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Microsoft Education UK FE/HE Boot Camp Reflection

The @MicrosoftEdUK run event was a three day bootcamp held at the impressive Microsoft UK Offices, Paddington. It was a free event to learn all about their education tools and products and how they can support learning within Further and Higher Education Institutions. As we’re a Microsoft 365 institution at the University of Liverpool, who have recently rolled out staff use of Microsoft Teams, I was keen to learn more from Microsoft and other institutions about how can make maximal impact on our students’ learning experience.

Agenda

The three days were split up between presentations, workshops, customer stories and product demonstrations, delivered both face-to-face and virtually, mainly led by the brilliant Clare Riley and Alan Crawford.

Day 1

  • Hands-on session of O365 collaboration and Productivity
  • Customer Story from Chris Melia – discussion the successful and growing DigiLearn CPD model that UCLAN have implemented.
  • Introduction to the Microsoft Education Community (MEC) and Learner Pathways.
  • Accessibility with Hector Minto.
  • Demo of the Hololens 2.
  • Pizza, beer and hands on with the Surface Go.

Day 2

  • Keynote – “A shift in the Learning Culture”
  • Flow – Workshop to build a flow app
  • Teams updates and what’s to come, from Seattle with Dominic Williamson

Day 3

  • Deployment support and Teams University roll-out guide
  • OneNote and Stream customer story
  • Customer Story – From MIEE to MCE with Richard Glover and Sumetha Karthigeyen
  • Planning Learning Pathways for staff

Highlights

My top three highlights were; exploring the MEC, planning our own roll-out and the accessibility session.

Hearing from universities who have rolled out successful learning pathways and CPD development such as UCLAN and Teeside, allowed us to think about how we will look to roll out similar training and support back at the University of Liverpool.

Leading on from this, the session planning learning pathways for staff gave Monica Chavez and I plenty of ideas and inspiration for the MS Teams Champions programme she introduced earlier this year.

And finally, the stand out session for me was the inspiring accessibility talk by the excellent Hector Minto, which included MS Translator, Seeing AI (app) and a personally helpful tip – Windows 10 colour filters for colour-blind users.

I’ll be writing more on accessibility for Teaching and Learning soon from some of the tips he shared.

What’s next?

Having completed a number of training sessions of the MEC, I am now a Microsoft Innovative Educator, however the bootcamp and hearing the successful customer stories previously mentioned I will look ahead to implementing further training and support for staff on the Team Champions programme and look to apply for Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert midway through next year.

Microsoft Certified MIE pin badge

I’m looking forward to meeting up with the Microsoft HE community next week at Keele for the Digital Festival 2019 with Jisc to explore more ways Universities are using Microsoft tools to communicate, collaborate and support teaching and learning practices.

I highly recommended the boot camp for anyone working in FE or HE looking to adopt or further their use of Microsoft Teams or Office at their institution. As always with these types of events, the networks and communities built through attending are just as useful as the content learned. A brilliantly informative event, at a stunning location, great food and hospitality from Microsoft, all for free!

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