Tag Archives: education

Skills for the future start today — new resources for students – The Official Microsoft Blog

Our CEO Satya Nadella references a term from the education field that I think is particularly fitting and important during this unprecedented time in history. Satya talks of the importance of being a “learn-it-all” instead of a “know-it-all.” Learn-it-alls are curious, resourceful and willing to fail, understanding that insights from failure lead to future success.

Learn-it-alls see adversity as a challenge to be overcome, and they work toward the future with focus and determination.

Right now, we’re all working toward the future in different ways. And the future itself is evolving rapidly as we work and learn together to fight and defeat COVID-19 across the globe. Work is changing, learning is changing, life is changing. Every person on the planet will need new skills to be successful tomorrow, one year from now, and one decade from now. This is particularly apropos for students (and the educators teaching them), with the World Economic Forum predicting that two-thirds of students today will work in jobs that do not yet exist. Likewise, LinkedIn continues to report cloud and artificial intelligence as top emerging jobs.

Today’s students are the innovators and inventors of the future who can use technology as a bedrock to help find solutions to the types of problems we’re facing today — and those we can’t predict. Educators are key enablers of this ability, and that’s why I’m excited to announce a new set of opportunities and resources for educators to teach Microsoft technical skills aimed at supporting students to continue learning during this pandemic and beyond.

Introducing Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors

Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors help their peers learn about things they care about most, from social issues to new technologies. Ambassadors get a first look at new Microsoft technologies, gain leadership skills, and receive mentoring from professionals in the industry, and their peers benefit from their knowledge, which can now be shared via the Microsoft Learn platform. All our incoming 2020 interns are invited to join the Student Ambassadors and it’s open to any higher ed student who wants to apply.

We are aiming to help skill millions of students in the coming years — helping tomorrow’s leaders gain knowledge in areas spanning topics like responsible AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and building cloud-native apps, among so much more.

New hub on Microsoft Learn for educators and students

Students are natural continuing learners — it’s in their DNA. And to make it easier for them to both acquire and transfer knowledge, Microsoft Learn now has a new home just for educators and students, including our Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors.

Infographic on tech skills

We’ve partnered with universities to create new learning paths based on their popular courses in data science, cloud development, and AI engineering, all tailored for the students that want to build in-demand job skills and educators that want to teach them:

We’ve also added a new series of learning paths to inspire and challenge students to build with social impact and responsibility in mind. These take a solution-driven, project-based approach to learning:

We continue to offer foundational developer paths designed especially for students that faculty can easily teach in the classroom. These include:

Educators play a pivotal role in empowering students for future success. At Microsoft, we’re committed to enabling and supporting them in their mission. Microsoft Learn for Educators curates online learning paths and supporting instructor-led training materials into the classroom. Eligible educators and faculty members at universities, community colleges, polytechnics and secondary schools can access Microsoft ready-to-teach curriculum and teaching materials aligned to industry-recognized Microsoft certifications. These certifications augment a students’ existing degree path and validate the skills needed to be successful across a variety of technical careers. Provided Microsoft curriculum and instructor-led training materials will cover:

  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Azure Data Fundamentals (coming soon)
  • Azure AI Fundamentals (coming soon)

Python for Beginners on YouTube expands

Last fall, we launched a 44-part video series called Python for Beginners, consisting of short lessons aimed to help students learn Python and then build AI apps on Azure. People kept asking for more, so we’ve expanded on it with 50 additional new videos that dive deeper into the popular Python libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Scikit-learn. If you’re looking to try Python for the first time or brush-up your skills, begin here!

Python class promotion

Students at Microsoft Build

Microsoft’s annual developer conference, Build, is set to bring the developer community — including student developers and our 2020 class of interns — together virtually May 19-21 to learn, connect and code together. In the spirt of connecting students and professional developers, the Imagine Cup World Championship will be held during Build where teams will compete for the $100,000 grand prize and a mentoring session with Satya Nadella.

The Imagine Cup is perhaps one of the most visible ways we encourage students to address real problems through teamwork and technology. Much like a sports bracket which requires repetitive wins to advance to get the World Championship, teams must win their regional competitions — an impressive feat by itself. This year, tens of thousands of competitors from more than 170 countries participated, culminating in 16 students representing six teams that made it to the championship.

Beyond the excitement of Imagine Cup, the Student Zone at Build will have content tailored to and appropriate for students. Speakers include a variety of top influencers in the digital learning spaces, with content available for each skill level (13-21 years-old) attending our sessions virtually. And, special guest NASA Education Specialist Matthew Wallace will demo a machine learning tool that introduces students to process for analyzing images of Earth taken from the International Space Station, like our astronauts do.

Azure for Students

We believe strongly in providing access to the most current technology, and that’s why we’re providing free Azure accounts, plus a $100 credit, for qualifying students. With their accounts, students can develop in Visual Studio to create custom apps, explore AI through Cognitive Services and smart APIs, and build and train machine learning models faster with the latest open source technologies. Free developer tools are included, as are free learning paths and labs.

I hope you’ll take advantage of all the free content that interests you and join us as learn-it-alls.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Live from Bett: What’s new in EDU– Change within the Microsoft Educator Center and fostering future-ready skills in students | | Microsoft EDU

It’s Day 2 of Bett and we’re back, ready to share the latest innovations in education technology and helping you get you started using the new tools and resources we announced last week. You can tune in live to watch special episodes of “What’s new in EDU” each day of Bett at 5:00PM Local London time or noon EST and 9 am PT. Here’s where you go on Thursday  and Friday. In our episode yesterday, we talked about choosing and managing devices and various ways educators can help students strengthen their communication and collaboration skills while using free tools like Office 365 Education and Microsoft Teams. If you missed that episode, you can check it out here

Today we want to show you how to create learning experiences that inspire creativity, deepen student engagement and develop high-level cognitive skills. And we’ll tell you about free resources you can use to ensure your students are developing the future-ready skills they need to be prepared for success in college and careers.   

In this episode we’ll show you how:  

  • You can help teachers adopt new technology with free teacher training online in the improved Microsoft Educator Center and from Microsoft Stores
  • You can access STEM Lessons from Discovery Education directly from within Teams using the new Discovery Education app for Teams 
  • You can inspire creativity and professional skills for the Windows Video Editor 
  • Coming soon: You can teach students how to code using Python with Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft MakeCode 
  • You can use Minecraft to develop social-emotional skills like digital citizenship and mindfulness


Microsoft Educator Center 

We’re introducing an updated and improved MEC. The Microsoft Educator Center is a platform designed to address the needs of educators. It’s a digital hub where you can find free content, training and support to help you use technology effectively and drive improved student outcomes. 

The MEC is home to innovative courses and resources built by teachers for teachers. You can earn badges, go deep on topics through learning paths, build your transcript and grow your expertise. It’s a resource to help you gain new skills related to bringing technology into the classroom, fostering student-center learning, developing future ready skills, creating inclusive and accessible environments and more. Check out the new MEC experience here

STEM and CS 

We’re excited to announce that Discovery Education– the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms– is releasing a new app for Microsoft Teams, the digital hub for bringing classroom content, conversations, assignments and apps together. If you’re using Discovery Education’s high-quality, digital resources for instruction, we know you’ll be thrilled to see those materials available within Microsoft Teams. This integration will save you time, help keep your classes organized, and provide greater opportunities to collaborate with your students and colleagues. 

