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Microsoft Partnership Pushes Environmental Ed.

Microsoft, the Smithsonian Institution, and TakingITGlobal are teaming together in a $1 million strategic partnership, called Shout, that will push students to use technology to understand some of the world's most serious environmental problems while boosting collaboration skills, critical thinking ability, and social awareness.

Beginning in November, the Shout website, shoutlearning.org, will issue bi-monthly challenges to teachers—and their students—around the world, with each challenge kicked off with an online event hosted by Smithsonian scientists. Teachers participating in the challenges will connect with other teachers worldwide to access related curricula, and connect their students to others as well. November's call to action will involve addressing deforestation.

The initiative was announced during the second day of the sixth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum, held this year in Cape Town, South Africa. About 500 educators from more than 60 countries were expected at the event, where teachers are competing for 13 Global Innovative Education Awards, whose winners will be announced Friday.

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