Microsoft Australia has launched the Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Expert Educator Program. It recognises pioneer educators who are using technology to transform education.
The program is a new initiative that builds on the global Innovative Educator program by Microsoft. In this program, teachers in a mix of government and non-government schools, throughout the world, can collaborate share best practices on how to utilise technology in the classroom to enhance student and teacher learning.
“At Microsoft, we believe that when people collaborate, amazing things can be achieved. And nowhere is this more evident than in the classroom,” says George Stavrakakis, Education Director, Microsoft Higher Education Team.
The Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Expert Educator Program is a new initiative which has been put in place to recognise and support educators throughout these two countries.
Already the program has 38 teachers from Australia and 12 from New Zealand. These teachers form a community that can collaborate, learn from each other and share insights.
“As technology is now firmly integrated in the classroom, it never ceases to amaze me how it enables teachers to collaborate and utilise their collective experience for the benefit of their students and each other,” says Stavrakakis.
At the launch, the 50 teachers had the challenge to collectively design learning experiences that connect their students to real world problems and issues. The aim was to be as innovative, engaging and challenging as possible.
Stavrakakis says the ideas that came from this challenge were sustainable, scalable, high quality and diverse. They included everything from using technology to raise awareness of different global public health issues, to creating communities of students in Minecraft.
This challenge displayed how collaboration can be beneficial in considering different needs and motivations of stakeholders, examining barriers, and coming up with innovative solutions. Teachers will continue to collaborate with other educators throughout Australia and New Zealand with the new program, and can bring their innovative ideas to their classroom.
The Expert Educators will be sharing their experiences in the coming weeks and months on the Australian Teachers blog.