Last update: 30-Jul-2014 3:45 pm
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T teacher at Microsoft Global Forum
Professional development has always been critical for teachers, and at the recent Microsoft in Education Global Forum 2014 in Barcelona, more than 1,100 attendees received a crash course on education, including Keith Laban, an Information Communication Technology teacher from Trinity College East.
Laban won the Ministry of Education’s eCAL ICT in Education Innovate Award last November, and he traveled to Spain’s second largest city to attend the event held in March. This year’s Forum recognised and celebrated the world’s most innovative school leaders and educators who effectively use ICT in the classroom to transform education for the 21st century and to help students maximise their potential. This is the second time Laban has attended a Global Forum.
“Ever since I attended the first Forum, it has significantly impacted me as an educator and as a teacher trainer. I have held several professional development sessions since then based on 21st century learning and the use of Microsoft tools in the classroom,” Laban said. “I am using the training received from Microsoft to design learning activities that engage students in the much needed 21st century skills, as well as to train and update my colleagues on the changing education paradigm and the use of ICT in education.”
Celebrating its tenth year, the Microsoft in Education Global Forum provided an opportunity for education’s best to learn from their peers, share classroom triumphs and challenges, and collaborate to help transform education for the 21st century. It was attended by top education leaders, school leaders, educators, government officials, and others from more than 97 countries.
The Forum also offered educators best-practices to help expand their knowledge of the ways technology can make a difference to students, both inside and outside the classroom, and prepare them for work and life.
Locally, Microsoft is working with the Ministry of Education through its Partners in Learning (PiL) programme—a component of the YouthSpark initiative, the company’s global commitment to empowering youth through opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. PiL supports the success of each educator through world-class, research-based professional development, online communities, and exclusive recognition programs for the most innovative educators in the world.
“Educators need help. Students need help. Over the past ten years, PiL has been committed to accelerating the progress of education reform,” said Frances Correia, Microsoft TT country manager. “With US$750 million dollars invested to date, we’ve led the way in partnering with educators, helping nearly 8 million educators around the globe, and reaching more than 190 million students in 114 countries in our first seven years alone.”
Since his return and to sustain momentum on the ground, Laban is using the knowledge he gained from his participation at the Forum to influence his colleagues in trying inventive practices, with a hope of achieving education reform in T&T. “I am keen on sharing what I’ve learned with fellow educators at my school and with educators in other schools throughout the country. I have already done some teacher training and participated in Webinars as part of my year-long Microsoft Expert Educator agreement,”he said.