Educating the generation of the future – what more noble pursuit can there be? But while the teaching profession too often flies under the radar, the hunt is now on for New Zealand’s most innovative school teacher, with a professional development package worth more than $5,000 at stake for the recipients.
The Microsoft Innovative Educator Awards celebrate the original and engaging use of technology in Kiwi classrooms and are on the lookout for full-time and part-time primary and secondary teachers at both public and private schools.
Jan Anderson of Methven Primary School in Canterbury was named a Microsoft Innovative Educator in 2010 for her work in gaming and education.
“To be recognised for my work was hugely rewarding, both professionally and personally," she says. "I am enjoying supporting other schools and teachers into games in education and extending the digital literacies children engage in throughout New Zealand."
The 2011 national winners will receive a prize including:
· An all-expenses paid trip to the Microsoft Asia Pacific Partners in Learning Education Forum in March 2012, and the chance to win a trip to the Worldwide Innovative Educators Forum later that year
· A HP EliteBook 2760p Tablet Notebook PC valued at $3,100
· An Xbox Kinect package for their school
· A commemorative plaque and recognition on the global Microsoft Partners in Learning website
Evan Blackman, education manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says education is the cornerstone of New Zealand’s future success
"I’m passionate about technology opening the doors to more engaging and compelling learning – but first we need to ensure our teachers are comfortable and confidant using technology in the classroom.
“These awards are designed to recognise and reward teachers for innovative and ground-breaking use of technology. Every year we get a slew of inspiring entries from teachers around the country, and I’m sure this year will be no different. I hope teachers will not only put themselves forward for consideration, but also take the time to recognise the work of their peers.”
Entries must be submitted by midnight on October 28, with evidence of how the entrant has used technology in an exemplary and innovative way.