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Microsoft: Exciting Learning eBook

  1. 1. educationExciting Learning:Using Technologyto Improve Education
  2. 2. the microsoft visual identity the microsoft visual identity Using Technology Contents to Improve Education FORWARD ............................................................................................................................. 3 the microsoft visual identity AIMS ......................................................................................................................................... 4 the microsoft visual identity CHAPTERS ............................................................................................................................. 5 Chapter 1: Why use Technology in Schools ........................................................................................ 5 Chapter 2: Pedagogical Approach .......................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 3: ICT for Productivity and Efficiency ................................................................................... 16 Chapter 4: Creating Digital Content ...................................................................................................... 19 the microsoft visual identity Chapter 5: Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started ...................................................... 23 The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Education | 27 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................................... 26 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................. 27 Th REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................... 28 The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Education | 27 The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Education | 27 The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Education | 272 Contents The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Education | 27 education
  3. 3. Using Technology Forward to Improve Education I’ve always liked playing with computers. The year before I started my first teaching job as a geography teacher I spent the summer building revision websites in HTML and Flash. Imagine my surprise when I went into my new classroom and it didn’t have a computer! It didn’t take me long to start to accumulate ICT equipment from other parts of the school – I quickly realised that we were actually well resourced but the equipment was not well used. I raided cupboards, brought things in from home and applied for grants. I did this because I realised that young people in my care were highly engaged and captivated by the technology I was using. It was enhancing my performance as a teacher and getting children excited and re-energised about learning. During my first few years teaching the students in the class I used to always talk about the technology and how much they enjoyed learning about geography. But over time the buzz created by the ICT started to subside, at first I was surprised, but then I realised something that has stuck with me until this day. The technology was still very important to the children, yet in my classroom it had become invisible – it was truly supporting me as a teacher and the young peoples needs as learners. The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Educa As I moved into school management and then to a national advisory role I have re-told this story hundreds of times. It is not about the technology – it is about good learning and teaching. Our challenge is to think about what makes a good lesson and then think about how you can augment and enhance the experience with technology. That is what makes learning exciting – and that is what this eBook is about! Ollie Bray www.olliebray.com3 Forward education
  4. 4. Using Technology Aims to Improve Education The aims of this eBook are to: Enhance the understanding of the benefits of ICT and technology across the • curriculum including literacy, numeracy, technology, personal, social and health education. Provide practical information on how technology can be used to increase student • motivation and enhance learning. Give teachers the confidence to use technology in class as a learning and teaching • methodology that reaches across all subject areas and age groups. • einforce the importance and place of ICT skills for productivity and the 21st century R skills agenda. Encourage teachers to consider using games design and other technologies with • students to help children become creators rather than consumers of content. Improve advice on how teachers and school leaders might tackle some of the common • challenges encountered when trying to develop the use of technology in schools. Most importantly – to share some of the tips, tricks and tools that I have found useful • over the years which should help you not make quite as many mistakes as I’ve made during my time as a teacher, school leader and national adviser!4 Aims education
  5. 5. Using TechnologyChapter 1 – Why use Technology in Schools to Improve Education “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation ® education
  6. 6. Using Technology Chapter 1 – Why use Technology in Schools to Improve Education When I think about technology and life, I find it How technology has changed things... Of course, there is one area of society where, hard to think of examples where technology has in my opinion, we are yet to consistently see truly not revolutionised or had a profound impact on Shopping: revolutionary transformation as a result of technology. what we do, how productive we are and even This is sometimes illustrated well by the example how we behave. first told by Dr Seymour Papert in the early 1990’s and has been re-told in various forms ever since. Some examples include: Finance: “A mid-nineteenth-century surgeon is magically • Shopping online rather than visiting physical transported though time to a modern operating retail spaces theatre. Once there, he finds himself completely • Carrying out online transactions rather than at loss to know what to do or how to help. writing cheques In contrast, a mid-nineteenth-century teacher • Children playing on the Xbox when it is too is transported through the years to a modern dark to play outside Play: classroom. Once there, he picks up seamlessly where his modern peer left off”. Catching up with friends on Social • Networking sites when meeting up As Facer (2011) explains, ’The implication of the physically is geographically impossible narrative is clear; unlike medicine, the education community has failed to appropriate the technology advances of the contemporary world’. Socialising: “Sometimes technology Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. helps us make the actual There is still a place for going to the shops or the bank, playing outside and meeting people for a purpose of why we do coffee. It’s just that sometimes technology helps us make the actual purpose of why we do these these things easier.” things easier.6 Why use Technology in Schools education
