OneNote just keeps getting better and better

You may know I have been a huge fan of OneNote for many years. Well, it finally looks like more and more people are starting to see the light, including Microsoft Smile

From classroom to school–introducing OneNote Staff Notebook for education

OneNote Staff Notebook, like OneNote Class Notebook, is an app for Office 365 that lets an education staff leader quickly set up a personal workspace for every staff member or teacher, a content library for shared information and a collaboration space for everyone to collaborate—all within one powerful notebook. With a Staff Notebook, administration and staff can save time, become more organized and collaborate more effectively.  Because OneNote is free and on every platform and every device, you can access your Staff Notebook from anywhere.  Staff leaders might include a principal, superintendent, head of school, administrator, faculty head, department head, or a leader of a professional learning community (PLC). If you fall into these roles and have Office 365 Education, you can get started with Staff Notebooks today.

Video pic

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Welcome Back

It has been way too long and so much has happened since my last posting almost 1 1/2 years ago. It seems like Twitter, Facebook and Yammer have taken over my voice and got the bulk of my attention. So, I’m going to put this up and see if I can work my way back into the grove.

I will make note of a few new things that have been recently released:

Office Mix

Office Mix was created with educators in mind

A free add-in for PowerPoint with everything you need to easily create and share interactive online lessons


Say hello to Sway! Sway is an entirely different way to express yourself and bring your ideas to life. When your ideas are born, you want to explore, visualize and share them—quickly and easily, wherever you happen to be, and on whatever device you have. You want your ideas to be understood. Sway helps you do just that. It’s a new way for you to create a beautiful, interactive, web-based expression of your ideas, from your phone or browser. It is easy to share your creation and it looks great on any screen. Your ideas have no borders, edges, page breaks, cells or slides. Your mind is a continuous canvas, and Sway brings this canvas to life. Sway helps you focus on the human part: your ideas and how they relate to each other. Sway takes care of the design work—a Sway is ready to share with the world as soon as it is born.

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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 (

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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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