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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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Let us count the ways new tech tools can help students get better at math

Greetings teachers! As you get back into the back-to-school routine, we thought we would give you a quick update on one of your favorite subjects—math!  Below you will find amazing tools that will help your students learn and practice math in a fun and engaging way—thanks to our teams from Bing, OneNote, Windows Calculator and our partners from GeoGebra and FluidMath. We hope you’ll find these tools useful whether you are on-the-go with your mobile device or sitting down at your Windows 10 PC.

Learn on your mobile phone with Bing Math Helper

Newly introduced Math Helper is available in the Bing app for iPhone and Android. Whether your students are taking a photo of a math problem or drawing it by hand, this tool can help them solve the problem and guide them through the interactive solution steps and graphs. Math Helper can assist students with a variety of problems, including arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Additionally, the app offers access to learning resources such as related instructional videos and practice worksheets, utilizing the full power of the Bing search engine. Download the free Math Helper app here.

Practice inside OneNote with the Math Assistant

OneNote’s Math Assistant empowers your students to be independent learners. The Math button not only helps students solve equations, but it also shows the steps needed to get to that point. Breaking down a complex problem into steps allows students to build understanding of the solution process. And students can use Immersive Reader to hear the solution steps read aloud. In addition, we’ve just launched an interactive demo of our inclusive math features, so you can learn about these features at your convenience.

For more practice, the Math Assistant can generate a practice quiz with a set of similar questions to those the student is working on.

Also, OneNote can graph functions, providing visual assistance in understanding math concepts and procedures.

Learn more about the Math Assistant here.

Visualize math functions with Windows Calculator graphing mode (coming soon)

Windows Calculator will soon have a graphing calculator mode, providing teachers with a new modern tool to teach graphing concepts in the classroom. It will help empower students to learn mathematics by improving conceptual understanding and attitudes towards math. With this feature, teachers and students will have access to a great baseline graphing calculator experience out-of-the-box on Windows 10, where they will be able to plot and analyze multiple equations and manipulate equation variables in real time to help understand how changes to equations affect graphs. This feature will be available to Windows Insiders later this year, and we cannot wait to hear your feedback! You can  find the latest information on the Windows Calculator here.

Leverage community resources with the GeoGebra Graphing Calculator on Windows 10

GeoGebra is a leading provider of math apps, STEM education resources and community services, having provided calculator apps and curriculum services to 500 million students and teachers globally since 2015. Its powerful graphing calculator for math students and teachers, made for your PC, Surface and mobile devices, also offers access to curriculum resources created by the global GeoGebra community of teachers. You can search, browse, use directly or make a copy and adapt over 1 million shared resources for just about any curriculum, anywhere. For more information, please visit www.geogebra.org or download the free GeoGebra Graphing Calculator app for Windows 10 here.

Use the pen to ink your math in the FluidMath app

For those of you who love picking up a pen to do math, you will find the FluidMath app on Windows 10 a joy to work with. This award-winning app enables teachers and students to easily create, solve and graph math and physics problems all in their own handwriting—especially tailored for 6th to 12th graders. Its animation function (see screenshot below) offers a great way for students to grasp concepts more easily. FluidMath was developed and tested in consultation with teachers over several years with support from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health and the US Department of Education. You can find a free trial version of the Windows 10 FluidMath app here.

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EVP Jean-Philippe Courtois: How AI is transforming education and skills development

Artificial intelligence can help us to solve some of society’s most difficult challenges and create a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all. I’ve already shared the exciting possibilities in the fields of healthcare and agriculture in previous posts. But there may be no area where the possibilities are more interesting – or more important – than education and skills. From personalized learning that takes advantage of AI to adapt teaching methods and materials to the needs of individual students, to automated grading that frees teachers from the drudgery of assessing tests so they have more time to work with students, to intelligent systems that are transforming how learners find and interact with information, the opportunities to improve education outcomes and accessibility will be truly transformational.

