Microsoft Partners in Learning Announces 2009 Worldwide Innovative Teacher Awards

SALVADOR, Brazil — Nov. 6, 2009 —After three days of seminars, teacher exhibitions and judging by an internationally renowned panel of education experts, today Microsoft Partners in Learning announced the winners of the 2009 Worldwide Innovative Teacher Awards at the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum. Partners in Learning recognizes and rewards teachers who demonstrate exemplary use of technology in the classroom to improve student learning. The 14 winning teachers — awarded first, second and third place in four categories — were chosen from among the 250 at the Forum representing more than 60 countries.

The Best Practice winners in the four main competition categories are Mandeep Atwal of England, Innovation in Community; Mark Sparvell of Australia, Innovation in Collaboration; Autumne Streeval and Harriet Armstrong of the United States, Innovation in Content; and Moliehi Sekese of Lesotho, Educators Choice. The 2009 Worldwide IEF award ceremony, held tonight in Salvador, Brazil, was attended by 400 educators, school leaders, government officials and others from more than 60 countries.

“The Innovative Teacher Awards exemplify the dedication and imagination of the world’s most forward-thinking educators,” said Michael Golden, corporate vice president of Education at Microsoft. “The energy and entrepreneurism of the winning teachers demonstrate the infinite possibilities that technology can create to improve learning opportunities and inspire future generations toward greater academic achievement. Microsoft remains committed to supporting the community in this quest. I’d like to extend warm congratulations to everyone who participated in this and the regional events that led up to today’s celebration.”

The following are the top three finalists in each category, in finishing order:

Innovation in Community

  • Best Practice: Mandeep Atwal (England), “Young Voices”

  • First Runner-Up: Ollie Bray (Scotland), “Thinking outside the XBOX”

  • Second Runner-Up: Lucrecio Filho de Oliveira (Brazil), Projeto “Barreiro”

Innovation in Collaboration

  • Best Practice: Mark Sparvell (Australia), “Connecting Hearts Heads and Hands”

  • First Runner-Up: Karina Batat (Israel), “The Traveling Mascot”

  • Second Runner-Up (Tie): Myreia Gussinye (Mexico), “Tolerant”

  • Second Runner-Up (Tie): Xiaoyong Tang (China), “Exploration of Ant Behavior”

Innovation in Content

  • Best Practice: Autumne Streeval and Harriet Armstrong (United States), “US Industrial Revolution Tic Tac Toe”

  • First Runner-Up: Damien Lebegue (France), “Differentiated/adapted Teaching in PE”

  • Second Runner-Up: Alex Vieira dos Santos (Brazil), “Fontes De Energia”

Educators Choice

  • Best Practice: Moliehi Sekese (Lesotho), “Indigenous Plants”

  • First Runner-Up: Janjira Phongchoo (Thailand), “MS Excel Game Building Techniques”

  • Second Runner-Up: Isabel Schapdryver (Belgium), “Secondhandshop”

“Winning the Educators Choice award is certainly a great honor,” said Moliehi Sekese of Lesotho who won for her project Indigenous Plants. “Just being here and seeing how teachers from all over the world are enriching the lives of students is ultimately even more rewarding.”

Since 2003, the Partners in Learning award competition has been recognizing individuals with the Worldwide Innovative Education Awards for excellence in teaching. Teachers participate in country-level and regional events. Winners move up to the Worldwide competition.

The judging community includes education experts from all over the world. At the event 36 judges representing 23 countries spend nearly 20 hours talking to the teachers and learning about their projects; then in a private room they discuss, debate and share with one another until the winners are finally selected.

“Every year the submissions seem to get better and better, and this year is no exception,” said Judge Eduardo O.C. Chaves of Brazil. “The level of sophistication of these entries shows that teachers are continuing to innovate and expand the ways they use technology to help students all over the world realize their potential.”

Next year’s Innovative Teacher Awards results will be announced at the 2010 Worldwide IEF, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa. Country- and regional-level competitions will take place beginning in November 2009. Interested teachers should contact their local Microsoft office for more information or look online at

At the event, school leaders from 12 Mentor and 30 Pathfinder Schools also participated in a three-day workshop and were recognized for their leadership in driving system-level educational reform.

About the Innovative Education Forum

The Innovative Education Forum is an annual worldwide event. Regional forums are held around the world to create communities of teachers who can share ideas and best practices with their peers and facilitate the creation of collective knowledge. Subsets of regional forum participants are selected to represent their country at the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum.

About Microsoft Education

We believe that technology can expand the power of education and unlock the potential of students, educators and schools. Microsoft partners with education communities around the world to deliver relevant solutions, services and programs that focus on improved personalized learning outcomes.

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.

About Microsoft

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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