In May of this year Microsoft unveiled their vision and development for Microsoft in Education at the Microsoft Education Event in new York City. Their vision is to not only move the classroom from physical to digital but to also to provide ‘more outcome-driven, personal learning paths for students’ as they stated in their education blog. They vowed to create an affordable and accessible learning platform.
‘Empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow’ – Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
So we are going to look at some of the new developments to Microsoft in Education.
Microsoft teams is a digital hub for teachers, students and staff that brings together content, conversation and apps into one place. You can create classes within Microsoft Teams which can then connect with the schools information systems to populate the student rosters. In every class there is an integrated OneNote notebook which enables the teacher’s to create interactive and immersive lessons. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Planner are all easily accessible through Microsoft Teams too. Distribute, collect and grade assignments within Microsoft Teams. You can create instant meetings as well as sending quick videos and face to face chat through the camera. Because teams is a digital hub, it can be used anywhere, on any device. Meaning students can work together at any time.
Windows 10 S is a new version of Windows. The S stands for ‘streamlined, secure and superior performance’. One of the most important things on Windows 10 S is its speed. Log in takes less than 30 seconds.They have got rid of the use of apps from any other third parties and you can now only use Windows apps meaning you can ensure you will have a faster experience. This also makes it a safer experience too as Microsoft have confirmed these apps to be secure. There will also now be many free apps available on the Windows store for education as well as a 1-year free subscription for Minecraft. You will get a modern PC experience with the Windows 10 S. We had a look at Windows 10 S in a little more detail in a previous article we wrote.
Intune for Education is an exciting development from Microsoft. This is a cloud based service that allows schools to manage their Windows 10 devices efficiently. With Intune you can easily manage policies, settings and apps on all of your classroom devices. Intune for education is tailored for schools. When purchased you will have the express setup dashboard where you configure your devices. This includes customised settings and options for which apps you would like. When the student goes to use the device it will be set up under these desired settings. If you have many devices for all of your students that you need to set up, Microsoft have thought of a great solution. Create your desired settings and apps on one device then insert a USB into that device. The information will download onto the USB. You then simply insert these into the other devices and your preferred settings and configurations will be applied to that device. You can do an entire classroom of devices in under an hour.
Story remix is a video creator that will be coming into the Windows 10 Autumn Creator Update. It is created to inspire students and educators to create and tell stories using video, music and photos. It has a Story Editor so students can show their teacher the process of creating their video. You can easily add music, filters, text and transitions to your creations. You can put animated characters into your video enabling it to become mixed reality. Students can work collaboratively on projects seamlessly. This will be available on iOS, Android as well as Windows devices. You can work on Story Remix across your devices so if you start a story on your iPhone you can then finish it off on you Windows 10 PC.
Learning tools for OneNote is transforming the way that students learn. One featured tool is Immersive Reader. Immersive Reader teaching students who struggle to read and write to really immerse them into the literature experience. Students who could only read a few words per minute are now achieving to read 20+ per minute. The tool shows the words of your part of text in a large font, it then has a voiceover which will read through the text out loud. You have the ability to change the background colour theme to what works best for you as well as changing the spacing between the text and the font type and size. The language can be changed and there is also the ability to choose ‘nouns’, ‘adjectives’ and ‘verbs’ which then highlights these in the paragraph of text. This enables the student to differentiate between them with colour coding. You can also choose ‘syllables’ and this will separate the text with dots to show you were the syllables are. Pretty much everything has the ability to be personalised making all of the reading experience just right for you.