There are many classrooms around the world where educators teach very diverse groups of students from different cultures, who speak multiple languages. Take The Dhour Shweir Public Secondary School in Lebanon, for example. It improved the academic interaction between students and educators through applications like OneNote and Microsoft Teams which provides real-time language translation, allowing students who speak different languages to communicate with one another. The tools not only promote better collaboration and productivity, but also enhanced interaction between the students and their teachers.

We also saw just how much more Teams can do when Australian professor, David Kellermann, recently demonstrated how he created a unique learning experience for his university students – from a Question bot that can answer students’ queries on its own to a Power BI dashboard that shows how students’ exam answers compare to peers’ and helps build personalized study packs for future tests based on previous performance.

I am intrigued by a new digital assistant that was recently launched by Staffordshire University, in England. Called Beacon, it is designed to help ease the stress and anxiety that many students experience in their first year at university. Hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, Beacon takes advantage of the fact that students at Staffordshire, one of the UK’s leading institutions for digital technologies, are more likely to use their mobile phone to find information or search for help than to talk to a lecturer or seek out a member of the university’s staff.

Part information source and part digital coach, Beacon answers questions, suggests activities that students might be interested in, checks on their mood, and supports them in their classwork. If the digital assistant detects signs that a student is struggling, it can send an alert to a university staff member who is able to offer help. By providing insights about how each student is adjusting to university life and creating an avenue for delivering extra support quickly to those who need it, the hope is that it will reduce the dropout rate and help students thrive.

Education doesn’t end with school or University. In today’s world, we must all be prepared to keep learning and re-skilling, as the world of work evolves.

Outside of traditional education institutes, AI can also help people to reskill or acquire news skills – for example, through Microsoft’s partnership with Ashoka, a global organization that supports social entrepreneurs who are committed to finding innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges. As part of Microsoft’s worldwide Tech for Good Initiative, at the heart of this new partnership is the Microsoft-Ashoka Accelerator, a program designed to foster an ecosystem of start-ups that take advantage of the power of cloud computing and artificial intelligence to tackle social and environmental issues. I had the pleasure of meeting Arnaud Mourot, Co-Director of Ashoka Europe earlier this year, to talk about support for promising social start-ups. Microsoft is providing access to technology, AI and cloud expertise, and mentors who can help entrepreneurs create intelligent, data-driven solutions, connect to markets, and more.

I also attended the opening of the first Microsoft-Ashoka Accelerators in France and India, where we are piloting the program. Among the early participants in the program are Singa, an organization that helps refugees and asylum seekers connect with people, services, and economic opportunities in their host countries; Ipso Health, which is working to improve healthcare systems and expand access to quality healthcare; and Libraries Without Borders, which sets up libraries and provides access to information resources in conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters.

One of the things I like most about this new partnership is Ashoka’s focus on programs for young people and its understanding of the value that comes from helping a new generation of young entrepreneurs gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to apply advanced technology to social innovation. Through its Youth Ventures program, Ashoka has worked with more than 500,000 young people around the world.

I too, am a strong believer in the value of mentoring young people, and it is something I am actively engaged in through Live for Good, a foundation my family and I founded in 2015 to enable young people from all walks of life to reach their full potential through social entrepreneurship and digital innovation.

One of the most important things I have learned is that the world is filled with talented young people who have brilliant ideas and a deep desire to create a better world, but who often lack access to skills training, to technology, or to mentors who can provide the critical guidance they need to truly thrive – in school and at work. Today, AI-based services like Staffordshire University’s Beacon digital assistant and programs like the Microsoft-Ashoka accelerator are providing opportunities for young people to get the support they need to prepare them to lead the way forward, while technologies such as AI are creating new ways to have a positive impact.

To me, this is probably the most inspiring and promising aspect of the digital revolution—the doors it is opening for all of us to thrive and to create a better world.

