MAT reaping the benefits of Microsoft partnership.
Three years ago, Greenwood Academies Trust agreed a strategy to take its business down the digital road. At Bett 2020, is finds itself representing Microsoft – because as part of that journey it has become a Microsoft training academy.
Graham Feek, deputy chief executive of GAT, explains: “We’ve deployed across all 36 of our academies a full range of Microsoft education products and corporate products. All of our academies are now effectively using those in the classroom and we’re also using them in the corporate organisation to help run the business.”
According to Graham, the first couple of years of the journey was focused on getting the backbone of the infrastructure in place, whereas the last year and a half has been about that impacting in classrooms.
“Four of our academies have achieved Microsoft Showcase status,” he said. “What that essentially means is, those schools and the teachers in them have demonstrated that they can use the products in a teaching and learning environment to effect change.”
Graham has observed a significant impact in several areas.
“First,” he said, “because of the way the technology works, it allows greater levels of student engagement and collaboration. It helps teachers plan and deliver lessons and assess work quicker. So there’s lots of benefits in terms of helping us deliver outcomes.”
Graham added: “It’s also had a significant impact on teacher workload. We’re getting feedback that it’s saving teachers many hours a week. It’s reducing the hours teachers work and allowing them to employ more time on higher value work.”