REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced 16 educators from California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Texas and Washington have been selected as winners of the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. The annual event recognizes innovative teachers and school leaders who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way kids learn and increase student success. Out of thousands that applied, 100 educators from 25 states attended the event to compete for the opportunity to represent the United States at the Partners in Learning Global Forum this November.
"These winning educators are catalysts for change and are the best in the nation at embracing technology to inspire and engage students and help transform education in their local communities," said Andrew Ko, general manager, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. "They all are incredibly passionate and driven to make an impact on each and every student they teach. Their creative project-based-learning classroom activities show real impact on student learning and success and should be scaled out as best practices in their own school districts and across the country."
Winning projects immerse students in active, hands-on learning, guiding them to employ collaboration and creative problem-solving skills. The 11 outstanding projects focus on encouraging entrepreneurial thinking in students, virtual learning for students with learning differences, creative uses of gaming to enhance critical thinking and service learning projects in which students engage with their community. The projects exhibit the educators' abilities to exceed strict academic standards while making learning fun and effective for their students.
The following are Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum winners:
- First Place: Jamie Ewing; Mount View Elementary, Seattle
- Runner-up: Julie Hembree; AG Bell Elementary, Kirkland, Wash.
Knowledge Building & Critical Thinking
- First Place: Jennifer Bevill; LSU Laboratory School, Baton Rouge, La.
- Runner-up: Cheryl Arnett and Melany Neton; Sunset Elementary School, Craig, Colo.
Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom
- First Place: Pauline Roberts and Rick Joseph; Birmingham Covington School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
- TIE Runner-up: Sarah Collins and Jo Spark; Moody Elementary, Moody, Texas
- TIE Runner-up: Jolie Barker; Slaughter Elementary, McKinney, Texas
Cutting-Edge Use of Technology for Learning
- First Place: Robin Lowell and Sherry Hahn; Washington State School for the Blind, Vancouver, Wash.
- Runner-up: June Teisan and Alexandra Beels; Harper Woods Secondary School, Harper Woods, Mich.
Educator as Innovator and Change Agent
- First Place: Gregg Witkin; Boynton Continuation High School, San Jose, Calif.
- First Place: Todd LaVogue; Roosevelt Community Middle School, West Palm Beach, Fla.
The winning projects were scored based on a comprehensive judging rubric that incorporated research-based criteria for 21st century teaching and learning. Full descriptions of the winning projects can be found on the Microsoft TeachTec blog. A distinguished panel of judges — including representatives from the Arizona House of Representatives, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education from Washington, D.C, Chicago Public Schools and International Society for Technology in Education, as well as other U.S. superintendents and university and education leaders — evaluated the educator projects.
The winning educators will advance to the Partners in Learning Global Forum, which will take place in Prague Nov. 28 through Dec. 1. This ninth annual Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of local and regional events that reach nearly 200,000 participants from more than 115 countries.
Hosted by Microsoft Partners in Learning, the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum is one of a series of regional forums taking place around the world. This annual event is designed to promote the sharing and scaling of exceptional practices of learning that incorporate technology in the classroom, to recognize and celebrate leading educators and innovative schools in the United States, and to offer educators opportunities for professional development and collaborate with and learn from peers across the country.
About Microsoft Partners in Learning
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries. Partners in Learning helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create and share so students can realize their greatest potential. The online Partners in Learning Network is one of the world's largest global professional networks for educators, connecting millions of teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.