Back-to-school time used to mean an abrupt – and sometimes difficult – shift from the freedom and fresh air of summertime to long days in the classroom. For today's students, learning takes place not only in the classroom, but also at home, outside, in libraries, and any place with an Internet connection. Effective learning technology needs to be as smart, flexible and hardworking as today's students and teachers.
For one UK school, anywhere, anytime learning plays a critical role in transforming their approach to 21st century learning, resulting in more engaged students and better student outcomes. Broadclyst Primary School, a Microsoft Showcase School, adopted a range of Windows 8 devices – from PCs to laptops to Surface tablets – all running Windows 8 with Office 365. According to Broadclyst head teacher Jonathan Bishop, "With Office 365, anytime, anywhere learning is becoming a real reality for all children." Watch more on how Broadclyst is using anytime anywhere learning to engage students in and out of the classroom:
Bishop sees the benefits of anywhere, anytime learning – and the flexibility and power of Windows 8 devices – in action every day.
"[Students] might be working on a project at their desks, but then they want to go and conduct some market research…they will take their device with them [to other parts of the school] or outdoors into the forest school or the allotment. We've got a ruggedized Windows 8 device so it's waterproof and drop-proof, and having the array of different devices that meet the needs of the task makes it really powerful."
– Jonathan Bishop, Head Teacher at Broadclyst Primary School, UK
Teachers at the school appreciate the easy transition to Windows 8, and the seamlessness of a single operating system across multiple devices. As teacher Matt Pitt explains, "[Students] can actually use the same operating system across a range of devices, which means we're teaching one skillset instead of several." He adds, "[This] means that children can get on with the task of learning without having to worry about whether they can use equipment correctly because the operating system for Surface, for a desktop, for a laptop — it's all the same."
For Twickenham Academy in London, another Microsoft Showcase School, Windows 8 Surface devices have empowered anywhere, anytime learning and then some.
Twickenham Assistant Principal Dwayne Philip says the initial goal was simple: "How do we give students a set of learning experiences that would prepare them for the world after school to lead successful lives and to become life-long learners?"
School leaders and teachers at Twickenham knew they needed portable devices to bridge the at-home digital divide and to accommodate different styles of teaching and learning. They also recognized that Office 365 would provide a learning platform that would translate beyond school and into the world of work. "In terms of making the choice, I think the critical thing for us was coming back to our values," Philip adds. "One of our core values was that we educate for life. And we had to think, well, life beyond school walls."
Find more information about how your school can empower students and educators with anytime, anywhere learning
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- Devices, mobility, and apps for learning. Empower education with powerful devices, tools and apps for learning, and training for teachers.
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