So this is the first blog post in a (certain) series of blog posts I will do after the Microsoft Educator Exchange in Redmond. I want to look into different aspects in each post and today I want to focus on the event as a whole.
It’s not a tech-Forum, it is a teach-forum!
So, of course, when you hear Microsoft everybody is thinking of technology and software, BUT this Educator Exchange was exactly about what the titles promises. An exchange between edcuators from all around the world. POINT. Of course I have seen a lot of technology around – I have never seen so many Surface Pro 3s at one event before – and yes, there is plenty of Microsoft Software around, BUT as Microsoft in Education VP Anthony Salcito pointed out in his Keynote, this event was about education, about celebrating the most innovative and bravest (!) educators from all around the world.
I could feel the vibes from the very first meeting that this year’s „Global Forum“ will be very different and a very special one. To get some idea of how powerful the whole event emphasized on celebrating and empowering educators I want to share the drum cafe’s intro speech:
The guys on the stage got the party started before Anthony Salcito’s keanote with 300 teachers, Microsoft employes and students drumming in one rythm and chanting! I have never ever started a forum like this!
Microsoft is an education company
Though for a lot of people „Microsoft“ stands for Windows, Office and maybe the evil, bad „Big Brother“, their commitment to education can be found everywhere. Wether it is the dedicated Microsoft in Education team, that lays out the path for teaching and learning in the 21st century or the single product teams like Office Mix, OneNote or Sway: the all listen very close to the needs and wishes of us educators and teachers and what tools we need to deliver great lessons.
I personally met Chris Pratley , the founder of OneNote AND now Sway and he is a truely fantastic guy on incorporating feedback and transforming ideas into great products. Another „Guru“ of Microsoft Research Anoop Gupta, the mastermind behind Office Mix, showed me how passionate the programm managers are for their programms/apps and how they see the potential of transforming education with them. And of you ever get the chance to speak to the OneNote in education-Mastermind Mike Tholfsen, you will certainly feel the passion they are working with on this project. Truely amazing!
But all this was topped by an 45 minute onstage Q&A of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella . Can you believe?! I felt super-honored to hear this truely inspiring and down-to-earth person speaking about his visions and ideas on education and the role of Microsoft!
This is really only a short try to capture all the things that are packed inside my brain. I have so many experiences, and ideas and so the next blog post in this serie will be about the people I’ve had the pleasure to met on this truely life-changing event. So stay tuned and feel free to have a look at the twitterwall for the official hastag #msftedue2 of the event: