This is the eighth in a series of ten posts about my experience last week at the 2009 Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum in Vienna.
As far as I’m concerned
everyone who was invited to last week’s event was a winner – after all that’s
the reason they were at the event in the first place. ts still very difficult
for me to work out how the judges were able to assess innovation across the 30+
countries particularly with such large socio-economic differences across Europe.
However, the judges did come up with some winner and I’ve written about them below.
Category A: Innovation in ICT Usage
First place: Serbia, Slavica Juric, The story about bread
This Serbian project involved a whole week learning about bread. The children were in upper primary and as well as making movies and taking photographs the project included a visit to the local bread museum and even the local ‘grandmothers’ were invited into the school canteen to help with the bread production!
Second place: Bulgaria, Krasimira Dimitrova, Journey
In this project teachers and their students
from a number of different towns and villages in Bulgaria presented their home area
in an original way.
It was up to the individual school what they decided to research, for example some chose landscape, some chose accents and some chose local heroes. The only real requirement was that the schools had to use technology, the research had to be ‘local’ and projects had to develop social as well as technological skills.
The final product was a rich collection of electronic content including presentations, video files, web sites, photo stories and paintings. The collection were burnt onto DVD disk and further results from this collaborative project can be seen in www.itlearning-bg.net
Third place: Slovakia, Pallo Peter, Nature Explorers
This project aimed at 9-10 years olds set out to develop a positive relationship between children, their local environment and nature. The whole project is based on idea of using new media to revive first pages of a Science textbook.
Category B: Innovation in Community
First place:UK, Ollie Bray, Thinking out of the XBOX
This was are Musselburgh Cluster Guitar Hero Transition Project – more details here, if I’ve not board you with it already!
Second place: Sweden, Anna Ljunqvist, The Paperless Classroom
I spent a long time chatting to Anna on the
last day of the Forum. I was really interested in her project that involved the
use of Tablet PC in the schools and extensive use of onenote. One of the
reasons I was so interested in it was that I felt that Anna’s school were at a similar
stage in developing the use of tablet technology as my good friends Ian and
Andy on Islay High School. I’m hoping that the two schools might be
able to link up in some way. Particularly as both Andy (from Islay)
and Anna (from Sweeden) are English teachers.
Again I’ve already written about this, more details about Mandeep’s project here.
Category C: Innovation in Content
First place: Belgium, Isabel Schapdryver, Secondhandshop
In this project pupils with server learning and physical disabilities worked together to run a virtual second hand shop.
Second place: Northern Ireland, David Stinson, Pupil E-portfolio
I had dinner with David one of the nights that we were away and he really has got a great project and an even better imagination! During his project David’s students developed ePortfolios using onenote. The ePortfolio topic that they developed the tasks around was the construction of a mini rock band stage! (I could see some instant links with our Guitar Hero Project).
As well as teaching some core skills including
construction and electronics I was really impressed how individual and unique
each of the student projects were – despite following the same design
specification. Great work and further proof that OneNote is a fantastic bit of
Third place: Greece, Diplaris Dimitriou, From Newton to CERN
This project uses a variety of software and web-based resources including Microsoft World Wide Telescope to teach 15 – 17 years olds about particle physics, electromagnetism and astronomy.
First place: The Netherlands, Andrea Brauns, Sound Lottery
This project used the Interactive whiteboard to teacher very young children about the sounds that animals made.
All of these projects can be viewed in more detail within the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum - free to join. But you have to sign up.