Microsoft Leadership Courses

If you are an instructional leader who wants to continue growing, then mark your calendar to participate in these free K-12 Education Leadership online courses available in January, 2017. With the goal to drive systemic change and improve education, these courses are incredibly powerful and cover important topics like design thinking, gamification, and deep learning.

About the Leadership Courses

Created by Microsoft and edX member universities, these K-12 Education Leadership courses guide K-12 school and education system leaders in developing their teachers, enhancing classroom learning, and improving student outcomes in innovative, effective digital schools. Each course includes an About This Course section, a description of what you will learn, and the option to add a certificate that can be posted or shared via LinkedIn. Each Microsoft-funded course provides resources to K-12 school leaders. The goal is to meet the needs of leaders around the world at the intersection of education and technology.

Course Schedule

Arrange your schedule as follows:

Allow Yourself to Be Engaged

I found myself genuinely interested in the content of several courses. From topics like “Bringing people together around ideas they care about” to “Measuring progress and adjusting along the way,”  these processes are sure to prompt problem solving and thinking.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Creating Interactive Math Textbooks


“It is not the reader of a text who learns the most,” says Stephen Knudsen, “but rather the author.  When a student makes a textbook in a course, the student engages daily in all classifications of learning…when students are asked to make a textbook, they are required to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. The results of this process are often nothing short of astonishing!”
Combine popular math tools like OneNote and GeoGebra to create astonishing, interactive math textbooks. Let’s find out how below.

Creating a Digital Textbook

Microsoft OneNote makes digital textbook creation easy. Students can work together on a single OneNote notebook that is organized into “notebook, section groups, sections, and pages.” Create a OneNote notebook as a textbook template, then share it via Students can grab the OneNote notebook digital textbook template, then enhance it. Each student or group of students can take responsibility for a specific section. OneNote enables you to insert all sorts of content, such as Vimeo, YouTube, Office Mix, Sway, and Microsoft Forms.

Organizing a Digital Textbook

Want to create a digital textbook template for your students? Let’s adapt Stephen Knudsen’s suggestions for a digital textbook:
  • Section 1: Welcome
    • Title page featuring student-created cover art
    • Dedication
    • A short Foreword by the teacher or someone who has read the textbook
    • Table of Contents. You can use Onetastic add-on to OneNote to auto-generate a table of contents for each “section chapter” and the digital textbook as a whole.
    • Author’s page with pictures of students, including their Twitter addresses
  • Section 2: Chapter 1 – Introduction
    • Organize the OneNote notebook into sections. Each section is a chapter.
    • Each section chapter will include its own table of contents and introduction.
  • Section 3: Chapter 2
  • Section 4: Chapter 3
  • Section 5: Chapter 4
  • Section 6: Chapter 5 – Conclusion
  • Section 7: Chapter 6 – Appendix
Students create hand-drawn resources and then digitize their creations with the mobile-friendly Office Lens app. Tablet access? Students can create their first draft of figures within OneNote. Identify key terms, record video/audio definitions and explanation. Design tall buildings and describe in a video how they were created. For math problems, students can use OneNote digital whiteboard technology to draft their explanation. Or rely on Microsoft Snip’s whiteboard capabilities and then embed that in the OneNote page. A few other tips include adding tags to chapters, creating a hyperlinked table of contents for each section, and setting a page template specific to each section. When complete, future classes can access the digital textbook via OneNote Online or a “frozen” copy can be permanently published at

Exploring GeoGebrainteractive

Wondering how to add difficult mathematics constructs? Take advantage of GeoGebra tools and materials.
GeoGebra is dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education (free to non-commercial users) that joins geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics, and calculus. It also runs offline and works on various software platforms and devices (Source).
GeoGebra enjoys a rich community of support (check out Kurt Soeser, fellow Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE), work | watch his video) with over 500,000 pre-created resources. In addition to creating content with GeoGebra, students can also place any of those half a million resources within their digital textbook. Want to see this in action? Go to my TCEA Connect OneNote notebook using this link. You can also watch the YouTube video walkthrough.


