We’re still feeling inspired by the events that took place at The Microsoft in Education Global Forum a few weeks ago! Check out this video of our school leader attendees.
Alberto Castellano’s incredible project focuses on helping hearing-impaired students in the classroom.
I had the privilege of being a member of the United States delegation at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month. During this event, I tweeted many examples the power of the Global Forum.
Being able to organize and create project based learning activities with like-minded educators from all parts of our planet is one such example of the power of the Global Forum.
On Thursday morning, March 13, I sat down at a table with an educator from Taiwan, Indonesia, France and Tunisia. We were given a one-word topic – poverty – and asked to create a learning activity from this one word.
We started simply as Team 28 but eight hours later, five teachers from four continents, teaching at three different grade levels, created one project, “Five Countries Fighting Poverty”, that will help all of our students in their learning in so many ways. That is the power of the Global Forum.
Here is the breakdown of our roles:
- I teach middle school environmental science. My students will research how poverty affects the environment and how the environment affects poverty in the five participating countries.
- Woro Wulan, from Indonesia, teaches second grade. Her students will learn about each country and illustrate what poverty looks like to them.
- Hsueh-Wen Fang, from Taiwan, teaches high school literature. His students will research and write about poverty in the participating countries from a literary perspective.
- Mansar Rached, from Tunisia, teaches high school mathematics. His students will research and compile all the data (numbers) associated with poverty in the participating countries.
- Marc Aurelien Chardine, from France, teaches high school physics. His students will collect all the data from the other students and build an augmented reality manipulative to house the data. Students will be able to manipulate an augmented reality model of Earth. In each of the five countries, the students will be able to access all data from all participating students from five countries.
There were language and cultural differences that came into play but at no time would it become a barrier to reaching our goal. I was so impressed at how much every member wanted to contribute. I was swept up in the enthusiasm of my team members. We brainstormed and entertained ideas from everyone. We agreed on a structure and roles for completing the learning activity. We worked together to create a realistic learning activity that will be implemented in our classrooms.
There are not many conferences where this kind of global learning activity could be created. That is the power of the Global Forum.
At home, I am ahead of the curve among educators. At this table, on this day, I was working hard to keep up with a team of focused and driven overachievers. I admire them greatly and was honored to be grouped with them. I learned from each and every person I came in contact with during this event.
It was humbling; and that is the power of the Global Forum.
So where do I go from here? When I have been exposed to so much knowledge, ability and passion, what is my next steep? The Microsoft in Education Global Forum is a hard act to follow.
It is my obligation as a professional educator to pay it forward. I have created an action plan for the next year that will provide professional development, enhanced by my experiences at the Global Forum, to countless educators, both locally and globally. My plan includes mentoring as many of the nearly 13,000 educators in my school district through monthly Teach Meets with area teachers, small group professional development with teachers at my school and district-wide professional development.
I will present at School Advisory Council and Parent Teacher Student Council meetings.
I have a social media professional learning network that covers 50 countries. I will use this global reach to spread the word that there is a group of passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated Microsoft Expert Educators who can help teachers better their craft, and as a result, improve the educational opportunities for their students.
And that is the true power of the Global Forum. To learn more about the work I do day to day, visit his blog – The Innovative Educator.
- Todd LaVogue
In our coverage of the 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, we’ve talked a good bit about the students from the Saltash.net Community School in Cornwall, England. Four students from this Microsoft Innovative School not only attended the event, they played a key role in communicating student perspectives to the educators, school administrators and government leaders in attendance. From their opening presentation during the School Leaders Track, to their presence throughout the three-day event, these students made a lasting impression.
George, Amy, Jack and Rowenna, who call themselves the @OffPerts (Microsoft Office Experts), shared insights and ideas, provided help desk support for attendees and launched a student leadership project for schools around the world. They also won second runner-up, along with their teacher Scott Wieprecht, in the Cutting Edge Use of ICT for Learning category.
I was lucky enough to sit down with these inspiring young people and hear from them, first-hand, how they enjoyed their time in the spotlight and learned their view of the future of technology. Not surprisingly, they valued the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sharpen their presentation skills and boost their confidence. They also loved to share their thoughts on what really engages students in learning. “To get teachers excited,” one of the students shared, “show how much the students like it.”
And in spite of their busy schedules – in addition to their regular studies, the @OffPerts create Microsoft Office tutorials for students and teachers around the globe – they’re already thinking about their futures. I was encouraged to hear that “computer scientist” and “app designer” were high on their list for potential careers.
I know you’ll enjoy these students’ enthusiasm and insights as much as I did. Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with the students of the Saltash.net Community School.
Hellerup School is one of the Microsoft World Tour Schools in the Innovative Schools Program. The school is operating in one big open classroom environment without walls. Students are encouraged to work according to their individual learning styles in a synergy relationship with educators, management and parents that is based on trust and mutual commitment.
Hellerup School frequently has visitors from the education environment on all continents that want to see the innovation and creative way the schools work with education in the school.
