Daphne Bradford, Crenshaw High School’s digital media instructor was chosen as a 2011 Microsoft Innovative Educator, and she will journey to Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, WA, July 27 to 29 to participate in the 2011 Innovative Education Forum.

Bradford’s Developing Digital Geniuses student-teacher project at the Cal State Dominguez Hills Osher Lifelong Learning Institute helped her qualify as a finalist.

Every year up to 100 educators are chosen from throughout the United States to participate in the Microsoft innovation program. Bradford was doing some online searching, when she came across a call for teachers to submit innovative projects.

“We were required to develop digital media geniuses. I had just completed a project at Cal State Dominguez Hills. I also sponsor Crenshaw’s digital media team. I helped the students teach digital photography and podcasting classes through the Cal State Osher Lifelearning Institute to adults ages 50 and up.

“I knew my project was worthy,” remembers the broadcaster-turned-teacher.

At the Microsoft campus in July, finalists will showcase the creative ways they are using technology in the classroom.

Describing her project Bradford noted, “just like real classroom teachers, the team created weekly lesson plans using Microsoft Office tools. This innovative experience allowed students to get a real understanding of teaching in the 21st century and helped bridge the intergenerational digital divide. The project also injected the spirit of entrepreneurship within the adult learners, who encouraged Crenshaw team members to become digital media trainers.”

Bradford continued, “the most important outcome was watching my students exemplify the following National Education Technology Standards for students (NETS*S): creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration.”

“The problem with public school education is that we’re (inner city education) are just so far behind the curve . . . We just aren’t aware of the many opportunities out there.”

Bradford, who is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, says her ultimate goal with the Microsoft designation is to build a training program that will enable participants to leave with both Microsoft and Apple certifications.

“When students go through my program, it will supply them with the skills and experience they need in the real world.”