When it comes to preparing for – and making the most of – innovative classroom technology, Microsoft believes that technology can help improve teaching and learning, and ultimately create opportunity and raise living standards for people around the world.
This kind of transformative change does not happen overnight. We are committed to listening to what educators, administrators and students say is working, and what's not. It's our mission to make change plausible; to clarify which learning environments and methods are in fact delivering on the promise of transformative learning.
One such method is 1:1 learning. Since the first 1:1 programs began more than 20 years ago, tens of thousands of schools across the globe have piloted or fully deployed 1:1 programs in their schools and school districts. Whether it's about sparking curiosity, collaborating with peers and expert educators, interacting with rich content or opening doors to engaging learning experiences, 1:1 technology-empowered learning environments can help transform today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders. Of course, realizing this vision requires teachers, administrators and students to realign, rethink, and reinvent educational practices.
As part of our program at BETT 2014, we held an important event entitled: Anytime Anywhere Learning for All. This program covered how to effectively execute 1:1 programs, the best strategies for building relationships with IT decision makers, and included discussions and panels about the value and economic impact of 1:1 programs.
Studies on transformative learning environments have shown that successful 1:1 programs focus on learning, and not devices; they address student engagement, active pedagogy, and the business of learning. From Australia to Greece to Canada, Cyprus to the US, we have heard from teachers, students, parents and administrators who sing the praises of 1:1 learning.
Why? For today’s curious, self-directed, and social learners, 1:1 programs can give them a more meaningful voice in their education, and a strategy and environment that supports deeper learning. For educators, a 1:1 program can free them from being "content providers" and instead let them serve as mentors, learning strategists, advisors, coaches, and researchers exploring new, innovative teaching practices. By shifting from teacher- to student–directed learning, classrooms can begin to develop a contemporary curriculum strategy.
This week at BETT 2014, Microsoft is focusing on sharing meaningful ways to integrate technology into classrooms. To help teachers, trainers, and school leaders take full advantage of 1:1 learning opportunity, Microsoft supports teachers, trainers and school leaders:
• Design and Deployment workshop: Developed in partnership with the Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation, this workshop addresses the critical steps required for effective deployment of a 1:1 program. It provides school leadership with a framework which encourages dialog and clear expectations about what a 1:1 initiative will mean for students, teachers and the whole school community, and addresses strategic, pedagogical, technical and tactical implications for school heads, IT directors, curriculum heads and their teams.
• Train the trainer workshop: Building Educator Capacity: Designed for organizations and individuals that provide teacher training using Microsoft devices and products. Facilitated by Imagine Education, it focuses on how to utilize the Microsoft professional development resources, share best practices and explore new tools and apps to support teachers. Join the upcoming webcast series to find out more. Register here.
We believe that technology can expand the impact of education and accelerate the growth potential of every student. We also believe in the power of the educator and school leader and the impact they can have on their students both now and into the future. To that end, in March 2014 we are bringing together over 700 of the world’s most innovative educators, school leaders and education leaders from 75 countries for the 10th annual Microsoft in Education Global Forum taking place in Barcelona, Spain. The Forum is designed to give educators and school leaders an opportunity for professional development, team building, collaboration and sharing of best practices.
When it comes to creating meaningful change in education, there is no silver bullet. With the right educators, plan and tools in place today, students will be fully engaged in learning, and prepared to meet the changing demands of the job market, readying them to lead in the 21st century economy.
Anthony Salcito, Vice President Worldwide Education