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A window into the world for the pupils of Belgian De Wereldreiziger primary school.
De Wereldreiziger primary school in Antwerp is special. It’s a meeting point for pupils with different backgrounds, interests, and learning levels. Somewhere the teachers put a great deal of passion and enthusiasm into the best solutions and learning methods for their pupils. The introduction of Microsoft Surface Laptops into the school opens the door for tailored lessons that can respond to the children’s individual needs.

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De Wereldreiziger is located in the centre of Antwerp, and with more than 65 nationalities is known for supporting children coming from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. “Tailored lessons are a big challenge for our school. One solution is to integrate cutting-edge technologies into the classroom. That’s why we opted for Microsoft Surface—a project that brought about huge changes in the classroom,” Jef Groffen, Head of the School, tells us.

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Integrated educational work requires tailored approaches.

"We have 65 nationalities attending our school. Of course, this poses great challenges for our lessons. The population of Antwerp is characterised by its diversity and this is reflected in our school. Our institution stands for integrated education that requires especially tailored approaches and which our teaching staff show a great deal of initiative for. After extensive research for a compatible solution, we came across Microsoft Surface. For our children, these devices are a “window to the world” as I like to say. Children are very familiar with digital media and yet we often see their skills in this area being overestimated,” says Jef Groffen, adding: “They can use smartphones and tablets, but looking at their writing skills on digital devices, the results are less promising. And I’m not referring necessarily to language skills here, but more the capability to correctly use capitals or punctuation, for example. I find it better if my pupils can create and publish YouTube videos themselves, rather than just viewing them, Surfaces are the perfect device for this.”

 

Implementation with Bechtle.

"Bechtle is the only SER – Microsoft Surface Education Reseller – in Belgium. Microsoft and Bechtle conferred and we subsequently put in an order for 120 devices. Implementation of the project and contact with Bechtle went without a hitch. Everything went as it should,“ says Jef Groffen.


I’ve been receiving a lot of feedback from our teaching staff to the effect that organisation in our school has been greatly boosted—as the head, this, of course, makes me very happy.

Jef Groffen, Head of the school


The devices enable the school to tailor their lessons to the varying levels in classes. The pupils can work on tasks allocated by the teaching staff according to their learning level . Once the tasks have been completed, they are sent to the teacher for marking using Microsoft Teams. The advantage here is transparency for pupils as the success of each lesson can be viewed in Teams. Pupils can thus know which skills and accomplishments are required of them. A further benefit is that all teaching staff have an Office 365 account that hugely simplifies collaboration.

 

In short, a lot has been achieved but there’s still a lot to do.

 “A year and a half later, we can say that the level of computer skills has risen. But it’s too early to look into the learning results. We can say, however, that our pupils’ motivation has greatly increased. I can also say with certainty that reforming schools continues to be an extremely important task,” Head Jef Groffen sums up.

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Published on Jun 17, 2020.