Segovia (Castilla y León). Teacher & IT Coordinator at CEIP Arcipreste de Hita, MIE Expert and Trainer; Microsoft OneNote lover – Segovia, Spain)
  • Toni Zarzoso @Tonizarzoso14 (ICT manager and teacher at Julio Verne School. MIE Expert and MIE Fellow. Office 365 trainer at Global Learning. Passionate about EdTech – Valencia, Spain)

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 most welcome to join any time after the event. Simply look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best.

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

We have six discussion questions lined up this month, allowing 12 minutes of discussion time each.

PST # #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Event begins Welcome. Please introduce yourself. Use #MSFTEduChat and #TweetMeetEN or #TweetMeetXX for non-English languages.
10:03 1 What impact do devices have on student success? Share your stories.
10:15 2 What is your current school device configuration? How would you improve it?
10:27 3 What is your school policy for student use of mobile devices? What do you think of it?
10:39 4 Which criteria should influence device choice? How and why?
10:51 5 What preparation, training, tools and other factors contribute to a successful device deployment?
11:03 6 What tips and resources would you recommend to increase student success through technology?
11:15 Event closes Announcing the next event and Participant Survey.

Welcoming TweetMeet newcomers

Do you know someone who’s new to the TweetMeets? You can join a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet video is especially created for newcomers, so please share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested in joining:

Video for Devices for student success – #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on January 21

For educators who are totally new to Twitter and who could use an introduction, we recommend the Twitter EDU tutorial ebook by David Truss @datruss.

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.

Former host James Kieft wrote the following blog post describing why educators should consider participating in Twitter chats, and how to get started: Twitter chats explained.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtags #StudentSuccess, #MSFTEduChat, #TweetMeetEN and#MicrosoftEDU. 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 Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add columns for the hashtags and for your favorite educators. 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:

Next month’s event: AI in education

The theme of February 18 will be AI in education. We’re very much 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 about what it takes to be a host on a future event.

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Educators: Check out favorite resources introduced in 2019 and how your colleagues are using them

With the first half of the school year wrapping up in most places and the holidays upon us, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the resources we introduced in 2019 that you said were most helpful to you and your students. And we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss anything that could have a positive impact on your instruction going forward.

Learning Tools

Reviewing engagement across our social media channels, it’s clear you liked this year’s updates to Learning Tools, free Microsoft resources that make classrooms more accessible and support students with reading, writing, math and communication. Learning tools are available in Microsoft products you use every day in the classroom. For more on how to incorporate Learning Tools into your classroom, check out this post.

We’re particularly grateful to you for sharing your stories about the benefits of Immersive Reader, which improves the readability of content and is integrated into Microsoft products as well as third-party applications. You noted that this integration was particularly helpful for students with dyslexia and other reading-related learning differences. Maria Mercedes Gazaneo, a teacher in Buenos Aires, explains eloquently here how previously reluctant readers have come around to loving reading with the help of Immersive Reader. At Microsoft Education, it’s our mission to empower every student to achieve more, and we’re so glad this tool, coupled with your commitment to your students, is helping advance that goal.

Product Updates

As far as product updates go, you told us loud (especially so at the rocking Flipgrid party at ISTE) and clear that the newly designed Flipgrid was a hit and is helping you elevate student voices in and beyond the classroom. We have you to thank. From FlipgridAR to the new Shorts Camera to Disco Library Playlists, every improvement to Flipgrid was created, driven, and inspired by your innovative ideas and feedback.

“Flipgrid gives students a VOICE! Flipgrid allows those that are quiet and nervous the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts in a manner that is conducive to their learning styles.  It appeals to every student in the classroom.” – Natasha Rachell, Education Technology Specialist with Atlanta Public Schools.

Crowd watching Flipgrid Live stageCrowd watching Flipgrid Live stage

You also told us the new PowerPoint Presenter coach is another tool that is helping students develop strong communication skills. In case you haven’t tried it yet, the AI-powered tool lets students practice presentations and then provides guidance on pacing, language and more.

Thanks for letting us know you loved Microsoft Teams‘ new Simplified UX! The redesign is among many improvements to make teaching, assessment, and collaboration effective and easy, all while saving you time. 

Speaking of saving time, Grade Sync is now integrated with PowerSchool, enabling teachers to sync assignments and grades directly to PowerTeacher Pro. But wait, there’s more! The new teacher gradebook with individualized student progress, weekly assignments summary email for parents and guardians and many others. Check out this post for more detail on all the Teams updates from this year!

