In March 2007 I visited Cambodia where I attended the Microsoft Regional Innovative Teachers' Conference thanks to Microsoft and the Ministry of Education. It really was a little bizarre holding a Microsoft conference in a country where there is little or no technology in schools but it certainly was an inspiring event. Some of the participants were also very technologically poor - one teacher from India worked in a school where there was one computer in the school of 750 pupils. It certainly made me appreciate what we have. The March 19th Education Gazette featured the conference.
The conference however was a great opportunity to work and discuss and share ideas with teachers from a different countries. One of the activities included a collaborative project where teachers were divided into teams of six teachers each from different countries to develop lesson plans based on Angkor Wat the temple site. This provided challenges in working through language barriers but was certainly a rewarding experience. As part of this my group developed a collaborative wiki on Angkor Wat with the theme: 'Beauty is Power and Power is Beautiful'.
Winning the New Zealand section of the Asia-Pacific conference gave me the opportunity to travel to Finland for the Worldwide Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum. One major impression from this event was just how far advanced we are in New Zealand in using ICTs to support learning, rather than just using them as an end in themselves.
More of my thoughts on these visits and my stopover in Singapore on the way can be found on my e-fellows' blog, my inquiring Mind blog and I have uploaded some photos on Flickr. The photos have a Creative Commons licence so they can be used freely by teachers. I visited schools in Singapore, Cambodia and Finland, they certainly made for some interesting comparisons.
Report from the 2007 Innovative Teachers' Forum in Cambodia
2009 Jan-Marie Kellow
Photos must only be used for educational purposes and must be attributed. Photos of children may only be used with my permission.