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Updated by fiona on Apr 17, 2017
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#99 Useful Microsoft in Education posts this week

The Internet is currently full of posts about using Microsoft products effectively in the classroom. Here are a number of them from this past week.

Teaching and Learning With Minecraft

Tch Talks caught up with Meenoo Rami, Manager at Minecraft Education Edition, to hear more about the ways teachers across the world are unleashing Minecraft for deeper student learning and engagement. Gain insights and discover resources to help you leverage one of the world’s most popular games in your classroom. This is the first in our five-part podcast series, Teaching and Learning with Minecraft. Stay tuned for episodes that focus more specifically on Engagement, Collaboration, Creativity, and Tangible Learning Outcomes.

How You Can Use Minecraft Education Edition in Your School

It’s time to implement more gaming in the classroom and where better to start than Minecraft Education Edition? Major video game developers are finally taking notice of these benefits and are developing games meant specifically for the education field, including popular titles like Minecraft. Following the enormous success of this specific open-world building game, the developers (Mojang) have reworked their flagship title into an education-based platform: Minecraft Education Edition.

Bringing Minecraft into the classroom

PETOSKEY—It was a zoo in Nikky Willison’s third-grade classroom on Wednesday morning. In fact, there were about a dozen zoos in the process of construction as students worked in pairs. Willison said they first began using Minecraft in the classroom at Central Elementary School at the start of the school year through a free trial offer. They purchased the program after the free trial ended with grant funds designated for STEAM resources. In the latest project, students have been studying how to calculate area and perimeter. The math lesson merged with a science lesson on animals and habitats and students will use all of their research to build their own zoos in the game.

No ‘typical’ day for Microsoft Innovative Educator Joe Fatheree

“I look at these kids every day and I see a bright future ahead,” Joe says. “We just need to help them create a pathway.” Over his career, that’s exactly what he’s done. From wearing flashy MC Hammer attire to reach the minds of kids with learning difficulties (back in the ‘90s, of course), to working with Microsoft to create technology catering for students and teachers by students and teachers, Joe’s career has been about pushing the boundaries of learning and encouraging his pupils to be the owners of their education. “We create a culture that promotes creativity and innovation,” he says. “When my kids come in I tell them that the best thing I give them is the free time to learn, to build, and to create. I also tell them that the toughest thing I give them is the free time to learn, to build, and to create.”

Why Teachers use Skype in the Classroom

Three MIE Experts and Skype Master Teachers share why they started using Skype in the Classroom and how its use has transformed their teaching and their students' learning experience. Michael Soskil, Pennsylvania (USA) says: "Skype, especially when coupled with the Skype in the Classroom website and Microsoft Educator Community, is one of the most transformational tools to come to education in a longtime. The world is becoming increasingly complex. We need innovative problem solvers. Those critical thinkers will never develop from scripted textbook lessons. Students need an emotional connection with the content they are learning, and Skype provides amazing experiences that let kids have that connection as they learn."

Microsoft Translator live feature in action

The Microsoft Translator live feature transforms your favorite device into your own personal universal translator where you can have real conversations with people across different languages. In this demo video, English, French, and German are spoken and translated into Italian speech and text. Microsoft Translator supports many more languages than just those three! Visit to learn more.

Get Started: Want to learn how to start using this feature within our app? Check out our one minute Get Started video:

Immersive Engagement in Minecraft: Education Edition

Guest post by Simon Baddeley: Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. For fifteen years, I have taught English in some of the most economically deprived schools and worked with some of the most disaffected learners that main stream education has to offer. Learners that face significant social, emotional, behavioural and developmental barriers to learning, with low self-esteem...

Students use Office Mix to Demonstrate Understanding

Office Mix is great for teachers who want to create instructional videos for their students, but Office Mix can also be used by student to demonstrate their understanding of a concept, and even teach other students. The teacher no longer needs to be the sole expert. A class could even create a library of student created Mixes that can be used throughout the year. This helps support a flipped classroom or blended learning environment. To learn more go to

How To Create An eBook Using Powerpoint

Fast and easy eBook creation. Link to finished eBook below. Social Media Graphics Cheat Sheets can be downloaded here

Earth Day

Bring the world into your classroom on Earth Day. Invite a Guest Speaker or schedule a Skype Lesson or Virtual Field Trip so your students can learn more about our beautiful planet from the experts. See avauilable lessons