Microsoft New Zealand today recognised two teachers for outstanding contributions to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education at ULearn, the country's largest conference for educators. Jan Anderson and Steve Martin received the Microsoft Distinguished Teacher Award for their development of innovative approaches to ICT in the classroom. Jan Anderson, ICT Lead Teacher at Methven Primary School, integrated a new Microsoft Xbox game each term into her classroom programme. Steve Martin, Science and Biology Teacher at Howick College, instructed collaboratively using Microsoft Office Live Workspace to create virtual lessons for every learning objective within the Year 9 science course. These lessons were enhanced through the use of Web 2.0 applications and video, accessible by students, parents and teachers at any time.
Anderson and Martin will receive training, hardware, software and a personal kit designed for their teaching methods worth more than $8,000. They will also attend regional and international Microsoft conferences to present their findings and methods to other educators. Previous New Zealand winners of the Microsoft Distinguished Teacher Award, Nathan Kerr (2007) and Deidre Senior (2008) have received international accolades for their use of technology in the classroom. For example, Kerr was invited in June to speak to 1,400 teachers at the National Educational Computing Conference in the United States about 'm-learning,' or presenting video lessons through mobile devices. A panel of education experts selected this year's winners following a written application process. Two other teachers were also recognised as finalists in the Microsoft Distinguished Teacher Awards: