Introducing Microsoft’s Digital Learning Experience

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2016)

18462_DLE_Banner_600x400_3AWant to re-imagine learning but don’t know where to start? Microsoft is offering schools the chance to explore the future of learning with a free ‘Digital Learning Experience’, writes Anne Taylor.

Every school is excited by the potential of digital learning – from greater student engagement and higher graduation rates, to the development of skills that are valued in the workplace. But introducing digital learning can be challenging, especially when it requires new teaching techniques, technology competencies and perhaps even rethinking the physical spaces in your school.

Now Microsoft New Zealand and our partners have made it easy for your school to ‘test the water’ with your own digital learning experience. We’ll bring everything you need to get started, including a set of loan devices and a proof of concept roadmap with proven steps to follow, as well as professional development for your teachers. We’ll even set the technology up for you and help you plan, manage and evaluate your trial. All you need to bring is the enthusiasm to try something new!

How does the Digital Learning Experience work?

Exploration Workshop. We’ll contact you to arrange a workshop with your Principal, key staff and stakeholders to discuss the scenarios and proof points that you want to explore through your digital learning experience. Together, we’ll scope a three-week proof of concept to suit your school’s individual situation. Your school then signs up to the programme, its agreed dates, objectives and requirements.

Set-up and Training. We’ll provide a set of loan devices for the duration of the pilot and spend half a day training your teachers with professional development. The aim is to make them fully confident in how to use technology in their teaching, as well as the objectives and desired outcomes of the pilot.

Digital Learning Experience. Your pilot begins! We’re on hand for technical support or guidance, as well as a half-way check-in and a further half-way teacher professional development session.

Evaluation. Once the proof of concept is over, we take time to evaluate the findings and discuss the outcomes with your school, as well as any next steps you would like to take.

Grounded in academic research

The Digital Learning Experience is based on key research findings that highlight the importance of using devices appropriately and supporting teachers with well-designed programs if we are to transform learning.

In the words of OECD Director for Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicher, “Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge. To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.”

Equally, the Digital Learning Experience models appropriate use of technology interfaces based on research findings that reveal, for example, when students use a digital pen to solve science and maths problems they produce 56 per cent more diagrams, symbols and numbers, leading to between 38 and 95 per cent more appropriate science ideas [‘Computer Interfaces and their Impact on Learning’, Profession Sharon Oviatt, 2015].

Anne Taylor is Schools and Academic Programs Manager, Microsoft New Zealand.

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