You’ll be able to access Discovery Education’s rich, standards-aligned STEM, Science, Math, Social Studies content and more from within Teams from your device and, connect to the largest educator community of its kind, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), and very soon, share content with students as an assignment within Teams. We’ll have more to come on that, so keep an eye on our Microsoft Educator Center for training opportunities. And check out the steps below for how to get started. 

MakeCode News 

We’re excited to announce the release of Microsoft MakeCode Arcade for general availability. Microsoft MakeCode Arcade is a new online game development environment for simple, visually appealing 2D sprite-based games. Students use drag-and-drop blocks or JavaScript to design and build games and collaborate with friends. Microsoft MakeCode is an open source, free platform for creating inclusive computer science learning experiences that support a progression from blocks to real-world text-based programming. Educators around the world have been using MakeCode for the micro:bit or MakeCode with Minecraft to introduce computing concepts into their classrooms.  

We are thrilled to have this new member of the Microsoft MakeCode family in MakeCode Arcade. It’s a great next step up from MakeCode for micro:bit, a development environment that’s popular with educators and students just starting off with coding. The early feedback from MakeCode Arcade Beta users has been positive. Educators say they’re finding MakeCode Arcade to be a draw for diverse learners, and that students love designing their own characters and bringing special effects and music into their games. For those ready to give MakeCode Arcade a try, you can find the latest updates on free curriculum resources here. And you and your students can get started now with this free tutorial here. No login needed! 

And in another exciting MakeCode development, we are thrilled to announce that MakeCode will support the Python programming language alongside support for JavaScript and Blocks. Python is a widely used programming language in education and data science, and we heard from many computer science teachers around the world, that they would like to see MakeCode support for Python.  

Minecraft: Education Edition 

Computational thinking is a vital skill to develop in students as we prepare them for the workplace, especially since the vast majority of future jobs will require digital skills. Teachers can introduce computer science to students of all ages with Minecraft: Education Editionwhich also now supports the Python programming language for MakeCode alongside JavaScript and block-based coding.

From easy Hour of Code tutorials to Computer Science curriculum based on CSTA standards, Minecraft offers all you need to teach coding across the STEM curriculum. Download a free coding demo lesson here for all Windows, Mac, and iPad users—no login required.

In addition to developing STEM skills, students are building social-emotional competencies with Minecraft: Education Edition. A new set of SEL lessons for Minecraft: Education Edition offers special lessons and immersive Minecraft worlds to help educators teach these skills and create inclusive classrooms. Discover the Mindful Knight—an interactive world that introduces mindfulness and self-regulation—and lessons on digital citizenship and empathy.

Curious what else Minecraft offers? Now you can access more than 200 lessons and 50 build challenges with the new and improved in-game Library. Whether you teach history, math, language arts, technology, or biology, Minecraft is an effective tool for engaging students in immersive project-based learning across the curriculum. Check out this story from educators in Ireland and learn how to get started with Minecraft: Education Edition in your school here.

STEM Lesson Plans

Microsoft Hacking STEM is a collection of free, standards-aligned lesson plans that bring project-based learning to the classroom using inexpensive, everyday materials.    

In November 2019, the world celebrated the 20-year anniversary of humans living aboard the International Space Station. To inspire and engage students, Microsoft Education and NASA have partnered and developed eight new lesson plans focused around the complex issues to think about when living in space. The collection of middle and high school materials connects core academic concepts with hands-on experiences. Students are challenged to design in 3D, analyze data, build sensors, and use virtual reality and work with machine learning and AI while engaging in discussions about living in space. 

We are also excited to share that  Carolina Biological Supply Company is launching three new classroom kits to support projects from the NASA collection. These projects include:  

  • Designing Astro Socks to protect astronauts’ feet in microgravity: This project has students investigating solutions to reduce the impact of working in microgravity on the astronauts’ feet.  
  • What is the electromagnetic spectrum: This asks students to measure radiation in our environment and examine the light waves and frequencies within the electromagnetic spectrum. Students use sensors to capture live data and relate their observations about life in space to their own on Earth.  
  • Using materials science engineering to determine heat resistance: This asksstudents to explore the properties of different heat shield construction materials to protect crew and cargo returning from the International Space Station from the heat generated during the capsule’s descent.   

These kits will be available on the Carolinawebsite soon. We hope you leverage these resources to inspire, educate and engage your students.    

Data Streamer

The Excel Data Streamer provides students with a simple way to bring data from the physical world in and out of Excel’s powerful digital canvas. With a sensor connected to a microcontroller that is attached to Excel, you can introduce students to the emerging worlds of data science and the internet of things.  

We are continuing to add key STEM Partners that support streaming of real time data in Excel using the Data Streamer Add-in. At Bett, Vernier, Pasco and Sphero are showcasing new applications integrated with Excel. This will enable educators to use their existing professional sensors and probes with Excel and modernize their classrooms with live data to transform how students model modern scientific and engineering practices.  

An innovation story 

We love hearing stories about educators who use new tech tools in innovative ways to inform instruction and improve teaching and learning. One such story is that of Assistant Principal Lauren Taylor of Manitou Park Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington. She used Microsoft PowerApps, which allows you to build your own mobile apps using templates, to create an app for her school that helps teachers input and evaluate student reading assessment data. Read more about Lauren’s inspiring story here.  

New and immersive tools 

HoloLens 2 is now available and bringing immersive mixed-reality experiences to colleges, universities, and K-12 classrooms. Educators are turning to this new tool to enhance key experiences in areas such as life sciences and career and technical education. Some of the upgrades to the new HoloLens include an increased field of view and an enhanced ability to see intricate details on 3D images.  

Some examples of HoloLens in use in educational settings include Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, where students use it in anatomy classes. You can learn more about that here. And we’ve seen exciting examples of the HoloLens bringing lessons to life with younger students as well. Ewout Warringa recently offered insights into how he uses it to teach construction and technology coursework to 13- to 17-year-old students in the Netherlands in this inspiring blog post

And if you want to read up on various ways to bring immersive experiences to education and the potential benefits, please check out this white paper we previously released on the subject. 

New 3D Models in Windows and Office 

We are excited to announce we now have more than 600 new 3D education models available in Office 365 Education and Paint3D, a built-in creative app that comes with Windows 10. You read that right—more than 600!  

To learn more about how you can insert 3D models directly into Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on Windows and macOS, please check out this post. It’s relatively easy. You insert 3D models much like you insert other images.  

3D models can enhance lessons in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, the humanities and more. Research has shown that providing 3D visualization for students can lead to greater understanding around shapes and spatial relationships. 

Inspiring Creativity and offering new ways for students to share what they know 

Video Editor 

We have updates to Video Editor that we know you and your students will enjoy. Video Editor for Windows 10 is our full-featured set of video creation and editing tools for digital storytelling, and it’s free with every Windows 10 device. Students love to use it to create films with background music, text effects, 3D models and special effects. Now with Video Editor you can: 

  • Split video clips into two or more segments for easier editing 
  • Back up projects to share with peers and teachers, create templates, and import projects in progress to create a more efficient workflow 
  • Add content to your video project directly from Bing image search with Creative Commons licenses as captions  
  • Speed up and slow down video clips to create slow motion or time lapse content  
  • Rotate photos and videos between landscape and portrait for easier use in your projects
  • Have card thumbnails for a video project that reflect edits a user has done to that specific card  

If you haven’t tried Video Editor yet, look for it in your Start Menu or search for “Video.” And check out this guide for more details on how to get started using this creative tool. 

