Microsoft EDU – Education Stories | Microsoft Education Blog
Empowering every student and educator to achieve more with the best of Microsoft tips and resources for education. Our goal is to inspire students and educators to create and share in entirely new ways, to teach and learn through exploration, and to adapt to individual learning needs so they can make, design, invent and build with technology.
Last month for our Global Student Build Challenge, in partnership with NASA, we invited students to visit the International Space Station in Minecraft. Students were encouraged to design a new module for the Space Station and describe what hypothetical scientific experiments they would run.
Thank you to everyone who participated! As promised, we’re sharing some of the amazing creations that were posted on social media below. Check out creative students flexing their problem solving skills while investigating farming in space, how to paint without gravity, and if trampoline would work as a form of transport on the space station!
Highlights from the May Global Student Build Challenge
Shared by Grade 5 Educator at the American International School in Cyprus, Minecraft Mentor Pantelis Charalambous (Source: https://twitter.com/Pantelees/status/1129004534842437637)
Join us at ISTE in Philadelphia June 23-26! Stop by the Microsoft STEM area to explore the International Space Station in Minecraft: Education Edition, and learn more ways to engage your students across math, coding and science with the Minecraft team. Learn how to find us!
Global Student Build Challenge (May 2019) – A Visit to the International Space Station
Did you know that humans have been living in space for almost 20 years? Minecraft: Education Edition is celebrating this historic anniversary with a new International Space Station world for you to explore! The ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000, and orbits Earth every 90 minutes. The six-person crew lives and works in the solar-powered station, which offers sleeping quarters, bathrooms, a gym and a 360-degree view bay window to look down to Earth. Researchers from 103 countries have conducted thousands of experiments on the ISS, and you are next! Design a new module for the ISS and describe what hypothetical scientific experiments you will run.
Go on a scavenger hunt, find and label each of the ISS parts and modules then write a description about how each is used.
Use the Camera, Book & Quill and Boards in Minecraft: Education Edition to document your work.
Copy and paste this link into your browser to start building: minecraftedu://?openlibrary=G009ST4TW6XH
If this Challenge theme resonates with you or the content that you teach, we welcome you to use this Challenge prompt any time of year! Share your classroom creations with us on Pinterest or Twitter via @playcraftlearn and #MinecraftEDU.
As the school year comes to a close in many parts of the world and districts begin planning professional development, we’re excited to announce a wave of OneNote and Class Notebook improvements based on all of the feedback that we’ve been hearing 👂 as we work with amazing educators and students around the world 🌎
OneNote Class Notebook
We’ve heard your feedback loud and clear, and have brought more of your favorite Class Notebook features to other versions of OneNote.
Individual page distribution – Just like OneNote 2016, now you can differentiate easily by distributing a page only to certain students. This is supported in OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad. We’re rolling out this feature to Office Insiders starting today!
Individual Page Distribution
Group distribution – Create custom groups and easily distribute pages to those groups. For example, create a group for your Audio Learners and then distribute a page with an embedded audio recording just for those students. This is supported in OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad. This will be rolling out to Office Insiders starting today.
Multi-page distribution –As in OneNote 2016, now you can distribute multiple pages at once in OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad. To do this, just select a page and then SHIFT-select, or CTRL-select multiple pages, then choose Distribute Page from the Class Notebook toolbar. This capability will be rolling out to Office Insiders starting today.
Sub-page distribution – not only can you distribute multiple pages, but you will be able to distribute sub-pages to keep structure intact when you distribute something. An example of this is below, where a page and multiple subpages are selected and can be distributed, keeping the structure in place when the students receives the pages. This capability will be rolling out in late summer or early fall.
Section Group Distribution –The ability to distribute a Section Group into private student notebooks is an important capability of the Class Notebook Add-in for OneNote 2016. We’re bringing the ability to distribute a Section Group to the OneNote Windows 10 app, Online, Mac, and iPad. This capability will be rolling out to Office Insiders starting today.
Distribute new Section Group
Distribute a Page into a Section Group – Related to Section Group distribution, educators will be able to distribute a page (or pages) directly into Section Groups, similar to OneNote 2016. OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad.
Reviewing a Page in a Section Group – With Section Group and Page distribution, this will also allow educators to easily review a page that was distribution into a nested Student Section Group. OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad.
Turn Math on or off –Math teachers love the Math step-by-step equation solver, but in some cases, they’d like to disable the advanced functionality for certain times or scenarios. We’ve enabled educators to do this for Class Notebooks using the Math “On/Off” switch and choosing specific features to enable or disable. This is supported in OneNote for Windows 10 and OneNote Online. This is now rolling out to Office Insiders starting today.
