Educators sharing their passion for innovative teaching approaches at Microsoft E2.

IN the era of globalisation and digitalisation, educators bear huge responsibility to deliver new learning experiences and prepare students for the 21st century.

Microsoft education vice-president Anthony Salcito said: “What’s happening in the world of education globally today is that policymakers are under pressure to drive economic growth.

“Educators are heroes who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to transform learning and making a direct impact on the experiences and lifelong skills of students. Teachers’ innovation and expertise is needed now more than ever today.”

He said this at the annual Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) last week in Singapore where 310 creative educators and school leaders from 91 countries gathered for three days to exchange ideas to develop innovative experiences in class.

“It is not only about technology but it is also about how one stretches one’s role as an educator. If you embrace the reality that technology is all around us, you will also embrace your role as an educator is changing and it is not just about delivering content.

“Technology will not diminish the value of teachers but instead leads to more innovative teaching,” he added.

At the opening keynote address of E2, Microsoft Asia corporate external and legal affairs associate general counsel Antony Cook said there is a need to develop a skillset for the demands of the future and education plays a critical role in this endeavour.

He added: “About 26 per cent of jobs will be outsourced or automated but these will be mitigated by 25 per cent growth in new jobs created.

“Sixty-five per cent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. We need to change the way we educate and redefine the way we train our current and future workforce.”

Significant economic opportunity for digital technologies is dependent upon broadening information technology skills and knowledge. Although technology is driving creation of value-added jobs, demand for digital skills is outpacing supply.

E2 celebrates the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success in the digital age.

Four teachers from Malaysia were selected out of 100 to attend E2 this year after submitting their applications to become Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts. They are Wan Azrina Muhamad Zuki (from SMK Kubang Kerian, Kelantan), Mohamad Haniff Hasan (SK Jasin, Melaka), Khairul Azlan Mohd Faizul (SK Ulu Daro, Sarawak) and Nur Hayati Shahrome (Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Kuala Kubu Baru).

To be a MIE Expert, teachers submit lessons that are new, innovative and engaging before working on their own professional development at Microsoft Education Community.

During the event, the teachers participated in the Educator Challenge where they worked in teams with teachers from other countries to create a lesson plan template that included computational thinking. Their lessons were judged based on four categories: communication, innovation, collaboration and equity.

On the last day, they shared ideas on integrating Microsoft technologies into their classrooms in innovative ways at the Learning Marketplace. Educators, who attended E2, were also introduced to the latest Microsoft tools including Teams, Minecraft’s Chemistry Addition, Paint 3D and Mixed Reality to unleash creativity and curiosity in class.

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