Up Next… 

Thanks for checking out our latest episode of What’s New in EDU, live from Bett. We hope you got some useful information about teacher training, bringing STEM resources into your classroom and ideas for boosting future-ready skills in your students. Please join us tomorrow live from Bett when we’ll look closely at specific ways to foster inclusion and accessibility in the classroom with the help of new ed tech resources. As always, share your feedback with us on Twitter by tagging @MicrosoftEDU! And be sure to sign up for the Microsoft Educator Newsletter here. 

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Our vision to close the broadband gap, improve teacher training and boost accessibility in the classroom | | Microsoft EDU

With the start of the new year, we’re excited to head to London for the annual Bett UK education technology show where we’ll preview a number of new products and updates coming for the 2020-2021 school year. We’ll bring you along to Bett too, from the booth every day of Bett live from London in: “What’s new in Edu: Live from Bett”.

Join Leslie Fisher, and see for the very first time, new devices, tools and training resources coming soon to ensure you and your students have your best year yet!

Video for Our vision to close the broadband gap, improve teacher training and boost accessibility in the classroom

Closing the broadband gap with new devices that connect to cellular service and Community Learning Centers

One of the biggest challenges in global education is a lack of access to the internet. Students who lack broadband access at home or school are deprived of the information they need to complete their assignments and keep up with their peers, creating educational inequality and disadvantages that can impact them throughout their lives. In the U.S., the FCC estimates 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires broadband access, yet broadband is not available to nearly 25 million people, 19 million of whom live in rural areas. Even among those who do have a connection, our data shows that nearly 163 million Americans are not using the internet at broadband speeds.

We’ve been investing in solving this multi-faceted problem for years with programs like the Airband Initiative, which aims to expand broadband access to underserved rural areas around the world. Today, we’re continuing to build on this commitment to connect every student to the internet by introducing two new Connected PCs, built and priced especially for education – the JP.IK Turn T101 and Positivo Wise N1212S.

These new devices, which will ship this summer, are our most affordable Connected PCs yet, with all the capabilities of Windows and Office and can be used anywhere there is cellular service. These devices will save schools thousands of dollars in server infrastructure and startup time and help the more than 1.15 billion students in rural and emerging markets around the world connect to the internet for the first time or dramatically improve their current connection. The JP.IK Turn T101 starts at just $299 USD and the Wise N1212S will start at $575 USD, both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c with twice the battery life and 25 percent better performance than competing platforms, and like our other Windows PCs boasting the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, they will have blazing-fast cellular connectivity.

We’re also proud to collaborate with T-Mobile to kick off a pilot next month that offers select districts in rural and underserved areas in the U.S. a chance to test the newest Connected PCs. T-Mobile shares our vision to empower students and provide connectivity and educational equality through their EmpowerED™ 2.0 program – and will provide the pilot schools with SIM cards and free 4G LTE coverage plans to get their new PCs up and running. For the rest of the world, we’re excited to partner with Vodafone to provide education-specific cellular connectivity plans to customers using the newest Connected PCs in Vodafone and Vodacom markets in Europe and Africa. Through the Connected Education program, Vodafone endeavors to digitalize school infrastructure and accelerate adoption of fast, secure internet access to schools and students around the world. Together, we’re excited to learn how these new devices and alliances could reshape the education landscape and reduce the broadband gap.

These new devices mark a big milestone in bringing equitable educational opportunities to students around the world, but it’s just the beginning. We’re also thrilled to partner with JP.IK to bring their Community Learning Centers – solar-powered, pop-up schools – to more than 130 underserved areas around the world, giving students a truly connected digital learning experience.

Our most affordable Windows 10 devices get even better

No matter your needs or your location in the world, we have the perfect Windows 10 device for you and your students, starting at $219 USD. Today, we’re excited to announce that our portfolio is getting even better. Together with our partners at Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, JP.IK and Positivo we’re enhancing 14 of our most affordable Windows 10 devices so you get even more bang for your buck, including:

  • NEW! Faster performance. Seven of our new devices include the newest Intel processor, which will give you 46 percent more system performance than before. Students can have multiple web browser tabs open while working on documents and collaborating with classmates without missing a beat.
  • NEW! Safekeeping for pens. One of the biggest complaints we hear from educators is that – while they love the benefits of having students write directly on their device screens – pens get lost frequently. But great news! In addition to a number of devices that include ways to tether pens, the newest Acer TravelMate Spin B3 and Lenovo 300e also have a pen “garage” built into the device so it’s less likely to wander off.  
  • NEW! Introducing indicator lights to show student progress. Teachers, have you ever wished you could look at the classroom from your desk or podium and see which students are good to go on their devices? Now you can! Five of our newest devices will include a built-in LED indicator light on the back of the device that can be used to indicate whether a device is charged and connected to the internet. Simply look for the light!

Check out these and our other great Windows 10 devices on our Windows Device Finder today!


Three Free New Tools to Make Teacher Training More Effective

Preparing students for the jobs of the future starts with training and retaining great educators today. Our new research – Staff of 2030: Future Ready Teaching – indicates only 38 percent of teachers believe their current training has equipped them to use digital technology for instruction, which is critical to their success as well as their students. As new Gen Z teachers are entering the workforce, it’s more important than ever for schools to offer a variety of training tools and build powerful professional development communities that help them thrive throughout the school year. We’ve got some great new (and totally free!) tools to help, including our new and improved Microsoft Educator Center with hundreds of great training resources available in more languages than ever before.

  • NEW! Conduct training and engage everyone in the audience using PowerPoint Live Presentations. Using PowerPoint for Web, which is part of Office 365 Education, you will soon be able to train teachers and engage every participant with the new live presentations feature. Schools can present slides and using a QR code or short link, viewers can join and follow along with live subtitles in more than 60 languages on their personal device, making it easy to present to a large group of teachers, students or parents who speak different languages. The feature also includes live reactions and a survey for participants that generates an email to the presenter with the aggregated audience feedback and corresponding recommendations, offering insights to improve future presentations and trainings.

  • NEW! Use Microsoft Stream to create training videos on web and mobile, including transcription in eight languages. Microsoft Stream, included in Office 365 Education, empowers organizations to teach and learn with video easily and securely. Now available to the Stream mobile app, video creation with the new Flipgrid camera integration makes it fun for anyone to personalize and share content in seconds. Stream will also soon support browser-based screen recording and editing, giving teachers and students new ways to create learning and training materials by recording and sharing screens, applications, or device camera feeds. Automatic captions and searchable transcripts now support eight languages, which allow learners to find information quickly. And to help improve learner focus, videos on Stream will soon support a voice enhance capability that removes background noise from videos recorded in classrooms and other noisy environments.
  • NEW! Unlock your students’ potential with Microsoft Teams Class Insights. Teaching is a team sport that requires students, teachers and parents to work together. That’s why we introduced capabilities like Class Insights in Microsoft Teams, to equip educators with more data on student performance and activity. We also made it possible for you to collaborate in safe and focused environments with Private Channels and added the Parent and Guardian Emails that summarize a student’s weekly progress and the week ahead. All these Teams improvements are designed to strengthen collaboration and engagement at your school.

