We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows where we shared highlights from our #MicrosoftEDU event in New York City. At the event, we shared a lot of exciting news about Microsoft Education. If you missed the keynote, you can watch it here on-demand.
Here are highlights from the event:
Empowering students and teachers of today to create the world of tomorrow
We introduced a set of educational products and services, inspired by teachers and students, including a new Windows experience called Windows 10 S; new experiences in Microsoft Teams for modern classroom collaboration; new features in Minecraft: Education Edition to teach coding ; 3D and mixed reality tools to spark creativity; a range of Windows 10 S PCs for K-12 classrooms; and the perfect Windows 10 S device for college students—Surface Laptop.
Modern classroom collaboration with Office 365 for Education
New classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents, and staff. To learn more about the new classroom experiences in Teams, visit the Office Blog.
Introducing Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition
We announced Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. To learn more about Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition visit, the Minecraft Education Blog.
Introducing Surface Laptop powered by Windows 10 S – and available for pre-order
Bringing 3D andWindows MixedReality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity
We announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, who is working to integrate 3D and mixed reality into their secondary and university level curriculum. By the 2018 school year, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history, and STEM, on all Windows Mixed Reality devices. In addition, we announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as mixed reality, using a simple RGB camera.
STEM Saturdays at Microsoft Stores
Beginning this Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia will host STEM Saturdays throughout May in all full-line locations in addition to the range of free programs year-round that empower students and educators. STEM Saturdays bring pop-up classrooms to Microsoft Store and offer hands-on experiences like building a sensor that measures the flexion and extension of a finger to learn about the anatomy of a human hand.
Where to start and what to know about Microsoft Education’s new experiences
We believe technology can inspire creativity in today’s classrooms, where the makers of tomorrow reside. This next generation of creators embrace technology as their first language; learn by collaborating and communicating with anyone in the world; and create with touch, command with voice, and conceptualize in 3D.
At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. As part of that mission, we believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow.
Introducing Windows 10 S – a new Windows experience inspired by teachers and students
Our mission with Windows is to build a platform that inspires creativity in each of us.
In the classroom, Windows is the leading education platform worldwide, as teachers choose it for rich creativity inspiring applications, like Autodesk SketchBook, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Minecraft, and the rich Office 365 (not the mobile experience), which is coming soon to the Windows Store. Teachers also choose Windows for rich peripheral support, including amazing new STEM lesson plans with Arduino boards, LEGO® Education WeDo® 2.0, tools to enable accessibility, virtual reality headsets, interactive whiteboards, and more.
To understand how we could do more, our teams traveled the world to talk with school administrators, teachers, and students using Windows in the classroom. Teachers were consistent—kids can get distracted easily and don’t always follow direction. They asked for their Windows to be more resilient to hundreds of different youthful kids interacting with each device during the school year, maintaining the same great battery life and fast login time on the first day of school as the last. On the administrator front, I recall how Ricardo Garmendia from the Renton School District described how his department supports 850 classrooms with 11,000 Windows devices—he was overwhelmed with the ongoing setup of new devices, and management of the current devices in the classroom.
Windows 10 S is inspired by students and teachers, streamlined for simplicity, security and superior performance. I believe it best reflects the soul of Windows.
With Windows 10 S, all the applications which teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container”, ensuring consistent performance of the system. In the classroom, this ensures fast login times and consistent performance, enabling everyone in the classroom to start learning quickly, and stay focused without distraction.
Windows 10 S can run any browser in the Windows Store. And we have been focused on making Microsoft Edge great for the classroom, ensuring compatibility with the sites educators use, like Google Docs. New features in Microsoft Edge like the new Tab Preview Bar make it easy for students to research and manage school projects. With Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can easily make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate.
For Ricardo, and other school IT admins around the world, we also now have the Set Up School PC app in the Windows Store, enabling set up of entire classrooms of devices with customized experiences using a USB stick, in as little as 30 seconds per device. And with Microsoft Intune for Education – available today – we now have a complete end-to-end solution for teachers and schools to configure and manage all their student’s PCs.
With Windows 10 S, we’ve ensured that a teacher or administrator who understands the risks of downloading any app from the Internet, can do so. At any time, they can go to the Windows Store and switch to Windows 10 Pro. This is a one-way switch, as when a user is running Windows 10 Pro they can install anything—but this is the magic of the open Windows platform, which we plan to always continue to make available alongside Windows 10 S.
Inspired by teachers and students, Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience. I believe at its core, Windows 10 S is the soul of today’s Windows.
Windows 10 PCs for Education starting at $189
Our goal with Windows 10 S is to develop the open vibrant partner-centric ecosystem we have today. Our partners, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for Education today – starting at $189. In the coming months, these partners will offer a range of Windows 10 S devices—from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.