Several exciting updates to Minecraft: Education Edition came your way this year too, based on helpful feedback from our educator community. Immersive Reader was integrated along with single sign-on and multiplayer join codes for an easier classroom experience. We launched Minecraft lessons and immersive worlds with NASA, World Wildlife Fund, and partners in New Zealand. Finally, a new Minecraft Hour of Code introduces students to coding with a lesson on preventing forest fires and artificial intelligence! Check out the free coding lesson in Minecraft: Education Edition, no license required. We talked about Hour of Code in last month’s What’s New in EDU, available here if you missed it. 

Just ahead of the current school year, we made dozens of updates to OneNote and Class Notebook based on your input, and we’re glad to see you’re using those successfully. They include the ability to distribute pages to specific students, integrating OneNote and Class Notebook with Teams, and making it possible for students to generate math practice quizzes in OneNote. We’re glad to hear these updates are helping you personalize instruction and promote student-centered learning.

“I found OneNote to be a huge help, both in note taking and Immersive Reader. Also linking Microsoft Lens to OneNote has made other subject content ‘interactive.’ My learners were amazed, and this teacher applauds the ingenuity of Microsoft to cater for inclusive education.” –Viola Van der Westhuizen, a teacher in South Africa who works with youth in the criminal justice system.

Finally, we’ve seen those social media posts indicating you like the latest Microsoft Excel update, allowing you and your students to take a picture of data, say in a textbook, and then upload it and open it in Excel, where it’s converted into a table. We hope that’s helping your students develop analytical skills and solve real-world problems using data.

Partnerships

We’re thrilled to work
with educators like you every day, as well as other partners committed to fostering
inclusive learning environments that help all students succeed. This past year,
we teamed up with some inspiring collaborators, and we’re so glad to see you celebrating
those partnerships with us on social media. Just some of these include:

Click here to read our Partner Spotlight series from ISTE 2019.

Free trainings,
workshops and more

We know how committed
you are to professional growth, and we’re so glad you found many of our teacher
development tools to be useful in 2019. Among those you indicated were most helpful
this year were:

  • Free in-store trainings on using Microsoft Education tools. Our stores offer more than 200,000 hours of free workshops throughout the year, so find one that’s right for you!
  • Our You Can in :90 video series, which offers quick tips for using Microsoft Education tools. We pick topics based on your input, so keep that coming.
  • Resources like this how-to video to help you bring digital storytelling to life in your classroom with Video Editor for Windows 10.
  • Our new Microsoft Educator Center, where you can take online courses and stay up on a host training opportunities and resources for educators.
  • Our new newsletter. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so here.

Peer networking

It’s clear you enjoy connecting with each other and helping students do that, too. This year, thousands of students from more than 80 countries connected during our Global Learning Connection event, in which students meet virtually and listen to guest speakers using Teams, Skype and Flipgrid.

“The MSFTGlobalConnect was a HUGE HIGHLIGHT of my year.” –Kerry-Ann Van Der Merwe, a Grade 5 teacher in South Africa.

Speaking of guest speakers, you shared that you were inspired by the Skype in the Classroom event with world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Jane Goodall. Missed it? We’ve got you covered. You can find a recording here.

To those of you who participated in Hack the Classroom in June, a big thank you. We’re so grateful to you for being part of that engaging discussion on developing social and emotional skills in students, preparing them for future success, meeting the needs of English language learners and more.

We’re also thrilled to see how supportive you are of one another. Thank you for sharing the news about our Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts class of 2019-2020 and responding to our call on Twitter to tag other potential nominees. Speaking of Twitter, we also are overjoyed to see your enthusiasm for our regular TweetMeets. By far the most popular one of the year was the July TweetMeet focused on student-centered learning.

Device spotlight

Windows 10 helps deliver personalized learning for every student. Find the right device for your school today. This month we’re featuring the Lenovo 100e, with pricing starting at just $199 USD for a 4/64 storage configuration with the latest-gen Intel Celeron processor. This durable laptop is built to endure the rough and tumble of the classroom with a new, sleek chassis and weighs just 2.7 lbs. All-day battery keeps everyone’s focus on lessons, not on hunting down a power cord.

In conclusion

Well, 2019 really was quite a year for us here on the Microsoft Education team. We’re so glad you found many of the resources we shared to be helpful to you and your students. We can’t wait to show you what’s ahead in the new year.

Mark your calendars for January 16, when we’ll have a Facebook Live event highlighting what we’re rolling out at the start of 2020. You won’t be disappointed.

As always, we love hearing from you and value your feedback. Let us know what you think of this list of highlights from the year on Twitter by tagging @MicrosoftEDU!

