Microsoft and JEI Launch First Innovative Education Forum in Jordan

Published August 15th, 2010 - 08:55 GMT

Under the Patronage of Dr. Khaled Al Karaky, the Minister of Education, Microsoft Jordan launched the 1st annual local Innovative Education Forum (IEF) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) to celebrate the impressive work of local educators helping students realize their full potential through the Virtual Classroom Tour (VCT).

36 teachers from 25 schools, including Discovery Schools, Madrasati Schools and other public schools across the Kingdom, submitted their own technology-integrated projects through the use of the VCT, in order to compete in the local IEF and go on to participate in IEF Arabia.

Dr. Ahmad Ayasrah, Technical Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, stated, "The educational process is only complete when the pillars are properly implemented, and one of the most important of those pillars is providing students with the ability to think outside the box, and embrace innovation and creativity. As such, we strongly believe that the Innovation Education Forum is an important strategy in achieving that pillar especially when education and IT are merged together."

Rula Ammuri, Microsoft Jordan Country Manager, stated, "The local Innovative Education Forum that we organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the JEI recognizes and rewards innovative teachers at various schools across Jordan who have introduced 21st century learning into their own classrooms, and made them a part of a student's learning environment. This Forum is the first of its kind in Jordan and underscores Microsoft's commitment to expand the power of education through the use and adoption of technology in education."

She added, "The Innovative Education Forum is part of Microsoft's various education initiatives that aim at utilizing technology, software and IT tools and solutions to help address educational challenges, while improving teaching and learning opportunities. In total, Microsoft Jordan has invested locally approximately $3 million in such educational programs."

Haif Bannayan, CEO of the Jordan Education Initiative, stated, "Although this is not the first time Jordanian teachers participate with Microsoft in the Innovative Teachers Competition, this is the first time a local competition is organized, which makes us proud of our partnership with Microsoft, and always eager to provide our Ministry of Education with the best support possible."

He added, "Microsoft, the Ministry of Education and JEI have made it possible to put together a national competition inviting over 50 schools from Amman, Al-Balqa, Zarqa, Karak, Ramtha, Tafileh and Aqaba. JEI trained over 73 teachers on Microsoft VCT usage, and 36 of those teachers submitted great projects. To ensure transparency in selecting the winners, a group of distinctive jury members were selected from The Queen Rania Center, Ministry of Education, Hashemite University and the JEI on a voluntary basis to evaluate the projects, ensuring that each project was reviewed by at least two jury members to guarantee fair selection and ensure that the most impressive and innovative projects were selected."

The five winners of the 1st Annual Local Innovative Education Forum will participate at the IEF Arabia that will take place in Tunisia in October. They will compete with winners from other Arabic countries and will then have the opportunity to participate in the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum to be held in Cape Town at the end of October. The top three winners will also compete with other Arab nations in an on-line competition to judge the best three individual VCT projects in the Arab World to participate in the world wide IEF event in Cape Town on an individual basis.

The Innovative Education Forums are part of the Innovative Teachers Program, which is a global community of educators sponsored by Microsoft Partners in Learning (PiL). PiL aims to strengthen the value of technology in schools, enhance the use of information and communications (ICT) technology in primary and secondary schools, and improve access to and the use of ICT for both teaching and learning.

The PiL program has provided considerable support to the Ministry of Education and the JEI helping to develop ICT curricula, providing professional IT training for teachers, and supporting the Knowledge Station Initiative that provides access and connectivity to Jordanians regardless of their economic status or geographic location. 

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