  7. 7. Using Technology Chapter 1 – Why use Technology in Schools to Improve Education The key here of course is not to flood a classroom When we talk about 21st Century Skills what we While the graphic represents each element distinctly, with technology, as we know that, alone, this really mean is essential skills for life, work and play in for descriptive purposes all of the components should normally has very little impact on learning and modern society. be considered as fully interconnected rather than in teaching. What we need to do is modernise the individual silos. This is particularly true for Information, However, definitions aside, the United States Media and Technology Skills that make up an classroom in the same way that we have modernised Partnership for Education and 21st Century Skills important component of the model. the operating theatre and other aspects of society provides a useful model for thinking about modern over time. We need to make investments in schooling and to help us consider if we are actually For example, in the modern world it would be naive to technology for the right reasons and because there meeting the needs of our young people within our consider life skills and career skills without the roll of is a need. Rather than investments in technology own education systems. technology. Technology has also greatly enhanced the because we think that it is the right thing to do. way that we communicate and collaborate, which in The graphic below represents the modern skills and turn can help improve our own critical thinking skills, So, after keeping children safe, what is the number knowledge that students need to be successful in the but also how we work creatively on projects one thing that we are trying to do in our classrooms, modern world (as represented by the arches of the with others. schools and education systems? Surely, we are trying rainbow) and the support systems that we need to put in place to turn the model to reality (as represented by Technology also has a role within the underlying to improve learning, because improving learning the pools at the bottom). support structures of modern curriculum design. For will deliver better outcomes and provide better life example, many people now recognise the importance chances for children. of online and digital professional development 21st Century Student Outcomes Put simply, it’s the difference between ‘Technology and Support Systems and professional learning networks. They see the for Learning’ and ‘Technology in Learning’. importance of technology to help both formative and Learning summative assessment and finally they understand The learning must come first and the technology Innovation Skills – 4 C’s that technology (in particular connectivity) needs to should be invisibly supporting what we do. Critical Thinking ● Communication Collaboration ● Creativity be built into the fabric of any learning environment. They also acknowledge that mobile and Internet Core Subjects – 3 R’s technologies can aid anytime, anywhere learning Essential Skills Life 21st Century Themes Information, which should also be an entitlement within the Career Media Technology modern world. I don’t really like the term 21st Century Skills Skills Skills as pretty much all of the world’s primary school children and a rapidly growing proportion of the worlds secondary school children have only ever “ echnology has greatly T enhanced the way Standard lived in the 21st Century. The term sometimes s Assessments makes me wonder what we have been doing Curriculu m Instruction we communicate.” for the last few years! Professional Development Learning Environments7 Why use Technology in Schools education
  8. 8. Using Technology Chapter 1 – Why use Technology in Schools to Improve Education Integrating Technology The Conflict... the use of ICT as a methodology and a pedagogical approach to raising standards. It is technology in ICT in Learning and Teaching learning and is the thing that holds the real key to As educators and school leaders our challenge classroom transformational change. is a simple one. How do we integrate technology COM into learning and teaching and how do we make PUTI sure that all members of the school community NG ICT in Schools? from the policy makers to the classroom teachers understand that technology is important. In fact, Productivity Creation Pedagogy as we have already discussed, it has the potential to be transformational. The political response to this emerging problem in many countries (including the UK) has been very To help us do this it might be useful to think about how interesting. Almost overnight schools have been technology is often perceived and sometimes retrofitted instructed to teach ‘real’ computing again. into schools. At the core of the problem is how ICT is often mistaken for computing and vice-versa. While no one can really argue that the problem needed to be addressed the sudden switch of priority In the UK and many other countries during the first from ICT to computing also brings with it a number part of the 21st Century there was quite rightly a real of challenges. Most importantly, children still need focus on ICT. This was partly to equip young people ICT skills, particularly around productivity and also with the ICT skills that they would require when moving many within our teaching workforce do no have the beyond school to the workplace. Many of the courses professional skills to teach children to code. Indeed, that were taught in schools focused around office based ICT and computing have become so blurred during the administrative and productivity skills. last decade that many computing teachers come from In doing this schools fulfilled their statutory requirement an administrative or business background rather than I believe that young people need skills in ICT to teach ICT to young people but this was often at a technical or computer engineering one. productivity (including Internet Safety and Responsible the detriment of children learning real computing or Use) and that we should also be giving more young But there is also a third area of ICT in education which people skills in computing (including programming programming skills. The result was a whole decade of is arguably the most important and is also the area that skills). Finally, I strongly believe that we need to make children who were unable to code, build and create has gone really unnoticed and unsupported politically sure that teachers are using technology appropriately things digitally at a time where many countries are also for many years. and not just as an ‘add-on’. Technology needs to be trying to move from a traditional manufacturing age to a digital manufacturing age. The extent of this problem It is the use of ICT to support learning and teaching in used to enhance all areas of the curriculum. for the UK is well documented in the Next Gen Review all areas of the curriculum and not just the domain of We are going to tackle each of these areas in turn – researched and written by Ian Livingston and Alex Hope. the computer lab. It is the use of ICT to make learning but we are going to start with and spend the most (I’ll come back to this review in Chapter 4). real, relevant and exciting for young people. It is time on the most important one, pedagogy.8 Why use Technology in Schools education
