Microsoft Showcase Schools are the best of the best — where school leaders have a strong vision for change. From that vision comes whole-school transformations, creating innovative learning environments enabled by technology, where students participate in their own learning to make their education and achievements more exciting.
Becoming a Showcase School is no small feat. These are extraordinary places to learn — many of them employing 1:1 and personalized learning programs, creative and innovative learning spaces, and using technology to ensure 21st century skills are integrated into most activities.
And while school has just started in some regions, Showcase Schools throughout the world are already proving why they are exceptional.
In a country as physically wide and diverse as Canada, it's no wonder Canadian Showcase Schools – like Tamworth Elementary School, Appleby College, and Monsignor Fee Otterson School, three of Canada's Top Five Showcase Schools – all do things very differently.
Yet therein lies their collective strength – one size does not fit all, and the passionate teachers and administrators at these schools are driving massive change and innovation — even in the smallest, most remote communities. These diverse schools do, however, share one "game-changer": OneNote.
"We introduced laptops in 1998 and pen tablets in 2004, but we never achieved that huge pedagogical shift in the classroom until we introduced OneNote four years ago," says Cal Armstrong, Director, Teaching and Technology Innovation, Appleby College. "It was the one thing that propelled tablet use across our school and motivated the deepening of collaboration.
Read more about their programs and learn their stories here.
Nurturing World-ready Graduates
Having been named the world's first Microsoft Certified High School in 2007, Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida has gone on to become a Microsoft Innovative School, Mentor School and Showcase School.
Dunbar's Technology Academy Programs prepare students for college and a career by offering over 24 IT certifications. The school is also home to Microsoft Office World Champions, students Juliana Toyloy-Stanton (Class of 2013, 3rd place – PowerPoint 2007) and Tyler Millis (1st place – PowerPoint 2007).
The tradition continues with Ian Sexton (Class of 2015), who took 4th place in the Excel 2010 category. Congratulations to Ian and Dunbar Academy!
Putting Windows 10 in the Hands of Students
Creating a 1:1 learning environment is anything but simple. Ensuring your students have the absolute latest in technology takes the utmost dedication. That is exactly what is taking place in the Kent School District Showcase Schools and Radom Technical School.
In Kent, Washington, the school district – home to 27,000 students – is walking the talk in their mission to prepare students for the future. Within the first week of school last year, more than 12,000 secondary students across the district picked up their own Windows 10 computer. Last spring, the district introduced 1:1 at the elementary level at four schools. This year, the district is expanding its 1:1 program, rolling out 15,000 more devices for students in kindergarten through 6th grade, with every elementary school in the district included. Their goal is for every K-6 classroom in their district to be 1:1 by 2019.
And across the ocean in Poland, Radom Technical School fosters a culture of innovation for its secondary students. Beginning in September, Radom is providing Windows 10 for education to students, teachers and school workers. With over 100 upgraded computers, and Windows 10 installed in all computers in their IT labs, Radom is leading the way.
Empowering Students, Training Teachers
"Building the Minds that Build the Future." That's the motto of Notre Dame School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. As a Microsoft Showcase School, the students are not only engaged with technology every day, they are leading the way in education innovation through the school's strong vision for change.
Principal Maria Lorraine de Ruiz-Alma is recognized in the Dominican Republic as a pioneer in the use of ICT in the classroom, and was a principle contributor to the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) project, "ICT in Primary Education," which introduced environmental education to the Dominican Republic.
At Notre Dame School, students are viewed as "future leaders" and can become Microsoft Student Ambassadors. What do these students do? For starters, they help train their teachers! Just recently, these students trained Notre Dame teachers and staff how to use OneNote.
Find out more about how to become a Microsoft Showcase School or Associate Showcase School today.
Is your school exceptional? Are you on your way to achieving real education transformation? Find out more about how to become a Microsoft Showcase School or Associate Showcase School today.