Let the games begin! #WEG2015

On behalf of Sarah Vaughan, Director of Developer Experience and Evangelism at Microsoft Australia

It’s well known that Australians have a remarkable affection for sport. Today I’m excited that we are putting learning on the same pedestal as sport as we celebrate the Eighth World Education Games!

Today, nearly 400 students will gather at Luna Park on Sydney Harbour for the World Education Games (WEG), joining nearly five million students online from around the world. Students range from grades three to eight and will compete across three subjects – literacy, mathematics and science. With 500,000 Australian students set to compete online, the countdown is on to see whether Australia will take home the gold medal.

There is currently a shortage of young people entering the workforce at all points on the spectrum of technology education – from technically skilled to computer science engineers – with experts pointing to a lack of consistent education in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. A recent survey by the Australian Industry Group found 44% of employers are experiencing difficulties recruiting STEM-qualified technicians and trade workers. [1]

WEG provides an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate education, and for kids to combine their love of learning with their love of technology – while enabling them with the 21st century skills to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Microsoft is a proud sponsor of the 3P World Education Games and is committed to redefining the way teaching and learning can happen. We are passionate about providing effective, immersive learning experiences to inspire students to realise their full potential.

Students will be using Microsoft Surface devices and Surface Pen, loaded with the Mathletics app as they compete on World Maths Day at Luna Park. With Surface 3 accompanied by the Surface Pen students can be more intuitive with how they interact with the Mathletics app. Using the Pen, students have an amazing ability to create, capture, explore and share ideas with their friends in an instant, all over the world.

The Surface is redefining learning as we know it – allowing students and teachers to do so much more both in and out of the classroom. At Microsoft, we see the role of technology as a driver of change in the way students learn and the way teachers teach. The Surface allows people to work in the way they think, instead of trying to express maths, science, languages or art through a keyboard, which just doesn’t work.

The World Education Games is the perfect example of how traditional and digital learning can work seamlessly together to drive better learning outcomes in the classroom.

Follow the conversation @MSAUedu or get involved at http://www.3plearning.com/worldeducationgames

[1] Australian Industry Group, Progressing STEM Skills in Australia, March 2015.

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