Innovative educators and education leaders from 19 countries attended the 8th Microsoft Partners in Learning (Asia and Pacific) Forum, from 20 to 22 March. Held in Auckland, New Zealand, they were given the opportunity to learn, share and connect with their fellow peers from around the region.
Paul Muckleston, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand, opened the conference by speaking of how Microsoft’s initiatives are committed to improving the education levels among youths. It was followed by key sessions on utilizing technology to supplement today’s education. Despite facing tough but familiar challenges such as staff training and limited resources, many educators shared their experience on how they transformed the learning environment in their schools using information and communication technology (ICT) and other inventive practices.
During her presentation, Shirley Duthie, principal of The Hong Kong Institute of Education Jockey Club Primary School, mentioned the importance of using e-learning in her school, but faced a common challenge of limited resources while implementing the technology. She realized that demonstrating the success of using such technology internally first would improve its credibility and provide her with more resources eventually. The school is now employing Kinect™ and OneNote®-shared documents, and Duthie hopes to conduct textbook-free classes next year.
Similarly, the principal of Botony Downs Secondary College, Mike Leach, explained that the use of OneNote is very prevalent during teacher-and-student collaboration, teacher-to-teacher collaboration and executive-to-teacher collaboration. The school hopes to achieve a more effective “one-to-one” style of teaching in the future. Meanwhile, they utilize portable devices in classes, even allowing students to use their own on the school network. Placing great importance on ICT to improve student results and achievement, this is a regular agenda item at the weekly senior leadership meetings.
“It is very important to recognize our best educators, as they are the role models and the North Star that all other educators should follow. The Partners in Learning Forum provides the opportunity for the world’s best educators to come together to share ideas and best practices,” said Mark East, Worldwide General Manager of the Education Industry Group at Microsoft.
Partners in Learning is a global educational program by Microsoft, committed to transforming education systems worldwide. It provides members with access to educational experts, helps them to discover, share and scale best practices, create knowledge and collaborative communities, and understand how technology can progress their teaching and learning practices.
“The Partners in Learning Forum provides the opportunity for the world’s best educators to come together to share ideas and best practices.”
– Mark East, Worldwide General Manager of the Education Industry Group, Microsoft