The Microsoft 21st Century Learning Design overview was very comprehensive and made many references back to the original precursive research undertaken by Standford University. Our school has had a handful of teachers complete the 21CLD accreditation and Robin’s presentation reaffirmed my belief that it has something significant to offer Education Technology adoption in schools.
The six components of 21CLD are:
Problem Solving & Innovation
ICT for Learning
Robin made mention that the school districts in Texas, where she works as a technology integrator, are now able to talk a common language around the vocabulary used in the 21CLD content and the advantages that a common language create.
Robin went on to showcase Windows 8 and Office 365. I was very impressed with the Lync communication suite, especially the language translator add-in. OneNote was discussed at length and the OneNote Tool in Office 365 Sites was explained in more detail. In essence, the OneNote Tool is a wizard that will create a notebook for a teacher and their students, while automatically taking into account all the tricky permissions on the various sections. This will quickly create shared sections, read-only teacher sections and students sections with teacher access. A wish-list item that many teachers at my school will be very happy about.
Finally, a very new offering from Microsoft was introduced – Office Mix. It appears to be an add-in to PowerPoint that allows for easy creation of Flip content with a few very clever value-added capabilities like polls and video. The final product is uploaded to mix.office.com and than you can send a link to students to access. Will have to give it a go before being able to make a comment on its potential use by teachers, but it looks very impressive.