Microsoft Launches New Set of Ambassadors, Showcase Schools, and Minecraft Education

By Mommy Donna and Kib - December 18, 2017

We are now living in the digital age.  We almost rely on technology in managing our daily living, even industries align their processes on the use of technology.  Schools also align their curriculum on technology.  

Microsoft, one of the leading companies in introducing technological innovations, is leading the charge in the digital transformation in the Philippines.  Clarissa Segismundo, Microsoft Philippines Education Programs Lead mentioned that in Microsoft, technology cannot develop the future-ready skills students require.  "We believe in the power of schools and the impact school leadership can have when they work towards a common goal," Ms. Segismundo stressed.

Few months ago, Microsoft has launched several efforts to bridge educational gaps in the Philippines.  Among these are empowering the visually impaired through a more inclusive SPED with ATRIEV and the launch of Microsoft Experience Hub at Asia Pacific College (APC).  The Microsoft Experience Hub is the classroom of the future where students are prepared with 21st century skills.

Last November 22nd, Microsoft launched key milestones during the Education Summit.  The Microsoft Education Summit featured sessions on the digital transformation journey which was attended by school leaders, administrators, students, and other institutions.

The highlights of the event were the celebration of reaching 1,000 Microsoft Education Ambassadors in the Philippines, additional showcase schools, and Minecraft education.

Microsoft Education Ambassadors

Microsoft is empowering educators in the country by conducting scalable training programs on teaching with technology through partner institutions like the Department of Education (DepEd) and its various Microsoft Showcase Schools.  Educators are equipped with modern tools to transform teaching and learning in the classroom.  

During the summit, Microsoft celebrated a key milestone, reaching 1,000 Microsoft Education Ambassadors in the country, the highest number in the entire Asia Pacific Region.  To add, there are now 100 MCEs (Microsoft Certified Educators) in the Philippines.

Minecraft in Classrooms

In its thrust to transform education, Microsoft provides tools such as Power BI and Azure Machine Learning for data analysis and coding, collaboration on O365, Teams, OneNote, Skype in the classroom, and Kaizala messaging app.

Students are also engaged through Minecraft in the classroom.  Minecraft: Education Edition is an open world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.

According to top educators, Minecraft supports social and emotional learning (SEL) as well as promotes the 5Cs: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Computational Thinking.

Educators cited 'problem solving' as the top SEL skill that their students learn from classroom Minecraft lessons.  Other top skills cultivated include creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.

In addition, teachers also felt that their students' decision-making and communication abilities were positively impacted by the time they spent playing Minecraft, whether working in small groups or individually.

Microsoft Showcase Schools

Microsoft continues to optimize institutions to transform education through Microsoft Education Schools.  These schools are part of a global network of schools who exemplify innovation in the campus through technology--and that covers the institution, educators, and their students.

The 2017 Microsoft Showcase Schools promote digital transformation through their leadership in personalized learning, amplified by 1:1 deployments effectively using Microsoft solutions such as Windows 10, Office 365, Office Sway, OneNote, Skype, to enable anywhere, anytime education for all.  Microsoft Showcase Schools in the Philippines include Asia Pacific College, De La Salle Santiago Zobel, and De La Salle University Dasmarinas, Lyceum of the Philippines Manila, National University, Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan, and Silliman University.

To promote productivity and collaboration, these schools also use Kaizala--a mobile app and service for communicating and coordinating work.  It makes it easy for both students and teachers to manage their work and connect with large numbers of people inside and outside the classroom.

Another example of the power of technology in transforming education is the EGG classroom.  It is an example of how learners in off-grid locations can be educated through cloud technology.

All of these were reported during the Microsoft Education Summit and the Microsoft team is very glad to announce that they will continue to work on having strategic partnerships in the near future.

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