Enable/Disable Math in Class Notebook
Auto-map for LMS/SIS –
When connecting to a Learning Management System (LMS) or Student Information System (SIS), just like in OneNote 2016, now the OneNote Windows 10, for the web, Mac, and iPad apps will automatically map your Class Notebook names and student names to the LMS/SIS class. This feature has recently rolled out worldwide to all educators.
Lock LMS pages after due date – Now you can set a page from an assignment to automatically “lock” and become read-only after a certain date. For example, if you have OneNote connected to Canvas, and create an assignment that is due on Friday at 5:00, you can check the Lock pages box and the student page will be marked as read-only to the student after the due date passes. This feature has recently rolled out worldwide to all educators using OneNote for Windows 10, Online, Mac, and iPad
Lock page in LMS/SIS after due date passes
Now Teams and OneNote Class Notebook work together better than ever.
Import content in class or staff team notebooks – The #1 request we’ve heard from educators about OneNote Class/Staff Notebooks inside of Teams is that they’d like the ability to import older notebook content into their new notebooks in Teams. We’re actively working on the ability to pull in content from an old Content Library, Teacher-Only area, or old OneNote notebooks (e.g. a master curriculum notebook). This can ensure your new Teams Class/Staff Notebook contains all the right stuff on day one! is the import feature rolls out in private beta today, and will be generally available later in the summer. Example GIF below
Import OneNote content in your new Teams Class or Staff Notebook
Attach a notebook to “PLC” or “Anyone” team types – We know educators have many existing notebooks they’d like to pull into their new PLC or general team. They also may want to create additional notebooks in the team. We have enabled the ability to use the “+” tab and add a new or existing OneNote notebook into the team. This is now supported in PLC teams and Anyone Team types and rolled out worldwide. Note: This is not supported for existing Class or Staff notebooks due to complex permissions and data import challenges.
Adding a notebook into a PLC or Anyone Team type
TurnItIn and OneNote Integration through Microsoft Teams
For years OneNote educators have wanted to check OneNote pages for plagiarism. Now, with Turnitin integrated in Teams for Education, we’re excited to share that OneNote pages attached to student submissions on assignments will automatically get analyzed by Turnitin. Turnitin allows educators to check student submissions for multiple forms of plagiarism and helps teach the value of academic integrity, proper attribution, and authentic writing.
Remember your last seen page in Teams – When navigating in and out of Class or Staff Notebooks inside of Teams, many students and teachers have expressed the desire for OneNote to remember the past page visited. For example, navigating to your Homework section, going into the Conversations tab, and then back into the Class Notebook. Now, you’ll be navigated automatically back to the same spot where you left off.
Remember your last place in OneNote
Renaming a Team renames your new Class Notebook – The School Data Sync (SDS) tool is a great way to quickly set up teams across your district. SDS will pull the direct class/section names from the School Information System (SIS). The challenge is that these SIS names are often not friendly to read, such as 2019SEMESTER1THOLFSENMIKE. In the past, when setting up the team through SDS, the Class Notebook would retain the unfriendly name, even after renaming the team. Rolling out in early July, when an educator renames the team before the Class Notebook is set up, e.g. “Period 1 Math,” the Class Notebook name will update at the same time. Note: If you set up the Class Notebook first and then rename the team, this will not work. This is only supported if you have not yet set up the Class Notebook.
Send Office Lens photo to a notebook in Teams – Office Lens now supports the ability to take a picture and send it directly into a OneNote notebook, including Class/Staff Notebooks inside of Teams. Be sure to update iOS or Android Office Lens on your mobile device.
These awesome updates apply to anyone using OneNote in the classroom!
Practice math quizzes – Students can now generate a practice math quiz directly from the Math Assistant, consisting of a set of problems like the one the student is working on. The quiz is created as a Form and embedded directly into OneNote, allowing independence and as much practice and help as a student may need. The feature is rolling out today to Office Insiders using OneNote for Windows 10 and will be coming to OneNote for the web this summer.
Generate Math quiz in OneNote Windows 10
Send to Outlook – Windows 10– Just like with OneNote 2016, now you can send emails from Outlook into OneNote Windows 10. First, set OneNote Windows 10 as your default note-taking app. Then just click the updated Send to OneNote button in Outlook and then choose the destination for your email to go! To enable this, in Outlook desktop for Office 365, choose File > Options > Advanced, and scroll to the bottom of the list. Then make sure Use Send to OneNote with OneNote for Windows 10, if available is checked. The next time you click the Send to OneNote button, your email will be copied to a OneNote for Windows 10 section of your choosing.
