Nguyen Sieu School in Hanoi, Vietnam, is using Microsoft Office 365 to take a new, technically savvy approach to learning.
The school is highly decorated in Vietnam and prioritises Vietnamese values. Under the leadership of its principal, Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, the school is now introducing an international component to its curriculum.
“My goal is to provide an ever-greater level of service to Nguyen Sieu students by ensuring that they all graduate with English language skills that will enhance their future career choices,” said Thuy. “We are the first Vietnamese school to achieve accreditation with Cambridge International Examinations, so students can achieve the qualifications required for application to top international universities.”
The school has high-speed internet across its campus, and it recently upgraded its hardware to introduce all staff and students to PCs and laptops running the Windows 8.1 operating system. The decision was then made to update the school’s cloud-based productivity tools.
“We chose Microsoft Office 365 cloud technology to support our transformation in education,” explained Thuy. “With Office 365, we can enable anytime, anywhere learning and extend our reach beyond the classroom to better prepare students for the future.”
Shortly after the decision to adopt Office 365 was taken, teachers and staff participated in a series of workshops sponsored by Microsoft Vietnam.
“The training helped our teachers to imagine innovative ways to integrate technology with pedagogy,” said Thuy. “We were inspired by the synchronicity between Office 365 cloud services and easily visualised their use in the classroom.”
With Office 365, the school’s teaching staff is able to integrate cloud-based communication and collaboration services into classroom learning. This includes e-mail, file sharing, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online.
Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook Creator app in SharePoint Online is being used to create private workspaces for students to share with their teachers. The app is also being used as a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and activities.
“Teachers are really excited about OneNote to develop curricula in conjunction with student feedback and also to innovate our teaching methodology,” said Thuy. “We use OneNote as the basis for collaboration and project-based teaching and learning. Teachers also share lessons and encourage the exchange of ideas with students through their personal pages in our SharePoint-based intranet.”
The school’s teachers are also sharing ideas as to how to use Office 365 cloud-based services using the Yammer Enterprise social network. School announcements are now instantly shared with staff via Yammer.
“Yammer is the new social network for Nguyen Sieu, where the spontaneous sharing of ideas will encourage innovation in teaching,” Thuy said. “We love that there is no advertising, and we can ensure privacy.”
The school is also using Lync Online to collaborate with schools in other parts of the world, and enables virtual meetings to discuss projects such as student exchange programmes.
Going forward, the school is looking into enhancing its use of technology, including the integration of cloud services with its Moodle learning management system and with the Vietnam Time Table system, which helps teachers and student stay organised with an integrated calendar on their devices. The school is also planning to make the transition to Skype for Business.
“We can make these plans because of the support from Microsoft as a partner in learning,” says Thuy. “As we realise our goal to fulfill the new educational challenges of the twenty-first century, we’ll continue to work with Office 365 technologies to enable students’ proficiency in globally relevant workplace skills.”
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