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Microsoft Names Top Educators


Microsoft has announced that 11 educators from Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington  have been selected as winners of the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum (IEF). The IEF is an event recognizing innovative teachers and school leaders who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way kids learn while increasing student success.

Out of the thousands that applied, 100 educators from 25 states were selected for a spot to compete on Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond. IEF participants also voted on their peers in the Educator's Choice category and selected a winning project. The winning educators will represent the U.S. and advance to compete against educators from around the world at the Partners in Learning Global Forum, Nov. 6–11, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

"The Innovative Education Forum is an inspirational event to honor and celebrate the significant achievements of our nation's top educators who are using technology to help students thrive and grow into the next generation of leaders," said Andrew Ko, senior director, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. "Every year, teachers are challenged to help their students achieve high academic standards. It is impressive to see how creatively these educators are transforming learning to inspire and motivate their students to adopt 21st century skills."

Winning projects immerse students in active, hands-on learning, guiding them to employ critical thinking and creative problem solving. The nine outstanding projects focus on literacy, STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and math) and entrepreneurship using multimedia such as video and gaming. The projects exhibit the educators' abilities to exceed strict academic standards while making learning fun and effective for their students.

These are the winning teams from the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum:


  • 1st place: Colin Horak and Antonio Sablan, Franklin Pierce High School, Tacoma, Wash. Project Name: Project Unite
  • 2nd place: Pauline Roberts, Birmingham Covington School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Project Name: Engage – BCS!

Knowledge Building & Critical Thinking

  • 1st place: Kelli Etheredge, St. Paul's Episcopal School, Mobile, Ala. Project Name: What's the Verdict? The Count of Monte Christo Murder
  • 2nd place: Margaret Noble and David Stahnke, High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, Calif. Project Name: Illuminated Mathematics

Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom

  • 1st place: Jason Arthur, Highland High Tech High School, Anchorage, Alaska. Project Name: Combat Fishin'!
  • 2nd place: Nathan Manderfeld, James Monroe Elementary School , Bermuda, Calif. Project Name: iAM

Use of Technology for Learning

  • 1st place: Louis Zulli Jr., Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School, St. Petersburg, Fla. Project Name: Center for Advanced Technologies News and Information Portal (CATNIP).
  • 2nd place: Doug Bergman, Porter-Gaud School, Charleston, S.C. Project Name: XNA Game Studio for the Xbox

Educators' Choice

  • Melanie Wiscount, Palmyra Area High School, Palmyra, Pa. Project Name: History Video Podcasts & QR Codes

This year's Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington, D.C., will bring together more than 700 educators, school leaders and government officials representing over 70 countries. The forum, which showcases how technology can further education transformation when appropriately incorporated into curricula, pedagogy and classrooms, is the culmination of a year's worth of country and regional events.

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