img-1322514085I am NCCE” took on a whole new meaning this year as we became globetrotting trainers for NCCE in partnership with Microsoft. For me the fall started off with “I am NCCE” from the mountain tops of Utah and then the NCCE National Trainer Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Little did I know that it would also come to mean traveling to places like Copenhagen, Denmark and New Delhi, India to participate as a trainer in the Microsoft Global Partner Summit.

Stepping off the plane in Copenhagen to familiar cold, rainy weather was nothing new; the weather is like the cold rainy days of fall leading to blustery freezing temps of snowy Utah. A few days of sightseeing, learning the lay of the land, was just the starting point for three full days of teaching Microsoft Training Partners from around the European continent. Our training group spent each day focusing on all things Microsoft from Imagine Academy (MSIA) to Creative Coding through Games (CCGA) and Apps, and the Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIE) offerings. I had such a great time with this amazing group and learned more than I could have ever imagined.

img_20161108_112525676_hdrThe jet lag had barely subsided and it was time to board the plane; this time bound for New Delhi, India for another Global Partner Training Summit. As the plane descended my apprehension spiked. I have traveled many places in the world and skyped a few of my fellow Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts who live in India, but this was a whole new experience; my knowledge of India was limited to what I had seen on TV, a bit of internet research and a couple of Skype calls with students in India. With my trusty smart phone in hand and a healthy fear of the unknown, I disembarked the plane thus beginning an experience I will never forget.

Our team spent a couple of days adjusting to the new time zone, 12-hour time difference is a killer. We took time to do some sightseeing around Delhi, a very enlightening experience and one I am sure we will never forget. At Qutb Minar we felt like celebrities getting photographed by the paparazzi. It seemed at every turn someone was asking to have their photo taken with a member of our group. After trying to navigate Delhi on our own, we soon discovered having a local “expert” would be to our benefit. Our guide became our teacher as we visited Humayun’s Tomb (the Taj Mahal of Delhi) and then braved the streets of Old Delhi in a Rickshaw learning about everything from life in India to pashmina and old world spices.

img_20161111_120620As we embarked on our first day of training at the Microsoft office in Gurgaon, India my apprehension was as heavy as the hazy brown polluted sky, however, we were met with a warm welcome by the training partners and Microsoft staff in India, setting the stage for the next few days of training. Fellow trainer Steve Hickman kicked off the afternoon with Minecraft in Education. Now for those not experienced in Minecraft, this can be a real challenge but without fear our trainees took the challenge and negotiated this new world. A rousing game of to learn terminology lead to working through the tutorial world and a whole new level of frustration. As I took in the moment, I saw what every teacher dreams of: collaboration at its finest, people helping, coaching, and encouraging each other.

Maria Turner, Charity Nix, and I spent days two and three teaching about all things Microsoft (MSIA, CCGA, MIE). The participants jumped in with the same gusto they had with Minecraft, ready to learn, ready to share, and ready to make a difference in education. The morning started off a bit rocky as we battled crowded training rooms with constant power outages and temperamental projectors. Thank heavens we had all been experienced school teachers, teaching without the benefits of technology, and we soldiered on while the crews at Microsoft dealt with the issues. Our fearless leader, NCCE Professional Development Director Becky Firth wrapped up the training sharing words of encouragement, suggestions for training partners, and a challenge to “Grow your business and train.”

photogrid_1478531402050Our week in India will forever be immortalized in photos of our sightseeing adventures and the dozens of photos that were taken with our new global partners in India. The individuals we met during our excursion around the globe will never be forgotten; we have made new friends and partners, with a single goal in mind “empowering teachers and students around the world to achieve more.”

Looking at a map the world seems so big and when visiting new places you can find so many differences yet so many similarities. When I think about education, I am envious of teachers and students. They have all the tools to be empowered members of a global society to shrink the world, break down barriers, find commonalities and make a difference. Organizations like NCCE and other global training partners in conjunction with programs offered by Microsoft make that happen.

This has been an amazing experience and a highlight of my career. I am truly humbled by all the remarkable people I have met and worked with this year. I am proud to say “I am NCCE.”

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