Microsoft Edu Day 2022, the school “augmented” by technology –

from Alessia Cruciani, Michela Rovelli

The theme of the seventh edition of the most important Microsoft event dedicated to schools is “Augmented Learning”, the strengthening of the world of education and culture that technology can bring

We are all now aware that the education sector is one of the hardest hit by these two years of pandemic. Distance learning has disrupted the habits of professors and teachers. But perhaps it is a less explored – and far more important – concept school is also the sector that perhaps more than anyone else can benefit from this difficult moment. Get rich thanks to the digital tools that have come overwhelmingly into the classroom. And that I have come to stay. Let’s start from here to tell the seventh edition of Edu Day, the most important Microsoft event of the year dedicated to schools. Let’s start from here, because the topic covered this year falls under the definition of “Increased learning»,« Augmented »learning, therefore enhanced by the advent of digital technology. To create new spaces, new learning methods, new opportunities to make and convey culture. Not only in the classroom, but also in museums and libraries, in public administration and research centers.

New skills also for teachers

“The phase in which digital provided a reactive response to the emergency represented the watershed between ‘before’ and ‘after’ – he explained Elvira Carzaniga, Director of the Education Department of Microsoft Italy, at the opening of the event, right after the institutional greetings of Education Minister Patrizio Bianchi – We understood that we will not go back to education, culture and research as we did before the pandemic. At the same time, we have also increased the awareness of having to bridge the competence gap in the digital world “Digital Skills – and Methodology – Digital Productivity: The need for new skills and new professional figures who are able to embrace change and help all actors orient themselves in these new scenarios is strong and cross-cutting”. in just two years managed triple the number of Microsoft Innovative Educator – that is, teachers who have completed a course in the acquisition of skills for digital teaching – and reach the number of 350 experts in Italy alone. Doubled (from 14 to 28) in just one year the number of educational institutions that have entered the Showcase School & Incubator programwhich therefore uses Microsoft technology and has distinguished itself for innovative projects.

The importance of skills

Edu Day begins its story of Augmented Learning from a basic point, ie acquisition of competent. “Think of the competence gap. A bridge between school and the world of work” is the round table where they participated Francesco Cupertino, Rector of the Bari Polytechnic and member of the Crui Executive Committee (Conference of Principals of Italian Universities); Marcello Fiori, Head of the Public Service Department in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Antonello Giannelli, President of the PNA (National Association of Public Leaders and High School Professionals) e Stefano Stinchi, Director of Public Administration at Microsoft Italy. Among the main topics of the debate, he stood out the concept of intervention rate to train new professionals and prepare them for the needs of work in constant transformation. But also how to develop cooperation between the public and the private sectortake into account meritocracy and use in the best way the funds for Pnrr. In this scenario, Edu Day was an opportunity to consolidate the collaboration between Microsoft Italy and the Ministry of Public Administration as part of the project “Restoration of Pa“: A strategic plan for the improvement and development of human capital in public administration through a training and refresher program aimed at 3.2 million public employees. During the event, Microsoft Italia also renewed its partnership with Crui.

The future of education

There has been a lot of talk, and in depth, also about school. In a panel dedicated tofuture education. An important contribution was the professor’s Piero Salatino, delegate for orientation and relations to the school system at the University of Naples Federico II, as well as Chairman of MediTech Competence Center I4.0. Salatino is also the one who for about a year has been conducting the experiment with a new immersive solution that uses mixed reality to enhance the learning of scientific topics and more, namely the hybrid learning spaces. An educational model that can be used externally but above all in the presence and which allows to accurately “Enrich” the experience in the classroom, and enhance the spaces. We need examples to follow, such as this, to clear up the great confusion surrounding the use of technology in schools. But a guide is also needed to create a system. From a structured program that includes the entire Italian school network to an organic evaluation process that allows you to understand what works and what does not, up to the optimization of available funds. And that’s what the Ministry of Education is working on, as he said Gianna Barbieri, Director General of the Ministry’s Directorate for Structural Funds for Education, School Building and Digital School.

Museums and libraries without borders

Microsoft’s Edu Day was also an opportunity to present “Libraries and Museums Education Transformation Framework“, A tool that allows one museums and libraries to assess their level of digitization. A revolution confirmed with passion and determination by Simonetta Buttò, Director of the Central Institute for the individual catalog of Italian librariesand from Valeria Arrabito, Secretary General of Icom Italy in the round table «The museums beyond the walls. Perception of the role of museums with digital technology ». Where it emerged that the current context has pushed the cultural heritage sector above all to an acceleration towards digital, which has actually erased the boundaries of individual buildings. Today, more and more museums and libraries are actually integrating new technologies and digital solutions to, on the one hand, renew the methods of accessing and using the artistic and cultural heritage and, on the other hand, to optimize internal processes and also create ecosystems and provide guidelines for other institutions. In short, to offer new opportunities for research and teaching.

The “extended” search

And finally, research, a world that has also been somehow revolutionized by technology. They discussed it on Edu Day Marco De Rosa, IT Infrastructure Manager for the Bruno Kessler FoundationAnd Alberto Di Meglio, Head of IT Innovation at CERN in Ginerva. From the potential of Cloudenables technology that enables process simplification, ai collaboration tools: the software that allows institutes to compare and share projects even remotely. Until’the importance of datatrue richness of research, and its sharing, quality assurance and the ability to implement distributed experiments.

April 29, 2022 (change April 29, 2022 | 16:44)

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