And last, but certainly not least, we’re proud to be rolling out:

Free, built-in accessibility features in OneNote and Microsoft Edge to help every classroom be more inclusive

  • NEW! The new Microsoft Edge – secure, accessible and compatible with all your favorite websites and extensions! The web browser is the most used app in the classroom, so it’s crucial it has the built-in flexibility and accessibility to support every educator and learner. Now available for IT to download and deploy, the new Microsoft Edge web browser is designed to support inclusive classrooms with built-in tools allowing students to change text size, reading text aloud and even inking on PDFs right in the browser. Plus, we made Microsoft Edge even easier for users. Microsoft Edge is now powered by the same technology as Google Chrome to provide better compatibility for websites and extensions, allowing you to experience the web without using multiple browsers. You can even customize your web experience to access Office documents quickly when opening a new tab. Students and teachers working on shared computers can also sign into one or more profiles for quick access to their favorites, passwords, and more. Finally, the new Microsoft Edge browser has Microsoft security features and is simple to manage, with tools that make it easy for IT administrators to deploy and set district- or school-wide policies, as well as features to help protect students from phishing attempts and tracking.
  • NEW! OneNote Live Captions to help students’ focus, comprehension and retention. Recent studies have shown that students who use closed captions and interactive transcripts can maintain their focus and retain information better. You can already use captions and transcripts in many of our products like PowerPoint, Teams, Stream and Flipgrid, and now you can use captions inside OneNote as well! This month, we are rolling out a private preview of OneNote that allows students to connect OneNote to a Microsoft Translator session via a Join Code and receive the captions and translation stream. This allows captions from the educator speaking to flow directly into OneNote for reading, while still allowing the student to take notes. In addition, the student can pause the captions, highlight portions, and then have the entire transcription saved as a page into OneNote, features that will benefit all learners but especially those who may be hard of hearing or speak multiple languages.

And that’s just the beginning! Tune in throughout next week as we join education technology expert, Leslie Fisher in London to walk you through how to make this news you can use in the upcoming school year!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Join us live or virtually at Bett as we bring you the latest updates on ed tech tools that can drive innovation and success in the classroom | | Microsoft EDU

A new year brings new opportunities to learn about all the latest and greatest from Microsoft Education. Join Microsoft at Bett 2020 in London on January 22-25, either online or right there with us at the event, being held at London’s ExCeL venue.

Bett is an annual event that explores how technology can empower educators and students to reach their full potential. Microsoft, as a worldwide partner of Bett, will be hosting a wide array of sessions and hands-on demonstrations on the show floor, along with inspirational talks to support educators looking for new ways to engage and empower their students.

To kick off a whole week of Bett, we’re releasing a special episode of What’s New in EDU, our show that gets you caught up on the new tools and updates coming from Microsoft Education this year. This Bett episode will be available on January 22 – watch it to learn more about all the new and exciting Microsoft classroom technology that will be available. And don’t forget to stay tuned to the Education Blog for more as it comes in!

We’ll also have special edition What’s New in EDU live events streaming daily from Bett in London. You can register to catch the livestream events each day with the following links:

Whether you’re looking for the latest in mixed reality for education, some grounded advice on how to transform your classroom digitally, or want a peek at what’s next for Minecraft: Education Edition, the schedule below is a good place to start, learn and participate. Make sure to stop by Booth NF40 to see all the new experiences we have relating to STEM, Virtual Reality and new tools for the classroom.

If you’re joining us at Bett in person, we hope to see you at one of the following highlights:

Microsoft keynote | Bett Arena | Wednesday, 22 January, 13:35 – 14:15

Hybrid Intelligences: Amplifying Human Potential

Young people are leveraging emerging technologies such as AI to raise their voices and build solutions to the most pressing issues they face. Emotional intelligence is converging with artificial intelligence as researchers merge psychology and computer science. And educators are adapting and innovating in a profession that will look significantly different by 2030.

Join Microsoft’s Anthony Salcito and Barbara Holzapfel,  Affective Computing researcher Dr. Daniel McDuff, and NetHope Emerging Technologies Initiative Lead Leila Toplic as we explore the technology that will empower educators to navigate the changing needs of the staffroom and the classroom, and enable students to accelerate their impact and transform the world.

Microsoft Sessions
In addition to joining for our keynote in the Bett Arena, be sure to visit us across the Bett show at our own Learn Live Theatre, Microsoft Training Academy, the Bett PD Theatre, Bett Schools Theatre and the Bett Higher and Further Education Theatre!

Learn Live Theatre

This is the perfect place to go if you are looking to see and hear about the latest product releases, see demonstrations, and discover ways you can unlock learning in your students. Each session is held on Microsoft stand NF40 and lasts 25 minutes.

 Time Title
Wed – Sat
What’s new in EDU?
Wed – Fri
Meet the New Microsoft Edge & Learn How to Deploy it Today
Immersive Reader is Everywhere and other Apps to support your inclusive classroom including: Translator, Presenter Coach, and Seeing AI
Wed – Fri
Engage and amplify every scholar with Flipgrid
Unleash Creativity with Windows 10
Wed – Fri
Make your classroom more inclusive with built-in, free, and non-stigmatizing learning tools
Intelligent Forms features to transform your data collection and analysis
Wed – Sat
Greenwood Academies: Empowering students with Dell Affordable Devices and M365
Wed – Fri
Immersive Reader is Everywhere and other Apps to support your inclusive classroom including: Translator, Presenter Coach, and Seeing AI
Build confidence and improve your communication skills with Presenter Coach in PowerPoint
Wed – Sat
Empower individual teachers and your entire school system with Microsoft’s free and adaptable professional development resources
Wed – Fri
How Office can help your students develop into great writers
Wed – Fri
Going for full 1:1 with Surface Pro – journey of infrastructure, CPD and teacher involvement
Wed – Fri
Using Microsoft Teams to enable effective professional development
Wed – Fri
Develop a Teaching and Learning Video Culture with Teams and Stream | Connect with meetings and live events, teach with web-based screen recording and create on mobile using the Flipgrid Camera
Wed – Fri
How Microsoft Sparks Learning: Classroom stories
Wed – Fri
Make your Own Arcade Games with MakeCode
Wed – Fri
Create inclusive live presentations with PowerPoint
Wed – Fri
Deliver Student Centered Learning with Education Devices
Wed – Fri
Drive greater faculty engagement and professional development with your faculty using Teams

Microsoft Training Academy

If you are looking for a hands-on opportunity to try, test and experiment with Microsoft products and devices, this is the perfect stage for you. Get tips and tricks and learn about the best way to use a Microsoft solution in the classroom, from and with our own teachers, trainers, and Microsoft Learning Consultants. Each session is held in the Platinum Suite Level 2 foyer and lasts 25 minutes.

