Within Glow, a new tile can be added to your personal launchpad called the Microsoft Educator Community. Many Midlothian staff are starting to take part but what is it?
The Microsoft Educator Community is an online learning platform where you can connect, collaborate, find useful CPD and lessons, earn digital badges and certificates.
It is valuable CPD to engage with as there is training available for all of the Office 365 tools available in Glow and it can be done from the comfort of your sofa or work desk. The online courses range in length and are presented as online videos and tutorials which are followed by a quiz. If you answer questions correctly, you earn a digital badge at the end of each session. This is a good record to keep for your GTCS profile. The courses give great ideas for classroom collaboration and ways to embed Microsoft tools into your classroom.
Another fantastic tool available in the community is the ability to invite teachers around the world to Skype your class. There are Mystery Skype opportunities where your class can Skype another class in the world and they have to find out where they live using yes and no questions. Virtual Field Trips around the world are also available. You can take your class beyond the four walls of your classroom to places such as Cape Town Penguin Sanctuary, Lisbon Zoo, California…the list is endless. During your field trip your class gets the opportunity to question the professional they are skyping with. It’s a fantastic resource.
I have signed up to the community using my Glow username and password but you can do this using a personal email and password. To have a look at examples of digital badges I have earned, please click here.
Join millions of teachers and pupils worldwide taking part in an Hour of Code between 5-11 December. As part of Computer Science Education Week, The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
Anyone can organise an Hour of Code event. No experience of coding is needed and is suitable for anyone between the ages of 4 to 104. For more information please click here
With a Virtual Reality (VR) viewer and Google Expeditions, pupils can go on school trips around the world from their classroom. Expeditions enables teachers to guide groups of pupils through a variety of 360° and 3D images while pointing out interesting sights and information along the way.
On the Expeditions app, available from the app store, there are opportunities to take children to the Great Barrier Reef, National Parks in America, San Diego Zoo, Everest, Shark Diving and beyond. The app is quick and easy to use and pupils can connect to a lesson from their VR device if they are using the same wifi network.
On the above expedition, the teacher is able to take children shark diving. Without any prior knowledge of sharks, the teacher is able to deliver information using prompts and information provided on the app. Pupils can be prompted to look at different areas of the 360° image and can follow arrows on their VR devices so that everyone can see the same thing.
In Midlothian, Strathesk PS invited Google Expeditions to their school. All staff received 15 minutes of training and then delivered expeditions to their classes with the support of Google staff. The photograph below shows a class of P7 visiting the moon.
Google Expeditions offer free visits to schools and staff training as well as bringing all of the kit. If interested in having this experience in your school please contact the Learning Technology Team for further information.
The Barefoot Computing Programme is now available in Scotland. This is a free programme, supported by Education Scotland, that provides a wealth of high quality, peer tested resources and lesson ideas aimed at supporting all primary teachers in Scotland.
Visit the Barefoot website to find out more about this exciting programme. You can also book free workshops or become a Barefoot Volunteer.
For staff interested in refreshing their understanding of Glow, please click here to sign up for training. This training will be done online using Adobe Connect so you will be able to do this from any computer/laptop. A link will be sent to your mgfl email address once you have registered so that you can access the course.