Microsoft’s developments and improvements into the Education market continue to progress impressively, with significant announcements and upgrades reported for the #ISTE19 EdTech event in Philadelphia, USA.
Among the main highlights being announced include Immersive Reader for 3rd party apps; Inclusive Classroom updates for reading, writing and maths; The ability to use Google EDU accounts to sign into Office 365; Code.org in a OneNote Class Notebook; along with PPT Presenter Coach(AI-driven feedback on your presentation) and 30 OneNote Summer Updates!
Microsoft continue to upgrade their educational offering, and the updates announced highlight how developments in the educational sphere is a priority for the company. Let’s get into what the announcement changes mean in terms of teaching, learning and inclusivity opportunities.
Immersive Reader for 3rd party apps and services – The Immersive Reader helps people of all abilities, including dyslexia, ADHD, emerging readers, non-native speakers, people with visual impairments. And with just 20-50 lines of code, the Immersive Reader button and entire experience can be embedded into web sites, Windows apps, iOS, or Android. Some popular names have already included the technology, such as ohbot, OUP, Skooler, and so on.
Inclusive Classroom updates – The immersive reader technology mentioned above have also been implemented into Minecraft Education Edition, Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Whiteboard. Inclusive writing, powered by AI technology, can help all students get more helpful writing feedback, which builds independence and gives teachers more time back. Impressively, the updates to OneNote continue, with students now being able to generate a practice Maths Quiz directly from the Maths Assistant, consisting of a set of problems like the one the student is working on. I, for one, am a converted fan of OneNote, and these latest updates are truly impressive to see in action…
Google EDU account sign in to Office 365 – In an intelligent move, Microsoft responded to many G Suite for Education customers telling that they’d like to use Office 365, but their students have trouble remembering two sets of passwords. With this new solution, they won’t have to, because they can just sign in to Office 365 using their Google credentials, and work side by side in Google Classroom and their Office apps!
Code.org in a OneNote Class Notebook – Code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Geared towards middle school students, its CS Discoveries course empowers students to create apps, games, and web pages and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Now, with the integration of CS Discoveries and OneNote, students can reflect their own learning in a personal way and record their growth through journaling – one of six key instructional strategies used in the course – and teachers can provide feedback in multiple ways to students.
Along with the impressive developments in Powerpoint presentations, powered by AI, and 30 additional updates to OneNote, the educational services offered by Microsoft are paving the way in how teachers and students interact, teach and learn. Using the latest research and artificial intelligence technology, these services could really help reduce teacher workload, along with reducing the amount of paper produced in schools. We’ll be keeping an eye on further developments by Microsoft aimed at supporting education, as they are paving the way for a better integration of technology and learning.
If you are a fan of the latest Microsoft offerings within the Education field, and use OneNote, Minecraft or any other service from the tech giant, then we want to hear from you. Please get in touch to share how your school uses these Microsoft services, and how staff and pupils utilise them to aide teaching and learning.