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Building Global Classrooms Through Coaching and Mentoring Using Microsoft Tools

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 17

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Powder Springs Elementary School
I am a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert with 15 years of teaching experience. I have a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology Media & Design –School Library Media. I hold teaching certifications in Elementary Education, Engineering and Technology, Special Education, and School Library Media. I currently teach Technology at an elementary school in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Cobb County School District
Jennifer Smith is in her 11th year of teaching elementary school. She loves infusing her classroom with technology that engages students and promotes critical thinking. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and a Minecraft Certified Teacher. She has earned her gifted and science endorsements. The daily challenge of meeting the learning needs of her gifted students inspires her to continue on her own learning path. In July, she will complete her specialist degree in instructional technology.
Professional Learning Specialist
Dr. Monica Alicea is a Technology Training and Integration Specialist for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. After 32 years in education, Monica will retire on June 1st and continue doing consultant work for Insights2Execution, LLC. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Georgia Fellow, Microsoft Flip Student Voice Ambassador, Minecraft Global Mentor, Lumio Certified Trainer, and SMART and Lumio Gold Ambassador. Monica has a passion for service learning and social justice, Global Learning and Connections, and amplifying teacher and student voice.

Session description

We live in a world that is more connected and innovative than ever before. As coaches, we need to inspire teachers and empower students to become global citizens who are empathetic. Discover ways to break down the barriers of classroom walls by making connections to classrooms around the world.

Purpose & objective

This session will include information on how I created an innovative learning experience for our district called Cobb Global Connections Week. The purpose of this learning experience was to inspire our teachers to engage students while making connections across the district, state, and world while using tools such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Flip, Lumio, and other tech tools. Connecting with other classrooms provides students the opportunity to view the world from different perspectives. Teachers can inspire empathy and compassion, spark interest in new learning, and engage students while building relationships. In addition, making global connections supports 21st Century Learning Skills. Some of the connections teachers made were through teaching the Global Sustainable Development Goals, Mystery Connection (guessing game to figure out a mystery animal, number, or location), virtual field trips, and virtually connecting with experts as guest speakers.

I will share how I began with a proposal, created training materials for our Instructional Technology coaches, created a form for teachers to register and indicate if they wanted our department to help them find a connecting teacher. marketing strategies and solicited prizes for participants. In addition, success stories and reflections on how to build this learning experience will be shared. Teachers shared pictures and posts on Twitter using the hashtag #CobbGlobalConnections and shared their learning experiences on Microsoft Flip, which we turned into a video.

Participants will also learn about how two teachers continued to build their relationships and connections with their two classrooms and how they began looking at 21st Century Learning Design rubrics to bring those connections to the next level.

Creating a learning experience like this can seem daunting, but with careful coaching, mentoring, planning, and purpose, it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for our teachers and students. I will have a form for guests to fill out if they would like to join us in this learning experience in the 22-23 school year and join us in building global classrooms.

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Explanation of Global Learning Connections
Ways to Participate
Pictures, videos, artifacts
Jennifer and Bridgett discussing their connections and using 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics
Q & A

In a poster session, it is informal so there is time for talking and sharing experiences and for the audience to ask questions.

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Supporting research
This course on the Microsoft Learn Center includes supporting research.

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Session specifications

Coaching & mentoring
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, Windows, iOS
Laptop: PC
Tablet: Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
We will be discussing the use of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Flip, and PowerPoint, but it is not necessary to have these.
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Change Agent
  • Cultivate a supportive coaching culture that encourages educators and leaders to achieve a shared vision and individual goals.
  • Establish trusting and respectful coaching relationships that encourage educators to explore new instructional strategies.