Education Leaders from More than 33 Countries Gather at the 2015 Microsoft Education Leaders Briefing

The following is a repost from the Microsoft in Education blog

On Sunday, January 18th, nearly 100 top-level education leaders gathered in London, representing Argentina to Zimbabwe and 33 countries in between. They will attended the Education Leaders Briefing at the Cardinal Place Immersive Classroom, Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre. These decision makers engaged in dialog with colleagues and experts about transforming education with 1:1 and mobile learning programs.

The 2015 Education Leaders Briefing (ELB) focused on the contributions of anytime anywhere approaches to school (K-12) learning and explores the potential of new learning environments for transforming learning outcomes for students and their communities. The event gave participants an opportunity to discuss the kinds of physical and cloud spaces needed to support these new learning approaches through an immersive experience situated within holistic transformation.

ELB participants were leaders entrusted with the vision and leadership for broad education change in their regions. Guests from around the world showcased their transformations, as inspiration for leaders to consider, define, describe, and propose next steps for building partnerships for their education transformations, building from their unique strengths and the innovations they experience in the immersive learning environment.

Governments and education providers around the world are implored to modernize, reform, and rethink the nature of primary and secondary schooling so the education experience is more relevant for learners and better aligned to community needs. Sparking the natural curiosity of young people and enabling their success in college, career, and community can involve changing an entire education system, rather piecemeal initiatives. The challenge for education in the 21st Century is to create an approach that is agile, adaptable and in tune with the lives of young people outside of the classroom and their future employability. An effective solution in education is complex, and using technology as the only solution will not solve these challenges. Meaningful change requires a more holistic approach to completely transform the learning experience for students. Such change is in the hands of education leaders, policy makers, educators and communities.

After the event opened with a welcome from Microsoft Education Vice President Anthony Salcito, education leaders heard from a student team from Uppingham Community College, who showed their award-winning Kodu game and performed their original theme song. Their teacher, Ray Chambers, described engaged innovative teaching approaches.

Throughout the afternoon, leaders discussed change with

  • Andrew Howard, Sandymoor School, UK.

  • Dolores Puxbaumer, Communications Director of Collaborative Impact, US

  • Bruce Dixon, Anywhere, Anytime Learning Foundation, Australia

  • Jaye Richards-Hill, Tablet Academy Africa

  • Carrie Francey, General Manager, Microsoft Learning Experiences, US

  • Mark East, General Manager, Microsoft Worldwide Education, UAE

  • Mark Sparvell, Microsoft School Leaders Program Director, US

Supporting these discussions and the change that leaders are planning, the Microsoft in Education Transformation Framework was developed a guide for educators and leaders engaged in holistic education transformation. The critical components and conversations needed for effective transformation of education systems are the focus of this framework and the evidence that underpins it.

The key conversations for this session are detailed in the following papers:

In addition to the expert and guest conversations, leaders explored a colourful, collaborative Immersive Classroom space designed to encourage 21st century learning with a range of mobile devices including phones / tablets / 2-in-1s and touchscreen laptops. After a short lesson to show how intuitively teachers can deliver anytime, anywhere learning leaders assessed the impact of this approach using the 21st Century Learning Design App. They saw how mobile and cloud technologies deliver so many of the strategies which drive student engagement and the opportunities of new pedagogies for teachers. And they experienced collaboration, personalization, self-regulation and ways that inking and audio added to student's homework by the teacher can provide the immediate formative feedback which we know helps individual students reach new heights.

Resources - download the Microsoft in Education Transformation Framework series of papers:

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