Connecting with teachers and students through our new “Meet the Microsofties” program

Today’s post was written by Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president of the Education, OneNote and Wunderlist engineering teams.

At Microsoft, we’re all in on education. Our mission is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. We work hard every day to achieve this goal by creating innovations like OneNote, Sway, Skype, Minecraft and Microsoft Classroom, to make teachers’ lives easier and deliver the tools for success into students’ hands. We aim to be completely customer obsessed because listening to student and teacher voices on what they need in the classroom is the only way for us to empower them.

Meet the Microsofties

Today, we are announcing a new community effort that will help connect Microsoft employees to students and teachers from classrooms around the world. We call this effort Meet the Microsofties. 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.

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Skype call to a classroom in Pakistan.

South Korean students connecting with Anthony Salcito, VP of Microsoft Worldwide Education, over Skype during the Skype-a-Thon this December.

5 easy steps to meet your Microsoftie

  1. 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.
  2. Have the teacher register at the Microsoft Educator Community. If already registered, then just sign in.
  3. 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.
  4. Find a time and date on the calendar and submit it.
  5. The Microsoft team will get back to you, and you can set up the Skype call from there.

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Your Skype call with the Microsoftie

Typically, we expect your call to last 20–30 minutes. The Microsoftie will be interested in hearing product feedback from your classroom: what do students like about the technology and what do they not like? How might the product be improved? We hope to gather feedback from classrooms all around the world and improve our software based on what you and your students think is important. In addition to product feedback, your students might have other questions to ask, and we’re happy to answer. Ask the Microsofties anything, from what it’s like to work in STEM, career path or just their opinion on recent technology news.

By learning from classrooms around the world over Skype, we hope to be able to build the solutions that will empower every student on the planet to achieve more.