Friday, 30 October 2015

Great news! Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program applications date EXTENDED to 6 November. Read more...



This is a great program that you do not want to miss out on being selected for. The closing date has been extended to the 6 November. (Last year South Africa selected 16 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. Four of them were sent to the Global Forum in Dubai while another four were sent to the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington.) Microsoft is migrating its information content from the old site  (Microsoft Educator Network)  to Microsoft's new site called the Microsoft Educator Network that comes into final effect on 30 October 2015!  Your entries have to be uploaded to the new site. The entries can be uploaded to the new site in the meantime - here are the details for getting your entry in before the 6 November!

How to get your entry in by 6 November

1. Join the new community
Join the new Microsoft Educator Community at:  https://education.microsoft.com/ (if you already had a profile on the Microsoft Educator Network you will be able to move your details across to the new site). Create your profile.

2. Find put more 
Find out more about the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/educators/miee/default.aspx(if you are not able to access this link – please join the Microsoft Educator Community first)

3. Nominate yourself
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – fill in the self-nomination form here by 30 October 2015: http://aka.ms/mienomination

4. Have your online file ready
As part of this online application form you will be asked to provide a link to an online document, a Sway, Microsoft Mix, online video that:
o   Tells the adjudicators why you consider yourself to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
o   Describes a lesson you have taught in which you have incorporated Microsoft technologies in innovative ways.
o   Explains how do you think being an MIE Expert will impact your teaching?

4. Find out more about the competition

To find out more about this amazing competition visit these links:
Just do it! You never know what can happen!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

SchoolNet's Operations Manager Selected for Intel® Education Visionaries Program

SchoolNet’s Omashani Naidoo, was recently named one of the Intel® Education Visionaries, an elite group of approximately 40 education leaders from all over the world who are exemplars for global education transformation; to inspire and share best practices with other educators, administrators and parents worldwide; and help Intel design the future of education.

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Omashani was selected as an Intel Education Visionary on the basis of her insight, passion and proven experience as an agent of change in education. From Oct. 11-14, she attended the Intel Education Visionaries kickoff event at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, which served as the official launch of the program. The event brought Visionaries together to collaborate with other educators and leaders, and participate in immersive professional learning sessions, and to hear from industry experts.
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In addition to being invited to the Intel Education Visionaries kickoff event, the program will also provide Omashani with opportunities to meet and collaborate with other Visionaries worldwide; attend global conferences, events and webinars with Intel Education as appropriate; receive unique professional learning opportunities; and be featured in Intel’s global education communications.
“We are honoured and excited to launch the Intel Education Visionaries program. We believe great educators and technology can transform learning and prepare students to become the leaders and innovators of the future,” said John Galvin, vice president and general manager of Intel Education. “We look forward to working closely with these Visionaries to inspire student success around the world.”

The Intel Education Visionaries program is part of Intel’s long-standing commitment to education. For over a decade, Intel Education has worked with more than 15 million teachers and 300 million students in more than 100 countries to help educators inspire students, support schools in achieving educational excellence, and enable better manageability by administrators. For more information about the Intel Education Visionaries program, visit www.intel.com/Visionaries.

Get your Grade 10-12 Maths students registered on the free Microsoft Math online programme to practise for the upcoming exams

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What is Microsoft Math?

Microsoft Math is an online space where our South Africa Mathematics learners can practice, learn. collaborate and compete with one another using their smart phones after school hours.  They can also use the program on a tablet or a laptop/desktop.

Here are some of the important aspects:
  • This is a free, online, high school learning support service
  • It provides thousands of Maths exercises including examples of how to solve them.
  • It provides theory and tests presented in an engaging way
  • It is based on our CAPS curriculum for Maths
  • The service offers instant, interactive feedback
  • The service is globally available at https://math.microsoft.com
Teachers, get your Grades 10-12 students to register if they haven’t already done so. They will really benefit from this opportunity.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The NEW Microsoft Educator Community - all you need to know! Why not pay a visit...


