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  • Blog Post: Want to know the best time to going fishing for salmon in Alaska? Ask a student.

    Fishing and land use are two critical issues for the state of Alaska. It may not come as a huge surprise that these issues are frequent topics of discussion in Jason Arthur’s class.  Jason teaches at Highland Tech High School in Anchorage. It might be assumed that he teaches social studies or a...
  • Blog Post: Are You Applying for the 2012 US Forum?

    Last summer I attended the US Innovative Education Forum in Redmond and came home quite inspired by the teachers and projects I saw. Dozens of teachers using technology to improve the quality and quantity of learning with their students. Microsoft Partners in Learning is now looking for this year’s crop...
  • Blog Post: First-ever Innovative Education Forum People’s Choice Video Awards

    May 15th wrapped-up Round 2, the final round of applications for the 2011 Partners in Learning U.S. Innovative Education Forum (IEF). This is Microsoft’s premier teacher recognition program with events happening all around the world culminating in a worldwide forum hosted in November in Washington, DC...
  • Blog Post: 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum – Round Two - Finalists Announced!

    Today, we are excited and humbled by the many applications we received for the 2011 U.S. Partners in Learning Innovative Education Forum (IEF). Below are the finalists selected in Round 2 for this year’s forum that will be hosted on Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, WA (July 27-29). This...
  • Blog Post: The Best and Most Innovative Teachers

    Being somewhat opinionated about the subject (who am I kidding – most subjects) and at the same time being more or less incapable of keeping my opinions to myself I have written here about what makes a good teacher a number of times. I’ve talked about subject matter expertise and passion for the subject...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft’s U.S. Innovative Education Forum Set to Kick Off

    (Cross-posted from the Official Microsoft Blog ) School may be out for summer, but for many highly-motivated teachers and school leaders, there is no break. Educators are hard at work scouring the Web and connecting with their peers, looking for new teaching ideas to inspire their kids next year and...
  • Blog Post: Flying Fish & Kinect help lead the final U.S. team to the Partners in Learning Global Forum

    As many of you might recall there was a fair amount of blogging activity around the Partners in Learning 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum we hosted in July. The event brought together just over 100 educators from across the country to showcase and highlight innovative teaching practices that are...
  • Blog Post: Guest post: A reflection by a U.S. educator visiting Jordan “…a United Nations conference for education”

    This is a guest post from Margaret Noble a Media Arts educator from High Tech High in San Diego, CA. Margaret who had the opportunity to participate in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Middle East & Africa Innovative Education Forum and collaborate with educators from across these Middle East &...
  • Blog Post: Frank Machos Teaches Cameron Evans about Music, Marketing, and Consumerism

    I was attracted to Frank Machos’ display from the Philadelphia School of the Future because of the MIDI music instruments and computers that he had.  When we talked, I discovered that this was not a music course, but a marketing class. Frank’s innovative approach is to get students to understand...
  • Blog Post: Who says a 5th grader can’t run a business?

    Defining and setting goals is a difficult process. Setting life goals and attempting to answer that big question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is perhaps one of the most challenging of all. Attempting to answer this depends on our stage of life, frame of reference and personal aspirations...
  • Blog Post: Interesting Links 1 August 2011

    Last week was incredible at the US Innovative Education Forum. I’ll have more to say about that as this week goes on. Some great educators to highlight for example. Some lessons learned. And some pictures.BTW one of the teachers at the IEF, Kenneth Holden ( @kennetholden ) has posted his IEF Day 3 -...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Innovative Education Forum Tops 100 Educators

    Microsoft Corp. today announced the selection of 72 additional educators to attend the 2011 Microsoft U.S. Innovative Education Forum (IEF). These finalists will be traveling to the Microsoft campus in Redmond in July to showcase the creative ways they ...read more
  • Blog Post: Can you develop the next Gates or Zuckerberg in high school? Combining computer science and entrepreneurship

    I think almost any high school kid you meet is interested in making money. Though I bet most are thinking about it more in the context of the new Xbox game they want, or maybe buying a car or some other more immediate gratification. Doug Bergman, a computer science educator from Porter-Gaud High School...
  • Blog Post: Celebrating Teacher Heroes

    The Microsoft Partners in Learning 2011 Global Forum wrapped-up last week with a bang. A lovely Gala Awards dinner in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. A fitting venue to conclude an energizing week with educators from around the world. The winners were announced recognizing 18 educators as...
  • Blog Post: Innovative Education Forum–Judging Day

    Wow! Just WOW! I spent yesterday judging teacher projects as part of the US Innovative Educator Forum in Redmond. It was absolutely inspiring. In fact I would go as far as to say this was the most encouraging day in regards to American education I have ever spent. And yes that includes learning about...
  • Blog Post: Students Envision Their Future in Spanish

    Over the past two years or so in working with a diverse set of educators, digital storytelling, or some derivative thereof, continues to be one of the primary uses of technology in classrooms across all grades levels. Though we can argue about what the most pure definition of digital storytelling is...
  • Blog Post: Pencils, Books and Coffee - How Students Are Inspired to Take Global Action!

    I suppose this will not come as much of a surprise, especially for those teaching middle and high school, but the typical 9th grader isn’t often too concerned about global issues. While inspiring action (in anything) can be quite challenging except for maybe free food, Xbox or a quick text response....
  • Blog Post: Building positive group work ethics in project-based learning

    Can you think of a job or profession that is done alone? No co-workers to consult, no team responsible for contributing different pieces of a project, no meetings (well, maybe that might be okay ; ) It’s hard to come up with many. Artist? Author? (at least during the initial writing process). We could...
  • Blog Post: Teachers Be Recognized For Your Innovative Ideas

    Teachers are not recognized enough for the positive impact they make with their students. One of the most challenging aspects of doing this is for educators (and others) to recognize when positive impacts are being made. Often these benefits are seen down the road, when students come to back to visit...
  • Blog Post: Helping teens figure out how to compete in a competitive job market

    This post could apply beyond teens as it really is about: how does someone put their best foot forward when looking for a job in highly competitive marketplace. Given the economic environment we’ve seen in the past few years this certainly is a theme that continues to resonate. Zoom in on St. Clair...
  • Blog Post: Students use QR codes to uncover the history around them

    I have been blogging a lot recently on how teachers who are making projects real-world and authentic are achieving amazing outcomes (see salmon fishing in Alaska and student entrepreneurs ). We see plenty of words tossed around to describe the teaching we aspire toward: “21st century learning,”...
  • Blog Post: 12 educators to represent the U.S. at the Partners in Learning Global Forum

    Today, 12 U.S. educators, along with 103 educators from across the globe meet in Washington, DC for the 7th annual Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum. The Partners in Learning Global Forum is a celebration of innovative teaching practices and innovative schools, where educators and school leaders...
  • Blog Post: 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum - Round One - Finalists Announced!

    We are very excited to see the first round of finalists for our premier teacher recognition program the Partners in Learning U.S. Innovative Education Forum! There is some amazing work being done in classrooms around the country and it is inspiring to see these projects and the outcomes they’ve...
  • Blog Post: A Conversation with Dr. Jane McGonigal, author

    I got a chance to chat with Dr. Jane McGonigal, author of "Reality of Broken," at the US Innovative Education Forum at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA. Checkout her thoughts on gaming, learning through failure, and what Chief State School Officers should be doing on next-generation assessments...
  • Blog Post: Innovative Educator Forum Judge Workshop

    For some competitions one selects a bunch of smart people, hands them a rubric and says “have at it. Be fair.” Honestly though is that really the way to do things? Generally not. When running a serious competition you want good judges, smart people who ...read more