During the Education Focus Week, held on December 11th, 2019, in Tallinn, Estonia, Microsoft representatives underlined how educators must adapt and embrace technology to stay ahead. Today’s students have different expectations when it comes to how they are taught and what is possible within the education space.
Microsoft representatives addressed Ministers and representatives of Governments from 20 countries at the session organized by the OECD, Estonian Ministry of Education, European Commission, and supported by Microsoft. Together they explored and discussed “Data in Education, Data for Education” as one of the flagship topics.
Participants of the series of the events within the Education Focus Week in Tallinn, facilitated during the week by Microsoft, explored what it takes to drive digital transformation and the increasing role of data and analytics and to expedite exchanges between schools. Microsoft session dedicated to K-12 education was all about exploring the best ideas about modern teaching, modern classroom, and Artificial Intelligence in schools.
Participants of the events repeatedly stated that workforce skills requirements are rapidly changing.
A new survey –The State of Digital Skills in CEE – conducted for Microsoft by IDC finds that companies in CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) who have adopted cloud technologies are generating 35% more demand for digitally skilled people vs. non-adopters.
Consequently, many businesses are already facing a skills crunch: only 3.5% of employees in CEE today fully meet digital skills needs. Without action, the existing gap between supply and demand will only widen.
“Today’s students are not learning how to use technology. They study using technology. Microsoft believes it’s not about replacing standard practices, but enhancing the experience for teaching staff and students through embracing the role of technology – in a way that’s efficient, cost-effective, and easy to adopt. The adoption of modern technologies in education is the topic of high priority in the country, as well as in the whole region”, said Albena Spasova, Microsoft Education Lead for 24 countries region in CEE.
Skills and learning, including technology skills that used to be important for a narrow band of students pursuing computer science or technology curriculum, are now priorities across the education spectrum.
Students must possess these skills in order to compete in the new and emerging economies and careers of tomorrow.
Such predictions are pushing to common discussions on how to digitally transform our education. And it is no wonder that Estonia, being the highest rated country on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, with quality of educational institutions, was the one selected to host such important international events.