Send to OneNote Windows 10 from Outlook Desktop
Outlook Send to OneNote Mac, and Outlook for the web: We just announced Send to OneNote from Mac Outlook, and Send to OneNote is in the process of rolling out to the Outlook Web app!
Page Templates – One of educators’ favorite features in OneNote 2016 has been Page Templates. For starters, you can now right-click on any page in the Windows 10 app and Set as Default template for the section you’re in. The ability to fully manage and create more detailed templates is coming later this summer.
Scale to fit printout in page: Similar to OneNote 2016, you will be able to easier scale your page to fit into a printout. This will be rolling on in July.
Fit to Page
New notebook creation steps – It’s now much easier to choose a starting point for creating a new notebook in the Windows 10 app. When you click the + Notebook button, you’ll be greeted with a helpful dialog to let you choose what notebook you’d like, with some suggestions for sections. Now rolled out to Office Insiders..
New Notebook Dialog in OneNote Windows 10
Improved hyperlinks right-click menu – A small but important update is the right-click menu for hyperlinks has been updated and improved to give you all the same choices as OneNote 2016. Example below:
Publish notebook (Make it Mine) in OneNote for the web – Educators, trainers, and students often want to make a copy of their notebook available to others. For example: a great notebook template, a conference guide, or a training module you want to have your class try out. We’ve heard your requests, and so late this summer, we’ll be rolling out the ability to publish a link to a notebook – the equivalent of “Make It Mine.” Through OneNote for the web, you’ll be able to select a notebook you have, and easily create a link to allow others to:
Click the link.
Sign in to their Office 365 account.
Copy the notebook to their own OneDrive.
Support will start for those with an active Office 365 account, with consumer accounts coming later in the future. We hope to start rolling out this feature by late August 2019.
Simplified ribbon in OneNote for the web – Simplified ribbon has come to OneNote for the web. Enjoy more space on your screen and quickly get to the tools you need with this update. If you prefer to switch back to the old experience, click the View tab and uncheck Simplified Ribbon to refresh and return to the previous ribbon.
Print files to OneNote Mac – Just like Windows 10, you can also now print any Office File into the OneNote for Mac, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This is now rolling out to Office Insiders.
Print Word/Excel/PPT files to OneNote Mac
Dark mode for OneNote Mac – Make it easy on your eyes! Now Dark mode is in OneNote for Windows 10, and in the coming months, Dark mode will roll out to OneNote for Mac!
Insert screenshot on Mac: Insert screenshot gallery will show all the currently opened windows as a gallery item. Once you select it, that window screenshot will be inserted onto your page. Insert screen clipping allows to select a portion of your screen and add it to the page.
Insert Screenshot on Mac
Set Picture as Background on iPad: To help make inking on OneNote for iPad easier, we now allow you to Set Picture as Background so it’s easy to ink with Apple Pencil or your finger on top of an image. See the video below for an example:
Set picture to Background on iPad
We hope you enjoy this tidal wave 🌊 of new updates for OneNote and Class Notebooks! As always, we are inspired by educators, students, and the feedback they share with us so please reach out to us directly 💜
In 2018, the team at the Microsoft Store in Jacksonville, FL, met a young lady that forever changed them. Her name is Molly, and she is a remarkable example of ingenuity, grit and gusto.
At the age of two, Molly’s parents learned that she was born with a degenerative disease called Rett Syndrome, a rare condition which, over time, has severely impacted her mobility and her ability to speak. But as Molly will be the first to tell you, the disease has not impacted her interminable spirit or her intense desire to empower those around her.
With the support of her family, Molly found The Foundation Academy, a school that was able to accommodate her needs and has spent her academic career there.
Over the years, the Microsoft team has grown close to Molly and her mother, Robin. They’ve helped her with a number of projects, including one where she hacked the Xbox Adaptive Controller to make a dancing wheelchair. The team was happy to jump in to support her big ideas because it’s clear when you meet Molly that she is going to do great things for the world.
Last week, we had the honor of watching Molly give her Valedictorian speech at her graduation from The Foundation Academy. She has blossomed into a curious developer, eager to pursue a career in computer science and engineering, so she can one day develop new technologies to empower herself and others like her.
But the story doesn’t end there because, after all, graduation is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning and potential.
Our graduation caps are off to you, Molly, your family and the team at The Foundation Academy!
Share your story or a story about another Changemaker in education, submit here through the Microsoft Education blog.
To discover everything Microsoft has to offer and how we can work with you, please visit your local Microsoft Store.
Announcing the June 18 TweetMeet and a Live Event on Microsoft Teams
Since Microsoft Teams became available to the general public two years ago, many schools have discovered the power of this chat-based collaboration hub and have integrated it into the daily practices of their school leadership, teaching faculty, staff members and students.
