HELSINKI, Finland — Oct. 30, 2007 — Today in Helsinki, Finland, 89 teachers were recognized for their creativity and innovation in the classroom as part of Microsoft Corp.’s worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum (ITF).
Now in its third year, the worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum is the culmination of a series of regional events designed to honor outstanding educators for their contributions and provide them with a forum in which to collaborate and share their expertise with peers from around the world. ITF also provides classroom learning and professional development resources for teachers. At the forum, a panel of distinguished education leaders from around the world selected a handful of educators as Innovative Teachers of the Year in the following categories, for the solutions they created to improve the way students learn using technology:
Innovation in Community
First place: South Africa, Kumaras Pillay, http://www.Mlearner.co.za
Second place: Belgium (Flanders), Koen Tubeeckx, Art and IT as a Solution for Deprived People
Third place: Brazil, Kátia Ramos, Student Council Elections
Innovation in Collaboration
First place: Sweden, Bitta Kajler, Biodiversity
Second place: Australia, Hugh Soord and Phil Lockhart, Our Culture
Third place: Finland, Markku Antinluoma and Minna Perokorpi-Sulin, Ancient Greece
Innovation in Content
First place: Ireland, Tommy Maher, Don Quixote Impossible Dreamers
Second place: Australia, Tobias O’Connor, Bacteria
Third place: Singapore, Matthew Ong Yong Cheng, The Rise of Li’ Ttledot
First place: China, Wang Jian Peng, Pay Attention to Sandstorms
Second place: Wales, Alessio Bernadelli, CSI — Creative Science Investigation
Third place: Norway, Erik Westrum, Class Project Using Photo Story
“This event celebrates the best and brightest teachers in the world, and demonstrates how they are using technology in innovative ways to change the way their students learn,” said Ralph Young, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft, who was on hand in Helsinki presenting awards to the teachers. “This is evidence of how the power of software can be used to prepare students for the 21st century.”
The ITF is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning, an initiative to help teachers and administrators give students the skills they need to succeed in the future. More than 73 million students and more than 3.6 million teachers in 101 countries have benefited from Partners in Learning. To support these efforts, the ITF recognizes and rewards innovative teachers who practice the elements of 21st-century learning in their own classrooms, and who incorporate the creative use of technology in the classroom.
Bonita DeAmicis, a fifth-grade teacher from Highlands Elementary School in Santa Clarita, Calif., said that the connections she has made and the knowledge she has gained at the Innovative Teachers Forum will be a vital part of her success throughout the school year. “The sense of camaraderie and the expertise that are found at the forum are a tremendous boost as I try to make a difference in the lives of my students,” DeAmicis said. “The technology skills I’ve acquired through the years have helped me to keep students engaged and give them the edge they need to succeed.
Helping Teachers Reach Their Potential
The winners from this year’s forum will get the chance to visit the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., in mid-2008. During their visit, the teachers will have a chance to see the latest in classroom technology, talk with Microsoft employees involved in developing software and programs for teachers and schools, and share their own experiences and expertise. Microsoft hopes that this exchange will further the development of additional resources and ensure that it is doing everything possible to transform education through technology.
More information about the Innovative Teachers Forum is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/itfsof.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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