Time Title
Wed – Sat
How we empower teaching and learning by getting teachers to learn and students to teach
Wed – Sat
Grow your practice with free professional learning and resources with the Microsoft Educator Center
Wed – Sat
How you can build an Inclusive classroom with Microsoft Learning Tools
Wed – Sat
12:00- 12:30
Helping students grow and improve with Teams Assignments
Wed – Sat
The impact that OneNote Class Notebook is driving for teachers, students, and classrooms everywhere
Wed – Sat
Enabling your school with Office’s free and easy-to-use web apps!
Wed – Sat
Utilizing smart assistance and intelligence across Office apps
Wed – Sat
Transformative Teaching with Minecraft: Education Edition
Wed – Fri
 Build an app in 25 mins or less to free up teacher time
Wed – Fri
App Smashing in Teams
Wed – Fri
Maximizing Teams for your education institution
Wed – Fri
Foster an inclusive classroom with Flipgrid
Wed – Fri
Grow your practice with free professional learning and resources with the Microsoft Educator Center
Wed – Fri
The impact that OneNote Class Notebook is driving for teachers, students, and classrooms everywhere
Wed – Fri
How you can build an Inclusive classroom with Microsoft Learning Tools

Microsoft on the Stage (PD Theatre)

Time Title
13:00 – 13:30
(South Hall)
Empower students with the Immersive Reader in the inclusive classroom
15:00 – 15:30
(South Hall)
Whole school professional learning with the Microsoft Educator Center
15:00 – 15:30
(North Hall)
Saving time through authentic assessment using Microsoft Forms

Microsoft on the Stage (Schools Theatre)

Time Title
11:50 – 12:20
Digital transformation of teaching and learning to support all
15:10 – 15:40
Innovation Driven By Community
11:45 – 12:15
Improving outcomes through the use of technology in the classroom
14:45 – 15:10
Implementing digital transformation – Wimbledon High’s Journey
11:50 – 12:20
Enriching and engaging learning in a challenging environment
15:10 – 15:40
Learning Tool in Action:  Helping Students of all Abilities thrive at Louis Riel

Microsoft on the Stage (Higher and Further Education Theatre)

Time Title
11:50 – 12:20
DigiLearn: Empowering transformational change in education
15:30 – 16:00
Working better together: Using Microsoft Teams to embed digital skills at Newcastle University
11:35 – 12:05
Strategic Digital Transformation: A blueprint for adoption
15:00 – 15:30
A digital University by ethos and design – how the university of Bath is putting digital at its core
11:35 – 12:05
Establishing a digital learning platform that works for all
15:00 – 15:30
Transforming Teaching, Learning and Assessment using technology: empowering all learners to achieve more

Community Learning Center | Booth SM45 |Wednesday, 22 January – Saturday, 25 January

jp.ik and Microsoft have been partnering together for the last decade and gathered the necessary expertise in this vertical by implementing several large-scale sustainable projects around the world and impacting over 16 million students and 1 million teachers in over 70 countries. Throughout our journey we have been facing the lack of basic structures (schools), the lack of basic utilities (electricity and sanitation) and the lack of telecommunication network. This is why jp.ik, Microsoft and their partners have come together to create a Community Learning Center to empower rural areas and connect them throughout the entire globe.

We look forward to welcoming you in Booth SM45, located next to the Bett arena in the South Hall to discover our solar-powered, digitally connected Community Learning Center.

Microsoft Certifications Testing Lab | Platinum Suite 5 |Wednesday, 22 January – Saturday, 25 January

In partnership with Microsoft, Prodigy Learning is offering Bett 2020 attendees the opportunity to complete a Microsoft Certification Exam for FREE. We are delighted to announce the Microsoft Technical Certifications (MTC) in Azure Fundamentals, M365 Fundamentals & Dynamics Fundamentals. Learn more.

Microsoft Partner Adventure |Wednesday, 22 January – Saturday, 25 January

Take part in the Microsoft Partner Adventure and for a chance to WIN a Surface Pro, a Surface Go, or a 3rd party partner Windows device daily! Discover Microsoft’s unique off-campus partners and answer a question to reveal a code, scanned using the Bett app!  Participants will have to visit all 15 partner booths to answer all the questions, scan the QR codes.  Competition closes at 15:00 and winner drawn at 16:00 daily (Wed to Fri) and closes at 13:00 and winners drawn at 14:00 on Saturday in front of the Learn Live Theater on the Microsoft stand NF40. Winners must be present to collect their prizes.

Solutions Showcase | Platinum Suite 7 |Wednesday, 22 January & Thursday, 23 January, 10:30 – 16:15

Digital transformation is an indisputable force revolutionizing industries and reshaping the workplace. Education leaders around the globe are faced with the need to prepare students for this new world. These sessions are your opportunity to meet fellow practitioners and hear first-hand global experiences and trends and how these might help support you.  Learn more.

Microsoft Education Developer Platform and Data Solutions | Gallery Suite 8 |Wednesday, 22 January – Friday, 24 January

This free event features sessions in two tracks for technical audiences:

CIOs and IT Pros –

Come learn how Microsoft can integrate with your IT system and learning apps to save time and data management costs, protect student data privacy, and accelerate learning in the Classroom.

Application Developers and Microsoft Partners –

Come learn how Microsoft can help you create and deliver applications that empower learners and educators to achieve more.  Whether you are enhancing an existing application or building a new solution from scratch, Microsoft’s Education platform can help you facilitate deployment, maximize inclusion, increase engagement and improve outcomes.

Secure your seat and register for the sessions that you would like to attend. Learn more.

Transformation Leaders’ Summit | Platinum Suite 6 | Thursday, January 23, 10:30 – 13:00

Driving successful change is challenging whether in an individual school or system-wide. Across the world, leaders are discovering the most effective ways to improve student experience and outcomes, using technology to support learning, teaching and school administration. This Microsoft event aims to explore innovative, impactful journeys that leaders are taking to support their students, bringing together hands-on experience, networking opportunities and strategic insight for leaders at school and system-level. Learn more.

Privacy & Security Summit | Platinum Suite 6 | Friday, January 24, 10:30 – 14:00

Microsoft Worldwide EDU will be launching VIP invitation only CEO / CIO / CSO Privacy and Security Summit at the BETT conference. Subject matter experts from Microsoft product teams will be listening to customer feedback and discussing AI, Privacy and Security in K-12. Agenda will encompass discussions around student security on campus, trends for privacy in schools worldwide as well as how AI can drive positive impact. Learn more.

Become a Microsoft Global Training Partner | Platinum Suite 6 | Thursday, January 23, 13:30 – 15:30

Join this session to learn about the Microsoft Global Training Partner Program, explore how it fits your existing Professional Development training model and what are the partnership models possible with Microsoft. Learn more.

MakeCode Saturday | Platinum Suite 6 & 7 | Saturday, 25 January, 10:00 – 15:00

Microsoft MakeCode Saturday is a fun, hands-on workshop at BETT that is free and open to teachers, parents and students.  Microsoft MakeCode is an open source platform for creating engaging computer science learning experiences that support a progression path from Blocks into real-world programming. Learn more about MakeCode Saturday.

Explore tools for Future Ready SkillsExplore tools for Future Ready Skills

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference coverage

Editor’s note

For Microsoft, it’s all cloud, all the time.

No matter the market — education, developers or enterprise — the technology giant continues to expand and heavily market its cloud offerings to those groups. And for good reason. Sales related to cloud products continue to go through the roof, totaling $11 billion in a recent earnings release.

It’s not all from traditional server workloads running on Azure. Microsoft says it has more than 180 million users on its Office 365 collaboration platform. The company expects its investments in AI, a good portion of which will have its roots in Azure, will pay off in the future.

This guide highlights the company’s recent moves in the marketplace. Check back during the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference, being held Nov. 4 to 8 in Orlando, Fla., for articles about product updates and new offerings.

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Announcing our new podcast: Artificial Intelligence in Education | | Microsoft EDU

Dan Bowen and Ray Fleming, from our Microsoft Australia Education team, have put their voices together to create a new podcast series, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education Podcast. Over the coming weeks they’ll be talking about what artificial intelligence is, and what it  could be used for in schools, colleges and universities. It isn’t a technical conversation, but is intended for educators who are interested to learn more about this often discussed technology wave.

