The world around us isn’t built for just one person. Whether it’s represented by the concrete ramp added to a curb outside, or by the subtitles on our screens, we acknowledge the experience of others when we reshape our everyday environment to make it more inclusive. Our next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet will consider that accessibility in the digital world and how modern tools can help classrooms adapt to every student from the start (and without having to pour concrete).
Last month’s multilingual #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet was our busiest ever, so we are happy to announce we’ll be offering the discussion questions in even more parallel language tracks this month. Polski (Polish) and Türkçe (Turkish) will join Español (Spanish), Français (French), Italiano (Italian), Srpski (Serbian), اللغة العربية (Arabic), and Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese). For each language track, we have one or more hosts who will post the translated questions and respond to educators. Once again, we are so grateful to all current and former hosts working together and helping us provide this service.
Also new this month: @TweetMeet Central is a new account set up by our TweetMeet organizer, Marjolein Hoekstra. With TweetMeets growing in popularity, we’re dedicating @TweetMeet Central entirely to news, tips and resources about our monthly events. Follow along to find out about new topics, hosts and event dates. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)
Our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet on inclusive classrooms and accessibility is on Tuesday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT. Check event times for your location. Everyone is welcome to join.
Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?
TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.
We’ll let our eager hosts explain more – and we highly welcome your video response to this grid, so go ahead and submit yours. You can also respond during the TweetMeet with a video, if you prefer.
When and how can I join?
Join us Tuesday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #Inclusion, #Accessibility and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.
How can I best prepare?
To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time. You can also attend a series of short and free webinars this May, where we ask our expert hosts to highlight the benefits of Microsoft Learning Tools, Office 365 and Windows 10 assistive technologies in crafting inclusive, engaging content for your class.
Mike Tholfsen, principal program manager with Microsoft Education and one of the key inventors of Microsoft Learning Tools for inclusive classrooms, maintains several Pinterest boards with tips, videos and other resources relevant to educators. Two of these are of particular interest in the light of this month’s TweetMeet: the Microsoft Learning Tools board and Microsoft Inclusive Classrooms. The resources on these boards are not just great to help you prepare for the TweetMeet, but also provide pointers for making your classrooms more inclusive and accessible.
We also highly recommend that you set up a Twitter dashboard – through TweetDeck, for example – to easily monitor incoming tweets containing the #MSFTEduChat hashtag and other relevant search queries. Watch this TweetDeck Basics tutorial for advice on setting up.
- What does accessibility mean to you?
- How does accessibility help level the playing field for all learners?
- What is the correlation between accessibility and inclusive classrooms?
- What Microsoft tools and resources do you find the most impactful, and why?
- What is your vision for a future classroom that benefits all learners?
- What is one thing you’ll start doing differently in your classroom tomorrow?
Hosts and coaches
Matching this month’s topic, we have invited 15 special-education experts and educators to be our hosts. They look forward very much to learning and engaging with you on how to make our classrooms more inclusive and accessible. Check out their profiles and projects, follow them all on Twitter and check their tweets in this Twitter list.
- Ainhoa Marcos @AinhoaMarcosEC (Microsoft Education Sr. Account Executive – Spain)
- Arran Smith @ArranDyslexia (Founder of SEND Group and UK Dyslexia and SEND Consultant to Microsoft – UK)
- Cathy Hoesterey @ATtips (Assistive Technology Coordinator, Bellevue School District and Occupational Therapist – USA)
- Clive Gibson @Clive_Gibson (Physics teacher/MIE Expert – Dubai UAE)
- Erjona Koldashi @erjona92_nana (Microsoft Learning Consultant – Italy)
- Heather Cox @MrsHCox (Microsoft Education, Windows and Devices Solutions Specialist – USA)
- James Donaldson @Mr_ALNCo (MIE Expert, Head of Additional Learning Needs and Wellbeing – Wales)
- Kristin Barr @mrsbarr_itrt (Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Personalized Learning for Williamsburg James City County Schools – USA)
- Lindsey Troyanoski @LTroyanoski (Microsoft Learning Consultant, Philadelphia – USA)
- Lukas Gierek @LukaszGierek (MIEFellow, IT Teacher in Radom Technical School – Poland)
- Marinko Petkovic @marepet71 (Science and SEN Teacher ESBS “Milan Petrović,” Senior Lecturer in Studio Pippi – Serbia)
- Mehmet Keçeci @mkecheci (Physics, Bioinformatics, Health Information Systems and IT, Teacher and Lecturer, Occupational Safety Specialist, MIE Expert – Turkey)
- Sam Jordan @SaminJuneau (MIEExpert, Skype Master Teacher, Education Technology Coordinator for the Alaska Dept. Of Education and Early Development – USA)
- Sharon LePage Plante @iplante (LD Teacher and Director of Technology @TheSouthportSch, CT – USA)
- Yunus Emre Çalık @ynsmrclk (MIE Expert, STEM and Robotics Teacher – Turkey)
What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?
Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.
Learn more about TweetMeets and earn a badge in the TweetMeet Course on the Microsoft Education Community.
The #MSFTduChat event time is 10:00 a.m. PT. If this time isn’t convenient for you, please follow your local channel or even consider hosting your own #MSFTEduChat in your country and language. Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @TweetMeet on Twitter for more info on hosting in your language and time that works best for the educators and MIE Experts in your country.