Microsoft Unveils Leading Education Innovators in Asia Pacific

 |   Microsoft Malaysia News Center

Showcase Schools and Innovative Educator Experts in Malaysia increased by 300% and 275% respectively since 2013. 

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 December 2014 – Microsoft Asia Pacific announced its 2014-2015 class of education innovators featuring 23 Microsoft Showcase Schools and 173 Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts from 10 countries across the region, at the recently concluded BETT Asia Leadership Summit.

Validated by education leaders and governments as being exceptional thought leaders in creating and leading transformational learning environments through technology, this year’s APAC class of education innovators forms the second largest group from a single region. Hailing from countries including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, the APAC group makes up close to a fifth of the 830 teachers and 150 schools being recognized as the best of education innovators from across the world.

Almost 22 percent of MIE Experts from around the world are from APAC while around 15 percent of Showcase Schools globally also come from the region. Globally, the group is significantly larger than last year’s class – with nearly three times the number of educators and more than triple the number of schools – reflecting Microsoft’s goal of increasing the worldwide pool of innovators and collaborators.

In Malaysia, this number has risen significantly from a single Showcase School and four MIE Experts in 2013, to three new Showcase Schools and 11 MIE Experts respectively. “Technology has the power to economically expand the impact of education, and accelerate the growth potential of every student, educator and school. We are very pleased to see more schools and educator experts receive the recognition they deserve for their pioneering efforts in using technology to reinvent productivity in the classroom. We are committed to empowering students and teachers to achieve more, by developing the skills they need in the workplace of tomorrow,“ said Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

He continued, “The Malaysia Showcase Schools and Innovative Educator Experts are leading the way in modernizing learning environments and delivering more personalized education to students. We will continue to celebrate innovation and the rethinking of teaching, learning and assessment, so that young people nationwide will be empowered to do more and achieve more.

The BETT Summit is an annual event, which provides a global meeting place for the education technology community. This year, the Summit brought together leading decision makers such as senior government officials, educators and technology companies from more than 20 countries. Speaking at the Summit, Yang Berhormat P. Kamalanathan, Deputy Minister of Education in Malaysia emphasized the importance of new approaches and platforms to make learning fun, exciting and effective, especially with the use of technology that is available today. “Education is a major contributor to the development of our social and economic capital. It inspires creativity and fosters innovation; provides our youth with the necessary skills to be able to compete in the global environment; and is a key driver of growth in the economy. It is vital for Malaysia’s education system to produce a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that is comparable to the best in this region and beyond, and more importantly, be the catalyst to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020.”

Kamalanathan went on to explain that the Malaysian Government is committed and has taken positive steps to see this vision to fruition, “Last year, the Malaysian Government, through the Malaysia Education Blueprint, announced a strategic 12-year plan for a rapid and sustainable transformation of the education system through to 2025. Transformation does not happen overnight but is an ongoing process with continuous efforts from all stakeholders, including the support and committed participation of parents.”

Lacerda agreed with Kamalanathan that the transformation would be challenging, and visualized the future of education in Malaysia, “We realize that real change to achieve desired outcomes can be a major challenge. Quality education is not only a basic right but a social imperative. It is the key to economic opportunity, not only for individuals but for their communities. Through our investments, partnerships, programs and software, we are helping ensure that all students have access to quality education, all educators are equipped and prepared to meet the needs of students, and all leaders have a clear vision for true innovation with real impact. This is the vision Microsoft has for Malaysia; this is what we at Microsoft call modernizing education with 21st-century technology, and in partnership with the Malaysian Government, we are making strides in the right direction.”

Lacerda concluded by saying that all stakeholders must not rest on their laurels and continue to work towards achieving total education modernization, “Much more can be achieved and needs to be done to develop human capital that is critical to achieving the nation’s aspirations by 2020. We are excited with our role in preparing the youth and future generation in a mobile-first and cloud-first world; the ability to go beyond geographical boundaries and to touch the lives of countless children – children in rural areas, belonging to indigenous groups; to end education inequality; to ultimately bridge the gap between Malaysia and the rest of the world, and be on par with developed nations, in terms of an advanced education system.

Microsoft Showcase Schools are selected for demonstrating strong vision for educational change through the effective deployment of Microsoft technology school-wide and applying this vision to the transformation of their local schools. Showcase Schools have also established their capability in creating a conducive environment for both students and educators to thrive, by placing students at the center of their learning and giving educators opportunities to embrace innovation in the classroom. In Malaysia, these schools are SK Bukit Jelutong, SMK Abdul Rahman Talib and SMK Sungai Pusu.

Besides being recognized on a global scale for their innovative approaches to educating tomorrow’s workforce, Showcase Schools also get connected to an international group of thought leaders, as part of the Microsoft in Education community for further collaboration; Microsoft IT Academy membership, access to professional development for educators and support to drive innovation among staff, peers, students. The Showcase Schools will also be invited to regional education forums and exclusive monthly community webinars as well as Yammer group discussions.

Similarly, Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Experts are selected for their inventive use of classroom technology – such as cloud storage and mobile solutions, and the demonstration of their ability to integrate progressive pedagogy with advanced technology to advance learning and better prepare students for the jobs of the future. With this recognition, the MIE Experts can gain access to an exclusive global community dedicated to trying new pedagogical approaches, sharing of ideas and advising other educational institutions as well as their peers on how to integrate technology in pedagogically sound ways. MIE Experts will also receive free Microsoft education tools and technology, and gain eligibility to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Redmond, Washington held in April 2015.

To support the growing number of Showcase Schools and MIE Experts, Microsoft also announced the global rollout of its Office 365 ProPlus Benefit for students and educators at the BETT Summit. Office 365 ProPlus Benefit supports students to be as productive as possible through a mobile-first, cloud-first approach to education, which in turn increases their desire to learn and the ability to achieve more while also helping them build 21st-century skills. As part of the rollout, all students and teachers will have access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus at no additional cost. In fact, they can download Microsoft Office on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPads, enabling them to get their school work done virtually at any time and from anywhere.

Encik Sajoli bin Masdor, Principal, SMK Sungai Pusu, Kuala Lumpur, during the Showcase Schools recognition ceremony at the BETT Asia Leadership Summit 2014, flanked by Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education for Microsoft Corporation’s Worldwide Public Sector (left) and Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore (right).

The full list of Microsoft Showcase Schools in the APAC region can be found in Appendix A. For more information on the 2014-2014 Microsoft Showcase Schools and MIE Experts, please visit the Microsoft in Education blog.


Microsoft Showcase Schools in Asia

Country School
Australia Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
Dallas Brooks Community Primary School
Hermit Park State School
Immanuel College
Silverton Primary School
Varsity College
Bangladesh St. Joseph School
Brunei Chung Hwa Middle School BSB
Indonesia Sekolah Pelita Harapan International
Korea BooGang Primary School
Daegu JoongAng Middle School
JoongAng Middle School
Mireu Elementary School
Malaysia Abdul Rahman Talib National Secondary
Bukit Jelutong National Primary
Sungai Pusu National Secondary
New Zealand Baradene College
Botany Downs Secondary College
Singapore Chestnut Drive Secondary School
Shuqun Secondary School
Thailand Bangkok Christian College
Vietnam American International School
Nguyen Sieu High School