Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | June 2, 2008

What Would You Tell Her?

2006 Innovative Teachers in CambodiaMore thoughts from the Microsoft Innovative Teacher’s Conference


The attendees at the conference included innovative teachers from Manitoba and teachers from across Canada who have been chosen as one of Canada’s Innovative Teachers in past years.  The Innovative Teacher Award is a great experience!  Jacinthe Robichaud, who is the director of Partners in Learning in Canada, has chosen, as a prize, to give the experience of a lifetime to the teachers who win this award.  I was fortunate to be chosen in 2006, and was sent, all expenses paid, to a World-wide Innovative Teacher’s Conference in Philadelphia, and to the Asia Regional Innovative Teacher’s Conference in Cambodia.  Indeed the experience of a lifetime.  The opportunity to talk to and work with teachers from around the world still impacts my practice today. 


Jacinthe hosted one of the sessions that I attended at the conference in Winnipeg, and she spoke of her desire to create an “innovative student” award as well.  She asked for feedback about what criteria she should use to chose, what would be an appropriate award and even what to do about primary students and students with special needs. 


The obvious award from a company involved in the development of technology is a computer, but Jacinthe spoke of her desire to instead give the students an experience they will remember for a lifetime, just as the teachers are. 


I think that this is a great proposal.  What would you suggest to her?  Criteria?  A suitable award?  Primary students and students with special needs?

Photo:  2006 Innovative Teachers in Cambodia



  1. I think this is a fantastic idea! I would suggest taking a look at the incredible example provided by Dr. Tim Tyson that he introduced when he was principal at Mabry Middle School.
    It was a huge film festival which they called the “Oscars.” The videos were short but powerful, and I believe could easily be created by all ages and all populations (including special needs as evidenced by his film festival). Their prizes for the winning entries were an Apple iBook laptop computer and a digital camera. There was a theme and various categories. Last year’s theme was “Making the World a Better Place.” A theme similar to this could bring out some fantastic creativity and innovation from students and most importantly, the learning that would occur as students develop their concepts and multimedia presentations would be unforgettable. It also resulted in unbelievable support for using technology from his entire community.

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