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Educators: Tune in to Best of 2019 TweetMeet on Dec. 17

Announcing the biggest global TweetMeet to date. Join us on December 17

Following the success of the Best of 2018 TweetMeet, we’re thrilled to offer the biggest global TweetMeet to date on Tuesday, December 17. Share your best stories and experiences from 2019 and what plans for 2020 you look forward to the most. We’re also most interested to learn how you think Microsoft can support you best.

With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on Tuesday, December 17 at 10am PST. Do check your local event times.

Don’t miss What’s New in EDU Live on Facebook

We’re launching a new edition of What’s new in EDU looking back at everything that was new with Microsoft Education in 2019.

This episode will go live on Facebook on December 17 at 6am EST

Introducing the hosts

We’ve invited all former hosts to lead this special-edition TweetMeet, and we’re excited to announce that 275+ previous hosts gladly agree to take part in the event. Follow them all through the Twitter List of December’s MSFTEduChat Hosts.

Do you remember all the previous TweetMeets and their hosts? Take a trip down TweetMeet Memory Lane with this new video, which shows all Combined Headshot images since we first started in the summer of 2016:

Video for Best of 2019 – biggest global #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on December 17

Flipgrid topic for December 17

Many TweetMeet hosts have exciting stories to tell about their projects and experiences in 2019. And of course, they have plans for 2020 as well. Be inspired with the new Flipgrid topic for December 17: flipgrid.com/fedb380d

Road2TweetMeet Wakelet: what’s it like to be a TweetMeet host?

Over the past months, our hosts have been reflecting on their blog about what it means to be a host on an #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet. The brand-new Road2TweetMeet Wakelet contains the best of these host reflections, live-embedded here:

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Show your passion for this month’s Best of 2019 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.

Watch the animated GIF:

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

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

Here’s an example:

Looking back on the November MSFTEduChat on Future-Ready Skills and Computer Science

We captured highlights for this TweetMeet event in a new @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of all tweets from this event in this Wakelet Collection.

Welcoming TweetMeet newcomers

Do you know someone who’s new to the TweetMeets? Our brand-new You can join a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet video is especially created for newcomers, so please share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested to join:

Video for Best of 2019 – biggest global #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on December 17

For educators who are totally new to Twitter and who could use an introduction, we recommend the Twitter EDU tutorial ebook by David Truss @datruss.

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.

Former host James Kieft wrote the following blog post describing why educators should consider participating in Twitter chats, and how to get started: Twitter chats explained.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, December 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtags  #BestOf2019, #MSFTEduChat and #MicrosoftEDU. 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 Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add columns for the hashtags and for your favorite space geeks. 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:

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 most welcome to join any time after the event. Simply look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best.

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

Four discussion questions this time

For this special-edition TweetMeet, we offer four discussion questions instead of five. This means we’ll have more time for each question. Check the timings for each question in the table:

PST # #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Event begins Welcome. Please introduce yourself. Use #MSFTEduChat.
10:06 1 What was your Best of 2019 experience? Share your story or picture.
10:23 2 Which event, product or announcement wins 1st prize on your Best of 2019 list? Why?
10:40 3 Which people, courses or resources helped you excel this year? How?
10:57 4 How can Microsoft make 2020 an even better year for you and your students?
11:15 Event closes Announcing the next event and Participant Survey.

Next month’s event: Devices for Student Success

The theme of January 21 will be Devices for Student Success. We’re very much 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 about what it takes to be a host on a future event.

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Nov. 19 Microsoft Education TweetMeet to focus on computer science and future-ready skills

Announcing the November 19 TweetMeet

When you think of the Class of 2030, their future jobs will be significantly different from the ones we know today. Microsoft Education research shows that to be life-ready, today’s students need to acquire different skills. Of all future jobs, an estimated 70% will require skills in the field of STEM, coding, computer science, data analytics, artificial intelligence and computational thinking. In addition to these, students also need the types of skill that focus on communication, collaboration, creativity, critical and analytical thinking, in addition to social-emotional well-being, self-regulation, resilience and empathic awareness.

That’s why it’s important to rethink education and empower students as they prepare for their future.

TweetMeet on Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science starting at 10 a.m. PST

This month’s TweetMeet is all about the future of teaching and learning. Why do today’s students need STEM, coding and other computer science skills to align to the workforce? What role do social-emotional well-being and self-awareness play?

Hosted by 15 educators who are extremely passionate and experienced in the topic, this Twitter conversation invites you to share and learn from the best ideas, tips and resources. Our hosts will provide you with ideas how you can bring Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science into your classrooms while keeping your students inspired and engaged.

