Microsoft hasn’t been shy about its involvement in education, offering its Surface range of hybrid-PC’s to aid in interactive learning, and making OneNote better and easier to manage in the classroom. We’ve covered their efforts extensively and you can read all about how Microsoft is involved in educating the leaders of tomorrow here.
The software giant’s latest effort is to utilize the power of the world wide web in the classroom. The internet is a powerful tool to learn and explorer new content, so it only makes sense for Microsoft to push its search/decision engine to students, teachers and educational institutions.
Microsoft has sent volunteers representing Bing in the Classroom to 10 schools in the United States to help train teachers to utilize technology in classrooms. These teachers are able to experience Windows 8.1, Office, Bing in the Classroom, Skype in the Classroom and other Microsoft products and services first-hand.
“What a treat to kick off our school year! [The volunteers] enthusiastically helped/taught our staff about interactive tools (that they can’t wait to use to engage their students), answered a myriad of our questions with the utmost patience, and methodically showed us how to use the various programs with ease. We’re all ready to tackle our year with more technology than ever!” said Stephanie Kay-Fredrickson, and instructional coach at Arlington Elementary in Tacoma.
The company is continually trying to inspire forward-thinking principals and teachers to embrace technology in education as it could help students grasp and learn quicker and in a way that is interactive and interesting. Nothing is more empowering to educators than open-ended tools that they and their students can get creative with, which is why Microsoft’s volunteers introduced the Bing Summer Story Challenge to teachers. As Memorial Elementary Principal Mechiel Rozas put it:
“Everytime we add a tool that is so open-ended we really open a new part of the world to our students so they can really explore and expand and deepen their understanding”.
It’s great to see Microsoft really making a difference where it matters, as we can’t emphasize enough how important good education is, especially in this day and age.