Part of Microsoft’s evolved branding of empowerment has been at the center of many of its recent endeavors that include a revamped operating system with Windows 10, making the cloud more accessible with Azure, getting Office into as many hands as possible with Office 365 and Web apps.
Microsoft’s march of empowerment has also extended to support small business, non-profit aid, and education. Today, the Office 365 team is carving out another empowerment niche that involves connecting Microsoft employees with teachers and students from classrooms around the world.
The new Microsoft initiative is called Meet the Microsofties and includes:
Using our Skype in the Classroom program through the Microsoft Educator Community, your students’ voices can shape the future of Microsoft technology for the classroom. Over Skype, connect with the teams that build the tools you use every day. Tell them how you use our technology right now, what you like and don’t like and what features you dream about. This is also a great opportunity for your students to learn about the importance of STEM and hear firsthand what a career in tech looks like.”
A meeting with a Microsoftie is expected to last roughly 20 to 30 minutes and includes conversations about product feedback, students and teacher’s experiences with Microsoft technology, suggestions on fixes and features, and career advice. While much of the conversations will revolve around Microsoft technologies in the classroom, students and teachers are encouraged to discuss whatever suits them such as recent technology news, opinions, or general questions about related topics.
Meeting a Microsofties is a relatively easy five-step process that involves:
- Determine, which Microsoft group your classroom, would like to connect with over Skype. We have an initial kickoff list of teams and products, but this will be expanding every day.
- Have the teacher register at the Microsoft Educator Community. If already registered, then just sign in.
- Head over to the Meet the Microsofties area of the Skype Classroom area of our community and find a team you like—as an example, here is the Sway team’s landing page.
- Find a time and date on the calendar and submit it.
- The Microsoft team will get back to you, and you can set up the Skype call from there.
With the introduction of the Meet the Microsofties program, it would appear that Microsoft is looking to get even more direct feedback about its products and how they can be improved for teachers and students in classrooms around the world. In a crowdsourcing kind of way, educators and students will help shape the future of Microsoft’s products in the classroom and beyond.