The past year has brought uncertainty to educators as learning environments have evolved, making it more important than ever for them to feel comfortable and confident using technology to facilitate remote and hybrid learning. Microsoft offers a variety of free training and professional development resources that help educators teach in any environment. These resources can help educators gain the technical proficiency they need to focus on what they do best: connecting with students.
Just ask Davis County School District, a district outside of Salt Lake City that used Microsoft’s professional development trainings to prepare educators for the shift to hybrid learning. Davis is the smallest county in Utah by land area, but it is home to 90 schools and approximately 72,900 students. And like countless other school districts around the world, Davis County spent last summer getting ready for a shift to hybrid learning in the fall.
In preparation, the district quickly scaled up technology in May of 2020, deploying nearly 75,000 Windows 10 devices to students and incorporating Canvas, a collaborative learning management system that integrates with Microsoft Teams. These technologies were critical to facilitating the move from remote to hybrid learning, in which about half of the district’s students would be in-person and half would be remote. It also meant that the district needed widespread professional development training for educators to help use the new devices and technology.
The school’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Belinda Kuck, understood that it was not enough for Davis County School District to have innovative education technology—its educators needed to understand how to use it to its full potential. Along with a team of IT administrators and curriculum leaders, Kuck encouraged educators to master the new technology over the summer to ensure they were fully prepared when hybrid learning started in the fall.
Microsoft’s free professional development resources help educators understand how to use various learning tools, like Teams. These sessions are available in a variety of different formats—from tailored one-on-one sessions with certified trainers to self-guided courses in the Microsoft Educator Center—so that district leaders like Kuck can select the trainings that meet each school’s needs. The trainings are designed to help educators make the most of Microsoft tools and continue teaching students seamlessly.
“We focused on making the educator the center of the training and gave them the opportunity to bring in their own unique styles.”
–Belinda Kuck, Director of Teaching and Learning, Davis County School District
At Davis, educators learned not only how to operate different devices and platforms, but to successfully structure and deliver coursework for remote and hybrid learning environments. “We focused on making the educator the center of the training and gave them the opportunity to bring in their own unique styles,” Kuck said.
The trainings worked, quickly and easily equipping educators to teach in the new environment and guide students who had questions about the technology. “In one week, we re-trained the entire district’s educators,” Kuck said. Though the district has since shifted back to in-person learning given low COVID-19 cases in the community, the trainings are just as relevant for in-classroom teaching and ensure that educators are prepared to go back to remote or hybrid learning if needed. The district is also continuing to offer professional development trainings so educators can stay up-to-date on Teams, share ideas, and foster collaboration.
With greater confidence and competency with technology, educators can support their students in any environment—whether in front of a whiteboard or behind a screen. Learn more about Windows 10 devices and free training today.