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Microsoft and UNESCO bring together European educators to share innovative practices for ICT use in schools


Microsoft Corp with the endorsement of UNESCO, is bringing together more than 70 forward-thinking educators from 25 countries across Europe for the third annual Innovative Teachers Forum, taking place 11–12 April in Tallinn, Estonia.

The two-day event promotes the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education and encourages participants to share ideas and best practices with their peers.With networking opportunities, discussion groups and best-practice showcases, the Innovative Teachers Forum is designed to help visionary educators find fresh ideas to enrich and broaden the learning experience in classrooms all over Europe. This year’s Forum will focus on enhanced e-learning and the classroom of the future, as well as discuss the 21st century workforce readiness needs and explore what teachers can do to better prepare students to meet them.

“UNESCO works towards achieving Education for All (EFA) to ensure that every child would have access to high-quality basic education,” Tarek Shawki, Leader of UNESCO’s CI team on ICTs in education, science and culture said. “Having the most innovative teachers of Europe meet to share ideas on how to innovate in teaching practices and then taking this newfound knowledge back home ultimately benefits the students, from the respective school of the teacher all the way to smaller rural schools.”

The event will conclude with the Innovative Teacher 2006 Awards, given to the six teachers who demonstrate exceptional examples of innovation in the classroom. The nominees are being evaluated by an international, independent group of experts from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research; the Estonian Information Technology College; St Patrick’s College in Dublin, Ireland; the Educational Portal of the Greece Ministry of Education; as well as Microsoft leaders, and others.

Experts in education and technology will address the attendees on topics of e-learning and designing classrooms of the future. Speakers include Professor Predrag Pale, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb; Guus Wijngaards, Professor of eLearning, INHOLLAND University for Higher Professional Education, the Netherlands; and Conor Galvin, Director for Education ICT Programmes at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.