With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on Tuesday, November 19 at 10am PST.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Show your passion for this month’s Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science-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.

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm about Future-Ready Skills, Computer Science and the TweetMeets in general is to create a TweetMeet Friend Card. Share your own version of this image anytime anywhere, for example when introducing yourself at the start of a TweetMeet. Just follow the steps in the TweetMeet Friend Card PowerPoint.

Here’s an example:

Looking back on the October MSFTEduChat on STEM and NASA

We captured highlights for this TweetMeet event in a new @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of all tweets from this event in this Wakelet Collection.

Welcoming TweetMeet newcomers

Do you know someone who’s new to the TweetMeets? Our brand-new You can join a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet video is especially created for newcomers, so please share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested to join:

Video for Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science – #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on November 19

For educators who are totally new to Twitter and who could use an introduction, we recommend the Twitter EDU tutorial ebook by David Truss @datruss.

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.

Former host James Kieft wrote the following blog post describing why educators should consider participating in Twitter chats, and how to get started: Twitter chats explained.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, November 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtags #FutureReadySkills, #CS, #MSFTEduChat and #MicrosoftEDU. 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 Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add columns for the hashtags and for your favorite educators. 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 most welcome to join any time after the event. Simply look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best.

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

To allow everyone to prepare for the event, from now on we provide the question timings as a text table:

PST # #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Event begins Welcome. Please introduce yourself. Use #MSFTEduChat.
10:04 1 What do Future-Ready Skills mean to you and your students? Why are they important?
10:18 2 How do you design learning experiences to promote Future-Ready Skills in your subject?
10:32 3 What place do Computer Science and Future-Ready Skills have in your curriculum?
10:46 4 How can any teacher get started with Future-Ready Skills and Computer Science? Share ideas, tools and resources.
11:00 5 What are you willing to do tomorrow to prepare your students for the future?
11:15 Event closes Announcing the next event and Participant Survey.

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.

We’ve invited our hosts to share their personal favorite resources and introduce their resource collections with a Flipgrid video. Find all of these resources in our new Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science SuperWakelet, live-embedded here:

Introducing our hosts

Please meet the 15 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: Future-Ready Skills & Computer Science.

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

https://twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2019-11/members

List of host names and their profiles

  • Adrien Rouxel @Adrien_Rouxel (Development Manager at Epitech, MIE Expert, passionate about technology and education. Developing creativity and digital literacy among students – Montpellier, France)
  • Aedamar Frawley @aedamar_frawley (MIE Expert, Mathematics Advisor, Mathematics, English & Coding Teacher, Designer and Facilitator of CPD – Sligo, Ireland)
  • Becca Gratz @regratz87 (Computer Science Facilitator (Elementary), MIE Expert, Integrator of MinecraftEdu & Scratch, Driven to change education through Computer Science – Loudoun County, VA, USA)
  • Daniela Bunea @DanielaArghir (Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, MIE Expert, National Geographic Certified Educator, eTwinning and Scientix Ambassador, passionate about STEAM – Sibiu, Romania)
  • Eli Sheldon @elisheldon (Computational Thinking Specialist, HS Computer Science Teacher, Founder @ShowcaseEdu student portfolio platform, formerly @Microsoft – Seattle WA, USA)
  • Fatma Bouaziz @hadoulti (Computer Science Teacher, Europe Code Week Ambassador, European Robotic Week Coordinator, CoSpaces Edu Ambassador, Flipgrid Ambassador, MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor, Skype Master Teacher – Sfax, Tunisia)
  • Henar Lanchas @turtleforward50 (Computer Science Teacher & IT Coordinator. MIE Expert. STEM (STEAM) passionate. Teaching my students to be good problem solvers. – Madrid, Spain)
  • Jennifer Brown @Techisforgirls (Technology Resource Teacher, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher, Code.org CSD Facilitator, Wonder Workshop Wonder Squad member – Hillsborough County, FL, USA)
  • Kimberly Mecham @kimberlymecham (School leader, MIE Expert, World Affairs Council Fellow. Obsessed with the intersection of education, leadership, and innovation. Passionate about equity in education – Bellevue, WA, USA)
  • Maria Sorrentino @MraSorrentino (STEM Teacher, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, MIE, Expert ICT trainer, Educator Community Influencer, eTwinner, Digital Animator, ThingLink Certified Educator, Code.org Teacher – Naples, Italy)
  • Marianna Tarné Éder @TarMarianna (Primary school teacher, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Codeweek leading teacher; I love using Teams, Minecraft, Micro:bit, and Scratch in my projects – Budapest, Hungary)
  • Melissa Dandy Walker @APSITMelissa (@APSUpdate @APSInstructTech Digital Learning Specialist, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor. Believer in touching hearts & empowering minds. – Atlanta, GA USA)
  • Mohammed Abo Hassan @mabohassan781 (English Teacher, MIE Expert, MIE Fellow, Minecraft Global Mentor, Skype Master Teacher and an EU Code Week Ambassador – Manama, Bahrain)
  • Phill Ruffell @phillr (Enthusiastic and passionate about the power of technology, creativity and accessibility to empower all for current and future skills. MIE Expert, Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, OneNote Avenger and Surface Classroom Pro.  – Hertfordshire, UK)
  • Steve Sherman @livingmaths (MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher, run a STEM-based NGO, coordinator of International Math Olympiad, host of online STEM interviews, take Astronauts to schools and show students why STEM is Awesome – Cape Town, South Africa)