The Microsoft in Education team has some exciting news for you. We have launched the Microsoft Educator Community.  This new community site is a combined experience of the Microsoft Educator Network and Skype in the Classroom.  This site is a central destination where you’ll have access to over 1.5 million educators around the world, a fresh selection of professional development courses and resources, thousands of inspiring lesson plans, and access to live lessons and virtual field trips.   

How to get started

Below are a few steps that will help kick-start your engagement with the new educator community.  (For current Microsoft Educator Network users, please click here to access instructions on moving your profile):
 
1.    Sign-up and create a profile to depict your expertise and make it easier for other community members to find and connect with you
2.    Choose from a variety of training options around technology use in the classroom
4.    Engage with the community by searching for educators,starting a discussion, or participating in Mystery Skype
5.    Earn badges by completing training, sharing your expertise, or being active in the community
6.    Share the new site with your peers, school, and other educators
 What does the educator community offer?

     Free interactive ICT training (ranging from basic to advanced) with more badges
     Lesson plans and discussions that are easy to create, share or utilize in your classroom
     More educators, guest speakers and virtual field trips to connect and collaborate with
     A visual, clear, and friendly design based on educator feedback
     Simple navigation to easily find useful information
     A single location to find information and resources on technology use in the classroom
Why not take a look!

Microsoft Virtual Academy 4Africa webinars for teachers...an update


In a blogpost in July (http://bit.ly/209ZzSL) we mentioned that Microsoft had announced their Microsoft Virtual Academy online courses for teachers. In South Africa the Microsoft Virtual Academy has a branch called the Microsoft Virtual Academy 4Africa . Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft and Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet have been holding webinars for teachers once a month on this platform. These webinars cover topics that teachers will love and the recordings can be listened to at any time:

Previous recordings  
1) Apply to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert: The blogpost about this webinar can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1LTazfC aand the actual webinar recording can be listened to at http://bit.ly/209XM00

2) One Note for Education: The blogpost about this webinar can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1LTaWqv and the actual webinar recording can be listened to at  http://bit.ly/209XiqH

3) Microsoft.com/education: The blogpost about this webinar can be found at http://bit.ly/1k9VYmV. The actual webinar recording can be listened to at http://bit.ly/1k9YBoy

Keep watching our blog for announcements of the monthly webinars. 

The Eskom Expo for young scientists Awards Ceremony - why not participate next year?


The Eskom Expo Young Scientists awards was recently held at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg. Hosted by the lively Proverb, the awards showcased the talented scientists South Africa is producing. More than 150 finalists were selected from entrants across South Africa. It was notable that for the first time the number of girls that entered the Expo far surpassed the number of boys. The eskom Expo for Young Scientists is a science fair, where students showcase projects based on their community experience and display their own scientific investigations. The Director, Mr Parthy Chetty, explains further about the expo.



At Expo, students discuss their work with the judges, teachers, and with students from other schools.  By participating at expo students increase their awareness of the wonders of science, add to their knowledge and broaden their scientific horizons. For more information on a Science Fair near you or how your school could participate access http://www.exposcience.co.za/



Here is a further link to photos from the Eskom Science Fair: https://goo.gl/w2r0G3

How to create a video using Powerpoint as part of your application for the Microsoft Innovative Educator program

Microsoft is looking for self-driven educators who are passionate about their careers and inspiring students with outside-the-box thinking. If you have a collaborative spirit, are resourceful and entrepreneurial, relish the role of being a change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using advanced technologies and social media - then you may have what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIE). Applications for this amazing program close on 30th October so we encourage you to step out and apply. The application requires a link to an online file of some sort that tells the adjudicators why you feel you should be selected. If you would like that online file to be a video, here is a post that will explain how to go about creating the video if you have created a PowerPoint about why you should be considered. These instructions were sent by Lyneth Crighton from Brescia School in Johannesburg.

1. Open your saved PowerPoint file.

2. Save it as a Windows media video file (see diagram below).

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3. Close PowerPoint once your document has been saved as a video file.

4. Open Google Chrome and go to YouTube.

5. Sign in (top right) or create a YouTube account if you don’t already have one.

6. Choose ‘upload’ (top right).

7. In the middle change to unlisted and then click on the big arrow to find your video (red square icon).

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8. Upload your saved video file and once processing has completed click ‘Done’ (top right).

