This workshop will focus on Office 365 in the 21st Century Learning Environment. We will explore the following tools to energize your classroom and make it more collaborative and efficient: OneDrive, Office Online, Excel Survey, Sites, OneNote Creator, Office Mix, Sway and new free tools associated with your Office 365 account. These include Office Lens, Snip and Docs. Please email any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come see how Office 365 can rejuvenate your classroom and bring 21st century learning to life. Collaborate with your class, create amazing OneNote notebooks, use sites and blogs, and see how Sway brings storytelling, projects, and newsletters to life.
All materials related to my presentation, Organizing and Energizing Your Classroom With Office 365, can be found specially curated at Docs.com for attendees.
I start the year with a personal School notebook. This includes group sections for each school that I service with sections for logistics, schedules, training materials and communication. There is a section for Conferences, Special Projects, Staff Meetings, Instructions and MIEE. This notebook is synced to my iPad, phone, desktop and laptop giving me quick access to anything and everything related to my job.
TECHNOLOGY STAFF SERVICES NOTEBOOK
Each member of our department has access to everything we could ever need in our department notebook. All school floor plans, workflow for our projects, our organization chart, resolution to issues, leave and our performance appraisal forms. Project management and evaluation information all in one notebook where changes made occur in real time.
SCHOOL LKES (Leader Keys Effectiveness System) NOTEBOOKS
The Leadership Keys Effectiveness System is an evaluation system that allows the state to ensure consistency and comparability across districts, based on a common definition of leader effectiveness. Our leadership evaluation documentation has gone from spiral bound paper copies to OneNote.
Our Principals share their notebooks with the Superintendent’s office providing a record with meaningful feedback supporting the continuous growth and development of each leader by monitoring, analyzing, and applying pertinent data from multiple sources toward attainment of established performance goals.
LKES offers clear and precise indicators and resources to leaders throughout the process. OneNote provides data and information that is always current.
SCHOOL HANDBOOK AND TKES NOTEBOOKS
Every school has a handbook with all of the information for the school year from discipline to leave information and everything in between. The OneNote Staff Notebook Creator proved to be the perfect match for this task. The principals created notebooks sharing admin rights with the assistant principals including all school data in the content section. Being able to update in real time to all staff members make it the perfect tool.
The Collaboration section is used for various meetings, leadership, technology, hospitality and staff meetings all give attendees the ability to contribute to the recording. This section is also a great way for Principals to gather information quickly from the staff.
Each Staff member also has their own private notebook which have a section for each of the Teacher Keys Evaluation standards including. Professional Knowledge, Instructional Planning, Instructional Strategies, Differentiated Strategies, Communication, Assessment Strategies, Positive Learning Environment and more. Teachers upload their lesson plans, communication tools and professional development records. This process keeps all of the information in one spot making it a professional and easy medium for the evaluation with administration always having access.
Many of our teachers are creating notebooks using the Class Notebook Creator for our students from 4th to 12th grade. The Content area provides the perfect place for subject textbook information, assignments and resources.
Collaboration content can include a yearbook space for each student, essential question of the day or a discussion space for a class topic. Each student has a private space to turn in assignments and homework and journal. Grading papers from one location make this seamless for class management.
Introducing our students to OneNote has been incredibly rewarding and exciting. They moved to this environment easily and have been respectful of the collaboration space, a great introduction to appropriate use of digital citizenship. Turning in their homework, maintaining their journal and having access to all of their content make this the perfect classroom tool.
Once the back to school sales begin, the remnants of an old melancholy feeling start to bubble up. Sending my kids back to school was never something that made me happy. It served as an end to carefree days and late evenings, to swimming, camping and playing but more than anything it served as a marker that another precious year had passed….
It is fitting that I now work in schools and get to experience “The First Day of School” with hundreds of students and parents every year. I love to watch the first kids get off the bus, their backpacks bulging with hand sanitizer, tissues, crayons and pencils. Big sisters helping little brothers find their classes. Moms and Dads struggling to hold back tears as they take their first or last child to school for the first day. The warm welcome that they all receive as they walk through the halls. Teachers wearing big smiles and sharing hugs in newly decorated rooms. (did you know that EVERY year they have to totally breakdown and rebuild their classrooms?) Sparkling halls buffed to a shine by hardworking custodians. The smell of biscuits from the cafeteria. New pencils and crayons….
