Read Time, 3 min.

Northern Ireland moves to cloud-first education

All teachers in the region now being equipped with Surface Pro laptops

Transforming how education is provided in Northern Ireland over the next decade is a crucial goal for the region’s Education Authority.  To meet digital skills needs over that period and beyond, the authority is implementing a versatile and cloud-first education service.

For that strategy to work and for the system to thrive, Northern Ireland’s teachers need to be properly equipped and supported.

This is why we were delighted to partner Capita to supply 20,000 Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ laptops to teachers in the region across all types of schools, from nurseries to post-primary and including special schools and EOTAS centres.

The world-class devices provided through this £17m/€24m project open the door for teachers to engage in more enhanced creative teaching methods, sparking their students’ interest and urge to explore knowledge.

The ongoing experience in countries such as Australia, Finland, New Zealand and Singapore shows us the digital transformation of schools and learning is both possible and valuable, and this project offers Northern Ireland the opportunity to become a leading light in this sphere itself.

Embracing the shift to digital education

While the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 meant both teachers and students had to rapidly re-adjust to online and hybrid learning, we’ve all learned over the past two years that digital learning can be powerful and valuable, albeit with its own challenges.

With this rollout of Surface laptops, the Education Authority can capitalise on the openness of those in the classroom to embrace digital education, while also benefitting from economies of scale and environmental benefits.

A more personalised learning experience

One of the key findings of The class of 2030 and life-ready learning, a 2017 Microsoft and McKinsey & Co report, was that students want a better relationship with teachers. They want more instant feedback, and they want personalised learning.

Teachers equipped with these devices can lean into having exactly that type of more holistic, rounded relationship with their students.

Using this type of technology in the classroom also provides greater opportunities for students to engage in more interesting tasks. Those could involve complex problem-solving or computational thinking, for example, as the computer can do the heavy lifting while the students consider the problem or question more laterally.

Boosting teachers’ skills and capabilities

Providing teachers with these world-class devices enables them to innovate in the classroom and empower their teaching even more, while also aiding them to be more productive and engage more easily in peer-to-peer collaboration.

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to provide over 20,000 new state of the art laptops to Northern Ireland’s teachers”, said Costi Karayannis, Managing Director and Client Partner for Education and Learning at Capita, “these new devices are enhancing the classroom learning experience for students and supporting further professional development for teachers.”

The associated professional learning enables them to discover and meet new pedagogical opportunities and deliver more engaging curriculum content.

The professional learning programme has been designed to empower the teachers to build on their skills and access additional supports aligned to their personal learning and career preferences.

Furthermore, the introduction of these devices gives teachers more flexibility and gives them more opportunity to engage in meaningful ways with students who have additional learning needs.

A commendable leap forward

Large-scale change management is never easy and any education system embarking on widespread digital transformation will meet some challenges. These can be overcome, of course, with collaboration and commitment.

Microsoft is dedicated to being on this journey with Northern Ireland’s Education Authority, supporting it throughout and offering our resources to enable it to implement its future-focused digital education strategy.

 

 

Remote Learning with Microsoft Surface for Education

Curious on how to transform your teaching and learning experience with technology? Redesign learning with Microsoft Surface for Education.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • a person sitting at a desk in front of a computer

    Reimagining Uninterrupted Learning at Sacred Heart School in Tullamore

    As students and teachers once again find themselves away from the classroom environment and learning from home, schools are again adapting to different ways of learning to ensure quality education continues. For the Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the staff and student body were well prepared to deal with this upheaval and continued […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • a plane sitting on top of a grass covered field

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps

    Fáilte Ireland Rapidly Adapted and Innovated with Microsoft Power Apps  When the Covid-19 pandemic closed offices globally and truly changed how every organisation functions, it created additional unanticipated challenges for many. Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, was one such organisation which had migrated much of its work to the cloud. The tourism body, which employs 450 people, identified that […]

  • Two people inside using Surface Go in office

    How technology is transforming the work of governments

    Governments have the ultimate responsibility to their citizens. People depend on the services they provide like no other institution. Whether in healthcare, education, business, roads, railways, water – it’s essential that government institutions are always at the forefront of social and digital trends. Cloud-powered technologies are playing a critical role in helping government agencies to […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • Guy standing next to plane looking at Smartwatch to check reporting.

    Air France and KLM subsidiary EPCOR predicts future failures with data and AI

    EPCOR provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services, including state-of-the-art test facilities for aircraft pneumatic components and Auxiliary Power Units (APU). The APU is responsible for starting the main engines and provide power to essential aircraft functions. By harnessing cloud-based APU data using innovative analysis and machine learning, EPCOR is helping airlines meet their cost, safety […]

  • a group of people in a pool of water

    Overcoming a sea of data with Microsoft Azure

    With 12,000 ships certified, DNV GL’s job of ensuring they’re built safely and remain safe should be overwhelming, especially with the more than 50,000 inspections it must carry out each year. However, by making use of machine learning algorithms in Microsoft Azure, the company is not only increasing efficiency and satisfying its customers, but it’s […]

Retail

  • A man standing in front of a truck

    Why leading Irish retailer Musgrave is ready for anything with cloud technology

    “When assessing the potential effects of major digital transformation projects on our business, we always think about three key constituents: colleagues, retailers, and consumers.” So says Paul Baguley, IT PMO for Musgrave Retail – Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and food service company. Together with its retail partners, who operate under leading brands including SuperValu […]

  • Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Contemplate, if you will, the multiple choices available every time you want something to drink. Water? Juice? Soft drink? Do you want a single-serve can or a six-pack? Or maybe you just grab a liter bottle. The fact is, we as consumers expect a lot of options and the global non-alcoholic beverage industry delivers. Arca […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

Digital Transformation

Press

  • Image of a man and woman smiling

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc

    Microsoft and Connect at Catalyst Inc It’s an exciting time to be working in the technology sector in Northern Ireland. More than ever before we’re seeing increased numbers of entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, and indeed multinationals setting up in the North. Working together and learning from each other encourages a strong technology ecosystem and ultimately yields […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]