In recent months, the way of teaching and learning has changed completely. Many teachers and academics have integrated new tools into their lessons, often for the first time, and students have faced new learning methods that will have a significant and lasting impact. With this transition, it has become clear that because of the physical distance needed between teachers and students, it is more important than ever to help teachers find ways to connect with their students and keep them involved, motivated and safe in a digital world. At the same time, it is equally important to ensure that students continue to have opportunities to learn and put into practice the knowledge they have learned.
Our Romanian partner EOS – Educating for an Open Society Foundation, in May 2020 launched the Cloud Career Accelerator. It is a free pilot programme for accelerated learning and certification with up-to-date resources in the areas of cloud technology, artificial intelligence, and integrated digital services: Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics, or Microsoft Power Platform. The programme is funded with support from Microsoft’s philanthropic programme.
Starting with June 2020, five prestigious universities in Romania have expressed interest in being part of this programme, to provide students with an innovative experience through which they have access to the latest cloud technology and artificial intelligence resources.
Paul Boldeanu, student at Ovidius University in Constanta, and participant in the Cloud Career Accelerator programme, appreciated the training experience as being one very well aligned with what he wants, “The experience in the online course environment was beyond my expectations. I was surprised by how well the courses were structured and how comprehensive the information was. At first, I only looked at this opportunity as an equivalence of the practice, I was not so interested, I just wanted to ‘get it done’ but slowly I began to realize that this information is crucial and super up to date for today’s IT requirements. In addition, the chance to get a Microsoft certification and the inclusion of this validation in my resume, I think, will bring me an important differentiator in front of employers.”
In the context of the pandemic generated by COVID-19, students and academics had to look for alternatives to internships at the end of the academic year, through which students interacted with potential employers; they learned practical skills specific to various companies and institutions where they did their internships. This was also the case of Alexandru Ioan Cuza from University of Iași, which identified this project as an excellent solution to offer students a learning space and practical online activities.
Thus, the students of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration were invited to equate their internships that they could not do due to the physical distance imposed by Covid-19, with participation in courses and certifications offered by the EOS Foundation through the programme developed in partnership with Microsoft.
By the end of 2020, over 600 students in Romania will benefit from cloud technology and Microsoft certification courses. The most active students will be invited to participate in an Artificial Intelligence bootcamp where they will have the opportunity to work on interesting technology projects that solve social problems in their communities. On this occasion, the projects will be presented to the ecosystem of employers in the field of Microsoft Azure infrastructure services.
By EOS Romania