Has it really been a Month??

It’s hard to believe I haven’t done anything here for a month. Either I’m too busy or just lazy-no comments pleaseDon't tell anyone smile

I really have been “up to my eyes” since the beginning of the New Year-so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. There’s been a huge amount of activity from both sides of my job remit (Business and Programmes). I thought I would start to lay out what’s been happening and what’s ahead. There has also been numerous meetings with the Universities and FE Colleges.

Northgate Managed ServicesWith Northgate Managed Services being awarded the preferred bidder for the new Education Network NI (ENNI) for Classroom 2000 (C2k), that has been keeping me very busy to make sure this happens in a timely and effective manner from a customer (C2k), partner (Northgate) and Microsoft perspective. This will surely be a game-changer for schools, teachers and students in the coming months and years. There will be a lot more information coming out in the weeks and months ahead, so make sure you keep me bookmarked.

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For the 5th year running Microsoft Ireland participated in the Safer Internet Day (SID) 2012 on February 6th and 7th. Over 100 Microsoft volunteers visited 162 Primary schools (N+S) and delivered internet safety training to almost 17,000 students and 1000 teachers. Once again in the North, we partnered with the Police Service of NI (PSNI) and visited 42 Primary schools and met with over 3000 students.

imageThere are 2 immediate events taking place from the Partners in Learning  programme side of things. First and foremost we’ll be heading off to Lisbon in March (18th-23rd) for this year’s Partners in Learning Forum for Innovative Educators. Representing Northern Ireland will be David Young from Limavady HS and Ireland will be represented by  Paul Rooney from Scoil Chonglais in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow. They will be competing against 90 teachers from 40+ countries to be named one of the top 18 innovative teachers in Western and Central Eastern Europe. Should they win any of those places they will automatically invited to the Worldwide PiL Global Forum in November which is currently planned for Athens (we’ll have to see how that pans out Disappointed smile)

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The Lisbon Forum will take place at FIL Exhibition Centre a modern Meeting Centre, in Parque das Nações (Park of Nations). It is located in Eastern Lisbon that used to be an old industrial area until it was chosen as the site to host the last world fair of the 20th century, Expo 98.

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Next week I will announcing the launch for submissions for this year’s Innovative Pathfinder School applications. The submission process will run from March 1st through the end of May. There will be a few NI specific requirements you need to be aware of before the launch in order to prepare. Any school wishing to apply will need to:

  • At least 50% of your Teachers will need to be registered on the Partners in Learning Network with their profile completed before application submission.
  • You will be required to complete the Partners in Learning School Research (PILSR) survey. This is a staff wide survey not for just the Senior Management Team.
  • You should be aware of and possibly considering becoming a Microsoft IT Academy (not mandatory but preference will be given in case of a close decision)

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I will be working with Barry Corrigan and other teachers in sponsoring the 1st ever TeachMeet in Northern Ireland. Make sure you plan joining us (in person or virtually) on March 2nd at Stranmillis University College.

Also in the coming months:

  • PILSR launch in partnership with the RTU and the NI Education Library Boards to 50+NI schools
  • Possible cross-border event with world renowned Education change leaders (more to follow)
  • Lots, lots more so stay tuned

And I always think it’s a good idea to add a video, so here you go. I hope it gives you some idea of the scale and impact Partners in Learning is having around the world.

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