To celebrate Microsoft Teams’ anniversary, we are offering a dual event this month: a regular #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet followed by a Microsoft Teams Live Event.
Keep reading for detailed information about this special-edition TweetMeet.
TweetMeet starting at 10am PDT
In this edition of our monthly global and multilingual Twitter conversations, we’ll discuss the many ways in which educators around the world are using Microsoft Teams to empower educators and students to achieve more. The TweetMeet lasts 75 minutes.
Microsoft Teams Live Event at 11:15am PDT
Immediately after the TweetMeet, Justin Chando and the Microsoft Teams for Education team are organizing a Microsoft Teams Live Event. During this 30-minute online event, Justin will demonstrate the latest updates to Microsoft Teams for Education and answer your questions. Add the Live Event to your calendar,join the Live Eventand make sure to check out his recent Microsoft EDU post detailing these latest updates.
Language tracks and SuperSway
We offer seven simultaneous language tracks this month: English, Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hindi and Spanish. The new SuperSway offers a TweetMeet Invitation in each of these languages.
For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. As always, we’re super grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.
The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations in their own language. For example: Arabic-speaking people should use both #TweetMeetAR and #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may use #MSFTEduChat on its own.
TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!
Every month, more and more people discover the unique flow and characteristics of the TweetMeet events and become excited to participate.
Show your passion for the TweetMeets right from your own Twitter page by uploading this month’s#MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo as a banner on your own Twitter profile.
In the same file folder, the Twitter Header Photo is available in many other languages and time zones.
Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card
Creating a TweetMeet Friend Card is the newest way to share your enthusiasm about Microsoft Teams and the TweetMeets, in general. 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 May TweetMeet on ‘Inclusive classrooms and accessibility’
The May #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet inspired educators around the world to share ideas, insights and resources. We captured highlights from this Twitter conversation in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of 1500+ tweets in this Wakelet Collection.
Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?
TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.
We’re grateful to have a support group made up exclusively of former TweetMeet hosts, who volunteer to translate communication and check the quality of our questions and promotional materials. They also help identify the best candidates for future events, provide relevant resources, promote the events among their networks and, in general, cheer everybody on.
When and how can I join?
Join us Tuesday, June 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #MicrosoftTeams 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.
We recommend setting up a Twitter dashboardTweetDeckand adding a column for the hashtag #MSFTEduChat. If you are new to TweetDeck, then check out thisbrief TweetDeck tutorial by Marjolein Hoekstra.
When a tweet appears that you want to respond to, press the retweet button and type your comments. Great news: Twitternow supports adding images, animated GIFs and videos to your comment retweets.
Additional tips are offered in this animated GIF that you’re most welcome to share with newcomers:
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.
The exact question timings are in this helpful graphic:
Resources to help prepare for the TweetMeet
Microsoft Education offers a wide range of professional-development courses about Microsoft Teams. These free resources are tailored for educators, so here are some good places to start diving into Microsoft Teams:
There’s more. Wakelet is a useful web service to bookmark, curate and annotate resources, images, tweets and other content. Through our new SuperWakelet, each of our hosts shares their personal favorite Microsoft Teams resources.
Aimee Larsen @arlarsen91(Assistant Principal – West Ada School District, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Expert and Trainer, MSTeams and OneNote Fanatic – Meridian ID, USA)
Chad Botha @ChadBotha4(Curriculum Technology Trainer at Curro Schools in Southern Africa. MIE Expert, MCE and MIE Master Trainer. Cannot get enough of MS Education and it’s incredible tools – Johannesburg, South Africa)
Chris Melia@ChrisLearnTech (Senior Learning Technologist at the University of Central Lancashire, passionate about educational development and building digital capability in educators and learners – Lancashire, UK)
Christine McKee @CMcKee27 (Emerging Technology Consultant, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, passionate about empowering learners with innovative MS Tools – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada )
Christy Torres @dlthcms(Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator for Onslow County Schools, extremely excited about the way Office 365 products and Microsoft Teams are changing education – Jacksonville NC, USA)
David Olinger @OlingerDavid(Director of Educational Technology @OdeaHighSchool, Showcase School Leader, National Board Certified Teacher – Seattle WA, USA)