Bijal Damiani of India walks us through her project, Creative Capitalists, Let’s Make World a Better Place.
One year ago – April 3rd, 2013 – the Innteach (originally titled “Teachnology”) blog was born from the shared vision of three educators who met at the 2013 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Prague. The vision was to help other teachers navigate the sometimes challenging waters of education technology adoption. Original founders Ovi Barceló (from Spain), Luis Fernandes and João Cunha (from Portugal) wanted to create a “from teachers to teachers” blog focused on Windows 8 apps for education. Expert Educators Barceló and Cunha, along with Mentor School Leader Fernandes, quickly discovered just how large the appetite for this kind of information was.
The blog became so popular, they expanded its scope and added five additional languages – including English and Chinese – to the original Spanish and Portuguese, with more to come. They’ve also added native-speaking contributors and now feature four sections:
- App Reviews: Contributors try apps in classrooms and share their opinions about them with suggested uses.
- App of the Month: In-depth app reviews from contributors.
- Faces Behind the Apps: App developers are invited to present their work and plans for the future.
- In My Opinion: Special contributors from around the world share their opinions about education and technology.
To make their valuable content even more accessible, Innteach launched their own Windows 8 app in conjunction with this year’s Global Forum in Barcelona. The bloggers also launched an App of the Year contest, with the special partnership from Corinth, giving readers a voice in voting for the best education apps of 2013. To celebrate Innteach’s first anniversary, the winner is being announced today, and you can find the results here.
The Innteach blog has over 600,000 visitors, and features some impressive expertise (contributors are listed below; many are familiar names for Daily Edventures readers). But the team tells us they’re just getting started. Innteach is already planning the blog’s next enhancements: more languages, collaboration with app developers, implementing a quality badge system for the best apps and becoming a go-to reference for Windows 8 education apps reviews. They’re also growing — and continue to look for additional contributors.
It’s tremendously rewarding for me to see how the innovative spirit we spark at the Global Forum spawns more and greater innovation after educators return home. Join me in congratulating these tireless innovators who not only support their students, but also work to help their fellow educators each and every day.
Chinese section: Andy Li, Expert Educator (Hong Kong)
English section: Clive Bridges, World Tour School leader (Spain)
Spanish Section: Mariló Martinez, Mentor School leader (Spain)
Danish section: Pernille Reenberg, Expert Educator (Denmark)
App of the Month Section: Todd LaVogue, Expert Educator (USA); Daniel Sharpe, Mentor School leader (USA)
Catalán/Valenciano section: Àngels Soriano, Expert Educator (Spain); Toni Zarzoso,
Expert Educator (Spain)
Portuguese section: Jorge Dias, Mentor School leader (Portugal)
Finnish section: Tommi-Pekka Niukkanen, Expert Educator (Finland); Paula Vorne, Expert Educator (Finland)
Ondrej Homola, Innovator and Corinth CEO (Czech Republic)
“We need a lot of work to be done, and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?” – Professor Dr. Amro Khater, Egypt
We’ve just completed an amazing Microsoft in Education Global Forum, but it’s not too soon to examine how participants – and other educators around the world – can raise the bar for teaching innovation. To that end, I recently sat down with one of our esteemed Global Forum judges, Dr. Amro Khater, to gain some insights on what inspires our judges, and what educators can do to get their attention.
Dr. Khater has worked with the world’s leading universities – including Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford — to identify and shape talent. He’s devoted his life’s work to attracting international investment to his region, and is recognized as an expert in emerging markets. He and his team have also developed management coaching strategies for British Gas, Qatar Petroleum, BP, Shell, Halliburton QAPCO and TOTAL to strengthen workplace communication and team work.
When assessing talent, Dr. Khater places a high value on intangibles. “I like to feel the passion,” he says, “and it has to be felt, not said.” He also likes to understand the mechanics of how knowledge is built, how innovation and technology come into play and how the project impacts society.
Of course, education innovation is of limited value if it is confined to a single project in a single classroom. So how do you scale innovation and provide a blueprint for others to replicate it? According to Dr. Khater, it all starts with awareness – making people see the project’s impact.
Dr. Khater notes, “To me, whenever something great happens, if you cannot make others really benefit from it, then what’s the use of it?”
This wasn’t Dr. Khater’s first experience as a Global Forum judge, so he’s had the opportunity to see how innovation in education – especially around technology – is accelerating. “It’s all about great teamwork, collaboration and how to make efficient knowledge construction in a way that helps to build up new ideas,” he told me.
But most important, according to Dr. Khater, is that the progress we’re seeing is sustainable. “We need a lot of work to be done,” he says, “and if it’s not us doing this work, and pushing for it, then who else is going to do it?”
I am inspired by Dr. Khater’s commitment to excellence, and I hope you will be, too. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Dr. Amro Khater.
Discover the impact inspiring teachers had on three working professionals, and how their educational experience shaped who they’ve become today.
