PILSR Registration Video

I have put this together to help schools set up their Partners in Learning School Research (PILSR) survey.
I hope it helps :)

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Partners in Learning School Research Re-launched

I’m happy to say that the Microsoft Partners in Learning School Research has been re-launched as part of the Partners in Learning Network. This has been an invaluable tool for those schools that have done the survey in the past.

Sign up your school on the Partners in Learning (PiLs) Network and get all of your teachers to register on this valuable website. Through the Microsoft PiLs Network provides professional development to government policymakers, school leaders, and educators around the world to take new approaches to teaching and learning, using technology to help students develop 21st century skills. Supporting the latest research into learning design through programs such as Innovative Teaching and Learning Research and the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills, we are connecting cutting-edge thinking with classroom practice.

What is Microsoft Partners in Learning School Research (PILSR)?
PILSR provides individual schools with an online research tool to measure their own innovative teaching practices that develop the skills students need for life and work today. Based on globally-recognized research, the PILSR research tool is international in scope, enables school-specific measurement of innovative teaching, and provides a common language to drive community dialogue and systemic change – all at no cost to schools. A sample report is attached. 


What’s changed from the older version that was separate from PILN?
The survey has been updated

  1. Once the survey is set up it sits in the School Profile on PILN
  2. To help you drive your registration goals, everyone involved in the survey must be a member of PILN
  3. When a teacher is invited to take the survey and clicks a link to take it, they are automatically joined to a school profile
  4. The PILSR badge will automatically be awarded when a survey is complete

What are the benefits of the online research tool?
Partners in Learning School Research helps schools achieve a common understanding of innovative teaching practices, educational transformation, and how all parties can collectively move forward.  PILSR is: 

  • Credible.  The research tool validates the role/importance of ICT and is based on globally-recognized research* that measures innovation in three key areas:
    • Student-centered pedagogy (teaching/learning)
    • Extend learning beyond the classroom
    • ICT** used for teaching and learning
  • Complimentary.  Available at no cost to primary and secondary schools worldwide.
  • Easy/Accessible.  Available online and easy to administer. Set up, distribute surveys, and receive data easily and with minimal time commitment.
  • Measurable.  School-specific measurement and a path to innovation.  Research data provides factual, school-specific information to empower leaders to make educated, data-driven decisions.
  • Personalized.  Provides school-specific results based on each individual school’s own environment.

How does the research tool work?

1. Schools sign up using a simple set up wizard:  Sign up for PILN. Identify a research leader. Invite teachers. Invite School leaders. Takes 15-20 minutes to set up. (Note: it is only available to schools on PILN, so if you try to set one up using your Microsoft company profile, you will be prompted to establish a school profile.)

Set up wizard start page
How it works

2. Distribute Surveys & Reminders

Easy Distribution:  PILN sends emails that contains survey links, call-to-actions, and deadlines. PILN enables research leaders to see who has and has not taken the surveys and sends reminder emails to complete surveys.

Invitation to take the school survey


Monitor your school’s survey progress screen


            Reminder emails are sent to participants who haven’t completed their survey

Reminder email

    3. Use the Report 

Insightful Results:  Once the survey window has closed, a report is generated and available to people who participated in the survey. The report measures
elements of innovative teaching practices and compares
educator and school leader responses.

Below are a few examples of PILSR results.
Innovative Teaching Practices Index
Student Centered Pedagogy
Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom
ICT Used for Teaching and Learning by Educators
ICT Used for Teaching and Learning by Students
Barriers to Technology Use
Topics of Professional Development and Levels of Innovative Teaching Practices
Types of Professional Development and Levels of Innovative Teaching Practices
Collaboration among Educators
Incentives and Recognition for Innovative Teaching

One page from the sample report which is attached.


You can find frequently asked Q+As for the School Research HERE

You can find Teacher registration instructions hand-out HERE

Please take 3 minutes and watch the video from the PILSR launch in June 2012

Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you need any additional information or have any questions (a-tomj@microsoft.com)

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Microsoft Expert Educators and Mentor School Applications

So you say you’re not excited about applying for Microsoft Expert Educator or Mentor School Status. Well, here are a couple of reasons that might change your mind.
Last year’s Global Forum in Prague

My video of past events

Applications close on September 30th

Don’t miss this life changing opportunity :)

This year’s selected Teachers and Schools will be going to the March 2014 Worldwide Global Forum in:


City pic

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Surface RT for Education offer ends on Sept 30th

Make sure you let your Microsoft contact in Education (me for NI :) ) if you want to order the Microsoft Surface RT Windows 8 tablet for your school. Time is running out on the fantastic offer for an amazing device.

