Photo - (Left) Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia; (Right) Joice Fernandes , Senior Director World Wide, Microsoft with students of SMK Pasir Gudang
Microsoft Malaysia has picked Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand as the first countries in a programme to drive discussion among educators and policymakers how to use technology to impart 21st century skills in the classroom, said the technology solutions giant.
During national Teacher Day celebrations in Malaysia, Microsoft also launched the first-ever 'Pop-up Classroom' project in partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) and the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) to promote the use of technology in education.
Microsoft Malaysia managing director Carlos Lacerda said the Pop-up Classroom included panel discussions to help educators become aware of technology issues and opportunities in education. These included cyber security and online safety for students together with managing privacy.
"The Pop-up Classroom is in line with Microsoft's longstanding commitment to bring about holistic transformation of learning," said Lacerda. "Alongside our other education programmes, we hope that more stakeholders will join us in our journey to make a real impact on educational outcomes."
There are plans to bring the Pop-up Classroom event to more countries in the Asia Pacific and expand the programme to include mobile pop-up classrooms in schools, he said.
Outreach workshops in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand are being held for school leaders and government policy makers, said Lacerda. "These workshops feature a blend of localised content and technology to drive meaningful conversations on the impact of technology in education. Educators are also introduced to how they can create effective, immersive learning experiences for their students."
21st century skills
"Technology and education go hand in hand. We can't educate tomorrow's leaders with tools and practices from the past," said Johor State Education department's sectoral head, IT management, Bahariah Temu.
"We must continue to invest in the development of better learning environments that lead to better outcomes, which is why collaborative efforts like these are of high priority to the MOE. We want to ensure that Malaysia can boast state of the art technology within classrooms, that will be a catalyst to inspire students and improve educational outcomes," said Bahariah.
Microsoft's Lacerda added that Microsoft took an end-to-end approach to ensure education for all. "At Microsoft, we recognise that quality education is critical to economic opportunity for individuals and communities of all walks of life. To ensure the success of today's youth in the competitive global workforce, educators need to be given the necessary tools, resources and support for the teaching of 21st century skills."
"With the Pop-up Classroom project, we are reaching out directly to our local educators and policy-makers with the most relevant conversations and technology demonstrations. We want to inspire more educators to use technology for effective learning experiences and foster closer collaboration with governments on education initiatives," he said.
"Our continuous partnership with the Ministry of Education has seen more than 10,000 schools nationwide leveraging our productivity solutions. Our investment in Partners in Learning has impacted more than 210,000 teachers and 3.5 million students," said Lacerda.
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