Rather than rely on traditional textbook publishers, adopt a maker attitude in your math classroom. Empower students to create digital textbooks using Microsoft OneNote and GeoGebra. Publish to a worldwide audience and ensure that the learning is meaningful and authentic.

Image Source

“Embed GeoGebra in OneNote” via Kurt Soeser as featured in the LearnOneNote Conference. Available at during 11/12-11/17, 2016.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Anytime, Anywhere Learning Opportunities #msftedu

“What can I learn this vacation break?” As a lifelong learner, I like to ask myself this question when I have some spare time. Balance quiet family moments your next vacation with anytime, anywhere learning. Below, you will find suggestions for self-paced professional learning this winter break. These will deepen your technological and pedagogical knowledge without impacting your budget.

Microsoft Education Community

The self-paced classes available will garner you badges and certificates you can print and share. In a profound way, these courses deepen your understanding of teaching and learning with technology in your classroom. Take these three steps to maximize your holiday learning.

Step 1 – Get a free account.

Your first step involves setting yourself up with a Microsoft Education Community account. Don’t lose your username and password. Some of the options that you have include a free Microsoft account (you can create one with your Gmail or Apple email account), Twitter, Facebook, and Office 365 account connected to work.

Step 2 – Select topics of interest.

Once you are logged in, you’ll see a menu bar running down the left side of the screen featuring several links. Click on the Badges and Points to see what options are available.
Recommendations for Microsoft classes are shown below, followed by more courses focused on pedagogy:

Microsoft Office Tools

  • Teacher Academy Windows 10 – A straightforward overview of Windows 10, great for newbies. You will earn 3,000 points and a badge for completing the course.
  • Teacher Academy OneNote – This provides some great insights into using OneNote, a collaboration tool that is available free to all. You will earn a badge and 3,000 points.
  • Digital Inking and Surface – Learn about digital inking and how the MS Surface Pro tablet can make learning more engaging. You will earn a badge.
  • Teacher Academy: Office 365 – Did you just get a free Office 365 account through work or on your own as a teacher? This course will help you create, edit, share, and work with others using Office Online, Outlook, and Skype for Business. Earn a badge and 3,000 points.

Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Technology

  • 21st Century Learning Design – This 20-hour course combines eight courses with 4-6 lessons each. You will earn a badge, certificate and have a better understanding of the learning that is possible in today’s classroom.
  • Digital Citizenship – Explore digital citizenship concepts and become a confident digital citizenship champion. You will earn 500 points for this course and it will only take 30 minutes to complete.
  • Technology-Enriched Instruction – Learn more about TPACK, 21st Century Learning Design, and how to integrate technology into your classroom. This three-hour course will earn you 3,000 points and a badge.
  • Amplifying Student Voice – In this course, you will explore how to amplify student voice through the lens of research, practice, and integration frameworks. Tools like Skype,, and Sway will be used. You will earn 500 points for completing this course.
  • PDLN Connect, Communicate and Collaborate – Visit classrooms that have set norms for cooperation and collaboration. You’ll see how technology can expand the walls of your classroom. Earn 500 points for this one-hour course.

Learn More About Coding

If you’re interested in developing your coding chops, then definitely check out Prepare to Teach Creative Coding Through Games and Apps.  Join the TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) Facebook group (with 210+ members) to tap into a dynamic community!

Step 3 – Share Your Learning

Take a moment to share your learning insights via a blog entry, record a voxercast and tweet it, or present at the next staff meeting.  Principals could certainly create a Padlet to facilitate sharing.
Did you know? Ditch That Textbook Digital Seminars are available for free. Go to the site and click “Today’s Speaker” to learn something.

TCEA Professional Learning

Need more human interaction? Check out all the available options at These for-cost options feature TCEA Professional Development directors to support your learning efforts. Here are a few certification courses:
  • 21st Century Administrator Certification – Learn what you need to be successful in a campus leadership role.
  • Campus Technology Specialist Certification – Understand the tools and processes to better engage students and increase relevant technology utilization in the classroom.
  • IT/Technology Director Certification – Become an effective district leader and support administrators, teachers, and students in the use of technology.
  • Chromebook Certification (Level 1) – Dig deeper in their utilization of Google Apps for Education tools.
  • iPad Certification (Level 1) – Build a solid foundation for integrating the iPad in your classroom by participating in this certification.