Elaine Topham @ElaineTopham (Senior Learning Technologist at the Grimsby Institute, MIE Expert and Trainer, passionate about utilising Office365 technologies – Grimsby, UK)
Geri Gillespy @GeriGillespy (Administrator Digital Integration – West Ada, MIE Expert, Trainer, Fellow, NCCE Trainer, Inspiring, educating, empowering with Microsoft Tools – Meridian ID, USA )
Isaac Garriga @IsaacGarriga (MSCA O365, MCE & MIEExpert. IT educator. IT systems administrator in Monlau School. My main function is to teach Office 365 technologies to other teachers – Barcelona, Spain)
James Wilton @JDWEdTech (Housemaster and Director of Digital Development at Repton School, a 462 year old boarding school; MIEE & MCE – Derbyshire, UK)
Markus Egger @MEgger90 (mathematics and sports secondary school teacher, MIE Expert, passionate Office365 user and Surface enthusiast – Vienna, Austria)
Pranjali Bramhe @pranjali_india(Founder of AZ Cloud Technologies, MIE Master Trainer, MIE Expert, MCP, MCT, Minecraft Global Mentor, Certified training consultant, Office 365 consultant, Passionate about technology – Delhi, India)
Ricardo Verver @rtverver (Digicoach and section leader of Digital Skills at ROC Mondriaan, MIE Expert and Trainer, Edublogger – The Hague, the Netherlands)
Samah Darweesh @SamahAldarweesh (Teacher of Arabic for non-Arabs, MIEExpert,Fellow and Microsoft trainer. Passionate about using and integrating technology in my classroom – Dubai, Emirates)
Sara Beebe @SaraMBeebe (Learning Specialist, EdTech Enthusiast, MIE Master Trainer, MIE Expert, Certified Minecraft E:E Trainer – Saint Louis MO, USA)
Sean McMahon @seanliammcmahon (Chemistry and Maths teacher, Stepaside ETSS, MIE Expert, flipped classroom advocate with student centred approach, incorporating technology with Microsoft Teams and OneNote – Dublin, Ireland)
Sébastien Place @PlaceSeb (Education Specialist working for Microsoft Belgium, Microsoft trainer, Sciences-Edtech Teacher, MIE Expert – Soignies, Belgium)
Our hosts are thrilled for the upcoming TweetMeet. Each of them wants to invite you to the event in their own way.
Next month’s event: Student-centered Learning
The theme for the July 16 TweetMeet will be Student-centered Learning. We’re looking forward to this event and hope you’ll spread the word!
What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?
Join the Microsoft in Education Global TweetMeets - YouTube
Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.
The Hack is back! Hack the Classroom will be streaming live on the Microsoft Education Facebook channel from ISTE in Philadelphia–Tuesday, June 25th from 6:15 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. EST! After the Facebook event, we’ll be switching over to Twitter around 7:10 p.m. EST for a live Q&A with out presenters and studio audience.
RSVP & join us Tuesday, June 25th from 6:15–7:10 p.m. EST on Facebook here. Please note: the livestream will kick-off from our Microsoft Education page, but we will add a direct link to the livestream on the event page as soon as we are streaming live on Tuesday, June 25th.
Join us on the @MicrosoftEDU Twitter channel and ask our speakers your questions immediately after the Facebook livestream.
What’s it all about?
Hack the Classroom is a live, digital event devoted to changemakers in education and the passionate innovators driving student-centered learning. Join us and learn from educators who are integrating technology in order to better connect with and support students as they become active and engaged learners. These determined educators will generously share their techniques and philosophies for creating better student outcomes so that you can apply them in your own classroom the very next week! These events are interactive, so join, ask questions, share and connect with educators from all over the world. You can check out past events and see last year’s Hack the Classroom live from ISTE here.
Who’s in the live event this time?
This Hack the Classroom will focus on student-centered learning and how supporting students’ social and emotional well-being can improve all aspects of learning. During the live event, we’ll debut our next Changemaker story about Microsoft Innovative Educator, Samantha Skubal from Chicago, Illinois.
We will also be sharing stories from superstar students and teachers from the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, who’ll share how they’ve embraced our free Hacking STEM lessons in their classrooms.
Tune in to see:
Jessica Tozzi, I Promise School(Ohio, US), share how her school is empowering students through a focus on social-emotional learning.
Samantha Skubal, Sterling Morton District (Illinois, US), show how she is providing real-world, future-ready experiences through their Technology Internship Program.
Luis Oliveira, Middletown H.S. (Rhode Island, US), demonstrate how he is supporting autonomous learning for English Language Learners through Immersive Reader and Flipgrid.
Our Minecraft team is excited for another ISTE, and the opportunity to showcase exciting new features and classroom activities for Minecraft: Education Edition! We will be running demos, workshops and challenges on June 23-26 in Philadelphia with Microsoft Education. Learn more about how Microsoft Education is showing up at ISTE in this blog and sign up for sessions using the links below.
MIE Minecraft Academy (Convention Center, Room 203)
During this one-day teacher academy on June 23, learn how to play, code and teach with Minecraft: Education Edition, and create lessons you can take back to your students. By completing the training, you will earn points towards a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) badge and a completion certificate for your participation.
