Our deep focus on education transformation at Microsoft has let us witness and learn from incredible examples of school leadership, technology innovation and sheer thoughtfulness in evolving traditional education. We’ve seen schools and their leaders show innovation, ingenuity and passion in transforming learning and envisioning what’s possible, with no challenge too big to tackle. And what I love most about these schools is that they inspire us to push the envelope further. It’s these great leaders and their best practices that have shaped Microsoft Education to what it is today, while we continue to listen and learn to add more value and support schools all around the world.
As part of this journey, Microsoft is excited to go deeper, start early and put ourselves to work on the future of learning for students all around the world. It’s time to get our hands in the ground, get dirty and transform education from the ground up – whether a school is breaking ground or opening its doors for the first time. The Microsoft Flagship School Program partners with like-minded leaders from around the world across a multi-year engagement to design, develop, and deliver amazing new places to learn.
It’s a program built on a journey of discovery, guided by the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework. It’s not about the bells and whistles or how pretty the building is – it’s about making the best schools we can, often amid challenging budgets, geographical constraints and limited access to technology. It’s about collaborating with the talented people on the team, establishing (and living by) a strong shared mission and showcasing the outcome-based effect that technology can have on learning, when used appropriately.
Working with incredible leaders from around the world, we can apply best practices from Microsoft Showcase Schools and others to bring new learning environments to bear. We want spaces that are purposeful and accessible and, most importantly, safe, to shape and inspire the future leaders of the world.
Today, I am delighted to officially introduce you to the Microsoft Flagship School program and our very first cohort of schools who have been selected to participate. These schools include:
- University of Central Florida, Florida, USA
- Asten College, Cairo, Egypt
- St Catherine’s British School, Athens, Greece
- Colegio Tomas Alva Edison, Mendoza, Argentina
- Sri KDU International School, Klang, Malaysia
- Inner City North State Secondary College, Queensland, Australia
- Bertha Park High School, Perth, Scotland
- Monio High School, Tuusula, Finland
- IB Campus, HdWM, Mannheim, Germany
- Chicureo Pioneers’ Academy, Colina, Región Metropolitana, Chile
- Smart Learning School, Cairo, Egypt
- Baocheng 39th District Nine-years School, Baoan District, Shenzhen, China
- Whyalla Secondary School, Department for Education, South Australia
- NMS Graz – St. Leonhard, Graz, Austria
- Ministry for Education and Employment, Malta
- AQARAT, Dubai UAE
- Renton Prep, Washington, USA
All of these schools are embracing holistic transformation and seeking to apply innovation, best practices and advanced technology approaches to drive impact and set an example for other schools globally. Through the build phase and hopefully long after, these schools will also be working together (and with Microsoft) to leverage shared practice, ideas and build a support community to help.
Microsoft’s role in Flagship Schools is to collaborate closely with schools as a facilitator, from guiding the early design, to helping educators use new technologies on day one of the first school year. It’s a great opportunity to hone our tools and resources, take feedback and share what we learn to inspire other schools currently being dreamed of around the world. We had a great journey recently, collaborating with Bellevue School District to open Wilburton Elementary, and now we to get take this to a greater scale.
We are also excited to be creating this program with the advice of our founding partners, many of whom are organizations who are deeply embedded in helping schools, leaders and educators thrive and be successful in new learning environments. Microsoft will be partnering with Gensler, Steelcase, Education Changemakers, Fielding Nair International and Getting Smart to deliver thought leadership around their specific areas of expertise.
Together, we look forward to an amazing journey ahead, to support these schools from groundbreaking to when they open in 12-36 months from today.
While change is constant, our goal is to ensure that the mindset, structure and heart of our Flagship Schools remain core to our values. We want to imagine what’s possible and build it, not just for one school but for others who can look to our blueprint and learn from it.
If you are in the process of envisioning a new school and would like to nominate it for the program, please visit aka.ms/flagshipschool and submit your nomination. The program is open to K-12 and Higher Education. For existing schools, take a look at Microsoft’s programs to support school leaders with Microsoft Schools and Showcase Schools.