Mapping your vacation learning gets easier every day. Treat yourself with anytime, anywhere learning!

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Five OneDrive Tips #msftedu

Looking for five OneDrive tips that will improve your productivity? Microsoft OneDrive offers incredible benefits, so why not take advantage of it? An app that I use every day is Microsoft OneDrive, both on my Windows computer and my mobile phone. Did you know you that you can scan documents, record video and backup your images straight to OneDrive? Or did you know that you can access your OneDrive files without having an Internet connection? Learn about these tips and more below.

Tip #1 – Engage in Conversations about OneDrive documents

Want to discuss OneDrive documents with others while you both reviewing them? OneDrive and Skype are integrated to allow communications. With a few clicks, you and another person can Skype about a particular OneDrive document. This is a tremendous tool for having staff and students discuss files.

Tip #2 – Create and Share Documents with Others

five onedrive tipsCreate Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Excel Survey, OneNote notebooks, and Excel Surveys using OneDrive on the Web. This is the quick way to create documents you can share with others. You can also organize your documents, move and copy them from one folder to another. OneDrive also makes it easy to share documents with others via a variety of options, as shown in the included image.
You can also embed content in a blog or web page. Also, aside from saving files with others, you can also make it easy to get files off your own computer using the Fetch feature.
If you have the OneDrive desktop app for Windows installed on a PC, you can use the Fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer by going to the OneDrive website. You can even access network locations if they’re included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives.
When you browse a PC’s files remotely, you can download copies of them to work on. You can also stream video and view photos in a slide show. To access files on your PC remotely, make sure the PC you want to access is turned on and connected to the Internet. OneDrive also needs to be running on that PC, and the Fetch files setting must be selected. (Find out more).
five onenote tips

Tip #3 – Create Files using OneDrive Mobile App

Have OneDrive mobile app on your phone or tablet? Then you can manage the web version of OneDrive, take photos, record video that bypasses your device’s photo gallery (a.k.a. camera roll), Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, Powerpoint Presentation. Photos and videos are created in OneDrive and saved there. Office files are created and accessible via your device’s Office apps, as well as Office Online (e.g. Word Online).

Tip #4 – Scan Business Cards, Documents, and Whiteboard using OneDrive Mobile App

Digitizing student work, important paperwork, photos, and more represent real tasks. The OneDrive Scan component allows you to capture business cards, documents and whiteboards. Scan your paper notes, which are then turned into a PDF and sent to your cloud storage. Once notes are saved to cloud storage, you have the ability to share those with others. You can also use the OneDrive app to print, delete, rename or open the file in another app.

Tip #5 – OneDrive serves as Your Digital Hub

OneDrive serves as your digital hub for documents, but also notifies you when others share documents with you. You can enable notifications using the OneDrive mobile app. But wait, there’s more! Did you know you can set up MS Office 2016 on your computer to save direct to OneDrive? Of course, you are also able to save files offline. Want to save space on your Surface Pro tablet or computer?

Map your OneDrive as a network drive with these instructions

five onedrive tipsIn this video by Sean Ong, see how to set OneDrive to show all files on your Surface or PC without taking up any storage space.
Here is a summary of the instructions shown in the video:
  1. Login to your OneDrive – go to
  2. Go into a folder in your OneDrive (any folder)
  3. In the URL bar (navigation bar) copy the text that is between the “=” and the “%”
  4. Go to “This PC” and click on “Map Network Drive” option
  5. Type in “[your copied text]/
  6. Click finish, enter your credentials, and voila! You’re done.

More Tips

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

My Learning Journey with Minecraft: Education Edition #minecrafted

Image Source:

Over the last few months, I’ve been learning as much as I can about Minecraft: Education Edition, in the hopes of sharing it with others. I am continually amazed at the creativity and resourcefulness I encounter centered around Minecraft. So, part of my learning process has been to write and reflect on what I’m learning.

