Microsoft continues to delight educators with updates and changes to its suite of learner-centered offerings. TCEA makes it possible for you to learn how to use these tools (watch the MS Classroom: Explore! video series) to maximize teaching, learning, and leading in your school and/or district. Whether you are an Office 365 expert or just beginning your learning adventure with Microsoft Education tools, you will want to take a quick look at these powerful updates.
Did you know that you can get Office 365 Online tools and one terabyte (TB) of cloud storage for free as an educator? This includes Word Online, PowerPoint Online, Excel Online, and Outlook Online. Visit this website to claim your free storage space and access. Or, if you prefer, pay $69.99/year ($6.99 per month) for Office 365 Personal. Not sure how to get started with Office 365? Check out these free online videos and Join TCEA MIE Facebook Group.
Powerful Microsoft Enhancements for Your Classroom
- Microsoft Classroom boasts a rich feature list. Be sure to read the Classroom Smackdown blog entry for a complete list with videos and tutorials.
- OneNote has been enhanced. Add-ins include Learning Tools and Class Notebook. The latter provides learning management system integration. Watch Become a OneNote Ninja! to find out more. From typing to digital ink, video embedding, audio recording, and capturing web content with the OneNote Clipper add-on, OneNote makes collaborative learning easier.
- Microsoft Forms powers formative assessments and surveys (Source). Use Forms to assess students with built-in quiz features,real-time feedback, and branching. Send the form to students via a link or QR code or embed the form in a web page or OneNote notebook page.
- Docs.com provides a great space to share and track what you’re creating in your classroom. You are now able to publish your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Once published, you can track access analytics for free. Find out more.
- Sway, an alternative, mobile-friendly, and responsive web design presentation tool, recently added an Accessibility Checker. This is the darling of presentation resources for teachers and students.
Improvements to the Office Suite
- Edge Internet Browser now supports extensions, such as the Office Online extension (e.g. Chrome or Edge). This extension provides direct access to your Office files and enables you to create and open Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, and Sway documents right from the browser.
- PowerPoint now has an automatic navigation link creation tool known as Zoom, as well as a new text highlighter tool. PowerPoint and Excel also take advantage of shape recognition, allowing you to convert drawings into shapes.
- MS Word now features Researcher, a tool that helps you find relevant quotes and citable sources and images without leaving the app.
- Boost your curriculum and lessons with Office 365 lessons available at the Microsoft Educator Community.
The future is bright, and options exist. Why not explore?