Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hack the Classroom: An Inspiring Event

Yesterday was one of those incredible days that I'll remember for a long time.  I was inspired.  Excited. Energized.  Motivated.  Proud.  Empowered.  Being invited to be part of Microsoft's Hack the Classroom was awesome! 

I was invited to this education event to share the story of how my students are learning to code.  Microsoft in Education filmed this video featuring our class and it was shared during the event.

I also had the privilege to be in the studio to hear messages from a group of passionate presenters, including Dale Dougherty, Rafranz Davis and Hadi Partovi.  We were also joined by fellow educator, Jeff Kash, whose classroom was also featured at the event.  

Hadi Partovi is the founder of and he spoke about the need for schools to teach computer science.  An increasing number of jobs require people trained in computer science, but very few schools prepare students to enter post-secondary programs in this area.  Hadi shared about the growing Hour of Code movement and the need for us to teach coding as a basic skill.   Listening to his message live at #hacktheclassroom was SO inspiring and being invited on stage with him was a huge honour for me!

Dale Dougherty is founder and Executive Chairman of Maker Media, Inc. which launched Make: magazine and Maker Faire. He shared his passion for the maker movement and encouraged everyone to discover the joyful process of making.  Maker Faires are hosted all over the world and many schools have created a makerspace for students.  Education resources are available at

Rafranz Davis is passionate about the power of Minecraft in education. She works as the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin School District. She shared examples of how schools can hack the classroom and overcome obstacles to using Minecraft in schools.  One of my favourite parts of her message was when she explained how STUDENTS taught teachers how to use Minecraft as part of their district PD!!  I'm signing up for Minecraft tutoring with one of my grade 1 students ASAP :)
Jeff Kash is a middle years teacher who is using OneNote Class Notebooks in his classroom.  Using this tool, Jeff has made a shift to grading for mastery and has helped his students become more organized.  

If you didn't catch the live event, you can still sign up and watch on-demand here:

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