Microsoft in Education Blog
Over the last 8 years Microsoft has made a significant shift in the way it engages with its education customers and works towards improving education. Under the banner of Partners in Learning we have entered into literally hundreds of partnerships and alliance agreements with governments, not for profits, academia, inter-governmental agencies and other businesses, all with a singular focus – how can we share our commitment towards improving educational outcomes through pooling resources and sharing accountabilities. This is at the heart of our strategic partnership focus for education, and we have been able to support some impressive improvements.
Highlighting a couple might help explain – first let’s begin with an important partnership with UNESCO, Intel, Cisco and ISTE to create and launch the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. Through this partnership Microsoft developed the Teaching with Technology professional development program, fully mapped to the UNESCO CFT. This program is free to teachers around the world through the Partners in Learning Network. This program combined with the Microsoft Certified Educator certification is allowing governments and education systems globally to rethink how they develop, measure and recognize teacher competencies. This is quite an improvement for teacher professional development. We’ve also been working hard on the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ACT21S) partnership, again involving Intel and Cisco along with the University of Melbourne. Over 250 education researchers and leaders from around the world, and thousands of students have piloted the new assessments. This work is now shaping OECD’s PISA 2015 global assessment, as well as IEA’s TIMMS global assessment. Again, what an improvement.
However at Microsoft we believe the reward for doing a good job is the opportunity to take on a harder job. With that in mind we announced an even bigger challenge this week, and something that has not been done before in the global education community. Working with organizations such as the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (ATISL), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Collaborative Impact, the European SchoolNet, Intel, Michael Fullan Enterprises, OECD, Pearson Education, Promethean and leading academics we have created a vision for improved learning for all students in the release of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning whitepaper.
This whitepaper has been developed through the leadership of Michael Fullan - global leader on system improvement - with a foreword from Sir Michael Barber, and contributions from over 20 global leaders in the education field representing all sectors. It articulates the challenge for systems and schools towards New Pedagogies for Deep Learning; around the current lack of an agreed definition and framework of the new pedagogic roles, practices and measurements of teaching and learning enabled through smart application of educational technology in informal and formal settings. Just as businesses like Microsoft have had to redefine and adapt new ‘business processes’ to see the benefits of technology investments, you might think of these new pedagogic roles, practices and measurements in teaching and learning as the new business processes for education infused with technology.
I encourage you to take time to read this paper, share it with your colleagues, consider nominating a cluster of schools to participate and following the progress over the next 3 years. I believe this partnership has the potential to radically change our thinking around the roles, practices and measurements for teaching and learning in the future and improving outcomes for all of our students.
To find out more visit http://www.newpedagogies.org
This whitepaper does not include iEARN's 25 years of research and practice in the field, but we can confidently say: globally connnected teaching and learning is effective across all cultures, grade levels, and socio-economic demographic.
So pleased to see the increased movement towards globally connected education for all schools and all students.
We invite you to join our Connect All Schools Consortium and help give all students the opportunity to have a meaningful cross-cultural experience as part of his or her education: connectallschools.wordpress.com
Professionals who dealt directly with Education feel for a long time that things had changed. What things? Mainly the way people (not just young people...) learn. Classical pedagogues try to fit the changes in behavioural concepts, few search for new paradigms and officials a little bit everywhere think we just need to buy computers. Therefore we are in search of something new. Of a new pattern or model in teaching and in learning. Yet, as Sir Michael Barber made clear at the paper's Foreword, we have to find the mountain before we start climbing it.
A 'white-paper' is an orientation document. One step ahead of a 'green-paper' which is a reflection document. Therefore this paper already lay down the core guidelines for a proposed New Pedagogy further then just setting out (new) learning goals. This is not just an academic theory but goes along with tech development, world economic trends and the leading industries focus. Hence it opens the pandora box of scepticism and criticism related to corporate subservience and Business interests. A new theory under fire from the start, one may consider. Why? Because first and foremost it need to be looked at not just from an US/Westernised point of view but from each local perspective. Even in Western Europe this type of concerns will be the first ones to jump out.
Thus being at least two main approaches lay ahead; one conceptual, the other practical:
a) The need to demonstrate the advantages of institutional commitment with the industries in pursuit of the leading economic trends, deepening R&D and building up a new entrepreneurial spirit from early ages;
b) Another approach is sharing the best practises. "Many isolated cases exist already." (p. 5) Many teachers and educators work hard everyday in order to engage their students in learning. That is what I do and what some of the most committed teachers I know do as well. And I deeply believe in the immediate advantages of sharing this type of experiences on an open basis with a common framework of analysis. Or, as stated, "the central driving force behind the partnership’s capacity-building will be the goal of harnessing teachers’ individual capital resources to increase the professional capital of all teachers across whole systems." (p. 13)
In short, is Fullan & Langworthy New Pedagogies theory on Deep Learning the "magic wand" solution to engage students in learning and motivate educators all around...? The paper graphic design might even give that idea! :-) It is, one may agree, a powerful "tool" to address this issue and try to find a short term approach to it. Because this is urgently need in order to gain the commitment of an entire worldwide Web 2.0 generation lost in engagement... This 'white-paper' is a draft proposal built on a strong conceptual analysis with “apports” from state of the art contributors. Finally, it is open for debate and gives us the chance to share our perspectives.
There's something wrong with the link at the bottom of the article. It leads to:
blogs.technet.com/.../a%3E instead of
(You may delete this comment once corrected, no problem)