I look forward to students all around the planet learning on these partner devices with Windows 10 S.
Microsoft Teams comes to the classroom
New classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online already allow students to co-author documents in real time. And new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level – and make Teams the digital hub for teachers and students. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents, and staff. Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers, and solutions from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid, and Kahoot!. And most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future. To learn more about the new classroom experiences in Teams, visit the Office Blog.
Introducing Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition
What continues to amaze me about Minecraft is that a game that strikes such a deep connection with children has become such an important learning tool to teach teamwork, logical thinking, and problem-solving. Minecraft is not just one of the most popular video games in history — it is also revolutionizing education, with schools in more than 100 countries using Minecraft: Education Edition to promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom.
Today, we announced Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition, designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. Players can move around, build and create in Minecraft by writing code. To learn more about Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition visit, the Minecraft Education Blog.
Free offers for teachers and students
To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, and Minecraft to the classroom, we are offering teachers and students:
New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189
Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs
Free Windows 10 S for all schools on their current Windows Pro PC
Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams
Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education
Windows 10 S, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition, and Microsoft Intune for Education offer a complete solution for teachers and students—with none of the compromises of Chromebooks and G Suite.
Introducing Surface Laptop powered by Windows 10 S – available for pre-order today
When we built Windows 10 S, we saw an opportunity to not only bring streamlined performance, simplicity, and security to students and teachers in a K-12 environment but to scale to meet the needs of college students and beyond. So today, we’re also excited to announce the newest member of our Surface family – Surface Laptop.
Available for pre-order today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop is the perfect balance of portability, performance, and elegance. Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop has up to 14.5 hours of battery life* to take students through their day and is built to give students the same great performance through four years of college and beyond. We believe ideas will come to life on a 13.5” PixelSense screen with the power of 7th generation Intel core processors. The signature keyboard is covered in Alcantara® material and features a responsive keyset, large trackpad, and soft palm rest for a new level of typing comfort. Surface Laptop is available in four rich, tone-on-tone colors: Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold. To learn more about the new Surface Laptop visit, the Devices Blog.
Surface Laptop starts at $999 USD and will be available beginning on June 15.
Bringing 3D and Windows Mixed Reality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity
Mixed Reality can bring a whole new dimension to teaching and learning in the classroom. If anything makes me wish to be a student again, it’s mixed reality. With 3D and Windows Mixed Reality, we’re empowering educators with a whole new set of tools to create curriculums for their students and peers.
Today, we announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, who is working to integrate 3D and mixed reality into their secondary and university level curriculum. By the school year 2018, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history, and STEM, on all Windows Mixed Reality devices. In addition, we announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as mixed reality, using a simple RGB camera.
A new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as mixed reality, using a simple RGB camera.
STEM Saturdays at Microsoft Store
We want all students and teachers to experience education experiences from Microsoft. Beginning this Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia will host STEM Saturdays throughout May in all full-line locations in addition to the range of free programs year-round that empower students and educators. STEM Saturdays bring pop-up classrooms to Microsoft Store and offer hands-on experiences like building a sensor that measures the flexion and extension of a finger to learn about the anatomy of a human hand.
We believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow.
We can’t wait for tomorrow.
*Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using pre-production Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies with settings, usage, and other factors.
The full version of Minecraft: Education Edition includes the Classroom Mode companion app, enabling educators to manage world settings, communicate with students, give items and teleport students in the Minecraft world. Classroom Mode offers educators the ability to interact with students and manage settings from a central user interface. We’re also continuing to update Minecraft: Education Edition to include new game features from other editions of Minecraft. In the official version, available now, all the latest updates to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta will be included.
Those new to using Minecraft in the classroom should also check out education.minecraft.net, which includes tutorials, lesson plans, starter worlds, a place for educators to collaborate on using Minecraft in education and the Minecraft Mentors program, which connects educators with others experienced in teaching with Minecraft.
The complete version of Minecraft: Education Edition is now available to purchase for $5 per user, per year, or through a Microsoft education volume licensing discount. Head over to the new education.minecraft.net to sign up for updates and read more over at the Mojang blog!
Since June 9, more than 35,000 students and educators around the world have utilized the early access program and provided feedback to help us fine-tune the experience across a diverse set of learning environments.
Minecraft: Education Edition is built based on feedback from the educator community and the features and capabilities they have told us are important to enhancing the learning experience. While we debuted several of these features with early access in June, we’re excited to roll out even more key capabilities on November 1, including:
Classroom Mode: A companion app for Minecraft: Education Edition that enables educators to manage world settings, communicate with students, give items and teleport students in the Minecraft world. It displays a map view of the Minecraft world, a list of all the students in the world, a set of world management settings and a chat window. There is even a Minecraft clock to show time of day in the world. Classroom Mode offers educators the ability to interact with students and manage settings from a central user interface.
