We’re all finally back from Brazil, after an exhausting and very rewarding week. Our week ended on Friday with the event’s gala dinner and teacher awards. Before and afterOrchestra dinner, we were treated to a performance by the local Salvador youth orchestra. The orchestra has brought together some of the less fortunate young people in Salvador, in an effort to teach them music and improve their confidence and self esteem. The performance was truly impressive considering these kids had been performing together for less than two years. The crowd rose to their feet for standing ovations after nearly every piece – and we even did a bit of dancing at the end.

The highlight of the evening was most definitely the awards ceremony. As I mentioned in earlier posts, our teachers Ollie and Mandeep faced some really tough competition from the other incredible teachers and their projects from all over the world. Thus the entire UK contingent went a little crazy when BOTH Ollie and Mandeep were announced as winners!

Ollie won second prize in the Community category for his project, “Thinking Outside the XBox.” Mandeep won first prize in the same category for her project, “Young Voices.”

To add to the surprise, we learned that all of the first prize winners in each category won HP touch screen PCs, which had been donated by HP to each winner. Incredible!

The celebrating continued late into the evening, and we were ready for some sleep by the time we boarded the plane on Saturday. It was quite a week – but don’t just take my word for it. See the following blogs for more stories about the event from some of the people who attended.

Merlin John's blog: Merlin was a judge at last year's event in Hong Kong

Ollie Bray's blog: Ollie's blog is also a great source for ideas of new technologies to use in your teaching

The Stirling High School blog: The team from Stirling were blogging all week to tell their students about their experiences in Brazil.

The Learning Teaching Scotland web site.

Registration is still open for the UK Innovative Teachers Forum in Birmingham in December – go to the NEW Partners in Learning Network to join us!