Did you ever stop and think that our public schools take on everyone? The best and the brightest, the physically, emotionally, mentally challenged, students who speak no English, who struggle to sit still or walk. They don’t discriminate. They face shrinking budgets and paychecks. They face ridiculous blanket standards such as “EVERY child will graduate with a College Prep degree, EVERY school will make sure that EVERY student make 100% on a test. They are constantly criticized and analyzed. But yet THEY still move on….
They move on, because they are filled with people who are passionate about what they do. People who take pride in their shiny floor, the food they prepare, the bus they drive, the lessons that they teach. Each school operating as a small city, presided over by a mayor and staff, who organize and orchestrate educating hundreds of students, prepare balanced healthy meals, safely transport yellow buses filled with noisy wiggly children, manage classroom behavior, continue professional development, supply special services, support classroom management and provide physical education and medical attention. They nurture and nudge, push and pull, listen and love.
For all the criticism that goes on against public schools, they continue their forward motion. Those that find it necessary to criticize and judge this amazing organization should spend a day, or better than that a week, walking the halls, serving in the cafeteria, riding a bus, sitting in on a meeting where dollars are stretched beyond imagination. Sit on the back row of any classroom, attend the many classes and meetings that teachers and staff attend to continue to grow and become better at what they do. I think the average person would be astounded at what goes on every single day inside of those big block buildings! The tide would turn, sentiments would change and demands would be made for more support for this incredible institution called “Public Education.”
So if you read this post and know a teacher, custodian, principal, counselor, administrative professional, food services employee, maintenance worker, technology specialist or anyone that works in education. Tell them you support and appreciate the important work that they do. Give them a hug, get involved, volunteer or better yet, give them some new crayons!
If you ARE a teacher, custodian, principal, administrator, maintenance worker, technology specialist, paraprofessional, food services worker or anyone who works in education, THANK YOU. You matter and what you do matters.
Okay so more like 1500….but even that was a challenge!
Two weeks ago, I boarded a plane and flew five hours to Redmond, Washington to begin what would be one of the most amazing professional experiences of my life. The Microsoft E2 Exchange attendees converged from 87 countries, 250 strong with excitement, energy and excellence. Upon arrival, I quickly checked into the Courtyard Bellevue and joined some of what would be my new friends (did I mention I knew no one!!) on the bus heading to the Microsoft Campus to take MCE exams. Fortunately, we all passed, received our green ribbons and were whisked back to the hotel to get ready for the reception. (By now, I have been awake for 18 hours)
After a scenic walk from the hotel, (thanks Richard) I could hear the reception before we actually were in the reception. Immediately Mike Tholfsen, (Program Manager for OneNote and Avenger) enthusiastically introduces himself personally as well as to Chris Pratley, (CREATOR of ONENOTE and SWAY!) and so began a surreal evening of meeting the actual persons connected to the products, voices, the tweets, the blogs, the Facebook posts that I have followed the past 7 months. It is here that I met some of Team 23, Jen, Philippines, Kausik, India, Graciana, Argentina and Olga, Albania. My heart was full as I looked around and saw people from all over the world, enthusiastically interacting. This was going to be a great week.
One word for breakfast…BACON. Then led by a High School Marching Band (WHAT!!?) we entered The Mixer where we were greeted by the Drum Café and enjoyed a group drum rectangle with 300 of our closest new friends. After being challenged with a dynamic keynote by Anthony Salcito, VP Microsoft Worldwide Education, to be “Brave, Courageous and Leaders”, the room is so charged with energy we could have lit up Seattle!
We head to our stations to present our Teach Meet Projects in Building 92. It was overwhelming to see such a variety and depth of projects and the only thing lacking was time to spend with each person. It was here that I met Ari Schorr, Product Marketing Manager for One Note as well as Toni Townes-Whitley, Worldwide Public Sector VP at Microsoft. (These people are serious about education!)This was followed by our regional sessions where we joined, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan for the presentation.
Next on the agenda was grabbing a cookie and connecting with Team 23 to hear about our Global Challenge which would be presented on Friday. Josh Sawyer and Mette Haute challenged us with their presentation and we began the work of 7 unique personalities from 7 unique countries coming together to create a “Learning Activity and Pitch”. We brainstormed for roughly an hour, overcoming language challenges with Bing Translate and a wonderful assistant! After sharing difficulties students encountered receiving an education in different countries, we had a focus and began to delegate the work and TIME WAS UP.
