I was so excited this morning. We arrived in the conference room and our OneNote Avenger capes were on the chairs! I know this sounds odd, but I have wanted one of these capes ever since I saw them a couple of years ago. I am a real OneNote fan and this just made my day!
Yet more notes today from some great sessions.
The Keynote was live around the world this morning and I know there were some crazy kiwis up at 2a.m. to watch it! Anthony Salcito (Vice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft) was first to speak and he started by talking about there being four Industrial Revolutions, with the fourth being the Digital Revolution and then he related these to four digital ones.
1st revolution of digital tech: Fuelled by passionate pioneers. Brought devices into classrooms and created comp labs. Saw potential in technology.
2nd revolution was fuelled by the first group. Countries saw tech as part of future. Device to each student. Led to lots of disconnect between pedagogy and the classroom.
3rd revolution reassessing what is most important. How do we reduce risk and prepare teachers?
Some schools still in 1st or 2nd revolution stage
How do we fuel student passions? How can we drive better learning outcomes in the classroom?
4th revolution. Making tech invisible in and out of the class. Shifting tech around skills. Think collaboratively, using creativity prepares them to make things real and make an impact.
He likened schooling to travelling on a train, everyone's view is the same. Everyone was going to same stop. The only variable was the grade. Technology enables students to travel any way. Resources are limitless. Time is the variable. Mastery of skills is the progression point.
The role of an innovative educator is to expand their knowledge and embrace the learning of life beyond the classroom. Microsoft is working to lower the price of technology and make it easier to support. They are also keen to push the upper end with devices such as the Surface Studio (I so want one), improving tools for creativity. He says we are on the precipice of real change.
The WE team works on embracing service based learning and how youth can change the world. So far there are over 10,000 schools involved. Students are given tools and inspiration to take action and make a difference. Watch WE are one. There is also a We Are One OneNote to help with this initiative. This looks really interesting and I am certainly going to look into it further to see if Haeata could or should become a WE school. One school that has embraced this is Queen of Heaven Elementary School where their students are working to help improve access to education for young people in developing countries.
Some of the things Microsoft has been working on recently:
Minecraft has been an amazing tool that has been worked on and he mentioned Meenoo Rami’s book called Thrive. See notes on her talk later in this post.
This is a programme that helps support thinking in 3D. There are tools to help with 3D printing and to plug in IED software as well. Looks amazing!
Index Content for search engines
Search engines are natural for kids so they are looking to make this even easier by indexing the content, which you can see some examples of in Bing and it’s use in Word.
Word and cognitive services
They have already improved in this area by adding more features to Ink to Word. The replay feature is great, being able to watch what has been added in order. You can circle text and right clicking will bring up a menu to use with that text. You can also right click a highlighted word and choose smart lookup which is a research tool that embeds Bing into Word. Love this feature! He gave us an example of a document about the Bay of Pigs, highlighted the word pigs which brought up research on the Bay of Pigs rather than the animal. Yet in another document on animals when the word pigs was highlighted, it brought up the animal. Very clever. You can also right click on a word and go to spelling which gives spelling, synonyms, and can read the word aloud.
They have introduced Quick Starter technology where you can choose a topic such as the solar system and then you choose starter slides from which you can create work to present quickly. References automatically come in as you select pictures or text to import.
There is now a help button that enables you to find the content you want quickly. There are always new courses being put up and lots of lessons that are shared. There is also a Make What's Next badge – the theme of E2.
You can ask questions and get answers from the website right away without having to search.
An open flexible cloud-based platform.
When using video it can often be too large. Need to be able to index content. With this, you can find relevant places in the video, it recognises people so you can search for them and it creates a transcript. You can index key words and it has speech sentiment built in so you can get an idea about how the speaker is feeling. He showed us a video of International women's day 2016 what are you going to make1080 which asked students about famous inventors. They all named males and when asked to name females, the speech sentiment changed. It was really interesting for negative vs positive recognition.
