South LA educator Kinects with Crenshaw High students

imageBradford at Microsoft’s U.S. Innovative Educator Forum 2011

Daphne Bradford had nothing to lose by applying for Microsoft’s Partners in Learning program – but she gained an all-expense paid trip to Washington and a spot at one of the most prestigious educational technological forums in the nation.

After being chosen to participate in the Partners in Learning program, Bradford is especially inspired to encourage other South L.A. teachers to apply too.

In Washington, Bradford had the opportunity to participate in Microsoft’s prestigious U.S. Forum. The U.S. Forum is an all-expense paid two-day trip to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. All K – 12 teachers are invited to apply.

At the U.S. Forum, teachers and school leaders share their classroom experiences and collaborate together to incorporate new innovative teaching techniques. The final deadline to apply for the U.S. Forum is May 15, 2012.

Teachers and educators can also apply for the Global Forum. This year’s Global Forum will provide an all-expense paid trip to Athens, Greece where innovators can share and collaborate on ideas with a global audience.

After her invaluable experience at the U.S. Forum, Bradford returned to Crenshaw High School to lead students in an after-school Digital Media program. Bradford and Crenshaw High School biology teacher Jacqueline Lopez partner together to help the students create a project that will be presented for the 2012 U.S. Forum.

Bradford explained her innovative project collaboration:

“We’re collaborating on a gaming project using the [xBox 360 video game console] Kinect sensor where your body is the controller of the game. The Crenshaw High School Digital Media Team (after-school program) is developing a healthy eating game. The work I’m doing with Ms. Lopez is the in-class project during regular school hours. Right now I’m working with the honors biology class and one regular class. They will do the some relevant research and test the game while the after school team designs and writes the code.”

Check out our Q&A with Bradford, who was also chosen this year as Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Social Media Ambassador.

What inspired you to apply for this program?

I consider myself on the cutting edge when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom. The students I work with at Crenshaw High School are my biggest inspiration. Last year my students designed the project I presented in Redmond[, Washington] at the Microsoft headquarters.

Why should other South LA teachers apply?

It’s a great opportunity for educators to showcase the innovative work they’re doing in the classroom. It’s also very inspirational and encouraging for students to see their teachers and school get recognized for the lessons they’re teaching.

Do you have any words of advice for these teachers?

My advice would be to apply without being too critical of your innovative teaching methods or projects you’re working on. Let Microsoft be the judge of that. As long as you use at least one Microsoft technology program you’re good to go! Take advantage of this great opportunity. Apply! Apply! Apply!

What are some of the invaluable things you’ve learned with this program?

Microsoft offers free quality software programs for teachers to use in the classroom. One of my favorites, Photosynth, allows you to create 3D panoramas.

What do you think the technological future holds for South LA educators?

I can’t answer about the future because we’re so behind right now!

Find out more and apply for the Microsoft Partners in Learning program.

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