The Learn-A-Thon of Team44 and my Global Forum Experience

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God is really good! After the super typhoon that devastated my place (http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/12/21/from-storm-hit-palo-leyte-to-sunny-barcelona-spain/ ) I faced another challenge 3 days before going to Spain and that was when I had my denied visa. I thought I couldn’t join the forum and I thought I’ll just go home to my home town in Palo, Leyte, instead.

But God had given me so much blessings in life, for letting me and my family live of the super typhoon, for giving us a healthy and beautiful baby girl, for qualifying as Expert Educator and for winning the global forum in the learn-a-thon category.

I can never forget my experience in the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain. Aside from it was my first travel abroad and it was really tiring but I enjoyed every minute of my travel. It took me 15 to 16 hours to go to Barcelona, Spain, from Manila to Dubai and Dubai to Barcelona.

Each day of the forum was great, the opening ceremony, technology showcase, hot topic discussions and the most exciting was the exhibit of the Microsoft Expert Educators in which I met and learned from the innovative teaching and practices of the other expert educators in the world.

Each educator showcased their learning activity and presented to the guests, judges, and to everyone the innovative practices they utilized in the development of the learners 21st century skills.

I did not win in the individual project. But I have a strong feeling that my project, “what makes accounting exciting?” was included in the top listed projects and for me it is already an achievement.

I was surprised when one of the judges went to my exhibit area and said she was tasked to judge my project on-the-spot and she want me to discuss my project more on knowledge building. I believed that I delivered my best and I respect the decisions of all the judges in the forum.

The Learn-A-Thon is really unforgettable. I know this was made my Microsoft to give time to educators to work together and collaborate. And I commend Microsoft for that brilliant idea. It was really great and fun working with other educators. I can still remember we only had few hours’ discussion on what we will do in our presentation unlike the other teams.

With that, I found time to go out of the venue and roam around for picture taking (really funny right? hahaha) Anyway, we divided our task already and decided to have online collaboration of the topic.

Hence, few hours before our time to present, Kurt Socer of Austria was still working with our PowerPoint. It was really hard actually, because Michio Inaba of Japan is deaf and has basic English communication skill. We only communicate with him in his laptop with a software that translates English to Japanese and with the help of his wife.

Michio even told me to do his part in the presentation and I said no! I talked to the group to give Michio the introductory part in which he presented through a sign language the title of the learning activity, the learning goal and the brief description and that was really awesome! He presented it well and with conviction!

While Kurt was busy working with the PowerPoint, Tamer El-Kady of Egypt and I kept on walking and murmuring something about our part… other delegates were smiling every time they saw us talking to ourselves.

Few minutes before presentation, and still we don’t have the title. So last minute decision for the title, “Poverty: Causes and Solutions” because the objective of the learning activity is to identify causes of poverty and suggest solutions. We decided to have a group picture and showed it on the last slide of the presentation. We went out and took photos while we posed like champions and I said that our next picture will be on the awarding… and it happened!

We did well on the presentation and our learning activity is something new and unique. And we showed to the judges how we worked as a team and how we developed among ourselves the 21st century skills which are possible for the students to acquire when other educators apply our designed learning activity.

Kurt Socer of Austria, Tamer El-Kady of Egypt and Michio Inaba of Japan, you guys showed me the spirit to strive more and to give best education to my students.

I love you Microsoft for a wonderful experience and please continue to initiate program that will unite educators in the world!

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