REDMOND, Wash. May 24, 2012
OIEC’s mission includes the promotion of education for all, collaboration within academic communities and the fight against illiteracy worldwide. In an ever-evolving technology landscape, educators in the 21st century face continuing challenges to build skills among teachers and provide students with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful. Working closely with schools around the globe for more than 20 years, Microsoft has a deep appreciation for these challenges. Based on experience, Microsoft currently takes a holistic approach to working with schools, one that’s focused on improving educational outcomes for both students and educators that will have the greatest impact in the classroom.
"In alliance with Microsoft, we are entering a new era in global Catholic education," said F. Angel Astorgano, general secretary, OIEC. "We will offer the most advanced technology, knowledge and skills to our schools so our next generation of graduates is prepared for the new challenges of the 21st century."
In a competitive employment landscape, graduates who have developed technology skills are frequently provided with more opportunities. However, many schools around the globe are not able to evolve curriculum quickly enough to keep pace. Many schools simply do not have access to the technologies and training necessary to prepare students for the modern workforce.
Through the Microsoft education alliance, OIEC will provide access to technology and training to students and teachers, as well as establish an online space for collaboration, communication and information sharing. The alliance with Microsoft consists of the following key elements:
- Access to technologies that help enable creativity, research and study, collaboration, and teaching and learning
- Creation of an online network for Catholic education and all OIEC schools
- Curriculum and training to develop digital literacy skills, help integrate technology into teaching and learning, and provide blueprints for innovative schooling
- Access to research findings and tools that measure and promote innovative education practices
Access Is Everything
According to an IDC study, more than half of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and that number will increase to 90 percent by 2015. Using workplace technology in a school environment gives students a head start when beginning their careers, whereas students with no access to technology will be at a disadvantage.
- Communicate using instant messaging and videoconferencing, taking part in virtual classes and transforming any conversation to include high-resolution video, application and desktop sharing
- Collaborate across the globe by creating class and group sites, which allow users to view availability of others and work together on projects in real time
- View, edit, and share Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files online with SharePoint Online and Office Web Apps, working together on projects and assignments
- Share calendars and access mail and calendars across devices with robust security and reliability
- Create and maintain compelling websites and edit them as easily as they would a Word document
In addition, OIEC’s community of schools will receive subscriptions for Microsoft Learning Suite, which includes a variety of tools and services that enable educators and students to create, conduct research, study, collaborate and teach.
Innovation Networks Promote Collaboration
Beginning in 2013, components of the Microsoft Innovative Schools and Innovative Teachers programs will be made available to OIEC to help promote innovative teaching and learning practices. As part of these programs, OIEC schools will have access to the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, which is the largest online teacher and school leader professional networking community in the world with more than 4 million members worldwide.
OIEC will have its own community area within the Partners in Learning Network to allow for collaboration targeted across the Catholic Schools community. In addition, select OIEC schools will participate in the Microsoft Innovative Schools program and will be given additional resources to help promote teaching and learning innovation.
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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.