Our ongoing commitment to empower every student to create the world of tomorrow continues today with several new announcements for education. Whether igniting interest in STEM, learning in 3D, helping students of all abilities improve their reading, writing, and comprehension, or saving teachers time and helping them collaborate, we know technology has the power to unlock limitless learning.
This week at Bett, we’ll show new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices from Lenovo and JP, starting at just $189, providing more options for schools who don’t want to compromise on Chromebooks. We’ll add new capabilities to our free Office 365 for Education software, enabling any student to write a paper using only their voice and making it easier to access Teams via mobile devices. And we’re making STEM learning fun with a new Chemistry update to Minecraft: Education Edition and new mixed reality and video curricula from partners like BBC Worldwide Learning, LEGO®* Education, PBS, NASA, and Pearson.
New Windows 10 devices starting at $189 and free professional development
Affordability is the top priority for many schools. Shrinking budgets can lead schools to choose devices with a stripped-down experience and a limited lifespan, unfortunately costing more over time and offering less to students. Our new Windows 10 devices won’t force schools to compromise on features, giving schools cutting-edge tools like touch, inking, and 3D as well as free accessibility technology like Learning Tools, which improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities. 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. Our new devices include:
Two new Lenovo devices to give schools great performance at a great price.
The Lenovo 100e, a brand-new Intel Celeron Apollo Lake powered PC, starting at just $189 USD**.
The Lenovo 300e, an affordable 2-in-1 convertible PC with pen support, starting at $279 USD.
Two new devices from JP, one of our largest partners in emerging markets.
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.
These new devices join the HP ProBook x360 11 EE, which continues to be one of our best-selling 2-in-1 devices in education at just $299 USD and the recently released HP Stream 11 Pro G4 EE PC starting at $225 USD. They are all spill resistant and ruggedized to avoid accidental breakage, have long battery life to avoid charging wires all over the classroom and have faster connectivity.
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.***
Personalized learning drives better results
Office 365 is built to support every type of learner, with assistive technology natively built-in and tools like Word, OneNote, and Teams that 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, including:
- 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, we 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, we are delivering on the number one request from teachers for Class Notebooks, enabling them to lock pages as read-only after giving feedback. In OneNote, we are also enabling Desmos interactive 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, our newest updates will also make it easy 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 way, students can view from anywhere in advance of class, so class time can be used for conversation. 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.
Sparking creativity with STEM
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.
One way we do this is through MakeCode, which today announced a new Cue Education app, available first on Windows, new curricula for Computer Science with MakeCode for Minecraft, and a new MakeCode for micro: bit Windows 10 app.
Chemistry comes to life through Minecraft
Nothing shows the power of creativity in STEM education more than Minecraft: Education Edition, which is already being used in classrooms in more than 115 countries. This spring, a new and free Chemistry Update will enable teachers to use the familiar world of Minecraft and game-based learning to engage students of all ages in chemistry. Through hands-on experimentation, students can learn everything from building compounds to more difficult topics like stable isotopes.
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.
Over the last year, we have seen remarkable instances of teachers and institutions using Microsoft HoloLens to bring 3D experiences to life in the classroom. With the release of Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets that start at $299, we provide a more affordable entry point for mixed reality in the classroom.
To support that effort, today we are announcing three important program updates:
- Pearson – the world’s largest education company – will begin rolling out in March curriculum that will work on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. These six new applications will deliver seamless experiences across devices and further illustrate the value of immersive educational experiences.
- We are expanding our 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 effort brings cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning resources that increase student engagement with science phenomena and practices.
- To keep up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom we are committed to providing affordable solutions. Starting on January 22, we are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. To take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit, hololens.com/edupromo.
New partnerships in STEM learning
Lesson plans that encourage hands-on and visual learning drive deeper engagement from students, and we’re excited to partner with some of the world’s most respected brands to bring teachers exciting new lessons in time for the next school year.
Starting this March, we’ll be partnering with BBC Worldwide Learning to bring the stunning BBC Earth natural history film Oceans: Our Blue Planet to classrooms and museums around the world, starting with the release of the film in museums this March. As part of the multi-faceted partnership, we are also exploring ways to expand this content across the Microsoft Education portfolio.
And together with LEGO® Education, we’ll be offering a new free online Hacking STEM lesson plan that has students use the Pythagorean Theorem to explore and measure topography in 2D/3D space. Acting as environmental surveyors and engineers, students build tools with LEGO® bricks from the Simple & Powered Machines set or cardboard to create and visualize an initial transportation plan for the development of an island National Park in Excel. They then bring their National Park to life by adding topographic elements.
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.
*LEGO, the LEGO logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of the LEGO Group. ©2018 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.
**$219 global pricing
***If at least 30 qualified licenses are purchased between February 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, you can schedule free in-person or virtual Professional Development led by certified Microsoft training partners. Learn more on microsoft.com/education.
**** “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms,” is a cooperative agreement awarded to WGBH from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under cooperative agreement award No. NNX16AD71A.