Sign up for free Minecraft workshops in the Hands-on Learning Lab (Convention Center, Room 203A)
Register for a 50-minute workshop to learn how Minecraft can impact your classroom. Discover ways to engage students in STEM and coding with Code Builder, dive into curriculum and classroom activities, and hear from other educators how they use game-based learning. These sessions are hosted by NCCE Professional Learning Specialists Mary Elizabeth Pearson and Megan Lipinczyk, with Minecraft program manager Meenoo Rami. Space is limited. Search and register on the ISTE conference website.
Limitless Learning with Minecraft: Education Edition
Come discover the ways you can get started with Minecraft: Education Edition in your classroom, this session includes myriad of examples of classroom usage of Minecraft as well as hands-on tutorial to get you into the game to discover the specific features designed for teaching and learning.
Coding with Minecraft: Education Edition
Join this session to learn more about how you can teach coding to your students in the immersive world of Minecraft. In this session, we will show you how to get started with Coding with Minecraft: Education Edition as well as provide you with a hands-on tutorial experience to support your learning.
Learn about Minecraft for SEL in the Live Learning Theater (Booth #2900)
Mark your calendars for these 20-minute stage talks with Minecraft educators, and learn how you can improve digital citizenship in your school or classroom with Minecraft: Education Edition. Explore recent research and teacher stories demonstrating ways Minecraft supports social-emotional learning, from empathy to conflict resolution.
Monday, June 24, 10:30-10:50am
Tuesday, June 25, 10:30-10:50am
Visit us in the Microsoft Education STEM area to explore the International Space Station in Minecraft (Booth #2700)
Don’t miss the chance to explore the International Space Station in Minecraft, and take home a design challenge for your students. Meet members of the Minecraft team, get your questions answered, and explore our lesson library to see how Minecraft: Education can fit into your classroom and curriculum. See you on the expo floor!
Follow along @playcraftlearn on social media
Get in touch with us on Twitter using #MinecraftEDU, and follow on Facebook and Pinterest to learn more and see our team in action. We’ll be tweeting leading up to #ISTE19, and from the event!
At Microsoft Education, we believe learning never ends. That’s the approach we take with our products, too. Our team is constantly on the road meeting with students, teachers and administrators around the world to learn how we can keep improving and evolving. Thanks to all of you who’ve shared your time and feedback with us; we’re thrilled to share what we’ve been working on.
This summer, a simpler, faster and more seamless user experience is coming to schools using Teams for Education. Here’s a sneak peek!
This is Teams for Education - YouTube
Pretty cool, right? But there’s more. Here’s a full list of all the updates coming to Teams for Education.
1. A simplified and focused new design
Get to your channels, conversations and assignments faster with visual graphic tiles that represent each one of your teams. We call this the ‘grid view,’ and it replaces the list of Teams you used to see in the left panel. Don’t worry—everything you’ve worked on so far will still be exactly where you left it in the team.
Plus, capture class attention and recognize student achievements with all new announcements, Praise cardsand stickers.
2. Introducing a gradebook and more time-saving tools for teachers
Our new gradebook makes it easy to view the grades and average scores across every assignment in a given course. With Grade Sync, you can easily sync your assignments and grades to PowerSchool and other Student Information Systems coming soon. We’ve also made it possible to view an individual student’s progress, allowing you to observe patterns in their performance over time.
And now, you can import existing Class Notebooks, making it easy to bring content from a previous notebook into a new class team!
3. More ways to share with students and guardians
We know inspiration for a lesson can come from anywhere, even when you’re on the go. With that in mind, the new Share to Teams feature makes it simple to create assignments or send links to your class directly from your favorite education apps and learning resources. Many education providers have already committed to integrating with Share to Teams – more on that soon! EdTech developers can integrate for themselves by goinghere.
Need to communicate student progress and assignments with parents and guardians? Soon, you can send weekly email updates to your students’ parents or guardians with their child’s progress. IT admins can get ready for this feature today by onboarding to the new Parent and Guardian sync from Microsoft School Data Sync.
And last but certainly not least, live captions are now built into Teams meetings, bridging the communication gap with students who are hard of hearing or second-language learners.
But wait, there’s still more! Other new features like Turnitin integration, MakeCode assignment activities, mobile grading and more will be rolling out as well.
We can’t wait to meet thousands of inspiring educators at #ISTE19 later this month. If you’re going to be there, too, be sure to stop by the Microsoft booth to demo the new Teams features for yourself. We’d love to meet you and hear what you think. Can’t make it to ISTE? No sweat! Join us on June 18th for a live Tweetmeet on #MicrosoftTeams. Afterwards, we’ll have a live event demoing all the new features.
