Last week was an exciting one for TIG! We were in Cape Town, South Africa with some of the world's most creative and resourceful education leaders for Microsoft's sixth annual Worldwide Innovation Education Forum (WWIEF) - held for the first time on African soil!
This event drew more than 500 educators, school leaders and government officials representing over 60 countries that continue to creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way students learn. This is the worldwide finale of a year’s worth of country and regional events, during which 125 finalists were selected from over 200,000 participants to present their work at WWIEF.
It was the perfect setting to launch an exciting new initiative that we've developed in partnership with Microsoft Partners in Learning and the Smithsonian Institution called Shout. This three-year environmental education and engagement program will help students and teachers connect with one another using technology, break down cultural and language barriers and drive positive social change.
The Shout program offers:
• Online events hosted by the Smithsonian Institution that feature some of the world’s leading scientists and environmental experts as well as representatives of other fields who bring diverse perspectives to the issues at hand. Sessions can be watched live in real time or in archived format in order to accommodate all time zones.
• Access to Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Network, a global community of educators who value innovative uses of information and communication technology, in order to share environmental education resources, experiences, and best practices with teachers around the world.
• Engagement of students in TakingITGlobal's online community, which provides resources, action tools, as well as the complimentary use of content-rich virtual classrooms and collaboration spaces designed to deepen environmental understanding and stewardship, enhance the development of 21st century skills, and facilitate continued communication with Smithsonian experts.
•A web portal that ties these elements together and provides access to additional tools and resources to support a range of “student challenges” – calls for deeper involvement that can range from capturing and sharing scientific data to developing youth-led initiatives for positive change.
Together, these components support a number of environmentally-themed “Shouts” to frame our understanding of our relationships and interactions with the natural world: Live, Study, Change, Sustain, Value and Celebrate. Each Shout connects students and teachers to a live event, teacher networking, and student collaborations focused around a specific theme, and presents students with challenges designed to deepen their learning and engagement. Shout is at once a program framework and a call to action. Join us
and make your voice heard.