  9. 9. Using TechnologyChapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu “Good teachers always use good tools.” Derek Robertson, Education Scotland education
  10. 10. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education If we truly want technology to have a The next question that we need to consider is what Unfortunately not all topics are interesting and not all transformational impact on the children and does good learning look like? This is a complicated children see the point of all tasks. That’s where content, young people in our schools then we need to focus question but in short I think good learning in tasks and activities need to be engaging in order to on more than what is going on in the computer schools is made up of a combination of two things. create powerful learning environments. Most children lab and consider how technology can be used to Good pedagogy combined with interesting and / or find technology engaging and that is one of the support both the core and informal curriculum. engaging content and / or activities. reasons it is so valuable in the classroom. Before schools or school systems rush into any Our challenge therefore is to think about the key technology integration programme it is important to components of good lesson design and student step back and think about what the education research Learning... engagement. Then we need to consider how these has shown us about classroom practice and behaviour I also think that there is a difference between interest components could be enhanced or re-invented that can have a real impact on learning. Over the and engagement. through the appropriate use of technology. years there are two key pieces of recurring evidence There are lots of different learning models out there that have been academically verified by different but if we want to keep students engaged we have to researchers from all over the world. get back to basics. I think these five points are helpful The first is the importance of teacher to student to keep us focused and not over complicate things. relationships and the second is the importance of For learning to be successful it needs to be: formative assessment and giving feedback to learners. As I’ve mentioned there are a number of reports that • Culturally relevant confirm this and if you are interested then the work of New Zealand academic Dr John Hattie and his synthesis • Include real-time Interaction of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement in • Provide different learning pathways the book titled Visible Learning (2008) is worth further investigation. Similarly the work of Professor Dylan Showcase learning achievements through Brand Guidelines for Edu • The Microsoft Williams from the UK on formative approaches to authentic audience assessment is also worth checking out. An educator who is teaching a child who has a natural • Accessible to all With this is mind during any technology integration it interest in a subject or who sees the point of it is worth thinking about how can technology be used (e.g. it might help them get a job) is likely to find it Lets tackle each of these points in turn because this is to build and improve teacher to student relationships, easier to help that child learn compared to a child who what is at the heart of exciting learning! and how can technology be used to support formative has no apparent interest in the subject matter and does assessment and feedback on learning. not see the point.10 Pedagogical Approach education
  11. 11. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education 1. Cultural Relevance For more information on Computer Games in 2. Real-Time Interaction and Data Education check out the Microsoft® UK eBook on All good teachers know that if young people Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education, Over the years I have done hundreds of can see the relevance in what they are learning lesson observations and in recent times it to their own lives and their own place in the playful-learning-computer-games-in-education. has frustrated me more and more that lots of world then they are more likely to be interested If you are interested in the idea of using games for classroom teachers use contrived or out of date and motivated to learn. In short, they have to thematic learning (or contextual hubs) you might data with young people. see the point! also like the Microsoft UK resources on using Kinect This information might come from an out-of-date Technology is hugely culturally relevant to young Adventures in the Classroom, http://www.slideshare. textbook or might just be made up by a teacher. people at the moment and this means that using net/Microsofteduk/kinect-adventures-in-the-classroom The point is young people just don’t see the point technology tools appropriately can be incredibly and using Kinect Sports in the Classroom, as it has not got direct relevance to them or their motivating and engaging. This is one of the reasons lives. It is no wonder we have so many disengaged why computer games based learning needs to be kinect-sports-in-the-classroom. children in our schools. part of the toolbox of the modern educator. Of course it is not just computer games. The trick is The Internet now offers amazing opportunities to In particular, using commercially available computer to ask young people about the technology that they search for real and relevant data, examples, and games (such as the ones available for the Xbox 360®) are using at home, find out what it does and think case studies that can motivate and captivate the in education is a great example of this where the about how it could be used to enhance learning. imagination of children. game can used as a stimulus for learning and then For example how can social networking and mobile These things might get you thinking… aspects of the game are linked thematically to phone be used in schools? different parts of the curriculum. The example below Question: How can you use technology to make shows how this might work using Kinect™ Sports. learning more culturally relevant to your learners? The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu “ omputer games based learning needs to C be part of the toolbox of the modern educator.”11 Pedagogical Approach education
