Microsoft recently organized the Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012 in Prague to acknowledge the contribution of teachers in implementing technological resources in schools and class rooms from all over the world.
During the ceremony, held in the prestigious Prague Castle to mark the culmination of the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum, Microsoft announced 21 winners, narrowed down from more than 250,000 teachers registered across national and regional forums throughout the year.
Munazza Riaz, a teacher at Roots International School, Islamabad was recognized in the “Teacher as Innovator & Change Agent” Category for her innovative project “Aqua Crunch” that won the 1st place.
The project was created for students of 8-10 years of age and raised awareness about conservation of water. It dealt with the issue "Why Water Conservation Needs to be Addressed When Water is 70% of Our Earth?" Global and national surveys using BING search engine guided students well about exactly where and how the problem needs to be looked at and how water can be conserved and recycled with less resources and low cost. Students worked in collaboration with government and non-government organizations to create awareness.
Saturday night, awards were presented to educators across six categories. All winners will be automatically included in the new Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program, a one-year initiative created to recognize educators globally who are using technology to transform education. Expert Educators will become Microsoft’s partner in many of its education activities throughout the year, focused on ensuring learning outcomes and sharing of experiences with peers and policymakers on effective use of technology in education.
In return, members receive the inside track on the latest Microsoft thinking and technologies, as well as access to the latest and greatest software and products. In addition, Microsoft will ensure that this group is getting the professional and career development opportunities that will be long lasting and help them make a difference in their students’ lives
“I am delighted to win such a prestigious recognition among teachers from all around the world. Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum is playing an integral role in promoting technology in schools and making the learning process more interactive and fun for students.” said MunazzaRiaz.“I believe that with my induction in Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program, I will be able to play my part in transforming the education scenario in Pakistan and bridging the gap between students and technology.”she added.
Participants were judged by an international panel of education professionals through rigorous scoring criteria which ensures that entries are reviewed in the most professional and fair way. Through virtual classroom tours and onsite interviews by judges, these teachers demonstrated innovative teaching practices, giving their students critical 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and social responsibility, by leveraging effective and engaging technology resources. Teachers were recognized across the following categories:
1. Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom
3. Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking
4. Cutting-Edge Use of Technology for Learning
5. Educator as Innovator and Change Agent
6. Educators’ Choice
Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Usman Khan, Citizenship & Community Affairs Executive said’ “It gives me immense pleasure to congratulate Ms. MunazzaRiaz on this brilliant achievement. The award is a testimony of her dedication andthe work she does every day to enrich the educational experiences of her students. Through the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum, weaim to facilitate technology usage in classrooms whichopens a plethora of avenues for students of all ages and helps them realize their potential.