Day two started with a keynote by Stephen Reid about game playing in education. It was very interesting and he showed samples of a lot of games. He spent the most time on Minecraft. It does seems like some interesting cross curriculum things are going on in classrooms using Minecraft. I’m waiting for them to reopen modding for us in CS classes though.
The rest of the morning was concurrent sessions with teachers talking about how the are using various technology in their schools. I attended one session on Microsoft Classroom. It is a basic learning management system that works well with Office 365 and several student information systems. Well worth looking into if you are in the market for an LMS. It has some very nice features and they are building it up with teacher feedback.
Next I attended a talk by Melanie Wiscount about flipped classrooms. I learned a bunch and she shared her presentation Sway at Flipped Learning Sway One key take away was that flipping is not always a daily thing. I felt validated in my thoughts of using it occasionally. You can see the lists of tools she uses on that Sway. Sway is pretty cool as well. I need to learn more about using it.
I skipped the third breakouts because I got the chance to try out Doug Bergman’s HoloLens. The first picture is a close up of the device on Doug. Its basically a Windows 10 computer with two screens as a wearable device. It feels very light and one almost forgets the are wearing it as they get involved in the experience.
In this next picture I am wearing the HoloLens and interacting with a virtual shark floating in space. My mind was racing with ideas for using this in education. Virtual reality looks to be huge and I hope education gets out in front of it and takes advantage of it. It is too powerful to be limited to games and entertainment.
Doug has students writing code for it BTW. It’s fairly advanced programming though so we’ll see where development takes place going forward.
The afternoon started with some classroom hacks – useful suggestions and information from teachers. I saw some really cool things to do with pens on Surfaces. I’ll play with that at home and write more on that. Also cool was how to create custom ribbon tabs for Office applications. I’ve started to create one for myself to make it easier to get to the things I use most. But the suggestion was also made that a teacher could make a simple custom ribbon for students. I can see this being very useful for young students, special needs students, or any student who might be overwhelmed by the full blown ribbons that come standard.
The closing presentation was by Mike Tholfsen who is from the OneNote team at Microsoft. He talked about OneNote Class Notebooks. I really need to get my school using Office 365 so I can take full advantage of this tool.
It’s been a great event. Microsoft makes all the teachers feel appreciated and important. I hope I can come to more in the future.
If you are interested in being a part of this program Nominations for the 2016-17 global Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program are open! Learn more: http://msft.it/6010Btfn8
Here is the group picture from this weekend’s event.
See also Microsoft US MIE Forum 2016–Day 1