MSU to host international education conference

February 10, 2011

Educators from around the world will gather at Michigan State University next week as the university hosts the iNet International Conference, an annual event focused on transforming education.

A showcase of the best strategies and technology in schools, the “Navigators of Learning” conference will give Michigan teachers and school administrators an unusual opportunity to interact with global educational leaders and peers without leaving the state. Gov. Rick Snyder also is expected to speak.

MSU was selected by International Networking for Educational Transformation, better known as iNet – the world’s largest network for sharing school reform – to help organize the event this year in honor of the university’s continuing efforts to improve K-12 teaching and learning through global perspectives. Recent iNet international conferences have been held in South Africa, Beijing and Mauritius, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa.

“This is truly a worldwide network, so to have it focus on MSU is quite significant,” said Barbara Markle, assistant dean for K-12 outreach in the College of Education. “As a world-grant university, we appreciate that education is changing around the world. We have been learning from one another in order to rethink what it means to create high-performing schools in the United States.”

Markle’s office established MSU as the first U.S.-based hub for iNet in 2009. Since then, nearly 200 Michigan schools have become iNet members with shared access to information about effective school improvement through various events and online resources.

The international conference, being held Feb. 14-16 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, will focus on issues of global competence and curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, leadership and change management, new technologies and global entrepreneurship.

Participants will hear about the experiences of schools in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, the Netherlands, England and Wales. Speakers include prominent academics, superintendents, principals and the senior leaders of Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, a London-based educational organization. iNet is the international arm of SSAT.

“Globalization means that it is vital that schools give their students the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in our rapidly changing world, as well as helping them to become global citizens,” said Elizabeth Reid, chief executive of SSAT. “More than ever before schools are looking around the world for examples of classroom practice that will give all young people the very best possible start in life.”

Visit or for a complete conference agenda and registration information.