Partners in Learning Global Forum 2011
From November 7-10 in Washington D.C., more than 700 of the most innovative global educators from over 70 countries are gathering to discuss the future of technology in education at Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum 2011.
Partners in Learning Global Forum 2011
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a global program focused on improving teaching and learning through the effective use of technology in the classroom. Throughout the year, Partners in Learning hosts a series of professional development events and competitions for teachers and school leaders culminating in the Partners in Learning Global Forum, which is taking place in Washington, D.C. from November 7-10, 2011. From an initial pool of over 200,000 applicants, the event brings together more than 700 of the most innovative educators from over 70 countries.
This year’s event is designed to:
- Drive collaboration among educators and school leaders to promote innovative programs
- Celebrate creativity and innovation in education
- Establish a strong worldwide community of innovators at the classroom and school level
One element of the Partners in Learning Global Forum is recognizing teaching excellence. Throughout the year, teachers present projects through a “virtual classroom tour” and participate at local and regional events. They explain how they use technology in their teaching and how it impacts student learning. Winners from these events are eligible to participate in the Global Forum, with the week culminating in a celebration of the overall winners. In addition, teachers can network as a global community and receive professional development support. This year teachers from the following EMEA countries will be presenting their projects at the Global Forum: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda and the UK.
For more information on the Global Forum, please click here.
British Council – Microsoft partnership announcement
Microsoft and the British Council are signing a five year Education Alliance Agreement to create a framework for the development of a wide range of collaborative programs throughout the world, with the ultimate goal of creating opportunities for young people to gain the 21st century skills needed to live and work in a global economy.
The vision of the partnership is that whilst technology is a powerful tool that can help improve teaching and learning, it is only one piece of a larger solution. For ICT to be used effectively in education, it must be supported by progressive national education policies and professional development for education leaders and teachers; to encourage and nurture innovations in teaching and learning delivered by teachers on the ground.
The partnership also aims to support improvement in teaching and learning by fostering international benchmarking and exchange, and creating better opportunities to learn the English language, for both education and employment.
The first stage of the partnership is a project to help transform education in Africa. Over the next two years, the two companies will each invest $1M in cash, plus staff and in-kind resources to build out 80 digital hubs at schools, powered by Windows MultiPoint Server. This programme will be designed and delivered through engagement with national education policies and enabled by professional development, for school leaders and teachers.
In total, the first year of the project expects to train more than 20,000 teachers and impact 100,000 learners and communities, providing them with digital access, and giving them critical skills for work and life. The project will also make a contribution to improving literacy rates.
Initial countries to benefit from the investment are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. The digital hubs will be supported by solar power and long-range Wi-Fi where necessary.
For more information on the announcement, click through the Blog tab above where Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, gives his views on the partnership.
- Microsoft Partners in Learning and the Smithsonian Institution are continuing to expand the Shout program, which was announced at last year’s Global Forum in South Africa. The partnership harnesses the power of technology to connect research and education resources with teachers and their students so they can act as a driving force for significant, positive contributions to the environment. This year’s program will focus on water quality and quantity, to ensure that water is safe for both people and the environment, and managing the crises of too much water and not enough water conservation
- Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education at Microsoft, is announcing that he will be kicking off a new blog series in the coming months that will share a story each day for one year, highlighting different heroes in education as a way to discuss and hopefully generate solutions for some of the various challenges currently facing education around the world
- Anthony Salcito is also announcing in his keynote that Microsoft will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Education to support a campaign aimed at inspiring and recruiting young people to enter the teaching profession. As part of this, Microsoft is assuming overall management of the TEACH Website, currently located at www.teach.gov. In the coming months, Microsoft will be taking the lead in developing a coalition of private sector companies and other key organizations to further support the campaign. Talented educators are critical to ensuring students are better prepared to compete for the higher-skilled jobs demanded by today’s economy and the campaign being announced by Salcito will help fulfill the growing need for educators in the United States.
For more information please see the Partners in Learning Global Forum websiteUpdate: Winners announced
On November 10th the winners of 2011 Global Forum Educator Awards were announced. This year’s winners were selected from more than 115 projects, narrowed down from over 200,000 applicants who competed at national and regional events over the course of the year to qualify for the worldwide competition at the 2011 Partners in Learning Global Forum. Out of 18 winners, seven were from European countries. Find out more about the winning educators and their projects below. For the full list of global winners, see the full press release.
- Steven Ronsijn (Belgium) – “genY”: This project put students in control of their own learning, using technology tools including live@edu, video and Microsoft Tag to create interactive lessons for younger students. Through this project, students became teachers and the teacher became the student in learning new technology skills.
