It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been to one of these events just how intense a day like this can be. There’s a buzz and a hum as the temperature rises inside the room where the projects are being displayed, professional learning and collaboration relationships being forged. It might seem like a few days out of school will be quite relaxing but our 4 UK representatives have been working extremely hard, with breakfast starting at 6.30 and not arriving back to the hotel we are staying until after midnight! During the day, they have been doing an excellent job of describing and explaining their projects to judges and fellow teachers, which started after the keynote speeches in the morning finished and continued for the rest of the day . They found it wasn’t as scary as it sounds because they were simply talking about what they enjoyed doing in school and getting to know other teachers with a similar passion for using tech to enhance learning. It’s forging those relationships that affirms what they are doing, ensures that the learning that they are supporting with their new and innovative approaches is valued, that they are not isolated in what they are doing, that they encouraged and inspired by others. Dan Buckley (who has been leading workshops for school leaders) remarked on how special these events are, how unusual and unique Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Events are in a commercial world, as they are focused on celebrating the innovative approaches to learning rather than being product-oriented.
The day finished with an adventure as we explored Moscow in search of our supper, walking through Red Square on the way and navigating our way around the Moscow metro, and enjoying some amazing food – and managed to finally make it back to the hotel….. ready for a well-earned, good night’s sleep.