Where do you even begin? There is so much happening and has happened you could write a blog every hour. I guess I have to start with last evening.
It was one of the most amazing company events I have ever been at. After all of the workshops and presentations during the day is was time to freshen up and go to the Opening Reception. And what an opening it was. We were give complete private access and viewing rights at the National Museum of American History. Being given the opportunity to wander around at will in this amazing place was a very real privilege. There was a jazz band and loads of food and drinks for all attendees. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can see loads of pictures from the night HERE
This morning started with the keynotes in the Warner Theatre. Anthony Salcito, WW VP for Education delivered an insightful and enlightening presentation around Microsoft’s commitment to Educators and Students worldwide. From today’s article in Silicon Republic:
Merging business with social responsibility – Anthony Salcito, vice-president of education at Microsoft Corp
Speaking today, Anthony Salcito, vice-president of education at Microsoft Corp, spoke about how the company believes that well-prepared educators can help today’s youth overcome the emerging opportunity divide and can help put students on a path toward the education, skills and opportunities they need to prosper in the 21st century.
“The Partners in Learning program is one of the many investments Microsoft is making to help educators more effectively prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Salcito. “At Microsoft, we believe that magic happens when business needs merge with social responsibility, and in an increasingly competitive global economy, bringing together organisations that are equally passionate about education can be a successful formula for preparing the next generation of leaders.”
Inspiring teacher recruits in the US
Salcito also announced in today’s keynote that Microsoft will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Education to support a campaign aimed at inspiring and recruiting young people to enter the teaching profession. As part of this, Microsoft is assuming overall management of the TEACH website. In the coming months, Microsoft will be taking the lead in developing a coalition of private-sector companies and other key organisations to further support the campaign and will be moving the site to Teach.org.
Partnership with British Council
Microsoft also announced a new, five-year partnership with the British Council to increase quality and access in education and training around the world. This partnership will combine the assets of Microsoft and the British Council to nurture the use of ICT for innovative practice in teaching and learning.
Microsoft and the British Council have each committed US$1m to the partnership’s first project, which will build 80 digital hubs at schools across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda using Windows MultiPoint Server.
The project is expected to train more than 20,000 school leaders and teachers and provide more than 100,000 learners and communities with digital access, while promoting literacy throughout the region. The project was inspired by similar work already under way in Africa by the British Council and by a commitment that Microsoft and other partners made at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010 to build labs powered by Windows MultiPoint Server in 40 “lighthouse” schools in Haiti, serving 24,000 students.
Microsoft Partners in Learning, the Smithsonian Institution and TakingITGlobal are continuing to expand the Shout programme, which was announced at last year’s Global Forum in South Africa. The partnership harnesses the power of technology to connect research and education resources with teachers and their students so they can act as a driving force for significant, positive contributions to the environment.
This year’s programme will focus on water quality and quantity, to ensure that water is safe for both people and the environment, as well as managing the crises of too much water and not enough water.
We were also privileged to have a keynote from Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education who is a true thought leader.
Then was was an outdoor set of activities for both Tracks. The Educators went off to various Smithsonian venues and the DC Zoo while the Schools track had an task to do using the Washington Mall as their focus on creating and answering the question “What if?”
Now Doreen and Christine are showcasing their work to guests and presenting to the Judges in the 1st round of that competition process. here they are at their stands:
So stay tuned. Plenty more to come tomorrow. I’m off the the Partners exhibits and then to dinner with the WE, UK and Germany teams. Should be another great night. See you all tomorrow.