Problem solving, collaboration and digital literacy among top skills required by students to adapt to future workplace: Microsoft survey

Microsoft focuses on transforming learning for a digital future at Bett Asia 2016, releases new survey findings from nearly 1,000 schools to share challenges and opportunities in optimizing technology for the classroom in Asia Pacific

Bett Asia 2016: Anthony Salcito
Anthony Salcito, vice president, Worldwide Education, Microsoft, during his keynote address on Bridging the next Digital Divide

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 November 2016 — Transforming learning for a digital future, critical in preparing students with skills for the future workplace was the top agenda during the Bett Asia 2016 summit, where leading policymakers, educators, researchers, from across Asia Pacific gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the Summit, Microsoft released the findings from a new education survey of nearly 1,000 schools across Asia Pacific in which educators expressed the challenges and opportunities in optimizing technology for the classroom as well as the skillsets required to succeed.

Respondents in Microsoft survey, Driving Transformation in Education, shared that challenges in optimizing technology for the classroom cannot be overcome without the support of school leaders and decision makers. The findings showed that teachers want to be involved when working on strategies and policies as they are the ones executing them in the classrooms.

The study revealed that the biggest factor needed to successfully transform teaching and learning experiences was educator skill sets – in particular, being trained to optimize technology in the classroom. In fact, 1 in 3 respondents believed that they are currently unable to equip students with the skill sets needed to succeed in the future workplace with their current school curriculum and ways of teaching.

Anthony Salcito, vice president, Worldwide Education, Microsoft, said “In many schools, there’s a focus on training teachers and readying teachers for use of technology but without a foundation set for the long-term vision of how it can impact their students’ learning outcomes. Creating a strong foundation and casting a vision for how schools can truly improve their students’ learning outcomes, graduation rates and success for the future is the most successful starting point. Technology naturally becomes in service to bringing the vision to fruition.”

Preparing students for a technology-driven workforce was top of the agenda among educators at the summit. The most important skills educators ranked as required for students include problem solving (71%), skilled communication (68%), collaboration with others (61%)digital media literacy (57%), and data analytics and visualization (56%). 91% of the respondents believed that students who are not equipped for the changing workforce requirements and skills will not be able to adapt to the future workplace with low digital literacy

Don Carlson, education lead, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said, “The transition from education to employment continues to be one of the main obstacles facing youth especially in the Asia Pacific region. It is important for us to equip educators with the right tools, enable access to training, and bridge the technological challenges which they are facing to drive transformation and learning efficiencies for impactful outcomes.

“Technology cannot replace great teaching but it can make greater teachers even better. We are inspired to work with educators, with students, with school leaders, on their journey to redefine learning in and out of the classroom.”

In advancing youth development and education in the region, partnerships have been key to Microsoft’s mission and success. A robust network of partners has enabled Microsoft’s work to be extended far beyond its own products and services and amplified many times over. At Bett Asia 2016, some key partners – Sensavis, 3P Learning, Learning Possibilities and TechOne Global, Certiport, and Prestariang Berhad – will be exhibiting alongside Microsoft to showcase some of the latest tools and methodologies in transforming teaching and learning experiences.

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