According to a 2023 survey conducted by Manpower Group, 77 percent of employers report difficulty in finding skilled employees. Employers seek both technical skills and soft skills, including self-discipline, problem-solving, and critical thinking. In today’s continuously evolving job market, it is important to prepare students with the skills they need for the future, regardless of their grade level. In fact, it is estimated that around 85 percent of the jobs that students will be doing by 2030 don’t even exist yet.
College and career readiness is even more critical for some students. Research indicates that the life circumstances of students, such as income level, gender, and immigration status, have a stronger influence on their career aspirations and workforce outcomes than their academic performance. Microsoft’s partnership with Department of Philippines is pushing past barriers to equity by enhancing the language proficiency and reading fluency of students to prepare them with the vital skills needed in an ever-changing global economy.
Students in the Philippines often learn English as a second language because of its importance for future career aspirations around the globe. The Philippine Department of Education has partnered with Microsoft to incorporate Reading Progress and Reading Coach, two of the Learning Accelerator tools, to help build the language proficiency, reading fluency, pronunciation, and digital literacy that’s essential for students’ long-term success.
Building reading and language confidence in the Philippines
Reading Progress can help develop [students’] reading proficiency for them to be able to compete for jobs globally and locally. - Adolf Aguilar, Schools Division Superintendent of Bais City
Reading Progress gives students the opportunity to practice their reading and English language skills, self-assess as they watch and listen to themselves, and receive customized feedback and assignments from their teachers that specifically target their unique literacy and language needs. Reading Coach then provides students with chance to correct their mistakes and practice accurate pronunciation.
These solutions empower teachers to spend more targeted time with students, focusing on the key lessons derived from their feedback.
With the help of the Reading Progress tool, [students] are able to explore how to speak [English] well. When you speak of the world of employment now-a-days, it is a must for students, for an applicant rather, to speak well. - Shelamar Garrucha, master teacher at Bais City National High School
Reading Progress and Reading Coach not only provide students with skills practice, but also build students' confidence and independence as well as soft skills like communication and goal setting. Students in the Philippines take pride in seeing their accuracy increase. Over time, they have become more comfortable speaking in class and are empowered to take their reading progress and English language proficiency into their own hands. Longer term, Microsoft Reading Progress is supporting the students of the Philippines to develop the confidence and capacity to pursue their dreams.
Microsoft Reading Progress helps our digital learners to be equipped with comprehension and speaking skills that sound a native-like speaker. It gives them instantaneous feedback about their reading capability. That idea alone makes them more excited to read, to learn more about reading, and to be themselves... Microsoft Reading Progress, is a catalyst. It's instrumental in helping us support our pupils towards achieving their dreams. - Franco Gablines, First grade teacher at Olympia Elementary School, Philippines
Accelerating the skills students need for the future
Microsoft’s array of solutions provides educators and students with the practice, support, and data they need to build the skills students need to thrive in the future. Learning Accelerators, like Reading Progress and Reading Coach, are seamlessly integrated into products you already know and love like Microsoft Teams for Education, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word, and more. With these powerful tools, students can start practicing right away, and educators can start gathering data to help them get ahead.
Learn more about how Microsoft solutions can prepare students for the future:
- Public Speaking and Communication Skills: Speaker Coach in Microsoft PowerPoint empowers students to practice speaking in low-stakes environments whenever they want. After each attempt, students receive live feedback and a summative report on how they can improve areas such as pacing, filler words, pitch, and inclusive language. Equipped with their feedback data, each student can practice and refine their speaking skills after reviewing the suggestions in their personalized summary.
- Critical Thinking and Analysis: Search Coach provides context and guidance for students to ask effective questions and discover reliable sources. As our global workforce becomes increasingly dependent on online resources, students can use Search Coach to develop critical thinking skills to evaluate false and misleading information and analyze queries and resources for reliability and clarity.
- Stress Management and Emotional Awareness: Reflect in Microsoft Teams for Education provides built-in reflection questions that address students’ social, emotional, and academic learning. It assists students in developing emotional granularity and provides educators with data around student well-being in Education Insights. By helping students develop executive functioning skills and build confidence, Reflect empowers them to manage and reduce stress and better organize their lives.
- Problem Solving and Perseverance: Math Assistant in OneNote provides students with the tools that they need to access, understand, and self-direct their learning to facilitate mastery of important math skills. It utilizes features like step-by-step explanations, practice quiz generation, and reading preferences in Immersive Reader to support not only skill development, but also perseverance and problem solving.
- Collaboration and Project Management: Minecraft Education is another tool that is fantastic to help students develop coding skills. In addition, educators can engage students in group activities that allow them to develop their project management skills through collaborative learning experiences.
Through real-time coaching, feedback, and accessible practice opportunities, Microsoft solutions remove barriers to equity and help educators and students build the technical and soft skills needed to excel in their future endeavors.