Transforming education to deliver on the sustainable development goals

The Education Transformation Framework.

[See full details of the Education Transformation Framework here]

Providing inclusive and quality education for all students is both a goal and challenge for education institutions. Ensuring students acquire the skills they need is crucial if we want to ensure the next generation’s ability to stimulate future economic growth – together we have a shared interest to transform education today.

At Microsoft, we recognize that technology alone cannot develop the 21st century skills students will require in their futures. To help educators achieve their goals of sustainable development through transforming education, Microsoft is focused on improving environments that support students, educators and parents in fostering 21st century learning to produce better learning outcomes.

The scale of education transformation outstrips current capacity, yet technology can empower education systems to bridge this gap. Governments will need to drive holistic education transformation, harnessing appropriate technologies to cater to the needs of students, educators, and educational institutions. Ensuring students and educators have access to devices, connectivity, content, and training is essential to making this transformation.

This is why we are working closely with governments on the Leading Countries of the World program. This program brings together countries, regions, states and provinces from across the globe, who are highly impactful in how they use technology in education. Facilitated by Microsoft and supported by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), LCW has been established to share best practice with our education systems who wish to digitally transform their approaches too.

Download the brochure for Leading Countries of the World here [PDF link]. Systems who wish to join the partnership can contact lcw@microsoft.com.

The first step toward quality education is to build educator, leader, and school capacity. We support national and regional education decision makers in building out their strategic plans for change and making wise choices in technology investments. Microsoft has committed more than $750 million over 15 years in professional development for educators and school leaders. Our professional development tools, courses, and certification empower educators to take charge of their own learning and continuously build their skills – and earn globally benchmarked credentials. Trained educators can design and lead 21st century learning activities in their schools and lead change from the grassroots.

Three young female students sitting with Windows devices open on an outside basketball court.

We recently announced the many educators, school leaders, and schools that are leading digital transformation in education through our Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Microsoft Showcase Schools programs. Through these programs, a growing community of more than 500 pioneering schools and more than 150,000 educators worldwide are participating in the Educator community. These extraordinary schools and educators demonstrate how powerful quality learning experiences can be when enabled by 1:1 Windows devices for students and Office 365 for collaboration. These creative schools mentor others as they evolve their approaches.

Literacy and numeracy targets can be achieved by equipping students with tools to support learning. Through offering students Office 365 for Education on up to five devices at no cost, we can boost student and educator productivity and collaboration throughout the teaching and learning process.

With education apps, we create experiences that unlock students and teachers to explore, experiment and express ideas in ways that deepen understanding and connection. Apps like Microsoft Math help students in South Africa and South East Asia demonstrate that appropriate apps, accessed through mobile devices, can raise student achievement. The Lit4Life.net platform empowers any educator or student to create and publish their own e-book using the Chekhov Story Author app. This is a vital tool to easily generate digital content for teaching and learning, and to improve literacy skills.

Vocational skills for employability are also critically important, to prepare students for their future working lives. Digital literacy and computational thinking can be built from the earliest stage with tools like Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, which introduce students to coding. Through YouthSpark and Microsoft Imagine Academy, we support students through industry-recognized technology education, skills, and certifications they need to succeed in their future careers. In addition, the Microsoft Imagine program offers hundreds of free online technical skills courses for students.

Educators can learn how to teach about the SDGs themselves through a short course provided on our Microsoft Educator Community, in partnership with the World’s Largest Lesson and UNICEF.

The sustainable development goal targets are an inspiring challenge to galvanize the education sector into action. At Microsoft, we are proud to partner with national Ministries of Education, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations like UNESCO to transform education. We want to deepen and enrich our partnerships in education to help meet this challenge and make a real difference to students across the world.

Learn more about Microsoft Education and find resources to empower your schools and educators: