Free Technology Seminars Bring Learning to Life
15 March 2013
Free Technology Seminars Bring Learning to Life
‘Windows in the Classroom’ provides a hands-on demonstration of how IT can enhance the education experience – both in the classroom and beyond.
All New Zealand schools are being offered a free seminar showcasing how they can get more out of the software most used every day in their classrooms.
Microsoft has made a significant commitment to researching the way educators around the world are making effective use of technology. This research has been distilled into a practical two-hour seminar, Windows in the Classroom, currently being presented free of charge around the country.
The seminars aim to inspire educators to take a fresh look at technology by enhancing their use of familiar software, including Windows and Office, to transform the way they teach and the way students learn.
One of the seminar facilitators, John Phelps, is a registered teacher and Professional Development Manager for New Era IT, a leading provider of technology to the education sector.
“The Windows in the Classroom seminar helps teachers and school leaders explore tools and technologies that energise and engage students,” Mr Phelps says.
“We demonstrate real world examples of how software and devices are unleashing 21st century learning and how technology can be used to improve student outcomes and achievement. The seminar explains how to use simple communication tools to share ideas, brainstorm and collaborate from anywhere, not just in the classroom.”
The tools highlighted through the seminars include the latest version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous productivity suit, Office 2013, along with Office 365 for Education, the cloud-based collaboration platform that is available to schools at no cost. Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, is also showcased, as are the wealth of professional development resources available to educators through Microsoft’s global Partners In Learning programme.
“With these tools, self reflection, student feedback and assessment become much more powerful and students can organise their learning in highly interactive ways. From taking notes and gathering resources to the final presentation of their learning, students become highly efficient and creative in the way they study, using invaluable skills they will carry with them into their futures,” Mr Phelps says.
Evan Blackman, Education Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says research shows a strong connection between education and economic growth.
“Our role involves more than just supplying technology solutions. Delivering the Windows in the Classroom seminars to as many educators as possible is part of Microsoft’s commitment to providing relevant training resources to teachers,” Mr Blackman says.
“We will continue to make a significant ongoing contribution towards enabling the teaching of 21st century skills that prepare young New Zealanders for the competitive workforce.”
The seminars have already provided inspiration – plus a greater understanding of the potential to get the most out of technology – to teachers and leaders at a range of schools up and down the country.
Staff at Baradene College in Auckland have been amongst those to benefit from attending a Windows in the Classroom presentation. Baradene’s Deputy Principal, Theresa Bosch, says one of the goals in the school’s strategic plan is to embrace technology in the teaching and learning environment, and staff are encouraged to take opportunities to further develop their understanding of IT as a teaching and learning tool.
She says the Windows in the Classroom seminar gave new staff at Baradene an opportunity to get up to speed with some of the technology the school was already using. However, even long-serving staff with experience of the schools systems were able to pick up new skills and tips for using specific Microsoft tools by attending the seminar.
Mr Phelps says no matter where a school is at in terms of its current IT set-up, participating in a Windows in the Classroom seminar offers staff a valuable opportunity to be exposed to new ways to bring learning to life through a range of technology scenarios.
“Technology is an invaluable tool to support innovative teaching and learning. Our aim is to inspire educators to make the most of its potential,” he says.
“When schools spend money on IT they have to feel confident they are making a worthwhile investment that will deliver a more powerful and engaging learning experiences.”
Educators wanting to arrange a suitable date and time for a free Windows in the Classroom seminar at their school can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information visit www.microsoft.co.nz/windowsintheclassroom.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.