This afternoon and evening were a warm up for #PILGF (Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum). The setting is a couple of downtown hotels in Washington and the potential to be blown away is immense. Over 700 educators from around the world have been invited to share and show off some of the terrific things that are happening in classrooms from over 70 countries. According to the backgrounder, nearly 200,000 projects have been part of the process and by Thursday, the 18 best will be formally recognized with Global Forum Educator Awards. The event starts in earnest tomorrow but for tonight, it was a social event at the National Museum of American History.
It was in the Great Hall that those who will be participating were welcomed to #PILFG and the Smithsonian museums.
So, in this big group, it is nice to not be alone. My friend and fellow blogger Angela Maiers (@angelamaiers) and I met up with Lee Kolbert (@teachakidd) to enjoy some stories and to walk about and meet at least some of the folks in attendance.
We’re already off to a fabulous start meeting some of the teachers who are guests for the event. Ever in search of something new, I just had to introduce myself to a group that were wearing white scarves with lettering that I couldn’t make out as they all had it turned over at some point. The group was from El Salvador and through their interpreter, I got a good sense of their project. I’ll wait to actually see their exhibit before going into details. Part of my discussions also involved Computer Science teachers from Florida and Maryland.
Between discussions, I just had to take in some of the exhibits (albeit very quickly) but got to meet others as they were touring as well. Sadly, there were things like the original Stars and Stripes that where in areas were photos were not allowed. However, in more camera friendly areas, I managed to snag pictures of:
The Ruby Shoes from The Wizard of Oz
Michael Jackson’s hat
Archie and Edith Bunker’s chairs
I sure wish that I had my good camera.
Yet, in the midst of all of this history, the stories remain with the teachers in attendance. Over the next three days, I’ll have the opportunity to talk and take pictures and share some of the stories here. The entries will be judged in the areas of: Extending Learning beyond the Classroom, Collaboration, Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking, Innovation in Challenging Contexts, and Cutting Edge Use of Microsoft Technology for Learning.