- Doreen McHale (Ireland) – “Birds of Bray”: Designed to develop students’ non-fiction report writing skills within the context of a collaborative, local bird study. Students created a blog to collaborate with others on shared research and report writing projects, and to share their findings with others around the world.
- Marina Vasileva (Macedonia) – “Grandma’s Games”: Encourages students from kindergarten to college to survey family members and preserve traditional games and culture through information communications technology. Students created videos and lesson plans for the games, and one student created a Kinect for Xbox 360 game based off a family tradition.
- Tessa Van Zadelhoff (Netherlands) – “A Travel Agency in our Classroom”: Via Twitter and a blog, students provided travel advice to a network of “customers.” By calculating costs via Microsoft Excel, creating digital tourist guides, videos, digital storybooks and translation guides, the students learned about European geography.
- Rui Silva (Portugal) – “Eco-Partnerships”: Designed to improve students’ information communication technology skills while focused on environmental education, the project involves students interacting with other students in schools and organizations around the world via Facebook, Windows Live and other technology to share knowledge, experiences and work.
- Kara Barker and Roger Lister (Sweden) – “Forensic Science”: Increases enthusiasm for natural science and math by incorporating forensics to help solve crimes. Weekly labs where students experiment in a variety of areas such as DNA, anthropology, and hair and fiber evidences are applied using various tools such as Windows Movie Maker, podcasts, OneNote and SharePoint.
- Gareth Ritter (United Kingdom) – “Interactive Resources Made by Pupils for Pupils”: Engaging students’ natural interest in music and technology to encourage a creative and student-directed learning environment. Through this project, students researched music recording production and created video tutorials to support the learning of others. Students learned new music and business skills, while mentoring others, and recordings supported production of the school podcast station and a new album recorded in the school studio. Watch the video on Gareth’s project.
- Educator Lyneth Crighton of South Africa explains how technology is changing the way the girls at her school collaborate and learn. Lyneth is committed to helping her students connect different pieces of the digital puzzle for better, more exciting education - skills that will last a lifetime. Watch the video
- Educator Pilar Cuello from Spain takes a moment to share her thoughts on how Partners in Learning fosters a community-driven approach to learning through technology. Watch the video
- UK Educator Gareth Ritter's innovative use of music technology not only helped his students take control of their learning - it helped them score a music deal. Watch the video
- Read daily recaps from each day of the Global Forum
Keep an eye on the Partners in Learning Flickr page as more photos from the week are uploaded.
By Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International
At Microsoft, we understand the importance of education for social and economic development, especially as it relates to our corporate mission of helping people all over the world achieve their full potential. To help their communities overcome economic challenges, students must be taught 21st century skills, which is why we work to help teachers and schools transform their teaching by bringing technology into the classroom early and often. We believe this effort can help create vibrant, connected and economically sustainable communities worldwide.
A major part of our commitment to education is the Partners in Learning program, a 10-year investment in education systems spanning 115 countries. Today in Washington D.C., we kicked off the seventh Partners in Learning Global Forum, an annual gathering of the most innovative educators and education leaders from more than 70 countries around the world. One of the announcements we’re making at the Forum is a partnership between Microsoft and the British Council designed to help transform African education. The project will provide technology access and training to thousands of teachers, school leaders, and tens of thousands of students in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
The project builds upon the success of another program we put in place in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, which focused on rebuilding up to 2,400 schools with new investments in technology and teacher professional development. Through this program, Microsoft and the British Council will invest more than two million dollars in cash and in-kind donations to build 80 digital hubs over the next two years. These hubs will be based within the schools and will become local centers for driving use of technology in education. Powered by Windows Multipoint Server, the hubs will focus on three key areas: improving core infrastructure; providing digital access to schools and communities; and developing teachers’ skills to use ICT in innovative teaching practices.
The scheme is designed to ensure schools can deliver innovative teaching, something that research has proven improves students’ attainment of the critical skills for work and life. Those teachers will also be encouraged to share their experiences with the wider community, thus extending the reach of the program. Over the next two years, we expect to train more than 20,000 educators and provide more than 100,000 learners with digital access and critical skills – all while promoting basic literacy throughout the region.
This program will help communities as well as students. The digital hubs will be used for learning during the day and by the local community outside school hours. Where schools have inadequate connectivity and power, the new facilities will be supported by solar power and long-range wi-fi.
The essence of Microsoft’s investment in education is to increase access, using technology to help teachers and students reach their full potential and become better global citizens. With the help of the British Council’s strong school networks and valuable expertise in global citizenship and English language training, we are confident that we can help realise this objective in Africa. We are honoured to be working together with the British Council on this important initiative to help accelerate African students’ technology skills and better prepare them for living and working in a global, and increasingly digital, economy.