Post by Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada
As with every part of our economy, COVID-19 has hugely disrupted traditional learning models in schools from kindergarten to colleges and university. Nationwide closures in the spring and ongoing regional closures as numbers surge in different parts of the country have impacted how educators across Canada reach and engage their students. This seismic transformation in the way curriculum is delivered – with some students fully remote, others splitting their time between at-home and in-class learning, and still others in the classroom full time – has meant that our teachers and schoolboards are relying on technology like never before.
Teaching has always been critically important. I’ve never taken the work teachers do for granted. Having my own two kids at home with me in the spring made me even more aware of how much value teachers add to our children’s lives and to our communities. With the ongoing pandemic, educators are under more pressure than ever to facilitate learning, while helping to keep students safe and in many cases, even to help protect their mental wellbeing in a time of unimaginable stress. I have been heartened by the incredible educators who are leveraging technology to connect with students, creating a sense of community and making school feel as “normal” as possible, under very abnormal circumstances.
Kaylyn Dorland is an elementary school teacher at Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary School in Milton, Ontario, and recognized expert in the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program. Amidst the pandemic, Ms. Dorland has found new ways to help students thrive in the classroom and has brought in tools like Microsoft Teams and OneNote – empowering her students to safely learn and collaborate. By leveraging Microsoft technology, Ms. Dorland has inspired confidence in her students to solve problems and engage in ways not previously imagined, all while having a bit of fun.
Earlier this year, Kaylyn showcased this technology in action. Watch this amazing video Kaylyn and her students created – with her students behind the camera as directors and videographers – below:
And thank you to Kaylyn and the many educators from across our country for their ongoing resilience, dedication, and drive.
For more information on free learning tools available to all students and educators in Canada – visit, https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/education/products/office