Here’s why Asia Pacific’s educators need a future-ready toolbox

Future ready toolbox

There is no doubt that a digital future lies ahead. As the education landscape undergoes a digital transformation, computer science education proves to be increasingly invaluable in helping teachers – from all disciplines – to equip their students for the future of work.

“As the people who are nurturing our next generation, educators are in the best position to ignite students’ interest in computer science,” said Dr. Daiana Beitler, Philanthropies Director, Microsoft Asia. “With more educators integrating computer science skills into lessons, more learners will have the chance to reach their full potential, and everyone can benefit.”

Computer Science, Key to Future-Readiness

The value of computer science is highly recognized among teachers in Asia-Pacific, according to a recent YouGov survey* conducted with 896 teachers from Indonesia, Korea, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam:

  • 74% agree that computer science is a priority in their schools or districts
  • 88% view computer science as a gateway to future success in the workplace

Despite the positive sentiment, 30% of educators don’t feel confident or empowered to prepare their students for a digital future, while 65% express their desire for strong involvement from big tech companies in helping schools build students’ skills in computer science. Access to resources is pivotal to better support educators in imparting computer science skills.

“There are myriad technology tools available for educators to create more engaging learning experiences for students,” said Don Carlson, Education Director, Microsoft Asia Pacific. “The Future-Ready Toolbox curates teaching resources that can help teachers and schools fully capitalize on high-quality computer science education.”

Future-Ready Skills: What They Are and Why They Matter for Everyone

Unlike traditional academic skills which emphasize content knowledge, future-ready skills focus on deeper learning, which is based on mastering skills such as creative thinking, computational thinking, analytical reasoning and complex problem-solving abilities. In particular, 90% of respondents from the survey agree that computer science can help foster students’ creativity.

As computer science helps learners navigate an ever-changing digital environment, every teacher has a responsibility in making high-quality and inclusive computer science education a reality for everyone. In Vietnam for instance, Nam Nguyen uses his upbringing in a remote mountainous region to fuel his drive to reach out to students he feels have been left out by public education.

“We can’t wait for mainstream education alone to fill the gap. I believe every teacher should have a growth mindset and take risks, in and outside the classroom,” said Nam.

The Future-Ready Toolbox: A Robust Kit for Educators

The survey revealed that teachers in Asia-Pacific most needed support in terms of professional development through in-person trainings, resources and online learning. We’ve designed the Future-Ready Toolbox to ensure that educators are empowered to effect change.

Game based learning

Teachers can use game-based tutorials to introduce students to computer science in a fun and creative way.

Modern classrooms

A conducive environment enabled by technology can help educators deliver high-quality and inclusive computer science education.

Gender Inclusivity

Young women are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). To reverse the trend, teachers can build lesson plans using gender-responsive content.

  • Dive Deeper
    Teach Sustainable Development Goals
    Design computer science courses that engage young women’s interest, such as sustainable development of the economy, society, and environment.

These courses can be found on Microsoft Educator Community (MEC), one of the world’s largest educator social networks to connect, collaborate, find free training and lessons, and earn badges and certificates. Each course hosted on MEC generates 500 points or more, and qualifies for certification as teachers complete the courses on the portal.

With the Future-Ready Toolbox, educators can prepare their students for the future of work. Many teachers are already integrating technology into their classrooms to better engage students. But integral to all these changes ultimately being positive, is the educator who implements them.

Teachers are empowered to make a difference to the world. When learners gain skills that help them adapt to change, teachers can be more confident that their students will be able to succeed tomorrow, at work and beyond.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Pte. Limited. Total sample size was 1,436 educators in the United States and selected APAC countries. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5 Nov 2018 to 7 Jan 2019. The surveys were carried out online.

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