His closing remarks summed up all of this really well:
Change is happening incredibly fast
MeenooRami from Microsoft’s Minecraft team, spoke to us about how educators can motivate, inspire and ignite a passion for learning in every student by using Minecraft. The world that our students inhabit is shifting rapidly and she asked how do we help our students become the leaders and learners in this moment?
She gave examples of some educators using Minecraft in innovative ways:
John Miller inCalifornia. Took folk tales and recreated moments in Minecraft. The students recorded the retelling of the stories on video. Students get to communicate across states.
Katja Borregaard and MikkelMadsen is teaching communication, collaboration and critical thinking in Minecraft.
She said the best educators never stop being learners. They are not afraid to meet what the students are doing. They take passion and turn it into powerful learning.
Steve Isaacs never stops trying new things. He turned Rapunzel into a quest. Minecraft a tool to allow students to show their thinking and their imagination. We learn best when we learn in communities and people around us push us to be better.
Minecraft is great for trying to solve a problem. Students place blocks and break blocks in a visual way to solve problems. This immersive 3D world creates a buzz with students sharing and learning.
Daniel McDuff, a researcher at Microsoft who spoke at TEDx Berlin, told us about affective computing. This is where technology can understand facial expressions and read student emotions. This can help educators gain an understanding of student experiences via moment-to-moment tracking of cognitive and emotional states. Typically we interact through keyboards but great experiences are multi sensory and multi modal. Capturing information about memory, decision making, communication, and wellbeing is important. Faces convey the experience people are having and they are working on automatically coding this info. Look at a face, analyse and interpret. They look at gestures, the physiology, facial coding acknowledging as well that it is important to understand context and who the computer is working with. This software means they can tell if facial expressions change so you can tell if the work is boring, exciting or if the student is happy or sad.
It gives the ability to provide people who teach remotely the feedback of how people are taking the information if they switch on their webcam to capture responses during content delivery. This means teachers can make changes as they teach if the student is puzzled or confused. It could also help with the flipped classroom, as you can tell if students have got it and can move ahead. Also, you could pick up anxiety about it. This also means that it can capture aspects of your emotions and tailor the experience for you. They have been working with Hololens to visualize information in real time and I managed to see this in action later in the day. Another thought I had was around students with difficulty reading expression, where one day they could maybe have some glasses that can help read other peoples emotions.
Mike Tholfsen (aka Mr OneNote) then spoke about his top 10 tips for OneNote. His presentation is here.
OneNote is free on every device and every platform and is an amazing programme saving time, helping with organisation and collaboration. I am a big OneNote fan and they just keeping improving it all the time. These were his top 10 things he likes:
1: Class notebook - class notebook works with a range of LMS around the world so that grades can be put straight in.
2: Added stickers for teachers to use
3: You can embed cool things such as geogebra, quizlet, soundcloud, sway
4: A quick hack. How to quickly make pages – make a table, right click and choose “link to page” and it will automatically make pages for each name in list
5: Staff notebook – they have a vision for Professional Learning Criteria in this. They have also created help for your Professional Learning Community (PLC). It is in the waffle. If you go to New Group in office 365, create group and choose PLC group you get a notebook with templates.
6: Export class notebook – really handy when you want to save a copy - right click in your list of notebooks and “save a copy”.
7: Learning Tools are now built into the online version, also free with word online. Love the Learning Tools!
8: Windows 10 version of OneNote has rainbow ink, fun with ink and reversible ink where you can playback the order of what they did. It’s called Replay when you are looking for it.
9: Ink to Math – this is great and can even generate graphs automatically.
10: Writing prompts – this is brand new out this week – aka.ms/writeideas – A great tool for students wanting ideas for their writing.
Some other great things about OneNote (I could go on forever):
- students self-assessing with templates in one note
- give feedback and give support from parent educator like a teacher aid. Don't have to sit next to them if they get embarrassed by that, they can work on the same book at the same time
- Giving feedback by video
What a session – only 2 hours into the day and we were filled with ideas and possibilities. I loved that this was streamed live so other educators around the world could drop in on a part of #E2. Hopefully this will inspire them to be the best they can be and maybe be a part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator network.