ConnectEd 2020 Highlights

Our SIPPIO education team attended the Canada ConnectEd2020 this week. It was a really well put together virtual half-day seminar and we learned about how educators and their IT staffs evaluate, provide and support technology. Overall, it is clear the student is at the core of all decisions and well-being was a theme that was prevalent through the sessions.

Here were my favorite sessions:

Making Learning #Onederful with Microsoft Education by Stephen Eustace

Stephen gave a great tour of features in Teams, OneNote, PPT and other Microsoft products which was fun and easy to follow. We saw how to create quizzes with forms, create videos in PPT and using Stream to share; his enthusiasm for education and technology was evident.

New Future Ready Skills and the Staff of 2030: Possibilities and Perils by Mark Sparvell

I was surprised throughout the day to learn how many school systems were readily equipped to allow students and staff to ‘school from home’. Many IT departments were heroes in how quickly they were able mobilize and react. Mark reviewed several very valuable Microsoft resources (listed below) and tip for educators which demonstrates Microsoft’s strong commitment and deep expertise in this field.

Transitioning Education in the Face of a Pandemic
 by Clarke Hagan and Greg Kiesman

I was impressed with the focus this school system had on the importance of professional development, using video training to continuously educate their staff on technology and I thought the use of moderators on the trainings was brilliant to ensure follow-through, keeping the training on point and to develop new SME’s as result.

We believe Voice is the key component of collaboration and engagement. Voice calls and video meetings go a long way in providing that personal touch because talking to others over these mediums (instead of email or chat) provides a direct way to convey emotion, intent, importance, conviction, power, direction and thought as well as to listen! A simple call can boost the well-being of a student, frustrated parent, co-worker or a loved one. Whether you use Voice in Teams or any other phone system; remember to stay connected with others!

Useful Education links:

Microsoft Educator Center

Staff of 2030 – New ideas and resources for teaching in the future

Microsoft Education Reimagined – Phasing and Strategy – positive outcomes, focus on well-being and technology and a guideline of activities

Education Remote Learning Webinars

Microsoft Education Blog

20 New Features in Teams for Education

Voice Features in Teams for Teachers