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Championing the Microsoft Educator Community as a Digital Learning Strategy

Today's guest blog post comes from one of our amazingly dedicated Scottish MIEExperts Alan O'Neill an inspirational leader within his own institution sharing the great things that can be achieved with Microsoft in Education. 

My name is Alan O’Neill and I am a Lecturer in Computing and IT at Dundee and Angus College (D&A) on the east coast of Scotland. In addition to my interest in Computing and all things technology related, I am particularly interested in literacy. Not just Digital (Computer) Literacy, but the levels of literacy in our young people generally.

What has been your personal journey as an MIEExpert?

I first became aware of the Microsoft Education Community (MEC) about 2 years ago having previously been involved with the IT Academy and education related content of it for a number of years. This was a revelation to me! Since then I have engaged fully with the MEC and find the materials to be of a high quality and very engaging – thanks to all the contributors! At a personal level I have been able to inform the @dundee_angus Digital Strategy that is to be launched during this year’s National Digital Learning Week. Furthermore, I hope to champion the MEC during that week specifically, to make colleagues aware of what Microsoft and the MEC have to offer. With a core focus upon 21st Century Learning I chair a Special Interest Group here @dundee_angus College. I became an #MIE very quickly and then set about achieving the #MIE Expert status. I have learned so much along the way and the changes to the Microsoft Office products has been inspirational.

What tools do you use in the Classroom?

In Class I am dedicated to using tools such as OneNote Class Notebook to engage my students and enhance their learning outcomes. I also provide online, interactive reference works via Sway and quick quizzes using Forms. I aim to continue sharing any best practice with colleagues and will continue to strive to improve the life chances of the students I impact.


Sway I used in a Hardware and Systems unit showing embedded Office Mix video’s

As a direct result of the MEC and it’s contributors I am able to support the students I teach with a wide range of technologies which includes Office 365, OneNote (including Class Notebook and the Learning Tools), Sway, Office Mix, and more. I regularly use the MEC for my own CPD and have very recently begun to explore the Skype in the Classroom element to extend the reach of my students beyond the classroom walls. Class Notebooks are such great timesavers and once students get to grips with OneNote (many haven’t experienced it before) they are happy to engage with it both in and out of class. The Scottish education system is all about evidence – students providing evidence of what they have learned and can now do. The quality and richness of this evidence, be it short video’s, images embedded in OneNote, sound files used for feedback etc) has enhanced their work and even they are proud to show it off. Many spending time outside the class to ensure that their work is ready for class.

Next term I intend to be using my Surface and a wireless display adapter to get back some of the classroom agility I have lost!

Follow Alan on Twitter @Group_Tutor and keep up to date with the great work at @dundee_angus. 

Tweets by Group_Tutor

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Championing the Microsoft Educator Community as a Digital Learning Strategy


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