Microsoft has announced a set of educational products and services, inspired by teachers and students.
New solutions announced include a new Windows experience — Windows 10 S — along with new experiences in Microsoft Teams for a modern collaborative classroom, and new features in Minecraft and mixed reality that spark creativity. The company also launched a new range of Windows 10 S PCs for K‒12 classrooms, and the perfect Windows 10 S device for college students — Surface Laptop.
Windows 10 S
Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience 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” to ensure that 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.
With Windows 10 S, educators and students will have access to their favorite and most-used applications across STEM, learning tools, secure assessment tools, content publishers, interactive whiteboards and more. 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. Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 S is to develop its open, vibrant partner-centric ecosystem.
Device partners including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for education today, 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. Coming to the Microsoft Store for Education later this year, new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level, and make Teams the 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 and personalize 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.
Code Builder for Minecraft
Teachers in more than 100 countries are using Minecraft: Education Edition to promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Minecraft has become a favorite resource with 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 game’s appeal further with Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. 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.
Free Offers for Teachers and Students
To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams and Minecraft to the classroom, Microsoft is offering teachers and students the following:
- New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189
- Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs
- Free Windows 10 S for all schools on any current Windows Pro PC
- Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams
- Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education
New Surface Laptop
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 preorder today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop is the perfect balance of portability, performance and elegance. 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.
Every detail is crafted to bring new form and function to the classic laptop design, drawing the user in. The vibrant 13.5-inch PixelSense Display is optimized for touch and inking for an immersive experience, and the optically bonded Corning Gorilla Glass 3 makes it as durable as it is beautiful. The signature keyboard is 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 four rich tone-on-tone colours: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue.
Surface Laptop starts at $999 and will be available starting June 15. Customers can preorder Surface Laptop starting today in the U.S. and Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom where available at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and BestBuy.com. Surface Laptop will also be available in Canada and China later this year, and availability in other markets will be announced in the coming months.
Bringing 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality Experiences to the Classroom
With 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality, Microsoft is helping empower educators with a whole new set of tools to create curriculums for their students and peers. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3-D 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 3-D 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.
STEM Saturdays at Microsoft Store
Beginning Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store locations across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia will host STEM Saturdays throughout May in all full-line locations. This will be in addition to the range of free programs year-round that empower students and educators by providing direct access to technology and hands-on learning.
STEM Saturdays brings Microsoft Education’s pop-up classrooms to Microsoft Store and gives participants a hands-on experience building a sensor that measures the flexion and extension of a finger to learn about the anatomy of a human hand. Anyone, including teachers, students and parents, can attend STEM Saturdays workshops at a Microsoft Store every Saturday in May.