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#TheFeed - Issue 3 - December 2016

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Issue 3 of #The Feed, our monthly view of all the news and stories across our Showcase School community and beyond

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#TheFeed - Issue 3 - December 2016

  2. 2. 15 Other goodness,Gerald Haigh reviews the new FREE Microsoft Educator Community – a network dedicated to sharing practice and a place for ALL educators to gain professional development badges from Microsoft. UTC Reading share how two years on from opening, its gone from strength to strength, not only in As well as, hopefully, bringing you a dose of inspiration, insight and practical advice each month, here at #TheFeed towers (in reality, often our local Starbucks) we are dedicated to both building and helping to better connect our broader community of educators, head teachers and network managers with all the latest and greatest from Microsoft. So with community built into the very fabric of the magazine, the Dec/Jan issue is focused on celebrating those who help make #theFeed what is it –for educators by educators. Tim Bush Education Marketing Manager the eyes of Ofsted (outstanding in all areas, May 2015), but with students moving on to some of the best universities in the country, or being recruited by national and global powerhouses. We get up close and personal with the BBC micro:bit. Eastlea Community School are the first in the country to review the device and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and BBC Director General Tony Hall stop by to hear their thoughts. Committing to buying 15,000 additional BBC micro:bits exclusively for our UK Showcase Schools. Before that, though, it’s time to crack open the champagne and raise a toast to our new Showcase Schools and MIEE’s. It’s going to be a blast! Have an amazing holiday season and look forward to seeing you all at BETT 16 (not long now!) With 20 Showcase Schools, 17 Associate Showcase Schools and over 130 new MIEE’s joining us for the year ahead, this is the perfect expression of what community is all about. Talented professionals who are sharing best practice and helping change and improve classroom practice and student outcomes. We look forward to following their individual journeys throughout the year ahead. Please do congratulate them on twitter. Dec/Jan issue is focused on celebrating those who help make #theFeed what it is –for educators by educators. We are very excited to announce this year’s new cohort of Microsoft schools and Expert Educators. Mandeep Atwal Education Audience Manager 2
  3. 3. Business and Management Student @LauraJaneEdu Senior Leader at Darran Park Primary School and Microsoft Expert Educator @DarranPark Business Relations Manager at Showcase School UTC Reading @mhallidayutc James Protheroe Mike HallidayLaura-Jane Ellard 15 A welcome helping hand from our team from so many different backgrounds. contents 2 EDITORS FOREWARD: MANDEEP & TIM 4 WHAT’S NEW WITH MICROSOFT: “MICROSOFT AND THE BBC MICRO:BIT” 9 “MANAGING CHANGE. ASSESSMENT BEYOND LEVELS” - A HEAD TEACHER’S RESPONSE 14 MICROSOFT EDUCATOR COMMUNITY – WEBSITE REVIEW 17 SHOWCASE SCHOOL: UTC READING 21 MIEE REPORT: MINECRAFT IN THE CLASSROOM 24 EVER HEARD OF SWAY? – A STUDENT’S VIEW 28 ANNOUNCING THE MIE EXPERT CLASS OF 2016 35 MEET THIS YEAR’S SHOWCASE SCHOOLS chat with us... Learner, teacher, writer, piano player @geraldhaigh1 Gerald Haigh Muggle, Dad, Headteacher. Cricket, The Beatles. You’re all clear kid, now let’s blow this thing and go home. @SdSPrimary Tom Rees tweet us @TheFeedUK @microsoftedUK share us TheFeedUK DESIGN AND PRODUCTION BY STUDIO CO2 info@studioCO2.com 3
  5. 5. The BBC together with Microsoft and a range of other partners will provide every Year 7 student (age 11-12) in the United Kingdom with their very own BBC micro:bit, a personal computing device that they can use to explore the possibilities of computer science, both in and out of the classroom. The device has been specifically designed for students starting with little or no computing experience, to show them that they can progress and ultimately create the type of computer games and other programmes and apps that they use every day. Microsoft has been working closely with a range of companies, including ARM, Farnell and Samsung, to create the BBC micro:bit. The device itself is less than half the size of a credit card, with a distinctive appearance designed to show off its circuitry and hardware. The BBC micro:bit device can be plugged into a computing device using a USB cable and programmed using a browser-based coding and content platform called Microsoft TouchDevelop, which researchers created to help children build computer programmes with touch screen devices. With Microsoft TouchDevelop, even a child who has no experience in coding whatsoever can quickly start creating simple programmes for their BBC micro:bit, such as a set of commands that makes the gadget’s lights blink. The fact that they can use TouchDevelop on any device also means that this isn’t just confined to the classroom – they can take micro:bit home and carry on exploring outside of school. Steve Hodges, principal researcher at Microsoft Cambridge, fell in love with computing when he was first exposed to the BBC Micro at school in the 1980s. The computer was part of the BBC Computer Literacy Programme and was designed to encourage students to explore the potential of computer programming. After using the BBC Micro at school, he begged his parents for a home computer, promising – as kids so often do – that he’d never ask them for anything again if they’d only buy him this one thing. They eventually acquiesced, and Hodges was hooked. He went on to build a very successful career, and he’s now a principal researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, where he leads the organisation’s sensors and devices group. But he still has that old BBC Micro. “I COULDN’T LET IT GO BECAUSE IT CHANGED MY LIFE” HE SAID. Now, Hodges and other Microsoft researchers are hoping that a similar BBC project, the BBC micro:bit – part of their Make It Digital programme – will have the same effect on the next generation of young people across the UK. MICROSOFT ANDTHEBBC MICROBIT WOah! Steve Hodges Principle Researcher at Microsoft Cambridge 5
