New resources from Microsoft

Microsoft recently released a series of video tutorials aimed at beginner coders who are interested in learning Python. There are 44 videos in this series and all of them are available through YouTube. The videos are co-presented by Christopher Harrison and Susan Ibach; Christopher is a senior programming manager at Microsoft, and Susan is from Microsoft’s AI gaming division. Christopher acknowledges that they don’t cover everything there is to know…

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Microsoft Learning Tools

With the start of the new academic year I thought it would be beneficial to highlight a very effective resource for inclusion in the daily teaching and learning routine of the classroom. Microsoft Learning Tools is a free online resource to help pupils who are struggling with their reading and Immersive Reader is the feature that I will now take a look at. Our starting point is Office 365 online…

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Another Brick in the Wall

There’s a new resource coming soon for any teacher interested in STEM activities! Lego are introducing a new product, Lego Education Spike Prime to their already impressive education offerings. Each 523 piece kit includes, bricks, sensors, motors and a multi-port Hub that is programmable using a Spike app; this app is based on the very familiar Scratch coding tool. Spike Prime is aimed at 11 – 14 year old pupils,…

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ICT and Primary Schools

On March 4th 2019, the third installment under the Digital Strategy for Schools (2018-2019) was announced. This grant funding for the purchase of ICT infrastructure is intended to enable schools, both Primary and Post Primary, to embed the use of digital technology in teaching and learning. Since the 9th of January, 2019 the Department of Education has released 24 Whole School Evaluation (WSE) reports from Primary schools on its website.…

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Microsoft Sway

Recently I was preparing notes for a Continued Professional Development (CPD) session on Digital Storytelling and compiling as comprehensive a list as possible of tools that can be used in the classroom to create Digital Stories. PowerPoint was to close off my list and as I was running a final double check on the list I realised that I had completely overlooked Microsoft Sway and so it was added. During…

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Using Scratch in the Primary Classroom

Scratch 3.0 is due for release on the 2nd of January 2019. There are many teachers who are looking forward to this significant update to a great Coding resource that is very popular in Irish Primary schools. Scratch 3.0 will certainly become even more popular as this release addresses a serious problem with Scratch 2.0 and the even earlier Scratch 1.4, the fact that these two versions could not be…

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Not an Ordinary Brick

The LEGO brand is well known around the world and many schools in Ireland already use a number of LEGO Education products such as LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo. I previously wrote a piece about LEGO WeDo back in 2016 and with the growing emphasis on STEM activities at Primary School level it’s great to see a new product coming into the education market that will support these activities. Coding…

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Coding resources are Evolving

On Friday the 8th of June the 2018 Digital Strategy Action Plan was published. The plan sets out a road map for the next twelve months. There are over 80 actions outlined in this action plan and one of these relates to Coding in the wider Primary Curriculum. Action Number 1.2 states that four sub-actions will take place during 2018. ● Publish examples of schools’ working with coding – phase…

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STEM graphic

Let’s learn from this research!

Normally my blog contribution for the TeachNet community is based on a new or interesting ICT resource that I think should be highlighted as a possible teaching resource to help further integrate ICT into the daily teaching and learning in our classrooms. This time however I’m going off-script to look at some recent research, carried out by Microsoft, on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) gender issues. Microsoft commissioned this…

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The Zimmer Twins

There are lots of ways that ICT can act as a valuable Literacy resource in the classroom, from the numerous software programs on the market to the multitude of apps suitable for Tablets. Some of the Tablet apps, such as Toontastic and SockPuppets, have become firm favourites in the classroom and are used as part of a literacy lesson, often incorporated into a Station Teaching methodology. Tablet devices have made…

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