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Investing in the future
By: Jeroen Verdonk, Marketing Manager, Education Sector, Microsoft Western Europe
31 October 2013

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There’s a huge economic imperative to invest in education. Governments have seen proof that if they invest in their education infrastructures, the economic impacts on society can be profound. Those who are already doing it well are reaping the benefits. Today’s workforce is shifting; technology has changed the types of roles that people have and the kinds of economies that countries can build – all this requires new skills. Today’s youth unemployment is not necessarily because there aren’t enough jobs out there; it’s because students can’t fill the jobs – they don’t have the right skills. If you look at the IT industry alone, according to IDC around 7.7 million jobs will remain unfulfilled by 2015.

In education, Microsoft is more than a services, software and devices company. We’re a company deeply vested in and committed to doing our part to solve this problem. Our approach to accomplishing this is unique. We believe technology has an important place in the classroom but, most importantly, we believe teachers are central to helping students succeed. Education is undergoing a transformation: the way in which people learn, communicate and collaborate is fundamentally different to how it was just a few years ago. The need for holistic change is apparent and it requires a brand new approach – a new way of thinking. It needs to put the learner and education change first.

What we want to do is transform learning and use technology to support that transformation. We don’t want a school to purchase hundreds of devices and leave them not knowing how to best take advantage of them. In short, what we’re trying to do is leverage what we have done with our Partners in Learning programme to ensure that school leaders really think about how they can prepare for technology – how they can prepare a learning environment that can change and adapt to the latest developments in IT and how they can get teachers to embrace these changes and pass the benefits onto the students in a meaningful way. We believe, when implemented correctly, technology has the power to inspire and motivate students to learn, and the ability to empower teachers to teach and prepare students.

Technology solutions ought to be as unique as the teachers and students in each classroom. We fundamentally disagree there is a one-size-fits-all technology solution. Hence, the emphasis we place on partnership with schools: we commit early to partnering with schools for the long term, because the hard problems don’t stop surfacing after an initial technology investment. Schools can be assured that we have a roadmap of innovation that they can plan around for the future, we’ll gladly show you!

We’ve recently launched a new website ( that provides more information about the benefits of working with Microsoft as opposed to other technology providers. We’ve got a great story to tell and we’re really excited about what the future has to offer.

Read more on Education in this falls Touch magazine.

Read some great Educations case studies here:
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