  12. 12. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education Bing™ Start Page There are a number of tools to help us do this. Lync online is a web based video conference solution Everyday the Bing start page is illustrated with a new that is free to schools as part of the Office 365 for stunning image from around the world. As well as education. It allows you connect with others by video being beautiful and worthy of a discussion in its own and IM as well as share your computer screen and a right hidden within the image are ‘hot-spots’ which virtual whiteboard. form question to ask your students. The answers can be discovered via Bing Search. The daily picture is also Another alternative is Skype which offers a similar Another nice feature of Bing is the ability to search service. One of the reasons why Skype is so interesting normally directly relevant to something that is going for video by source (this includes news channels such for educators is due to their Skype in the Classroom on in the world. The Bing Start Page can be used in as the BBC) and then filter your Bing video search by Project ( lots of ways but it is perhaps most useful as a lesson ‘most recent’. This is a great way to beam real-time starter or plenary activity and to make students more news media footage into your classroom. aware of global events. Bing Search Of course Bing isn’t just pretty pictures it is also a powerful search engine with the capabilities to unite The Skype in the Classroom project is a directory your students with rich and meaningful information. filled with teachers who want to connect with other As many of the readers of this eBook will be aware teachers using Skype. You can search by keyword, or Bing has the capacity to search the web for; search you can filter teachers by language, ages taught and terms, images, video, news and location (via Bing what you’re looking for (e.g. classroom exchange, Maps). But it also has some other interesting tools that Web Based Video Conference The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu inspiration, subjects). Remember its not just support real-time interaction and exciting learning. (Lync and Skype™) international links. Skype in the Classroom is great to This includes Social Search ( connect classrooms within counties as well Another great tools that we have to bring real- (e.g. Rural and urban schools) it’s also great to connect including a nice feature that lets you search for time interaction into the classroom are web video classrooms within schools (e.g. beaming back a school #-tags and then Bing geo-locates them on a Map conferencing tools. There is no doubt about it that production from the drama studio to another part of for you. This is a really handy tool to gather public there is something about a real-time conversation the building). opinion about an event or issue (e.g. the Olympics or presentation from an expert that captures the or a natural disaster). imagination of children and gains command of Question: How can you use technology to include children’s interest and respect. more real-time interaction in your classroom?12 Pedagogical Approach education
  13. 13. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education 3. Learning Pathways Finally, we will produce our final piece. Even when re-drafting and review are exactly the same for all you have an interesting topic it is difficult for some of these outputs (video, audio, poster etc.) but the Providing young people with different learning learners to stay motivated through this process. difference in choice of production of the final piece pathways to get to an intended outcome is an might just be enough to capture the imagination of important component of exciting learning. even our most reluctant learners. Let me explain how this might work. The Production Process Technology gives us some wonderful tools to help Everywhere I go in the world there are always present different types of writing and text. a group of teachers who tell me that they are Idea struggling to get children interested in writing. For example: There are three quick ways to improve this. Research Write • Create a Blog using SharePoint Blogs • The first, is to stop setting writing tasks as a Plan something for Microsoft® Office 365; down punishment exercise or sanctions (what sort • Record audio in Microsoft OneNote®; of message does this send to young people?). Collaboration • Compose a song using Microsoft Songsmith; The second, is while children are learning the • Redraft skill of writing give them lots of choice about • Direct movie using Windows® Movie Maker Live; what they write about – no one likes writing or about boring stuff, but most people enjoy • Design a professional poster using Microsoft Write writing about a passion, hobby or interest. Produce something PowerPoint® or Microsoft Publisher final text down • Finally, focus on improving the process of writing (planning, sentence construction, story, quality of the narrative, etc.) rather But one way is to provide motivation based on For more information about how to use these tools The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu than simply improving handwriting. output. for learning and teaching check out the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network. You can also get Instead of producing a written piece the children links to all of the above services from the Microsoft produce a movie, or an audio podcast, or a Learning Suite. The process of writing a piece of work is actually fairly newspaper report, or a professional poster, or a hand simple. We write down some ideas, do some planning written piece. Ideally they will choose themselves Question: How can you use technology to provide and a bit of research. Eventually we have enough and the element of learner choice will also provide different pathways for students’ work and motivate ideas to produce a first draft and then a number of additional motivation. You see, the writing process learners though choice? re-drafts. At some point we will get some feedback made up of ideas, research, planning, drafting, on our work from the teacher or from other learners.13 Pedagogical Approach education
