Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Microsoft in My Teaching

At StAC I count myself very lucky to have the technology, infrastructure and guidance available to try new tools to enhance the learning programs and assist with day to day teaching.

We use Microsoft Office 365 to support our teaching and learning programs. As an English teacher, I use a range of tools and have been experimenting with new tools. At the end of the year it is natural to reflect on what has been and look forward to the next year.

Class OneNote
This is the backbone of all my classes. This year I have used the the Class OneNote for the different classes I teach. However, I have 2 classes that run on the same program so for ease of planning and and not creating work I have 1 Class OneNote with all the students in it. This has been useful as sometimes something will pop up in 1 class and not the other yet it is all recorded, yet all students benefit. This has happened a few times when work on the whiteboard has been captured using the camera on my Surface and then embedded in the OneNote. 

The Class OneNote has been great with marking as the Microsoft Surface is lighter than a pile of books and easier than using annotation in Word! It has taken me a little bit of time to get used to the Pen but now I find this invaluable for marking. It is a lot easier to annotate English essays  writing with a pen. I then place the marking schedule alongside the student work. I like how it is all displayed on one page. 

At the end of the year I had students create a tab labeled 'portfolio' and they could move into this the work they were particularly proud of.

The collaboration section of the Class OneNote was very handy. Students discovered before me that they could password protect their sections and I would recommend that if students do this they share the password with the teacher.

We use Moodle as our LMS and I put a link to the Class OneNote here for ease of use. I will continue with the Class OneNote. I am also interested in the Teacher OneNote I can see the advantage in using this as HOD for keeping track of appraisal and so forth.

This is a great online presentation tool that wont leave you dizzy; it is also easy to use!  I have used this for presentations for teachers and have found it simples and effective in sharing the information. It is also stored up in the cloud and easy to locate. Much like other presentation tools you can search for other presentations of interest. These are also easy to embed into blogs.

Office Mix
This is a magic tool that I plan on using more in 2016. It gives you the capability to video and/or voice record over Powerpoint. Giving an effective way to flip the classroom. I have used it for essay writing. Taking students through a step  by step guide on writing an NCEA L1 essay. It is a bit daunting to hear your voice back but I will get over this. In 2016 I plan on putting together information on internal assessments using Office Mix so that students can revisit the instructions in their own time.

 Survey function in One Drive for student feedback through out the year. At the beginning of the year I sent out a survey to all Year 12 & 13 students about the external exams. This information was delivered to students in a visually friendly format and I was able to export it to an excel format for analysis.

I have highlighted 4 tools that I have find particularly useful. I was really happy and pleased to be made a Microsoft Innovative Educator for 2015/16 and I look forward to learning and sharing more.

This is a good video on how St Andrews College is using Microsoft tools and devices. I am pleased to have a small part in this video: