I’m sorry for the delay in getting this up but with travel and recuperation from celebrating, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. It was an amazing night and was the most successful night the Irish subsidiary has ever had at an event like this. While we were hugely shocked and disappointed that Matt and his submission didn’t win, we were overwhelmed how well Microsoft Ireland did. Having a winner from the North and South is a 1st and to say we celebrated would be an understatement. At this year’s event there were over 250 Teachers and Educators from 41 European (Western Europe and Central Eastern Europe) countries presenting 80 innovative winning projects from their respective country. The standard gets higher and higher every year.
So how did it work on the night? For the 1st time they didn’t announce the semi-finalists prior to the gala dinner so every project was “technically” alive in the competition. While the winners and semi-finalist had been determined the night before, the judges did an outstanding job of not tipping their hands. Just before dinner was served, Niels Soelberg, Microsoft VP PS EMEA, announced the winners of the semi-finals. What made this even more exciting was the fact that the semi-finalists were all being invited to Capetown in October to attend the WW IEF Event. In the past, only the 12 winners we invited to the worldwide event. When the screens came up for the “Community” and the Content” semi-finalists, these are what it looked like !
So now we knew we had 2 projects going to Capetown. Could we hope for any more? Yes, and as dinner progressed the nerves started to ratchet up. In Vienna last year we had our best finish in NI with David Stinson taking a 2nd for “Content”. As the dessert was being served, they started the announcement of the winning projects. 1st up was “Community” where Barry had won in the semis. As the 3rd, then the 2nd places were announced, we were becoming very nervous. Then we saw what we were hoping for-
1st Place for Community- Northern Ireland- Barry Corrigan!!!!!!
Making Homework Count-Parent Engagement
The whole table went mad and I think Barry went into shock. He went onstage to collect his award and the next category to be announced was”Content” where Ursula had made it into the semis. Lo and behold, her work with David Walsh had taken-
2nd Place for Content- Ireland- Ursula Hynes!!!!!
My Study Mate
Now we were all overjoyed and excited, hoping that Matt and his project might be in for the “Educators Choice”. This is a vote of all of the attendees and what they felt were the best projects. “Teachers voting on other Teachers”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be but Matt still came out a huge winner. His project was chosen by the Microsoft Team in Croatia to be shared online with over 150 schools in the next few weeks.!!! A fantastic validation of the outstanding work done at Christ the Redeemer Primary.
A huge congratulations also goes out to all of the winners this year but especially to our friends and colleagues from the UK subsidiary.
3rd Place for Community- UK- Simon Horleston
Climate Change Challenge
1st Place for Collaboration- UK- Jan Webb
Working in a Classroom Without Walls
I will be doing some follow-up blogs about all the winners and where to see and download their projects. For now, we are already starting to think about Capetown where Barry, Ursula and David (yes-he’s going too!!) will compete against the best Teachers and projects from around the world. So stay tuned!!
Look for the new IEF Berlin 2010 photo album for more pictures from the week.