  6. 6. Researchers say there are other benefits to the programme as well, even for children who use the BBC micro:bit but end up going into other fields. In recent years, computational thinking, in which computer science methods are used as a way of tackling problems, has become a core skill in a range of fields, from biology to journalism. Jeannette Wing, a corporate vice president overseeing Microsoft’s core research labs, said that with the micro:bit, “Students can experience a tangible way of working with computational thinking.” She noted that with the BBC micro:bit, students will both learn about and experience a more engaging and scientific way of attacking problems. These skills are said to help students to learn better across the curriculum and are vital for to helping them solve problems in any subject. We also knew that we wanted to find a way to do more, expand the reach of the BBC micro:bit still further and give more young people the opportunity to be inspired by using the device. And with the BBC micro:bits coming to every single Year 7 child or equivalent in the country next year, we are planning on doing exactly that. The TouchDevelop platform has been designed so that as students get more advanced, they can create even more sophisticated programmes and build libraries of code that they can re-use and share with other users. Eventually, they can progress to use the computer language C++, which professional computer scientists use. This ability to transition to a more sophisticated programming language is a key differentiator for TouchDevelop. And it’s also a crucial element for helping not just create computer enthusiasts, but future computer scientists. “WE’VE ALL BECOME VERY GOOD CONSUMERS OF TECHNOLOGY,” HODGES SAID. “IT’S NOT SUSTAINABLE. WE NEED TO HAVE PRODUCERS OF TECHNOLOGY.” The UK has a rapidly growing number of vacancies within the technology sector, and desperately needs to create a generation of computer-literate individuals to plug the skills gap and maintain its competitive edge on a global scale. The BBC micro:bit will bring the focus back to practical learning, opening young people’s eyes to the endless possibilities of pursuing a career in computer science. MICROSOFT ANDTHEBBC MICROBIT WOah! Microsoft Block Editor Javascript Editor Microsoft TouchDevelop Editor Play the guitar with your microbit Children learning about the BBC microbit in the BBC Blue Room 6
  7. 7. We are committing to buy 15,000 additional BBC micro:bits once they become commercially available next year, and will give them to the 35 UK schools in our global Showcase Schools programme. Once all Year 7 pupils in the UK receive their BBC micro:bit next year from the BBC, this pilot will then give every single pupil in these Microsoft Showcase schools the chance to benefit from this innovative piece of hardware. This is only the first step in our efforts to get more BBC micro:bits into the hands of a wider group of young people. Microsoft UK Vice President Michel Van der Bel, who visited Associate Showcase School Eastlea Community School with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and BBC Director-General Tony Hall, met pupils who were among the first to trial and spend time learning to code with their BBC micro:bits. HE SAID, “THE CREATIVITY OF THE PUPILS AT EASTLEA SHOWS JUST WHAT’S POSSIBLE, THINGS WE NEVER DREAMED OF WHEN WE FIRST JOINED THE BBC MICRO:BIT PROJECT. THIS REALLY CAN INSPIRE A WHOLE NEW GENERATION TO BECOME DIGITAL MAKERS.” The trio spoke to Andre Nohai and Hamza Huda, both 11, who used the micro:bit to create a blimp, complete with propellers. “It’s a really good opportunity, it’s made us really interested,” Andre said. “If you haven’t found out what you want to be when you’re older this can help you see if you’re good at programming. “I think I’d like a career in IT.” Maicey Cornish, 11, and Justina Guminaite, 12, created a game featuring a maze which leads to a prize. Maicey said: “It’s a really good opportunity. It’s really great that we get the chance to do things like this. That’s why I’m really glad to be at school in the 21st Century.” Mr Nadella said he had seen some “amazing things”. “Someone’s building a helicopter, someone’s building games, someone’s going to build things that are going to change education, so every field out there is going to have an element of digital technology and to learn that right in school is fantastic,” he added. Chinye Jibunoh, Principal at Associate Showcase School Eastlea Community said “We’re thrilled at the opportunity of being able to use the BBC micro:bit with children across all our year groups. Putting these devices in the hands of our youngest learners is an exciting prospect and opens up endless possibilities for creativity through technology.” Watch BBC School Report MICROSOFT ANDTHEBBC MICROBIT Eastlea Community School BBC Director - General Tony Hall Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella 7
  8. 8. From unboxing to set up and on to programming a Minecraft Creeper, creating a digital pet or coding a Rock, Paper, Scissors game, the book gives teachers step-by-step lesson plans and walkthroughs. These are designed to simplify the learning process and, when the time comes, help young people take the basic building blocks and bring their own ideas to life. The BBC micro:bit website is the place to go to play on the micro:bit simulator before you receive the real ones. For all you Kodu fans, check out the new version of Kodu GameLab, which includes the microbit and allows the micro:bit to be used as a games controller for Kodu games – see this video. If you haven’t already, register to receive your micro:bits here   Microsoft’s Showcase Schools programme is designed to recognise schools which are leading the way in the use of technology and giving their pupils the skills they need to flourish in today’s digital world. Our aim is to create a community of best practice and inspirational leadership which can amplify the benefits technology brings and help other schools get the most out of the technology in their classroom. We promote and publicise Showcase Schools in the UK and around the world, support them with initiatives like the BBC micro:bit pilot, and help them engage with other schools who have the opportunity to benefit from their leadership and experience. Why wait? Get started now! For those taking their first steps, the BBC micro:bit Quick Start Guide for Teachers is now available to download from the Microsoft website. It is an indispensable guide for teachers, showing them how to get started and how to create programs for the device. 8
  9. 9. A HEAD TEACHER’S RESPONSE Managing Change: Assessment beyond Levels