Upcoming #MinecraftED TwitterChat on Tuesday, January 24, 2017: Join the crew for a chat! The topic is Professional Learning with Minecraft or something like that. What kinds of questions do you have about enabling professional learning for staff and students with Minecraft: Education Edition?

This blog entry is a “round-up” of what I’ve written or create relevant to Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE). A part of me was curious as to what I had written and I wanted to see it in a rush rather than wait for a slower publication schedule.

It’s not exhaustive list of all the great things you could ever know. Rather this thimble-full of knowledge is just my poor attempt to share what I’m learning as I’m learning it. Thanks for reading and sharing. I hope it may be useful to someone else, but if it’s not, that’s OK, too!

Acknowledgements and Appreciation: I would be remiss if I didn’t thank, Microsoft and the Minecraft: Education Edition folks for their support. Learning would not have been possible without their support. Thanks! Be sure to check out their web sites and blogs.

Setting Up Minecraft

  1. Installing Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE)
  2. Logging into M:EE
  3. Server Setup and Classroom Mode for M:EE
Making Curricular Connections
  1. Amplifying Creativity: Minecraft Fairytales
  2. Marzano’s Minecraftian Strategies
  3. Five Steps to Game-based Learning with Minecraft
  4. Designing Learning Spaces
  5. Fantastic Voyage: Minecraft Lesson Planning

Wow, so that means I’m two short of ten articles on Minecraft, although strictly speaking, I need 5 more articles since three of these are really how-to, or illustrated walkthroughs!

Note: Links above will become active once respective blog entries are published. Sigh.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Fantastic Voyage: Minecraft Lesson Planning #minecrafted


Embarking on a fantastic voyage of learning with Minecraft? Let’s review the building blocks of project-based learning success. Minecraft Global Mentor, Benjamin Kelly (@BBTNB), starts us off with this project,  Minecraft Musical Chairs:

Anatomy of a Project

Texas educators may want to add a few more components to Ben’s project task card:
  • SWBAT statement
  • TEKS and ELPS
  • Engaging scenario
  • Formative assessment activities.
Let’s take a closer look at these building blocks.

Block #1 : Student Will Be Able To (SWBAT)

Minecraft Project Task CardsJared Dees writes “SWBAT stands for “Students Will Be Able To….” Use SWBAT to focus a lesson plan on what the students learn by doing. Ask yourself “How do these verbs Jared includes align to what students do in Minecraft?”

Block #2: Relevant TEKS and ELPS

Learning happens on the messy journey from problem to solution. Aside from using The TEKS Resource System, hook students with a problem scenario.  Match the grade level TEKS to a core content-embedded scenario.
In Ben’s example, students show how they can work together. They construct a 3D physical representation of their learning by first developing construction criteria together and then adding their own positive improvements. In this way, student-architect teams achieve constructions they could not do alone.

Block #3: Fantastic Voyage

In the Project Task Card above, I adapted Lynne Telfer’s (@lynnetelfer | blog) lesson, Create Fred The Human Body! from the Minecraft: Education Edition website. In The TEKS Resource System, this science lesson for grade 7 students helps them grasp the key concept that individual components combine to perform functions as a system.
During this unit, students study human body systems for the first time…They identify the main functions of the systems of the human organism.

Block #4: Assessment

Adapt an existing assessment, (e.g. rubric) from an existing one, such as this one offered on The TEKS Resource System. To gain maximum credit, modify the rubric as shown.
The 3D model of the human body is highly detailed, accurate. The model reflects the selected system with a high degree of accuracy. Each component is clearly labeled. Signs and Non-Player Character (NPC) provide functional details. Critical fluid flow is accurate and possible. Specific information on how size, scale, properties, and materials are included.  3D human body modeling is evident, analyzed, and explained.


