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Microsoft innovates education through digital transformation

By Jonnah Pante - on 1 Dec 2017, 10:01am

Microsoft innovates education through digital transformation

Digital transformation is here, and it’s changing all industries, including education. Microsoft, in its constant push for innovation to empower every person and every organization to achieve more, is leading the charge in the digital transformation of education in the Philippines.

“At Microsoft, we believe that technology alone cannot develop the future-ready skills students require. Technology is an accelerator, but alone it does not enable change. We believe in the power of schools and the impact school leadership can have when they work towards a common goal,” said Clarissa Segismundo, Microsoft Philippines Education Programs Lead.

In the last few months, Microsoft has launched several efforts to bridge educational gaps in the Philippines. This includes empowering the visually impaired through a more inclusive SPED with ATRIEV. Microsoft also launched the Microsoft Experience Hub at Asia Pacific College (APC), a classroom of the future where students are prepared with 21st century skills.

Clarissa Segismundo, Microsoft Philippines Education Programs Lead

These key milestones were further discussed and celebrated during the recently concluded Microsoft Education Summit, which also hosted sessions that tackled on on the digital transformation journey that involve school leaders, administrators, students, and institutions.

Empowering educators, engaging students

Microsoft is empowering educators in the country by conducting scalable training programs on teaching with technology through partner institutions like the Department of Education (DepEd) and its various Microsoft Showcase Schools. Educators are equipped with modern tools to transform teaching and learning in the classroom.  

In line with its thrust to transform education, Microsoft has reached the 1000th mark on its Microsoft Education Ambassadors in the country, the highest number in the entire Asia Pacific region. In addition, there are now 100 MCEs or Microsoft Certified Educators in the Philippines.

Microsoft also provides tools such as Power BI & Azure Machine Learning for data analysis and coding, collaboration on O365, Teams, OneNote, Skype in the Classroom, and Kaizala messaging app. Students are also engaged through Minecraft in the classroom. Minecraft: Education Edition is an open world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.

According to top educators, Minecraft supports social and emotional learning (SEL) as well as promotes the 5Cs: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking and Computational thinking.

Educators cited “problem solving” as the top SEL skill that their students learn from classroom Minecraft lessons. Other top skills cultivated include creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

In addition, teachers also felt that their students’ decision-making and communication abilities were positively impacted by the time they spent playing Minecraft, whether working in small groups or individually.

Minecraft can also be a used as a learning platform to advocate empathy. In the same study, educators believe that Minecraft also enables students to build empathy skills due to interactions with classmates, as well as with characters within the game.

Optimizing institutions

Through the Microsoft Showcase Schools, Microsoft continues to optimize institutions to transform education. These schools are part of a global network of schools who exemplify innovation in the campus through technology – and that covers the institution, educators, and their students.

The 2017 Microsoft Showcase Schools promote digital transformation through their leadership in personalized learning, amplified by 1:1 deployments effectively using Microsoft solutions such as Windows 10, Office 365, Office Sway, OneNote, Skype, to enable anywhere, anytime education for all. Microsoft Showcase Schools in the Philippines include Asia Pacific College, ,De La Salle Santiago Zobel, and De La Salle University Dasmariňas , Lyceum of the Philippines Manila, National University, Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan, Silliman University.

To promote productivity and collaboration, these schools also use Kaizala — a mobile app and service for communicating and coordinating work. It makes it easy for both teachers and students to manage their work and connect with large numbers of people inside and outside the classroom.  

Inside the Microsoft EGG classroom which they recently inaugurated in the province of Nueva Ecija.

Another example of the power of technology in transforming education is the EGG classroom. It is an example of how learners in off-grid locations can be educated through cloud technology.