Jan. 22, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - An agreement to create innovative schools that will put New Brunswick on the leading edge of innovation and technology in the classroom was signed today between the province and Microsoft Canada.
"New Brunswick is the first province in Canada to sign this type of co-operation agreement with Microsoft's Partners in Learning program," said Premier Shawn Graham. "This partnership positions New Brunswick to be a leader in innovation and technology in the classroom, and in preparing our future workforce for the road to self-sufficiency."
"Using technology in the classroom helps students develop their abilities in critical thinking, problem-solving and working together - all necessary skills for the 21st century - and allows teachers to introduce projects that are interactive and innovative, and connect children to the world around them," said Education Minister Kelly Lamrock.
The Partners in Learning program provides schools and educators with access to an innovative schools network, an online community complete with teaching aides, professional development tools, and a live web portal to share best practices in education with other teachers around the world. It also provides new tools to enrich student projects in the classrooms.
"The Government of New Brunswick is a leader in recognizing how technology can engage students and expand their horizons," said Mike Parkhill, director, academic sector, for Microsoft Canada. "Today's announcement builds on previous work between the province and Microsoft, and demonstrates both parties' strong belief in increasing access to technology to empower teachers, enrich instruction, and enhance learning."
Lamrock said that the next step is for the Department of Education to develop a concept for an innovative learning zone in school districts, which will engage students' learning beyond the traditional classroom setting. Two schools in the province will be specifically designated as innovative schools, and an innovative learning zone will be developed around them.
New Brunswick has been recognized by Microsoft Canada for its innovation. Six teachers have been named by Microsoft Canada as innovative teachers: Robert Griffin, Grand Manan Community School (School District 10); Danis Michaud, Centre d'apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska (School District 3); Anne Marie Duguay, Harry Miller Middle School (School District 6); Robert Levesque, Polyvalante Cité des jeunes (School District 3); Daniel Mallet, École La Rivière de Pokemouche (School District 9); and Roberto Gauvin, Centre d'Apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska (School District 3). Griffin and Michaud have been included among eight international finalists for Microsoft's Innovative Teachers' Award.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Hillary Casey, communications officer, Department of Education, 506- 444-4714, email@example.com; John Thibodeau, corporate PR manager, Microsoft Canada, 905-363-8994, firstname.lastname@example.org.