“When students are given responsibility for their own learning, the results can be truly transformational.” – Gloria Enrique, Ireland
Sacred Heart School Tullamore
Tullamore, Republic of Ireland
As an educator in Ireland who originally hails from Spain, Gloria Enrique can speak first-hand about the importance of making learning relevant.
“Students are living in a world where they are confronted with rapidly changing situations and challenges,” says Enrique. “From social and environmental issues that affect our world, to jobs that do not exist yet. Our role as educators is to help students develop the essential skills to respond to these challenges.”
As an MIEE Fellow (among her many other honors and certifications), Enrique works to expose her students to learning experiences where they develop and use skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration.
“Creating local and global links is important for our school community, and students are encouraged to use these skills to confront challenges and to come up with solutions for these challenges, while preparing them for tomorrow’s world,” Enrique explains.
Enrique is a firm believer that student voice should be present in every classroom. “School should be a safe place where students can explore, discover, and learn,” she says. “For that reason, when Microsoft Teams was launched, I was delighted.”
Microsoft Teams puts Enrique’s students at the center of the learning experience. She believes it allows her students to be creative, collaborate, communicate, and develop critical thinking and digital literacy skills all in one safe place where their favorite educational apps come together. Specifically, with OneNote, Sway, Forms, Quizlet, MindMeinster.
“This year I started using Flipgrid, one of the apps in Microsoft Teams, with the objective to enhance students’ voices and spark creativity in the classroom,” says Enrique. “From introductions and reflecting at the end of a topic, to revision of key words and vocabulary or development of communication skills, Flipgrid offers a multitude of interactive activities where students can explore, develop essential skills for today’s world, and learn from each other.”
In addition to using Teams, Enrique has made the most of being part of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert family. “This community of educators has become my professional learning network where I connect with wonderful like-minded educators from around the world and exchange ideas on how to better use technology to support our students on their learning journey,” she says.
Last year, Enrique was invited to participate in two global education projects, and she jumped at the chance to be involved.
“At the beginning of the year Angels Soriano invited my students to participate in the ‘How do you sing to love?’ project,” says Enrique. “Students explored the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 5: Gender Equality by creating presentations about inspirational Irish women. This was the first time that I used Skype in the Classroom and the feedback from students was incredible. They were engaged with the learning, and most importantly, they were proud to be showing their work to students from other parts of the world.”
Enrique and her students also participated in Koen Timmers’ Innovation Project. Enrique took the role of classroom facilitator, while her students investigated and selected one of the Sustainable Development Goals to identify a solution to the problem.
“The level of engagement with the activity and the spark in students’ eyes was something that really affected me and made me realize that when students are given responsibility for their own learning the results can be truly transformational.”
Connect with Gloria Enrique at her Microsoft Educator Community or on Twitter @MissGEnrique.
About Gloria Enrique
- Educational background: I am originally from Spain. I came to Ireland as a participant of the Erasmus student exchange program and after that I completed my Honors Bachelor’s Degree and my Masters in the University of Limerick. It was in college where I discovered my passion for teaching and learning and the importance of collaboration and sharing, leading me to undertake the Professional Diploma in Education. I am always looking for innovative ways and technologies to bring the curriculum to life and instill the same passion that I have for learning to my students.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote, Microsoft Teams, Skype in the Classroom.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Follow your dreams.
- Website I check every day: It’s not a website but I check Twitter every day to connect with other educators and get educational and technological news.
- Favorite childhood memory: My dad reading books to my brother and me before going to bed.
- Favorite book: The Little Prince