Driving Transformation In Education


Anthony Salcito, VP Worldwide Education, presenting at BETT Asia

On the back of the BETT Asia 2016 conference, Microsoft released the results from over 1000 respondents across APAC surveyed on the topic of what challenges/opportunities they have identified in optimizing technology for the classroom, along with what are the key skills students need to develop.

I’m always interested in the results of these types of surveys as they tend to be quite candid coming from teachers with strong opinions about what works and what does not work in their classrooms, especially when it comes to technology. NZ’s own www.educators.co.nz website picked up the results of this survey and published an article on it here.

The key findings identified included:

  • The biggest factor needed to successfully transform teaching and learning experiences was educator skill sets – particularly being trained to optimise tech in the classroom
  • 1 in 3 respondents believed that they are currently unable to equip students with the skills needed to succeed in the future workplace within their current school curriculum and ways of teaching
  • The most important skills that educators rank as required for students included problem solving (71%), skilled communication (68%), collaboration with others (61%), digital media literacy (57%) and data analytics & visualisation (56%)
  • 91% of respondents believe students will not be able to adopt to the changing workforce requirements and skills with low digital literacy

The last one is particularly challenging for schools and led to the release of a whitepaper in NZ by Microsoft’s Managing Director Barry Sheers entitled Youth, Technology & Disruption. This is a great read and lays out the key things for schools and teacher training institutes to be considering when it comes to equipping educators to be effective in the teaching of digital literacy/fluency skills.

In the original Microsoft press release, Don Carlson (Director of Educataion APAC) said:

“Technology cannot replace great teaching but it can make great teachers even better. We are inspired to work with educators, with students, with school leaders, on their journey to redefine learning in and out of the classroom.”

From my perspective, when you look at the key skills identified above from the respondents, they tie in very nicely with the Key Competencies from the NZ Curriculum. In my former role as Director of ICT at St Andrew’s College I wrote a lengthy blog post on examining successful eLearning examples through the lens of the Key Competencies. For NZ educators at least, I believe there is wide scope to integrate technology into the teaching and learning and through this, to allow students to develop the identified skills they will need in future employment.

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...