fbpx
Fira Barcelona, Gran Vía
31 Jan - 03 Feb 2023

Digital learning takes centre stageRISE Spotlight: Harness The Power of Digital Learning

Although education technology has always been important within Microsoft, it took centre stage during the pandemic, according to Microsoft Education’s Principal Group Product Manager, Mike Tholfsen. Interviewed by TNW’s Már Másson Maack for the ‘On the Sofa’ segment of the RISE Spotlight on digital learning, Mike explained what happened when what had been a niche set of power users expanded into a very broad group who suddenly needed to use the technology in many different ways.

“Soon after the lockdowns began, our team was flooded by thousands upon hundreds of thousands of educators who needed information and they needed it really fast. Historically, you might have a one-day professional development session, a multi-day, or four-hour course but all of a sudden there was a flood of people saying, ‘I need to know this stuff in five minutes!’ So we started engaging and creating content and training materials… that were smaller, more bitesized, that really focussed on helping as fast as we could,” he explained.

Watch the full session here

YouTube

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Among this increased demand from first-time users, assistive tools for students with conditions such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, or for non-native speakers, became particularly important. Closed schools meant that special services for these students were less widely available, so there was an explosion in demand for, and engagement with, Microsoft’s assistive tools.

“We saw an enormous growth happening in that period. At school, students maybe didn’t have to use those tools, or maybe they didn’t know about them, but at home in some cases there weren’t any other options… Now they’re able to use these technologies, which we’re hoping they’ll be bringing back into the classroom with them when the pandemic ends,” said Mike.

New requirements that emerged last year have required existing features to be adapted. “Microsoft Teams for Education video calling was not [originally] designed for a rock-solid everyday remote learning classroom, so we had to adapt a lot of different capabilities because there were different needs that came up really rapidly. We shifted the product direction enormously to adapt to this remote environment,” he explained.

A year down the line, commonalities between technologies for workplace communication and for education have become more apparent. “One of the big benefits of Teams for Education is all the tools, and the way you’re learning to collaborate and do different tasks, completely transition into the workforce when you leave school – and a lot of ed tech tools don’t.”

Looking ahead to after the pandemic, there is a lot of talk about hybrid teaching. Among the tools that became necessary for remote learning, which ones will we keep in our hybrid future?

“Hybrid learning is already happening now,” observed Mike. “I think video and meeting capabilities will continue to be important, that’s obvious,” particularly where there is a combination of in-class and remote students.

He also foresees a big increase in inclusive and accessible technology post-pandemic, “as so many people have discovered how effective modern assistive technology can be.” Some people, he added, don’t realise how much improvement there has been in assistive technology over the last 10 years, thanks to improvements in AI. “I believe you’re going to see a big boost in students with special needs being able to engage more actively in the classrooms with the help of technology.”

He also highlighted tools that that make learning more engaging, as well as engagement data and analytics.

Our sponsors and partners

Presenting Show Partner

KNX

Bronze Sponsors

Cloud Electronics
Sennheiser
Adder Technology Limited

Platinum Sponsors

Crestron
Lang AG
Jabra
Sound United
Shure

Media Partners

AVNation
AV Magazine
Smart Building Italia
HC Home Comfort&Design
Panorama Audiovisual
proaudio.tech
OnlineLightExpress.in
Digital Security Magazine
Connessioni
Inavate EMEA
Inavate APAC
rAVe [PUBS]
Sistemi Integrati
KommunikationsRaum
IT-Markt
TVBEurope
CEtoday
Professional System
DA Retail
CASADOMO
Resolution
AVI Latinoamerica
Smart Buildings Magazine
Grupo eventoplus
ProMediaNews
PROSOUND
Commercial Integrator US
Pro AVL Asia
IntegrationMag
Digital AV Magazine
Interempresas Seguridad
ECN - Electrical Contracting News
A1 Lighting
Mix
Blooloop
iXtenso.com
AVintegracje Magazine
CE Pro US
smartintegracionesmag.com
Mediakwest
University Business
LAVNCH [CODE]
Lighting&Sound America
FKT
Sound & Video Contractor
instalia.eu
ISP Integración
Pro AVL MEA
Ebner Media Group
LightSoundJournal
Tecnohotel
mondo dr
Medientechnik & Systemintegration
TPI
Systems Contractor News
SYSTEM INTEGRATOR MAGAZINE
proaudio.tech
Residential Systems
Comunicaciones Hoy
A1 Retail magazine
Equipamiento para centros educatives
Score Magazine
Hotel Management International
asmag.com
POS-Manager Technology
Retail Focus
Media BIZ
Smart Intégrations Mag
AVNews.hu
Sonovision
Production Partner
PRO AV NORWAY
SignPro Europe
Installation
UC News
Lighting Asia
Connected Home & Business
AV Technology
ON OFF
InPark Magazine
Essential Install Commercial
HiddenWires
Independent Education Today
Sign and Display
InfoAV China
TPV News
Doctor ProAudio.com
Future
Systems Integration Asia
AV-SIGNAGE
365 Retail
ESMARTCITY
POS-Ladenbau
digital signage
Essential Install
DCN
TPMEA
Enterprise Management 360
UC Today
Event Partner
OFFICE ROXX
IT Business
KNXtoday
AV-views
ISP Audio & Light
AV News
Light & Sound International
Educacion 3.0
Electricien+
Business Partner PBS
AV magazine
IT Reseller
a&s Adria
rAVe Europe
Mondo*stadia
Domotica.it
display Verlags GmbH
Education Technology
Conectronica

Event Partners

Jabra
Women in Lighting
Wildwood PR
Matrox
Webex by Cisco
Crestron
Shure
ZeeVee
Easescreen
Sony
Poly
Sharp NEC

Gold Sponsors

Lenovo
Barco
INFiLED

Associate Partners

Wildwood PR
ISCVE
Domonetio

Official Marketing Suppliers

Inavate APAC
SmallWorld Publishing
Fizzz Media
Future

Silver Sponsors

Televic

Technology Partners

Midwich Group Plc
AV Drop
Shure
Middle Atlantic
Exhibition Hub
Lang AG
Netgear
Vioso
Fluge AV
Adamson
Pixera
HD Ledshine
Listen Technologies
Barco
AVstumpfl