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Northern Territory teachers given thumbs up for classroom technology

27 September, 2005 | Archived Post
Local teachers win 2005 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Award

Sydney, Australia, 27 September 2005

Press Release:
Two outstanding Northern Territory (NT) teachers have been recognised as ?Innovative Teachers' by Microsoft Australia and the Department of Employment, Education and Training for their exemplary use of technology in the classroom. Both teachers have also won places to represent the NT at the Asia Pacific Innovative Teachers Conference, which will be held in Seoul, Korea, in November later this year.

Ms Melia Daw from the Maningrida Community Education Centre, Winnellie, and Mr Shane Pilkie from Humpty Doo Primary School, Humpty Doo, won the prestigious Microsoft Innovative Teachers Award for fostering student growth through the use of technology.

Overcoming distance and capitalising on traditional indigenous learning styles were important themes for Ms Daw, who adopted a hands-on approach to information technology with students at Maningrida Community Education Centre, a remote school for Indigenous children aged four to 18. Maningrida students use digital cameras, video editing software and PowerPoint to create stories from their own lives, by filming real events or creating dramas and editing and producing digital books.

“Information communication technology has been heralded as a means to overcome the tyranny of distance and to offer learning opportunities beyond the traditional bush context,” said Ms Daw in her entry submission.

Humpty Doo Primary School's Mr Shane Pilkie used technology as a basis for a student ?learning quest' on local Indigenous culture and reconciliation. Better described as journey of discovery, Mr Pilkie's students used the internet and online resources to develop their knowledge, which was complemented by interviews with local community members. 

“The use of technology not only enhances classroom practice, it prepares our students for the technology-rich society in which they live and thrive,” Mr Pilkie said in his entry submission.

Mr Pilkie's entry also demonstrated his enthusiasm and commitment to helping fellow teachers at Humpty Doo Primary to learn about and use technology in their classrooms. 

Ms Daw and Mr Pilkie will represent the NT with fourteen other Australian winners at the Asia Pacific Innovative Teachers Conference in Seoul, where Microsoft will also announce the Australian winner of a global excellence award for innovative teaching.

“There is an amazing breadth of talented teachers in Australia who are committed to developing contemporary classroom environments to achieve powerful educational outcomes. It's an honour for Microsoft Australia to be involved with, and reward, innovative Australian teachers,” said Mr Felicia Brown, Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft Australia.

“The innovative teaching at Maningrida Community Education Centre and Humpty Doo Primary School exemplifies how technology can be integrated with classroom practices to create exciting and challenging learning activities.

“The benefits also extend to fostering creativity and enhancing enthusiasm to learn through different approaches, and give teachers a new freedom to tailor learning to the individual needs of their students.

“Critically, today's students have also grown up in a technology rich environment and expect technology to form a fundamental part of their schooling experience.

“Ms Daw and Mr Pilkie have created opportunities for their students to benefit from an array of learning and technology experiences and best practices, showing how technology can make a real and positive difference in all subjects and classes,” said Ms Brown.

The Innovative Teachers Award is an initiative under Microsoft Australia's Partners in Learning programme. Partners in Learning, a joint initiative with State and Territory governments, is a series of programs, investments, software and training aiming to increase information and communication technology skills in teachers and improve educational outcomes for Australian students.

For more information on the Innovative Teachers Award visit

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About the Asia Pacific Innovative Teachers Conference
The Asia Pacific Innovative Teachers Conference draws together award winning teachers from 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region, providing them with a forum to share expertise and knowledge, develop networks and further inspire innovative teaching practices. This year's conference will be held in November in Seoul, Korea.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For further information or to arrange an interview with either of the winning Northern Territory teachers or Ms Felicia Brown from Microsoft Australia please contact:
Ben Tan/Kieran Moore
Howorth Communications
Ph: 02 8281 3830 or 0418 488 827


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