Prepare for the 21st century

Microsoft’s Partners in Learning programme is sponsoring the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research project. The research, led by SRI International, will investigate the effects that ICT has on transforming teaching and learning at the school and education system level.

Microsoft will make a $1 million investment each year in the study in partnership with the governments of Finland, Indonesia, Russia and Senegal. The primary focus is to assess teachers’ adoption of innovative classroom teaching practices and the degree to which those practices provide students with personalised learning experiences that promote the skills they will need to work in the 21st century.

It is being guided by outside advisors from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, UNESCO, the World Bank, the International Society for Technology in Education and other organisations.

“Education and political leaders worldwide have recognised the need to prepare their youth for the 21st century, a goal that we believe requires the transformation of educational opportunities and more effective integration of technology into teaching and learning,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft.

The multi-year research programme, which Microsoft hopes to expand to more countries in the future, will use parallel case studies to investigate the national and school-level factors that shape teaching practices within particular country contexts. It will also provide education stakeholders with information on how effective teaching and learning takes place when technology is present in the classroom.

“This is an ambitious research project that will help build a better understanding of how teaching practices supported by technology can become more effective tools for teaching and learning,” said Tarek Shawki, director and global coordinator for partnerships and ICT capacity building projects at UNESCO.