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UNESCO and Microsoft recognize classroom innovators for creative use of technology in education

29-03-2007 (Paris)
UNESCO and Microsoft recognize classroom innovators for creative use of technology in education
Microsoft Innovative Teachers program
© Microsoft
200 teachers from Europe, Middle East and Africa exchange best practices and discover new technologies at Innovative Teachers Forum 2007.
UNESCO and Microsoft have joined forces to recognize and reward innovative teachers from Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the Innovative Teachers Forum 2007, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters and the Louvre Museum in Paris on 29-30 March.

During the event, held under the auspices of the French Ministry of Education, more than 200 teachers representing 40 countries from across the three regions will share best practices, network and explore new and creative ways to improve education and enrich learning for millions of children around the world using Technology. Other event sponsors include Café Pédagogique, France’s largest online community of educators, national television station France 5, Le Louvre and Samsung, to name a few.

A press briefing on the Forum will be held at UNESCO Headquarters on Thursday, 29 March at 12, noon, in Room VIII.

“We are delighted to host this year’s Innovative Teachers Forum,” said Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Communication and Information. “UNESCO has long been committed to harnessing information and communication technologies to improve education. ICT can contribute to the quality of all types of education, formal and informal, and at all levels. It can also help the international drive to provide inclusive quality education for all by the year 2015. We welcome every opportunity to join forces with our partners in this area.”

The objective of the conference is to enable teachers to share their passion for teaching and showcase the innovative use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in their schools. Teachers' initiatives range from incorporating the internet and online courses in curricula, to interactive classroom exercises, through the use of blogs and digital portals for teachers, students and parents for interactive coursework, evaluation, feedback and dialogue.

At Martin Luther King High School, an all girls’ school in Dakar, Senegal, Joseph Ndong offers his students online courses with interactive lessons. “In our school, which is situated in the Dakarois plateau, our computer room is one of the student’s favourite settings,” Mr Ndong explains. “Technology and use of computers is considered a discipline, just like mathematics, French and English. We even have teachers specialized in ‘Edu-Informatics’ (Computer Education) who teach students to use the computers and train teachers to incorporate technology into their curriculum. We believe that technology enriches the quality of learning and of teaching.”

Maha Al Shakhsheer, a biology teacher at Jellol secondary school in the Middle Bedouin District of Jordan, who received the Queen Rania Award for Distinguished Teacher said, "I have been delivering scientific concepts to students using new technology and multimedia tools including video, audio reporting, imagery and slides, which allow the students to use their senses and deepen their understanding of the subject matter. Multimedia makes lessons more exciting, vital and clear. I am also using the the Jordanian Innovative Teachers Network, which allows me to share my content and experiences with other teachers.”

Suzanne Raaijmakers, a primary teacher in de Windroos, the Netherlands, is helping her school create a digital portfolio that profiles children and their scholastic activities, and creates an online platform for interactive communications and dialogue - student to teacher, teacher to parent and teacher to teacher. “The digital portfolio system enables students to gain insight into their own learning process and makes it possible to follow and document the developmental process. All the things I do are possible because I work for an organization where they support innovative teachers, where you can grow and develop starting from your own talents and competences and where they believe that dialogue is a key issue.”

The Innovative Teachers Forum supports the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for literacy and digital inclusion by helping to build a global community of educators that share ideas, classroom practices using ICT, and above all a common passion for learning. The 200 participants from 40 countries qualified for the event in national competitions that were held to recognize innovative teaching.

This year’s forum focuses on “the four C’s”: Celebration, Collaboration, Community and Content. It will include keynote presentations, roundtables, a best practice sharing showcase and exhibition, and a special event sponsored by Le Louvre which will foster teambuilding, creativity and forward-thinking among the teachers in a competitive manner.

“Through public-private partnerships we are working together to ensure the latest technology and resources are made available to global teaching communities while fostering high standards of learning,” said Alan Yates, Worldwide Managing Director for Education Programs at Microsoft. “As a socially responsible company, Microsoft is leveraging its core competencies to create innovative teachers networks and provide teacher training, materials and resources for a global network of hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. To date, our Partners in Learning curriculum has enhanced the learning experience for more than 2 million primary and secondary school students globally.”

The Innovative Teachers Program is part of Microsoft’s worldwide Partners in Learning initiative. Through Partners in Learning, Microsoft is providing significant investments of software and cash grants to deliver ICT skills training, tailored curriculum development, technical support, and research funds and resources to students and teachers. As part of the initiative, Microsoft collaborates with local and international experts and seeks to increase access to latest computer technologies in educational institutions.
Related themes/countries

      · Arab States
      · Europe / North America
      · Private Sector Partnerships
      · ICT in Education: News Archives 2007
      · Africa: News Archive 2007
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