Vienna…this means nothing to me!

Those of you who are old enough to remember the words of Midge Ure will get this. For those who aren't - or are American, like Kristen - stay with me here, and all will be made clear. image

From our previous posts you will have read about two lucky and talented teachers from the UK who attended the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum. Their journey to this event started a year ago, when they entered their Virtual Classroom Tours into the UK Innovative Teachers Forum. Their VCTs, along with those from four other teachers, were judged to be some the most innovative uses of technology to support teaching and learning. They were invited to represent the UK at Microsoft's European Innovative Teachers Forum in Zagreb. And, as Dan and Peter were both award-winners in Zagreb, they were then invited to attend the Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum in Hong Kong.

In the months since this process began, I have had the opportunity to visit both Dan and Peter's schools and have seen that many teachers in both places are a part of bigger projects around school transformation. Some, through leading communities of professional development using the Innovative Teachers Network, have become thought leaders in that process. During this time I have seen some outstanding and innovative work in transforming teaching and learning, much of which is posted as VCTs on the Innovative Teachers Network. And if these two schools are any indication, I know that there are many more amazing ideas and practices out there, just waiting to be shared.

Now is YOUR chance to participate. If last year's Forum was anything to go by, this year promises to be even better, so it is with much anticipation that I am pleased to announce that the next the UK Innovative Teachers Forum will be held on 20th February 2009.

Full details of how to enter can be found in the UK Innovative Teachers Forum 2009 community on the Innovative Teachers Network . But before you rush off and send us your learning activity, take a step back and look at your current practice. What activities and learning opportunities have you created with and for your students? Which of those would you share to allow other teachers to improve their current practice? How would describe your projects to others? Keep in mind that you could be sharing your learning activity with a worldwide audience.

Closing date for submissions is the 1st February 2009. The submitted entries will be assessed based on criteria that is described in detail on the ITN. The creators of the 10 best VCTs will be invited to Microsoft UK Headquarters in Reading for an award ceremony and a day of learning and collaboration. And in March, Microsoft will be bringing four of the teachers attending the UK event to Vienna to present their work at the European Innovative teachers Forum.

It's quite possible, then that in March 2009, Vienna may mean something to you other than just an annoying tune from the 80's...

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