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September 12, 2005: Victorian teachers given thumbs up for classroom technology

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

Sydney, Australia, 12 September, 2005

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

Ms Esther Hall from Southern Cross Primary School, Endeavour Hills, and Mr Paul Volpe from Xavier College, Kew, won the prestigious Microsoft Innovative Teachers Award for fostering student growth through the use of technology.

Ms Hall has been recognised for ?The Young Apprentice' programme, an initiative she pioneered to help her students develop ?real life' business skills. Under the programme, students at Southern Cross Primary School are encouraged to use technology to design and market a new product, create a company name and logo, produce an advertisement, design business cards and prepare a marketing presentation.

Xavier College's Mr Volpe has been recognised for his tenacious work in transforming his classroom into a 21st century centre of digital learning. The introduction of Tablet PCs, for example, has enabled Mr Volpe to assess work electronically and enabled students to submit assignments outside of traditional class schedules.

“The change in student attitude, values, engagement and behaviours has been substantial when introducing the technology as a main-stream teaching tool,” said Mr Volpe in his entry submission.

“Building a classroom culture where a technology-based learning community is developed enables students to progress through a course using a variety of resources that are available in an anytime, anywhere fashion.”

Ms Hall and Mr Volpe will represent Victoria 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 Ms Felicia Brown, Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft Australia.

“The innovative teaching at Southern Cross Primary School and Xavier College exemplifies how information 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 Hall and Mr Volpe 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, an 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 Victorian 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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