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Howick College to represent NZ on the global Microsoft stage

Media Release
27 September 2011

Howick College to represent New Zealand on the global Microsoft stage

Howick College has been named a Microsoft Pathfinder School as a result of its innovative and proactive use of technology within the classroom.

The College is the second school in New Zealand to be chosen as a Pathfinder School under the Microsoft Partners in Learning programme, joining Botany Downs Secondary College. This year 51 schools worldwide were selected as Pathfinder Schools, with seven named in the Asia Pacific region. Having two schools located in New Zealand is a true reflection of the calibre of teaching in the country.

"This is a major achievement for the school," says Iva Ropati, Principal at Howick College.

"Being named as a Pathfinder School is recognition of the effort and passion the teachers at Howick College put into their teaching. We have a fantastic set of educators here, all who strive to inspire and engage students by incorporating technology within the classroom."

Howick College is home to two Microsoft Innovative Teachers, Steve Martin and Nathan Kerr, who have contributed significantly to this success. Nathan's early work delivering educational materials via cell phones has been ground breaking in enabling students to learn anytime, anywhere, from any device.

As a Pathfinder School, Howick College will become part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning professional development network - connecting more than four million educators in 114 countries around the globe. The College will also have the opportunity to engage with innovative educators in the Asia Pacific region and access the latest research, methodologies and technology for use in the classroom.

Evan Blackman, Education Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says this announcement will have a great impact on student success at the College.

"Education is a vital component to the success of our country but it is no use throwing technology at teachers and expecting them to know what to do with it. The Microsoft Partners in Learning programme is designed to enable educators and provide them with the tools and resources to best educate their students. Students will benefit from exposure to more innovative and effective teaching methods using technology - better preparing them for further study or entry to the workforce."

"This is hugely exciting for Howick College and we congratulate them and look forward to seeing what innovation comes next."

Howick College will receive mentoring from Microsoft Mentor Schools in the Asia Pacific region and will be invited to participate in virtual conferences with other Pathfinder Schools on a regular basis.

In addition, representatives from Howick College and Botany Downs Secondary College have been invited to attend both the regional and worldwide Innovative Educators Forum, with the latter being held in Washington DC in November this year.

In 2010 Botany Downs Secondary College was selected as the first New Zealand Pathfinder School from a range of schools spread across 114 countries.


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