With “the robots are coming to steal our (students’) jobs!” being a hot topic of many education conferences (and, at many business conferences too), Dan and Ray have their feet on the ground and spend their time talking about what’s really happening, and what the technical language means in plain English. As we run further into the podcast series, Ray and Dan will talk about scenarios that are more specific to their areas of expertise – Dan’s a schools specialist, and Ray’s a specialist in higher education. And along the way they will also interview specialists in other areas – personalising learning, accessibility – and how artificial intelligence is intersecting with them and bringing innovation.

Your podcast hosts

  • Ray Fleming is the Higher Education Director for Microsoft Australia, and has spent his career working within the education ICT industry. From working with tertiary education organisations at global and national level, Ray brings insights into the rapid pace of change being seen as digital disruption occurs in other industries, and what might happen next in Australia’s universities.
    In the past Ray’s been an award-winning writer, and columnist for the Times Higher Education. He’s also a regular speaker at higher education conferences in Australia on data-led decision making, the implications of AI for the higher education sector and today’s students, and on digital transformation of industries.
  • Dan is a Technology Strategist working with schools and school systems. He has worked in education as a teacher, governor and school inspector. He also worked in higher education as a blended learning advisor, before moving into Microsoft where he was the product manager for Office 365 in Education, STEM education lead and managed the Minecraft portfolio for Australia (to the delight of his kids). In his current role he is working across Azure, Windows and devices and looking to support schools to drive educational transformation. His interest in Artificial Intelligence comes from both the use cases and implementation as well as the education and enablement of IT to drive this technology. He is interested in the social and ethical uses of AI in Education.

You can find the podcast in Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, search in your normal podcast app for “AI in Education”, or listen directly on the podcast website at http://aipodcast.education 

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17 | | Microsoft EDU

Announcing the September 17 TweetMeet and a new Live Event

Minecraft: Education Edition has found a place in many classrooms around the world, empowering students and teachers to take charge of their learning, boost their STEM and 21st-century skills to solve problems through inquiry, creativity and collaboration—in the immersive and fun world of Minecraft.

On September 17, in celebration of the new Back to School updates by Minecraft: Education Edition, we’re excited to host two Minecraft-themed events to inspire you for the new school year: a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet immediately followed by a new Live Event.

Keep reading for detailed information about this new, dual TweetMeet event.

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

TweetMeet on Teaching and Learning with Minecraft starting at 10 a.m. PDT

Whether you’re a newcomer to MinecraftEdu or have been working with it for years, our TweetMeet has something for you. Hosted by 21 passionate Minecraft Global Mentors, this Twitter conversation invites you to share and learn from the best ideas, tips and resources. Our hosts will provide you with implementation checklists and exciting examples of interactive lessons and activities that keep your learners motivated while they collaborate on solving real-world problems. With all this in mind, we welcome you to a 75-minute TweetMeet on September 17 at 10 a.m. PDT.

Meenoo Rami @MeenooRami, Manager for #MinecraftEdu at Microsoft

Meenoo Rami @MeenooRami, Manager for #MinecraftEdu at Microsoft

Live Event with Meenoo Rami from the MinecraftEdu Team at 11:15 a.m. PDT

Just a few weeks ago, Minecraft: Education Edition released the Back to School update for all users, which include Immersive Reader integration, an improved multiplayer experience with join codes, single sign-on (SSO) support and more.

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

Earlier this summer, the Minecraft team released an interactive science curriculum on biodiversity developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund and Naturebytes.

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

That’s why we’re excited that Meenoo Rami from the Minecraft team will be demonstrating the highlights from these major announcements immediately after the TweetMeet, at 11:15 a.m. PDT.

Mark the Live Event in your calendar, join the Live Eventno registration required—and make sure to check out the MinecraftEdu Blog for many more posts detailing these significant updates.

Welcoming newcomers

Our brand-new “You can join a #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet” video was created especially for newcomers, so please share it with friends and colleagues who might be interested in joining:

Video for Teaching and learning with Minecraft—#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet and Live Event on September 17

Know someone who is totally new to Twitter and could use an introduction? Point them to the Twitter EDU tutorial ebook by David Truss @datruss.

10 Language tracks

We’re offering 10 simultaneous language tracks this month: English, Arabic, Dutch, Finnish (new!), French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish.

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language.

For example: German-speaking people should use both #TweetMeetDE and #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

TweetMeet Fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile!

Show your passion for this month’s Minecraft-themed TweetMeet by uploading this month’s #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo as a banner on your own Twitter profile.

Twitter Header Photos are available in many languages and time zones.

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

September 17, 10 a.m. PDT | 1 p.m. EDT | 18:00 BST: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

Create your own TweetMeet Friend Card

Another way to share your enthusiasm for MinecraftEdu and the TweetMeets in general is to create a TweetMeet Friend Card. Share your own version of this image anytime, anywhere. It will come in handy when introducing yourself at the start of a TweetMeet. Just follow the steps in the TweetMeet Friend Cards PowerPoint.

Here’s an example:

TweetMeet Friend Card example

TweetMeet Friend Card example

Looking back on the August TweetMeet on Back to School

We captured highlights from the Back to School TweetMeet in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment. There’s even a comprehensive collection of 2,180 tweets in this Wakelet Collection.

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal-learning networks among educators from across the globe.

Check out this helpful blog post by former host James Kieft that describes why educators should consider participating in Twitter chats and how to get started.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags  #MinecraftEdu, #MSFTEduChat and#MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). Be sure to double-check your own local event time. You can find the event time for 215 countries with this time zone announcer.

Our next recommendation for you is to set up a Twitter dashboard TweetDeck and add columns for the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, #MinecraftEdu and #MicrosoftEDU. If you are new to TweetDeck, then check out this brief TweetDeck tutorial by Marjolein Hoekstra.

When a tweet appears that you want to respond to, press the retweet button and type your comments.

Additional tips are offered in this animated GIF that you’re most welcome to share with newcomers:

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

#MSFTEduChat TweetMeet Tips! | 1) Quote-Retweet the question with your answer, 2) Start retweet with A1, A2 .. A5, 3) Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat in all your tweets, 4) Monitor tweets in TweetDeck

Too busy to join at event time? No problem!

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or may even be asleep—well, no problem! All educators are welcome to join any time after the event. Simply look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best.

You can also schedule your tweets in advance. In such cases, be sure to include the entire question in your tweet and include the hashtag #MSFTEduChat so that everyone knows to which question in which conversation you are responding.

To better allow everyone to prepare for the event, from now on we’re providing the question timings in a text table:

PDT # September 17–TweetMeet question timings
10:00am Welcome Please introduce yourself. Use hashtag #MSFTEduChat.
10:04 1 Why Minecraft in education?
10:18 2 What helps teachers get started with #MinecraftEdu?
10:32 3 How does Minecraft transform education? Share stories.
10:46 4 What practical Minecraft tips, resources and lessons do you recommend?
11:00 5 What’s the next step in your #MinecraftEdu adventure?
11:15 Live Event Join our Live Event with Meenoo Rami from the MinecraftEdu team.

SuperWakelet: resources curated by this month’s hosts

Wakelet is a useful web service to bookmark, curate and annotate resources, images, tweets and other content. A brand-new addition is the possibility to include a Flipgrid Shorts video in a Wakelet.