  10. 10. December: Managing Change: Assessment beyond Levels BY TOM REES HEAD TEACHER OF SIMON DE SENLIS PRIMARY ➜ The Autumn term has been an exciting but challenging one for us all and brings to an end a turbulent year of change and uncertainty in schools. Life after without levels is finally here but many teachers and school leaders still feel like they’ve been asked to play a new game without the rules being fully explained yet. Let’s imagine for a moment how the All Black and Australian teams would have felt as they walked out to play the Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham this Autumn; warm up, stretch, national anthems, Haka if only then, at the eleventh hour with all the preparation done, would the referee reveal the rules of engagement whilst leaving the explanation of how to score to follow gradually over the Tannoy at 10 minute intervals throughout the match. This is how many colleagues appear to feel with so many unanswered questions around assessment remaining this late in the day. Of course teaching hasn’t changed THAT much. It’s still very much the same game, but with a greater focus on deeper learning rather than a rush to push children on from one quickly-acquired concept to another. Many school leaders are now able to describe new assessment systems which, refreshingly, aren’t infatuated with data but are based on reflective teaching rather than constantly weighing the pig. A growing belief exists that great teaching should bring great learning and, in turn, high achievement however this is measured. But when it comes to the crunch, will schools be able to carry through their ideals around learning and assessment against a backdrop of fear and high accountability on testing, or will they resort to relying on tests to generate data which drive their thinking and actions? Let’s see. With information and training now rolling out from government around the Interim Assessment Frameworks, debate and controversy continues to dominate our staffrooms around areas such as floor targets, moderation and much-needed exemplification which we are now told won’t be available until January. It really is too late in the day from the DfE and unfair on the thousands of schools and teachers who are held to account so publically by the statistics that these hastily-assembled half measures will create. Questions are also raised around the role of testing and their place in preparing children for success in this pivotal year. Dylan William’s words “ASSESSMENT IS A GOOD SERVANT, BUT A TERRIBLE MASTER”, MAY BE A HELPFUL MANTRA FOR US ALL AT THIS TIME. Nottinghamshire Deputy Headteacher, Michael Tidd, has written several important posts around this issue and, in his recent and excellent post ‘Testing Times’, he articulates the heart of the issue well. “Tests have had a bit of a bad press over the years, but in reality it’s the way we’ve used tests that has been problematic. The over-use of high-stakes tests trying to predict outcomes or to usurp teacher assessment was an error, but the fault didn’t lie with tests themselves. Used appropriately, carefully chosen tests can support assessment in the classroom, and help us to benchmark our pupils’ attainment against external measures.” It’s Just Change… Trying to keep perspective at times of change is so important. There’s an image of the change curve in my office to remind me that negative emotions and behaviours such as denial, fear, anger and resistance are all very normal parts of the process. This is important information when working in education where the only constant is change. 10
  11. 11. and going out for training doesn’t involve finding good quality cover. Pay teachers more and reduce their holidays by a fortnight to allow for two more weeks of quality inset perhaps? Not in a million years… These constraints challenge us to think more innovatively about how we solve the problems and using ‘just-in-time’ training is a really useful concept I was introduced to last year that might help. This works on the premise that lots of training is wasted because the gap between training and implementation is usually too long. How many times have we heard staff saying that they don’t know how to do something whilst using for the first time whilst leaders get grumpy and retort ‘But you’ve had the training’? The just-in-time model requires us to be able to release experts (these may be children as we have plenty of them on hand who are usually fairly tech-savvy) to go and support staff at the moment they need it. This has certainly helped in our school; a great example being 10 year old Caleb, who spent lunchtimes in September happily setting up staff with their Microsoft Wireless Adaptors so that they could project from their Surface tablets to classroom screens, showing them how it works just before they needed it. What I’m learning is that, where I see these reactions to change (whether amongst the children, staff or parent community), it’s my job to answer the following 2 questions: 1. Is the change that’s happening well thought through and worth fighting for? 2. Is the change being managed well? If the answer to either of these is no, it’s time to go back and revisit either the strategy or delivery. If the answer to both is yes, it’s important not to slow down or shy away but to see it through. They say that dawn follows the darkest hour so make sure you keep on going and get to enjoy the fruit of your labours once positive change has occurred or new systems are embedded. As someone who’s been involved in leading technology across schools for some time, I recognise these emotions on the change curve well. It never stops surprising me how a computer is capable of generating such a range of primal responses in grown adults (including myself). A technical crisis still holds the power to hijack meetings, presentations or lessons; I do admire the technicians who work across our schools who are able to deal with the many pressures and requests that come their way without appearing to raise their heart rate. A KEY PART OF SUPPORTING COLLEAGUES THROUGH CHANGE IS THROUGH USEFUL AND TIMELY TRAINING; THIS IS A REAL CHALLENGE IN SCHOOL WHERE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TIME IS SO LIMITED EACH WEEK. The current system of set training days and contracts is so restrictive that it doesn’t allow for all the necessary training that teachers need. I envy industry in this regard where week-long inductions are common place ➜ Managing Change: Assessment beyond Levels DENIAL UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE FEAR ANGER ACCEPTANCE OPENNESS TESTINGRESISTANCE RELEARNING INTEGRATION TIME PERFORMANCE,MOTIVATION ANDCOMPETENCE IT’S JUST CHANGE... 11