We headed back to the hotel, changed clothes and headed up the street to a US Team dinner at the Parlor hosted by the amazing Robyn Hrivnatz who has been our fearless leader from the beginning of the MIEE trek. It was great to sit and chat and we were honored to have several Microsoft members come to “hang out.” Just ask me how I know what the original name for SWAY was….. (Thanks Chris Pratley for a listening ear)
More BACON and breakfast with the USA E2 Crew then back to the Mixer. Our keynote speaker was Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala, She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. His message touched my heart deeply and I struggled with tears listening to the bravery and sacrifice of his family as I tested my own weaknesses. Such a privilege to have heard this man and his story. This will remain in the forefront of my E2 memories.
Our next event was the educator led trainings, Josh Sawyer, Kevin Sait, Tammy Dunbar, Marija Petrska, Darcy Grimes and Stacey Ryan shared OneNote, Sway and Skype in the Classroom presentations and rocked it! So many great tips and examples and the passion was contagious. Time for a quick lunch and then two hours to work with Team 23.
One thing I have to say (and Aaron Mauer said it best in his blog post), Collaboration is HARD. It is hard work to let go of control, to balance the load, to include everyone and be respectful of ideas and thoughts that might not line up with your own! We ALL had great ideas, we ALL could have created a presentation, we ALL could have been the main speaker. But in the end, it was a beautiful thing, a true collaboration, an experience that I fell in love with, just as I loved my team members. JEN PADERNAL – De La Salle Dasmarinas, Philippines, OLGA ILCHENKO – School 548, Russia, LINDA FOULKES, NetLearn Update, South Africa, KAUSIK GHOSH – Vidyasagar University, India, GRACIANA MABEL GOICOECHANDIA – Escuela Bilingüe Dante Alighieri, Argentina, Argentina and MIRJETA DOMI – 28 Nëntori Secondary School, Albania. My new brother and sisters.
Once again time was up and we grabbed a box of food, jumped on a bus and head to the Kent School District Technology Expo
(WOW) to view over 100 student projects integrating technology into all subject areas. I was fortunate to spend some time with the OneNote crew sharing the OneNote Love at the Microsoft booth. Time to hop back on the bus where we took the scenic route of ALL the hotels. Literally fell into bed and next thing I knew it was…
You guessed it, BACON and off to the keynote. One of my favorites. Angela Maiers! (I covet her arms) She shared her heart on Genius Hour and her Choose2Matter focus. A passionate communicator, Author and teacher her energetic message was hard not to catch. Looking forward to seeing her in the Fall at our own GaETC Conference in Georgia! It was a good message to hear before we began our Global Educator Challenge presentations. Gathering Team 23, we retreated to an empty room and ran through our presentation, tweaking a few things and enjoyed the time together.
Our presentation Student Hands of Hope…A World of Solutions was shared by each team member with conviction of their belief. I stood with pride knowing we had come together, each so different but bound together by our love for students. Before we could blink the presentation was over, we answered a few judges’ questions and out we went. While in the end we did not win the formal challenge, we were all winners and better people because of the experience.
The next part of the day turned surreal as we again entered The Mixer for a “fireside chat” with a Microsoft executive, who was none other than the CEO, Satya Nadella! Everyone went wild, when he was introduced and listened intently as he shared his heart for education and Microsoft goals. He opened up the floor for questions and again I was touched by diversity sitting in the room and the thoughtfulness of their inquiry. The next part was magical.
I, Sandi Adams and 7 other MIEE from around the world, 2 Fellows and 3 students were whisked away to a magic wall which opened into the coolest James Bond living room for a private personal conversation with Satya Nadella.
(WHAT?!) Also in attendance were Anthony Salcito and Toni Townes-Whitley. Was this my real life? We were warmly greeted by Satya and encouraged to share our thoughts on the MIE program, Microsoft in Education and offer any ideas. Each of us took turns sharing our thoughts and ideas and all too soon, it was over! What an honor and incredible experience. Truly as my husband said, the icing on the cake.
A quick tour of the campus as I was shuttled by Christina and off to a tour of the Surface Development Labs and then to the hotel with thirty minutes to get ready for the GALA!! Again, we load the buses and head to downtown Seattle, one of my favorite cities on a beautiful evening. The Gala was held at the EMP Museum. The area had a cirque du soleil feel which contributed to the great celebration. Awards were given to the winning teams and we cheered each group as they took the stage.
