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Looking Back at 2017 and reflecting on amazing moments with Microsoft Education

Microsoft Innovative Educator

In this episode of the Microsoft Innovative Educator, Spotlight Series Podcast, we speak with Principal Product Manager Mike Tholfsen from the Microsoft Education Team about his favorite moments from 2017.

The Microsoft Education Blog has shared over 200 stories in its first year online, ranging from product announcements, practical technology guides, and glimpses into remarkable classrooms and communities around the world. Back in January, we set out to make a unified location for education news and a useful resource for any educator curious about how to prepare students of today for the world of tomorrow. And though we still have plenty of growing to do, we’ve already been humbled by the wealth of information and expertise shared with us by educators so far.

In celebration of your contributions and unstoppable drive to do the best for your students, we’ve rounded up 10 great educator guides from the last year – all written with the help of teachers and experts who use a variety of tools in their own classrooms. Read on for help on staying productive, planning lessons, assessing students, creating global learning projects, adapting for learning differences, and even designing games.

For more advice going into an exciting 2018, stay tuned to the Microsoft Education blog, sign up to our Microsoft Educator Community, and join our Twitter discussions with @MicrosoftEDU

Best of 2017

Best Moment at a Conference

  • Mike  – Closing the Gap, 2017 and AssistiveTech, Special Needs

Favorite New Feature of …

  • Mike – Learning Tools, Line focus.  Class Notebooks – Collaboration Space permissions and Parent Access.  Teams – OneNote Assignment integration
  • Jim – We are all proud of the work that went into Learning tools and are inspired by the stories we hear from teachers, students, and parents. My other favorite feature is Microsoft Forms.

Biggest Innovation

  • Mike – Open Up Resources pilot – Content/Assessments/Analytics.  Microsoft Translator to engage both ELL students and their parents
  • Jim – I'll stick with the theme of connecting educators and students with quality resources. We surprised some people with the release of Education Resources.

Most looking forward to in 2018

  • Mike – Inclusive Classroom innovation, Teams improvements, Class Notebook surprises
  • Jim – Building on the great relationships we've developed with educators. They are not shy with their requests and were motivated to deliver on them. Also, I'm looking forward to giving back the value of the data we're collecting.

10 Tech Guides from Educators . . . For Educators:

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About our Guest

Mike Tholfsen is a Principal Product Manager on the Microsoft Education team focusing on Learning Tools and OneNote Class/Staff Notebooks, and Microsoft Teams for Education.  He is passionate about education and has been regularly working with students and teachers around the world over the past ten years to create products that improve student outcomes.

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What was your favorite part of 2017?  Did you have a favorite moment at a conference or did a new favorite app or feature come out for your favorite product?

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About the author, Jeffrey

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Westwood Regional School District. Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!