Reigniting the global economy with technology access and education

16 February 2012 | Michele Bedford Thistle, Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

​If you follow our other blog properties, you may have noticed some recent posts looking at the importance of education and technology in building healthy economies. From the global perspective, this is something that we cannot emphasize enough. Tomorrow’s job opportunities will rely heavily on technology. To prepare citizens for these jobs, governments across the globe will need to provide adequate access to the education and training needed to fill them.

The good news is that new technologies also bring new opportunities to broaden access to education and skills development, as well as enhance the learning experience for students. One example of this is the growing use of online education to provide students with a tailored and interactive learning experience, which is especially valuable in scenarios where physical access to the classroom is a challenge.

As highlighted on our education blog, for K-12 students, a small but rapidly growing non-profit organization called Khan Academy is changing the world of education with this new technology model. Supported by Bill and Melinda Gates and other philanthropists, they offer access to online lessons, interactive practice exercises, and assessments to anyone with Internet access. A recent article in The Economist shows how Khan Academy is being used both internationally and in U.S. classrooms. Through its online portal, the Khan Academy has delivered more than 119 million lessons online - and counting. This includes a rich set of video-based lessons and hundreds of practice exercises. It is just one example of how education is changing under a new technology paradigm.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be regularly sharing content about new advancements in education technologies, and their promise for making countries - and their citizens - more competitive in today’s increasingly global and technology-driven economy.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Michele Bedford Thistle
Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

About the Author

Michele Bedford Thistle | Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Michele is focused on sharing stories from government customers creating real impact for citizens, employees, economies, and students. She joined the worldwide team from Microsoft Canada, where she was also marketing lead for several technology start-ups.