Hello Barcelona, Spain!

Have you ever been to Barcelona?

470_jeanette_edu_1384563055Recently I found out that I will be going to Barcelona, Spain because I was accepted into the Microsoft Partners in Learning Expert Educator program. This is what I received in an email:

Dear Expert Educator,
Congratulations!  You have been selected by Microsoft to be a part of the very first class of Expert Educators! This process was very competitive – you were chosen from over 23,000 educators in over 150 countries from around the world. Your application, learning activity, and video were outstanding. We are proud to have you as a part of this incredible group of educators.


The project I submitted was our Books to Africa project where our students in grades 1-5 made various multi-media presentations about Africa to align with our literacy outreach program. Details about the project can be found on the Books to Africa blog.

BTA Logo

In March I will be flying from Seattle,to Barcelona to participate in the Microsoft in Education Global Forum. The forum is a four day series of learning workshops as well as a showcase of learning activities. Each educator brings an example of the project he or she submitted and shares it with the other people there. It’s an unbelievable learning experience that I wish every teacher will have the opportunity to experience during their career.  When I attended the global forum last year in Prague, I left with a suitcase of memories and teaching ideas, many of which I adapted and applied to our Books to Africa project.


This year’s event is expected to attract more than 1,100 top education leaders, school leaders, educators, press, government officials, partners and sponsors from more than 80 countries. We will celebrate how technology advances students into the 21st century giving them the skills they need to actively participate in the workforce and build strong economies.  The 2014 Global Forum experience includes:

  • Collaboration and networking
  • Awards, competition and recognition for the most innovative educators and school leaders
  • Keynotes and panel discussions with world renown education experts, innovators, and partners
  • Innovative uses of cutting edge technologies for learning
  • Inspiring professional development

One of the teachers Jeanette Delgado from Puerto Rico made an infographic of all the Expert Educators from around the globe. She used https://infogr.am/ to illustrate the data. It’s fun and free!



The Expert Educator program is not just about the global forum. It is a year long commitment of learning about how technology can be used to successfully in the classroom. I know I am about to embark on a journey that will be life-changing and transformative. The best part of the partners in learning program is that it is free to join. Visit http://www.pil-network.com/ and sign up today!  You will have access to thousands of projects submitted by teachers from around the globe, plus, tutorials, discussion boards, hot topics, resources, professional development and it’s all free!



 I will be documenting this experience throughout the year on this blog, so I hope my readers will check back here or on the Books to Africa blog and see what’s happening!


Have you ever been to Barcelona?

What technology do you want to learn more about?

Have you ever used Photosynth or AutoCollage?

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9 thoughts on “Hello Barcelona, Spain!

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    How wonderful to be selected as a world class educator, many congratulations! I am sure that you will have the most amazing time in Barcelona, and indeed it is one of my favourite cities – I lived there for 2 years in the 90s, and it has a very special place in my heart, I am sure you will fall in love with it too. I shall look forward to following your learning journey through the coming year.
    What a star!
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Mrs. Monaghan,
      I want to hear more about Barcelona! Do you have your personal Top 10 things to see? I have every guidebook available sitting on my table, but you have experience. What day trip outside of town would you recommend?
      It will be such an amazing year of growth. Did you know you could apply too for 2015? You have fellow countrymen and women coming too!
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs Hembree,
        I am sure you will have already read plenty about what to do in Barcelona! It’s a great city for walking, and taking in the atmosphere. Here’s what I’d do…
        1. Walk the length of the Ramblas from Placa Catalunya to the port, taking in the flower sellers, performers, and hustle and bustle.
        2. Visit the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece.
        3. Take a coffee in the collonaded shade of Placa Real, off the Ramblas.
        4. Visit the Gothic Cathedral, then get lost wandering in the streets of the old town in the Gotica quarter.
        5. Join the evening strollers on Rambla Catalunya, stop for a beer and watch the world parading by.
        If I were to take a day trip, I would visit the magnificent Montserrat, with its monastery perched high up the mountainside, or take a trip down the coast to whitewashed Sitges, only a short train-ride away.
        Ah! You will have a magnificent time! Also, check out A Room with a View for a #eddies13 surprise!
        Mrs Monaghan

        • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
          Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! What I appreciate is that you suggested quiet experiences. You are correct – there are tons of suggestions in the books. However, a person who has lived there, knows about the things to experience, not included in the books. I hope
          the weather in March and time allows us to try all of your suggestions.
          Thank you for including me in your Edublog nominations! The best part of these nominations is finding out about websites you didn’t know about. I just visited the Literacy Shed and that is one powerful website! Wow- thanks for including it.
          We have a short week, as our Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday. Enjoy your week and we will eat our way through ours!
          Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Congratulations! all the way down under. I was jumping up with joy when I read this post. What a great honour to be selected. You so deserve it asI know you and your students did an outstanding job with your project “Books to Africa” You and your students are so inspiring

    What a wonderful location to travel to. I have never been to Barcelona. It looks beautiful. About the other time I can remember visiting Barcelona was when I watching a TV show where the presenter was giving us a guide on just how beautiful and magical Spain is.

    What a great way to use Photosynth. Since BB doesn’t use the computer as much my computer skills have fallen out. Also I don’t seem to have enough time now to keep up with all the new and wonderful computer tech.
    Hopefully next year I will.

    Enjoy your trip Mrs Hembree and can’t wait to read how it all unfolds.

    Crossing all my fingers and toes.
    From a fan down under,
    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,
      Thank you so much for your comment! It is such an honor to be selected to participate in the global forum! I am beyond excited. The sightseeing in Barcelona will be wonderful. The best part will be being surrounded by so many teachers sharing their amazing ideas. Last year when I attended, I came home and my mind was swirling. I remember sitting on the plane typing up notes of things I wanted to try. It is tremendous to be so connected in our education world because it helps our students become the best they can be.
      We are continuing with our project this year as well. Our first box of books will be shipped to Ghana in the next week or so.

      Thanks for being my fan,
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. Hi Mrs Hembree,


    What an exciting opportunity to continue your learning journey! I’m sure the educators you meet in Barcelona will love learning about your fabulous “Books to Africa Project” that you have created with your students. I’m sure you will once again be inspired by the educators you will work with at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum.

    The icing on the cake will be travelling to Barcelona!

    Miss Y 🙂

    • Dear Miss Y,
      Thank you for your kinds words! It will be an amazing opportunity for sure!
      What new books are you reading? You must be getting reading to close up soon for your summer holidays. I went to see Catching Fire yesterday. I typically don’t see the movie adaptations of books, but this one is AWESOME! Just to see the costumes is worth going. I don’t if you read the Hunger Games series, but if you did, I recommend this one.
      I am reading Counting by 7’s right now.
      What are you reading? Do you have plans for the summer?
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    Congratulations! I was so happy to read about the next chapter in your learning adventure. This is a well-deserved honor!

    In the early 90s, I spent several summers in Spain teaching English. I was living up in the Basque country, but made a trip to Barcelona. I fell in love with the city. I think Mrs. Monaghan’s recommendations are outstanding, and i only wish I could join you! Ha!

    I loved all the Gaudi contributions throughout Barcelona. Of course, the Sagrada Familia, but I also loved Park Güell. What a creative genius he was!

    Like AA, I can’t wait to read all about it!

    Your pal,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

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