9. You will receive the URL for your video. Make a special note of this. Colpy it and paste it into Word and save. You’ll use it for your application

10. You are now ready for the next step. The steps to applying can be found on this SchoolNet website post http://bit.ly/1M1KHzP or on this SchoolNet blogpost http://bit.ly/1S7FreL

Just do it! Get those applications in!
(Many thanks to Tracy Heath from Brescia House for passing on Steps 1 – 9)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Apply for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert experience - 11 days to go! New closing date 6 November


This is a great competition that you do not want to miss out on. The closing date is 30th October. (Last year South Africa selected 16 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. Four of them were sent to the Global Forum in Dubai while another four were sent to the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington.) At the same time as this Microsoft is migrating its information content from the old site  to Microsoft's new site that comes into final effect on 30 October 2015!  Your entries have to be uploaded to the new site. The entries can be uploaded to the new site in the meantime - here are the details for getting in your entry before the 30 October!

How to get your entry in by 30 Octobe

1. Join the new community
Join the new Microsoft Educator Community at:  https://education.microsoft.com/ (if you already had a profile on the Microsoft Educator Network you will be able to move your details across to the new site). Create your profile.

2. Find put more 
Find out more about the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/educators/miee/default.aspx(if you are not able to access this link – please join the Microsoft Educator Community first)

3. Nominate yourself
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert – fill in the self-nomination form here by 30 October 2015: http://aka.ms/mienomination

4. Have your online file ready
As part of this online application form you will be asked to provide a link to an online document, a Sway, Microsoft Mix, online video that:
o   Tells the adjudicators why you consider yourself to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
o   Describes a lesson you have taught in which you have incorporated Microsoft technologies in innovative ways.
o   Explains how do you think being an MIE Expert will impact your teaching?

In summary:



4. Find out more about the competition

To find out more about this amazing competition visit these links:
Just do it! You never know what can happen!

Telkom Tomorrow starts today – join in the free workshop

The Telkom Foundation will once again be hosting a Connected Youth workshop in Mamelodi, Pretoria on the 26th November 2015. Connected Youth is an initiative that has been growing in the last couple of years. This workshop call on volunteers to help youth from local communities grow their soft skills, digital skills and are provided with motivational speakers to help encourage and grow our youth in skills to make them more attuned to the needs in the job market.  The workshop will be hosted between 7h00 and 17h00 and include each participant working on their professional CVs, email as well as registering on the national database for job seekers. For more information on Telkom’s work http://www.telkomfoundation.co.za/latest-activities-connected-youth.html



Monday, 26 October 2015

'Relax-Onspan-Phumla' GEG meetup at Wynberg Girls' High School on Friday 30th October at 3pm. Join us!


Here is a message from Glenn Jones, GEG Leader of the Cape Town Central group about a GEG gettogether on Friday 30th October at Wynberg Girls' High School at 3pm. 

  
"Come join us for a GEG event at Wynberg Girls High School on Friday the 30th of October at 3pm, where you will get  ¨a taste of project based learning¨. You will also learn how to build a PLN (personal learning network) using Google + and Twitter and be able to integrate Google Maps with forms, sheets, classroom and groups."

The sign up form can be accessed at bit.ly/gegwghs. Here is the agenda: 

If you live in Cape Town why not join in? 

Apply for the Microsoft Innovative educator Expert experience - five days to go! Closing date 6 November

This is a great competition that you do not want to miss out on.  Last year South Africa selected 16 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. Four of them were sent  to the Global Forum in Dubai while another four were sent to the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington.
You can read about these two events here:
  • A report back on the Microsoft In Education Global Forum Dubai by Karen Stadler, a MIEExpert15 in South Africa http://bit.ly/1hFZOSZ
  • 'My dream came true at E2' - a report back on the Microsoft E2 Educator Exchange in Redmond in May by MIEExpert15, Linda Foulkes http://bit.ly/1hFYKif
At the same time as this the content of the Microsoft in Education site is being migrated to Microsoft's new site that comes into effect on 30 October 2015!  So here are the details for getting in your entry before the 30 October:

How to get your entry in by 6 November
As part of this online application form you will be asked to provide a link to an online document, a Sway, Microsoft Mix, online video that:
o   Tells the adjudicators why you consider yourself to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
o   Describes a lesson you have taught in which you have incorporated Microsoft technologies in innovative ways.
o   Explains how do you think being an MIE Expert will impact your teaching?

