Nicki Maddams (pictured), ICT lead practitioner at Hartsdown Technology College, in Margate, Kent, has won 20 Windows 7 netbooks worth more than £36,000 for her school in a Microsoft video competition which invited teachers in UK schools and FE colleges to produce a four-minute video showing how they use Microsoft technologies – Office 2007 in particular – to engage their students.
The "InnoVID" judges were bowled over by her "How to make interactive PowerPoint quizzes" video and were impressed "not only the way in which she presented her project in the how-to video, but the idea itself," says Kristen Weatherby, Partners in Learning manager at Microsoft and the competition organiser.
"Microsoft is always impressed by new and exciting ways to engage with students and an interactive quiz using a tool such as PowerPoint is a great way to bring fun and learning together in the classroom."
Nicki says she is really excited about winning and she and the school's headteacher Andy Somers were due to receive their prizes today (Friday, May 7). "I am really excited to have won the competition and am looking forward to using the netbooks in school," she said.
"I entered the competition because I use Microsoft Office applications frequently in my teaching and often in different ways to their intended purpose. My video [see below] demonstrated how to make an interactive quiz using PowerPoint which is useful for both staff and students."
The competition was part of Microsoft's Partners in Learning Network initiative, and was launched in January at the BETT educational technology show, held every January at London's Olympia. The winning video – and more than 25 others produced by teachers for teachers – is available together with other useful resources such as lesson plans, artwork and music for members of the free Partners in Learning Network. Members can use them and share their resources with one another and collaborate in professional development communities. The network is expected to involve more than 2 million teachers and school leaders this year.
Kristen Weatherby says education is a big priority for Microsoft and they want to make it as easy as possible for teachers and learners to access and embrace advanced technology. She hailed the competition as: "A great way of providing a platform for teachers to showcase the innovative ways in which they engage students in classrooms and to share these ideas and best practices with other teachers across the UK.”