Microsoft invests USD 1.4-million to instigate digital transformation in PH education
In line with the digital transformation happening in all industries in the Philippines, it is no doubt that the country's educational system should also undergo a significant change. According to the recent Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study which was conducted across 13 markets in Asia, 87% of business leaders from the education sector agree that educational institutions must transform to grow. With 25.4 million K-12 learners, the Philippines also has major undertakings to accomplish in the education sector in connection with digital transformation.
Headed by its new Marketing Director Bertrand Launay, Microsoft Philippines recognizes its crucial role in instigating the country's digital transformation in education, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), by utilizing its various technological resources. Microsoft, along with DepEd, is not only focusing on improving education for regular students, but also for those who have disabilities. Launay revealed that the software giant is investing in education through Microsoft Philantrophies which had a total budget of USD 1.4-million last year. The said budget is not only allotted for education, but also for other philantrophic initiatives.
"We at Microsoft create technology that recognizes the diversity in learning and we have created tools that empower all students," Launay said.
Microsoft's investment in pushing educational digital transformation in the country is done by partnering with various organizations, one of which is the Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration, and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV), an NGO that helps blind and low vision learners become employable. Some of Microsoft's accessibility and assistive technology tools such as audio narrator were utilized in order for the students to use essential office productivity tools, and even coding and programming.
Recently, Microsoft released a video showcasing the software giant’s collaboration with ATRIEV to help its specially-abled learners. “This video launched today is but one example of the many Microsoft learning tools created for learners with special needs. As evident in our programs and accessibility features that are present in all our software solutions, we remain steadfast in being the technology behind quality and inclusive education for all,” Launay added.
Other software tools from Microsoft that can be used in special education include Learning Tools such as Immersive Reader in OneNote, Cortana, Skype, and Accessibility Checker. Described by Forbes as "one of the most disruptive education technologies yet," OneNote's Learning Tools can help improve the reading and writing experience of dyslexic learners.