Above: Araceli Marchan (3rd from left back row with T&T flag) represents Trinidad and Tobago at the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange in Hungary. Marchan was one of two educators selected from the English-speaking Caribbean to attend the annual exchange. Photo courtesy Microsoft.
A mathematics teacher from T&T, one of two educators from the English-speaking Caribbean, was selected to attend the Global Educator Exchange (E2) which was recently convened by Microsoft with a goal of bringing together the most innovative educators from around the world to promote 21st century learning processes.
Araceli Marchan, who uses technology to transform her classroom, attended the annual E2, Educator Exchange in Budapest, Hungary, along with more than 400 other educators from across the globe. The three-day symposium began on Tuesday 8th March and was a forum for the exchange of cutting edge ideas and best practices aimed at having a global impact on educational practices.
At the exchange, Microsoft also recognised these educators for the work being done by them which combines content, education and technology in order to help prepare their students for future success. Marchan’s project, ICanLearnProgram Adventure Learning, develops students’ 21st century skills like collaboration and communication through working with students in Botswana via Skype. The project also introduces students to computer programming and coding, as well as games were created using Microsoft Touch Develop to improve learning.
“Technology is everywhere. It impacts all of our lives including how we work, play and most importantly learn. With technology having such a defining role, it is important that as an educator I utilise technology in the classroom to teach my students,” Marchan said.
In March 2015, Marchan also represented this country at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Redmond, Washington, USA after winning a spot. Marchan is a teacher and director at the ICLP International Academy, a school she founded in September 2015. She is also a 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.
Frances Correia, country manager, Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, Eastern and Southern Caribbean, acknowledged the importance of technology in the classroom and stated that Microsoft is committed to supporting local educators like Marchan.
“Integrating technology into the classroom is of great importance as not only is it a tool to reach diversity in learning styles but also it will help prepare students for their future careers. With over 30 years of supporting educators in this region, Microsoft’s continued vision is to provide the technological alternatives that transform education and offer countless opportunities for students,” Correia said.
After completing an exam at the exchange, Marchan is also now a Microsoft Certified Educator. This certification offers validation that she has achieved technological literacy in six core areas that are mapped to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for teachers. The areas of focus includes: education policy; curriculum and assessment; pedagogy; ICT or technology tools; organisation and administration; and professional development.