Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 4 at the Microsoft Global Forum

Friday, our Learn-a-thon groups presented our learning activities to a panel of judges and audience of fellow conference attendees.  We had 8 minutes to share our vision for Challenge to ChangeDespite presenting regularly, I felt very nervous!  I was so excited to stand on stage with fellow expert educators from three other countries and share the idea we are so excited about!

Our closing session included messages from:
Jon Fallon - Pearson CEO
Maria Garana Corces - President of Microsoft Spain
Felipe  - Prince of Asturias

There was also a panel discussion, with panelists:
Alexa Joyce: Corporate Development Manager for European Schoolnet
Julio Fontan: President of Learning 1 to 1 Foundation
Mette Hauch: Educator at Hellerup School in Denmark
Steven Ronsjin: School Director at Sint-Lievenscollege Gent in Belgium

Some key points from our panelists included:
  • Technology + good pedagogy make for good teaching and learning.
  • The connections we've made at this Forum need to be preserved - let's keep in touch, work together and collaborate to change education in positive ways!
  • Letting go of some control & letting your students direct their learning will help transform education.
  • Teachers need freedom & trust from school leaders in order to deliver quality teaching.
  • We can empower children - the work showcased at the Global Forum is evidence that it is possible!
  • Connecting with educators around the world gives us new perspective and inspiration - we often face the same challenges despite our varied locations, cultures and backgrounds.  

After the conference had closed, Mrs. Caldwell and I got ready for the evening gala and awards night.  We were very excited to dress up in our fancy gowns, since it`s not something we get to do very often!  We met up with Team Canada for some photos and then went to the conference center for dinner, dessert and the awards ceremony.  Team Canada member Jessie Mann and her group won a Learn-a-thon award in the Sustainability category.  Then, Team Canada hit the stage again when  Mrs. Devon Caldwell and her group won the Gender Equality category of the Learn-a-thon.  It was  exciting to celebrate their successes!  The evening went by so quickly and it was over all too soon; before we knew it we were saying goodbye to friends and acquaintances.  It was an inspiring and motivating conference and we are returning to our classrooms with new enthusiasm!


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