Find out more about the competition

To find out more about this amazing competition visit these links:
Just do it! You never know what can happen!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week #24

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week:


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Ten takeaways from the EdTechTeam’s Google Summit in Cape Town 2015


Submitted by Fiona Beal
There is one event an educator does not want to miss out on every year in South Africa,  and that is the EdTechTeam's Global Summit featuring Google for Education (https://za.gafesummit.com/).  Every year this amazing team sweeps in with new brooms and they dust away all the cobwebs from one's mind showing us what can be achieved not only by using Google Apps in the classroom but also by redefining our roles as teachers. "I am not just the teacher, I am a TEACHER. I am here to change the world one child at a time." We were constantly encouraged to think about  #onenewthing that we'll introduce in our classrooms next week.  Not only does this team inspire, befriend and amaze - they share their resources so freely with everyone! Visit https://goo.gl/Iyu and you’ll see what I mean.


Everything about the Summit this October was great, but  I am going to condense things down into ten takeaways - the ‘AHA’ moments that stuck with me most deeply.

1. Connecting with passionate educators such as the EdTechTeam feeds the spirit...
The team brought four international members with them - Molly Schroeder, Rushton Hurley, Jenny Magiera and Holly Clarke - an awesome four.  Every year we experience a variety of international team members and I am always so totally impressed by their calibre. These are young game-changers in education, incredible speakers and presenters, and they always bring with them fresh, new ideas on how to apply Google in the classroom and MORE. They share their resources and themselves SO freely. In addition we had an impressive line-up of local presenters whose sessions were well-attended.

2. Kids can change the world!
I was especially keen to hear Jenny Magiera’s keynote and of course her presentations. . She was at the Google Teacher Academy with me in New York 2012 and is currently a leading world figure in education. I was posting on Twitter as @fibeal and @schoolnetsa at the Summit and here was my reaction after her AMAZING keynote: Basically, what I was left with and want to remember every day in class - kids can make a difference...kids can change the world!

3. Telling a story in GIFS...
The Demoslam is always a time of great fun and laughter and this year’s round-up was no exception. The four extensions/apps I want to try out as a result of the Demoslam are DocentEDU, Draftback, The Seesaw App and Make a Gif.Make a gif’ was shared by Holly Clark in a hilarious presentation. (She kindly shared her presentation via Twitter https://goo.gl/EnkaV1 after the Demoslam).   With this extension ‘Make a Gif’ one can create animated GIFs from video clips.
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4. Create projects students will never forget...
Rushton Hurley is always a firm favourite. His style of presenting is very easy and interactive. There were so many takeaways from Rushton but this year I really want to explore his website Next Vista for Learning http://www.nextvista.org/ a bit more. Kids love video projects and they are a great way for them to express their thinking. The Next Vista for Learning website that Rushton represents has a number of video contests every year. I loved the example of Foster City Little League Challengers Division as part of the showcasing service to others which was added as part of the 2014 Service via Video project http://nextvista.org/v/6842/  Incidentally, this Service via Video project is a yearly video project which would be really worth entering. Rushton gives full details on how to go about this project at http://goo.gl/O7NiiD .  He talked about how to create strong EduVideos:


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Find out how to make a strong educational video here: https://goo.gl/C6NQGS  and consider getting your kids to enter some of these contests. http://goo.gl/xUtn2c

