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Katy ISD educators Robyn Hrivnatz and Sarah Bauguss have been chosen by Microsoft Corp. to attend the 2011 Microsoft U.S. Innovative Education Forum (IEF). As second-round finalists, they join the previously announced finalists traveling to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash. in July to showcase the creative ways they are using technology in the classroom.

This year, Microsoft Partners in Learning saw a record number of submissions from teachers transforming their classroom curriculum using technology. Robyn and Sarah were two of 100 educators in the nation chosen to attend the US IEF.

Of the many applications from individual teachers, partners and schools, 78 outstanding educator projects stood out that address tangible, real-life issues for students, such as blended learning, service learning and civic engagement, working with social media in education, creating entrepreneurship opportunities, assistive technologies, and the application of gaming as it relates to learning.

Presented by Microsoft Partners in Learning, the U.S. Innovative Education Forum celebrates outstanding school leaders for using technology in their classroom curriculum to enhance positive learning outcomes while increasing student engagement and success. Teachers who apply to attend the U.S. IEF are evaluated based on the learning philosophy and goals of their project submission, their use of technology in the project, and their ability to demonstrate examples of student work and achievement connected with the project.

“The school leaders selected to attend IEF are the best in the nation at incorporating technology into their classroom curricula to enhance each lesson and really break through with students,” says Andrew Ko, senior director, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. “It is inspiring to see these educators use technology to get students excited about learning and connected to the issues impacting their lives while developing the skills they will need for a successful future.”

Educators who attend the celebratory event will network and share their teaching best practices with peers, engage in learning excursions to Seattle landmarks, participate in hands-on learning sessions with Microsoft’s latest technologies, and present their projects to a panel of judges. Ten projects will be selected to represent the United States at the Partners in Learning Global Forum this November in Washington, D.C., where they will compete against educators from across the globe.

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Sarah Bauguss and Robyn Hrivnatz were chosen to attend Microsoft’s U.S. IEF this July.
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