Microsoft releases interactive tool to help students and teachers plug digital gaps

Microsoft has released an interactive tool to help students, academics, researchers, and administrators plug their digital knowledge gaps. Initially, those interested work through an interactive PowerPoint presentation to decide which courses are appropriate for them then links are provided to each interactive course that should help bring users’ skills up to scratch.

Discussing the new tool, Clare Riley, Further Education and Higher Education Engagement Manager at Microsoft, said:

“Today’s world is digital and mobile, app-based and personal. To thrive in it, greater confidence around how best to harness technology and new digital skills are vital; but not everyone has them.

Our easy-to-use online tool is designed to help you assess your digital literacy and capabilities and identify the necessary courses and resources to accelerate your learning, research capabilities or impact as a teacher. It will guide you through a three-level curriculum with plenty of free online resources to raise your digital readiness to new heights and help you become future leaders in business and academia.”

The service was developed by Microsoft, with the aid of Leicester University, Milton Keynes College, and JISC – a not-for-profit that offers digital solutions for education and research in the UK. The tool divides skills into Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Here’s what each category entails:

  • Bronze courses offer information on how to work confidently, collaboratively and effectively in a digital world, and include help with Office 365 Education, OneNote, Sway, GDPR, the cloud, Microsoft Teams and using Skype in the classroom, among other topics.
  • Silver courses focus on creativity and collaboration, and look at accessibility, inclusion, Power BI, amplifying student voices and problem-based learning.
  • Gold courses are for anyone who wants to use technology to inspire and innovate others. These courses offer help with growing a professional network, searching for jobs and becoming a Skype Master Teacher to learn from other education professionals across the world.

Tools like this that Microsoft has developed will become increasingly important over the coming years. Towards the end of last month, the Bank of England chief economist warned about the rise in technologically unemployed people. While it has been said by various sources that robots could create more jobs than they destroy, they will likely be skilled jobs that require an education in technology.

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