Getting serious about STEM with Microsoft technologies
11 Aug 2020
To prepare students with a future skillset and to help teachers gain the knowledge and confidence to engage them in meaningful STEM learning, Microsoft provides a suite of resources, platforms, tools and devices – all designed with modern STEM learning in mind. This includes Minecraft: Education Edition, MakeCode coding platform, Hacking STEM activity library, and free online courses in the Microsoft Educator Centre.
Microsoft has identified four critical stages in the STEM journey where Microsoft programs and technologies can make a real difference:
1. Inspiration for educators
It takes skilled and inspired educators to prepare students for the exciting STEM opportunities that lay ahead. You can get plenty of support by joining the Microsoft Educator Centre where you can complete more than 100 free online courses. Check the list at the bottom of this blog post for the amazing STEM-based courses available to educators. For hands-on STEM learning, teachers can access the Hacking STEM activity library with ideas and lesson plans for STEM-based activities. Educators can also check out Microsoft Education’s STEM YouTube videos for inspirational tips and tricks on using Minecraft, MakeCode, Excel and Hacking STEM.
2. Preparation for students and educators
From basic digital literacy to advanced computational capabilities, we help teachers skill students for the ideas economy. All educators and senior high school students can gain certifications to increase the depth of their knowledge by creating their own learning pathways for improving their skills in using Microsoft technologies.
NSW DoE staff and senior high school students also have access to LinkedIn Learning where they can learn in-demand Microsoft skills through online courses provided for free.
Ubiquitous Microsoft technologies such as OneNote and Teams also allow students to organise, problem-solve, collaborate and design STEM solutions.
3. Experimentation for students
Microsoft equips STEM students with powerful software, tools and devices that bring out their inner inventor, developer, scientist, engineer and visionary. Powerful software and free tools that go beyond just Office, let students design and code games, apps and immersive environments.
Students in infants, primary and lower secondary years can begin to build their computational thinking skills using MakeCode for Lego EV3, Micro:bit, and Minecraft: Education Edition. You can access STEM.T4L learning library resources for Minecraft, and the PC Robotics kit, to help you integrate these technologies into your curriculum. Apps like Paint 3D is available on all T4L Windows devices and can be used for modelling in STEM projects for all ages.
Microsoft Office 365 offers tools to showcase projects such as Teams, Sway and PowerPoint. Students and teachers have access to Office Online and Office desktop software on T4L devices and can also download Office for free to their personal devices for free on up to five devices by logging into office.com with their school email address and password.
Microsoft technologies aim to support NSW DoE teachers to spark students’ excitement for STEM, connecting students’ love of technology to a STEM curriculum that will prepare them for their future careers.