Next month’s event: Best of 2019

The theme of December 17 will be Best of 2019. We’re very much 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 about what it takes to be a host on a future event.

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How Minecraft: Education Edition helps hospitalized kids continue to learn

This post comes to us from Evelina Hospital School in London. Their team is using Minecraft: Education Edition to teach students in treatment at Evelina London Children’s hospital. Read their inspiring story about using Minecraft to facilitate learning under challenging circumstances.

Evelina Hospital School is a hospital community school with the UK’s Department for Education that educates young people who are patients of the Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The school was established in 1949, and they’re celebrating their 70th Birthday this year! Located on the South Bank of the Thames river, the hospital is directly opposite the British Parliament.

Over the academic year, Evelina typically teaches 1,500–1,800 different pupils who are unable to attend their home schools because of their medical needs. Their students are taught in classrooms based in the hospital’s atrium, or even at their bedsides in the ward. The school aims to minimize the disruption to young people’s education caused by hospital treatment so that academic progress and an interest in learning will continue as far as medical circumstances permit.

The pupils at Evelina attend for a wide variety of reasons. As a school, they need to offer an enriching educational experience, facilitating learning and continuity in education while meeting the challenges present during a hospital stay. They offer bespoke lessons for each pupil and often seek to find a highly motivated activity to help the students with that initial engagement. The teachers at Evelina discovered that Minecraft: Education Edition was a common theme when discussing student interests. It was a great leveler across wide-ranging needs and age groups, affording accessibility while nurturing opportunities for peer learning. What they see with Minecraft: Education Edition is energy, enthusiasm, and excitement for learning.

The camera looks over the shoulder of a child as he plays Minecraft: Education Edition on a computer.

The camera looks over the shoulder of a child as he plays Minecraft: Education Edition on a computer.

Minecraft naturally evolved out of a desire for pupil-led learning and educational experiences. When the opportunity arose for Evelina Hospital School to apply to be Minecraft Champions, it was a golden opportunity to promote educational Minecraft within the hospital school. They were lucky to have Marquel, a staff member who has a background in multimedia and a great deal of experience with Minecraft itself, in addition to Benjamin Neasom, the lead teacher. Both became Minecraft Champions.

Marquel was able to take the lead on the project, and the results have been phenomenal, with a full replica of the hospital produced through pupil input. This replica has been further adapted into a virtual learning environment. As a result, students readily connect and identify with the context where the teachers set their challenges.

Evelina Hospital School provided laptops to pupils across the hospital, allowing multiple participants within a Minecraft session. Now, pupils in the primary classroom can interact directly within Minecraft with those in the dialysis ward. This connectivity is particularly useful in a hospital setting, where learners are often not able to be present in the same room but benefit from peer interaction within a safe virtual space.

A man helps a child on a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop

A man helps a child on a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop

For the staff who are new to Minecraft: Education Edition, Marquel is offering one-to-one drop-in and group training sessions to help them get started and deliver Minecraft across their settings.

Any achievement is on a strictly individual basis since pupils are often dealing with a complex set of medical circumstances. Achievement could be as simple as engaging with the session. Evelina Hospital School encourages participation and peer work wherever possible. Achievement is recorded through Evelina’s own organization-specific Management Information System, based on teacher observation and demonstrated through finished challenges or the creation of Minecraft content.

Many of the incredible students at the hospital school have been inspired to think about the jobs of the future—jobs that might not even exist yet! Minecraft has expanded the horizons of students who are overcoming complex problems and has encouraged the building of self-esteem, inspiring creative thinking to prepare them for the challenges of the future.

To learn more about how Minecraft: Education Edition can inspire students in any setting, head to education.minecraft.net.