  14. 14. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education 4 S . howcase learning achievements Movie Maker and Photo Gallery can also be used to upload and edit videos and photos. These types of through authentic audience media can be shared to popular social networking There is something about finishing a piece of spaces and embedded within your blogs or school work and someone saying, ‘well done’, or seeing websites. Work created in Microsoft® Office can one of your paintings in a public gallery, or one also be shared and published online using Office of your posts / observations getting lots of ‘likes’ Web Apps (online versions of Microsoft Word, on Facebook. As human beings we get a real Excel®, PowerPoint® and OneNote®). You can also sense of pride from getting an audience for our share just about any other file type on Skydrive work and an even greater sense of achievement (7GB of free cloud storage for everyone!). if exposure to that audience leads to positive I was touched recently by a school headteacher praise. who told me that they had received an email from This is why making sure that we give appropriate a parent saying how much he liked seeing his and authentic audience to children’s work is an daughters animation work online. The parent was important aspect of exciting learning. The World in the armed forces and currently serving a three Wide Web has the potential to become the month tour of duty in a war zone. His comment to World Wide Wall Display (a term coined by the the headteacher was, ‘I feel more in touch now with Scottish educator John Johnson). The challenge my daughter’s education, despite being thousands is how can we use technology to extend the reach of miles away’. of students’ work. Never before have there been so many easy, powerful One-way might be through the use of SharePoint and accessible ways to share students’ work. Online to create class or school websites where Question: How can you use technology to share The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu students’ work can be showcased. Individual students with a web based audience and provide authentic might also use SharePoint Blogs to record and feedback to students’ work? reflect on their learning or to create more formal ePortfolios. Remember SharePoint online is a free resource for schools and education institutes as part of Office 365 for education. You might also choose to create a Blog using Windows® Live Writer.14 Pedagogical Approach education
  15. 15. Using Technology Chapter 2 – Pedagogical Approach to Improve Education 5. Accessible to all The third strand of accessibility is access. If you school leaders to open up networks and access to don’t have access to a good education then infrastructure. Let’s hope that adults are able to work When we talk about accessibility we really learning is not accessible. Access to education together to make learning truly accessible for all. mean a variety of things. Firstly, learning includes access to education professionals, access should be differentiated to cater for a variety of Question: How can you use technology to improve to education content and access to education different learning needs. When we talk about accessibility for learning? opportunities. In the third millennium as well differentiation we don’t mean ‘easy’. There is as physical access it must also include digital The principles of exciting learning (relevance, nothing wrong with learning being challenging access. This is why we must be working towards real-time, audience, pathways and accessibility) and hard, both of these things push student systems where children have access to one-to-one explored in this chapter need to be at the heart of achievement in the long run. Differentiation like ubiquitous learning via Internet enabled devices. what we do as educators. Let’s move now to look any learning task also needs to be personalised A challenge is making the systems sustainable but at how we can make some of the work we do in a to individual needs. that is starting to now be achieved in some parts computer lab more exciting. Secondly, we need to make sure that we deal of the world though the consumerisation of ICT with the accessibility issues that are sometimes where the education system invests in the network complicated by technology for children (and adults) infrastructure and bandwidth and young people can who have additional support needs. For web based connect to it using their own devices. technologies this should include providing screen Of course if we really are committed to making reader support for people who can’t see the screen learning accessible then it is going to rely heavily and ensuring that people who don’t use a computer on adults being able to work with each other. mouse can access all functionality via a keyboard. This includes teachers working with teachers Technology companies (such as Microsoft®) have (to differentiate work and develop practice), a statutory duty in many countries to make their technologies working with educators (to make sure products accessible. For more information on software and hardware are fit for purpose) and The Microsoft Brand Guidelines for Edu accessibility explore of course corporate IT departments working with ”f you don’t have access to a good education then learning is not accessible.” I15 Pedagogical Approach education
  16. 16. Using TechnologyChapter 3 – ICT for Productivity and Efficiency to Improve Education “I have always preferred inspiration to information.” Man Ray, Artist education
  17. 17. Using Technology Chapter 3 – ICT for Productivity and Efficiency to Improve Education I recently asked a group of young people if they here (relevance, real-time, audience, pathways and In game mode Clippy moves from place to place could think of a career where technology didn’t accessibility), but during the rest of this chapter I’ll on a world tour and you have the choice of playing play a role and they struggled to come up with suggest three activities where you can apply and a variety of tutorials on the way. Each games is a response. reinforce some of these principles. worth a certain amount of points and you have an opportunity to see how many points are available The fact of the matter is when young people move As you might expect I’ll use Microsoft Office as my before you select the tutorial to play. from school to college, or from school to university, chosen productivity suite. or from school to the workplace an understanding of how technology works, how to use it appropriately and how to use it to make you more Gamification – Ribbon Hero efficient is very important. I mentioned gamification briefly in chapter two This business productivity and efficiency agenda of this eBook. It’s the process of applying what has been the focus of many education systems we know works well in the gaming word to for the past decade. Although it is not the most other tasks and activities. If you’re interested in important ICT agenda (see chapter 2) it is Games Based Learning check out the Microsoft important nevertheless. It is important that UK eBook on Playful Learning: Using Computer young people leave schools with skills and an Games in the Classroom, http://www.slideshare. understanding of how to use business productivity net/Microsofteduk/playful-learning-computer- software (like Microsoft® Office) appropriately. games-in-education. The problem is learning how to make documents look Online tutorials to learn how software works can nice, creating colourful graphs, delivering visually be a little dry and occasionally tedious. But to help If you