Anniversaries represent commitment, and today, we’re celebrating one of the most important commitments an organization can make. Ten years ago, we recognized that education systems around the globe simply weren’t working. With a model built to support the 19th century industrial revolution, it was clear that change was not only necessary, but critical to the future success of our children and our society. It was also clear that governments were not equipped to make this massive transformation happen on their own. The private sector would have to play a significant role, and Microsoft stepped up to do just that.
With a firm conviction that every child deserves a quality education, and over $750 million dollars committed to date, Partners in Learning has had the resources and reach to accelerate the progress of education reform. I’ve been involved in Partners in Learning for over five of its ten years, and I’ve been privileged to witness first-hand the program’s impact. We’ve recognized and supported Innovative Schools as well as Expert Educators. We’ve given exemplary teachers a platform to share their experiences on a global stage through our Global Forum and other Partners in Learning events taking place in every region. And we’ve helped millions of teachers use technology in their classrooms to engage students and transform learning.
Of course, none of this could have happened without the 12 million committed educators and school leaders who play key roles in the network. With their participation – everything from sharing best practices, to mentoring, to facilitating collaboration between classrooms on opposite sides of the globe — much has been accomplished.
And while there’s still more work to be done, I’m thrilled that we’re pausing today to celebrate this anniversary and our ongoing commitment to education. Today, we’re hosting a full day of activities at our Redmond, Washington, campus, including a screening of TEACH, the new documentary film by Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim. We’re also hosting a global event, “ED Talk: Microsoft Partners in Learning – Expanding the Power of Learning.” The public live stream can be viewed here from 7:45am-8:45am US PST, or accessed on-demand following the event.
We hope you’ll join us in commemorating this important milestone by being part of the movement and helping us to move this critical conversation forward. If you’re not already involved, consider joining the Partners in Learning Network, or giving back by contributing to one of our joint access programs like Spark a Child’s Digital Future with World Vision. Together, we have an historic opportunity to transform the global education landscape and the lives of future generations, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in the next 10 years.
– James Bernard, WW Director, Partners in Learning