  12. 12. Managing Change: Assessment beyond Levels Tips for managing change in your school: mainly learnt (and still being learnt) the hard way… 1. Take People withYou: No-one likes being ‘done to’ and so any significant change of any significance should be consulted and discussed with those it affects and tailored with them. A rushed implementation can often end up as a false economy due to the amount of time then managing fall-out that comes from resistance to change. When we converted to becoming an academy in April this year, the Governors and Leadership team set up several high profile events alongside lots of informal discussions so that staff and parents had several opportunities to air any concerns and seek reassurances and clarification. As a result, the formal consultation period was smooth and positive. 2. A Focus onWell-Being: The emotions that accompany change can be draining and exhausting so it’s important to look out for staff during times of change. Little things can make a real difference and with this in mind, we made tea and coffee free for staff at Simon de Senlis and have discounted the Christmas bash so that more staff can get together at this important time of year. We also try to avoid last minute logistics wherever possible and aim for meetings to be focused and start and finish promptly. 3. Look After Number 1: Any well-being initiative should also extend to the person who is leading change so make sure you eat well, get plenty of sleep at times of challenge as the last thing anyone needs is for you to be ill half-way through a testing time (I’ll let you know when I’ve found a way to model this myself). 4. Face to Face Time Beats Email: Although it’s important to provide clarity through communications such as email, memos and letters (if it involves the parents), nothing is more important than hearing it from the ‘horse’s mouth’ so make sure that you are visible. I find that 15 minutes a day on the school gate can save hours of potentially more difficult communication where there are issues that need resolving. 5. Size Doesn’t Matter: One of the most painful lessons I learned as a new Headteacher several years ago was that it wasn’t always the big changes that caused a stir. The most controversial and unpopular policy change I have ever led wasn’t the academy conversion or the inevitable side-effects of managing underperformance through an RI cycle, but an adaptation to the Healthy Eating policy as this impacted directly on the shopping habits of parents. This was a time-expensive piece of learning and taught me the benefits of informal consultation and testing ideas with the parent community first. 6. PickYour Battles: Fighting too many fronts is the shortcut to certain defeat and so assessing the impact of any change including the risks and unintended consequences. If the majority of leadership communication with parents is spent in conflict around uniform expectations, it’s possible that there are more productive areas of change to enact (Sutton Trust Research tells us that Uniform has an effect size of 0 on pupil’s progress). At Simon de Senlis this year, we’re really campaigning hard for more reading at home and school as we know that the impact of this is well worth the struggle! 7. Just Do It: Whether it’s a new website, assessment system or way of working, often we can get caught in cycles of too much discussion or hypothesis and not enough action. It’s important that sometimes we throw caution to the wind and just make something happen that we know is right and we feel passionate about. A great example of this is my colleague Headteacher, Leigh Wolmarons, who leads his remarkable school, Lings Primary, from the front through his passion for Drama, Sport and Technology. Leigh has a distaste for meetings, a tardis and an indomitable spirit which combine to make extraordinary things happen for his children. Times of great change can cause unrest and uncertainty in schools but also offer a time for our staff to grow professionally as we develop new practices, learning from our mistakes along the way. A wise man once told me that ‘complex problems are rarely solved with simple solutions’; so enjoy wrestling with the headaches and spending time to find the right answers. Happy Christmas everyone… 12
  13. 13. The best Windows ever. windows.com
  14. 14. What is the Microsoft Educator Community? The MEC is a global network (a million and a half, no less) of teachers and school leaders who share one valuable quality - all are willing to share their hard-won knowledge, experience and resources. Not only that, they and the results of their efforts are now easily within reach via an attractive and intuitive portal at https://education.microsoft.com/ The landing page of the portal, navigated with clearly labelled tiles rather than menus, offers alternative ways of heading further into its content, with sections labelled: ‘School leaders’ - separated out with material particularly appropriate to their needs. ‘Educators’ - mainly practising teachers. ‘Students’ - opportunities for students. ‘Products’ - offering information previously available from separate Microsoft sites and sources. ‘Training and events’ - a calendar, links to the IT Academy and other training providers. ‘Stories’ what’s happening in individual schools. ‘How to Buy’ - licensing, free products and services. So, if I am that aforementioned teacher who wants to learn what ‘Sway’ is all about, I will enter the portal as an Educator. (‘Welcome Educator’, it says) select from a range of options the tile called ‘Get Trained’, and go to ‘Get Quick Videos’ (I could go for ‘Courses’, but I’ll probably think that will come later). WEBREVIEW MICROSOFT EDUCATOR COMMUNITY ➜ The MEC is a global network of teachers and school leaders who share one valuable quality – all are willing to share their hard-won knowledge, experience and resources. Emma Hicks MIE-Expert 14
  15. 15. Among the offerings is a four-minute video called, ‘Create and Share Ideas using Sway’, presented by a fellow teacher – a Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator called Koen Timmers from Belgium. With a bit of pausing, replaying and trying things out for myself, I will soon be hooked on creating my own Sway, and if I want any more information I’ll go to ‘Courses’ and find it. As time goes on I, with my students, will find more ways in which ‘Sway’(that’s just one product among many) can open up new learning paths. Then – and this is why MEC is a ‘Community’ – I will post videos, ideas and lesson plans of my own. At the same time, I have searched for other teachers across the world whose ideas and methods I can also take on board. There’s so much more behind the site – lessons, discussions, resources, and the already familiar ‘Skype in the Classroom’ is now integrated with MEC, under a single sign-in, creating a gateway to great educational experiences across the world. MEC is a powerful tool for CPD, not just a library of resources. All of that, though, is just a start. At one level it’s easy to see MEC as a source of helpful ideas – a library to be browsed and explored as part of a search for resources that will support what you are planning to do. The real value, in fact, goes much further than that. MEC, in the right hands, with support from school leaders, will become a powerful and much-needed source of educator professional development. ‘Much needed’, because at the individual level, a teacher can plan methodically to acquire and improve their skills as a leader of learning, becoming expert across the range of Microsoft technologies and devices, learning from videos, courses, relevant online lessons, and, crucially, from other MEC members. If they have just a vague idea of something they want to do, then they will probably find a teacher who has brought that very idea to life and posted a video about it. As time goes on, the teacher will enhance their experience by posting their own lessons, plans, videos and observing how other teachers across he world adopt and use them.  