August, 2009

  • Preparing Teens for a Career in Technology

    Established by the Governor of Riyadh, the Prince Salman Science Oasis (PSSO) is a nonprofit, interactive center that nurtures innovation, creativity, and interest in scientific advancement among Saudi youth.

    Microsoft partnered with PSSO to conduct a training for young people between the ages of 12 and 17 in information technology skills to prepare them for careers in technology. Held over four weeks, the program trained 110 teenagers in the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum and Microsoft Expression Web software.

    In the final week of the program, five Microsoft employee volunteers helped students prepare and present group e-learning projects.  Microsoft awarded Xbox video game systems to project winners. Microsoft also provided all participants with USBs carrying an Expression Web e-book, the Digital Literacy curriculum, and the course certificate. Microsoft also contributed 17 computers with Windows 7 to the project, making PSSO the first nongovernmental organization in Saudi Arabia to receive the software. 

  • No Summer Holiday for Partners in Learning!

    On the Unlimited Potential team we work with the common understanding that education is the cornerstone of economic opportunity and I am always amazed at how far my team will go to make sure that the benefits of technology are extended to communities worldwide, year-round. One of our global initiatives for education is called Partners in Learning (PiL). We’ve talked about PiL on World Updates before, but just a reminder that the goal with this initiative is threefold:

    1.       Help schools gain better access to technology.
    2.       Foster innovative approaches to teacher professional development.
    3.       Provide education leaders with the tools to envision, implement and manage change.

    Much of this work continues in the summer when teachers have a little more time on their hands. For example, as the school year came to a close in Armenia we welcomed more than 150 Armenian teachers, school principals and education officials to an interactive conference to discuss the use of technology in education.

    At the conference we celebrated the launch of the the new Armenian Innovative Teachers Network, a virtual community for teachers who want to transform their classrooms into technology-rich learning environments. In addition to active discussion forums where teachers can connect directly with each other, the network includes a wealth of information, content, tools, and resources that can help educators use technology more effectively in the classroom. 

    Many thanks to all of the attendees at the event for sharing their experiences. Looking forward to hearing more about how some of the ideas are implemented when the school year starts!

    -- Kristine Gyonjyan, Partners in Learning Manager for Microsoft Armenia

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