Best of all, you can begin using these Teams for Education updates just in time for back-to-school.
Oceans are the heart of our planet, and Skype in the Classrooms celebrates them throughout the month of June in honor of World Ocean Day (June 8th). We are inviting educators around the world to explore all the available ocean-related activitiesand register for one or more to raise students’ awareness about marine conservation.
This June, your class can take virtual field trips to a sea turtle rehab center to learn about turtle conservation, pick the brain of a World Wildlife Fund expert about corals, take a deep dive into the issues facing our oceans with Pulitzer Center journalists and many more. There’s no doubt our guest speakers will inspire your students to love and protect our oceans. On top of that, there is a great variety of collaborative projects so you can connect with other classrooms to work together on finding solutions and taking action to protect our oceans.
Finally, why not add some fun by connecting with another class for a marine-themed Mystery Animal Skype? If you haven’t yet, explore our Oceans OneNote—it has all the resources you need to help you get started with Mystery Animal Skype.
To celebrate the importance of oceans, Skype has just released a collection of ocean-themed emoticons. Open your Skype and start sharing them before, during and after your calls to spread the fun and get your students excited.
And we have more ocean emoticons coming next week!
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating oceans by getting involved with one or more of our activities that will make learning relevant and fun for your students.
As always, keep sharing your favorite moments with us and our global community on Twitter (@SkypeClassroom) with #Skype2Learn #MicrosoftEDU to celebrate your students’ global learning experiences.
Don’t miss out exploring the rest of our FREE ocean-related resources
Download ourOcean Month activity plan—full of ideas and suggestions on how to organize your Skype sessions—to guide your classroom’s celebration all month long.
Earlier this year, I shared Microsoft’s 2019 Washington state legislative priorities as part of our practice to engage constructively on important regional issues. Since then, a lot has happened, and I thought it was a good time to provide an update on where we landed on the issues we feel are important for the future of the state.
Washington made some great strides this session on issues like higher education funding, affordable housing and rural broadband — but some important initiatives, including the adoption of consumer data privacy protections, did not get completed and will need to be addressed in the next session.
Recession-proofing higher education funding In March, I joined University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce and Wayne Martin, vice chair of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in a Seattle Times opinion column that laid out why this was the right time to establish a dedicated funding source for public higher education.
Fortunately, lawmakers, led by Rep. Drew Hansen, agreed and made a $1.2 billion commitment to prepare Washington students and workers for Washington jobs over the next six years. These are new and dedicated funds for higher education institutions and state-funded student financial aid programs to supplement, not supplant, other federal, state and local higher education funding.
Why is this important? Because, historically, higher education has sustained significantly larger cuts than K-12 schools, criminal justice, and other general fund spending categories during economic downturns. By establishing a dedicated fund, the bill reduces the potential impact of general fund budget cuts.
Another important element of the legislation is that funds will go where they are needed most, with the costs borne by those who benefit the most from higher education. Over the next two years, more than $160 million will be directly invested into the futures of Washington students to create the Washington College Grant (WCG) program, a need-based financial aid program for students from low- and moderate-income families. The WCG will close the waiting list for the existing State Need Grant, which it replaces, within those two years. Students enrolled in qualifying post-secondary education and training programs qualify for grants based on income, with full tuition and fees provided for those at 55 percent or less of the median family income level (approximately $50,000 or less for a family of four), and smaller grants pro-rated for income levels up to the state median (approximately $90,000 for a family of four).
In addition to this important new resource, critical additional funding will flow to high-demand degree programs, from engineering and math programs at UW, to teacher education at Central Washington University, to nursing education at our state’s community and technical colleges.
What’s next: Microsoft remains committed to doing our part. The highest surcharges will be paid by advanced computing businesses with worldwide gross revenues in excess of $100 million such as Amazon and Microsoft. We consider it an investment in the future of our state.
Expanding affordable housing options An equally important investment, announced about the time the Legislature was getting underway, is Microsoft’s $500 million commitment to expanding affordable housing options in the Puget Sound region.
When we made that announcement, we shared our belief that substantial public, private and non-profit resources will be needed to make our communities more welcoming to a diverse range of local residents. Investments must be made not only to combat chronic homelessness, but also to create affordable middle-income housing opportunities for teachers, emergency responders, nurses and many others who contribute to the health and social fabric of the entire community.
With that in mind, we advocated for the state to almost double its direct public investment in affordable housing in the 2019-21 capital budget. Ultimately, lawmakers settled on an appropriation of $175 million to the Housing Trust Fund, a substantial increase over the $110 million included in recent budget cycles, more proportionate to the scale of the problem. We applaud everyone in Olympia who worked to make this outstanding commitment to affordable housing.
