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Nov 042010

From Green Right Now Reports

Microsoft Corp.’s Partners in Learning has launched a strategic partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and TakingITGlobal in a new program designed to encourage teachers to use technology to help students explore, connect and act to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

Over three years, Microsoft said the partnership will commit more than $1 million to engage and empower a global network of millions of teachers and students coming together to address environmental issues affecting land, air and water, while helping students gain important skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and social responsibility.

Beginning in November, teachers from around the world can go online and find the first Shout challenge and will be encouraged to address issues of deforestation in their classrooms. Each challenge will kick off with an online event featuring Smithsonian scientists put on for teachers and students.

Once a teacher starts a challenge, he or she will be able to connect with millions of other educators, access related curricula and best practices, and connect his or her students to others around the globe.

“When students and teachers are connected with one another using technology, cultural and language barriers disappear, and a space can be created for deep, meaningful collaboration that helps drive positive social change,” Claudine Brown, director of Education at Smithsonian Institution, said in a statement. “We’re pleased to collaborate with Partners in Learning and TakingITGlobal. Shout will harness the power of technology to connect the Smithsonian’s vast research and education resources with education leaders.”

Shout grew out of a pilot program launched by Microsoft and TakingITGlobal at the Partners in Learning Regional Innovative Education Forum in Singapore earlier this year.

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