Thursday, March 29, 2012

Innovative Teachers Win Big

The following post is a guest post from Rob Bayuk

On Monday I was fortunate to visit Palm Beach Co. School District’s annual Technology Conference (see: #sdpbctechconf) which aims to bring educators from across this large district together for professional learning focused on education technology. This year’s event attracted nearly 2,000 educators and staff from across the district. An impressive display for even a large district.

As part of this event, Microsoft had an opportunity to partner with the district to host a Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 Regional US Forum. I’ve blogged about this global teacher recognition forum, and in the U.S. we host the national forum in Redmond on Microsoft’s worldwide campus attracting top educators from across the country.

The Regional US Forum, hosted by Palm Beach Co. School District, was led under the thoughtful leadership of Lee Kolbert (aka @Teachakidd) and is the first of four regional forums being hosted across the U.S. that provide local educators an opportunity to be invited to the national forum this summer in Redmond (though any educator can apply to the national forum).

It was great to meet and congratulate the four finalists from this forum who have the esteemed acknowledgement of being the first four educators to be invited to the national Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum in Redmond this summer. As their projects outline below they are doing incredible work to engage their students thoughtfully, incorporating relevant and practical technology to advance their student’s learning.

So without further adieu, I would like to congratulate the first educators to be accepted to the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum. All are from Palm Beach Co. School District (Palm Beach, FL) teachers are seated, from left to right in the pic: Andy, Todd, Randy and Jamie and here is a little about their projects:

Andy Goldstein, 6-8th Grade Technology Teacher, Omni Middle School
In Andy Goldstein’s class, students became inventors! All inventions begin with a dream, and students create inventions by taking a leap into imagination. For this project, students used Microsoft Word and Windows Movie Maker to explore their imaginations and to encourage team work through collaboration. These tools also helped achieve a highly skilled finished product; the end results being the completed videos that are published to the classroom blog at This project was helpful to gently encourage students to stretch their imaginations, yet to have discipline in completing each step of the design process.

Randy Lavery, K-5 Communication Arts/TV Production Teacher, U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School
Students worked together to create Microsoft PowerPoint and Photo Story 3 multi-media projects about topics that affect them at home and school. The final products were videos and poster/fliers to post around campus. All students in the class now have a greater understanding of how they can stay healthier and reduce the spread of germs. The final videos will be shown to the school and posters placed around campus to educate the whole school.

Todd LaVogue, 6-7th Grade History Teacher, Roosevelt Community Middle School
In order to help his students gain a better understanding of life in ancient Egypt, Todd LaVogue had his students create a TV show about ancient Egypt. Using Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer and video editing software, his students researched and  created a Today Show style news program with news, weather, sports, cooking, lifestyle, historical, music segments. Students were able to compare and contrast ancient Egypt with today's society very well. In the end, they had a better understanding of what it would have been like to have lived during that time.

Jamie Worrall, 6-8th Grade Math Teacher, Christa McAuliffe Middle School
Using Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Photo Story 3, Jamie Worrall’s honors algebra students worked in groups to create instructional videos to assist (tutor) other math students through the concepts of relations and functions in a fun and entertaining format. The assignment was for each video to be rich in vocabulary and to include the four ways to represent functions (words, equations, tables/maps and graphs).

If you would like to track the progress of the US Forum follow #pilus and “Like” us on Facebook. The final deadline to apply is May 15th.

Rob (@TeachTec)

See related TeachTec posts:

1 comment:

Rob Bayuk said...

I am looking forward to seeing these educators display their work in Redmond this summer! Thank you again Lee for your leadership and taking on this not-so-small project : )