T&T educator wins spot at Microsoft forum

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Araceli Marchan and her students have a Math duel using an app that is part of the ICLP Adventure Learning activity lesson plan.
Araceli Marchan and her students have a Math duel using an app that is part of the ICLP Adventure Learning activity lesson plan.

Araceli Marchan believes that technology is the future of education and that more educators within Trinidad and Tobago need to incorporate the use of technology in their classrooms.

Marchan, a mathematics teacher at Bishop Anstey High School East, is the only educator from the English-speaking Caribbean selected to attend and compete at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Redmond, Washington in March 2015.

Marchan’s win, as well as the 19 other teachers from Latin American and Caribbean countries including Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, signals their commitment to support digital inclusion and promote equal opportunities for students.

“Technology is everywhere; it is in almost every part of our lives. It affects how we shop, socialise, connect, play, and most importantly how we learn,” Marchan said. “With a great and increasing presence of technology in our lives, it only makes sense to have technology in the classroom.”

Marchan is also director of the I Can Learn Program Trinidad and Tobago (ICLPTT), which provides a combination of educational activities using technology-based methods coupled with arts, sports, music and counseling. Marchan along with her ICLP co-founder Dr. Jillian Sigamoney in Botswana, developed ICLP Adventure Learning, a programme designed for students with learning gaps that encourages them to research, explore and develop.

During the first phase of the competition, Marchan and other expert educators located in the region told their story and 132 educators were selected for participation in the second round. On Thursday, October 30, via an online forum, Marchan had five minutes to present ICLP Adventure Learning and provide evidence that her proposal supported innovation in the classroom. All participants were evaluated by a team of international judges and the evaluation criteria included:

  • Innovative nature of the proposal
  • Presentation of evidence
  • Learning support in collaboration
  • Development of critical thinking
  • Extension of learning beyond the classroom

Frances Correia, country manager, Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, Eastern and Southern Caribbean, congratulated Marchan on her success and stated that Microsoft is committed to education.

“Microsoft’s commitment to education in the region dates back over 30 years. Our continued vision is to support educators through technological alternatives that transform education and offer countless opportunities for students,” Correia said.

She added: “Rarely do we stop to celebrate the amazing results in education. The goal of the Global Forum is to recognise these educators and their application of technology in delivering innovative and quality practices, promoting the development of complex skills in students and enabling them to build a better future not only for themselves but also their communities.”