Discover Microsoft Education’s free resources

A classroom full of digital resources to facilitate routine, make teaching more dynamic and enhance learning to empower students for the future: that is what Classroom 2030 ( a model classroom presented by Microsoft Education during latest edition of the brazilian education conference Bett Educar) is all about.

The space was designed based on the company’s own research, ‘Class of 2030 and Life-Ready Learning’, made  in partnership with McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice. “When today’s kindergarten children graduate in 2030, the world will be very different from what previous generations could experience,” the document states. The Microsoft Education digital resources presented in the classroom are designed to prepare students for technologies, jobs and challenges not yet imagined, and will be part of their future.

Seems interesting? The best news is that many of these features are free to schools, teachers and students. Just sign up with an email address from an educational institution. On its website, the company ensures that such tools can help “create an inclusive classroom and customize learning for each student, allowing them to be more self-taught and confident students.” Find out in this post the free resources of Microsoft Education and how they can benefit your classroom.

What’s in the Microsoft Education Package

The Office 365 Education suite currently gives access to 18 programs, which can be downloaded or used online. Some of them are the most common Office applications, such as Word, Power Point, Excel, and OneDrive. Others are little-known applications, video streaming, computer task automation, form creation, and planners. All can be used creatively to help with teacher organization, as well as to interact and send content to students.

There are, however, three apps on the list that are emphasized by the company as ideal for use in schools in order to improve the teaching experience: OneNote (which works as a digital notebook), Teams (made for collaborative work) and Sway. (platform that helps you create presentations). In addition, another widely publicized resource is Hacking STEM, a series of lesson plans with hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) training activities. Check below how each one works.

OneNote

This app brings together several notebooks in an organized manner. It is useful for both teachers, who can have all their lesson plans and set up a library of contents in one place, and students who have easy access to notebooks of all subjects in one program. You can share notebooks with others by creating collaborative workspaces and allowing teacher’s reviews and observations.

OneNote also allows free hand notes and drawing through the mouse cursor or by hand, in the case of devices that have onscreen sensitivity and digital pens. Diagrams, videos, images, audios, tables and emojis can also be added.

There is also a reading tool that helps students in the literacy phase, considered as an accessibility tool for the visually impaired. The program reads the text aloud, separates syllables and shows the morphological classification of each word, as well as being a Math tool that shows the way to solving calculations.

Sway

Microsoft Education also offers Sway, a platform to create works and project presentations with different designs and digital resources, such as hyperlinks, videos, and other media. There are already some ready-made templates to start with. You can also create collaborative Sways by sharing the document with others.

In the end, the project can be presented on the platform itself or exported in Word and PDF formats. The Microsoft Education website offers examples of student productions so you have an idea of ​​what can be done with the tool.

Teams

Teams is a Microsoft Education platform that promotes interaction with students through exclusive chat rooms. It creates a dialogue channel with the advantage of not being distracted from the common messaging applications that students already use. Through it, you can chat with students, create groups, define assignments, and send files.

Teams needs to be enabled by the institution to start being used.

Hacking STEM

This platform offers lesson plans with downloadable teacher-created projects and interactive activities that encourage students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Activities often use everyday materials for accessible and fun experiences.

Microsoft Education’s free tools commit to help the digital transformation process in the classroom, preparing students for the future. They offer convenience in organizing notebooks and lesson plans, ease of project design, and collaboration while using a simple and young language. To learn more about how digital tools can benefit education, read about flipped classroom.

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