HONG KONG — Nov. 6, 2008 — Today in Hong Kong, teachers were recognized for their creativity and innovation in the classroom as part of Microsoft Corp.’s 2008 Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum (ITF). Now in its fourth year, the Worldwide ITF rewards outstanding teachers who practice exceptional 21st century learning and incorporate the creative use of technology in their classrooms.
At the forum, a panel of distinguished education leaders from around the world selected a handful of educators as Innovative Teachers of the Year for creating solutions that improve and extend the way students learn using technology, in the following categories:
Innovation in Community
First place: New Zealand – Nathan Kerr, Collaboration and Digital Learning Projects within a Multi-Cultural School
Second place: Uganda – Ronald Ddungu, Education for Sustainability
Third place: Brazil/Portugal – Emilia Miranda, Marise Brandao and Marli Fiorentin, Flight BPF
Innovation in Collaboration
First place: Australia – Andrew Douch, Anywhere Anytime Biology Class
Second place: South Africa – Sarietje Musgrave, Spread the Sunshine
Third place: Germany/Austria – Elke Mayer, Gabriele Jauck, Together in a World of Learning
Innovation in Content
First place: India – Parambir Singh Kathait, Let’s Explore the Universe
Second place: Senegal – Ousmane Diouf, Electronic Alarm
Third place: United Kingdom – Dan Roberts, Recharge the Battery
Ireland – Kate O’Connell, Flying High Exploring Aviation
First place: El Salvador – Mariella Paz, Business Game
Second place: Singapore – Fong Yin Kuan, Digital Story Telling @ Beacon
Third place: Thailand – Pongpanote Phongpanngam, Instructional Games for Kids by Kids
“It is an inspiration to see teachers from 64 countries around the world collaborate together and show 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, during the ITF awards ceremony. “At the heart of the Innovative Teachers Forum is the belief that teachers from all over the world are transforming education and using innovative learning methods to empower their students and prepare them for the 21st century.”
The ITF is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning program, a global initiative under the Unlimited Potential commitment designed to help increase technology access for schools, foster innovative approaches to education, and provide educators with the tools to manage and implement change. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 123 million teachers and students in 103 countries. With five years of continued financial support so far, Microsoft’s 10-year investment in the initiative is nearly $500 million (U.S.), underscoring the company’s commitment to making technology more relevant and accessible for everyone through affordable licensing programs, training and partnerships.
In Hong Kong, Partners in Learning has reached over 11,000 education leaders and teachers and engaged over 80,000 students, bringing the benefits of innovation and technology to education.
“The use of computers is no longer confined to the science or IT lab at schools —computers and devices are becoming central to our lives and are shaping how we learn and access information,” said Hoihung Ma, Hong Kong’s Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the Year. “Computers are not only a dynamic way to deliver interactive educational resources, but also the first line in teaching children fundamental information and communication technology skills that will help them develop and become more competitive when they enter the work force.”
Erik Westrum, an Innovative Teacher from Norway, believes the Innovative Teachers Forum provides a unique opportunity for teachers from all over the world to share experiences and improve teaching methods with technology in schools.
“Often, teachers are hesitant to adopt technology into their curriculum until they get a chance to experience firsthand the benefits and possibilities for their students,” Westrum said. “Discussing with my peers how technology has transformed their students’ learning environment is very inspiring and reminds me of why I began teaching — to share my love of learning new things.”
More information about the Innovative Teachers Forum is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/wwteachersforum.
About Unlimited Potential
Microsoft, through its Unlimited Potential vision, is committed to making technology more affordable, relevant and accessible for the 5 billion people around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits. The company aims to do so by helping to transform education and foster a culture of innovation, and through these means enable better jobs and opportunities. By working with governments, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations and industry partners, Microsoft hopes to reach its first major milestone — to reach the next 1 billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of technology — by 2015.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.