Microsoft in Education Global Forum-2014
My participation in Microsoft in Education Global Forum 2014, held in Bercelona Spain,from March 11- 14, 2014, is a great event in my life and career. As Mentor School Leader, it boosts up my confidence and helps me to gain first hand experience to integrate ICT in education.
In the early morning of the 11th March, 2014, the registration began and the session of the School Leaders and Educators started at 8.00 a.m. This year Microsoft has selected 80 schools out of 39000 applicant schools and 287 expert educators out of 23000 applicants from around 150 countries of the world. In the evening, all schools reception program was a wonderful moment of socialization for the teachers all around the world.
On the 12th of March,2014, opening keynote session was graced by the speakers namely Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman, Microsoft Europe, Xavier Prats Monne, Deputy Director-General, Education of the European Commission, Montserrat Gomendio, Secretary of the State of Education ,Spain, and Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Microsoft Education Worldwide. The opening keynote host was Eve Psalti, Global Director, Microsoft Education Strategy, Microsoft Worldwide. Among the keynote speakers Anthony Salcito’s speech
and demonstration of 21st century teaching and learning environment and the simulation of a 21st century teacher mesmerized the audience for hours together. All keynote speakers emphasized the importance of change in education to prepare the youth force for facing the 21st century challenges. The mentor school leaders session started in the hall number 211/212 of the convention center.
All sessions started with informal collaboration among the teachers. The mentor school track speakers were Clayton Carnes, Sean Tierney, Jeff Davis, Lisa Newland and Nasha Fitter. They are all internationally renowned scholars and educational consultants.
Nasha Fitter, the Global Head of the Microsoft K-12 Innovative School Program, chalked out the program for different sessions. Simmi Kher, our Team 8 coach, arranged a warm up meeting before every session which helped us a lot to participate actively in all the sessions. Her demonstration of using Yoga for concentration is widely accepted by the participants.Clayton Carnes moderated different sessions with his natural humour. Lisa Newland explained ‘the Function of Brain in Learning’, ‘the Neuroscience of 21st Century Learning Design’ (21CLD) , ‘Unlocking the Origins of Creativity’, ‘Building a Performance Culture to Implement and Embed change in schools’ and Reflective Thinking to Move Forward’ . Her explainations of teaching and learning through the Neuroscience added new dimensions in our thought. Her informal collaboration at the beginning of her session made all of us inspired learners again.
In the hot topics sessions the panelists discussed the critical issues on “Understanding the Value of Student Data”, “Inspiring Students Learning and Creativity through Gaming” and “Building Teachers’ Capacity” . The discussion on “BUILDING TEACHERS’ CAPACITY” moderated by Chet Linton was lively and an amazing panel discussion. Panelists Cheri Sterman of Crayola, Kathleen Schuille of National Geographic, Heather Silverman of Edmodo and Cheryl Douglas of Bishops Dioceasan College played a proactive role to engage all the educators and school leaders to participate in discussions through continuous learning activities.
On the 13th of March 2014, “Coaching teams learning walking Bercelona” was an amazing tour to the park adjacent to Bercelona Zoo.
Regional dinner arranged by the Head of Microsoft APAC region in the Windsor Palace was a beautiful moment to socialize with all the educators of the region. It was full of fun. Attending Microsoft Innovative School Leaders Pitch Competition was a great event to watch the presentation of some of the world’s finest teachers.
A new dimension of this Global Forum was the presence of Global Offperts.
They are the model of inspiring students of the 21st century. Visiting the Educators’ Exhibition was a valuable experience and Technology Showcase cocktail reception showed how the great entrepreneurs of the world realized their dreams.
closed the Microsoft in Education Global Forum-2014. His Excellency emphasized the value and importance of education and educators. Maria Garona Corces, President of Microsoft, Spain thanked all for making the Forum a success. The speech of warm hospitality of Artur Mas, President of Catalonia, was appreciated by all. On the evening of the closing day, the sumptuous Gala dinner was held in the Banquet Hall. After that the prize giving ceremony was held in the Auditorium. The 4-day long Microsoft in Education Global Forum-2014 came to an end with photo sessions.
Participating the Forum, we learned about 21st century learning design, 21st century skills and, how to teach and implement them in school to prepare our future generation to face the challenges of time. We learned to use technology effectively to enhance the students’ outcome and to implement Project Based Learning and Problem Based Learning. The training in the Forum demonstrated how to get the best result from implementing innovations and creativity in the real school environment.
The members of the Bangladesh team in collaboration with othereducators gained confidence that they can perform well in any given situation having won prestigious LEARNATHON 2ND RUNNERS-UP- 2014 award competing with 27 groups of countries around the world. The experience and training, acquired from this Forum, paved the way to my future accomplishment. The greatest prize of my life I got here was the connection to all the great educators from the world around. This was a life time experience.
With this sharing and learning-journey, I have become Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert-2015.
My heartfelt thanks and gratitude goes to Microsoft for opening up the windows to the vast world of opportunities.