Special shout out to my E2 USA Crew winners, the unsinkable and talented Tammy Dunbar, the amazing and calm, Kristen Messer, the beautiful and witty, Holly Dornak and the big winner, the sweet and humble, Dianne Krause. The night ended far too soon with goodbyes to our new friends from around the world. It was with a tinge of sadness that I climbed off the bus and headed to my room. However with the magic we call technology, there is no doubt these relationships will stand for many years.
Before I end my epic novel about the week experience, I have to say a global thank you to Microsoft for recognizing the hard work that goes in to educating and loving on the world, a more local thank you to my new friends and Team USA and a special thanks to Robyn Hrivnatz for her encouragement and confidence in us all.
Additional Pictures can be found in my E2 Sway which is under construction 🙂
The lyrics are from a song by the Talking Heads titled Once in a Lifetime…. They describe my thoughts as I over pack and unpack (an obsessive compulsion I have had for a lifetime) in preparation for the Microsoft in Education E2 Global Educator Exchange. Thinking back to last June when I attended my 2nd Microsoft Innovative Educator certification workshop where my tech twin, @fredawilliams and I were introduced to 21st Century Learning Design. Josh Sawyer was the lead trainer and did an enthusiastic job of challenging everyone with new material, rubrics and a sneak peek at some new Microsoft tools.
July brought ISTE to Atlanta, and we became Microsoft stalkers, attending every session they presented and meeting Kelly Green, Helen Gooch and Kelli Etheredge. Office Mix, OneNote, Office 365 and more. We began to plan our 2014-2015 school year. August brought a Microsoft teacher workshop to Atlanta where we were officially identified as groupies, met Robyn Hrivnatz and saw our first glimpse of SWAY. (Oh how this right brain girl loved the concept of SWAY!)
The school year began with intensive training on our newly adopted Office 365 to staff and students, our first 1-1 initiative in a new middle school, more training and plans to certify an entire 78 member staff at Holly Springs Elementary Stem Academy. After achieving the Microsoft Innovative Educator trainer status and a little nudge and encouragement from a friend (RH :),) I submitted the application to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. Notification that I had been selected came early November while I was presenting at the GaETC conference on Office 365 in the Classroom and so began an entirely unexpected and wonderful journey.
This year marked my 15th year working with the Cherokee County School District as a Technology Project Specialist. This role includes researching new and emerging technologies, training teachers on new tools and integration in the classroom, training students, evaluating hardware and other duties as assigned. The MIEE path was energizing. Attending and listening to each monthly webinar, beginning to blog again, stopped lurking and started tweeting, trained and trained and trained. Communicating with program managers, resolving challenges in our district, receiving a Surface Pro 3, establishing an entirely new PLN becoming a part of the Surface Expert team, and Sway Champion was just part of what made the experience so amazing. Applying to the E2
Global Educator Exchange, presenting the year in two minutes was a challenge but a reminder that this was a year of growth.
Meanwhile, we graduated our first professional development class of certified MIE’s as the process of certifying the school continued. Changes started almost immediately from the top down, the administrators started using OneNote, students used Office 365 to collaborate with each other, teachers starting Mixing and Skyping, first graders learned to Sway and everyone learned the definition of BING!! Each session introduced a new learning dimension and Microsoft tool which would inevitably lead to someone trying it in their classroom! Late February led us to the culmination of all of the hard work. Holly Springs Elementary STEM Academy became fully certified as Microsoft Innovative Educators!
Early March brought the email that I could hardly believe. I had been selected to attend E2… What?! This recognition also had a personal side to it. Shortly after being selected as an MIEE my father was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He was so proud of me and even though this was a man who worked with his hands and had no interest in technology, he loved hearing my stories and watching videos of the students in my school. He approved my application video and watched it several times. I received the email that I had been selected to attend E2 sitting by my fathers bedside and he was the first person I shared it with… Sadly, he passed away on March 30th. I’m so thankful to have had the legacy of a strong work ethic, integrity, character and his encouragement and support throughout my lifetime and hope to represent him well.
This journey has just begun in many ways, learning so much, being in awe of what fellow educators are doing in their schools, following new friends around the globe through our Facebook group, the presentations, the tweets and meets, blog posts and messages. The support offered by Robyn through this entire process has been so appreciated and is something I hope to pass on to others who find themselves blessed enough to be identified with such a talented and incredible group of individuals who are passionate about students.
It is with great excitement and anticipation that I prepare for E2, but as my husband said, this is the icing on the cake. Once in a lifetime….