While you can  teach this lesson the old-fashioned way , using Minecraft: Education Edition makes students architects of their own learning in 3D virtual environments. Research shows this is a growing future work trend (source).
Be sure to check out these links to additional lesson ideas.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Five Steps to Game-Based Learning with Minecraft #minecrafted

TCEA MEE Gameboard
(Get Full Sized PNG Image or Adobe PDF version)

Wondering how to effectively engage students in interactive learning? Before we explore five steps to game-based learning with Minecraft: Education Edition, let’s recall why engagement remains important. If students don’t care, they fail to learn. Some of the top ways to engage students include:

Project-Based, Gamified Learning

Minecraft, which is a game-based effort to engage and keep students focused on learning, taps into student enthusiasm about gaming. Even more important, it models cooperative learning that mirrors teams in the workplace. The skills they develop are the “glue that keep people working together” (source: Getting to Know Minecraft: Education Edition slideshow). Think of Minecraft as a giant, blank canvas, a genesis of divergent learning opportunities students can take advantage of. Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) brings a plethora of built-in opportunities ripe for written/video reflections on learning. Also, opportunities for flipped learning about relevant topics are embedded in project-based learning.

Getting Started Actions

People learn through observation, trial and error, and play-based practice. Minecraft’s open learning enables differentiation for students as they accomplish project-based tasks. These tasks are seldom accomplished in isolation. Like real life, they must be done in tandem with a committed team. Follow these steps to get started with M:EE in your school or district:
Step #1: Get your hardware and software licenses in order.Before you can get M:EE going in your classroom, you will need to ensure that your computers have Windows 10 or OS X “El Capitan.” Also, each machine will need an external mouse and every student will need an Office 365 account. These accounts are available through your school district’s Office 365 setup or via a free account.
Step #2: Install Minecraft: Education Edition on Windows 10 computers.To get M:EE ready to go on your Windows 10 or Mac OS X “El Capitan” computers, you will need to go to the M:EE web site. You will need your Office 365 account to get access to the software. Check out the M:EE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to get started. View this short installation guide with screenshots.
Step #3: Build familiarity with the game.You need to achieve some level of comfort with Minecraft: Education Edition. To help you, TCEA has created this M:EE Gameboard. (You can download a PDF of the M:EE Gameboard above.) There are various tutorials you can watch online at the web site. And here are M:EE online courses that will help build your comfort:
Video #1 – Learn to Play Minecraft: Get ready to jump into a Minecraft world. It will help you learn the controls you’ll need to play. Learn to move around, swim, climb, jump, and place and destroy blocks.
Video #2 – First Weeks of Learning: This is the introductory module for the Minecraft in Your Classroom course. Some teachers may wonder whether they should take the time to incorporate game-based learning into their already packed curriculum. In this module, you will learn (1) what type of learning environments result in the greatest retention by students and (2) how Minecraft Education Edition not only supports such learning environments, but creates a safe, risk-free learning space for students.
Video #3 – Building Blocks of Literacy: This panel explores how and why Minecraft is being used to encourage literacy through play. From artistic collaborations between literature and gaming to stimulating learning through role play and stories, to nurturing new voices and young storytellers, you will take a closer look at the ways Minecraft is inspiring a new generation of readers and writers.
Step #4: Learn key terms and tools in Minecraft: Education Edition. M:EE brings a wealth of specific classroom tools. These are intended to make the game less about surviving zombies, creepers, and griefing (e.g. destroying) and more about working together to externalize learning. Check this glossary available online.
Step #5: Plan your project-based lesson.There is a rich collection of M:EE lessons you can adapt for your own use! We will explore these in more detail in a future blog entry. For now, take a look at some of the ideas displayed in this TCEA TechNotes blog entry Amplifying Creativity: Minecraft Fairy Tales.

Did you know? TCEA is offering Introduction to Minecraft workshops throughout Texas. The first is January 23, 2017 in Pittsburg (Area 8). The second is February 27 in Edinburg (Area 1), and there is another on March 31st in Victoria (Area 3). Online course offerings will also soon be available! Sign up now to learn with a Minecraft Certified Trainer.


Technology can facilitate real-life learning through the presentation of ill-structured problems. Minecraft: Education Edition enables learners to create external thinking models as they work to solve those problems. This short guide should start you on a journey of discovery.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure