Teaching Cloud Computing to University Students: First Experiences with the Microsoft Learn for Educators Beta Program

My university “Hochschule Ansbach – Ansbach University of Applied Sciences” has joined the beta program of the offering “Microsoft Learn for Educators“. I’m grateful to Kerstin Beutling and Jutta Schneider for introducing me to this opportunity and nominating our university to this program that is exclusively offered to 500 institutions throughout the world. After our acceptance into the program, Macu Moran conducted our enablement and introduced us to the materials provided by Microsoft to participants. 

Some Words about Microsoft Learn for Educators Institution Program Beta

According to Microsoft, there’s a huge commitment within the software vendor’s organization to enable and support educators in their endeavor to empower students for future success. Thus, Microsoft has setup this program in the ongoing global beta phase as a Microsoft pilot that is providing educational institutions with comprehensive resources and exclusive discounts to enable innovative education.

Institutions that are accepted into the program will gain access to Microsoft-developed and authorized curriculum, training materials, onboarding, and classroom integration support. This helps universities and institutions to more easily offer in-demand technology content to their students and provide opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized certifications. From my personal experience I can definitely say: these certifications augment a student’s existing degree path at the university and also validate the skills needed to be successful across a variety of technical careers.  

What Materials is Microsoft Providing to Participating Institutions?

Microsoft is granting access for participating institutions to the core course materials on:

The Microsoft Learn for Educators Program includes a variety of benefits provided by Microsoft and a couple of tasks for participating institutions

In addition, the Microsoft Learn for Educators Institution Program also includes the opportunity of working with Microsoft directly on the creation of a skills plan for the institution. Microsoft also organizes onboarding events for academic staff and provides institutions with training opportunities, free certification for educators, curriculum integration support, and more. 

A more detailed view of the components of the Microsoft Learn for Educators program

If you are interested in joining this program with you university or higher learning institutions, I recommend to reach out to Macu Moran or to Kerstin Beutling and Jutta Schneider, if you are based in Germany. 

How are these Materials Integrated into the Curriculum at Ansbach University of Applied Science?

In the winter term 2020/2021, I lecture on a wide variety of subjects at my university. First, let me list the materials used and which lectures I’m using them in. 

Lecture Degree Program Materials Used
Cyber Security Bachelor of Science in IT Security and Data Protection (DIS) Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
Information Systems Bachelor of Science in Managing Information Systems (WIF)

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals

Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals

Introduction to Information Systems for Business Students Bachelor of Arts in Business (BW)

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals

Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals

Why Using these Materials Makes Sense in a University Setting?

Let me take our Bachelor Program in Business as a case in point: the students enrolled in our Bachelor Program in Business are attending a mandatory lecture on the basics of information technology and information systems. In recent years due to the advent of cloud computing and the various applications that can run in cloud computing platforms with unprecedented simplicity and scalability, the technological possibilities have expanded dramatically. It is my firm conviction that any business student needs to get a firm grasp of what is technologically possible in our nowadays world and that’s why I expose them to a wide variety of subjects, including Cloud and AI fundamentals as well as the basics of the Microsoft Power Platform in order to explore the benefits of robotic process automation (RPA). I also encourage them to take the (currently optional) lecture offering in programming, offered by my colleague, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Volz as well as advanced lectures on mobile app development, offered by my colleague, Prof. Dr. Wolf Knuepffer, who heads the Mobile Development Center at Ansbach University, teaching students the intricacies of iOS App Development.

The Microsoft Learn for Educators program can foster students’ career and progression along their career paths

What’s Next?

In subsequent posts, I will describe the courses offered by Microsoft in more detail and will also share our experiences with teaching these materials and on the exams.

How can I Join this Program with my Institution?

Reach out to Macu Moran or to Kerstin Beutling and Jutta Schneider, if you are based in Germany. They are more than willing and happy to help you in this exciting journey.

 

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