I walked into the Microsoft Education Puerto Rico 2017 Forum feeling quite American, which can sometimes equate to superiority. I was quickly humbled when I was handed the conference agenda, which was in Spanish ONLY! As I approached each of the colorful booths, I was greeted with happy and inviting smiles, only to hear the beautiful sounds of Spanish. 😟 I felt a little overwhelmed, because I only speak English. Thinking I probably should have paid more attention in those Spanish classes…..
My gloom was lifted when I heard the wondrous sounds of a drum. Music overcomes all barriers. Watch the videos of a Puerto Rican band opening the education forum.
The purpose of the conference was to showcase new technology that could assist educators in teaching. Attendees participated in training course on OneNote, Microsoft Office Suite, and programming software. Although the entire conference was spoken in Spanish (without a translator) I know that there was a recognition and award ceremony where educators and students were recognized. The governor was in attendance, so the audience was very happy.
Although I’ve been to Puerto Rico several times on vacation, this trip afforded me my first opportunity to participate in a professional setting. The conference focused on technology in education, so most attendees were involved in education in some capacity. Individuals who were not affiliated with education were there to drive awareness around technology.
The professional culture is very similar to the culture I’ve experienced in the U. S. I was unable to understand the conversations, but it seemed that the attendees were eager to learn about the new technology and information the speakers had to share. Attendees were very supportive of the individuals who won awards or received recognition for their work. They were also very proud that the governor of Puerto Rico attended the forum. He received many hugs and kisses as he walked into the ballroom. I think that was very different from the reception American politicians receive from their constituents.
~ Chauntrell Brewer MAIGC 2017