Teachers across the United States will have an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with top-notch educators from all over the world through Microsoft Corp.’s Innovative Teachers Network (ITN), a new online forum that promotes the exchange of ideas and methods on how best to incorporate technology into the classroom effectively.
The ITN is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning (PiL) initiative, a program that gives educators the resources, training, and content they need to complement classroom technology and allow students to reach their full potential. In this newest boost of funding to PiL, Microsoft officials say educators will see a focus on programs that can support innovative students. “What the U.S. needs the least is another database of lesson plans,” said Mary Cullinane, director of Microsoft’s U.S. Partners in Learning program. “What we do need, and what we believe is of significant value, is a place for innovative teachers and educators to have access to high-quality resources, to have an area for sharing best practices in learning communities, to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, and … to expose [educators] to a worldwide conversation.”
Cullinane said the ITN will connect nearly 1 million educators around the world. “It’s exciting for the U.S. to be part of that [international] conversation,” Cullinane said. “[Teachers] will now have access to the world’s largest professional development community for educators by being a part of this.” Microsoft has been testing the ITN for roughly six months, and U.S. educators have already given positive feedback. continue reading