“Within all my projects, I use technology in order to transform my students into creators and pupils who have a say, express ideas and share them with the world.” – Marie-Hélène Fasquel, France

Microsoft Expert Educators are expected to be classroom innovators who share their knowledge and expertise with both their students and fellow teachers. They’re also expected to lead when it comes to applying new methods and tools in order to achieve extraordinary outcomes. Marie-Hélène Fasquel is one Expert Educator who does all of that and more.

By embracing new approaches in her English and ESL classes – from the flipped classroom to project-based learning and BYOD (bring your own device) – Fasquel is seeing gains inside and outside the classroom. “We need to learn all the time,” she says, “and technology allows us to ‘meet,’ to share with and to support other dedicated teachers, and that makes my learning-teaching experience absolutely wonderful.”

One of her projects – creating e-books about environmental issues – was a runner-up at the recent Microsoft in Education Global Forum in the category of Knowledge Construction and Critical Thinking. (The finished product – produced by her 15-year-old students — is here, and well worth a look.)

Collaborating with teachers throughout Europe and Turkey, Fasquel uses eTwinning and other tools to connect with other teachers, and to provide her students with opportunities to work with students in others schools. She also curates content for flipped classroom instruction and uses games to reinforce her lessons. Last year, her work was recognized by UNESCO, when she was one of only five teachers receiving their Innovation Award.

But beyond the obvious benefits to her students, Fasquel’s approach is also inspiring other teachers. Through her blog, her role as an eTwinning ambassador, her contributions to global websites like ESL Printables, Simple K12 and Transatlantic Educator Dialogue, and her role as an ICT trainer, she generously shares her experiments with new approaches and technologies to help advance the teaching profession.

Her advice to fellow teachers? “They need to engage students,” Fasquel says. “They can achieve that by implementing meaningful lessons and projects which allow students to showcase their talents and fight for a better world.” Well said. Meet Marie-Hélène Fasquel in today’s Daily Edventure.

What drew you to the field of education? Why is it important to you?
Sharing, studying and teaching are closely linked and I love all three.

Can you tell us about a favorite teacher, or someone who made a difference in your education?

My very first ESL teacher made me want to become an English teacher. She was inspiring and fascinating.

Please describe how your professional achievements have advanced innovation in education.  What has changed as a result of your work?
Within all my projects, I use technology in order to transform my students into creators and pupils who have a say, express ideas and share them with the world. Technology allows content creation (be it e-books, presentations, comics, logos, videos, glogs, articles on Fodey and so much more), research and online content curation (with scoop it, Diigo, Symbaloo, Pearltrees, and so on), collaboration, publishing. All those tasks, activities and full-fledged projects have completely transformed the teacher-student relationship. I have become a coordinator, a collaborator, and someone who helps them reach the best result possible.

How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?
Devising ambitious projects (such as the environment e-book sharing project, during which four schools from Turkey, Italy and France collaborated on short stories and all kinds of e-books) to engage students.

In your opinion, how has the use of apps, cellphones, and mobile devices changed education? And your work?
It has made studying easier and readily available anywhere. I allow my students to use their own devices in class when they need them to check data, vocabulary, research, create…

In your view, what is the most exciting innovation happening in education today?
In my view, the flipped classroom (with which I am experimenting in English and in literature), MOOCS, BYOD, turning students into global beings are the most exciting things happening in education nowadays.

Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?
Actually, there are three. I am most passionate about creativity, collaboration and critical thinking and problem solving.

If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?
I think it would be a mobile device of any kind.

What is your country doing well currently to support education?
We have computer labs, tablets, 21st century classrooms (with different types of technology).

How must education change in your country/region to ensure that students are equipped to thrive in the 21st century?
We need to keep equipping our schools with tablets, mobile devices, and to train more teachers. 

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?
I believe it is lack of motivation.

Describe your most innovative teaching and learning practices and how they are supported by technology?

My most innovative teaching/learning practice is the implementation of a revised (to fit my students’ needs, mine and my syllabus) concept of the flipped classroom in ESL and literature, with 16 different partners from eight countries throughout Europe and Turkey.

Describe how you use your favorite Microsoft technology in the classroom and how that impacts 21 century skills development?
I do not use it that much, however my students use it a lot! It impacts 21st century skills development as they need to use multiple online tools to be able to reach their goals.


About Marie-Hélène Fasquel, English Literature and ESL Teacher, ICT Trainer, Microsoft Expert Educator
Nantes, France

  • Birthplace: France
  • Current residence: Nantes
  • Website I check every day: BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/
  • Person who inspires me most: Martin Luther King.
  • Favorite childhood memory: Visiting the United States for the first time.
  • Favorite books: 1984, Dubliners, Brave New World, The Canterville Ghost.
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: PowerPoint Presentations.
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? To think outside the box.
  • Your favorite quote or motto: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”Theodore Roosevelt.


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