Microsoft MIE Teacher Academy
My first session at #FETC was also my first time getting a look at the training that Microsoft offers to educators. The all day session covered all the basics that #Office 365 offers such as Word, PowerPoint, One Note, Teams, and Sway. When you attend one of these sessions you also earn enough points on Microsoft Education Community to become an Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer. This gives you the ability to go back to your own school site and show others tools that Office 365 offers.
The first thing you really notice with a Microsoft training session is that you feel more like a collaborator building a platform for learning than a participant listening to hours long talks about product. The trainers are personable and ready to jump in to help you with issues and questions you may have. A day long session was filled with moments like this where the trainers stopped talking and let you experience the applications. So much of learning technology is to experience it so these moments were welcoming. Two Office 365 tools that I really enjoy using in the classroom are Microsoft Forms and Microsoft One Note and Class Notebook.
If you’ve never used this application before think of a Survey Monkey without the advertising and with all the advantages of being integrated into your own Office account. As one trainer put it Forms replaces the USB drive and helps keep all your data on the cloud. To share data with participants you can share a link or download into an Excel spreadsheet.
For educators Forms is an easy way to survey the class or offer an online quiz. Built into Forms is a function known as “branching” that allows the student to skip questions if they answer a certain way. You can also input feedback to the student if they answer incorrectly or correctly on a quiz with explanations that offer personalized learning.
One Note and Class Notebook
This collaborative application can be used as the online notebook for your classroom. Teachers can build content and share with students using the Class Notebook making it possible to flip your classroom or offer a break from the textbook and worksheet routine.
Once a student enters their own notebook space they can use dictate to speak and have text produced on the page. This can be a great function for students of all ages. Elementary and middle school students can use it to help them take notes without all the struggle of taking their eye off the screen or page to type something. For math you can draw a problem to be solved and use “math to ink” to have the function of writing the equation on the page. Students can take it one step further and evaluate the problem.
Using the Immersive Reader in One Note gives the student the ability to have the text read to them. Students can customize the background color or change the font. Doing this can help struggling readers and increase the accessibility to your students of disability.