As I’ve said before, the highlight of my year is attending the Partners in Learning Innovative Educator Forums around the world. This year's worldwide finals event in Washington, D.C. was no exception.  It's an amazing opportunity to talk, to witness some amazing heroes from every corner of the globe, and the innovations that these teachers are delivering for students to really change lives.

The Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of a year-long series of progressively competitive national and regional events that recognize the very best in innovative teaching and learning.  The educators that made it to the Global Forum were selected from almost 250,000 teachers and schools that started the process.  During the event, educators attended professional development workshops, collaborated on learning activities, heard from a wide range of amazing keynote speakers, and presented their schools and classroom projects.  At the end of the week, we welcomed our 18 new Mentor Schools and recognized 18 classroom projects as the most innovative in the world in 6 different categories. (see picture below of all of the winners)

This year's event was attended by 800 educators from 75 countries and served as a reminder of the opportunities before us, the inspiration that teachers can provide, and the need we have to celebrate a community of great leaders.

I humbly congratulate the teachers recognized as winners, but all the teachers in attendance are certainly winners. You can see some great examples of the energy and collaboration from event in the video links below, as well as by reading the reflections from some of the participants and judges recounting their experiences here and here. News coverage in New Zealand, India, and Ireland also shows you how these teachers are being celebrated in their local communities.

We are already getting questions about next year’s Partners in Learning 2012 Forum, which will be held in Athens, Greece in November 2012.  National and Regional events will be held throughout the year around the globe. You can stay up to date on local events by connecting with us on the Partners in Learning Facebook page and following us on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL).

2011 Global Forum Daily Recap videos:
Day 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u2GdFfINO0
Day 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBKBo1GflN4
Day 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md9FGBzx6dg
Day 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyC5G0gHXso
Winners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNO52unYzPU