At the end of this month I will travel to Seattle again to participate in an innovative Microsoft program for educators. Called the Partners in Learning Network, the program selects 80-100 applicants from around the U.S. to come together to share lessons, projects, and innovations they’ve developed at their home schools or districts. Several winners will be selected to participate in the global forum which will be held in Greece next fall! The trip is fully funded by Microsoft, a company that has spent nearly $500 million dollars to help educators develop professionally.
While in Seattle, I will be offered the opportunity to tour some Microsoft facilities and learn how the company is exploring and developing future technologies, many of which will have an effect on education. I will hear from Alan November and Dr. Kari Stubbs (BrainPOP), and will be able to take some PD sessions on Microsoft products, games in education, use of social media in education, and more. Microsoft recently announced that Office 365 will be available for free for educators, so there will also be a session on Office 365. The best part of the program, however, is the celebration and sharing of great educational ideas. Feel left out? First, apply for next year’s forum. To do this, join the Partners in Learning Network and stay up to date. Look for an announcement about the 2013 forum in late fall or early winter. Second, after joining the network, look for the ideas other educators have submitted . . . and submit your own. It’s a great way to learn and share. (Ask me in the comments section about this and last year’s submissions and some of the great ideas I got last year!)
The Partners in Learning Network is a great place to look for useful, successful projects and ideas that will work in your own classroom. All of our projects from this year will be posted on the site for review. The site allows filtering by age level, types of technology, fields of study, and more, so it’s a great way to find new lessons or projects to try in your own school. I hope you’ll all take a look at the Partners in Learning Network and consider joing me and other accomplished educators there.