I had the great fortune of spending a week in Barcelona, Spain for the annual Microsoft in Education Global Forum, surrounded by some of the most inspiring educators and school leaders from the U.S. and around the world. This event celebrates innovative educators from across the globe who are using technology in the classroom to engage students, enhance learning outcomes, and prepare students for success in college and career.
This year, the U.S. had 27 educators and six Mentor schools represent our nation with engaging technology-infused projects such as project-based learning, entrepreneurial experiences, and global collaboration opportunities. New this year, educators participated in a Learn-a-Thon, a 24-hour activity where the educators were divided into groups with their peers from different parts of the world to design a learning activity that displays innovative use of technology in the three Millennium Development Goals: Poverty, Sustainability, and Gender Equality.
I am proud to say a handful or our U.S. educators were recognized at this global event.
Chelsei Fox, teacher and department chair at Grafton Middle School in Yorktown, Virginia is the 2nd runner up in the Learning Beyond the Classroom category for her project “Wild Wild Weather”. Students studied severe weather and created a digital poster board on their specific weather anomaly using Discovery Educations Board Builder. Each board featured 2 videos, a written section answering general questions, historical facts and information, and pictures of the storm they are researching. “Throughout the project students had to problem solve and use critical thinking to not only acquire new knowledge but to then apply that knowledge in new ways to create their own digital content,” said Fox.
Kelli Etheredge | St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile, AL): Winner, Sustainability
Julie Hembree | Bell Elementary School (Kirkland, WA): Runner Up, Sustainability
Laura Rahn | Blue Ridge Middle School (Purcellville, VA): Runner Up, Poverty
Don Wettrick | Franklin Community High School (Franklin, IN): Runner Up, Gender Equality
Bradley Smrstick | Hillsborough County Public Schools (Tampa, FL): 2nd Runner Up, Sustainability
It has been such an honor to be in the presence of all the innovative educators at the Global Forum and I look forward to seeing the impact these great educators will have on our students and the future of our nation.
Thank you Microsoft for an incredible experience!!