LSU Lab School Teacher Selected for Global Learning Conference
BATON ROUGE – Microsoft Corporation has announced that LSU University Laboratory School Technology Instructor Jennifer Bevill is one of 16 educators selected to advance from the Partners in Learning United States Forum to the Partners in Learning Global Forum, which will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1.
The ninth-annual Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of local and regional events that reach nearly 200,000 participants from more than 115 countries.
At the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum, held in Redmond, Wash., from July 31 to Aug. 1, Bevill competed with 102 national finalists who were invited to showcase the innovative ways they use technology in and beyond the classroom to creatively engage students. The finalists, representing 25 states, were selected from thousands of applicants nationwide.
According to Microsoft, the winning projects “exhibit the educators’ abilities to exceed strict academic standards while making learning fun and effective for their students.” Bevill placed first in the Knowledge Building Critical Thinking category.
“The Microsoft Forum was such an exciting professional development experience for me as a teacher,” said Bevill. “I collaborated with some of the most innovative teachers in the country and learned about what they are doing to teach and inspire their students. It has given me so much to bring back to the Lab School.”
Bevill was selected for her work on The Peace Project, which focuses on global collaboration between Odori Sapporo High School in Sapporo, Japan, and the Lab School.
Founded in the fall of 2010, The Peace Project uses an array of technology programs to build international understanding, tolerance, conflict and resolution, as well as develop digital and communication skills that can be used by its students in college and the workforce. With these technologies, students build digital media exchanges about history, literature, traditional art, sustainable living and culture to present to the other school.
“From time spent in Japan, I knew that through cross cultural understanding my students would learn that a country and a culture so different from the U.S. is made of people much like themselves,” said Bevill. “It was my hope that if they could learn how similar we are to the Japanese through communication, they would be willing to be more open, tolerant, and understanding of all cultures of the world.”
The partnership between schools has highly impacted students. Bevill noted that participants have an appreciation for diversity, ability to communicate and acclimate with other cultures, empathy for other cultures during a crisis, knowledge of problem-solving with technology resources, and an interest in leaving their comfort zones by immersing themselves in a foreign culture.
The Peace Project was so inspiring that a group of Lab School students initiated a trip to Japan to meet their new friends in person. In 2011, 13 high school seniors traveled to Japan for nine days. The students learned basic Japanese and local customs.
“The University High School students showed such respect and appreciation for the Japanese culture,” said Bevill. “They ate fish eyeballs, wore kimonos and even learned the art of ninjas.”
Bevill has taught technology at the Lab School since 2001. In addition to her honor from Microsoft Partners in Learning, Bevill was voted Outstanding Educator by students in 2009 and 2010, selected to be part of the Fullbright Exchange for Education for Sustainable Development in 2010, and chosen to be Outstanding Alumni of the Fullbright Exchange in 2011.
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries.
The LSU University Laboratory School serves more than 1,300 K-12 students and operates through the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education as an independent school system and an educational research center. It was recently named as one of the country’s top 1,000 public high schools, and also received an “A” on the annual School Report Card from the Louisiana Department of Education.
For more information about the LSU Laboratory School, visit www.uhigh.lsu.edu.
For more information about the College of Human Sciences & Education, visit www.lsu.edu/chse.