Microsoft announced that this week at Bett, they will unveil new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices from JP and Lenovo. The devices will start from just $189, hence providing more selections for schools who do not want to compromise on Chromebooks.
The company also states that they will be adding new capabilities to their free Office 365 for Education software, hence this would go on to enable students to easily write papers by using just their voice, thus making it easier for users to access Teams via mobile devices.
Microsoft has also gone on to state that they are going to make STEM learning fun with new Chemistry update to Minecraft: Education Edition and new mixed reality along with video curricula from partners like BBC Worldwide Learning, LEGO Education, PBS, NASA and Pearson.
New Windows 10 devices starting at $189 with all new professional development
When it comes to devices, the top priority of all schools is affordability. It is important for schools to keep its budget in mind while choosing a device, hence Microsoft brings in new devices which are easily affordable and it will also not compromise on features, providing the schools with cutting-edge tools such as touch, inking and 3D. It will also provide free accessibility technology such as Learning Tools, which goes on to improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities.
Microsoft in its official blog states,
“This week, building on the success of our expansive education device portfolio, we’ll be showing new 2-in-1s under $300 and notebooks under $200. “
The following are the new devices by Microsoft:
Two new Lenovo devices
- The Lenovo 100e, a brand-new Intel Celeron Apollo Lake powered PC, starting at $189.
- The Lenovo 300e, an affordable 2-in-1 convertible PC with pen support, starting at $279 USD.
Two new devices from JP
- The Classmate Leap T303 laptop with Windows Hello, starting at $199 USD.
- The Trigono V401 2-in-1 with pen and touch, starting at $299 USD.
All the new devices come with spill resistant and ruggedized so as to avoid accidental breakage. They also come with long battery life so as to avoid charging wires all over the classroom and have faster connectivity.
The company in its official blog states,
“With Intune for Education, it’s easy to set up and manage Windows devices. With Microsoft 365 Education schools can get our complete software solution with free Office 365 Education and starting next month, with purchase of certain Microsoft 365 Education licenses, they can also get free Professional Development to help train teachers on how to get the most from their new technology.”
Better results with personalized learning
Microsoft has built Office 365 so as to support all kinds of learners, with assistive technology natively built-in and tools such as Words, OneNote and Teams, that the company states will ‘give every child a voice in the classroom.’
“We are proud to offer teachers in 146 countries Office 365 Education for free, and there are a number of new updates coming to Office in the next month.”
The following are the upcoming updates as per the official blog:
- Microsoft Learning Tools improves reading, writing, and comprehension for all students, especially the one in five students who have a learning difference. Starting in February, Microsoft will introduce dictation in Office 365 to help students write more easily by using their voice. Immersive Reader functionality will also expand Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad, and OneNote Mac with support for many new languages.
- OneNote Class Notebook, which has added more than 15 million new student notebooks since the beginning of this school year, will now include assignment and grade integration with the most widely used School Information Systems in the UK (SIMS Capita).
- To further simplify classroom workflows, the most requested feature from teachers for Class Notebooks, enabling them to lock pages as read-only after giving feedback. In OneNote, the company has also gone on to enable Desmosinteractive math calculators, a set of popular applications for STEM teachers.
- Teams, a digital hub for the classroom, is now accessible on iOS and Android so teachers and students can now keep track of their assignments and classroom conversations on their phones or tablets. To enable language learners to engage in classroom conversations, the latest updates will also make it easy for both students and teachers to translate any conversation or chat into another language.
- PowerPoint will now allow teachers to record their lessons including slides, interactive ink, video, and narrations and publish to their Stream channel in Teams classrooms. This allows students to view their lessons from anywhere in advance of class; hence, the class time can be used for conversation and proper discussion. Stream will also add automatic captioning to the videos to make them accessible to all learners.
“Our recently announced partnership with PowerSchool – the leading global education technology platform for K-12 – will help create classroom efficiencies, enable collaboration and provide insights that allow teachers to spend more time teaching and less time focused on administrative tasks.”
Creating Creativity with STEM
Microsoft in its official blog states,
“Igniting a passion for STEM in today’s students will help prepare them for the future. We’re committed to giving teachers new ways to teach these subjects with fun curricula that sparks students’ innate creativity, a skill that is predicted to be one of the top three most desired skills by employers in 2020.”
They do this with the help of MakeCode, which they have currently announced. This is a new Cue Education app, and it is first available on Windows, new curricula for Computer Science with MakeCode for Minecraft, and a new MakeCode for micro: bit Windows 10 app.
Chemistry on Minecraft
Microsoft feels that the power of creativity in STEM is best shown through Minecraft Education Edition. Minecraft Education Edition is used across the globe and is used in the classroom in more than 115 countries.
This spring Microsoft will bring a new free Chemistry Update that will allow teachers to use the world of Minecraft, engaging students of all age to game-based learning in chemistry.
Learning will be much more interesting and thanks to Microsoft and its upcoming new updates.
Mixed reality for immersive learning
“Our research shows the most effective learning involves multiple regions of the brain. In the era of mixed reality – which includes augmented and virtual reality, we are working with our partners to deliver products and experiences that will help teachers push the boundaries of their curricula.”
Microsoft informed that since last year, they have noticed a huge growth in the use of Microsoft HoloLens by teachers and institutes, so as to bring 3D experiences to life inside the classroom. The release of Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets that started at just $299 ensured an affordable entry of mixed reality inside the classroom.
Three new program updates
Pearson, which is the world’s largest education company, will start rolling out the curriculum in March, which will work on HoloLens as well as Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headset.
Microsoft informs that they are expanding their mixed media reality curriculum offerings through a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project for distribution nationally on PBS LearningMedia™. This will bring cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning.
In keeping up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom, Microsoft has committed to providing affordable solutions. The company states that starting from January 22 they are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens.
In order take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit, hololens.com/edupromo.
Microsoft concluded by stating,
“With all of these new experiences available in time for the upcoming school year, there’s never been a better time for schools to try Microsoft Education. We will continue to work hard to deliver innovative technology for educators around the world to unlock limitless learning for students of all abilities.