My Journey through MIE

These days, it seems that everywhere you look private companies are putting their stamp on a teacher’s ability to effectively deliver curriculum using their platform. There’s the Apple Teacher program, you can become a Google Certified Educator, and even BrainPOP will “certify” you as a teacher. Although one might argue that we, as educators, should be giving our approval as to whether or not their systems are useful in the learning journey of our students, some of these programs do offer free, comprehensive professional learning opportunities.

After Microsoft Office 365 (o365) was adopted at SIS for its collaborative platform and unrestricted access within China, it was the Learning Innovation Team’s job to help with the transition to this platform as a viable option for students, teachers, and parents to engage with transformative practice.  To this end, the LI team began exploring what Microsoft offers in terms of their certification process.


Signing in to the Microsoft Education Community is easy with your SIS Office 365 account.


As I recently perused the Microsoft Education Community resource site, I found it to be much more in depth, both in terms of resources as well as pedagogical exploration, than its counterparts.  First off, it was far less about learning the tools (although there are courses that deal directly with learning how to use tools found within o365) and much more about how you might effectively use these tools to enhance student learning.  Secondly, you are able to follow multiple different paths to achieve becoming badged as a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE).  This includes taking individual stand-alone classes or working through Microsoft-designed Learning Pathways that combine these individual classes to lead you to mastery on a given topic.

A learning pathway with a pre-designed combination of classes.


What this means for educators is that Microsoft allows you to individualize what you do to gain points in their system.  By gaining 1000 points with any combination, you will receive an MIE badge.  Other courses and pathways also gain your badges and certificates within Microsoft’s imaginative digital badging for educators.

You can check your achievements and progress by viewing your Microsoft Educator’s Profile.


I started by just taking a few individual classes and really found the Skype Collaboration class extremely useful.  It is quite amazing how you can bring experts from around the world into your classroom, give students exposure to different cultures and multiple perspectives.  Skype also allows you to act as an expert for Skype in the Classroom.


It’s easy to undergo virtual field trips or share your expertise using Skype Collaborations.


In then end, it really isn’t about gaining some certificate or digital badge.  It’s not about being able to say you are an #MIEexpert.  It really boils down to learning how to create the best digital learning environment for your students with the tools you have at your disposal.  Having experienced the education community of multiple online platforms, I will say that the Microsoft Education Community seems to be the most comprehensive community, with basic tutorials on specific tools, to sharing great lesson plans, to actual pedagogical conversations.  If you have any interest in exploring some free online PL on effectively using technology in your classroom, become a Skype guest speaker, beef up on your Microsoft product skills, or start your journey to becoming an MIE, sign into the Microsoft Educator Community and start diving in.  If you would like help in getting started, please feel free to come see us at the genius bar on either campus.

Own Your Digital Footprint

IMG_2424What happens when you “google” yourself?  Are you in charge of the online message you find?

Recently, the Learning Innovation Team led a CAP PL session about how to shape your digital footprint to portray you in a positive light.  It is extremely important that our students understand how their lives will be affected by their choices of what they showcase online.

The basics:

  1. Own your platformsIMG_2427
  2. Have a consistent, professional message
  3. Optimize your own portfolio


PDF of the presentation
Managing your digital footprint
Getting started with SEO

21st Century Learning Awards

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.19.00 PM21st Century Learning has opened up applications for their Global Innovation Awards (you can apply here) for 2015-2016.  Teachers, coaches, and leadership can apply to be the recipients of these awards that recognize and highlight best practices in learning technologies.  This is the same group that awarded SIS the School of the Year award for 2014.

We strongly encourage any member of SIS to apply for these awards.  Your contributions to innovative learning and using educational technologies are evident in every aspect of your teaching practice.  You truly follow the 21c mission of “building communities of learners.”

For some of you, a previously submitted application video (such as ADE or for an EARCOS presentation) could be used to support how you’ve met the criteria for a specific award.

gI_143297_ISTE_logo_tag_2CThe 21C committee will use the ISTE Standards as criteria for evaluation of the application.  Click below for a PDF of the standards that applies to your application.


Interested?  Feel free to find a Learning Innovation coach if you have any questions, want suggestions or a second look at your application.

The deadline for applications is November 20th

Interested in attending 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong, February 18th-20th 2016?  Register here

Office 365 Migration for OS X

Are you unable to get your email because it says your password is incorrect?  This is because you’ve been migrated to Office 365 under our Shekou International School account.  You’ll need to follow the instructions found in the video below.  You ONLY need to change your username.

