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  • Blog Post: Back from Capetown–Worldwide Innovative Education Forum

    This was my 6th Worldwide Innovative Education Forum and in my opinion it was far the best. Here are my reasons why:- This event clearly identified itself as an event about learning and not just technology. The projects presented by teachers were diverse, but all focussed on teaching and learning...
  • Blog Post: UK Partners in Learning YouTube Channel launched

    Over the past year, the work we have undertaken with teachers and schools has resulted in us creating and collecting a plethora of video resources. We wanted to make sure that we are able share these with as many of you as possible. So we have created our very own YouTube Channel. The UK Partners in...
  • Blog Post: Prepare for Earth Day with your students - The 40-Day Low Carbon Lunch Challenge

    Did you know that the food system is responsible for approximately 1/3 of global greenhouse gases ? Our friends at TakingITGlobal , a non-profit community for young people around the world have come up with a great Earth Day initiative to reduce your carbon footprint and take a bite out of climate change...
  • Blog Post: Postcard from Brasil – and a gift for you

    After many hours of travel, Stuart and I, our innovative Teachers Ollie and Mandeep and our new Innovative Schools from Scotland arrived in beautiful Salvador, Brasil. We were particularly excited about this year’s Innovative Education Forum, as it combines the best teachers from around the world, sharing...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Worldwide Education Forum, Brazil – This could be you next year!

    Next week is an important one for Microsoft education – and for some teachers and schools in the UK. It’s our biggest event for worldwide teachers and schools: the Innovative Education Forum. Last year, we wrote about this event when we brought two English teachers, Peter and Dan, to Hong Kong. This...
  • Blog Post: Innovative Teachers can inspire anyone, anywhere.

    We have talked a lot about Dan Roberts, one of our award winners from the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum in Hong Kong. He is still very much an active member of the Innovative Teachers programme, and Kristen and I are in contact with him and his school on a regular basis. He has just returned from...
  • Blog Post: Innovative Teachers – Who influences your teaching?

    Whilst working for Microsoft, I have had some great opportunities. One of the things that has had the biggest impact has been the people I have met. I am convinced that it would have been very unlikely that I would have met or even heard about such people when I was in the classroom. This thought is...
  • Blog Post: How much do you trust your students?

    From what I’ve seen visiting schools in this country, I’d say on the whole…not much. (Don’t feel bad; teachers and schools in the US trust students a lot less.) The level trust we have for students and pupils is always made obvious when I visit other countries. Here are two examples. Denmark :...
  • Blog Post: Reflecting on Vienna

    From our recent posts you will know that last week we attended the European Innovative Teachers Forum in Vienna. I thought I would spend a little time reflecting on what was a great event. This time last week I was presenting part of a keynote with the team from FutureLab, Sarah Payton and Professor...
  • Blog Post: Raise your hand if you're innovative

    I think I enjoyed last Friday's Innovative Teachers event at Microsoft just a much as Stuart did. The teachers we meet are always inspiring, and this group of 12 was quite special. Like Stuart and the teachers, I was also inspired by Guy Shearer's keynote. I've borrowed the title of Guy's talk in...
  • Blog Post: The World is Flat - Taking IT Global

    At our Innovative Teachers events around the world, we're seeing more and more teachers guide their pupils on a journey that takes them beyond their classroom, school - even their country - by connecting them with another school somewhere else in the world. I've seen a school in Sweden connect with a...
  • Blog Post: How do you know a teacher will be good?

    I had some time over the holidays to catch up on all of my New Yorker magazines, and I came across a fantastic article written by Malcom Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and most recently, Outliers. The article is titled "Most Likely to Succeed: How do we hire when we can't tell who's right...
  • Blog Post: The UK Innovative Teachers Forum – celebrating innovation

    Putting together a project for a competition is probably the last thing on your mind at this time of year, especially with so few shopping days left until Christmas! Nonetheless, I wanted to give you some inspiration over the festival period, before you finish for a well-earned Christmas break. Take...
  • Blog Post: The Imagine Cup

    Do your students have the passion and creativity to use and develop technology innovations that can make a difference in the world? Of course they do, so why not encourage them to them to enter the Imagine Cup. The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, it is one way Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Vienna…this means nothing to me!

    Those of you who are old enough to remember the words of Midge Ure will get this. For those who aren't - or are American, like Kristen - stay with me here, and all will be made clear. From our previous posts you will have read about two lucky and talented teachers from the UK who attended the Worldwide...
  • Blog Post: We have a winner!

    Microsoft's worldwide Innovative Teachers Forums are about teachers from all over the world forming a community and working together. More than that, however, they are about celebration. Every teacher that attends these Forums has already won an award in their country or their region, so we're celebrating...
  • Blog Post: Big Ideas and the Big Buddha

    This is no holiday for the Teachers. We make them work hard, but we make sure they have a truly rewarding experience at the same time. Today, the groups of teachers went on their assigned field trips. I joined a lively group, sent to the Po Ling Monastery on Lantau Island. You can see our route here...
  • Blog Post: Hong Kong's Innovative Schools

    Stuart and I split up on Tuesday; he joined the teachers on educational excursions all over Hong Kong that I'm sure he'll explain, and I sat in meetings in a hotel ballroom for most of the day. (Not that I'm bitter. Or jealous. Hotel ballrooms are lovely.) I did have one opportunity to leave the hotel...
  • Blog Post: Far Eastenders or the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum in Hong Kong

    As mentioned, next week we will be blogging ‘live’, (well, almost) from the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum in Hong Kong. Kristen and I will be accompanied by Peter Carney and Dan Roberts whom, Kristen spoke about in her last two blog posts. They have the hardest job at the event, as they will be...
  • Blog Post: Travel the World and meet interesting people …. Innovative Teachers

    I am not the most travelled person. After all, I live in Wales, why would would I need to go anywhere else? But all that changed when my Virtual Classroom Tour won an award at the UK Innovative Teachers Forum held at the Microsoft Campus in Reading in 2005. I was chosen along with three other teachers...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating Innovative Teachers

    As a former teacher, one of the best parts of my job is getting the opportunity to work with teachers from the UK and from countries far and wide. I'm a firm believer that teaching is the most difficult job in the world, and I'm continually awed and inspired by what you are able to do with and for your...
  • Blog Post: A cure for the lesson-planning blues

    When I was teaching, I remember wracking my brains trying to think of creative ideas for projects that would engage my 12-14 year-old students from the wrong side of the tracks in Detroit. At the time, most of my ideas came from my own head or from other teachers I'd actually spoken to, and as a young...
  • Blog Post: Teaching around the world...and right here at home

    Hi everyone - I'm Kristen, a former secondary school teacher from across the pond who has come to live and work in the UK. While it's been some time since I was a bright-eyed teacher, fresh from a Masters degree in Education and with endless energy to tackle the daily challenges of 12-14 year olds, I...
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