So in an earlier post I wrote about how amazing the 'Home Tour' and 'Envisioning Labs' at Microsoft HQ in Redmond were!! Today I discovered some information on the labs on a Microsoft website: http://www.officelabs.com/projects/envisioninglab/Pages/default.aspx I figure since it is on the web then I can 'copy' the photos and show you all just how amazing it was!! Plus I also found that less than a year ago the Microsoft Office labs team was hiring! Too bad I don't have a programming background!!
And just like that my time in Redmond had come to an end! Last minute collaboration, frantic swapping of details and a thousand photos later it was time to discuss our action plans and organise our homework tasks!
Sincere thanks to the wonderful people at Microsoft and our amazing technology gurus for a fun filled week of learning, sharing and collaborating. Pretty amazing to think that in one week you managed to improve the learning of a student in Australia, Africa, Indonesia, Korea, USA in total students from 31 countries!! Special thanks to the UK team @Chickensaltash and @Janwebb21 I will miss you guys so much! Don’t forget your thongs, vegemite and tim tams!! And finally a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to the 49 educators who kindly shared their triumphs and downfalls, provided suggestions and insights and have in such a short time become such valued and cherish influences on my own teaching and learning!
Both @BramFaems and @Chickensaltash have produced amazing videos which sum up my thoughts and feelings on my magical week in the USA!
Now that I am back on home soil I have been able to grab a few minutes to tell the story of my final day at Microsoft HQ. While my physical journey has drawn to a close I have so much more to say so expect these posts to go on for a while longer!!
Interestingly many of the Institute attendees were anxiously awaiting the proceedings of the last day at Redmond. This was because this was our time to shine and tell the world in 3 minutes a tool that helps us to engage, exciting and encourage our students to learn! This method of delivery known as a TeachMeet requires the presenter to talk for 3 minutes using a formatted visual slide presentation.
This was by far one of my favourite 2 hours out of the whole week! It was enlightening listening to other teachers share their most innovative practices. The 3 minute snapshots of ideas were enough to get your taste buds tingling and your mind whirling! Ideas ranged from Microsoft Tags (http://tag.microsoft.com/home.aspx) to augmented reality! – something I definitely want to follow up! My fingers couldn’t type the ideas down fast enough! Some of the highlights from the session included touching messages of support from teachers around the world expressing their gratitude for the Institute and clearly stating that the ‘future’ belongs to us! Of course as mentioned before @chickensaltash’s Songsmith was a hit with the crowd!
This was my first taste of a TeachMeet and I plan on being a part of another one really soon!! I have just learned of the official TeachMeet website (http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/19975349/FrontPage) and look forward to planning my own school TeachMeet session!
It was very comforting to learn that despite that fact that we are ‘down under’ us Aussies are on top of the technology offerings. While we may be on the other side of the world it appears as though our connections through blogs, wikis and twitter have meant that we are up-to-date with new advances in technology.
Sonja and Baldev our fearless technology gurus spent countless hours preparing sessions to help demonstrate how Microsoft’s latest software could be used in the classroom. While I could confidently use the programs presented, the sharing of knowledge and ideas far out-weighed the technology know-how!
I encourage you to check them out and of course share your ideas with others!
This simple yet visually appealing piece of software allows users to create photo collages which celebrate important events and themes! Users select a folder, click OK and in a few minutes AutoCollage presents you with a unique memento to print, email or save!
Windows Live Movie Maker
With Windows Live Movie Maker, you can quickly turn your photos and videos into polished movies. Add special effects, transitions, sound, and captions to help tell your story. Sharing your creations with your friends is also very easy!
This site also gives some amazing and creative ideas of where to use Windows Live Movie Maker in the classroom:
This piece of software is probably one of Microsofts best kept secrets! Photo story is a photo presentation program that lets you drag photos onto a window, arrange them as needed, then provide custom narration, transitions, zooms, pans, audio soundtracks and/or custom auto-generated music. Finally you can then export the result as a WMV file. Quick, easy and effective!
Songsmith generates a musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos.
This advert may be a little corny but explains pretty clearly how Songsmith works! I showed my students this video today and they started singing with the video – how embarrassing!
For added inspiration check out this Songsmith created by @Chicksaltash as part of his TeachMeet presentation (More about TeachMeets in the next post!)
- About Kylie Taig
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