Through our new SuperWakelet, each of our hosts uses Flipgrid to introduce and share their personal favorite resources on Minecraft in Education:

Teaching and Learning with Minecraft SuperWakelet, live-embedded:


Meet the 21 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet! After going through weeks of preparation for this TweetMeet, they are thrilled to engage with you on their favorite topic: Teaching and Learning with Minecraft.

Check out all the hosts, see what they are tweeting about and consider following them: https://twitter.com/TweetMeet/lists/msfteduchat-2019-09/members

List of hosts and their profiles

  • Anis Amouri @Anis_amouri (Fine arts teacher, MIE Expert and MIE Master Trainer, Master Skype Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, SDG Ambassador, EU Code Week Ambassdor, HundrED Ambassador, CoSpaces Ambassador—Sfax, Tunisia)
  • Becky Keene @BeckyKeene (Director, Content and Professional Learning, insight2execution; Director of Amazing Things, Phygital Labs; Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador, OneNote Junkie—Seattle WA, USA)
  • Bryan Sanders @nayrbgo (Doctor of Education, Educational Technology Researcher, Academic Technology Specialist, High School English Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor—Los Angeles CA, USA)
  • Carlos Solano @Carlos_Rsolano (Teacher and NTI coordinator, passionate of learning gaming, using Minecraft in daily classes and also to promote social inclusion of both gifted and autistic childs, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert—Madrid, Spain)
  • Cheryn Ridge @cherynbaier (MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, Teacher, EdTech Teacher Support at Computers 4 Kids—Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Elena Vladescu @VladescuElena (Physics teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, eTwinning and Scientix Ambassador—Slatina, Romania)
  • Erik Post @ErikPost9 (Geography and Technology teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer—Hardenberg, The Netherlands)
  • Francisco Tupy @FranciscoTupy (Minecraft PhD (literally). Game designer, speaker and consultant on education and innovation projects worldwide—São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Jeff Gearhart @TechJeff09 (Technology Director at Brinnon School, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Trainer, Surface Pro Expert, MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor—Brinnon WA, USA)
  • Kristoffer Thomsen @kristoffer_th (Solution Specialist on Education at Microsoft, Former Minecraft Global Mentor. Technology and Education excites me—Oslo, Norway)
  • Mary Elizabeth Pearson @pearsonmep (Educator, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, Madison International School Technology Consultant and Minecraft in Education academy coordinator, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor—Merida, Mexico)
  • Merry Willis @merrywillis (Instructional Technology Specialist, Cherokee County, GA School District, Minecraft Global Mentor, MIE Expert, MIE Fellow and Master Trainer, Fulbright DAT Alumni—Woodstock GA, USA)
  • Michael Flashhacker @MiFleischhacker (Secondary teacher at NMS Kinzerplatz, Minecraft Global Mentor, flipping the classroom, passionate about game-based and lifelong learning—Vienna, Austria)
  • Mike Washburn @misterwashburn (Head of Curriculum and Training at Logics Academy, Host of OnEducation Podcast, Minecraft Global Mentor; MIE Expert—Barrie ON, Canada)
  • Nelly Hamed @nelly_hamed (MIEE fellow, Minecraft Mentor, MergeCube Ambassador, Cospaces Ambassador, Microsoft Trainer, ScreenBeam Expert, Work in Hayah International Academy, Associate at Immersive Minds UK, Hayah International Academy—Cairo, Egypt)
  • Noreen Dooley @nodooley (Classroom Technology Designer, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist, MIE Expert and Master Trainer, Minecraft Global Mentor, passionate about preparing students for success in the real world—Katy TX, USA)
  • Paola Lopez @pacsita (EdTech entrepreneur enthusiast, passionate about neurodiversity and Google Certified Innovator #MEX18 & Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Flipgrid Ambassador and Minecraft Global Mentor—Monterrey, Mexico)
  • Pekka Ouli @pekkaouli (eLearning Specialist and Minecraft Global Mentor who loves international Minecraft projects and collaboration—Äänekoski, Finland)
  • Stéphane Cloâtre @StephaneCloatre (Technology Teacher, Robotics educator, Minecraft Global Mentor, Digital Education Consultant at Immersive Minds, passionate about making learning fun AND meaningful—Fougères, France)
  • Tina Coffey @elemitrt (Instructional Technology Teacher, Minecraft Global Mentor, passionate about finding ways to engage students, make learning relevant, promote global literacy, and foster 21st Century skills—Roanoke VA, USA)
  • Trish Cloud @trishcloud (Coordinator, Personalized Digital Learning, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Minecraft Global Mentor, using Minecraft: EE to integrate CS into elementary and middle schools throughout CMS—Huntersville NC, USA)

Next month’s event: STEM and NASA

October 15 Tuesday at 10 am PDT | 1 pm EDT STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat

October 15 Tuesday at 10 am PDT | 1 pm EDT STEM and NASA #MSFTEduChat

The theme of the TweetMeet on October 15 will be STEM and NASA. We’re looking forward to this event and hope you’ll spread the word!

Got questions about the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @TweetMeet on Twitter if you have any questions about the TweetMeets or how to become a host at a future event.

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Author: Microsoft News Center

The use of technology in education has pros and cons

The use of technology in education continues to grow, as students turn to AI-powered applications, virtual reality and internet searches to enhance their learning.

Technology vendors, including Google, Lenovo and Microsoft, have increasingly developed technology to help pupils in classrooms and at home. That technology has proved popular with students in elementary education and higher education, and has been shown to benefit independent learning efforts, even as critics have expressed worry that can lead to decreased social interactions.

Lenovo, in a recent survey of 15,000 technology users across 10 countries, reported that 75% of U.S. parents who responded said their children are more likely to look something up online than ask for help with schoolwork. In China, that number was 85%, and in India, it was 89%.

Taking away stress

According to vendors, technology can augment schoolwork help busy parents give their children.

Parenting in general is becoming a challenge for a lot of the modern families as both parents are working and some parents may feel overwhelmed,” said Rich Henderson, director of global education solutions at Lenovo, a China-based multinational technology vendor.

If children can learn independently, that can take pressure and stress off of parents, Henderson continued.

Independent learning can include searching for information on the web, querying using a virtual assistant, or using specific applications.

About 45% of millennials and younger students find technology “makes it much easier to learn about new things,” Henderson said.

Many parents, however, said on the survey that they felt the use of technology in education, while beneficial to their children’s learning, also led to decreases in social interactions. Using the technology to look up answers, instead of consulting parents, teachers or friends, concerned parents that “their children may be becoming too dependent on technology and may not be learning the necessary social skills they require,” according to the survey.

At the same time, however, many parents felt that the use of technology in education would eventually help future generations become more independent learners.

Technology has certainly helped [children learn].
Rich HendersonDirector of global education solutions, Lenovo

“Technology has certainly helped [children learn] with the use of high-speed internet, more automated translation tools. But we can’t ignore the fact that we need students to improve their social skills, also,” Henderson said. “That’s clearly a concern the parents have.”

Yet, despite the worries, technology vendors have poured more and more money into the education space. Lenovo itself sells a number of hardware and software products for the classroom, including infrastructure to help teachers manage devices in a classroom, and a virtual reality (VR) headset and software to build a VR classroom.

The VR classroom has benefited students taking online classes, giving them a virtual classroom or lab to learn in.

