Educators NZ - Inspiring students through a passion-based curriculum

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Inspiring students through a passion-based curriculum

We all know that deep learning comes from activities that connect young people to the things that matter most to them. Programmes like Microsoft Showcase Schools and Microsoft YouthSpark - a global initiative to increase access for all youth to learn computer science – empower students everywhere to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities. And the results speak for themselves.

Student Ambassadors lead the way

Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, approximately 300 secondary students from 110 schools in 22 countries pursued passion-based projects as part of the Microsoft Showcase Schools program. These exceptional Student Ambassadors were given a platform, support and a community - all amplified through the thoughtful use of technology.

“These two years of the Student Ambassador program have been the best educational experience we have had, as we have developed real world abilities such as teamwork, communication skills and problem solving skills.” - Student Ambassadors from Saint John’s School, Chile

The Student Ambassadors collaborated with one another using a Yammer community which provided a platform for connecting across time zones, language barriers and geographies. Skype calls helped to shape projects, gain insights into Microsoft solutions and to share achievements. And a Microsoft Apprentice (a previous Student Ambassador), Thao Tran, was there every step of the way, helping to mentor and guide the students.

Inspiring - and inspired - results

The Student Ambassadors’ final projects were nothing less than inspiring, demonstrating the power of passion to drive deep and meaningful learning. Projects included an international STEM event, teaching coding and OneNote to teachers and students, promoting digital literacy to underprivileged students, teaching programming internationally and training future digital leaders.

Another stand-out project included a Sway Festival, a major undertaking developed by Student Ambassadors at The Westminster School, Dubai. This festival brought together real-world presentation skills, digital storytelling and performance into an exhibition of learning which was as impactful as it was entertaining.

The Student Ambassadors have created a digital showcase of their final projects. Congratulations to all the students, their teachers and their engaged school communities for this inspiring work. With a mission to empower all learners to achieve more, the Microsoft in Education team will continue to seek out new ways for technology to connect students with their passions.

Article by the Microsoft in Education Team 

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