We, Latinos, believe in the power of education. We know it provides different perspectives and breaks down barriers. How many times have we heard from our parents, “la educación es algo que nadie te puede quitar,” or “no one can take your education away from you”?
It’s no surprise that, in the past 15 years, the college rate amongst the Hispanic community increased from 22% to 37%, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
At Microsoft, we know that, with the right technology, anything and everything is possible in the classroom. The Westminster Christian School is a proof of that.
Located in Palmetto Bay, Florida and with almost 66% Latino students, the organization is a Microsoft Showcase School, a global community of institutions engaged in innovative change to improve teaching and learning.
The school saw the need to make a change when they realized there was a wide technological gap with elementary school kids. To ensure that their students would be able to excel in the future, the school took a unique approach.
“Technology pushes education forward and makes everything easier,” explained Omar Valerio, CIO at Westminster Christian School. “The students are more engaged, more enthusiastic. They’re excited to come to school, participate and learn new things. Technology facilitates opportunities for them.”
Every student has a Surface Pro and an Office 365 account, enabling them to work more efficiently and fostering a collaborative learning culture. The school also offers a variety of Information Technology certifications, as well as a wide range of programs, from engineering to robotics. To grant more opportunities in this space, students have the chance to participate in the technology track and study subjects such as Aerospace Engineering and Coding.
Technology also enhances the process for teachers, allowing them to save time and be more well-organized. Through the Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook, teachers can get structured with a personal workspace for every student, content library for handouts and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities. Moreover, teachers can provide direct feedback by writing in each student’s private notebook, encouraging students to work together as the teacher provides real-time coaching.
The next step is Artificial Intelligence. “From dissecting frogs to learning about human anatomy, AI will bring everything to life. This intelligent technology will make it all real,” said Mr. Valerio.
At the Westminster Christian School, the future of education is now. Technology is opening doors to all students.
To learn more about how Microsoft is empowering every student to achieve more, visit Microsoft Education.