There are many technical tools available to teachers to make lessons fun and productive. Microsoft is even committed to helping education, and the solutions it is constantly adding to the industry certainly go a long way towards that.
Here are eight tools you can use on Windows PCs and compatible mobile devices to help with a variety of tasks, from communicating with your students to working on projects. Find out what they do and think about how they could fit into your classroom.
Beyond classic MS Office apps
The first options that come to mind are Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. They are practical and indispensable in almost every profession, so it is worth getting to know them as a student.
You can create all kinds of documents, create impressive presentations and manage complex tables. Explore Excel's organized spreadsheet capabilities and the true scope of its capabilities will become apparent.
There are a limited amount of things that teachers can do with these three programs for Windows, but there are many others to choose from. The more you get to know, the more joy and benefit your students will get from your lessons.
Microsoft's contribution to education comes in the form of free and discounted high-tech tools, including software and devices, for students, teachers, and entire schools. Teams stand out from the crowd for their basic but efficient purpose: collaboration.
It's one of the best platforms for the job. Aside from smooth video conferencing for classes and school meetings, you can share files and screens, use a digital whiteboard, integrate most other Microsoft apps, and even analyze each student's engagement.
If you only want to work with a few apps, Teams should be one of them. Its versatility can more easily cope with the challenges of distance learning.
Taking notes is an important part of school. The problem is how to organize them and then track down the materials you need. Microsoft's OneNote is great for keeping everything in order and customizing how they look, what they contain, and who can see them.
This means that you can quickly find specific notes you've saved, edit their fonts, add pictures, create diagrams, and much more. The Class Notebook feature provides teachers with additional tools for lesson planning, collecting and grading schoolwork, and interacting with others.
Students and school administrators can also benefit from special functions. OneNote offers a simple service, but it can be invaluable to various users.
One fun and mostly free app is Flipgrid. Basically, you can respond to a topic or question by recording short videos, a perfect way for students to express their opinions and participate in a discussion.
As a teacher, you simply create an account, a group and your topic. Then invite your students to join and share their videos as per your instructions. You can add text, emojis, clips and more to bring your recordings to life.
You can customize any discussion, including the moderation, commentary settings, and the length of the videos. From there, it's up to your students to create their cases, but you can use some PowerPoint tips to prepare them for school presentations.
If creating presentations or sending out newsletters and emails is your life, consider Sway. With it, you can create clear and impactful documents for any purpose with text, pictures, videos and other functions.
You can inform parents about interesting events for their children. You can send students a presentation introducing them to a book or topic that you will be discussing. You can even create quizzes on Sway using Microsoft Forms.
Whatever your purpose, the right combination of elements can make an impact. This software simply brings everything you need to one professional and multifunctional platform.
Visual aids are a great way to teach, but also to communicate with others. Whether your class relies heavily on video or your institution likes to use it for better collaboration, Microsoft Stream is another app to keep an eye on.
It's a more professional system than Flipgrid, and it caters to both businesses and classrooms. You can record, save and share videos with your team. With enough lead time and good planning, Stream can also support live events with up to 100,000 participants.
Don't underestimate the value of a good filing system. Instead of carrying around flash drives, you can store all of your documents in the cloud. This frees up space on your devices while everyone can access the same digital files from anywhere.
Essays, reports, presentations, and videos can all be saved in OneDrive. Then you can work on it on the go without worrying about forgetting or losing anything. For additional security, use your personal vault to protect sensitive files behind authentication measures.
This is a tool specially designed for the education sector. School Data Sync (SDS) uses your institution's Student Information System (SIS) to create groups for your Office 365 system.
Using the school's API, you can synchronize with SDS and let it search through the roster data. Ideally, your students will end up in the right classes and groups for Teams, OneNote, and any other software you activate.
It's worth double-checking the results, but SDS is a reliable app that makes it easy to manage tech-friendly classrooms. It does some of the administration for you, so you can focus on teaching.
Microsoft doesn't just help you manage classrooms and workloads. It can provide learning materials and certificates to prepare students and interested employees for the modern workplace. Microsoft Imagine Academy can teach you anything from scratch or add to existing skills.
The system covers a number of areas such as common software, administrative practices, coding, cloud computing and data sciences. Teachers are provided with a ready-made curriculum for each subject, which they can follow to the letter or adapt to the needs of the students.
Because Microsoft supports the Academy, their courses are high quality and real value from their goals and tools to their exercises and exams. This is the kind of experience and certificate that can improve your confidence and prospects.
Schools have a strong ally in Microsoft as it brings several high-end solutions to the table. They promote the learning experience of the students, strengthen the teachers and reduce the stress on the job. Both sides benefit.
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About the author
(80 published articles)
Electra works at MakeUseOf. In addition to several writing hobbies, digital content became her professional focus with technology as a focus. Their functions range from app and hardware tips to creative guides and more.
From Electra Nanou
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