Come see us at the Genius Bar if you have any trouble receiving your emails.

Office 365 Migration for iPad

Are you unable to get your email because it says your password is incorrect?  This is because you’ve been migrated to Office 365 under our Shekou International School account.  If you get a message like this on your iPad:


You’ll need to follow the instructions found in the video below.  You ONLY need to change your username.


Download Video (right/secondary click and choose to download linked file)

Here is what the settings should look like for your SIS email account within Settings (if your Network ID is 22mm01):



Challenging, Authentic, Personalized Assessment in IB English

Challenging, Authentic, Personalized.  That’s the mantra this year for SIS Innovation.  How do we give students an authentic experience that is personalized to their learning needs and level.  When @cho_liz needed a way to asses her students’ use of the literary devices they’ve learned over that past two years she harmonized all three of the C.A.P. factors into one assignment.  The writing prompt was challenging and personalized:

“Tell me about your recent learning”

Students posted their responses on their own ShareSpace and students from both the SL and HL class were encouraged to post comments to challenge the authors thinking; an authentic audience.  What she got back were passionate responses, the students felt connected with the topic and challenged enough by the somewhat ambiguous prompt.  Have a read through some of the posts, they really are a great read, and be sure to follow the comment stream, which is where Liz is able to assess some of the complex thinking skills of her students.


Using Storehouse for….Well, just about ANYTHING!!!

There’s a new tool that has taken the HS and MS by storm, or store in this situation.  Have you ever wanted to create a single-page scrolling reflection that allows you to put in both photos and videos? STOREHOUSE is an iOS app that creates these single-page amalgamations that are viewable on any device.  In our setting, this would be perfect for things such as:

 Process items for class:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.01.09 AM

Alex explaining how to use STAR People for reflection.


Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.02.45 AM

Liz showing how her students used the ProMISE protocol.

Reflections from Field Trips or WWW:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.29.11 AM

6th Graders on WWW in Lantau.


 Personal reflections or journals:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.24.39 AM

Marty showing his personal trip through Daxin, China.


Any other ideas for the use of STOREHOUSE?  Leave a comment below.



Using Blogs to Promote ASA’s

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 10.52.59 AMThis year has already seen a massive influx of After School Activities (ASA’s) and service learning projects.  Many teachers are combining their own passion (#AMPed) projects with ASA’s to help students develop the connection between play and learning.


Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 2.23.18 PM

Check out how @cecigomez_g & @cho_liz are using blogs to inspire students to reflect on their activities and think critically about how they are transferring skills. (click on the photos to connect to the blogs)




Creating an iTunes U Course to Augment Classroom Activities

For the past two years Doug Grezeszak has been developing iTunes U courses to help deliver curriculum to his IB Chemistry students.  Although the ease of delivering this anytime, anywhere class has rested simply on the accessibility to iOS devices, the organization of these classes has evolved continuously as Doug worked through the process of aggregating resources and opening up his classes for true independently driven learning.  Although Doug and Lori are heading back to enjoy retirement, Doug is excited to keep connected with learning through writing more iTunes U courses.  If you have any questions, he’s definitely the one to get in touch with.  He’s been nice enough to create a short outline of how he organizes his Chemistry courses.  Thanks Doug, enjoy Florida!

“I usually don’t watch the videos, but I like having the reading for each topic organized” – Jessica P

“I like it, it helps me organize the information easier” – Rachel

“Everything is organized by benchmark, and all the resources for each benchmark are right there for you” – Josh R

Stay FITT This Summer

As the school year comes to a close and we spend time reflecting on different lessons and projects this year, it is important to remember that our students are learning all of the time.  Learning doesn’t simply finish with the end of the academic year, and this is especially true when it comes to physical education.  With so many of our HS students taking part in Knoflick FITT this past year, Colleen is continuing the challenge through the summer:

Post Your Pushups Around The World!

Join our P.E. students this summer by taking part in the Summer FITT Challenge.  All you have to do take part is to take a picture or short video of yourself doing pushups with a geographical landmark in the background and post it to the Knoflick FITT page.  We want to see where in the world you are working out.  Students have already been abuzz about where they will be and what pictures they will capture.  John Burns will being doing pushups at the renowned Gold Coast beach in Brisbane.

Here are just a few of the great reflections that Colleen has received from students as they thought back upon this year-long project.

Dabin Song’s PE Radio Show