16 May 2017

Primary teacher training day at Microsoft HQ

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On 28 May the Sevenoaks Outreach department organised a primary teacher training day hosted in the Microsoft Showcase Classroom, at the Microsoft Headquarters in Paddington London. The agenda for the day was designed to answer common questions in the provision of computing in schools, to include not only pedagogy, but also advice on software, hardware, devices, cloud technologies and Office 365.

The session started with a presentation from Nicola Meek (Microsoft), giving examples of devices and hardware currently being used and deciphering the specifications and explaining how to choose the right device for the suggested application. Nicola was also able to bring some new devices designed specifically for the classroom from a range of manufacturers and show the attending teachers and Headteachers what the future devices will look like, give an idea of pricing and offered some advice as to possible solutions for different environments and establishments.

This was followed by a presentation by Samantha O-Leary, a speaker regularly used by Microsoft. Samantha gave a short lesson to the delegates, using the various tools available in the Office 365 package. This included Onenote class, Sway, Mix and other powerful classroom and class management software.

The third presentation was given by Nick Clarke from Hable Consulting, the company that is assisting Sevenoaks School with our upgrade to cloud solutions. He spoke about how the schools can save money and time on provision of Internet, hardware, software and much more. This practical approach on how to move forwards, how to make the transition to a cloud solution for schools of any size or type.

Our fourth presentation was given by Karine George, an outstanding ex-headteacher from the primary sector. Karine left education to start her own consultancy company to assist schools with Ed-Tech. A self-confessed digital novice, Karine is keen to spread the word that you do not have to be an expert to achieve wonderful outcomes for the students. 

Our last speaker was ‘Computing at Schools’, a company setup to help schools with ideas for how and what to teach, and to offer guidance, hints and tips and general advice on how to ‘teach’ Computing.

The days event came to an end after a lovely lunch at a Restaurant just outside the Microsoft HQ, where teachers had an opportunity to socialise, share contact details and generally talk about best practice, fostering links across the region that will support and unite our teachers, schools and support network.

We have had some lovely feedback from delegates- A member of staff from Hever School commented "Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the amazing Microsoft day!! Some really fantastic (some mind boggling) ideas and devices out there!"

Microsoft have kindly offered ongoing help to the delegates (and those that could not attend) and have made their facility open to them for future training if needed.

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