Microsoft updates Jordan teachers on best practices in integrating ICT in the Classroom
Innovative teachers, administrators and decision makers from Jordan have attended the Innovative Teachers Forum Arabia event being held recently in Cairo. Innovative Teachers Forum Arabia is an annual forum hosted by Microsoft, which brings innovative teachers, together with policy and decision makers in governments throughout the region together to share best teaching practices, best learning experiences and projects and collaborate on how to best incorporate technology into the classroom.
With the endorsement of UNESCO, the Forum brought together this year more than 100 forward-thinking educators from 15 countries. The Jordan delegation included a representative from The Ministry of Education Ms Nadia Al-Raee, a representative from the Jordan Education Initiative Ms Hayat Al-Baw; and both parties are active partners for Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program in Jordan.
It also included 3 innovative, leading teachers, Hend Abu Dalo, Amal Oudat and Maysoon Nashawati, who demonstrated effective use of ICT in their classrooms and who were trained at the School Technology Innovation Center (STIC), a concept transpired to serve as a demonstration center for education institutes to test new technologies before making decisions to acquire; as well, it serves as the center for best practices and innovation in the effective use of ICT in Teaching and Learning.
The two-day event featured key speakers from Microsoft Corporation, its partners and from leading educational institutions across the region. Scientists, researchers and professionals shared their knowledge and their experiences with the region’s top, innovative teachers and policy makers who are responsible for delivering learning opportunities for thousands of students across the Middle East.
Along with an overview of the technology, social and industry trends that are driving the technology researches on the educational level, speakers shared with attendees some of the latest projects they worked on and used effectively in their classrooms, such as using Microsoft PowerPoint, Producer and Movie Maker to develop a multimedia subject matter presentation that assists students to understand lessons more efficiently. Independent technology experts shared with attending professors the recent breakthroughs in IT, evolving business needs, and how research and development in IT is most likely to develop within the next ten years.
Ms. Amal Odat, ICT teacher said:” Projects we’ve seen in the Forum are attractive to be integrated into our classrooms. The sessions presented the latest in learning technologies, with focus on the Innovative Teachers Network and the importance of teachers sharing experiences, best practices and projects together”. She continued: “With all the technologies that Microsoft is putting in our hands, there is the potential to transform the way teachers in the Arab world teach by improving their skills and knowledge, and this will ultimately benefit the students with better quality of education.”
At the second annual Innovative Teachers Forum Arabia, Microsoft and in collaboration with the Egyptian government and with the endorsement of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), launched the Innovative Teachers Network (ITN). The ITN connects teachers across Arabic speaking countries in an online community designed to promote the innovative use of Information and Communication Technology in education and encourage participants to share ideas and best practices with their peers.
Through the Innovative Teachers Network, educators across Arabic speaking countries will be able to publish best practices, share lesson plans and other teaching materials, access training and technology resources, and participate in discussions and forums. Delivered in Arabic language, the Network will also provide ready-made learning materials developed by local teachers focusing in math, science & English language. In addition, members can use the collaboration tools to engage in communities and will be able to access a personal thinking and working space within the network. The Network is a free service available to educators and is dedicated to improving the technology competencies of teachers worldwide.
The event concluded with the Innovative Teacher 2006 Awards, given to the leading teacher from every participating country who demonstrated exceptional examples of innovation in the classroom.
The Innovative Teachers Program is part of Microsoft’s worldwide Partners in Learning initiative. Through Partners in Learning, Microsoft is providing significant investments in professional development for teachers, software and cash grants to deliver ICT skills training, tailored curriculum development, technical support, and research funds and resources to students and teachers. As part of the initiative, Microsoft collaborates with local and international experts and partners and seeks to increase access to latest computer technologies in educational institutions.
“We have always believed that one of the most important uses for technology is to create an educational experience that creates opportunities today and for the future,” said Charles Nahas General Manager of Microsoft Easter Mediterranean. “Properly used, technology can enhance the achievement of all students, increase families’ involvement in their children’s schooling, and improve teachers’ skills and knowledge, and improve school administration and management.”
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