Thursday, 17 December 2015

MIEExpert Spotlight for South Africa #1: Warren Sparrow talks about using OneNote, Sway and Office Mix in the classroom

Microsoft and SchoolNet SA recently congratulated the 61 new 2016 South African and Lesotho Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts who have been selected to be part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert programme for 2015-2016. In this series of posts we will be highlighting these MIEExperts. We thought we would start with Warren Sparrow



Warren is the H
ead of Information and Communications Technology at Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory School. 

Warren in the news!
Warren has recently been in the news about being selected as one of two South African finalists in the Top 50 Finalists of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize. These educators have been shortlisted from thousands of nominations and applications from 148 countries around the world. The Top 50 shortlist has representatives from 29 countries and by highlighting their stories the Varkey Foundation hopes that the public will be able to join in passionate debates about the importance of teachers. The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March 2016. The winner stands to win R15 million rand! SchoolNet and Microsoft wish Warren their best wishes in this competition. You can read more about Warren in this online article from Tech Central Top SA IT teacher in line to win R15m



Warren's involvement in Microsoft programs
Warren has been involved in Microsoft programs since 2010 both as an innovative educator, as well as in the Pathfinder School program. In 2010 he won the ‘Microsoft Innovation in Content’ award at both the South African and Pan African Microsoft in Education Forums and he attended the Global Microsoft in Education Forum held in Cape Town.  Warren also attended the Microsoft Middle East and Africa Forum in Jordan in 2011 as part of the Microsoft School program.  The highlight for Warren, however, was attending the E2 Educator Exchange at the Microsoft Head Office in Redmond in 2015 where he says, “The things I saw and the people I met were awe-inspiring”. Warren was one of four 2015 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs) selected to attend the E2 Global Educator Exchange in Redmond, Washington this year.  


Warren's key technology
To summarise Warren 's key technology it would include: Office 365,  Skype in the classroom, Office Mix, Yammer, Sway, Bing in the classroom, and One Note. All these are available from the Microsoft Educator Network at  www.microsoft.com/education 

Office 365
Warren’s favourite application is the Office 365 suite. He finds that there is so much in Office 365 that he can use in day-to-day teaching. Warren’s school uses Office 365 for all the staff and this platform is used to receive e-mails and share files.  The staff has spent a great deal of time in professional development training and this has now come to fruition.  Warren says: “Some of the grades are now sharing their planning across the grades using Office 365 and then each teacher can then add and comment on the file.  As opposed to one person sending an e-mail and then people change the file and send it back, everyone now works on one file all at the same time. All the classes in the same grade would then use that lesson in their classes.”

One Note
He speaks equally highly of One Note. “I love the fact that SWAY is now integrated into Office 365, but if I had to think of one product in the Office 365 suite that is the most impressive, it would have to be OneNote.  The ability to create your own content, as well as share content with others so easily is amazing.  Of course the new OneNote for class creator and staff creator has now opened up a whole new level of development and opportunities for the teachers and students as well as for management within the school environment.

Office Mix
This is a video made by Warren showing how to use Office Mix. Office Mix is a free add-in for PowerPoint 2013. It is a powerful tool that makes authoring and sharing of online lessons or presentations simple. It allows you to make them interactive with quizzes and labs. It allows you to export lessons as MP4 videos.



Get involved in the Microsoft MIEE program in 2016
If you are a teacher who likes to be innovative in the classroom, think about entering Microsoft's Innovative Teacher MIEE program in 2016 when applications reopen. You can learn more about the program at this link: http://bit.ly/1H4gKcB  You never know where it will take you...

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