As you work through activities on the site, you will earn points and badges for each course successfully completed and for a variety of other activities as well. Giving your CV a chance to shine. At the whole-school or departmental level a leader or CPD co-ordinator can encourage colleagues, pointing them to those parts of the portal that are appropriate, gradually removing technological resistance and fear by putting them, online, in touch with real fellow-professionals who are a step further along. ➜ Successful completion of four 1 - hour Introduction courses (500 points each) Successful completion of one 3 - hour Teacher Academies (3000 points each) Profile Creation Successful completion of two 3 - hour Teacher Academies (3000 points each) Profile Creation EXAMPLE OF TWO POSSIBLE PATHS TO THE MIE BADGE. EARN THE FOLLOWING BADGES: “ Lessons, discussions, resources... under a single sign-in, creating a gateway to great educational experiences across the world.” 15
  16. 16. What sets MEC apart? MEC has some particular advantages as a source of CPD. • It is separated from the school’s hierarchy and structure, and so is non-threatening and reassuring. • It is owned by the teacher, as a member of the MEC. • It is largely delivered by fellow educators, who, the evidence tells us, are the people from whom teachers are most likely to learn. • It is highly interactive – a collaborative learning community, not a passive group of learners. • It offers a wide choice of starting points – material which is age related, or subject related, or both, for example. • It is available anytime, anywhere, can be repeated, slowed down or approached from different directions. • It can be accredited with a system of ‘Microsoft Innovative Educator’ badges. • And, crucially, it’s free. Sign up. Learn. Contribute. Improve your practice. But don’t take my word for it. Get on the website, sign up and explore. But remember this is a community. The site is gradually expanding and being populated. Just because something is not there today, doesn’t mean it won’t be there tomorrow. And ultimately, of course, you may well be able to fill some gaps yourself. Please feel free to contact Gerald if you have any questions or would like to collaborate! @geraldhaigh1 “Just because something is not there today, doesn’t mean it won’t be there tomorrow.” 16
  17. 17. Showcase School
  18. 18. 15SEE THE LAUNCH VIDEO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 ➜ UTC READING Showcase School classroom using technology), the Network Rail SyFi Project (designing a safe level crossing), and the Peter Brett Associates ‘Big Data’ Project (students created a product or service using open source data). These projects culminate in presentations to Industry, and project winners being announced at the end-of-term Student Celebrations event, where prizes are awarded. All projects are managed by the students themselves, and OneNote is used by all teams to collaborate effectively and share information across extended groups. Industry Partners can also be seen in the classroom during lessons. In the spring of 2015, UTC Reading piloted the CoTeach programme, where a business sponsors a BTEC Unit, writing and delivering assignments with a real-world context. This year, we have 10 BTEC Units being sponsored, with more signed up in the next 1-3 years. A UTC is different from the average school because it has support and backing from local, high profile industry partners who are involved in the development of the curriculum. By Mike Halliday UTC Reading opened in September 2013 with a clear vision - to prepare young people for careers in Computing Science and Engineering. Such is the demand by these industries for young talent in the face of the impending skills gap, that a number of high profile Industry Partners pledged support and became heavily involved in enriching the education of our new students. Two years on, and UTC Reading has gone from strength to strength, not only in the eyes of Ofsted (outstanding in all areas, May 2015), but with our students moving on to some of the best universities in the country, or being recruited by national and global powerhouses (Microsoft, Cisco, Network Rail, Peter Brett Associates, and more). Professional Qualifications As a Microsoft IT Academy, we encourage all of our students to pass their MOS exams, which was a clear message we received from industry early on. Being able to hit the ground running and function without expensive training is increasingly expected by employers. For those students specialising in Computer Science, we also encourage them to pass MTAs, with the record number passed by a single student being 8 (so far). Our students were the first in the country to pass the MOS 2013 exams, along with other Professional Qualifications such as AutoCAD. Partnering with Industry Industry engagement with students is evident in a number of areas, but perhaps the most exciting from a student’s perspective is the Core Project, involving every student in the school (330 this year!). This runs over a term, and is sponsored by an Industry Partner, who sets a challenge to the students, who compete in teams. Half-day dropdown sessions are facilitated with the guidance of Partner mentors. Recent projects have been the Cisco Classroom of the Future (designing a next-generation “As a business tool, this is incredibly intuitive, and we use it outside of the classroom for all sorts of activities.” Andrei, a Year 11 student
