Why teachers are key in transforming education through technology
The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge – Seymour Papert
Did you know that this quote was first said way back in 1993? With today’s increasing use of technology in the classroom and drive for innovation and entrepreneurism, it almost sounds as if it were uttered at the start of the 21st Century.
The youth of today are constantly pushed to develop relevant skills for the job market. As the 4th Industrial Revolution approaches, these include ICT, creativity, problem-solving, entrepreneurial thinking and collaboration.
Technology in the classroom plays a massive and vital role in developing these skills. However, technology cannot do it alone. It needs one key component: Teachers. More importantly, teachers who know how to use the digital tools – and who can inspire students to do even more with them.
Microsoft continues to partner with more and more teachers in the region to expose them to ICT and how they can integrate technology into the classroom environment.
In April, Microsoft East and Southern Africa worked with 40 educators in Ethiopia, training them on how to use tools such as Office 365 Education. Together with Victor Ngobeni, our Education Training Manager from South Africa, we focused on using technology to improve online communication skills, create relevant content and collaborate with ease.
It was so inspiring for us to see the enthusiasm and eagerness of the teachers. They were excited to be learning not just for themselves, but for the benefit of their students.
This training was just the first of many, which will take place as part of the new Education Transformation Agreement we signed with the Ministry of Higher Education in Ethiopia. Together, our mission is to transform education through technology, further innovation and develop skills for employability.
And, as we have said, the key is to start with teachers. We can put all the right technology and policies in place. But without the leaders to inspire innovative thinking and a love of lifelong learning in their students, technology will never have the impact we intend it to have.
Read more about the Education Transformation Agreement here.