I’ve spent the last two days in Manchester attending the UK Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum. Being part of the Partners in Learning program and being a Canadian Worldwide Innovative Forum representative has led me to new ideas, new technologies, and new collaboration partners and opportunities.
The UKIEF was no exception, I had the chance to meet many of my “tweeps” and reconnect with inspiring people that have influenced my practise.
On Monday night there was an ITmeet – a teachmeet style meet-up of teachers, award winners, and interested parties. There were short presentations on ideas and a chance to discuss and connect with educators. I presented on what geocaching is. I’ve got more ideas and information about geocaching here – as 3 minutes is very hard to do the topic justice!
Tuesday’s opening keynote was Michael Furdyk Co-founder of TakingITGlobal. He shared all sorts of resources and ideas – but one that really stuck for me was Games for Change – a way to connect with and inspire youth on a platform they understand – gaming.
I enjoyed three fabulous sessions. I want to share some highlights and resources – by no means exhaustive of what was shared, but just a few pieces that I thought were fantastic!
Creativity in the Classroom from Dan Roberts:
- Free Rice – subject based review, practise and learning for a cause – the United Nations Food Program
- Microsoft Flashcards – Online, interactive review and challenge. Stuart Ball shared this one with me when I was in Dominica and the teachers there loved it!
- Photosynth – Create a stitched up photo where you can create a review tour of a location to zoom around in and explore
Office 2010 with Stuart Ball:
- OneNote – fabulous program to collect and synthesize ideas, links, and resources all in one place. Think of it as virtual paper. I’ve used it with students with the liveshare feature to have a “live” virtual piece of paper that students could all share ideas, pictures, links, and thoughts from anywhere! I also use OneNote for my M.Ed studies – it’s a virtual binder with all of my courses, papers, readings, and notes in organized sections and it’s searchable!
- Math Equation Editor – in Microsoft Word to make, solve, graph, and visualize mathematical equations
- Mouse Mischief – free plug-in for Powerpoint to connect up to 25 mice as a interactive learning and sharing platform
Kodu with Nicky Maddams:
- Kodu is a free 3D game creation environment. It is fabulous for building a knowledge and structure of program syntax and creativity.
- Download Kodu for free
The closing keynote was Sugata Mitra famous for his ‘Hole in the wall’ project. I’ve seen his work at the Scottish Learning Festival and his ideas are inspiring. I like his concept of four students around a computer, where the discussion and thinking is the focus.