  19. 19. 15SEE THE LAUNCH VIDEO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 Showcase School UTC READING to work on assignments, or on areas where they feel they need to improve. Developing the student UTC Reading, as a member of the Activate Learning Group, places great emphasis on the equal importance of developing the Brain, Emotions, and Motivation. Soft skills and strong character are a key element in the development of young people, and the input of mentors and specialist trainers from industry play a critical part in nurturing these skills. Mike Halliday, Business Relations Manager, who is responsible for organising such training, says “This is what employers really want, far more than just academic results. A young The learning environment UTC Reading tries to replicate industry wherever possible. Everyone wears suits, not uniforms – we look smarter than some of our Industry mentors on site sometimes! When a student starts here, they have to get used to a 40-hour working week. After the initial shock, the students settle in. With wireless connectivity available around the campus, and each student having their own device, either via our ELearning Scheme or BYOD, they are able to spend their ILT (Independent Learning Time) sessions in one of our colourful areas allocated specifically for this purpose – the ILZs (Independent Learning Zones). Teachers are always on hand to help out, but students are expected to use this time person that can organise teams, execute tasks, and present effectively is worth a handful of ‘A’ grades to a business. We run a variety of specialist courses and enrichment programmes that push students outside their comfort zone, so that they can perform as a young adult is expected to do in a meeting or conference”. Enriching education with technology Right from the beginning, UTC Reading has worked in a Microsoft Office environment, with each student and teacher having an Office365 account, and access to the full range of apps. Working on a soft launch approach, we introduce an app, give students and teachers the opportunity to play with it, then run focus groups to identify how best to use it in a learning context. In September 2015, we launched UTC SharePoint 2.0, which enabled all users to easily access the resources they need. Whilst OneDrive had been available from the start for all teachers, it was not being used in a uniformed manner. We designed a simplified workflow process, whereby all staff were trained to use the system, and to subsequently train students to use the system in the same way. By creating a training presentation that could be delivered by teachers to students on the first day of the academic year, we saw that take up was rapid. ➜ “The business-like ethos of the college permeates all aspects of learning. Students are prepared exceptionally well for their future lives in modern Britain.” Ofsted 2015 19
  20. 20. 15SEE THE LAUNCH VIDEO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 Please feel free to contact Mike if you have any questions. OneNote is used by all teachers to disseminate lesson content, and to facilitate effective formative feedback (including the use of audio and video feedback). Jennie, a science teacher says “My time standing at the printer waiting for assignments has disappeared. The impact of delivering feedback to students while they work has been huge – students really love it, and we as teachers can get more done in less time!” Something that isn’t shouted about by Microsoft is how OneNote transforms meetings between teaching staff at school. “This tool has changed the game in terms of how we communicate” . Unforeseen benefits It wasn’t 100% plain sailing, and inevitably not all users used every function immediately. However, what we didn’t expect was that the new Yammer social media community that was introduced at the same time became a peer-to-peer support network, where students would explain to each other (and teachers) tips and tricks for using apps more effectively, and in new ways. It quickly became clear that we as teaching staff had a lot to learn from ‘digital natives’, and within the first month the senior leadership team focused on how to encourage this activity further, resulting in a Reverse Mentoring Programme, where students teach the teachers how to do more with technology. This has led to some really cool stuff happening at our school. Students discovered Sway almost immediately, and hounded a couple of teachers until they were allowed to set up their own newsletter, now available to all students, and now generate weekly news during enrichment sessions. The future We at UTC Reading see technology as an ever-changing landscape, and are not resting on our laurels. With the phased introduction of Windows 10 this year and the designs for SharePoint 3.0 being discussed by staff and students alike, there seems to be more to do this year than last, but the benefits are so obvious looking back over the last 6 months that there is no debate over whether it is worth it – the only question is “how quickly can we do it?” Showcase School UTC READING “We are twice as productive and use it with our Industry Partners to collaborate on a whole range of projects”. Joanne Harper, Principal at UTC Reading. @mhallidayutc 20
  22. 22. 15SEE THE LAUNCH VIDEO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 James Protheroe, Senior Leader at Darran Park Primary School and Microsoft Expert Educator, was asked by Rhondda Cynon Taff Local Authority to lead - the largest scale Minecraft project in the UK. The project which involved 16 Rhondda schools, both English and Welsh medium, was centered around using 21st Century skills to work collaboratively to build a virtual Minecraft model of the Rhondda Heritage Park. The Rhondda Heritage Park is a museum dedicated to the history of coal mining in South Wales, built on the site of a former colliery. Students were asked to construct virtual landscapes and print them using 3D printing – thus creating a virtual and physical model of the Heritage Park. The project was designed to raise standards in ICT and digital competency in schools across Rhondda Cynon Taff. Speaking to James about the project, ‘‘We have to redesign our existing lessons and learning activities so pupils have the opportunity to develop core 21st century skills. The project encouraged school- to-school working, with pupils and staff from each school collaborating closely throughout the project.’’ ‘‘Pupil digital leaders of Darran Park Primary School exemplified 21st leadership when they took the Minecraft server to each school as part of the Minecraft Roadshow, training over three hundred pupils. To stay connected and to continue their support they used Hwb+, the All-Wales VLE (Office 365).’’ In addition to Minecraft, pupils used a range of ICT to capture their journey, including Office Mix – check out one pupil’s work here. MIEE Report: Field Research Recreating the high risers to... ...the deepest mines. We have to redesign our existing lessons and learning activities so pupils have the opportunity to develop core 21st century skills. 22
  23. 23. As a result of the school’s commitment to using ICT in an innovative and engaging way, Darran Park Primary has recently been awarded the Microsoft Showcase School status (first Primary School in Wales). The school is also celebrating because in addition to James Protheroe, the school has three new Microsoft Expert Educator’s: Sophie Mills, Jan Smith and Christine Protheroe. 15UPGRADE Speaking about the legacy of the project, James said that the work would be shared with other schools throughout RCT and Wales Central South Consortium Joint Education Service. The resources developed throughout the project will be used to create an education pack to be used in conjunction with the Rhondda Heritage Park. Next term pupils aim to expand the Minecraft world to create other features of Coal Society in South Wales, including the Blaencwm to Blaengwyfi tunnel, an important railway that connected the Rhondda and Swansea Valleys that is soon to be reopened. Please click to view the completed Minecraft world. Black Gold 2015: Hearts, Souls and Mines, was the latest venture of the highly successful partnership between RCT Council and Microsoft Academy. Please feel free to contact James if you have any questions or would like to collaborate! @DpDarran ‘‘Partnering with Microsoft enables us to take this vision of the film one step further and encourage children to think differently about the world around them and challenge themselves to discover more and problem solve.’’ Neil Nightingale, Director of Enchanted Kingdom Creative Director of BBC Earth MIEE Report: Under the initiative, which is part-funded by the Welsh Government , every pupil and school in Rhondda Cynon Taff can access IT Academy, which has seen 380 teachers trained as ICT educators and thousands of children develop new skills. The school is also currently leading a World War 2 project with twelve schools across the consortium, where pupils will develop digital competency through using a range of technologies. Much of this training has been led by the school’s talented digital leaders, who have been delivering a number of different workshops within and beyond the school. It is very important to continue looking for innovative ways to use ICT to inspire pupils and make the curriculum come alive. 23
  25. 25. STUDENT AMBASSADOR Laura When I started at Microsoft I was pretty confident with what tools and applications I’d be working with. I knew Word and PowerPoint inside out, and had enough experience of Excel to know how it worked (and seemingly, how bad I was at using it). So, I was on track… until I was told about 2 of the most important tools in education - Office Mix and Sway. In the last issue of #TheFeed, I gave you some top tips on how to use Office Mix to spice up your bog-standard PowerPoint, so now you’re up to date on that, I thought it’s about time you learnt the Sway way! First question on everyone’s mind - what on earth is Sway? Sway is a new canvas which allows you to create interactive documents where you can put all your content, whether that be videos, tweets, pictures or text, together to create a ‘one stop shop’ for all your resources. #1 – Draw in information from different sources to create Reports I joined the Be Your Future team – a student led blog where you can get top tips and tricks on how to start your journey at Microsoft. Recently, we completely redesigned and relaunched the blog, a big step for us – one that has yielded some incredible results and results we wanted to capture and share! Any written feedback, recorded calls or videos that had been created were dropped straight into a Sway, alongside graphs which showed how well each area had done. My favourite feature was the ability to embed snippets from social media such as twitter and Facebook (luckily all positive). Check out the blog at beyourfuture.net Next question - when would you use it? I personally see four main uses for Sway as a student: ➜ FB ReachSeries 1 1 1.5 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3500 3000 4000 2.5 3.5 4.52 3 4 #2 – Use a plan to create a Presentation template which you can build out with pictures and videos I have been asked to head back to my secondary school to give a presentation on my journey since I left. Using sway made sense! You can now create an outline of your presentation in Word or OneNote and drop it into Sway, where it will create a template for you based on the content you want. You then can populate it with images, some more text and videos using things called ‘cards’. This way, I keep the messaging behind my presentation, but can use Sway to make it more engaging and interactive – something I know the students at my old school will appreciate. 25
  26. 26. STUDENT AMBASSADOR Laura #3 – Collaborate in real time and share a Newsletter to update your community I am currently part of an internal initiative at Microsoft called EduConnect, where we encourage more employees to volunteer in education. This is driven by a small team, so it is really important that we keep the wider team up to date with all the latest and greatest education offerings to come out of the company. Sway allows you to update in real time AND collaborate with others –without affecting the original web link. You can keep content relevant and up to date whilst only having to share the link once. Good bye a million emails! #4 – Tell the story of your progress by using Sway to tell a Personal Story When it comes to being a student, the pressure is on –getting good grades has become secondary to securing a good job when we leave uni! Let’s be honest, none of us have the super powers to remember all that we do, yet this is the very thing that separates us from our competition. I now use Sway to keep track of everything I do and have done. What grades did I get? What extracurricular activities did I do? What hobbies do I have? How do I plan on developing for the future? I use Sway to tell my story – how I have got to where I am today and my plans for the future. Now when I go back to uni and start applying for graduate schemes, I’ll have everything I need share my complete journey and show future employers what I have to offer :) . If I were you, I’d start now! Find your way to use Sway at Sway.com But don’t worry if you don’t know where to start, check out some how- to tutorials on our blogs to give you some inspiration. 26
  27. 27. 27 What’s better than free?  Something that’s free and incredibly useful. Investing in technology usually comes at a price. Not this time. Microsoft Office Education Plus provides familiar apps like Word, Excel and OneNote free to all eligible teachers and pupils in an easy-to-install download.   Empower your teachers and pupils with the tools they’re familiar with, on multiple devices such as PCs, mobiles and tablets – at school and at home.   Are you making the best of what you’ve got? Check eligibility at office.com/getoffice365 For resources to promote in your school, go to office.com/getoffice365resources
  28. 28. Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators #MIEExpert ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016
