Worldwide Innovative Schools Program Microsoft Partners in Learning Innovative Schools Program School leaders around the world are asking the same questions, “How can I make learning more accessible and relevant, engage the natural desire of students to learn, and prepare them for a successful future?” In response, Microsoft has created the Partners in Learning Innovative Schools Program. With a focus on system- wide change, this community of schools is seeking to find the answers to this question. The goal of the Innovative Schools Program is to discover, share and scale best practices, develop models and assets that any school or any school system can use to help students achieve their full potential, and create a collaborative community of like- minded school leaders. Building on the experience of innovative schools and education experts from around the world, Partners in Learning is helping school leaders create a culture of innovation that advances the uses of technology in the learning process and enables children to develop 21st century skills. This approach has been proven to help students prepare for the future and helps communities move toward employment and economic development goals. Microsoft supports school leaders by helping them: Build the capacity of school leaders to inspire change Grow learning communities Expand and modernize teaching and learning practices To connect school leaders around the world, Microsoft has created a global community on the Partners in Learning Network (www.partnersinlearningnetwork.com) where school leaders with common interests can share their experiences and connect with one another. Microsoft hosts monthly “Virtual Universities” for this community facilitated by leading experts and coaches. Some recent subjects include: Curriculum and assessment development Leadership Capacity building Learning environments Student voice We encourage members of the global community to organize local school communities, visits to other Innovative Schools, hold local workshops, and share best practices. For those schools who want to engage at a deeper level in the Partners in Learning Innovative Schools program, there are three levels of participation: 1. Worldwide Innovative Schools Community 2. Innovative Schools Pathfinder Program 3. Innovative Schools Mentor Schools Worldwide Innovative Schools Global Community Schools that chose to participate in the program at the broadest level – the Global Community – will get access to a broad range of resources: Innovative Schools Toolkit with case studies and development resources Monthly Virtual University training Collaboration and professional development opportunities Opportunities to visit other innovative schools Innovative Schools Pathfinder Program Once a school has participated in the Worldwide Community, it can choose to apply into the Innovative Schools Pathfinder Program, which brings together a physical community of school leaders from around the world who work together to develop a culture of innovation in learning. To be selected to the Pathfinder Program, schools must demonstrate scalable and repeatable models that can help other schools work toward their vision for transformation. Selection begins with a rigorous application process focused on educational leadership, learning vision, and the roles of students, educators, curriculum, and technology in their school community. Applications are accepted annually from April through the first week of August, with final selections announced in September. Participation in the Pathfinder Program gives schools access to transformative resources and support, including: In-person participation in the Partners in Learning Worldwide Innovative Education Forum (taking place in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010) Exposure to worldwide experts in educational research and theory Access to: o The Innovative Schools Toolkit, including assessment and development resources o Online and in-person training, coaching and mentoring o Innovative Teaching and Learning practices school survey Mentoring to help coach schools through the transformation process Technology expertise and guidance Collaboration and coaching from other Innovative Schools worldwide Innovative Schools Mentor Schools From the Pathfinder Schools Community, a small number of Mentor Schools will be invited to join an elite group of leading-edge schools from around the world. These schools must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing their students to be 21st century learners, and must have developed programs that can serve as models for other schools. Participation in this program is by invitation, based on a record of broad educational success, community leadership and successful school management. Mentor Schools support Pathfinder Schools in mentorship teams over a twelve-month period. How to join To learn more about the Microsoft Innovative Schools Program and apply for membership, visit the Partners in Learning Network at www.partnersinlearningnetwork.com.
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