Jordan Celebrated at Microsoft's 2012 Global Forum Educator Awards

02-01-2013 12:00 AM

Ammon News - Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum recognizes 21 educators from around the world for their innovative uses of technology in the classroom.

AMMAN — Ghadeer and Rania Obeidat from Jordan were celebrated on Saturday amongst the most pioneering educators in the world, as part of Microsoft Corp.’s annual Global Forum Educator Awards. During the ceremony, held in the prestigious Prague Castle to mark the culmination of the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum, Microsoft announced 21 winners, narrowed down from more than 250,000 teachers registered across national and regional forums throughout the year.

“We can’t educate tomorrow’s leaders with tools and practices from the past. We must continue to invest in the development of enhanced learning environments that lead to better outcomes,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education for Microsoft.

Microsoft Jordan's Country Manager, Zeid Shubailat, commented on this achievement stressing the vital role of education in developing local communities. “We are honored to recognize Ghadeer and Rania Obeidat for the work they do every day to enrich the educational experience of their students and raise the awareness of their local communities in issues that affect their everyday life", he said

Awards were presented to educators across six categories. All winners will be automatically included in the new Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program; a one-year initiative created to recognize educators globally who are using technology to transform education.

Expert Educators will become Microsoft’s partner in many of its education activities throughout the year, focused on ensuring learning outcomes and sharing of experiences with peers and policymakers on effective use of technology in education.

In return, members receive the inside track on the latest Microsoft thinking and technologies, as well as access to the latest and greatest software and products. In addition, Microsoft will ensure that this group is getting the professional and career development opportunities that will be long lasting and help them make a difference in their students’ lives.

Ghadeer and Rania Obeidat from Jordan were recognized in the Beyond the Classroom category for their innovative project, Glimmer of Hope, which aims at raising the awareness of students and local community about the nature of breast cancer disease, its causes, symptoms as well as the importance of the early detection.

“We’re excited that our project was awarded among the tough competition that we’ve seen in Prague. Through the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program, we plan to share our experiences with other teachers and hope our work can help students and communities around the world,” said Rania Obeidat.

Her Majesty Queen Rania met with Ghadeer and Rania last week and commended on their creativity and hard work.

Jordan's Minister of Education, Dr. Wajih Oweis, was extremely proud and impressed with this achievement. “Rania and Ghadeer Obeidat made us all proud. Their achievement proves how talented and innovative the Jordanian youth is", he said.

“Our priority is to make sure that our work has an impact outside of the classroom and raise the students and the local community's awareness about the importance of breast cancer early detection, so to be recognized as educators making a difference was important to us. ", said Ghadeer Obeidat.

Participants were judged by an international panel of education professionals through rigorous scoring criteria, which ensures that entries are reviewed in the most professional and fair way.

Through virtual classroom tours and onsite interviews by judges, these teachers demonstrated innovative teaching practices, giving their students critical 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and social responsibility, by leveraging effective and engaging technology resources. Teachers were recognized across the following categories:

1. Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom
2. Collaboration
3. Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking
4. Cutting-Edge Use of Technology for Learning
5. Educator as Innovator and Change Agent
6. Educators’ Choice

“Every year the submissions seem to get better and better, and this year is no exception,” said Michael Hallissy, founding partner of H2 Learning. “The level of sophistication of these entries shows that teachers are continuing to innovate and expand the ways they use technology to help students all over the world realize their potential.”

The award ceremony was attended by more than 500 teachers, school leaders and education leaders, as well as government officials from more than 80 countries. The celebration capped off a week of education workshops and announcements, including an additional US$250 million investment by Microsoft over the next five years in Partners in Learning and a new US$75 million partnership between Microsoft and some of the largest and most impactful humanitarian organizations in the world to execute a program to help children and teachers gain first-time access to technology.

An example of this initiative begins today with a program entitled Spark a Child’s Digital Future This initiative is a collaborative effort uniting World Vision, British Council, Microsoft and Intel, linking African youth with over 1 million potential donors in the United States alone.

All winners of the 2012 Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum, including Rania and Ghadeer Obeidat, will be automatically included in the new Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Program, a one-year initiative created to recognize educators globally who are using technology to transform education.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 15-year, $750 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries. Partners in Learning helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, and share so students can realize their greatest potential. The online Partners in Learning Network is one of the world’s largest global professional networks for educators, connecting millions of teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development.

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