Hello from Seattle. I'm here in for the 2006 United States Microsoft Innovative Teacher Forum. We had an incredible day connecting with other teachers from around the country and exploring parts of the Seattle area as learning teams. Erin Garvey and myself were selected as one of 27 learning teams that respresent 17 different states. We weren't really sure what to expect today when we gathered at the Microsoft Conference Center on the corporate campus.
We knew they would give us some sort of task but nothing more. We soon learned that this forum would not consist of sitting in a room and listening to speakers. We were introduced the Microsoft Partners in Learning program and the Expeditionary Learning concept from John Bransford. Each group set out for a different part of Seattle to explore. My group was sent to explore the Pike Street Market - it clicked for me when they said we were going to the place where the guys throw fish.
Each group was given some guidelines to investigate - culture, how the area has adapted to change over time and connections between community. We had a digital voice recorder and digital camera. We took a tour of the Pike Market that explained the history but also the social services provided and the workings of the market itself. It was incredible. I would strongly urge all visitors to take a tour of the market with a guide. We returned to the Microsoft campus to work on a group presentation that could last no longer than 10 minutes. We told our story of the market using PhotoStory 3 incorporating the digital pictures and audio from the digital recorder. I finished doing some final touches on the presentation tonight in the hotel room and am looking forward to a great day of sharing tomorrow on the final day of the forum.