The post Minecraft: Education Edition at Evelina Hospital School appeared first on Minecraft: Education Edition.

This post was originally published on this site.

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Microsoft Global Learning Connection (formerly Skype-a-Thon) event is almost here. Join in Nov. 5-6

The Microsoft Global Learning Connection (formerly Skype-a-Thon) event is almost here. Thousands of educators from more than 110 countries are preparing to connect their students with experts and classrooms around the world to share stories and cultural traditions, play games, and collaborate on projects. The goal is to empower young people to become more engaged global citizens and expand their horizons.

Our global community will count the virtual miles traveled after each connection. Ultimately, these will all contribute to our global goal of traveling 17 million virtual miles and connecting nearly a half-million students via Skype, Teams and Flipgrid.

This 48-hour annual event is a true celebration of the power of global learning and an opportunity to shift perspectives and foster greater empathy and compassion for our planet and each other. If you have arranged a connection, make sure to share your plans with us on social @SkypeClassroom with #MSFTGlobalConnect and #MicrosoftEDU.

And if you haven’t arranged a connection for the two days of the event, there is still time to join us.

Head to msftglobalclassroom.com to learn more about the event. We hope you will join us to connect and inspire your students on November 5 and 6.

To help you get started and plan your participation, we have gathered below all the necessary resources:

  • Download a step-by-step activity plan to help you organize your connections for the two-day
  • Access the teacher toolkit, which is full of resources for you and your students. This includes maps, stickers, digital passports, activity sheets, a letter to parents and more.
  • Are you interested in making the Global Learning Connection the starting point for an event at your school or getting ideas on how to tie the event with a global cause? Check out educators’ tips here.
  • Find out how to schedule connections via Skype, Teams and Flipgrid here.
  • Explore the event’s social toolkit and download ready-made templates to share your participation on social channels with our global community @SkypeClassroom with #MSFTGlobalConnect #MicrosoftEDU.

Happy Traveling!

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Teachers: Check out Video Editor for storytelling, latest updates to Immersive Reader and more

As teachers, you know how important a strong feedback loop is to student improvement, and similarly, we value your input as we create and hone classroom tools. This month’s What’s New in EDU focuses on topics you said you wanted to learn more about and resources you asked for. We’ll help you get started and will share your tips, particularly when it comes to strengthening STEM instruction and developing future-ready skills in students.

Video Editor for Windows 10

We used Video Editor for Windows 10 to create this month’s What’s New in EDU video. Educators have told us they want a full-featured set of video creation and editing tools for digital storytelling, and it’s available completely free with every Windows 10 device. Give Video Editor a try and see how your students create films with background music, text effects, 3D models and special effects, all completely free with every Windows 10 device. Look for it in your Start Menu or search for “Video.”

Video Editor isn’t just for students. Educators are using it to create video newsletters, capture special events and document instructional approaches. New features just released include: split video and precision trim for easier editing, back-up project to create templates and allow students to share work in progress, add content directly from Bing image search with Creative Commons license captions for digital citizenship, and even more choices for animated text and effects.

Download the Video Editor How-to Guide and watch this video to get your classroom up and running in no time. Follow the Video Editor team on Twitter for even more updates on video storytelling in the classroom.

Learning Tools

Learning tools are free resources rooted in proven techniques to improve reading, writing, math and communications. Here’s what’s new:

  • To help students with writing, Dictation is rolling out to PowerPoint on the web allowing students to add writing to their slides with the power of their voice.
  • And math practice quizzes are now available in OneNote Online. Students can use the Math assistant in OneNote Online to generate a quiz. We’ve also just launched an interactive guide for inclusive math.

Microsoft Forms

An update to Microsoft Forms lets you use branching logic to create personalized assessments. Adding this technology allows you to change quiz questions based on student answers. In a quiz that branches, students only see questions that are relevant to them. So, if students get an answer wrong, they might be directed to additional instructions and practice questions. You can learn more about Microsoft Forms here.

Microsoft Teams for Education

Microsoft Teams brings conversations, content, assignments and apps together in one digital hub.

  • Now you can 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.

  • Set a Close Date. 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, too. No submissions will be allowed after the close date, granting you more flexibility on if/when you’ll accept late or revised work from students.

  • 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. That’s why we’ve integrated the Immersive Reader into all student assignment instruction pages. Now students can better understand assignment instructions and educator feedback using Immersive Reader.

Computer Science

You’ve told us you’d like more coding support to ensure you are helping students develop critical technical skills, and we have news on that front.

