Last Thursday and Friday I was invited down to Microsoft
head offices in Reading to take part in the UK Innovative Teachers Forum. The reason for the invitation
was because I had submitted a Virtual Classroom Tour for our Guitar Hero Transition
Unlike most of the other award winners I’m not new to the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Network. In fact I’ve been a member since 1995 when I took part in the Scottish Microsoft / SQA Partners in Learning Initiative and developed the original GEOCASTS (geography podcasts) that are now hosted over on the Do-Be site.
The Microsoft Innovative Teachers network has been a key part of my personal learning network ever since then. In fact its how David Noble and I first met and this in turn has led to a number of other collaborative projects. I’ve also been a featured teacher on the network a number of times and get the monthly e-newsletter from the US Innovative Teachers network.
A virtual classroom tour (VCT) is a simple PowerPoint Presentation template that is used to present an aspect of good classroom practice. It contains all of the information that another teacher would need to recreate that activity in there classroom. You can view and rate the Guitar Hero VCT by joining the UK Innovative Teachers network – the network is free to join.
There are a lot of good VCT’s within the Innovative Teacher Community and there is also an option to peer review other peoples VCT’s so you can quickly find the best ones. The good thing about VCT’s is that they encourage sharing and the swapping ideas between educational professionals. As I have said before – It’s the small ideas that change things!
So how did I end up in Reading?-
- In November Teachers from all over the UK were invited
to submit VCT’s for Innovative projects. The closing dates for submitting the
VCT’s was 1st February 2009. Details of this were posted on the UK
Innovative Teachers Blog that I subscribe to by RSS. Information about the competition
also appeared in the SQA newsletter
- Last week I found out that my VCT had been picked by the UK Innovative Teachers Team as one of their favourite ones from the UK entries and that I was to attend the UK Innovative Teachers event in Reading on the 19th and 20th February.
- During the forum day on the 20th February we
found out that the Guitar Hero VCT was one of the four being put forward by the
Microsoft UK team to represent the UK at the European Innovative Teachers Forum in Vienna
at the end of March.
Exciting times and another example of how the social web can lead to great opportunity for teachers.