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Why lifelong learning makes for top teaching

Every year, EU Code Week encourages young people across Europe to engage with computer science in a hands-on way. Computer science skills are increasingly in demand in Europe’s labor market, across all kinds of sectors. In fact, over 90 percent of all jobs now require basic levels of digital skills. Meanwhile the demand for skilled ICT professionals in Europe has grown by 4 percent annually in the past decade.

EU Code Week is the perfect time for young people to dip their toes into the world of coding and start building up their expertise. But as this year’s edition kicks off, we also want to recognize the teachers working not just this week, but year-round, to ensure that their students are equipped for future success.

We recently spoke to several teachers from across Europe about the skills they value most in their classrooms – and how they work to hone these skills using technology.

From honing soft skills to staying safe online
Tere Lorca Alhama, a Music and ICT teacher from Spain, highlighted communications and problem solving as her priority skills, alongside critical thinking and digital literacy: “When it comes to their online lives, we must give students the tools to interact safely and behave appropriately. Social media can be a powerful teaching tool, for instance, but children need to learn to use it first.”

For Nicos Paphitis, an ICT teacher from Cyprus, soft skills are important, but there’s also a need to adapt to different students’ needs. As his students tinker with Minecraft or explore a new programming language, they are in fact learning how to collaborate, rethink, troubleshoot and improve, all at their own pace. This is “deep learning”, as Nicos calls it, and it is where he sees students truly thriving and remaining engaged.

Such an environment fosters creativity, which is highly sought-after by employers. Łukasz Gierek, a teacher from Poland, whose school is part of the Microsoft Showcase Schools Program, highlights why this skill in particular takes center stage in his classroom: “Creativity and collaboration are the two most important skills for the next generation. Creativity is what makes us human. The more we use AI, the more we need to cultivate creativity.”

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Skype-a-Thon gets a new name and new tools for connecting students around the world

One of my favorite moments each year is when I get to connect with students all around the world as part of our annual Skype-a-Thon. Since our inaugural event in 2014, Skype-a-Thon has engaged with hundreds of thousands of students, classrooms and volunteer guest speakers who’ve embraced it and are connecting every year to help teach empathy and compassion.

With new tools now available for educators to better connect students with each other, like Microsoft Teams and Flipgrid, in addition to Skype, I am excited to announce that Skype-a-Thon is now called the Microsoft Global Learning Connection—a celebration for students around the world to open hearts and minds to connect, become global citizens and change the world.

Save the date—November 5-6, 2019!

The Microsoft Global Learning Connection will happen on November 5-6, 2019. An estimated half-a-million students from over 110 countries will connect and travel “virtual miles” to speak with guest speakers, experience a new culture, sing a song, go on virtual field trips and learn from other students, educators and experts from around the world. It’s the same great event but with more opportunities to make connections. Our goal is to travel over 17 million virtual miles—together we’ll achieve this via Skype, Teams and Flipgrid:

  • Skype—Skype remains a popular tool for educators to connect their classrooms to the world. Through the Skype in the Classroom community, educators can find other classrooms, invite experts or take live virtual field trips.
  • Microsoft Teams—as many schools transition from Skype for Business (Skype and Skype for Business are two different tools) to Teams, they are now able to leverage the power of Teams to connect and collaborate. Find more details here.
  • Flipgrid—With Flipgrid, students are empowered to share their voice via short videos on “grids,” enabling them to reflect, discuss and showcase what they are learning. Learn how you can defy time zones and connect asynchronously via Flipgrid during the event!

This year’s event will also encourage the use of these tools in concert, such as making a call over Skype or Teams, then engaging students on Flipgrid to record their reflections of the call.

So, join me and get ready for the Microsoft Global Learning Connection 2019!