select a tutorial to play the gameplay takes pleasing presentations and building rich databases you get the most out of Office 2007 and 2010, place inside Office. Again, just like in all good games doesn’t always excite young people! They can’t always Microsoft Office Labs have ‘gamified’ traditional help is built into Ribbon Hero so there is no need to see the point and the end benefit to them. Why tutorials to make them more engaging, real and consult a large instruction manual. The amount of should they? They have grown up in a world where relevant for new users of Office. The game is called help you ask for may have an impact on the points there are more digital distractions than ever before. ‘Ribbon Hero’ (, which is a free that you score for each level. If you want to progress So here we have a set of skills that are important for plug in for Office 2007 and 2010 and is now in its to play the harder more complicated tutorials you young people to learn (from a business and economic second generation. have to ‘unlock’ achievements first. sense) but a conflict from an Internet and relevance Like all good games you play a character and sense. The principles of exciting learning covered Ribbon Hero resurrects ‘Clippy’ the office assistant in Chapter 2 of this eBook are obviously helpful that you might remember from Office 1997.17 ICT for Productivity and Efficiency education
  18. 18. Using Technology Chapter 3 – ICT for Productivity and Efficiency to Improve Education Again like all great games Ribbon Hero gives you Ubiquitous Access – Certification – IT Academy feedback as you progress through the levels. You can Office 365 for Education Ok, we all know that certification and also share your achievements and scores with friends on popular social networking sites such as Facebook. Another reason that young people do not always examinations aren’t necessarily learning’s end Finally, freeplay mode allows you to play the tutorials see the relevance of learning about business goal but they are important and we also know in any order to help you improve and practice your productivity software is because it seems to that most employers like certification as they skills on specific Office applications and tasks. them that it is confined to the domain of the can provide proof of competence. computer laboratory at school. One way to get learners more motivated about One way to help young people become more business productivity software is to set clear and familiar with the software and at the same time tangible targets and to make sure that students help them understand how tools and services can understand that they are working towards be applied to different aspect of their life is for the something. As well as improving their skill level and software to become more ubiquitous. preparing for the workplace that ‘something’ might also be professional recognition. Office Web Apps are web based versions of the popular Microsoft® Office Suite that allow you The Microsoft IT Academy provides students to view, access, edit, and share your Word, Excel® , with the future ready technology skills they need PowerPoint® and OneNote® documents online from to be successful in college and a career. It’s not If you teach Ribbon Hero it certainly is worth checking almost anywhere. You can use Office Web Apps even just office skills as well. The IT Academy provides out and is a guaranteed way to make some of your if you don’t have the full version of Office installed logical progression and certification for a variety lessons and home learning tasks more exciting. on your computer. You can also access Office Web of technology related career paths including Apps from your Internet enabled mobile phone. Technology Associate, Digital Literacy, Office Professional, IT professional and Software Developer. Office Web Apps are an important component of Microsoft Office 365 for education which is free Of course it’s not just business productivity for schools and education institutes. By harnessing software that we teach in computer labs. In the the power of Office 365 and Office Web Apps it is next chapter we will tackle some of the challenges possible to start to get messages across to young and opportunities associated with teaching young people that business productivity software is people computer programming. relevant in all walks of life and not just the context of the computer lab. Office Web Apps are free!18 ICT for Productivity and Efficiency education
  19. 19. Using TechnologyChapter 4 – Creating Digital Content to Improve Education “Children need to be given digital building blocks to inspire them to build digital content.” Ian Livingstone, Life president, Eidos education
  20. 20. Using Technology Chapter 4 – Creating Digital Content to Improve Education As I mentioned in chapter one many education Ian Livingston, author of the UK Government’s NetGen Games design in a systems are starting to realise that economic Report, states that, ‘A very big part of the problem, cross curricular context prosperity often comes from building things. common to both industries, lies in their skills gaps and In the past this was often large things like ships, shortages. We simply cannot hire enough computer Before I talk more about some of the games cars and trains but in recent years people are scientists and this seems madness at a time of such design tools that are available to schools it is finally staring to realise that economies need high youth unemployment’. worth mentioning that the production of a video diversity and that there is now a growing market game makes a powerful cross-curricular project. It is because of these factors that there is renewed for building things ‘digitally’. Projects like this can help break down the subject interest in the teaching of computer science and silos that exist in many secondary schools and The challenge in the UK (and many other countries) is specifically computer programming in schools. develop the 21st century skills of collaboration, that for the last decade we have created a generation of This is something that has quickly gained the support communication and teamwork. content consumers rather than nurtured and developed of politicians, university computer lecturers and a generation of content creators. Quite simply, industry specialists. However, many naively thought it The production of any blockbuster computer game if countries really want to embrace and capitalise on might also capture the imagination of young people – needs market researchers, storywriters, graphic the digital economy then they need people who are the reality is this is actually easier said than done. artists, character designers, programmers, marketers, digitally literate and who can build things digitally. communication teams and even people to design Why would young people be interested in computer To achieve this our education system has to become