Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Student Led Sway On Digital Learning Day

A Student Led Sway On Digital Learning Day

Cambryn takes the lead with Sway!
I love to see our learners take the stage to share their knowledge with teachers and peers. We are always looking for opportunities for students to present sessions and lead book clubs in the school library. While visiting a TL Virtual Cafe session this week, I was reminded about February 17th being Digital Learning Day. My mind raced... what could we do that would be innovative for our learners? I remembered that Cambryn, one of our 8th graders at Lakeside High School, was learning about Microsoft Sway. (Sway is one of the cool presentation tools included in Office 365/ Office Online.) I have noticed that Cambryn is outgoing and comfortable in front of his peers; and he is also a natural leader. I wondered if he might agree to present what he had learned during our 8th and 9th grade lunch period in the library. I was so excited when he agreed to take me up on this offer! 

What We Presented

I present Office 365 to grades 10-12 during their lunch
I decided to present about our new district Microsoft Office 365 product login information. I showed students how to access the tools during both lunches. We have ours set up so all students and teachers can access using their district email and password to log in. I love that our learning community has access to all the online Office tools and apps on their devices! Many students enjoyed learning that they could download Microsoft Office 2016 on one computer (PC or Mac)! This has empowered our learners because some of them might not be able to afford this software. Imagine the lives that could be changed due to this access. Many students will benefit from this new resource! Our first session for grades 10-12 had over 30 in attendance.

The two of us at end of the sessions

After I presented about Office 365 during the 8th and 9th grade lunch period, Cambryn took charge and gave an introduction to Microsoft Sway. He presented like a pro! He shared basic features and how to setup a Sway presentation. Seeing him present so effectively was another one of those moments when I was reminded why I chose education! There were over 30 students in attendance during the second lunch session. (We reached over 60 students total.) A few of these learners actually tried logging in to Office 365 during Cambryn's session. I wonder how many of them went home to try these new tools?

What Happened Next

After Cambryn wrapped up his Sway presentation, I invited other students to bring me future presentation ideas. We always try to provide an "open mic" to our learning community. Several students came forward with ideas about potential technology based presentation topics. I feel certain that some of these will follow through and develop a presentation!

I hope our learners will begin using the Office 365 tools. It would be wonderful to see many of them become proficient with each Microsoft tool. This would make a great series of library lunch sessions! It would be very desirable for student presenters to demonstrate how to use the many other Microsoft tools within Office 365!

Cambryn had a good turnout for his lunch session!

I encourage you to allow your learners to present technology to your students and teachers! Create an atmosphere where students feel they can contribute and let them share their individual voices. Sometimes it might flow well, and other times it might be a bit bumpy with young presenters. That is where we interact as facilitators by guiding our students when needed and giving constructive feedback. We never know, we may be inspiring and helping the next Bill Gates! (Click below for the YouTube video clip of Cambryn's lunch session!)

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A student logs in to Office 365 for the first time!

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