As we start a new year, we want to take time to reflect on our incredible teaching and learning journey in 2012. We also wanted to collate some samples documenting our experience of sharing the Little Hands, Big World project at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum. The PiLGF in Prague, Czech Republic proved to be an exciting close to 2012, and it continues to provide momentum as we return to our classrooms after the holidays.
After connecting with teachers and seeing evidence of the powerful learning that students are engaged in around the world, it is evident that changes in education are underway. Many learners are being challenged and engaged with interdisciplinary, personalized, student-directed learning experiences. More than ever before, students are taking charge of their learning as they create solutions to real-world problems and function as agents of change in their homes and communities. The richness and diversity of the projects at the forum was inspiring, yet in the diversity there was an even greater commonality–innovative teachers and students working together as part of a greater whole! The sense of community we experienced with our fellow educators at the forum proved to be a wave that we are still riding–communicating with new Facebook friends and still sending out the odd #PILGF tweet to prove that we’re still connected! It was an experience of a lifetime that is impossible to convey to someone unless they have participated in a global forum, and the bonds that form are very strong!
Our school facilities are slower to respond to the needs of 21st century learners and educators. But we were energized to peek through a window to see the schools that are being redesigned to better promote these rich learning experiences. In turn, as they make use of new classrooms, schools, and tech tools, teachers are encouraged to rethink their approaches to teaching.
We enjoyed sharing our students’ work at the forum and we were delighted to be awarded First Runners Up in Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom.
We look forward to 2013 being another challenging and engaging year for us and for our students.
New Dehli TV Video of Forum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw9ZhsWv9Ng
Microsoft PiL Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Pj4Qjic4DcA
Awards Gala Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6vIelcr1fg
Flickr Stream from Global Forum: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90351558@N06/