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E2 Spotlight- Hannah Mathias

Discussion in 'Official Microsoft News' started by Kristy Hill, Apr 12, 2018.

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  1. Kristy Hill

    Kristy Hill Guest

    Blog Posts:
    Here is the third in a series of blogs which will share and highlight the great stories of our amazing MIEEs who attended the E2 Global Education Exchange in Singapore! We asked them to share their experiences of becoming a MIEE as well as some of their personal highlights from the Road to E2! Third up in the series is Hannah Mathias, E-Learning Manager, Cardiff and Vale College who attended as a member of the UK Leadership group.


    My journey to E2

    My journey started back in June 2017 when I applied for my MIE Expert badge and found out I'd achieved it in September 2017. Since then I've been collecting more badges from the Microsoft Educator community. Then the opportunity to apply to go to E2 Singapore came up for all the MIE Experts, so I obviously jumped at the chance, but unfortunately I didn't get selected. Then to my surprise, an email arrived a couple of weeks later from Anthony Salcito stating I'd been invited to the Leadership strand at E2 Singapore 2018. I couldn't believe my luck, I was so excited and honoured of this opportunity.

    [​IMG]The day came to travel to Singapore, which was pretty long but I knew it would be worth it. Firstly, I met fellow UK Team member Bob Usher from LGFL, who was also on the Leadership strand. This was the first time we’d met in person, but instantly clicked, talking about the same issues we were having and how we were hoping to come back from E2 with solutions to these problems (which we did!).

    We arrived early in the morning of Tuesday 13th March, and our strand wasn't starting until the following day, so Bob and I walked the streets of Singapore to do some sightseeing while we were there. However, during this time off, we had the most valuable conversations about what we've been doing in our roles promoting and embedding the use of EdTech and sharing ideas.

    [​IMG]The Wednesday was the start of the Leadership day, and it began with a very excited audience, mainly due to everyone getting a OneNote cape!!! Then the music started pumping and the Keynotes began. It opened with a really inspiring keynote from Anthony Salcito, talking about the importance of growth mind set of learners and of staff, and how we can use data more effectively to inform and influence better teaching and learning. We also heard some stories of how Singapore are moving away from a knowledge based education system and more towards a skills and project based model, to fulfil the needs of employers and future job roles. They have also been rolling out a Micro:bit project across Singapore, and training teachers to up use Micro:bits within all subject areas to promote creativity, problems solving and collaboration in lessons.

    Douglas Kiang, a teacher from Hawaii shared his use Minecraft to build an understanding of boundaries and community spirit with his learners. The learners had deep discussions about what boundaries/rules they would have in their Minecraft world, then they set off to create their world. But soon came up against difficulties when one student started creating random artistic objects around the world and blocking one learners view from his house with a giant Pooh Bear!! This promoted lots discussion around whether this learner had broken the rules of the world, which then progressed onto discussions about art and its subjectivity. Other students went on to build cooperative farms and sharing their food they had produced. This approach enabled the learners to put these boundaries into a virtual setting and actually apply how they would work.

    [​IMG]Another speaker that stood out was Sarah Morgan, Danesfield School, from our very own UK team member, talked about how she's turned her primary school from the bottom 10% in England to the top 1%, all through a whole school digital transformation. And the key to doing this was staffing developing their skills during team meetings using the Microsoft Educator Community. They now have digital specialists in the school to help and support staff in specific O365 tools to use these tools in their lessons. As a result of this digital transformation, boys and girls are now equal in numeracy and literacy. But has all happened due to strong strategic digital steer from the head teacher, and has shown how technology enhanced learning really does have an impact on teaching and learning.

    [​IMG]There were also some brilliant examples of Skype being used to support language development in Sweden, and how we can better support dyslexic students by having a better understanding of how the brain works from a speaker in Greece.

    The Leadership strands were really insightful, we had presentations from key figures in education from Singapore and Asia, sharing how they are approaching digital transformation, and skills development in learners and staff. Then how Finland are approaching education by removing testing and inspection and just giving staff the time and creativity to develop their teaching and learning without all the bureaucracy. All teachers have a master’s degree in education, every school has a tutor teacher to develop whole school ICT, and every teaching has a personal vocational training plan.

    Sean Tierney from Microsoft, raised something which I thought was really useful, about how we shouldn’t be asking is technology having an impact on teaching and learning, but more how and where is it having an impact? And when can technology undermine learning? There is also a book coming out soon about transforming education from Microsoft all about this which looked really interesting.

    Parnell district, New Zealand were sharing how they are letting learners choose the tools themselves to achieve a particular outcome, and how the use of stylus pens has improved cognitive understanding. In New Zealand they are also using student led conferences, which are student led parent’s evenings, where the learners go through their progress and development with their parents using their reflective blogs.


    [​IMG]The framework from that Canada are using called Conditions for 21st Century Learning to facilitate digital transformation looked really useful, and something I’m going to look in to in more detail. The next session about employers and skills needs was really fascinating, particularly the talk by Nick O’Donnell from LinkedIn, who was showing the data called The Economy Graph, which they can pull out of LinkedIn and identify top skills required by employers, including the soft and hard skill requirements.

    [​IMG]This could also better inform our learners in choosing the right course for the skills need in their local area. Also, how our learners could be developing their LinkedIn profiles from 13yrs upwards, sharing their skills and building a professional network right through their education, which would have a huge impact on their employability, especially as you can link your digital badges and certifications.


    The Learning Market place had a real buzz to it. All the teachers had to put together a presentation board of a lesson plan including some exemplary use of technology, and some of the ideas were inspirational. Lots of Minecraft, Class Notebook and Micro:bits being used with real impact.

    The awards ceremony on the last night was brilliant fun, and the best way to end the event. It was in the most beautiful setting at the Gardens in the bay, and great way to praise the teachers who had put in so much hard work into their challenges throughout the week. It also gave us the opportunity to network and meet some remarkable people from around the world, who I’ll stay in touch with to share ideas and collaborate for many years to come. It was a truly life changing experience, and I encourage any teacher/lecturer to get your MIE Expert badge and apply to go to next year’s E2, it’s the best CPD you’ll ever experience. My mind is still buzzing with ideas several weeks on form the event.


    Follow @hmathiasedtech to keep up to date with all her ongoing fantastic work with Microsoft Technologies.

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