When technology fails, teachers will save you

Apr 21, 2013

Yesterday we held yet another virtual Teachmeet. Just like the previous three teachmeets, this one was a true celebration of teaching, learning and sharing. There were 16 speakers from 16 countries from across six continenets. They talked about eTwinning projects, classroom publishing, concept mapping, Edmodo, extensive reading, writing, gaming, entrepreneurship, mentoring teachers and Wordle, just to mention a few. The atmoshpere was incredible - you could feel the immense enthusiasm, energy and passion that radiated not only from the speakers, but also from the audience, both in the chatbox and on the stage.

Technology, however, is another story.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong. At one point, the ACP simply refused to obey our orders, requests and pleas to upload the speakers' presentations. I was devastated, even though I know very well that  technology often lets us down, but we still love it! Luckily, having teachers in the audience means that  all problems can be fixed! Teachers wouldn't be teachers if they didn't have a contingency plan for each and every situation that could go wrong. So when we came up with the idea to share the presentations on Slideshare and talk in the ACP, I knew  that the TeachMeet was saved!

MS PIL Alumni Reunion

Apr 1, 2013

In July 2011,  I was proud and honored to be one of the top 50 educators selected by the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network to take part in the first PIL Institute that was held at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA.

This event has greatly impacted both my professional and personal life - it influenced the way I teach, the way I learn and the way I connect with educators worldwide.

I'm still in close contact with most of the educators from Seattle -  on the PIL Network and on our Facebook page, fondly nicknamed the Dirty Fifty.  Some of us have also had the pleasure of f2f meetings in different countries worldwide and we all know, more or less, for most members of our group what they are up to, what they have done since Seattle, where they have traveled and how they have implemented the knowledge they gained at the Insititute.

A year and a half later, Bart and I are organizing a virtual PIL Insitutute Alumni Reunion - or an informal follow-up meeting as an opportunity for the PIL Insitutute Alumni to share their experiences and their expertise.

We're pleased to have received all the support from the PIL Network for the organization of this event, which will be held on the Microsoft Lync videoconferencing platform. What's more, Ms Razan Roberts and Ms Taryn Benarroch of Microsoft will join us and deliver a presentation on the Expert Educator Program that Microsoft is about to launch real soon. This will be a huge privilege for all the attendees to hear about this program even before it is launched. We'll learn how educators can apply for it and what it will bring them for their professional development.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm CET on Thursday April 4, 2013. Check your time zone here. To join us for the event, follow this link to the Lync Room. The room will be open half an hour before the event.

Find out more about the PIL Alumni here.
Here's my video about the PIL Institute:
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