Working in and with educational institutions over three decades, I’ve watched technology permeate all aspects and functions in schools. Today, it can be used to not only serve the back-office and administration staff, but to underpin the entire student experience. Because of this, there is an ever-increasing need for schools to be more sophisticated in their approach to IT, regardless of capability, budget, or knowledge.
In this article, I’m sharing my experience implementing the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework across schools and how it can positively impact everything from strategic planning through to student engagement.
Student-centred and Personalised Learning: Why it’s Important
While student-centred and personalised learning is not a new concept, the progression and innovation in ed-tech have increased schools’ ability to adopt new technologies and approaches. These forms of learning move students from passive to active learners along a continuum suitable for the task, and the stage and nature of the learner.
The benefits of student-centred and personalised learning include:
Utilising the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework
What is the Microsoft Transformation Framework?
It’s a guide for education leaders that helps them navigate the complexity of transformation, whatever stage they are at. It takes a holistic approach that considers how technology affects and improves educational leadership, teachers and students.
This framework stands out because it is grounded in research from policymakers and academics where learning transformation initiatives have made dramatic improvements. It combines these with global best practices and the expertise of over 50 leading educational guides.
The result is a reference guide that provides schools with common sense advice, enables them to ask the right questions and gives them a foundation for their technological decision-making.
How does the Microsoft Transformation Framework help leaders, teachers and students?
1. Assists with strategic planning
The framework helps to shape conversations and provides context to schools that are considering their strategy. It helps them envision what is possible. I like to think of strategic planning like legs on a chair—with leadership and policy, teaching and learning, infrastructure, and professional learning as the legs, each needing to be balanced. It’s common for discussions and investment to be made in a single component only to find that the chair is off balance.
As schools think about what they’re interested and invested in, the framework guides them to consider all components, helping them have balanced conversations and incorporate initiatives into a broader strategic plan that is more effective.
2. Transforms teaching and learning processes
Student success is a critical factor in any school transformation project. The framework encourages schools to describe what that looks and feels like and what tools they have to meet those needs. When educational institutions take a student-centred approach, they’re looking for ways to differentiate learning experiences for their students.
The framework offers constructive challenges. For example, how do you incorporate AI, chatGPT and the other apps and tools students are already engaged with outside of the classroom? How can schools make the varied material and resources teachers use searchable and findable for the whole school community, so they can expand access and increase knowledge?
3. Guides institutions through the complexity of transformation
Transformation means radical change. One of the main benefits of the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework is that schools can use it at whatever stage they are at in their transformation. It steps through all the stages and gives advice on the questions schools should ask at each stage, so they can feel supported and assured in their actions.
4. Boosts morale and motivation
The framework is constructed with the belief that ed-tech services are for people. Whether delivering learning, streamlining administration or connecting with the community, ed-tech must be engaging and effective. When services and solutions meet this people-led criteria, morale and motivation increase. People have confidence in the tech and see it as an enabler, not a hindrance.
How to successfully implement the Microsoft K-12 Education Transformation Framework
1. You need to know where you are before planning to go forward. Start with an honest assessment. This can be best achieved through a third party.
2. Ask where your school wants to get to and focus on the characteristics, such as what type of staff and student experience you want. Starting with the end in mind, how do you want it to feel? These kinds of questions can have a positive impact on the end result.
3. What outcomes do you want to take forward? For example, do you want your teachers to be more data-informed?
4. Chunk your objectives and initiatives down. Consider your planning and investment cycle when prioritising.
The Atturra K-12 Education team are specialists in Microsoft and have a wealth of collective experience in the industry. Having worked in education as teachers, deputy principals or learning coordinators, we have a deep understanding of the nature and rhythm of a school. And because we’ve worked in and with thousands of schools, we bring best practices and fresh ideas we’ve seen work to every project.
Contact us at email@example.com for more information or to set up a discussion with one of our experts.
About the Author
Brett Auton is the K-12 Education Practice Lead at Atturra. He is an experienced senior leader and manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He also has a background in teaching, with strong education professional skills in IT strategy, business process improvement, digital pedagogies, education analytics, infrastructure and Microsoft technologies.