Partners in Learning Global Forum – Washington DC

Microsoft Corp. announced the 2012 Pathfinder and Mentor Schools as part of its Partners in Learning for Schools Program. The 65 new Pathfinder Schools and 17 new Mentor Schools demonstrated a passion for creating a collaborative community to advance the uses of technology in the learning process. Waggrakine Primary School is one of three Australian Pathfinder schools selected in the program. Partners in Learning for Schools is an educational program that provides members with access to educational experts; helps them discover, share and scale best practices; helps them create knowledge and collaborative communities; and helps them understand how technology can further increase their teaching and learning practices. Pathfinder and Mentor schools are making the most of these benefits and are selected through a rigorous application process.

Forum Day 2

The forum is made up of 3 concurrent programs, one for the worldwide country teacher winners of the Innovative Teacher of the Year 2010/2011, one is the worldwide schools program made up of 60 worldwide Pathfinder schools and 32 worldwide Mentor schools, the final program running is a a peer coaching program. The forum has 700 participants from over 60 countries. You can follow us on twitter at #PILGF, the twitter stream has had 2 million tweets in the first two days of the forum, a record number of tweets for anything of this nature, such is the amount of worldwide interest in the education community on the directions to come from this conference.

Pathfinder schools are linked with a mentor school to become worldwide leaders in 21st century learning, involving collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking, creating a learning environment that prepares students to be in control of their future in a global community.

We are part of team 3, below is out small team of Dallas Brooks Community School in Melbourne, our Mentor school and our two Pathfinder schools Waggrakine Primary School and East Butler Primary School from Geraldton and Perth, Western Australia. Below is Val, Lynne, Amanda, Lis, Kellie and Denise, taking time to take in the sites and history of Washington DC and the expanse of the Smithsonian Institute.

At the end of Tuesday all 92 participating innovative schools manned their booths to share and showcase the great things happening in their schools. Waggrakine talked about our partnerships with Asia and DeforestAction, as the main global issues we are focussing on.


 ForumDay1Pathfinder and Mentor Schools Program

Will Richardson provided an opening address about personal and systemic change in education. “So, regardless of whether you think Khan Academy adds real value to the learning conversation, don’t miss the shift in rhetoricaround the potential.” Richardson says

“There is an urgency now to redefine our value. We cannot be about passing the test. We cannot be about content to the extent we are today because content is everywhere. We cannot be about a curriculum that’s a mile wide and an inch deep. Something else can do that now, and in some ways, that’s a good thing. We have to be about the thing that technology cannot and will not be able to do, and that’s care deeply for our kids as humans, help them develop passions to learn, solve problems that are uniquely important to them, understand beauty and meaning in the world, help them play and create and apply knowledge in ways that add to the richness of life, and develop empathy and deep contextual understanding of the world. And more.” follow his blog to read more and engage in the conversation. http://willrichardson.com/

Opening night was at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. One of the many Smithsonian Museums, all free to the public that are dedicated to the sharing and preserving of knowledge.

Michael Furdyk and Sara Hassan from Taking it Global are here to further engage schools in the conversation of Deforesaction. On Thursday we have been asked to briefly present with them on stage to talk about deforestaction at Waggrakine Primary School, an honour to share our students’ and staffs’ great work.


 A weekend in DC

As we recover from jet lag and prepare for the Partners in learning Global Forum in Washington DC on the 6 November take advantage of the weekend to take in the amazing sights and history Washington DC has to offer.  From the Lincoln Memorial to the White House to the peaceful protests at Freedom Plaza.

If you are looking for some exercise you can always join the local quidditch team to stay healthy! BYO broom, cape and Harry Potter glasses.  By 3pm those in need of comfy shoes yearned for the shops and found Macys!

Day 2 – a day at the Smithsonian and more

Today we visited the Holocaust Museum. We walked to Capitol Hill and the Jefferson Memorial and visited many of the Smithsonian Institutes along the way, including the Air and Space Museum.


1 Response to PILGF

  1. Lisa Keeffe says:

    Wow, you managed a lot with jet lag! Got to take advantage of the precious little time you have to look around. Now down to business.It looks cold there!

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