As the General Manager of Microsoft Partners in Learning for the U.S., I have one of the best jobs in the nation: celebrating educators and the impact they have on our nation’s students. Today is a day of great pride for me as we celebrate the 2014 global class of 250 Expert Educators and 80 Mentor Schools recognized for their innovative use of technology to transform education. This group of Expert Educators were selected from more than 22,000 educators in 158 countries and the Mentor Schools came from nearly 250 schools in 75 countries.
This year, we will engage with 27 U.S. educators and six U.S. schools on a journey of transforming teaching and learning. A signature event on this journey is the Microsoft Education Global Forum March 11-14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain where these educators and school leaders are certain to represent the U.S. well. While there, they will have the opportunity to collaborate, exchange ideas and share insights with their peers from around the world.
The Expert Educators and Mentor Schools class of 2014 are:
These educators and schools play an important role amongst their peers and for Microsoft. Expert Educators and Mentor Schools work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education. They are education advocates who share their experiences with their peers and work with policy makers to ensure technology is implemented effectively in education. They provide insight for Microsoft on new products and tools in education. They share valuable experiences, lessons and best practices and they work together as a community to promote ideas to innovate in teaching and learning.
To be selected, educators and schools had to demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing students to be 21st century learners. They undergo a rigorous application process; they are required to fill out an online application, create a learning activity and a two-to-three minute non-professionally produced video that describes their project and how they used technology and innovative teaching practices to impact student outcomes. The winners are selected by a worldwide group of judges who use a broad set of criteria to assess the evidence of learning, collaboration, knowledge construction and critical thinking among other things. Educators are selected based on their innovation, leadership skills and effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes, schools are selected based on their record of educational success, community leadership and successful school management.
Please give these educators and schools a virtual round of applause and keep an eye out on this blog as we delve deeper into a handful of these projects and approaches to innovative learning. To be part of the next class of Expert Educators and Mentor Schools, go to the Partners in Learning Network to sign up and submit an application.
This is very exciting to all the mentors and schools involved!
Small correction: Sammamish High School is in Bellevue, Washington and part of the Bellevue School District.