This blog outlines some of the highlights of Waggrakine Primary School’s journey as an Australian Microsoft Innovative School from a participating school to a Mentor school. See full story here.
Microsoft Innovative Schools program
About the program
The Microsoft Partners in Learning Innovative Schools program is a collaborative partnership between Microsoft Australia, Australian State Governments and Australian schools to explore how ‘Innovative Schools’ can better enable innovative learners. Participating schools form part of a global program to enable schools to design, explore and embrace reform that makes education more engaging, collaborative and relevant to 21st Century economic and social needs.
The program is designed to harness the expertise, knowledge and experience of local, national and international networks to create conditions in which successful transformation is possible, and to build this as a valuable, evolving body of knowledge. Mentors, coaches and internationally recognised educational thought leaders are involved in the program to bring a richness of support to schools and the program also has a structured research component.
There are five levels of the program worldwide:
What is an innovative school?
A collaborative partnership between Microsoft Australia, Australian state governments and schools
- Part of a global program to make learning more accessible, relevant and engaging
- Connects schools with one another and with world-leading educational experts
- Provides access to Microsoft technologies – both current and future resources
- Provides suggested structures, methodologies and enough time for school improvement, aligned to national objectives.
- Provides teaching staff with professional development opportunities such as peer coaching, conference attendance with key partners (such as Australian Council of Educational Leaders) and access to Teachers Awards (such as the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Awards)
In 2009 we were one of twenty Schools in the Australian Pilot program
IN this stage of the program we attended professional learning forums across Australia with three educators from each of the pilot program schools. We accessed virtual universities and Microsoft Peer Coaching professional learning. We visited other Microsoft and leading schools in Victoria and Tasmania. Below are photos of Silverton and Dallas Primary Schools in Victoria, Australia, two Microsoft Mentor schools.
In 2011 we became one of 60 Worldwide Innovative Pathfinder schools.
As a pathfinder we accessed monthly Virutal universities with world renowned educational leaders such as Will Richardson, Dan Buckley, Professor Michael Fullen and more. We had the opportunity to attend the Worldwide Forum in Washington DC and the Asia Pacific forum in Auckland New Zealand where all of the Microsoft Innovative Teacher winners from all over Asia showcase their learning projects. Waggrakine teacher, Kellie Hunter, was the winner of the Microsoft Innovative teacher Western Australia in 2011.
Now in 2012 we are now one of 30 Worldwide Mentor schools.
- We have an exclusive opportunity to draw on Microsoft expertise, development tools and professional training
- We have the chance to connect and collaborate with other innovative schools the world over
- We can reflect upon and improve your philosophy, practices and success in digital learning
20 Australian government schools were originally selected as Pilot Schools by their state jurisdictions, since 2010 states have run a process to select from interested schools. We were chosen because:
- We have demonstrated our commitment to innovative practice and continuous improvement
- We have been recognised for using ICT to improve student learning, as well as sharing expertise and resources with other schools
- We were recommended for the program by our peers
- We have proven our ability to innovate using the latest technology in a Windows PC environment
- We have and will continue to celebrate student learning outcomes achieved in partnership with Microsoft
How we benefit?
Microsoft and their global network will support our goal of delivering more engaging, collaborative and relevant learning by:
- Facilitating relationships with global thought leaders and innovative schools worldwide, to help us improve learning via virtual universities
- Access to Microsoft accredited Peer Coaching training
- Connecting us to schools across Australia
- Recognising us globally as a Microsoft Innovative School