Going digital: Preparing students for today and tomorrow

Microsoft Showcase Schools have been consistently highlighting how integrating technology into classrooms can enhance productivity.

By HT Brand Studio | Published: Mar 26, 2018

At a time when technology is making inroads into different fields, can the education sector be left behind? Microsoft Showcase Schools have shown us how classrooms, when digitized, can enhance the productivity of students.

Showcase Schools focus on immersive and inclusive learning experiences through use of Microsoft tools such as Office 365, OneNote, Skype, and Minecraft. As a result, students develop skills that not only enable them to think critically, but also solve problems easily. Since these tools can be accessed online, students can learn anytime and anywhere.

Today, there are roughly 1,800 Showcase Schools worldwide that have revolutionized their classrooms with the use of technology. Nearly 2 lakh educators and 26 lakh students have been impacted.

Showcase Schools also host events to showcase digital innovations in the field of education. In 2016, Welham Boys' School, Dehradun, organised the Microsoft ICT Conclave that had teachers and students from around the country sharing their experiences about digital learning. Speaking at the event, Jyoti Gupta, Principal, Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad, said, "It is because of the Microsoft learning tools that learning and teaching have become so much fun today."

Want to know what other Showcase Schools have to say about going digital? Let's take a look.

1. Ever since students at The Titan School, Hosur, started using OneNote, a digital notebook that allows them to take down notes on the go, they haven't stopped smiling. Other platforms, such as Sway and Office Mix, have helped teachers immensely. "Sway allows you to create interactive reports using videos, pictures, and tweets," says Chandhirakala S., a Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Expert at the school.

2. Kamla Nehru Public School is situated in a village in Punjab. Today, students there can easily collaborate with their counterparts in other countries. What drove this achievement? It's all because of going paperless with the help of Microsoft. "Incorporating technologies into classrooms has boosted the learning graphs of my children," says Principal Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon.

3. If students are to only focus on exams, and not be encouraged to think creatively or communicate lucidly, how would they adapt to the unique demands of the 21st century? With Microsoft, the learning process is such that students are prepared not only for today, but also for the future. Says Darshan Singh, Chairman, Welham Boys' School, Dehradun, "If technology enables students to innovate and become creative, then the education system in India will do very well."

4. At DPS International, Gurugram, the new buzzword is Kodu, which allows the students to create games on a computer or an Xbox using a simple visual programming language. Even teachers there have recognized the immense potential of technology in the education arena. "Microsoft has given educators their own social networking platform where they can share their teaching strategies and achievements, and get instant feedback and appreciation," says Ekta Singh, a MIE Expert at the school.

5. Of the many Microsoft tools extensively used by students of The Scindia School, Gwalior, Sway is one. "Sway is one of my favourite applications. It gives amazing outputs when it comes to making presentations," says Snehil Tripathy, a student. Students also love to use OneNote, as it allows them to collaborate with their classmates in doing projects.

6. A popular Microsoft tool called Minecraft has enabled students of Ramjas School, New Delhi, and Pathways School, Noida, to design virtual farms, houses, or even civilizations! What's more, adopting Minecraft in classrooms helps students with learning difficulties. "Minecraft has helped develop the attention span of my students who face learning difficulties, and boosted their problem-solving skills," says Ruchika Chhabra, student counsellor, Ramjas School.

Microsoft Showcase Schools are entitled to benefits such as recognition of their success stories and the ability to scale their innovations. With their steady commitment to technology, they have emerged as leaders in the education field. To nominate your institution as a Showcase School, click here.