New Minecraft game features: We will continue to update Minecraft: Education Edition to include new game features from other editions of Minecraft. All the latest updates to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta will be included, such as leads and horses, additional player skins, pistons and the remainder of Redstone functionality and an updated user interface.
The complete version of Minecraft: Education Edition will be available for purchase on November 1 for $5 per user, per year, or through a district-wide licensing model.
We’re committed to releasing the highest quality product that is reliable and secure to use in classrooms around the world. To learn more about Minecraft: Education Edition, please visit education.minecraft.net, and read more about the full version over at the Minecraft Education Blog!
From a huge effort to help kids realize their potential to a celebration of our dear old planet, this week brought plenty of interesting and inspiring news around Microsoft. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights in this latest edition of Weekend Reading.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced grants to 100 nonprofit partners in 55 countries as part of YouthSpark, a global initiative to increase access for young people to learn computer science. In turn, these nonprofit partners — such as Laboratoria, CoderDojo and City Year — will use the power of local schools, businesses and community organizations to empower students to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities.
The nonprofits will build upon the work that Microsoft already has underway through programs like Hour of Code with Code.org, BBC micro:bit and TEALS.
“Every young person should have an opportunity, a spark, to realize a more promising future,” Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Together with our nonprofit partners, we are excited to take a bold step toward that goal today.”
Wondering what the next wave of breakthrough technology will be? Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft Technology and Research, calls it an “invisible revolution,” and it’s transforming farming, allowing people from different cultures to communicate, helping people breathe healthier air, preventing disease outbreaks and much more.
“We are on the cusp of creating a world in which technology is increasingly pervasive but is also increasingly invisible,” Shum said.
This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we joined the invisible revolution to preview the latest, most cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing. The possibilities are endless.
Computer industry luminaries honored Dave Cutler, a Microsoft senior technical fellow whose impressive body of work spans five decades, as a Computer History Museum Fellow. The 74-year-old has shaped entire eras. He worked to develop the VMS operating system for Digital Equipment Corporation in the late 1970s, had a central role in the development of Windows NT — the basis for all major versions of Windows since 1993 — and helped develop the Microsoft Azure cloud operating system and the hypervisor for Xbox One that allows the console to be more than just for gaming.
“The Fellow awards recognize people who’ve had a tremendous impact on our lives, on our culture, on the way we work, exchange information and live,” said John Hollar, the museum’s president and CEO. “People like Dave Cutler, who probably influences the computing experiences of more than 2 billion people, yet isn’t known in a way he deserves to be, in proportion to the impact he’s had on the world.”
Microsoft Philanthropies sponsored the annual We Day, supporting exciting events Wednesday in Seattle and earlier this month in Los Angeles. Nearly 30,000 attended the shows, which celebrate young people who are making a difference.
In supporting We Day, Microsoft aims to help young people drive the change they would like to see in their neighborhoods, schools and communities. Our photo gallery captures the highlights, famous faces and young people who were involved in this year’s events.
In advance of Earth Day on Friday, Microsoft kicked off this week with inspiration and information about the company’s sustainability programs and initiatives, including ways you can take part in the efforts. The brand new Environmental Sustainability at Microsoft website details how Microsoft’s company-wide carbon fee have financed significant investments in renewable energy to power its data centers, improved building efficiency and reached more than 6 million people through the purchase of carbon offsets from community projects around the world.
Microsoft, which has been a carbon-neutral company since 2012, is continually finding ways to make its products and their lifecycles more earth-friendly. Learn more about how Microsoft is commemorating Earth Day on the Microsoft Green Blog.
Microsoft is also constantly working to help students achieve more. Some all-new education features coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update are specifically inspired by teachers and focused on students. A “Set Up School PCs” app lets teachers set up a device themselves in mere minutes, and a new “Take a Test” provides simple and secure standardized testing for classrooms or entire schools.
Learning will also get a big boost with Microsoft Classroom and Microsoft Forms, a OneNote Class Notebook that now has Learning Management System (LMS) integration and — perhaps most exciting to students — the dawn of “Minecraft: Education Edition.” Educators will be able to give it a test run in the summer months and provide feedback and suggestions.
In apps this week, the powerful mobile photo-editing app PicsArt is marking Earth Day by offering a series of green- and outdoorsy-themed photo frame and clip art packages. Several are exclusive to Windows customers. The PicsArt app is free in the Windows Store.
Need a little help juggling projects, priorities and other moving parts in your busy life? The Todoist Windows 10 app can help you stay organized, collaborate with colleagues and even empty your inbox by turning important emails into tasks.
