Texas STAR a Finalist for Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum

Congrats to Texas DEN Star and Leadership Council member Joli Barker!  She is one of a select group of educators invited to Redmond this summer for the  Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum.   Here is news on this special program and Joli’s fantastic project:

The Partners in Learning US Forum is part of a global educator recognition program that last year attracted over 250,000 educators from 75 countries. The intent of the Forum is to showcase innovative teaching practices happening in K-12 classrooms inspired by the effective use of technology with the goal of positively impacting student learning.Finalists from the US Forum will advance to the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Athens, Greece. The group of educators below applied to be considered in the first round of applications for the US Forum and rose above their peers with a combination of thoughtful pedagogy coupled with an effective use of technology to advance student learning.
We are excited to share this initial group of 44 educators representing 32 projects across the K-12 spectrum from 15 states.

Joli Barker, Slaughter Elementary (McKinney)
Project: XBOX 360: the iConnect Project
Using Kodu gaming, gaming vernacular and concepts, 2nd grade students utilized ePals, Edmodo, Skype, and Microsoft Office, PhotoStory, Skype, and Xbox 360 to participate in a global literary book study and multimedia festival. The class connected with over 8 classrooms across the world who read the Magic Tree House books with us and participated in creating multimedia reports and Kodu games to extend and express their learning. When the book series took us to a new country, the classroom from which the book was set “hosted” the Q&A for that book via Skype. The overall result was an extraordinary literary experience that transcended reading comprehension into a cultural study and a global connection that far surpassed the original goal.

Some material in this post originally appeared at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/teachertech/archive/2012/04/12/finalists-announced-for-round-1-of-the-microsoft-partners-in-learning-2012-us-forum.aspx