and make the packaging. Then you need to work programming? Just like any subject on the curriculum the training ground for our future digital entrepreneurs. out how much you will sell the game for and how in schools you will only get the majority of learners you will distribute and possibly translate it into For evidence of how much of an issue this may be interested if it is taught in an interesting way. different languages. you only have to look at the UK visual effects industry. The principles of exciting learning covered in Chapter Visual effects is the fastest growing component of the 2 of this eBook are again helpful here (relevance, There is no reason why a holistic computer games UK’s film industry and the video games industry is real-time, audience, pathways and accessibility). design project cannot be successfully linked to almost the largest entertainment industry in the world, with But there is one way that I am absolutely convinced every subject on the curriculum. The project will also global software revenues exceeding $50bn (£32bn) per is a great way to get most young people interested provide a real and relevant stimulus for students. annum. Unfortunately, in a growing market, the UK is in programming and that is to use the context of Now, let’s look at some of the tools that are available slipping down the global games development league computer games design. for teachers. table and the UK’s visual effects industry is reported to turn down millions of pounds in business each year. ” ou will only get the majority of learners interested if it’s taught in an interesting way.” Y20 Creating Digital Content education
  21. 21. Using Technology Chapter 4 – Creating Digital Content to Improve Education Microsoft Kodu® • Kodu is a great tool for narrative creation Kodu is an exciting, easy to use and free and storytelling – providing an interesting games design and programming software. environment to create stories. You can use it to create elaborate 3D landscapes • Kodu allows you to change the in-world and build complicated immersive games while variables making it easy to introduce remaining in control of the characters, lighting Kodu programming involves selecting visual tiles for scientific and mathematical concepts. and camera angles. a condition (WHEN) and an action (DO). It is very Kodu builds real world, 21st century skills by • simple and intuitive to use. It is a great way to get challenging users to analyse a problem young people interested in developing a passion for deeply and structure their solution. programming and making things. How to get started with Kodu? Kodu (version 1.2.38) can be downloaded for free from There are also a number of Kodu tutorials on the same site. Kodu in the Classroom is a set of resources that Kodu is available for the PC and for the Xbox. have been developed for education to help you The PC version of the game allows you to use introduce Kodu as either a one off experience or the keyboard to programme the characters and What does Kodu help you teach? as a sequence of lessons. landscape. You can also plug an Xbox controller into The UK Kodu in the the PC version of the game which is very popular • Kodu introduces the logic and problem classroom series are with young people. solving of programming without complex available to download syntax. It demonstrates that programming from the Microsoft The most recent version of Kodu (version 1.2.38) is a creative medium. adds a new story telling feature (ideal for Partners in Learning supporting literacy) and also a new web-based • Kodu is object-orientated and introduces (PiL) Network. support community. conditions and sequence.21 Creating Digital Content education
  22. 22. Using Technology Chapter 4 – Creating Digital Content to Improve Education Microsoft XNA Game Studio ® A number of educators have already started to Microsoft Dreamspark collaborate globally on projects to help bring Microsoft XNA Game Studio is an integrated Kinect for Windows technology to the classroom DreamSpark ( is a Microsoft development environment (IDE) that includes tools environment. For example, Ray Chambers a programme that provides students with and code development libraries that programmers computing teacher from Lodge Park Technology software design and development tools at no can use to create computer games for Microsoft College in Northampton has developed and shared cost (including Visual Studio 2010 Professional Windows®, Xbox 360® and Windows® Phone 7. the code for a Kinect Quiz and a Kinect eBook – Edition). The programme is now available in both of which have huge classroom potential. more than 80 countries and is offered within Unlike Kodu to get started with XNA Game Studio, secondary, further and higher education. you’ll need to have a basic working knowledge of More information about the Kinect for Windows To register, students must visit the DreamSpark C# and object-oriented programming (OOP). XNA is SDK can be found at website and verify their identity. ideal for older students who want to develop for real platforms. It is estimated that up to 35 million students will be Code Academy able to access these software titles free of charge The XNA Development centre can be found at through this programme. Have you told your from As well as the tutorial videos associated with Kodu students about it yet? here you can download code, watch tutorials and and XNA mentioned elsewhere in this chapter upload your projects for a wider audience. another great resource to help bridge the gap So as you can see there are a wide variety of tools between these two resources is Code Academy. and resources available to get young people excited about programming. One of our key roles as Kinect™ SDK Code Academy ( contains educators is to link students to these resources and a set of free tutorials that will help put you on the give the permission to explore, use and build. One recent development from Microsoft that path to building great websites, games, and apps. has huge potential for schools and education is There are a number of different pathways to choose the release of the Kinect Software Development from including mastering the basics of JavaScript, Kit (SDK) for Windows. HTML and CSS. “ ducators have already started to help bring E Kinect for Windows to the classroom.”22 Creating Digital Content education
  23. 23. Using TechnologyChapter 5 – Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started to Improve Education “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency.” Arnold H Glasow education
