|Retrieved on Jan 29, 2013 from here|
I never forget Microsoft Partners in Learning experience 2011. It was a hard way from a marginalized village in Upper Egypt called "Sohag" to the Global Forum held in Washington DC. 2011. Microsoft provides educators with a variety of free tools that can address their students' learning preferences, in addition to great opportunities for training and growing in the field of teaching using technology. The Egyptian Team of Microsoft Partners in Learning exerts huge efforts to encourage teachers to know more about this digital culture face-to-face or online. Microsoft Partners in Learning Network is another great space to connect educators to share tutorials and activities, and find opportunities for professional development. I completed some online courses and seminars offered in the "Professional Development" Tab like "Windows in Classroom". IT Academy Program also provides a series of courses that helps educators to build a theoretical background as well as finding some applications and solutions to the challenges they might face when integrating technology into their curricula.
I don't deny that these offerings are highly appreciated. They helped me a lot to develop my teaching skills. They also give me a push to try and find out the potential of technology in my traditional classrooms. However, I feel a little bit alone. You will say there is a network where people can meet together to share, collaborate and innovate. I agree, but when it comes to training, I do it individually. The materials are interactive and dynamic, but still a little bit boring.
In the past year, I took TWO fabulous massive open online courses (MOOCs). One of them offered by Coursera and the other launched by Stanford Online. In these MOOCs, learners from all over the globe come to one space to learn new things, share experiences, connect to each other, ask questions, create collaborative projects and many more things. What unities them is one goal that is the connected and networked learning. It is not the power of the availability of information. It is the ability to build new knowledge together through networking.
Are you ready to create such platforms? You have a lot of materials, tutorials, and tools. What you really need is connecting minds together to make a revolution using your technologies.