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Microsoft searches for New Zealand's most innovative school teacher
Posted on 19-Sep-2011 14:21. | Tags Filed under: News.

The hunt is on for 2011’s most innovative school teacher with Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Awards. Entries are open for the 2011 Microsoft Innovative Educator Awards, which celebrate the original and engaging use of technology in Kiwi classrooms.

As part of the global Microsoft Partners in Learning programme, the Awards look for teachers who are using technology in clever ways, recognising their passion and commitment with an unsurpassed professional development opportunity – the chance to network and collaborate with other like-minded and dedicated teachers from around the globe.

Jan Anderson of Methven Primary School in Canterbury was named a Microsoft Innovative Educator in 2010 for her work in gaming and education, and attended the Microsoft Asia Pacific Partners in Learning Education Forum that year.

“The opportunity to think outside the New Zealand curriculum and connect with other educators from around the Asia Pacific region was a phenomenal experience. To be recognised for my work was hugely rewarding, both professionally and personally. I am enjoying supporting other schools and teachers into games in education and extending the digital literacies children engage in throughout New Zealand,” says Jan.

The 2011 national winners will receive a professional development package worth more than $5,000, including:

• An all-expenses paid trip to the Microsoft Asia Pacific Partners in Learning Education Forum in March 2012, and the chance to win a trip to the Worldwide Innovative Educators Forum later that year
• A HP EliteBook 2760p Tablet Notebook PC – valued at $3,100
• An Xbox Kinect package for the school
• A Microsoft Partners in Learning Teacher’s Award commemorative plaque and recognition on the global Microsoft Partners in Learning website

Evan Blackman, Education Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says empowering educators is a huge focus for Microsoft.

“Education is the cornerstone of New Zealand’s future success, and it is essential we empower teachers to assist students in reaching their full potential. I’m passionate about technology opening the doors to more engaging and compelling learning – but first we need to ensure our teachers are comfortable and confidant using technology in the classroom.”

“These awards are designed to recognise and reward teachers for innovative and ground-breaking use of technology. Every year we get a slew of inspiring entries from teachers around the country, and I’m sure this year will be no different. I hope teachers will not only put themselves forward for consideration, but also take the time to recognise the work of their peers.”

Entry is open to all full time and part-time primary and secondary school teachers at both public and private schools around New Zealand. Entries must be submitted by midnight on Monday 28 October 2011, with evidence of how the entrant has used technology in an exemplary and innovative way.

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