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Microsoft Preparing Students For Future, Minecraft To Mixed Reality

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A new Microsoft research, “The Class of 2030 and Life-Ready Learning”, found its roots when a sixth-grader Sophia Sta. Rosa and a classmate were busy working on a book report project, using “Minecraft: Education Edition” to build an amusement park with rides based on events in a novel. The girls created a roller-coaster, a water slide and other attractions for their park, setting their own criteria and rules for the project. They didn’t want it to be too easy, Sta. Rosa explained, and they wanted to show responsibility so their teacher would let them tackle more complex challenges. To the 11-year-old, the most important lessons she was learning from “Minecraft” weren’t about building structures or coding, but collaboration and problem-solving.

“It’s a really big project and we have a deadline. If we want to get the whole thing done, we have to work together and help each other out,” Sta. Rosa said. “Collaboration is important later in life.”

Microsoft Minecraft

The research looked at the skills today’s kindergartners will need, how teachers can best prepare them through their educational journey and the role that technology will play. Conducted in collaboration with McKinsey & Company’s education practice, the research involved surveying 2,000 students and 2,000 teachers across the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Singapore, reviewing 150 pieces of existing research and interviewing 70 thought leaders.

Microsoft’s research highlighted several themes, including a new focus on social skills and emotional competencies and an ongoing need for personalized learning. It identified the shifts required to move from current educational models to student-centric approaches. The research also reinforced a continued focus on cognitive skills and identified variances between teacher and student priorities around technology, the importance of creativity and feedback on social and emotional skills.

Microsoft Mixed Reality

“The research highlights the importance of social and emotional skills in young people’s learning and in their future lives,” said Barbara Holzapfel, Microsoft general manager for Education Marketing. “Teachers are uniquely skilled to help students develop social and emotional skills.”

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