5. Assessment in the digital age…wow!
It’s amazing what you can do with assessment and Google Apps.  In this session we explored mostly formative assessment tips and tools and also creative ways that you can provide individualized feedback to students based about projects and assignments.  We looked at Google Spreadsheet Add-Ons like Doctopus/Goobric to use rubrics to grade Google Classroom assignments, Flubaroo to self grade multiple choice questions, Autocrat to provide personalized feedback on assessments and Yet Another Mail Merge to share feedback via email.  Other feedback and assessment tools like PearDeck, Socrative, Kahoot and more were touched on! Molly has a very comprehensive Google site page with all her references. Find it at: https://goo.gl/iBFn4u
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6. Experience the World with Google Maps and Cardboard...
We can take our students outside of the four walls of our classrooms. In this session with Molly we has such a lot of fun exploring Google Maps, Google Cardboard and other tools to get us experiencing the world. Before the session was finished many folk had already purchased their Google Cardboard on TakeaLot! The EdTechTeam has a whole Google Cardbaord page which is full of ideas to try out. https://goo.gl/KX7Fu7

7. Three educational concepts to incorporate into lessons...
Holly Clark shared a lot on this idea at the iOS Summit. However she brought it up as a way of seeing education in the 21st Century in her ‘Google Infused Classroom’ session found at https://goo.gl/ZcFaVs, and she showed us the various applications that makes this possible. I love the way this approach has started to become infused into my thinking. It resonates with me.

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8. What is wrong with what is right?
Rushton’s  keynote with this title at the Summit was very inspirational.  The teacher plays such a crucial role in the classroom . How do we get students to move from doing what's asked to asking more of themselves? He encouraged us to take a look at ourselves from the perspective of the kids we teach. Our job is to educate and inspire. We need to ask the right questions. Encourage  them to create artefacts that are fascinating and cool. Session resources can be found at https://goo.gl/P8gSC4
Rushton passed on a great thought to absorb for ourselves and also to share with our students:
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9. Google Drawing is an application to take note of...
I use Google Drawing a lot in my classes but at the Summit I got new glimpses of its uses. The revision history, for example, can be used very meaningfully in lessons. You can use Google Drawings for all types of activities.  Jenny Magiera showed a drawing she had made at Easter to illustrate how revision history saves every 30 seconds. This enables one to use Google Drawings in a way that students can explain their thinking. Session resources can be found at bit.ly/drawedu

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10. I won a Chromebook at the Summit! 
I must just add that I won a Chromebook at the Summit sponsored by the awesome team at
http://cloudedsolutions.co.za/ This was really exciting especially as Chromebooks are a great classroom asset for students and I want to explore them thoroughly...and, of course, persuade my school to buy a classroom set!

There’s SO much more I can say!These ten were just some of the many, many highlights. The Summit was an incredible experience. Honestly, there are always so many new things to learn when the EdTechTeam is around! Some heartfelt advice - don't miss the next one in 2016 which will be hosted by Dainfern College in Joburg.



Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Creative Writing #2: Get your classes signed up and start using Storybird

Yesterday’s post was an introductory post about this great, free application, Storybird available from https://storybird.com.  Today we look at the signing up process and how to get started,

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1. Sign up your class
The first thing you’ll need to do is add your class or your classes as in my case. This takes a wee bit of time but once it is done its done. Your students won't need email addresses. At your next lesson the class will each log in on their temporary password and change their passwords to something they’ll remember. (try and keep a copy of these). What I do here is I already have the class added to Google Classroom. I create a form that says ‘Storybird’passwords. They log into Classroom as well in the lesson and fill in their passwords on that form. Google forms collect all the details on a separate page.

2. Log in to Storybird 
The first time your students log in to Storybird they will need to update their passwords. Let them do this and let them pass on their new passwords to you for safekeeping.

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As they log in they'll notice that one is greeted everywhere by exquisite art.

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3. Pre-signing up activities
Prior to joining in Storybird it is assumed that you’ll prepared your students on what to expect. I told mine that this is a free program with the most exquisite art.  They don’t need to think of a story before they start – they’ll browse through many images until they see one that inspires them. When they select this image they'll suddenly be surrounded by a large number of other images that match their chosen theme.

At the end of their writing the students  will end up with a lovely e-book. Just to wet their appetities I take them to the September roll-out of the top stories in the September challenge from the Storybird blog and give them five to ten minutes to browse through https://goo.gl/LxY88h . Here’s the top pick entitled ‘Alligators don’t go to school’.


