Two years ago I moved back into the classroom from a Local Authority post, teaching a class of 10 and 11 year olds. I had a great time and a great class , getting to grips with all the systems and activities that I used to advise teachers on. I soon realised that I needed to do some work on my own professional development, especially around the use of ICT (which was strange, as I was the Authority’s Advisor for ICT!). But… why would the school invest in courses for me, surely I had all the ICT skills I needed?
What I needed was something that challenged and developed my perceptions of ICT and its role in learning AND it had to cost nothing, and be something I could undertake as part of my own CPD! Quite a demanding list of criteria I thought! Luckily, I came across the Innovative Teachers Network which is part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning programme. The website provided a wealth of resources that enable me to analyse, develop, enhance and subsequently change my approach to the use of ICT in the classroom. The results of this exploration culminated in a Virtual Classroom Tour of an activity that I developed as part of this programme.
By sharing this piece of work on the Innovative Teachers Network site, it started a sequence of events, (I’ll share them with you later), that lead to Microsoft inviting me to be part of their Partners in Learning Team. So my question to you all is, where could the Innovative Teachers Network take you?
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've spent a lot of time in classrooms around the world. I've worked at Microsoft in several capacities but have had my dream job for the past 5+ years working on Microsoft's worldwide Partners in Learning initiative. We'll talk a lot more about Partners in Learning in coming posts, but for now, you can learn more about it by clicking here.
I've been lucky enough to travel the world with Microsoft, meeting teachers from many of the 101 countries we work in, visiting schools, speaking to governments, and organising big gatherings of teachers and school leaders. I hope to be able to share some of my learnings from these experiences with you through this blog.
In the meantime, we have a lot of exciting things planned as part of Partners in Learning in the UK. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to share our ideas and activities with you and to learn from you as well. You're the experts here, and I hope you'll provide us with feedback and comments as we continue this conversation.