Microsoft in Education Forum

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote a blog post and in that time I’ve had a couple of significant incidents that have changed my perspective on ICT and Computing in schools.

The first was the Microsoft in Education forum held at the Microsoft UK headquarters in Reading.   This was a great event organised by Sean O’Shea, James Marshall and Tim Bush.  A small group of 12 education related people got together and discussed how Microsoft helps with the most important thing in schools … learning!

There was a real focus on doing things differently, from moving from on-premises systems to the free Live@edu product, to the whole host of free tools available at the Partners in Learning site. 

The Partners in Learning site has some fantastic resources to help learning and teaching in schools.  Here are a few highlights from the site:

Microsoft Mathematics Add-in for Word and OneNote – This free add-in allows you to easily insert mathematical formulae, symbols and graphs into Microsoft Word documents.

Microsoft Songsmith – A clever free application that helps students to develop music.  Students sing into the microphone and Songsmith creates the music to accompany the song.

SmallBasic – A simple way to introduce real programming skills to students.  SmallBasic is the pre-cursor to VisualBasic and projects can be ‘graduated’ to VisualBasic when you are ready.

There are a lot more tools available at the newly redesigned Partners in Learning network site.   They’ve packaged their best learning resources into the Learning Suite by Microsoft.   This is a single installer that allows you to choose the programs you want to install. 

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