Schools need more support in teaching with technology


More than 260,000 teachers and 15,000 principals in 48 countries and economies responded to the latest report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners based on the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), released last week in London. Microsoft was proud to partner on the launch of the global study with the OECD, Education Fast Forward, Education Policy Institute and Discovery Education. 

TALIS helps countries face diverse challenges by asking teachers and school leaders about working conditions and learning environments at their schools. Microsoft’s Vice President of Education, Anthony Salcito, took part in a live debate on the outcomes presented by OECD’s Andreas Schleicher, along with experts in education from across the globe. 

The report found that almost a quarter of principals say that there is a shortage of digital technology for instruction, and just under 1 in 5 report that internet access is a problem for their schools. 35% of teachers asked for more investment in ICT to help address these challenges. Just over half of teachers were trained in the use of ICT as part of their pre-service training, and teachers called out their need for more support to develop more advanced ICT skills 

Despite this need, only 44% of teachers participate in peer learning and networking even though OECD research points to this being the most impactful form of professional development. Microsoft is actively supporting in this area, with the Microsoft Educator Community and its huge range of pedagogical and technology focused courses. Microsoft Teams is proving itself as a key platform for peer learning among teachers, with school systems like the Catholic Education System of Western Australia and the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland highlighting Teams as a key part of their strategy. 

At the same time, 27% of teachers are teaching classes with more than 10% special needs students, according to the study. This is also an area where technology has key value in supporting teachers address diversity in their classroom, by using Learning Tools to create inclusive classrooms. Learning Tools help students regardless of age or ability to improve their reading and writing, and are embedded across the Microsoft apps for education. 

To discover more about the TALIS results, and get comparisons country by country, visit the OECD TALIS website. 

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Alexa Joyce
Director Future-Ready Skills, EMEA

As Director, Education System Leaders at Microsoft Corp, Alexa Joyce supports national and regional governments and other education bodies in transforming education. She has worked in more than 60 countries across the globe in re-designing national and regional strategies for education transformation, including policy models, teacher training and IT infrastructure for schools. Prior to joining Microsoft, Alexa worked with European Schoolnet (a network of 30 Ministries of Education in Europe), UNESCO and OECD.