Or for a little fun this weekend, go way beyond retro to prehistoric days in “Age of Cavemen.” In this multiplayer strategy game, you’re the village chief in a dangerous world, and you need to keep your people safe. Build an army, create alliances and destroy your opponents in a wild and wooly free-for-all.
And that’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading. See you here next week for the latest roundup.
Our company mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In education, it’s to empower every student. Today, we’re proud to share the latest on what’s coming for Back-to-School 2016/2017.
Introducing Microsoft Classroom and Microsoft Forms, OneNote Class Notebook now with Learning Management System (LMS) integration, new experiences for Windows 10 and the dawn of “Minecraft: Education Edition” – Get ready!
First, we are announcing all new education features coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, features specifically inspired by teachers and focused on students.
Faster, easier set-up:
Shared devices in the classroom are the norm – in the U.S., nearly 90 percent of schools report using shared devices. We also know that nearly 50 percent of teachers serve as their own tech support in their classroom. Until now, setting these devices up has been complex and getting students productive often takes too long.
With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update we are introducing a ”Set Up School PCs” app that allows teachers to set up a device themselves in a simple three-step process – in minutes. We’ve also made significant performance improvements for affordable devices. We expect the average first login to take 26 seconds, with subsequent logins of 6 seconds when the student uses that machine again.
Testing is going digital — teachers consistently tell us they want a simple way to set up quizzes or standardized tests digitally. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings a new ‘Take a Test’ app – simple and more secure standardized testing for the whole classroom or the whole school, where teachers or IT can lock down the testing environment, or enable simple quizzing.
Education-ready Windows Store:
Nearly 60 percent of teachers purchase and load apps themselves. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the Windows Store will enable teachers to access thousands of apps, and schools can purchase and deploy them in bulk.
Free upgrade and affordable devices:
More and more, educators are asking us about affordable devices. We have a great portfolio of affordable, durable and innovative Windows 10 devices starting at $199, designed for the demands of education.
So you can see, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings a huge range of education-specific features that teachers and students are going to love. Learn even more about these new updates, and more, over on the Windows blog!
Second, we are announcing some big improvements to Office 365 Education.
Today we are announcing Microsoft Classroom – a new experience in Office 365 Education. Microsoft Classroom is designed to be the one place students and teachers come to manage their day – from Class Notebooks, assignments and grades to conversations, calendars and to announcements!
We’re piloting this with Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. Let me just share with you what they had to say . . .
“It simplifies our digital classroom management and frees up our teachers so they can spend more time with students and less time managing administrative access to class materials.” – Rob Dickson, Executive Director, Information Management Services of Omaha Public Schools.
Today we are alsoannouncing Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS) – a powerful complement for Microsoft Classroom. SDS connects Microsoft Classroom to a School Information System (SIS), so teacher, student and classes information is automatically populated in Microsoft Classroom and OneNote Class Notebooks. School Data Sync will be included in Office 365 Education. Think of it as a super simple process that quickly provisions a set of classes and rosters from many School Information Systems already used.
Also being announced: Microsoft Forms – a simple way to quickly assess student progress and get feedback with easy-to-create surveys and quizzes. It’s in public preview starting today for Office 365 Education here.
OneNote Class Notebooks are the heart of our education experience and they just keep getting better and better. We have seen incredible momentum – with millions of student notebooks created just this school year – and currently running over 10,000 a day!
To hear one educator describe it: “It’s your whole classroom (lesson plans, materials, assignments and student work) in a digital binder with tools for communication and collaboration!”
We’re alsoannouncing Class Notebook assignment and grading integration is now available with more than 25 Learning Management System partners – including leaders like Canvas, Edmodo, Schoology, Brightspace and Moodle. Learn more here.
We’re really excited about all of these improvements for Office 365 Education coming for the new school year! Learn more about all of the updates to Office happening for education – check out the Office blog here.
Finally, we’ve got some great news about “Minecraft: Education Edition”! June begins an early access program of “Minecraft: Education Edition.” It will be available for any educator to download and try for free on Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan.
This program is a great way for educators and administrators who are interested in “Minecraft: Education Edition” to give it a test run in the summer months and give us more feedback and suggestions.
If you are new to “Minecraft” in the classroom, check out education.minecraft.net for resources to help prepare, including lesson plans and a new “Minecraft” mentors program to connect with amazing teachers already using “Minecraft.”
To learn more about “Minecraft: Education Edition” and the upcoming early access program, check out our blog.
The culture at Microsoft is customer-obsessed and we’ve been hard at work listening to teachers and students. We hope you love what’s coming this summer and we look forward to your continued feedback and hearing about the amazing things happening in your classroom. Let me know what you think on Twitter – @microsoft_edu@tony_prophet #MSFTEDU.