Surface offer


Find the brochure and order form here:

Surface For Education Brochure and Order Form NI

Not sure what a Surface RT device is- check this out:

Specifications are HERE

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Devices for Education

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Understanding the value of the Partners in Learning Network

With the school year upon us, now is a great time to register (or revisit) the Partners in Learning Network (www.pil-network.com)

You can find registration instructions HERE

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REMINDER!!-Microsoft Ireland and the New Educator Expert Programme and Innovative School Programme

Expert Educator logo





I am happy to announce the launch of the new Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Programme. For those of you who are aware with the Innovative Teachers Competition we have been running for the past 6 years, this will be familiar territory with a few new exciting changes. Because of the remarkable success and growth of the Microsoft innovative Educators Forums, this programme has evolved into much more than just the “Olympics of Education”. Last year alone there were over 150,000 entries and by the way- Northern Ireland HAD A WORLWIDE 1ST PLACE WINNER IN DAVID YOUNG FROM LIMAVADY HS!!!

In the past we would have run a NI competition and chosen the best entry from across the Province. We have had huge success with that model and see no reason why this new programme won’t be just as successful. Now the winners for next year’s Worldwide Global Forum (venue TBC) will be chosen from the Teachers who have applied for Expert Educator status and the work and contributions they have engaged in on the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network.

Emails will be going out to many of your schools and Principals today, but please feel free to share with your colleagues and forward to any Teachers you feel may be interested.

Who is an Expert Educator?

We are looking for self-driven educators who are passionate about their careers, inspiring students with outside-the-box thinking and a true collaborative spirit. Resourceful and entrepreneurial, they relish the role of change agent, and work to achieve excellence in education using advanced technologies and social media.

So here is a formal invitation:

Dear Education Leader,

Last November at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague, Microsoft reinforced its commitment to schools and educators by dedicating five more years and another $250 million to the Partners in Learning Program. As a part of the Innovative Educator Program, Microsoft is committed to developing and recognizing the most exemplary educators from around the world. At the same event in November, Microsoft also announced the launch of the Expert Educator program, a component of our Innovative Educator work.

Today, I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Expert Educators.

Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Program enables educators to use technology effectively in their classrooms in order to develop 21st century skills. We do that through:
Professional Development: Validated and scalable professional development that delivers proven approaches and practices that lead to improved student learning.
Global Community: The opportunity for educators to connect and collaborate with other innovative educators and education experts worldwide.
Recognition and Celebration: The opportunity to celebrate and recognize the most innovative educators and their teaching practices from around the world

The newly launched “Expert Educator Program” is a component of our commitment to Recognition and Celebration. It is an exclusive one year program created to recognize pioneer educators globally who are using technology to transform education. It is built on a decade of research culminating in the Innovative Teaching and Learning Research. Educators will have access to technology, specialized professional development, and will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Partners in Learning Global Forum.

Expert Educators work closely with Microsoft to share their classroom technology innovations. They advocate, share their experiences with peers and policy makers on effective use of technology in education. They provide insight for Microsoft on new products and tools in education. They share valuable best practices, and work together as a community to promote ideas to innovate in teaching and learning.

When educators become Microsoft Experts, they get:

  • A trip to join other innovative educators at the Partners in Learning Global Forum
  • Free technology for their schools
  • Publicity and promotion via social media and other Microsoft channels
  • Insider access to Microsoft strategy and technologies
  • Professional and career development opportunities and certifications
  • Peer coaching certification
  • Opportunities to share their expertise with world-renowned educators and specialists to scale their innovations
  • Consulting opportunities within the Partners in Learning program
  • Invitation-only special events from Microsoft

We are thrilled about this program. We are looking for your partnership in promoting it among your organization, other education stakeholders and educators who could find it valuable. Please feel free to forward this email to all concerned and all who could be interested in applying.

EE apply now

So what’s next? If you haven’t already registered on the Partners in Learning Network, you need to do that 1st with a COMPLETE profileJ. You can find instructions HERE.


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