Monday, 29 July 2013

Gleanings from ISTE #2: Microsoft at ISTE 2013

It was such a great experience to visit ISTE in San Antonio this June. Microsoft was one of the Level 1 sponsors so I thought I would write a post especially about their generosity to teachers at ISTE 2013



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The BIGGEST thing about Microsoft at ISTE was their extreme generosity in giving out 10,000 Surface tablets (or was it 11,000) to the registered attendees. Can you imagine the excitement about this as the Surface is said to be a tablet AND a laptop – something really new! A great thing about the Surface tablet is that Office 2013 RT is freely available on it. Of course Microsoft wasn't just dishing these out randomly to anyone that asked for one - a lot of thought had been put into it, prearrangements had to be made,  and there were conditions attached. 
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1) The tablets were for the school that the attendee represented and this had to be pre-arranged before ISTE via a letter signed by the principal of the school.

2) The recipients had to be prepared to be involved in the Windows in the Classroom Experience Project whereby they discussed and contributed their classroom activities and lesson plans on how to use Windows in the Classroom  on the Partners in Learning Network, and showed the teachers at their schools what was available on the Partners in Learning network. The recipients would also join the Microsoft in Education newsletter and receive additional training resources.

In my mind I can see the Partners in Learning Network becoming an exceptional resource for teachers around the world with great technology integration activities of every type freely available. It is REALLY worth joining that network. 

During ISTE participants were invited to hands-on demonstrations and training in Microsoft’s Learning Lounge in Exhibit Hall D Room 1A during exhibit hall hours.  Those who were offered Surface tables were also pointed to the support offered. They could visit the Surface web site to download the Surface RT User Guide, register your Surface, and find support.)

I unfortunately didn't get to join one of the hands-on experiences on shows how to use Windows 8, Microsoft Office, and Windows Phone to enhance teaching and learning but I constantly took a walk to see what was happening in the Microsoft Lounge. I could see that it was interactive, experiential, and fun and there was a great, excited buzz. 


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Looking around – the new Surface Volunteers helping with setup
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Videos dotted around explaining Windows 8 People gathered in groups looking at their new Surface machines

Why don't you join the Partners in Learning Network today if you haven't already done so? You'll be amazed at the magnitude of the free resources, the ideas, the discussions, and the great network of educators from around the world that you can collaborate with. 

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