I revise paragraph construction, and especially ways to write descriptive paragraphs, with the class before we start. Descriptive paragraphs include details that appeal to the five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. A good description allows the reader to be a part of your world, to clearly imagine the scene, to feel the sensations, the smells and the tastes of the subject you are writing about.

We also talk about creating exciting headings for stories and different ways of starting killer first lines! The storybird blog had five great examples for this:
1. Start with a shocking statement.
2. Start with an introduction of the character.
3. Start with the character talking directly to the reader.
4. Start with a description of the setting.
5. Start with an interesting fact.
6. Start with clever dialogue.

So get your students started on this fascinating journey of writing stories inspired by pictures. They''ll love it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Creative Writing #1: Use Storybird.com to give your students an unforgettable, free, online writing experience

imageIf you want to give your class a great writing experience and you have computer devices for your class to use why not try using Storyboard http://storybird.com/? Storybird is one of the most popular free tools for digital storytelling in schools around the globe.

Wondering what it is?
Storybird is a free (for schools) online story creating program that lets one make visual stories in seconds. One of the things that sets Storybird apart from other creative writing applications is that it curates beautiful artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspires writers of every age to turn those images into fresh stories. The stories can be made and viewed as e-books and they can also be purchased as hard cover books. My students love using this application.

A brief look at how it works
This video takes us on a brief walkthough.


In our next post we’ll look at how to easily get your class signed up to Storybird

Monday, 19 October 2015

11 great Google posts this week #31

After looking through all the Google posts that were shared to my various subscriptions recently, these are the ten that have caught my eye so far.

1. Write Music in Google Documents
https://goo.gl/7ORvuD
Love this! Richard Byrne says, “VexTab Music Notation is a Google Documents Add-on that lets you write music notation in Google Documents. With the Add-on installed you can write standard music notation, drum notation, and guitar tablature in a Google Document. To do this simply open the Add-on from your Add-on's menu, select "insert VexTab," then start writing. When you have finished writing a segment click "insert notation" to add it to your document. The inserted notation appears as an image in your document. Click here for a tutorial on writing VexTab notation.”
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2. I minute tech talk: Take snapshot picture right into Google Drive 
http://bit.ly/1Mu9nNm
This one minute video shows how to taake a photo right ifrom Google Drive and right into Google Drive



3. New, live polling embedded in Google Slides (Beta)
http://goo.gl/tJPX9e
Poll Everywhere says, “We like Google Slides a lot, but everything is better when you add live audience interaction. Even Google Slides.That’s why we created a nifty Chrome extension that lets you embed any Poll Everywhere poll as a Poll Slide in your Google Slides deck. Keep in mind that this is still bleeding-edge, shark-infested Beta territory. (But cute sharks, like tiger sharks. or whale sharks. Little ones.) So if you encounter anything strange, please email us.”

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4. 6 handy Chromebook Apps for Social Studies teachers
http://goo.gl/nKYDVr
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning says “ Chromebook is a versatile gadget with a huge potential in education. Several school districts and classrooms have been using them over the last couple of years and they proved to be of tremendous help in the instructional process. The Chromebook section in this blog features everything teachers need to know to make the best of these devices in class including things such as tips, apps and video tutorials. Today, we are adding another resource which is basically a collection of some of the best Chromebook apps for social studies teachers. We featured apps that students can use to create presentations; write, save and share documents; create mind maps, and many more. You can also watch this wonderful Google hangout video to learn more about how some teachers are actually using Chromebooks to teach social studies and foreign language.

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5. How to Blur Faces on YouTube In One Easy Step
http://bit.ly/1MuatsK
MakeUseOf says, “These days, it’s super easy to apply a facial blur to YouTube videos. In fact, to do it, you don’t even have to leave the website.
  • First things first, log in to your YouTube account. Next, click the icon in the upper right (the one with your photo image) and select Creator Studio > Edit on the video you’d like to apply the blur to.
  • From there, click Enhancements > Blurring Effects > Apply.
  • Now you can preview the video with and without the blur, as well as move the blur around to only cover areas that you want to keep anonymous. If you need to dive into more advanced video editing, we’ve got you covered there too. This post gives a quick sample of how it works using a video from my account, and my son explaining his Arduino project.
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6. How to Share Videos Through Google Drive
http://goo.gl/gJAjL0
Richard Byrne says,”Google Drive is an incredibly useful tool for storing and sharing files even if they have been created outside of the Google Apps suite. I use it to store screencast videos that I've created. I also use it to store video clips that I've recorded on my mobile phone. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Google Drive to store and share video files.”