On Friday, March 14th, Microsoft announced an exciting new effort to involve more girls in science and technology called The Big Dream Movement. The Big Dream Movement connects organizations, academia, and resources to girls around the world to help them pursue a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The movement is anchored by Big Dream, a documentary film that follows the stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passions in STEM fields. From small town Iowa to the bustling streets of the Middle East, Big Dream immerses viewers in a world designed by and for the next generation of girls. Our hope is that this inspirational film will excite young women, their
During the summer, BigDreamMovement.com, will go live, providing a portal for you to learn about programs and tools that promote computing and STEM. Then, starting in the fall, they plan to show Big Dream at events all over the world.
Big Dream is documentary film that follows the stories of seven young women in technology fields around the globe. Each story takes a look at these young women’s ambitions and how they overcome personal challenges to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. This is the first in a series of trailers that give you a preview of the documentary, which is scheduled for release in fall (northern hemisphere) 2014.
This infographic depicts how students choose a university mainly to gain training and skills for a future job, and choose a specialization because they feel there is job market growth in that field.
If you have been following along with our coverage of the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, you may have already read about The Microsoft Innovative Schools Pitch Competition. This competition was the first challenge of its kind at the Global Forum, asking principals and headmasters to share their visions for how — with extra funding and support — they would transform schools worldwide. Modeled after the television showShark Tank, six finalists were chosen from dozens of great projects to bring their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges. The winners received a share of $50,000, awarded by Microsoft, to implement their ideas.
Additionally, thanks to the British Council’s agreement to host the projects on Microsoft YouthSpark, all of the finalists and winners will also have their projects listed onYouthSpark on GlobalGiving, where they will have a chance to crowd-source even more funding.
The level of competition was incredible, and the level of hard work was apparent in all of the finalists’ projects.
But three projects really stood out, and I am thrilled to announce the winners from The Pitch Competition finale. I am also thrilled that I was able to sit down with Jonathan Bishop from Broadclyst Primary School (UK),Jörg Müller from Schloss Neubeuern (Germany) and Ronald Ddungu Gayaza High School (Uganda) to talk about the competition, how they motivated their students, where their ideas came from and what they plan to do next.
We are extremely proud of the winners, as well as the finalists. Here’s more information, along with links to learn more about how you can donate money to fund these projects:
The Pitch Competition Winners:
Broadclyst Primary School (UK) – $25,000 awarded, fully funded
- Idea for School Pitch: This is a global enterprise challenge, where students from schools around the world connect to run an international company. These international companies, each with a different product, compete to become the most successful company globally with cross-school and cross-country collaboration.
- Why they were chosen: This project gives students awareness of cultural diversities, an understanding of world markets and currencies along with the core skills of communication, collaboration, teamwork and problem solving. It will bring together students from many countries to work on one global challenge.
- What they say about their project: “This global challenge will promote social interaction within teams and across countries and require children to solve problems, share ideas, communicate effectively and through the use of mobile devices and Office 365 encourage anywhere, anytime learning, both at home and at school for all involved.”
Gayaza High School (Uganda) – $15,000 awarded ($29,000 to go)
- Idea for School Pitch: Students support local entrepreneurs and help with marketing activities for their enterprises, as well as increase collaboration and best practices among the community by creating an online library page with links to videos showing the production processes of small-scale local enterprises in Uganda.
- Why they were chosen: This project empowers students through a school-wide curriculum to not only prepare themselves for a successful future, but also to help their community prosper as a whole where their skills are needed and welcome.
- What they say about their project: “Youth today are being encouraged to be job creators and not job seekers. This project will provide lifelong learning and we anticipate that the students will be qualified and inspired to begin their own enterprises or manage ICT marketing activities within any given organization.”
Schloss Neubeuern (Germany) – $10,000 ($15,000 to go)
- Idea for School Pitch: Students, together with their teachers, create a company to produce learning videos for their own school and curriculum, with the long‐term goal of making them available to other schools and teachers. The students produce the videos from scripts they receive from their teachers, and also write their own scripts.
- Why they were chosen: This project empowers students and teachers to work together to transform learning school-wide, and create a more engaging curriculum catering to student preference and learning styles.
- What they say about their project: “The whole idea of the inverted (“flipped”) classroom approach hinges on a vast increase in self-directed and inquiry-based learning, while at the same time promoting collaborative learning in true-to-life projects.” See even more about their project here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcpXsN7SbAw
While the three winning projects were awarded funds through the competition, Broadclyst is the only school project that is currently fully-funded. Each project still needs money (including the other three finalist projects), so please consider giving to help get those initiatives off the ground. You can do so by clicking on their links (above) or going directly to YouthSpark on GlobalGiving. We will continue to update you on their progress, including this great news: one finalist school – St. John’s from Chile – was offered more funding immediately after the competition by Dallas Brooks Primary school. Congratulations!
There is nothing more inspiring than seeing motivated and passionate students and teachers working together to transform education. This work is powerful, and it has the power to transform the world.