  29. 29. Simon Baddeley @SimBadd64 @katlouisebird Kathryn Bird @g_t_clark Gary Clark @SuperDan123 Dan cox @JaseBain Jason Bain @whitehavenacad Tim Bradbury @Sfm36 Sarah Clark @StJohnsBeaumont Christopher Cox @EBaileeyy Emma Bailey @EDDIESRL Carl Burgess @coade_976 Charlotte Coade @Moira_Cruddas Moira Cruddas @kbartlam1 Karl Bartlam @PhilemonBurney Phil Burmey @ACollinsSCA Andrew Collins Stewart Davies @StewartJJDavies @mb_cornwallis Mallory Beeching @Lanky_Boi_Ray Ray Chambers @juliecooper110 Julie Cooper @EasiPC_Paul Paul Dredge @ribbweb Andy Beattie @mattbushell75 Matthew Bushell Emily Collins @collinseg @_MWDavies Matthew Davies @CharBeckhurst CharlotteBeckhurst Lee Butler @Moboe1 @maddoxmam Sarah Cook @hannah_de1 Hannah Denny ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016 #MIEExpert 29
  30. 30. ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016 #MIEExpert @paedge Paul Edge @Jimmy_Edwards Jimmy Edwards @PhilipSouthcote Elsie Evans @ShirelandCA Gwilym Evans @StJohnsBeaumont JimFountain @pgtip5 Paul Gallanagh @goodall_denbigh Simon Goodall @relativism Jennifer Harvey @mhallidayutc Michael Halliday @_grice_ Richard Grice @misskmgriffin Kristy Griffin @Charlot27856967 Charlotte Harvey @OasisAcademies Liz Hankin Joanne Harper @UTCReading @WestCollScot Samina Hassan @W_D_Harrison Wayne, Harrison @Mjh4pk Masood Hashmi @CDTMrHay Andrew Hay @Leeonhey11 Leeon Hey @echicks90 Emma Hicks @SpedeNews Ashley Hilton @SsLove2learn Leanne Hunt James l’Anson @JamesIanson @andyjohnson74 Andrew Johnson @yifrati Annette lafrate @KatharineJewitt Katharine Jewitt @HHorlick Hugo Horlick 30 @OasisSouthBank MatthewGrey
  31. 31. ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016 #MIEExpert @TCSHistory Angela Jones @CMJonesEdu Christopher Jones @ELFYNJOS Elfyn Wyn Jones @MrKerr_ICT Daniel Kerr @BluminMarvelous Jen King @JoseKingsley192 JoseKingsley-Davies @WeekofScience Graeme Lawrie @natalielochhead Natalie Lochhead @DawnMarieLawso2 Dawn-MarieLawson @lyndsey_leech Lyndsey Leech @anthonylees Anthony Lees @stjs_staveley Paula Lowry @OGCollege Marney Lowe @avpschool Jane Lody Claire Lotriet @OhLottie @headlandspri Emma Lynes @EFCPHYSICS Stephen Lydiate @PHS_Comp James Mackay @MyBCU Chris Maguire @WboroICT Martine Mannion @urban_teacher Mark Martin 31 Simon McLoughlin @simcloughlin @Knutsfordac Andrew Middleton @lesleytalks Lesley McMullen @ribbweb Leanne Michie @jamc_wcs JonathanMcCafferty @athole Athole McLauchlan @GwyrosyddASD Stuart Miller
  32. 32. ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016 #MIEExpert 32 @squirrels34m Sophie Mills @theTechyTA Matt Oakley @darrenmurphy Darren Murphy @whitehavenacad Laura Murray @DanielParr81 DanielParr @NicolaDPaterson Nicola Paterson @CamEverlands Thomas Payne @AStaprob1 Adam Probert @SteffJury StephaniePestellJury @penfoldno1 Henry Penfold @ell_percival Elliot Percival @alaricjp Alaric Pritchard @Matt_Pitts Matthew Pitts Russell Pollock @RussellPollock @DpDarran James Protheroe @TomosProsser Tomos Prosser @DpDarran ChristineProtheroe @Tiffybum Stacey Ramm @Goldilocks1972 Marie Renton @drenton72 David Renton @eastleaschool Stephen Richards @ritzertech Gareth Ritter @ryansecondarysc Barry Ryan Kevin Sait @kevin_sait @MarkRSidell Mark Sidell @MrDsansom David Sansom @leah_moo Leah Sharp @maxinesimeone Maxine Simeone
  33. 33. ANNOUNCING THE CLASS OF 2016 #MIEExpert 33 @Michael_Sumdog Michael Sinclair @Leeasmall Lee Small @DarranPark Janice Smith @psmyth Paul Smyth @mjminnie90 MadeleineSophia @andystevo34 Andy Stevenson @islayian Ian Stuart @WellingtonUK David Walker @EDDIESRL Rachel Wood @PatchamHigh Hannah Wells @Lanny_Watkins Stephen Watkins @benwhitfield Ben Whitfield @l_whitmarsh Lee Whitmarsh @AmandaWilson169 Amanda Wilson @mrwing_ict Simon Wing @leighwol Leigh Wolmarans @SianTechyThomas Sian Thomas @teamtait Jon Tait @haztraynor Harry Traynor @AspireGH David Towsey @LucyThompson789 Lucy Thompson Rebecca Tompkins @avpschool
  34. 34. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organise an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104. 183,742 Hour of Code events around the world, 2,333 in the United Kingdom. Sign up your event Hour of Code for every student. 146,735,595 served Sign Up Try it Watch the video. 34
  35. 35. Recognising Education Innovation At Microsoft, we believe that technology alone cannot develop the 21st century skills students require. Technology is an accelerator, but alone it does not enable change. We believe in the power of schools and the impact school leadership can have when they are brought together around a community of professional practice. The Microsoft Schools program is a leadership-focused initiative to highlight innovative leading and teaching across globally recognized schools. What are Showcase Schools? Showcase Schools are recognized leaders in personalized learning, amplified by 1:1 deployments effectively using Microsoft solutions (e.g. Surface, Office 365, Office Mix, OneNote, Skype), to enable anywhere, anytime education for all students. A Microsoft Showcase School work in an open-hearted and collaborative way towards improving the life chances of the students. What are Associate Showcase Schools?  Associate Showcase Schools* (ASCS) are a ‘lighter touch’ group of schools who are exploring some MSFT solutions within the school, have begun a process of transformation or who are exploring new approaches using MSFT solutions. Their leadership is keen to implement technology solutions to drive innovation and improve learning outcomes.  *Associate Showcase Schools can be on boarded at any time during the year. To apply for Associate Showcase School status contact @microsoftedUK for more details. Showcase School 1 2 Abington Vale Primary School Ark Bentworth Denbigh School Duston Eldean Primary School Eastlea Community School Ecton Brook Primary School Fosse Way School Gwyrosydd Primary Hayesdown School MEET THIS YEAR’S SHOWCASE AND ASSOCIATE SHOWCASE SCHOOLS: Ark Swift Primary School Central London Broadclyst Community Primary School Exeter Cam Everlands Primary Gloucester) Cornwallis Academy Kent Danesfield Primary School Reading Darran Park Primary School Wales Oasis South Bank Academy Central London Ribblesdale High School Clitheroe Sandymoor School Runcorn Shireland Collegiate Academy Birmingham Simon De Senlis Primary School Northampton St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School Wigan St John’s Beaumont Surrey Sydenham School Central London The Whitehaven Academy Lake District Treorchy Comprehensive School Wales UTC Reading Reading Wellington College Crowthorne West College Scotland Scotland Wymondham High School Norfolk 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 20 19 18 17 16 4 2 11 36 9 8 10 12 13 147, 1, 15 16 17 5, 18 19 20 Headlands Primary School Lings Primary School Myddelton College Sevenoaks School The Mendip School UTC Media City Weston Favell CE Primary Wirral Grammar School for Boys Associate Showcase School 35
  36. 36. TheFeedUK @thefeedUK#thefeedUK