We also were encouraged by passage of legislation to modernize Washington statutes on condominium liability, which Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law on April 30. The reforms in that legislation will eliminate barriers and stimulate new private development of affordable housing options for the middle-income market.
What’s next: We will continue to work in partnership with policymakers, business organizations, nonprofits and community groups on this pressing issue. It’s up to all of us to promote inclusive and vibrant communities in our region through affordable housing. We look forward to continued dialogue and collective action.
Protection of data and personal privacy At Microsoft, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. Technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives. But while technology is a tool that creates exciting new opportunities, people need to have assurance their data is protected and they can control it. At a time when other states and even other countries are strengthening their laws, we believe Washingtonians deserve world-class protections.
That’s why we strongly supported legislation introduced by Sen. Reuven Carlyle to protect the data and privacy of Washington consumers. Carlyle’s bill would have given Washingtonians a new level of control over their personal data while also allowing innovation to continue.
The movement to strengthen consumer privacy was advanced when this bill passed the Senate on a strong, bipartisan vote of 46-1; the privacy updates it would have ushered in were an important and meaningful step in the right direction. Unfortunately, as is sometimes the case in state and federal legislative bodies, political considerations ultimately got in the way of action and the bill did not pass the Legislature.
What’s next: Despite the Legislature’s failure to successfully address the issue, privacy concerns aren’t going away. Data privacy remains critically important for the people of Washington. We are committed to working with legislative leaders and other stakeholders to address the barriers to passage that emerged this session so that we can improve prospects for passage next year.
Creating additional opportunities in rural areas As technology’s pervasive presence in our work and family lives increases the need for a regulatory framework to protect personal privacy, it also makes it more critical that all members of our society have access to the new opportunities created through innovation.
Unfortunately, in Washington and across the country, too many people living in rural areas lack access to the broadband communication infrastructure necessary to fully participate in our digital economy.
We believe bringing broadband to rural areas is as important today as the electrification of rural America was decades ago, which is why we launched the Microsoft AirBand Initiative to deliver high-speed internet access to more than 3 million additional rural Americans by July 4, 2022.
I’m pleased to see the state is continuing its commitment to expanding economic opportunities in every corner of our state with a $21.5 million appropriation to provide loans and grants for expanding broadband access in rural areas, as well as operating funds for a new State Broadband Office to be located within the Department of Commerce.
What’s next: Microsoft will continue to pursue strategic investments and support public policies to bring broadband access to all Washingtonians.
High-speed rail connections Washington, Oregon and British Columbia have an opportunity to stake out a stronger position as leaders in the global economy through the continued development of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Through coordination and collaboration we can create greater opportunities and establish ourselves as a global center of innovation and trade. Together, Seattle, Vancouver and Portland can expect to accomplish so much more than would ever be possible individually. By shrinking travel times between major Pacific Northwest anchor cities, high-speed rail will open the door for stronger relationships and new employment and entrepreneurship opportunities within and across communities.
We know establishing a massive public infrastructure project is no small feat and requires ironing out all manner of multi-jurisdictional and multi-national details. But I’m encouraged to see that the initial feasibility studies of high-speed rail in the Cascadia corridor have come back positive.
Given the long development times involved, it’s important to begin initial work as soon as possible to secure financing and governance structures needed to make this incredible service a reality.
The transportation budget adopted by the Legislature will provide another $242,000 in state funding to continue this critical development work. However, it makes the appropriation contingent on $671,000 first being raised from private and local sources. Although we appreciate their continued support of the planning and development process, we also believe that Washington state lawmakers should have made a more significant, non-conditional commitment to support this game-changing service. The fact is, Washington is the largest economy among the three regions, and we stand to gain substantially from the development of the Cascadia corridor. Our state should be stepping up to take a lead role.
What’s next: Microsoft will continue to work to secure the funding needed for state engagement and will work with private and public sector partners to host a conference focused on high-speed rail.
The conversation continues Over this last legislative session, Microsoft advocated in Olympia for expanded computer science education options in K-12 schools, for strengthening companies’ legal responsibilities in the event of a data breach, and for furthering Washington’s commitment to carbon-free electricity generation in the years ahead.
We believe that as a major employer in the state, it’s our job to keep the lines of communication open, keep engaging on the important issues, and most of all, keep creating economic opportunities that improve the quality of life for Washington state residents.
Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Snežana Bogavac Mihajlović wasn’t always a teacher, and the real-world work experience she gained before going into education informs the way she teaches today. “I am a graduated electronics engineer, and before I became an ICT and computer science teacher, I worked in Research and Development,” Mihajlović shares. “Maybe because of…