Microsoft has used a special event in New York to unveil a host of new products and services inspired by teachers and students, designed to take educational experiences to a whole new level. Here’s what we learnt:
Windows 10 S
Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 S – a new experience of Windows streamlined for security and superior performance. With Windows 10 S, applications that teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container” – ensuring consistent performance of the system.
Windows 10 S offers the power of full-featured applications, with experiences like the full version of Office 365, including all of the capabilities of Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, among others. Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 S also makes it easier than ever for students to organize research and manage school projects with the new Tab Preview Bar. With the support for Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate. Microsoft Edge is compatible with the sites educators and students frequently use.
Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba will offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for Education – starting at $189. In the coming months, these partners will also offer a range of Windows 10 S devices – from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.
Bringing Microsoft Teams to the classroom
Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online already allow students to co-author documents in real time, and Microsoft Teams will take collaboration to a whole new level.Coming to the Microsoft Store for Education later this year, Teams will act as a digital hub for the classroom where teachers and students come to collaborate and learn. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work, personalise learning, and communicate with students, parents and staff.
Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers, and solutions from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid and Kahoot!. Most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.
To bring the streamlined performance, simplicity and security of Windows 10 S to university students, Microsoft is expanding the Surface family of devices with Surface Laptop.Available for pre-order today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop offers a perfect balance of portability, performance, and longevity.
Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life.Bringing new form and function to the classic laptop design, the Surface Laptop features a vibrant 13.5″ PixelSense display (optimized for touch and inking for an immersive experience), along with optically-bonded Gorilla Glass for durability.
The signature keyboard is also covered in luxurious Alcantara material and features a quiet and responsive keyset, large precision trackpad and soft palm rest for a new level of typing comfort.
Surface Laptop is available in Platinum and will be available from £979. Customers can pre-order Surface Laptop starting today in the US and Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK where available through Microsoft Store and selected retailers.
Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition
Teachers in more than 100 countries are already using promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Minecraft has become a favorite resource for students and with educators who are using it to teach digital citizenship, inspire creative problem solving and enable student-centered explorations across the curriculum.
Microsoft is broadening the appeal of Minecraft: Education Edition further with Code Builder. This new feature is designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode.
Players can move around, build and create in Minecraft by writing code. A one-year free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition and the Code Builder extension are available today for Windows 10 for schools around the world in the Microsoft Store for Education.
3D and Windows Mixed Reality
Microsoft announced a new feature coming to Windows 10, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3D content through your screen into the real world as Mixed Reality, using a simple RGB camera.
Microsoft also announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, which is working to integrate 3D and mixed reality into its secondary and university level curriculum. By the 2018 school year, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history and STEM on Windows Mixed Reality devices.