Microsoft and City Year Team Up to Improve Math Education

Today’s guest blogger is Travis Holloway. Travis serves with City Year New York as the Math Project Leader on the Service Team. 

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This time last year, I had the great opportunity to serve on the Microsoft sponsored team at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. I was able to introduce the math teaching staff at Newtown to Microsoft tools like Microsoft Mathematics and Worksheet Generator they could utilize to support their in-class instruction. This year, as the Math Project Leader for City Year New York, I’ve been partnering with Microsoft, a City Year National Leadership Sponsor and City Year New York Team Sponsor, around our educational support. From this relationship, I, along with three other members of the City Year New York community, had the privilege of attending a two-day training with Microsoft.

The Microsoft Innovative Educator program is geared toward training teacher trainers. MIE provides “educational trainers the opportunity to deepen and expand their skills on integrating technology to positively impact teaching and learning”. Over the course of the two days of training, participants were introduced to—and explored—a variety of tools, most of which are free, that can be incorporated in the classroom.  We spent a majority of the time working with Microsoft OneNote, a digital notebook designed for creating and storing electronic notebooks. All of the training sessions were interactive and ended with some assessment of mastery—including an instructional video created by the City Year New York team, for educators, demonstrating the efficacy of OneNote. One highlight of the training was the opportunity to explore the various ways to use the Xbox Kinect in the classroom through playing a few games focused on strengthening the mind and body.

Overall, attending the Microsoft Innovative Educator training was definitely an experience to remember. I got to spend a couple of days outside of the office, gained perspective on technology in the classroom, and received certification as a Microsoft Innovative Education Teacher Trainer. As I continue to work closely with Microsoft, I am planning a professional development workshop for the teachers at our partnerships and utilizing the skills I learned during the Microsoft Innovative Educator program.

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