Innovative Teachers program is a global community of educators sponsored by Microsoft Partners in Learning. The forums are annual events that recognize and reward innovative teachers who practice the elements of 21st century learning in their own classrooms, and then incorporate these skills into the student learning environment.
Joan and I came up with the idea of Imagine If .Our main three goals were 1) To cultivate imagination, creativity, and innovation using 21st century skills to involve students in service learning and global awareness2) To empower students in our classroom to educate our school wide populationdivisional communityprovincial communityworld community on local and regional issues of poverty. 3) To promote empathy and citizenship
Joan and I read the book imagination first by Eric Lui .Their key point in the book was innovation canot happen if you dont start with imagination.
Using Microsoft applications of Songsmith, Kodu and AutoCollage we wanted to raise awareness of global poverty. We hoped that by using Songsmith, Kodu and AutoCollage we would spark students’ imagination and creativity to discover that they had the power to reach out and connect with others to raise awareness of global poverty.
Songsmith is an application that lets you create a song just by singing. Songsmith has thirty different musical styles, you pick the style, write the words and its as simple as pressing record. You can speed up or slow down the tempo.Using songsmith we felt that we would be tapping into Verbal-linguistic and musical-rhythmic intelligence. We wanted students to create songs generated from sensory poetry and then using social networks students will share their creations and invite others from around the world to contribute. Students will brainstorm for innovative ideas on how their creations could raise awareness for those in need.
AutoCollage is an application that helps you create unique collages of pictures by simply picking a folder and pressing a button.AutoCollage taps into visual-spatial intelligence. We hope of building a universal understanding of poverty, students will use images from artwork and photography to create collages. Students will be able to communicate their thinking and ideas through images. These collages will be posted on a classroom wiki. The power of digital story telling through AutoCollage will break through language barriers. The variety of collages that will be generated will increase students’ understanding that although poverty may look different, depending on where you live, but it is a global issue.
The Kodu project is gaming. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. The Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Tapping into the Logical-Mathematical and Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligences, students will create a simulation game based on global issues that directly affect poverty. In conjunction with MCIC (Manitoba Council for International Cooperation) students will create a video game based on the global issue of poverty. Through gaming, students will problem solve and develop critical thinking skills. A link will be posted on our wiki to excite and inspire others.
Songsmith, AutoCollage, and Kodu will allow us to differentiate for all levels of learners thereby providing students with a feeling of accomplishment and success. This feeling will give students the freedom to develop innovative ways to execute their goals.
Our project will engage learners in a variety of ways. According to Choice Theory, utilizing the opportunity for student choice increases engagement of learners particularly those who may experience difficulty in a regular classroom setting. The use of Songsmith, AutoCollage, and Kodu allows for inclusion of all students tapping into their multiple intelligences. Using these tools we will provide students with opportunities to express themselves in a variety of ways. All students will have the capacity to engage in the learning as each student will bring their varying strengths in each of the multiple intelligences to the activities. Students will be engaged in collaborating, designing, testing and revising individually and in small groups to develop games, songs and visual representations. We hope that this will be extended into an online and global community, connecting themselves to others.We know that 21st century learners value being able to communicate and connect in a variety of ways. We felt that this project would provide opportunity to work collaboratively in groups, share work online, and communicate globally. Through The Imagine If project, students will discover that they can make a difference and that they have the power to reach out and connect with others.
What skills do we have to implement this program….We are problem solvers and are not afraid to failWe enjoy collaborating and leading by influence We are both adaptableWe show initiative We communicate in a variety of ways (online, teaching, presenting)We are able to access and analyze information We are curious and imaginative We have 33 years of teaching experience between us. We regularly attend professional development and we strive to instil 21st century skills into our learning experiences. We are excited to get started!
-Students are engaged (portfolio, exit slips/reflection, and participation)-We receive feedback and participation from other schools-Other students and educators are able to learn from and build on the project -We find new and engaging ways to understand the issue of poverty around the world-We improve the knowledge and awareness of global issues-We have fostered innovation and creativity in students -Students find new and innovative ways to use Songsmith, AutoCollage, and Kodu-The project is sustainable and is making a difference to promote awareness and change-The Imagine If Wiki continues to grow and expand beyond our class participation
Microsoft innovative teacher
Microsoft Innovative Teacher<br />21st Century Skills<br />
Skills for Implementation<br />lead by influence<br />problem solvers<br />not afraid to fail<br />enjoy collaborating<br />curious<br />able to access and analyze information<br />imaginative<br />communicate in a variety of ways<br />show initiative<br />adaptable<br />