  • Educators using the micro:bit with MakeCode, a free resource that brings computer science to life with fun projects, can download new curriculum resources here.
  • We’re hearing great feedback about MakeCode Arcade, a new retro ‘80s game-development environment that allows students to design and build 2D games.
  • And educators participating in the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition this year can use MakeCode for MINDSTORMS to program their robots. Get started here.

Hacking STEM

If you haven’t explored Hacking STEM—our free, project-based STEM lesson plans—now is the time. Our latest lesson plans were created in partnership with NASA’s STEM on Station team. These hands-on, standards-aligned lesson plans celebrate the astronauts’ contributions to improving life both in space and on Earth. To help you bring some of these projects into your classroom, our partner Carolina Biological Supply has created classroom-ready kits for you.

Minecraft: Education Edition

Microsoft New Zealand partnered with local game designer, Whetu Paitai, to create a special Minecraft world and set of lessons called “Ngā Motu” to immerse young people in Māori culture. In this video, discover how the immersive world of Minecraft is bringing indigenous culture to life and helping build social-emotional skills as students work together to explore their country’s national language and history.

Video for What’s New in EDU: How to use innovative resources for digital storytelling, STEM learning, personalized assessments and more

We’ve also heard from those of you teaching in Australia and have created new educator resources aligned to your education standards.

Stay tuned for a new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial coming from the Minecraft Education team next month! Save the date for Computer Science Education Week, happening December 9-14.

Flipgrid

Flipgrid helps amplify student voice by empowering students to record and create short videos. Here’s what’s new:

  • FlipgridAR is a hit! Educators around the world are using the magical new ability to “stick” videos from Flipgrid to student artwork, books, classroom displays, locker posters and more.
  • Empower every student in your class with Flipgrid Conversation Starters, now in the Flipgrid Disco Library.
  • Want more support? You can join Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads for FlipgridPD. The 30-minute sessions take place on Teams and are packed with great ideas.

Events

The Microsoft Global Learning Connection, formerly known as Skype-a-Thon, allows students to travel the world virtually and connect using Skype, Teams and Flipgrid. Join us on November 5-6 as we aim to travel 17 million virtual miles and connect hundreds of thousands of students.

Device Spotlight

We’ve heard you say you’d like to know more about affordable devices. You can find information here. We’ve heard many of you say the Dell Latitude 3190, a lightweight laptop with an 11-hour battery life, is great for students. Pricing starts at $219 USD for a 4/64 storage configuration with the latest-gen Intel Celeron processor.

What’s new in Higher Education

We’re excited to share that Microsoft’s AI Business School now offers a learning path for education. The Microsoft AI Business School for Education helps learners understand how AI can enhance educational experiences. The learning path is available on Microsoft Learn.

Thanks for tuning in, trying some of these resources and continuing to share your insights with us. We hope we’ve given you the information and inspiration you need to get started with new tools, and please let us how we can further support you. At Microsoft Education, our mission is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. We can only do that in collaboration with you and are so grateful for your partnership.

Share your feedback with us on this month’s What’s New in EDU update on Twitter by tagging @MicrosoftEDU!

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Next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet explores life in space – liftoff at 10 a.m. PT Oct. 15

Announcing the October 15 TweetMeet

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of humans continuously living aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In celebration, the Microsoft Hacking STEM team (@Hacking_STEM) has partnered with NASA’s STEM on Station team @NASASTEM to design eight exciting STEM lesson plans targeted at middle and high school students. Each activity in the NASA collection focuses on the challenges that astronauts face while living in space. For example, students learn what it means to experience microgravity and to detect radiation.

For instructional videos covering each lesson and background information on important NASA milestones, read the blog post “Closing the distance between the International Space Station and the Classroom,” by Microsoft Education Workshop senior director Karon Weber (@KaronWeber).

All eight lesson plans are now available for free on the Microsoft Educator Center website.

The partnership between Microsoft Education and NASA was announced at the ISTE 2019 EdTech conference.

Watch the live interview by Jeff Bradbury from @TeacherCast with Matthew E. Wallace from NASA’s STEM on Station team and Karon Weber from Microsoft in which they announce the partnership:

Video for Life in Space—STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on October 15

TweetMeet on STEM and NASA starting at 10 a.m. PDT

Whether you’re a total space geek or a newcomer to the crossover between STEM and space education, our TweetMeet has something for you.

Hosted by 12 educators who are extremely passionate and highly specialized in the topic, this Twitter conversation invites you to share and learn from the best ideas, tips and resources. Our hosts will provide you with ideas on how you can bring space into your classrooms while keeping your students inspired and engaged.