Google in education

Meanwhile Google, in an Aug. 15 blog post, promoted the mobile learning application Socratic it had quietly acquired last year. The AI-driven application, released for iOS, can automatically solve mathematical and scientific equations by taking photos of them. The application can also search for answers to questions posed in natural language.

Use of technology in education, student, learning
The use of technology in education provides benefits and challenges for students.

Also, Socratic features references guides to topics frequently taught in schools, including algebra, biology and literature.

Microsoft, whose Office suite is used in many schools around the world, sells a range of educational and collaborative note-taking tools within its OneNote product. The tool, which includes AI-driven search functions, enables students to type in math equations, which it will automatically solve.

While apparently helpful, the increased use of technology in education, as well as the prevalence of AI-powered software for students, has sparked some criticism.

The larger implications

Mike Capps, CEO of AI startup Diveplane, which sells auditable, trainable, “transparent” AI systems, noted that the expanding use of AI and automation could make basic skills obsolete.

Many basic skills, including typing and driving, could eventually end up like Latin — learnable, potentially useful, but unnecessary.

AI systems could increasingly help make important life decisions for people, Capps said.

“More and more decisions about kids’ lives are made by computers, like college enrollment decisions and what car they should buy,” Capps said.

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New report shows how teachers use Microsoft Forms to drive improvement in learning outcomes |

Microsoft Education has undertaken a new study with researchers at Digital Promise to investigate how teachers around the world are using Microsoft Forms to drive learning. Providing feedback to students on their learning progress is one of the most powerful pedagogical approaches and education research has repeatedly shown that formative feedback has a tremendous impact on learning outcomes.

In this study, we found that teachers use Microsoft Forms not only for formative assessment, but for many other pedagogical activities. Teachers value the ease of use and clear reporting of Microsoft Forms.

“I actually say to teachers, ‘I think Forms is the most underrated piece of software in the suite because of the time that it saves you in terms of data-driven outcomes and the data collection that goes on with schools now.’”  

– Instructional Technology Coach

We are delighted to share this new report, which highlights the variety of creative ways teachers are using Forms.

Teachers are using Microsoft Forms in pedagogically substantive ways to improve student outcomes:

  • Formative Assessment
  • Differentiating Instruction
  • Peer Collaboration (students creating their own Forms in groups)
  • Social and Emotional Learning (see this teacher’s video on how she leverages Forms for SEL)
  • Increasing Student Engagement

Teachers also used Microsoft Forms for professional learning and to increase their efficiency with administrative and routine teaching tasks, such as:

  • Communicating with Parents
  • Professional Development through Reflective Practice
  • Increasing Teaching Efficiency by incorporating lunch choices, applications, and locker assignments into Forms

We also explored some of the best practices school and education-system leaders are using to grow adoption and use of Microsoft Forms. Some implementation strategies to get teachers to use Forms:

  • The most essential strategy is simply making teachers aware that Microsoft Forms is available and how it can be used. Follow the Quick Start guide to try out Microsoft Forms.
  • Training on how to use Forms is the second step and most coaches believed this training should be undertaken on its own (not as part of training on other apps). Check out Microsoft’s own training course, Microsoft Forms: Creating Authentic Assessments.

Coaches used the following strategies:

  • Using a Form with teachers directly to show its simplicity of use and to get them familiar with the tool
  • Understanding their teacher audiences and designing training for those audiences (e.g. ‘savvy explorer’ or ‘cautious adopter’)
  • Describing the time-saving element of Microsoft Forms use, especially enabling teachers to give students instant feedback; and how Microsoft Forms enables data-driven approaches to pedagogy with the immediate capture of data to Microsoft Excel.

Forms is an ideal tool for helping teachers incorporate more data-driven approaches to understanding what is working in their teaching practices, because it makes the collection (and much of the analysis) of student-learning data automatic. Results from a mood survey, a math quiz, or an exit ticket Form, are instantly available to both students and teachers. Such data helps teachers to build stronger learning relationships with their students, because they know where each student is at in their learning progress.

“There was that magical moment when getting the data happened. Oh my gosh, we’re getting this data in Forms in real time and that was unheard of before. Now within a matter of minutes I know where my students stand on the concepts that we’re going to cover that day.”

– 3rd Grade Teacher

Getting Started with Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is an online quiz and survey application included with Microsoft Office 365. Forms was designed using direct feedback from educators looking for a simple way to formatively assess student learning and monitor learning progress on an ongoing basis.

Forms is part of the Office 365 suite of tools. If your school already has Office 365, you can log in at www.office.com and begin using Forms as one of the many apps included in the suite. Teachers and students can also Download Office 365 for free using a valid school email address. The resources below will help you get started on your journey to using Microsoft Forms.

StorageCraft backup and object storage packaged for schools

StorageCraft is going to school.

The backup vendor has identified education as a prime market for the integration of StorageCraft backup and recovery software with the object storage it acquired from Exablox in 2017.

The vendor is bundling data protection with object storage in an entry-level package, called StorageCraft for Education. Like other vertical markets, schools today find their storage capacity stressed, as more information goes digital.

The package consists of two StorageCraft OneBlox appliances and StorageCraft backup software. One appliance can reside off premises, with replication between the two boxes.

Pricing starts at less than $38,000 for StorageCraft OneBlox 4312 appliances with 96 TB of raw storage capacity. The education bundle is also available on OneBlox 5210 appliances with 38 TB of raw all-flash capacity. The appliances include StorageCraft OneSystem software for managing and monitoring storage across sites.

StorageCraft ShadowProtect software handles the backup and remote replication for data stored on the OneBlox appliances.

The goal is to provide the basic components necessary for creating on-premises primary storage for a large amount of data, along with an off-site backup to protect it. StorageCraft backup also provides scalability. And the storage offers large capacity, while keeping costs down, as schools often lack the IT budgets of enterprises.

“Most of the learning within the educational system is rapidly transitioning from more of a textbook-based approach to a rich-media-based learning approach,” said Shridar Subramanian, vice president of marketing and product management at StorageCraft, based in Draper, Utah. “At higher education, rich media is being generated for research projects, as well.”

Subramanian succinctly summed up the problem: “Where do you store all of that?”

Most of the learning within the educational system is rapidly transitioning from more of a textbook-based approach to a rich-media-based learning approach. … Where do you store all of that?
Shridar Subramanianvice president of marketing and product management, StorageCraft

Many turn to the cloud for storing “all of that,” but Subramanian said the costs of retrieving data from cloud-based storage are up to 50% higher than owning StorageCraft appliances over a three-year period. Restoring a backup from the cloud versus an off-site appliance could also take longer.

Lee Berkowitz, IT and network manager at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, chose StorageCraft backup and storage after looking at products from Promise Technology, QNAP and RAID Inc.

“StorageCraft used object storage, was easily and rapidly expandable, and required no rebuilds in case of drive failure,” Berkowitz wrote in an email. “The additional fact that the units offered deduplication was a great bonus. We did have an instance when one of our units needed replacement from StorageCraft. In that case, the new unit was activated, with no loss of data or downtime.”

The education bundles are part of StorageCraft’s strategy to integrate its data management and backup software with Exablox’s object storage hardware.

“Our vision is to go after the midsize enterprise segment, as well as the SMB market space, and provide them with an integrated solution that not only manages all their data, but also protects it,” Subramanian said. “Thereby, customers don’t have to worry about stitching together different pieces of infrastructure or applications.”