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7. Keeping Up With Google Apps - My "Secret" Method
http://goo.gl/8h16pP
Richard Byrne says, “One of the questions that I am frequently asked is, "how do you keep up with all of this stuff?" 98% of the time I don't have any special advanced access to new features or products that are coming out (sometimes a company will send me an embargoed press release, but most of those aren't all that informative). The way that I keep up with tech news is through my RSS reader. I'm subscribed to lots of company blogs including most of the official Google products blogs.
The Google product blogs that I have listed in the top of my RSS reader are theGoogle LatLong blog (maps and Google Earth), the Google Drive blog, the Google Apps blog, the Google Apps Updates blog (this one is geared toward Apps administrators), the Official Android Blog, and the Official Google Blog.”

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8. Get started with Voice Typing in Google Docs by Amy Meyer
https://goo.gl/FnE0x4
Learn how to use Voice Typing in Google Docs either in English or in a foreign language for the purpose of academic practice; either way, it's easier and faster than typing!



9. 6 new Google Drive features you need to know about
http://goo.gl/fL5UaB
Sarah Mitroff says, “Just in time for the school year (September), Google's added new features to Docs, Sheets and Slides, its online productivity tools. But you don't have to be a student to use these cool new features, since they're available to anyone with a Google account.”

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10. Google Classroom Update Gives Teachers New SRS Tool
http://goo.gl/V4eDJN
Google is once again broadening what teachers can do with its Classroom management platform.  SRS is a growing trend in both K–12 and higher education environments. Teachers are looking for new ways to engage with students. In July, Microsoft introduced its version of SRS, Bing Pulse in the Classroom, a free online tool designed to help teachers make lectures more dynamic. Other solutions, such as Socrative and Top Hat, have been evolving along with the needs of educators. Research from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that 93 percent of teachers surveyed use some form of digital tool to guide student instruction. The research also revealed a fundamentally underserved market — 67 percent of respondents reported that they were “not fully satisfied with the effectiveness of the data or the tools for working with data.”

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11. Checklist: Setting Up Your YouTube Channelhttps://goo.gl/CeTaW7
Megan O’Neal says, “If you’re just getting started with online video – whether for your business or for yourself – one of the first steps is creating a YouTube channel. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, after Google. If you want your videos to be discovered you should definitely give them a home there, even if you’re also posting them to your website, Facebook, or elsewhere. Luckily, creating a YouTube channel is free and easy to do. We’ve put together a quick checklist to help you get set up.”
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Free Google Computational Thinking for Educators online course from now till December

What is it?
A free online course helping educators integrate computational thinking into their curriculum

Who is it for?
Humanities, Math, Science, and Computing educators

When does it take place?
Now through December 20th

Where do I register?
https://computationalthinkingcourse.withgoogle.com/preview

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About the Course
The goal of this course is to help educators learn about computational thinking (CT), how it differs from computer science, and how it can be integrated into a variety of subject areas. As a course participant, you will increase your awareness of CT, explore examples of CT integrated into your subject areas, experiment with examples of CT-integrated activities for your subject areas, and create a plan to integrate CT into your own curricula.
The course is divided into five units, each focusing on the following:
  • Introducing Computational Thinking: What is CT? - What is computational thinking, where does it occur, why should you care, and how is it being applied?
  • Exploring Algorithms - Walk through examples of algorithms used in your subject area. Recognize why algorithms are powerful tools to increase what you can do and that technology can be useful for implementing and automating algorithms.
  • Finding Patterns - Explore examples of patterns in various subjects and develop your own processes for approaching a problem through pattern recognition.
  • Developing Algorithms - Increase your confidence in applying the computational process to a given problem and recognize how algorithms can articulate a process or rule.
  • Final Project: Applying Computational Thinking - Create a statement of how computational thinking applies to your subject area and a plan to integrate it into your work and classroom.
Computational Thinking for Educators (video)