With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on Tuesday, October 15 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Welcoming TweetMeet 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 Life in Space—STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on October 15

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.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Show your passion for this month’s STEM- and NASA-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.

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm for STEM, NASA, space education 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:

Looking back on the September TweetMeet on Minecraft in Education

We captured highlights for this TweetMeet in a new @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of 1,200 tweets in this Wakelet Collection.

Did you miss the post-TweetMeet Live Event about the latest Back-to-School update for MinecraftEdu? A recording of the presentation by Meenoo Rami is now available to watch at your convenience.

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, October 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags  #STEM, #HackingSTEM, #SpaceEd, #NASA, #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 these same hashtags. 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 # #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Welcome Please introduce yourself. Use #MSFTEduChat.
10:04 1 Why does space education matter and how does it inspire students?
10:18 2 How can we bring space into our classrooms?
10:32 3 What problem-solving opportunities does space education offer? Share stories.
10:46 4 How can newcomers get started with space education? Share tips and resources.
11:00 5 What can you do tomorrow to begin your classroom’s space journey?
11:15 Event closes Announcing the next event and Participant Survey

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.

We’ve invited our hosts to share their personal favorite resources and introduce their resource collections with a Flipgrid video. Find all of these resources in our new STEM and NASA SuperWakelet, live-embedded here:

Hosts

Meet the 12 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: STEM and NASA.

Check out all the hosts, see what they are tweeting about and consider following them: https://twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2019-10/members

List of hosts and their profiles

  • Adam Rummelhart @Adam_Rummelhart (Microsoft Learning Consultant, MIE Expert, ScreenBeam Expert, passionate about empowering teachers and students—Chicago IL, USA)
  • Betty Jo Moore @bjmoore1640 (Science Teacher, Robotics and Science Olympiad Coach, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, SEEC Crew Member, Smithsonian Teacher Innovator Institute Member. Passionate about STEM and STEAM—Winston-Salem NC, USA)
  • David Lockett @DavidJLockett (STEM Teacher @BokSTEM NASA JPL SSA, @OSIRISREx Ambassador, Teach STEM Like an Astronaut—Lake Wales FL, USA)
  • Erik Leitner @Professor_Erik (@BrowardSTEM STEM+CS Instructional Facilitator, SECME STEM Olympiad regional coordinator, robotics competition coordinator, and Code.org CSF Facilitator. Star Wars fanboy extraordinaire—Fort Lauderdale FL, USA)
  • Jennifer Duffer @mhs_aero (Aerospace Engineering & Robotics Teacher, RV-12 Airplane Builder, SEEC Crew Member, Space Camp Alumni, and passionate about empowering all students—Montgomery TX, USA)
  • Jennifer Ferguson @Fergeeksongirl (Educational Specialist, Professional Learning for Let’s Talk Science / STEM Consultant for Calgary Academy • SDG Goal 4 • ADHD, Autism & Asperger awareness—Cochrane, Alberta, Canada)
  • Jodie Guillen @TheAstroTeacher (Space Education Specialist @SpaceFoundation, Inaugural SEEC Crew Member, and Space Camp grad! Enthusiastic & passionate about changing lives one kiddo at a time!!!—Colorado Springs CO, USA)
  • Kellie Taylor @KellieTaylorEdD (3rd Grade Teacher @BSDEducation, STEM Educator, 18-19 Einstein Fellow, SEEC Crew Member, MAVEN Educator Ambassador, NASA inspired—Emmett ID, USA)
  • Kim James @teacherkimj (Instructional Technology Specialist, Chino Valley Unified; Professional Learning Specialist, i2e; MIE Expert; passionate about student voice and creativity!—Chino Hills CA, USA)
  • Lisa Lista @LisaLista73 (8th Grade CTE Teacher/Math & Science Instructional Coach, STEAM Lab Facilitator @ Woodcrest Junior High, passionate about access/equity for all—Chino Hills CA, USA)
  • Natasha Rachell @apsitnatasha (Former high school science teacher turned Science Digital Learning Specialist, MIEExpert, Flipgrid Certified Educator-Level 3, passionate about empowering the voices of ALL students—Atlanta GA, USA)
  • Valeria Rodriguez @Valeriateaches (STEM Teacher, Instructional Technologist M.Ed, SEEC Crew, RPCV, Children’s Book Author &  Sketchnoter passionate about designing meaningful learning experiences—Miami FL, USA)

Next month’s event: Future-ready Skills & Computer Science

The theme of the TweetMeet on November 19 will be Future-ready Skills & Computer Science. 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.

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