In this month’s What’s New in EDU, we’re excited to announce tools and resources to help teachers empower all students to find their voice, grow their confidence and build 21st century skills. Also, join us from ISTE next week on our Microsoft Education Facebook Channel for more live updates from Philadelphia on Monday, Wednesday and Hack the Classroom on Tuesday.
Reach every student with new accessibility features from Windows and Office 365
We are excited to share new features that enable educators to tailor learning to ensure every student has a voice in today’s classrooms, 72% of which have students with special requirements. Whether a permanent or temporary disability, personal preference, or a unique learning style, the robust set of built-in and third-party accessibility features in Windows 10 and Office 365 let students choose how to use technology and express their ideas. Today, we’re unveiling new resources to help every student unlock his or her potential.
- Improve reading comprehension with Immersive Reader, now available in Minecraft: Education Edition and other popular education apps. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Immersive Reader, a proven resource to improve reading and writing for students regardless of their age or ability, will now be integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition to read in-game text, character dialogue, chalkboards and more. Immersive Reader will also be available as an Azure Cognitive Service, allowing third-party apps and partners to add the tool into their products to help both students and parents read text within the apps. In our pilot program, Skooler integrated Immersive Reader into its parent portal, enabling better communication with parents and guardians who are non-native English speakers. These partners will be the first to integrate Immersive Reader:
- Help students speak with confidence using Presenter Coach in PowerPoint. To give teachers and students an easy way to practice their presentations and improve their public-speaking abilities, we’re launching Presenter Coach in PowerPoint online this summer, which uses best practices and academic research to provide tips and tricks for more effective presentations. Presenter Coach allows teachers and students to enter rehearsal mode and receive on-screen guidance about pacing, inclusive language, conciseness of language, profanity, filler words like “um” or “uh,” culturally inclusive words, and originality as they speak into a microphone. At the end of each rehearsal session, the presenter receives a detailed report with metrics for additional practice. Check out this post and video for more details.
Motivate students to share their voice with Flipgrid and Teams
This month, we’re also rolling out some big updates coming to Teams for Education that will make it simpler and more comprehensive than ever before, saving teachers time when creating new Teams, communicating with parents and students, and grading assignments. These updates include:
- Big, easy-to-find visual icons for each of your teams and classes
- A new way to create and track all of your assignments
- A new gradebook so teachers can view and grade all of their assignments for a class directly from the channel’s Grades tab and view a single student’s progress across assignments
- A new “Share To Teams” button that allows teachers to share resources with their classes directly from a learning source like Brittanica, Kahoot, Buncee, ThingLink, and Wakelet
- The ability to import existing OneNote content into your Class or Staff Teams, allowing you to access all your information from a single location
Tune in to FlipgridLive on Monday night when we’ll unveil some exciting new tools to empower every student to share their voice, practice storytelling skills and engage in meaningful discussions inside and outside the classroom. Join the Flipgrid livestream on Facebook and be the first to explore the new ways you can amplify and empower your learners!
Tools & Resources for Student-Centered Learning
Here are some useful resources to help you plan for the upcoming school year and connect with other educators who are also working to build a student-centered approach:
More Microsoft Education news from ISTE
Learn about additional updates from Microsoft Education in the blogs below, or if you are attending ISTE next week, stop by and see them for yourself in the Microsoft booth.