These are dynamic, challenging times for countries and the educational institutions that serve them. Educational leaders everywhere are looking for breakthrough ways of spurring innovation, enhancing learning outcomes and unleashing the creativity of youth.
Technology has long been a catalyst on these goals, and the waves of innovation and trends including online education, cloud computing and device proliferation are transforming education and opening up vast new opportunities to accelerate progress. Specifically in higher education, technology is transforming learning management and delivery, student administration, as well as financial, research and human capital management.
Microsoft is an organization uniquely positioned to support anywhere anytime learning across various platforms. Their goal is to help optimize the productivity and learning experience in educational institutions globally through devices and services – help organizations achieve a 21st century learning environment as well as helping to create entrepreneurs in industry, with skills that enable them to collaborate, communicate and be critical thinkers, innovators, problem solvers and first-class citizens of a global economy.
Bishop Feb Idahosa in his welcome message to the Microsoft team visiting Benson Idahosa University on Tuesday 26th August, 2014 stated that the university is set to lead the educational scene in Nigeria and as such the University is integrating technological components to help achieve an overall blended learning environment that aids creativity and innovation amongst students and faculty as well.
Microsoft Nigeria represented by Paul Adigu – Mobility and Productivity Manager and Joel Ogunsola – Student Ambassador Program Owner; stated Microsoft’s willingness to partner with the institution to achieve its set objectives by couple of student and faculty targeted initiatives.
As part of their commitment to this process, Microsoft Nigeria committed to appointing Microsoft Student Partners within the university – “The MSP Program is designed to showcase students on the rise, provide students with additional opportunities to build their technology expertise, and to recognize those students who realize the best technology careers come to those who chase their dreams. Being an MSP is a privileged status for any student. The skills, experience, and leadership developed give a head start in the real world on graduation and entry into the IT industry.”
Microsoft Nigeria is also currently in conversation with BIU to deploy Microsoft Office 365 Education – a Microsoft productivity suite that combines the power of familiar Microsoft Office suite with other components to form a synchronous environment that aids learning and teaching within the organization.
The team further discussed professional and capacity development of faculty and student through the Microsoft IT Academy program to help aid employability – “The Microsoft IT Academy is a Career ready Education Program available to all academic institutions, designed to provide students with the 21st century technology skills necessary to acquire certification, and be competitive in today’s rapidly evolving workplace. As well as provide educators and staff with professional development opportunities.”
ITA enables BIU to offer training not only on fundamental technology skills but also technical courses for their students, faculty and staff who are interested in pursuing a career in IT after graduation.
To mention a few, some of the benefits of ITA provides,