Friday, 16 October 2015

Apply for the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert experience –two weeks to go! Closing date 30th October 2015

This is a great competition that you do not want to miss out on.  Last year South Africa selected 16 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts. Four of them were sent  to the Global Forum in Dubai while another four were sent to the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington.
You can read about these two events here:
  • A report back on the Microsoft In Education Global Forum Dubai by Karen Stadler, a MIEExpert15 in South Africa http://bit.ly/1hFZOSZ
  • 'My dream came true at E2' - a report back on the Microsoft E2 Educator Exchange in Redmond in May by MIEExpert15, Linda Foulkes http://bit.ly/1hFYKif
At the same time as this the content of the Microsoft in Education site is being migrated to Microsoft's new site that comes into effect on 30 October 2015!  So here are the details for getting in your entry before the 30 October:

How to get your entry in by 30 October


As part of this online application form you will be asked to provide a link to an online document, Sway, Microsoft Mix, online video that:
o   Tells the adjudicators why you consider yourself to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
o   Describes a lesson you have taught in which you have incorporated Microsoft technologies in innovative ways.

o   Explains how do you think being an MIE Expert will impact your teaching?

Find out more about the competition

To find out more about this amazing competition visit these links:

Just do it! You never know what can happen!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

4Africa Virtual Academy webinar #3: Free Microsoft Webinar today "Microsoft.com/education".Find out about the new site!

In a blogpost in July (http://bit.ly/209ZzSL) we mentioned that Microsoft had announced their Microsoft Virtual Academy online courses for teachers. In South Africa the Microsoft Virtual Academy has a branch called the Microsoft 4Africa Virtual Academy. Victor Ngobeni from Microsoft and Megan Rademeyer from SchoolNet have been holding webinars for teachers once a month on this platform. These webinars cover topics that teachers will love and the recordings can be listened to at any time:

Previous recordings  
 
1) Apply to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert: 
The blogpost about this webinar can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1LTazfC aand the actual webinar recording can be listened to at http://bit.ly/209XM00 
2) One Note for education: The blogpost about this webinar can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1LTaWqv and the actual webinar recording can be listened to at   http://bit.ly/209XiqH

Free Microsoft webinar today! 
Today's webinar features the new Microsofft site that will replace the old Microsofft Educator network on 30 October 2014. Do listen in and find out all about this exciting move,

Time: Thursday afternoon 15 October at 3pm – 3:45.
Topic:
Microsoft.com/education
Explanation: "While technology can aid classroom instruction and help improve student learning, it’s the educator who truly enables change. Microsoft’s educator community empowers educators to utilize technology to its full potential and shape a confident future generation ready with 21st century skills. This is a new site followin
g the Microsoft Educator Network. The new site includes opportunity to classroom virtual tours, the ability to view and create content across platforms as well as earning badges for consuming and engaging with content. "
Presenters: Megan Rademeyer and Victor Ngobeni

The link to joinhttp://mva.zoom.ms/


Please join us!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Announcing The New Microsoft in Education Digital Experience!


A message from Microsoft: 
Over the past several months we have been listening to our audiences, understanding what they needed from Microsoft to be successful, and driving a cross company effort to provide a one stop hub for Microsoft in Education. This new digital destination provides enhanced collaboration and community for educators, new content and resources for students and leaders, updated product and solutions pages and enhanced navigation that bring together the best of Microsoft in education and today, this digital destination is now LIVE for our audiences to enjoy!

Have you seen Microsoft's new community site for educators. It serves as the top centralized resource and deep engagement tool for teducators and consolidates formerly separate online entities - Microsoft Educator Network, Skype in the Classroom, MIE Trainer Portal - into a single destination discoverable under the http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education site. This will help us offer everything educators and their students need and can discover from Microsoft. The site provides educators with rich profiling, making it even easier to access a global network of educators and best practices, an opportunity to earn merit badges and be recognized for achievements, and then share these achievements, lesson plans and other content via social channels with the benefit of seamless integration with Facebook, Twitter and Skype. View this video below to see highlights of the digital experience for educators.