Barry Corrigan of Millennium Integrated Primary School in Ballynahinch, Co Down was awarded Microsoft Europen Teacher of the Year (Community) 2010 and World Runner-Up in the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Teacher Award ceremony which tool place on in Cape Town, South Africa on 30 October.
Barry’s project “Making Homework Count – Engaging Parents” was designed to break the cycle of child and parent frustration over homework when assistance is not available. Pupils at the school are provided with additional online support to aid them with their learning. They could email teachers, and access materials and contribute to discussion forums using Northern Ireland’s schools’ online learning platform LearningNI. This enabled learners to exchange ideas as well as develop the art of debate. Barry finished in the top three of teachers from around the world competing in the Innovation in Community category at the Worldwide Innovative Teacher Awards in Cape Town.
Keven Marshall, Head of Education for Microsoft Ireland said, “The Innovative Teacher Awards exemplify the creativity and dedication of the world’s most forward-thinking educators. I am inspired by the energy and unique approaches of the winning teachers. They demonstrate the infinite possibilities that technology can create to improve learning opportunities and meet the needs of today’s generation of students. Microsoft remains committed to supporting the education community to advance both teaching and learning around the world. I’d like to extend warm congratulations to our winners and to everyone who participated in the regional events that led up to today’s celebration.”
Barry said, “I feel that it is recognition of the effort the children and parents have put into realising my ideas and vision for the use of ICT in the learning process. It is by no means perfect but it certainly goes a long way to breaking down the barriers between school and home. The children have recognised the value in what I am trying to do with them and their enthusiasm has made the work much easier.”
These awards are the global culmination of local and regional events held around the world throughout the year, where teachers present ideas on how technology can further educational transformation to help improve the way students learn.
Participating teachers were judged by an international panel of education experts on a number of criteria. Through virtual classroom tours and interviews on site by judges, these teachers demonstrated a profound dedication to helping their students learn by leveraging effective and engaging technology resources for teaching critical 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking and social responsibility.