Microsoft Names 4 Malaysian Expert Educators

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KUALA LUMPUR (20 November 2013) – Microsoft Corp. (“Microsoft”), through its Partners In Learning initiative, today announced that it has selected four Malaysian teachers to be part of its first class of Expert Educators along with the its first-ever Malaysian school for its Mentor Schools program. Chosen from over 23,000 educators from over 150 countries worldwide, both programs recognize educators and schools globally who are using technology to transform education.

The Microsoft Expert Educators for Malaysia are:

  • · Ammani Jeya Pirathaba, of SMK Kempas, Johor Baharu, Johor. Her project, called “Poster Yourself!” is designed to enhance students’ English comprehension and to create a virtual classroom. Students conduct online research and turn the findings into a movie and virtual poster which is then shared with the world.
  • · Dazeree Joan, of SMK Tamparuli, Tuaran, Sabah. Her project, “Mini Research” is a project- based learning lesson designed to get students to make sense of the world around them and provide opportunities to use the target language in writing reports. Students work in groups to decide a topic for their mini research, collect data accordingly, analyze the data and share the data with their peers.
  • · Zainuddin Zakaria, of SMK Taman Bukit Maluri, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. His project, “Kodu in the Classroom Around the World” utilizes the Microsoft Kodu GameLab so students learn to develop simple but very interesting computer games, which are designed specifically to raise awareness among the players about local environmental issues. Copies of selected games are sent to teachers in Australia, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam and Nigeria to be shared with students there. After playing these games, students these countries will then create new games that highlight the environmental problems they face and e-mail their games back to Malaysia. During these activities, students learn cooperation, logic and creativity, in addition to programming.
  • · Zamimah Azaman, of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang, Miri, Sarawak. Her project, “The Journalist” is a flexible project-based simulation learning approach to maximize students’ learning and improve on their creative and critical thinking skills. The projects require students to fully utilize and apply the skills and contents taught in a few related subjects such as English, ICT, Arts, History, Civics Education & Moral Education.

Incidentally, Zamimah was also recently celebrated as one of the most pioneering educators in the world, as part of Microsoft’s annual Global Forum Educator Awards, as the 1st Runner-Up in the Knowledge Construction and Critical Thinking category, narrowed down from more than 250,000 teachers registered across national and regional forums throughout the year.

Microsoft also announced its first-ever Malaysian Microsoft Mentor School – Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang, Miri, Sarawak, helmed by principal Hjh. Hasimah Abang Zen.

“We can’t educate tomorrow’s leaders with tools and practices from the past. We must continue to invest in the development of enhanced learning environments that lead to better outcomes,” said Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia. “Therefore, we are honored to recognize Malaysia’s amazing teaching professionals for the work they do every day to enrich the educational experiences of children. The global recognition accorded to these teachers and Malaysia’s first Microsoft Mentor School is testament to their passion and creativity in using technology, a feather in the cap for the Government’s education strategy especially since the announcement of the National Education Blueprint, as well as a gratifying acknowledgement of Microsoft Malaysia’s commitment to transforming Malaysia together, especially in the area of education.”

Students of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang participating in one of the The Journalist projects.

Students of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang participating in one of the The Journalist projects.

Using technology to positively impact learning and student outcomes

This year, the Expert Educators and Mentor Schools programs selected 250 educators and 80 schools to be part of an exclusive global community of education leaders who use technology to positively impact learning and student outcomes.

“Microsoft Expert Educators and Mentor schools are inspiring examples of how individuals and schools are using technology to prepare their students for the 21st Century,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. “Not only are they doing innovative work in the classroom, but they are actively mentoring others and creating change within their own education systems. They set an outstanding example for their peers and we are confident that they will benefit from the access to technology they receive as part of Microsoft’s ongoing programs.”

To be selected, educators and schools undergo a rigorous application process; they are required to fill out an online application, create a learning activity and a two-to-three minute non-professionally produced video that describes their project and how they used technology and innovative teaching practices to impact student outcomes. The winners are selected by a worldwide group of judges who used a broad set of criteria to assess the educators’ and schools’ evidence of learning, collaboration, knowledge construction and critical thinking among other things.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of Microsoft’s Expert Educators,” said SMK Taman Bukit Maluri’s Zainuddin Zakaria. “I look forward to making the most of the mentoring and learning opportunities that are now available to me, as well as being able to connect with like-minded educators at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum. Being a Microsoft Expert Educator will help me to increase learning outcomes for my students, as well as drive technology in education on a global stage.”

“Being selected as a Microsoft Mentor School is an amazing honor for our school and will inspire us as a learning community,” said Hjh. Hasimah Abang Zen, principal of Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang. “We look forward to using this community to help us better prepare our students for the world of work, as well as sharing our experiences with schools around the world.”

Expert Educators and Mentor Schools work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education, advocate and share their experiences with effective uses of technology in education with their peers and policy makers. In addition, they mentor other educators and help train them in education technologies and Microsoft products and tools.

To be considered a Mentor School or an Expert Educator, schools and educators must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing students to be 21st century learners. Schools are selected based on their record of educational success, community leadership and successful school management. Educators are selected based on their innovation, leadership skills and effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes.

Expert Educators and Mentor Schools receive a range of benefits including:

  • An invitation to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain taking place in March 2014
  • Free Surface devices for their schools
  • Insider access to Microsoft strategy and technologies
  • Professional and career development opportunities and certifications including peer coaching

The full list of global Expert Educators and Mentor Schools is available here: http://www.pil-network.com/Forums/ExpertEducators/Barcelona2014/USA