  24. 24. Using Technology Chapter 5 – Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started to Improve Education In this final chapter of Exciting Learning: What about professional Don’t forget that Microsoft® Partners in Learning Using Technology to Improve Education we will development? Network ( offers global examine some of the challenges that you may connections, discussion forums and digital tutorials encounter when trying to integrate some of the In the modern age teachers should be engaging populated by some of the most innovative and ideas and concepts that we have mentioned in in what is termed Continuous Professional enthusiastic teachers in the world. this book. To help you tackle these challenges Development (CPD) and the key word here we have provided some answers to frequently is ‘continuous’. As well as keeping up with asked questions. changes to the curriculum, teachers also need Will the children will misuse to keep up-to-date with changes in learning technology theory (e.g. how the brain works) as well as changes in technology. Children have always misused technology. Why the focus on technology? That’s why the number 5318008 was so The good news is that in the modern era technology Maybe you need to read the key messages popular when calculators were first introduced is not actually that complicated and many of the again? This book is focused on learning but I do to schools and why you still get graffiti on ideas and processes that we have described in this believe that technology has got the potential to school desk. The important thing here is book do not require technical wizardry! The reality make learning exciting. This is partly because of trust, establishing rules, good classroom is the teacher is only required to drive the pedagogy the principles that are outlined in chapter two management and if necessary sanctions. and to assess the learning. If you do get stuck with (which are some principals of good learning a particular tool or service ask your school ICT Any misuse of technology in the classroom needs and teaching) and how we think technology can technicians for a hand (you probably have up to 30 to be seen as a learning opportunity where the enhance these principals. of them sat in front of you most days!). responsible use of technology is emphasised. As teachers, there are obviously other things that If you do want to be a school that embraces we can do to help make learning exciting for young technology in the classroom then the main thing people. For example motivating children through that is required is a collective change of mindset. the use of the outdoors – of course it’s good to be This is best done through support and swapping able to reflect on these experiences as well and a few ideas. We have given you plenty of ideas to get you digital photographs will help you do that! started in this short guide and now it is up to you adapt them for your own local need. ” here are other things we can do to help make learning exciting for young people.” T24 Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started education
  25. 25. Using Technology Chapter 5 – Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started to Improve Education Will the computers be powerful Do all kids need to be able to code? • Use the Kinect™ Adventures in the Classroom enough to create digital content? No. But, try to think of teaching computer Resource to create a culturally relevant unit They should be. But if not you need to take this programming languages in the same way that of work. into consideration when procuring your next we might help children learn a modern foreign • Sign up to Skype™ in the Classroom and set of PCs. Young people expect a media rich language. All children should have the opportunity connect with another teacher to develop experience these days where they can manipulate try lots of different types of programming some real time interaction around a global images, edit video and design games. language as part of their broad general education. citizenship project. Some children will want to go on and learn a programming language in more depth as they get • Use the Bing start page every day for a week older – they should have an entitlement to do this. as a lesson starter. Remember, there are lots of online materials to support • Give your students a choice of pathways the teaching of computer science and the young to publish a piece or writing – a film, audio people who are really keen to learn more uncommon recording, poster or blog post. or niche programming languages will be the ones who • Publish your students’ work online and give are more than capable of teaching themselves from them real audience and recognition. the digital resources available. • Unlock the power of technology by signing up for Office 365 for education for your class How do I get staff motivated or school. Are the Microsoft IT Academy ® to make learning more exciting • Have a conversation with your corporate IT qualifications worth it? with technology? team about learners being able to connect That is completely up to you to decide. their own devices to the school network to Structured learning with assessment at the Strong leadership is important here and you help make learning more accessible. end of it is one way to get some students need to start with little steps and encourage motivated. We also know that the qualifications staff to take risks in the classroom. One way to are recognised by industry. Have a good look get started is partly by leading by example and at the online materials and decide if any of the partly asking for volunteers. Why don’t you see qualifications are relevant for your local needs. if there is anyone in your school who might be If they are – why not give them a try? willing to do one of the following things to help get things moving.25 Overcoming the Challenges and Getting Started education
  26. 26. Using Technology Conclusion to Improve Education The main aim of this short eBook was really to remind people of some of the key principles of good learning and teaching. In many ways it is as much a ‘back-to-basics’ guide as it is a ‘call to arms’ for using technology in the classroom. Although education policy often switches between the importance of teaching children to use ICT and the importance of giving children computing skills. We must remember that there is absolutely a place for both. The most important message that this book tries to get across to educators is the importance of using technology as a pedagogical process across the curriculum, in all subject areas. It also reinforces how technology can be used to create models of anytime, anywhere learning – which should The Microsoft Brand G be considered an entitlement in the modern era. Surrounding all of these themes must be the notion of responsible technology use and as adults it is our job to help young people use technology safely. Over the next ten years we need to nurture all young people to become digitally skilled and also digitally inquisitive to both find and solve the problems of the 21st century. This journey has to start at school. Children should be excited about learning and it is our job as educators to make sure that they are!26 Conclusion education