Sri Lankan educators were given an opportunity to interact with their peers from around the world and experience firsthand how technology can be utilized in successful ways to help students learn better at the recently concluded Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert programme in Budapest, Hungary.
The teachers from Sri Lanka participated in creating content and utilizing technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for the digital age. Through live interactions with Microsoft Vice President Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito and Immersive Minds Creative Director Stephan Reid, all participating educators were able to gain a wider perspective on how using technology can help students excel academically and later career wise.
Each year, Microsoft in partnership with the Education Ministry in each country selects innovators in education to share ideas, try new approaches and learn from each other through a global community dedicated to improving student outcomes through technology.
The teachers from Sri Lanka participated in creating content and utilizing technology in exemplary ways
“At the global forum we were lucky to experience Skype for learning, through a virtual field trip and realized its value for teaching. The new product OneNote was demonstrated engagingly through its amazing tools which would be useful for teaching and learning,” said Nilooshiya Wickeramasinghe of Minuwangete Maha Vidyalaya.
By becoming an MIE Expert, educators are able to build their capacity for using technology in both the classroom and the curriculum and help improve student learning. Incorporating advice from Microsoft and educational institutions on how to integrate technology in instruction, the programme includes conferences, events and trainings for how Microsoft technology can improve learning.
Following the programme, educators who participated will now be able to access expertise content from world-renowned educator specialists, Microsoft’s global EduCast Webinar series and access to all Microsoft education tools.
“In Sri Lanka, technology is used infrequently in the classroom and teachers should be empowered with both knowledge and technology in order to successfully use these means. Firstly, awareness programmes need to be carried out more widely amongst the school community. In addition to this the approval and support of the Education Ministry is a must,” said Wickeramasinghe.
As part of the programme, the Sri Lankan teachers were able to test new products that were in beta form, explore professional development opportunities, participate in focus groups and give feedback to development teams on Microsoft products.
“I want to be part of the change in traditional educational systems in Sri Lanka. I want to help take away the monotony and give opportunities to learning and practicing new technology,” said Sashi Wijetunga of WP/MIN Marapola Maha Vidyalaya, Naivala, Veyangoda.
With over 3,700 Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts from around the world, 800 of the MIE Experts participated in the school showcasing. Inclusive of all these experience, Sri Lanka will proceed to develop better education for the children of the nation.