Microsoft brings education into the digital era | Sunday Observer

Microsoft brings education into the digital era

In some schools, teachers in artistic subjects have begun developing their own digital content and incorporating it into the curriculum.
In some schools, teachers in artistic subjects have begun developing their own digital content and incorporating it into the curriculum.

The prevalence of internet connectivity, the ubiquity of mobile computing, and the disruptive change brought by social and multimedia have transformed the way we live, learn, and work.

This is especially true when it comes to education, which has the potential to benefit from the advantages of today’s technology - in transforming how students learn, and in preparing them to enter the workforce of the digital future.


Microsoft has recognized 300 teachers and 10 schools through the Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE) and Microsoft Showcase Schools 
competitions.  

Educators have been facing pressure to digitalize their entire curriculum in the past decade. It has given rise to a steep learning curve, especially for accomplished teachers accustomed to more traditional approaches.

“There are many teachers who would like to branch out more into digital learning.

But they simply lack the technical experiences they need to feel confident and prepared to lead a classroom using technology.

To make matters worse, it can be difficult for public schools to allocate funds to invest in technology,” said Education Lead for Microsoft Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Yashinka Alles.

Microsoft has partnered with the Western Provincial Department of Education, Headstart, Commercial Bank, and Dialog to launch Project Smart School.

Its mission — transform the learning environment of a traditional secondary school into one that is smart and enabled by the latest technology. Since the program’s launch in 2016, a total of 65 public schools from the Western Province have found ways to create a digital learning system. “The progress in technology adoption and change in instructional approach has been amazing,” she said.

“Through our products, services, and programs, we’re working to empower educators through technology to transform the way students learn in the new digital economy,” Alles said.

For example, at one public school, Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo — 87 courses were created using the Learning Management System (LMS) provided by guru.lk, a software application integrated with Microsoft Office 365 that delivers educational courses and training programs. As a result, the school now boasts approximately 55 courses that are taught using technology — daily.

The winning schools for the Microsoft Showcase Schools competitions 2017: Bandaranayake Central College, Veyangoda; Bandaranayake College, Gampaha; Dhammananda MV, Moronthuduwa; Gothami BV, Colombo; Mahinda Rajapaksa College, Homagama; and Taxila, Horana. 

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