This week I’ve had the privilege of attending, as well as co-presenting, at the annual Microsoft Analyst Summit for Asia Pacific, hosted at the St Regis Hotel in Singapore.⊗ The focus of this summit was Fuelling Customer Digital Transformation Through Innovation and was an opportunity for Microsoft to present their product and solutions roadmaps for industry analysts from the likes of Forrester, IDC and Gartner (amongst others) and where possible, highlight the value through the voice of partners and clients.
This is how I ended up at the Summit – Anne Taylor, from Microsoft NZ, inquired if I would be interested in co-presenting with Guenter Weimer the General Manager of Windows & Devices Marketing for Microsoft Asia Pacific. This seemed like a great opportunity to build on the 2015 video case study below that showcased some of the amazing work from our teachers and students:
Guenter had already seen the video and decided he wanted to show it in its entirety to the Analysts present, before discussing a few other developments at St Andrew’s, including:
- How do we measure success when it comes to the integration of technology in education
- To what extent has technology such as OneNote & Office365 increased collaboration amongst students and also between students and teachers
- Did teachers need encouraging to adopt the use of a digital pen for inking on their Surface devices, or was it a natural transition
- What plans does St Andrew’s College have for deploying Windows 10
- In a BYOD environment that allows choice within parameters, how do we ensure cross platform compatibility and successful outcomes
With an audience of over 90 industry technology analysts, I was unsure what sort of reception a session that focused on education would have, however I was really pleased that after Guenter and I finished talking, there were a number of insightful questions from the analysts during the open Q&A session that followed.
Additionally, based on the Twitter feedback from the Summit’s hashtag of #MSAnalystSummit the session was well received:
Being the first conference of this sort that I’ve attended, I was really pleased to discover how open and engaging the different analysts were that I spoke with during the various breakouts and meals over the course of the two days.
I was also privileged to listen to some phenomenal presentations from other industry experts, including Mr Simon Challis the Managing Director from Ryman Healthcare in New Zealand, talking about how they are using Surface Pro tablets with every client in their retirement villages. Another interesting and relevant session was from Mr Mahendra Vaswani the Director of Teaching and Learning from Hale School in Perth, Australia.
As part of his presentation, he discussed the Hale @ Home programme they run which is described on their website as:
Hale@home is an innovative online learning programme that helps students prepare for the transition to Hale as a boarder. The boys undertake the programme in Year 6, prior to attending the School.
Hale@home provides a welcoming, online forum where boys meet others on the same journey to becoming a boarder. The programme is designed to build their confidence, familiarise them with technology and introduce them to their fellow boarders; all while they are still at home.
This is an outstanding initiative and a fantastic demonstration of how technology can bring both current, and future, students together into a virtual classroom.
Overall, this Summit has been a valuable learning and networking experience for me and represented a great opportunity to showcase the innovation happening at St Andrew’s College to a wider audience.