  1. Bookmark the new event page msftglobalconnect.com.
  2. Start to plan out your class adventure by downloading a Step-by-step Activity Plan: aka.ms/MSFTGlobalConnectPlan
  3. Schedule calls with experts and classrooms for Nov. 5-6 and connect via Skype, Teams and Flipgrid. Find more details here.
  4. Share your plans and favorite photos with us @SkypeClassroom with #MSFTGlobalConnect #MicrosoftEDU

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Teachers: Check out what our latest tools and resources bring to you and your students

With school in full swing, teachers are busy assessing their students’ social, emotional and academic needs, setting goals, building collaborative learning environments and using the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired to transform classrooms. With all that in front of them, technology in the classroom has to work hard for educators and improve teaching and learning.

In this month’s edition of What’s New in EDU, we’re excited to unveil new tools and resources that will empower teachers to deliver great instruction, personalize learning, foster inclusion and accessibility, and free up time to focus on what matters most.

Learning Tools

Let’s start with Learning Tools, Microsoft Education resources that support inclusive classrooms and help students with reading, writing, math and communication. They are available in Microsoft Word, OneNote, Teams, Outlook Online and Microsoft Edge. We’re excited to share that our Read Aloud function, a powerful learning aid for many students, used to sound robotic, but we’ve overhauled it to make it sound more human, allowing for more student engagement and a better overall experience.

Office 365 Education updates

New updates to Office 365 Education will empower students to get creative and show what they know and can do with confidence, using the platforms that work best for them.

  • Students can independently improve presentation skills in PowerPoint with Presenter Coach, an intelligent PowerPoint tool that provides feedback on presentations. It is now available in PowerPoint for the web in public preview and will help students develop public-speaking skills.
  • Ink Replay animations on PowerPoint for Windows and Mac, as well as annotating with digital pen in Slide Show on PowerPoint for the web are available for Insiders and rolling out now. Additional Inking in Office for web support will be coming soon.
  • We developed Sketched Shapes so students can convey to their peers or teachers that something they’re working on is a work in progress. It’s an engaging, new graphics feature and outline style for working on diagrams and models. Try Sketched Shapes now in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the desktop app and Mac.

Minecraft: Education Edition news

We have several updates that will make Minecraft: Education Edition easier and even more fun to use in creative and collaborative ways.

  • Students can now save their work as a PDF using the export function in the Book & Quill tool.
  • We’ve improved the multiplayer experience by developing a way for students to invite others to join their Minecraft worlds using join codes.
  • It’s now easier to assign or share a link to worlds from within your Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Immersive Reader is now integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition.
  • Through Single Sign On (SSO), users can choose to be automatically logged in based on their credentials. They can easily sign out at any time too.
  • A more visual site map will help teachers and students find Minecraft worlds in the Library or navigate to n-progress worlds.

More IT news

We’re excited to tell you about Simpler sign-in. Every minute of school time is essential. And we’ve heard G Suite for Education customers say they’d like to use Office 365, but their students have trouble remembering two passwords and that having two sign-in procedures is too time consuming. So, we’ve come up with a way for students to sign into Office 365 with their Google credentials. We’re looking for school districts that want to try it. Learn more here.

We have updates to Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS), an automated data-management tool that takes information from Student Information Systems (SIS) and creates classes and groups for Microsoft Teams, OneNote Class Notebooks, Intune for Education and third-party applications.

  • Any synced teacher can now reset passwords for students.
  • Teachers can run the class cleanup feature whenever they’re ready.
  • Administrators can easily mark classes expired and archive Class Teams in bulk.
  • We’ve improved sync times and have new OneRoster API Sync Providers. OneRoster allows schools to safely share roster information with select third-party systems.

Video tips

And just a friendly reminder to check out our “You Can in :90” video series. We created these short videos based on your most-requested tips for using Microsoft Education tools. Check out a few below.

We hope your school year is off to a great start and that you find these resources and tools empowering as you work to deliver instruction that meets diverse learning needs, builds future-ready skills and sparks joy in the classroom. So much of what we develop, and the improvements we make to existing tools, are based on your experience and the feedback you share with us. So please keep that coming, and we look forward to bringing you more Microsoft Education updates next month.

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