Well, as you can guess, it’s been a very busy few days so far. The exhibition booths were set up yesterday morning and it’s been pretty much non-stop since then.
After that was done, the event was officially opened by Anthony Salcito, Microsoft VP WW Education. He was followed by Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and Claudia Zinke, State Secretary for Education, Youth and Family, Berlin.
After a great lunch, we were treated to something very special- a Keynote address from Prof. Sugata Mitre. If you’re not familiar with who he is, he has founded and been running the “Hole in the Wall” Project for many years. You may remember reading about a man who put a computer in a wall in a Delhi slum and waited to see what would happen. Well, what happened was totally amazing. Children who had never seen a computer before we able to use it and teach themselves unbelievable things. You can get an idea of what he did on this video from a few years ago.
This is the man that was the inspiration for Slumdog Millionaire, one of the most successful and well liked independent movies in recent memory. He didn’t stop there and you’ll be able to see this astounding work he’s done on the Hole in the Wall website. To say we were blown away would not do it justice. If Microsoft puts his presentation on the web, I’ll be sure to pass it along. It will be the fastest 45 minutes you’ll ever spend.
Then the 1st round of judging took place and Ursula and Barry had to do their official presentations to their assigned judges. They were both very pleased with what they had done. Matt went today, but more about that in the next post.
The day ended with the 2nd keynote from Leonie Schlick from T-Systems International and Florian Semle from freelations.de. Their topic was “Learning from the Students-The Social Web in an Educational Perspective”.
It was finished off with a buffet and and an open bar for a few hours. All in all, a busy, fun and inspiring day. More tomorrow!!