Five teachers from the UK have been chosen to attend a Microsoft event in Canada that showcases the best use of technology in education across the world.
The Microsoft Education Exchange, which will be held in Toronto next month, recognises and celebrates the achievements of educators who combine content, teaching and technology to prepare students for success. The event aims to bring together the most innovative educators from around the world to collaborate and share their experiences on how to advance learning.
It is attended by 300 Microsoft in Education experts and fellows, 75 Microsoft Imagine Academy teachers and 100 ministerial leaders and officials.
Among them will be the lucky five, who won a Microsoft competition that saw them take part in the company’s Skype-a-thon and Hour of Code initiatives, as well as build a Sway about themselves and their impact on the classroom.
The five are:
Laura Paterson – a schools ICT Skills Trainer at Fife Council, Paterson covers 45 primary and four secondary schools in the north-east of Fife, Scotland, as well as visiting nursery and special schools. Every month she trains around 125 pupils and helps the development of roughly 40 teachers.
Laura’s Sway entry:
Joe Westermark – a teacher at Ysgol Bae Baglan in Port Talbot, Wales, Westermark oversees a Year 5 class of children aged nine and 10. He is also a digital champion, which involves training staff and identifying the impact of the National Digital Competency Framework
Joe’s Sway entry:
Alex Handy – assistant head teacher at Caludon Castle School in Coventry, Handy specialises in maths, economics, science, geography and digital literacy. He is also involved in supporting the school’s Technology Enhanced Learning programme and leads the learning and teaching Twitter project.
Alex’s Sway entry:
Liz Wilson – a 21st century Learning Lead and Year 3 teacher at Danesfield School, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Wilson has trained nearly 500 educators on how to use technology effectively. She regularly uses Minecraft, QR codes, Skype and Sway in her classes.
Liz’s Sway entry:
Maria Fisher – an information and communications technology (ICT) teacher at Treorchy Comprehensive School, in South Wales, Fisher is also a Digital Learning coordinator and has developed a Computer Science Scheme of work for her department. She has set up an ICT club that helps pupils learn about new technology and programming languages.
Maria’s Sway entry:
Ian Fordham, Director of Education at Microsoft said: “These five teachers have shown tremendous skill and expertise in embracing technology and introducing it into classrooms to enhance learning across the UK. From using Skype to connecting students on opposite sides of the world, to building educational worlds in Minecraft and teaching young people how to code, they are incredible ambassadors for Microsoft and for the teaching profession. We look forward to seeing Laura, Joe, Alex, Liz and Maria in Toronto and hearing them share their experiences of life with other world-leading educators.”
The Microsoft Education Exchange, held from March 21 to 23, will also hear from Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Education at Microsoft, as well as feature workshops and school visits.