The event, brought together 300 of the most innovative educators from 85 counties in a collaborative forum, to further the evolution of classroom experiences using the latest technologies
May, 2017 Kuwait City, Kuwait – As part of its ongoing global commitment to education, Microsoft hosted 6 education professionals from Gulf, during the company’s annual Educator Exchange (E2) conference held this year on 21st – 23rd March at the Fairmont Royal York, in Toronto, Canada.
E2 is an annual three-day event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. This event brought together 300 of the most innovative educators from 85 countries in Toronto to share their expertise in integrating technology and pedagogy to transform education.
Microsoft at E2 reiterated its commitment to making learning more engaging, and introducing its latest solution “Microsoft MakeCode” that is based on adopting an inclusive and fun approach to learning. The company also showcased a slew of next-generation tools such as Minecraft as a platform for educators to inspire students to leverage technology and unleash their potential to achieve more.
The one educator chosen from Kuwait to attend the event as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert was Ayman Issa from Abdulla Al Ahmed AlSabah School from Ministry of Education, Kuwait. He is a stand-out education professional who has made a clear, pioneering contributions in his field. Selection was done through a competition, on the basis of submitted portfolios and there were 6 teachers from Gulf who were selected.
The conference commenced with keynotes and sessions focused on empowering educators to engage in digital transformation, support personalized learning and accessibility, and implement STEM curriculum to prepare students for the 21st century. The agenda focused on providing attendees with opportunities to learn, collaborate, teach, and inspire. Attendees were shown some of Microsoft’s latest technologies and had the opportunity to share the ways in which they’re driving transformation in their own classrooms. They were also welcomed on Day 2 with an inspiring welcome message from Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
The event also featured an educator Group Challenge with this year’s topic “Make What’s Next”. Teachers were placed in groups and were asked to design a new feature, enhancement or an add-in to an existing Microsoft product, that will be augment and positively impact teaching and learning experience. Group collaboration spanned 2 days, with 4 Gulf Educators and their teams being selected for an award. Ayman Issa was declared winner of the group challenge for the category “delocalize”.
“I am very proud that I could be a part of the Microsoft conference, meet numerous talented educators whom I had the privilege of sharing my work and victory with. Upon the return to Kuwait, I am keen to transfer all what I have learned to my colleagues and students. I promise I will do the best to evangelize Microsoft products in the future” said Ayman.
Other highlights of the event included the “Learning Marketplace” where teachers showcased their learning activities on using Microsoft Technologies (Skype, Minecraft, OneNote). The hack STEM experience gave an opportunity for educators to build a bionic hand as part of Hacking STEM curriculum.
The three-day event centred on discussions about how technology can best be harnessed in the classroom, evolution of the education process and how to hold the attention of pupils. Breakout sessions and focus groups formed a major part of the event, and delegates referred to numerous projects in which Microsoft technology had been leveraged to allow teachers to achieve more.
As part of Microsoft’s commitment to take the lead on development of more effective technology solutions, a brand-new learning path on the Microsoft Educator Community was launched, titled, “Make what’s next through collaboration, citizenship, and creative thinking”. In this Learning Path, educators will learn how to “Make What’s Next” in their learning environment through Microsoft tools and technologies. They will see the positive impact that Office Online has on collaboration, the vast range of opportunities that can help build global citizens through Skype, and the concepts behind games that can increase student progress toward learning outcomes. By completing this Learning Path, educators will earn a badge and 1500 points, which will automatically make them a Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator!
The event culminated on the 23rd of March, with Global Educator Challenge awards given out at the final Awards closing Ceremony to honour educators who have shown exceptional innovation in their fields and during the sessions held at E2. The awards are intended to further Microsoft’s commitment to the enhancement of education standards, by identifying true thought leaders who are transforming their learning environments.
“A systematic approach to learning, and effective fusion of technology and pedagogy have the potential to bring about a significant change in today’s world” said Ahmed Ameen Ashour, Education Lead, Microsoft Gulf. “MIE experts who attended the conference share our vision for smart learning in the classrooms, feeding into our goal of providing new technology for learning and training. E2 provides an excellent opportunity for us to get valuable feedback of educators, and share best practices to develop new and exciting tools for the modern classroom; building the best educational solutions for the next generation.”