ChicMEEk

The new GEEK


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Sharing Innovation

A new school year and it is time for Windows 8 and Office 365 and computing innovation at Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School!

Having just put my action plan together for the year ahead I will be focusing on facilitating the on-going professional development of our staff and implementing an e-safety program within the school. I have shared my action plan below in case there are teachers and subject leaders who are in similar positions to me and are looking for ideas to build technology and learning in their school.

Action plan

Last year saw the development of my Year One students’ technology skills including the use of a range of Windows 8 apps, Office 365 and SharePoint. At only 6 years old, their ICT skills were parallel to many adults out there; with most of the children going home to teach their parents. This year it is my responsibility to cascade the teaching and learning of technology to the staff through training, mentoring and coaching on the integration of Windows 8 and Office 365 into our curriculum.

As a Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator (M.I.E.E), I am able to deliver Microsoft training to teachers and schools. So to kick the new year off with a bang, next week I will be putting Hartsbrook staff through their Windows in the Classroom Badge. This workshop provides teachers with the tools to improve students’ learning by delivering more powerful and engaging learning experiences. We will be looking at the research undertaken by Innovative Teaching and Learning Research, exploring Windows 8 in more detail and trying first-hand at planning a lesson using a Windows 8 app!

As you can see from my action plan, this is just the first step towards developing staff capacity in ICT to positively impact on children’s learning experiences and to move towards innovation throughout the school, not just in one classroom. I will be keeping you updated on our progress.

If you or your school are interested in any Microsoft training for your school, please do get in contact at beckhursteducation@gmail.com  or tweet @CharBeckhurst


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Microsoft Kick Off 14

On Friday I had the privilege of presenting at Microsoft Kick-Off 14. Presenting to the whole of Microsoft Public Sector, I was able to share the direct impact of the Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator (M.I.E.E) Program on learning as well as building capacity amongst educators.  Being a M.I.E.E enables me to share the teaching and learning taking place at Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School at events such as Kick Off 14 and to demonstrate how Windows 8 and Office 365 is being used in education as well as the importance of the M.I.E.E program itself.

At Microsoft Kick-Off 14, I was focusing on the importance of integrating technology into the curriculum and developing 21st Century Learning Skills. Since opening in September 2012, Hartsbrook students have been using Office 365 and Windows 8 to develop their digital literacy skills. However, the difference is that the students have been learning ICT skills through areas of the curriculum such as literacy, maths and humanities; rather than focusing on the ICT skills as stand-alone components. To put this into context students learning about forces and recording science investigations,  undertook  a class tug of war, took photos with one device, accessed them from SkyDrive on another device, downloaded what they needed and then used the photos to make a Photo Story. The technology here has supported and enabled the learning through collaboration, communication, a shared purpose and responsibility and problem solving.

Integration with the curriculum extends teaching and learning opportunities. It opens up a world of possibility for utilisation of Win8 apps to be incorporated with curriculum. I was able to share our 6 week scheme of work entitled ‘Journey Around London’ to illustrate how Windows 8 Apps can be used to develop literacy skills as well as historical, geographical and cultural knowledge and understanding. You can access the scheme of work on my Resources page to find out more.

As an M.I.E.E educator I am now a Microsoft and Partners in Learning trainer which means I am able to deliver Microsoft courses and workshops as well as design bespoke training according to schools’ needs. I am also working in partnership with Toshiba to support teaching and learning on Toshiba devices. Some key projects which I am focusing on for the new academic year are:

–          Windows 8 Lesson Planning App competition 2013. For both secondary and primary schools, this competition is open to teams of students who wish to design a lesson which incorporates a Windows 8 App. Entrants will come together to present/teach their lesson at a day event in November/December. If wish to know more about this, please contact me at beckhursteducation@gmail.com

–          I will be doing a number of presentations within Havering, Brentwood and Waltham Forest schools community. For further information, please contact Havering School Improvement Services, ICT Team.

–          As a member of staff of the E-ACT schools groups, we will be running some professional development days involving teaching with technology and Windows in the Classroom badge.

 

Please get in contact if you are interested in CPD for your school.

 


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Top 10/20 Windows8 Apps as chosen by M.E.E.

apps

Here are the Top 10/20 Educational Win8 Apps recommended by Microsoft Expert Educators. During day one of M.E.E training, we earned our first badge; Windows 8 in the Classroom. As a group we split into two groups and each came up with the Top 10 Win8 Apps for the classroom! It was declared a tie, although we both know who really won.

You will find these Top 20 Win8 apps are a mix to suit both primary and secondary with many spanning across both, such as Flip Boom Lite and the QR Reader/Generator. They have the capability to enhance the teaching and learning taking place in both Literacy, Numeracy and other subject areas.

Each App will shortly be available on www.pil-network.com with a learning resource to accompany it written by M.E.E.ks. Check them out to get some great ideas for your classrooms!

  1. Movie Edit Touch
  2. Music Maker Jam
  3. Flip Boom Lite
  4. National Zoo
  5. QR Code Generator
  6. Animal and Bird Sounds
  7. Nsquared Herding
  8. Abc phonics
  9. Fresh Paint
  10. Time Lapse
  11.  Puzzle Touch
  12. Physamajig
  13. Paint a Story
  14. World Explorer
  15. Brain Pop
  16. Sequencer
  17. Play and Grow
  18. Win TED videos
  19. My Study Life
  20. My Baby Piano

 

Check back in for regular updates on these apps, lesson ideas and reflections on teaching and learning right here and on twitter.


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Geek to M.E.E.k

The idea of a GEEK, these days is changing. It is now more trendy, cool, maybe even ‘hip’ to be a Geek. Being ahead in the world of technology is something to aspire to, a place where we want our students to be, something which is usually just out of our reach as before we know it technology has changed, advanced and become even more innovative.  I am a bit of a GEEK not your stereotypical geek but the more recently found chic geek or rather in my case I am the new ‘ChicMEEk’.

Writing this blog has been something in the undercurrents of my thoughts for a while and finally I was able to concentrate on M.E.E and put my thoughts into action. It is time for to hear all about my journey with M.E.E. Thus Geek became M.E.E.k.

That’s the Microsoft Expert Educator program. An exciting new program for a select group of teachers to be trained up by Microsoft new technologies such as Windows8 and Office 365. Who, while undertaking a series of badge completions, will be responsible for creating and developing innovative practice within their school and classroom to engage ever student at their own pace and in a way to achieve their greatest potential through using technology. Not only that but these people will be sharing their practice to build capabilities of other educators worldwide. And I am thrilled to say that this includes ‘me’.