“Our first year as a mentor school in Microsoft Partners in Learning was a positive one. We had a great experience meeting other mentor schools at the seminar in Brazil,” says Jorn West Larsen, Headmaster of the Hellerup School in Denmark.
5 Things to Know Before You Go
We asked Jorn West Larsen, Headmaster of the Hellerup School what his colleagues should expect when they attend Microsoft Partners in Learning’s upcoming Worldwide Innovative Education Forum in October at Cape Town at South Africa. From a school in the project you can expect:
· Leaders and staff, who are motivated to join the program, and who speak and write sufficient English.
· Participants who are willing to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their school.
· A willingness to set up realistic goals for the near future and the authority to produce the necessary human and economic support to facilitate and oversee these goals.
· The necessary time and IT-knowledge to join the Virtual Universities.
· The commitment to share their own experiences with other schools.
“It is eye-opening to discuss shared experiences during the different sessions and to be able to talk about the topics that are most pertinent to your own teaching,” adds Helle Pedersen a teacher at the Hellerup School.
One of the goals of Microsoft Partners in Learning is to assist schools in sharing their most successful projects and curriculum. Understanding when and how to use technology is an important focus issue.
“We want to develop tasks that show students the benefit of using technology in all its forms. It's important for them to be able to pick the right tool for whatever project or challenge they are working on. Whether the tool they need is a ruler, calculator or spreadsheet, we want them to understand each one and choose appropriately,” said Pedersen.
Being a mentor school also gives teachers the opportunity to refine their own projects as they prepare to share them with others. “In order to share your experiences with colleagues you really have to take the time to reflect on what you are doing in the classroom and how you are doing it. I found this a very valuable aspect of being a mentor school,” said Pedersen
Collaboration is an important component of Microsoft Partners in Learning because that's where many great ideas are created. “Being a mentor school gives us the opportunity to discuss the projects we've implemented at Hellerup. Receiving positive feedback from other schools is a good affirmation that we are headed in the right direction. It's exciting to be part of a program that inspires other schools,” said Larsen.