A school in Falkirk has become the first in Scotland to transform how they teach children by using Microsoft products in every department.
As a result of the move, which has taken place over the past 18 months, the school has gained Microsoft Showcase School status, giving it access to a professional community that embraces technology to transform education and make it more efficient. Microsoft Showcase Schools focus on personalised learning for students through the use of one-to-one learning devices and Office 365 Education.
“The digital culture that has been created within St Mungo’s High School is not only being recognised by Scottish education, but also internationally. We are very proud to welcome St Mungo’s High School into our global family of Microsoft Showcase Schools,” said Andy Nagle, senior businesses development manager for education at Microsoft.
St Mungo’s is using Microsoft’s products to teach PE, history and science, among other subjects.
A PE teacher uses Microsoft Classroom and OneNote to set homework for his students, who receive push notifications to their mobile phones when they are sent an assignment. Pupils said the change helped them organise their work more effectively and meant they carried a lot less paper around with them.
One of the History teachers places content that her pupils need to revise in OneNote, and encourages them to use PowerPoint to help them collaborate. One pupil who was absent for 40% of the school achieved a “B” grade in Higher History because he could access course content and interact with the class and teacher within OneNote.
The science department is also using OneNote to aid classes, saving teachers time and the school money – it has dramatically cut photocopying costs.
St. Mungo’s now plans to train its primary schools to use OneNote to help improve teachers’ and pupils’ digital skills and allow for a smooth transition from Primary 7 to S1 classes for children.
Microsoft’s Showcase Schools have been hailed in a Scottish Government White Paper that aims to “ensure all learners and educators are able to benefit from digital technology in their education”.
St Andrew’s RC High School, in Fife, uses Office 365 and SharePoint so pupils and teachers can “store and save work in a single place”, delivering “a number of benefits that would not have been so easily realised had digital technology not been used”.
“…the digital literacy of both learners and teachers has increased and digital technology has become a central part of learning and teaching at the school,” the report added.