There were nine winners in the Partners in Learning 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum, four second place winners and five first place winners (one of these was the teacher’s choice winner). For the second year in a row one of the top US winners was a computer science teacher. This year is was Louis Zulli Jr. who teaches at the Lakewood High School Center for Advanced Technologies in Florida. That is Louis holding his award with me below. Louis was first for using technology for learning.
Louis is a modest man who has done absolutely amazing things with his students. By leveraging the MSDN AA and Dreamspark programs he puts serious professional level software in the hands of his students from their freshmen year. Students learn how to use this software by creating serious projects that solve real-world problems for their school. Students in this program are also earning industry certifications. His students regularly get internships and jobs outside of school based on the learning and projects that they have done in schools. Authentic learning at its finest.
Second place in using Technology for Learning was also a computer science teacher.
2nd place: Doug Bergman, Porter-Gaud School (South Carolina)
Project : Computer Science through Entrepreneurism and XNA Game Studio for the Xbox
Students in this hybrid computer science and entrepreneurship class learn how to manage and work on a single large computer programming project using Microsoft’s XNA Gaming Studio, as well as developing their own software coding and problem-solving skills. They apply the equally important skills of entrepreneurism using the NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) curriculum, building, and eventually presenting a business plan for the game idea they choose. Additionally students identify something they are personally passionate about and create a game or simulation for the Xbox that teaches, demonstrates and generates interest in the area they have chosen. (See a previous post for more info on this project)
You can read about all of the US Innovative Education Forum winners here. And you will want to watch the video on that post. It really shows, in the teacher’s own words, what the event was all about.
Louis and Doug will be representing the United States at the Worldwide Innovative Education Forum this fall in Washington DC. Good luck guys! We’re all cheering for you!