How e-learning tools can help reach every student

Microsoft’s suite of education technologies gives teachers and students the power to teach, learn, collaborate and be creative

Microsoft Teams makes discussions and teamwork easier by dividing classes into small groups

The traditional schooling we were all accustomed to has experienced a fast-tracked digital transformation – and as technology improves, so does online learning.

As digital transformation continues, Microsoft is bringing a fresh approach to how we learn and how we educate our children.

Microsoft is calling on school leaders and teachers at all levels to learn more about how its education technologies can help to support and enhance the teaching and learning experiences.

Microsoft's suite of technologies aimed at the education sector gives teachers and students access to advanced, powerful tools, empowering them to teach, learn, collaborate and be creative.

Microsoft Teams, for example, can be used to create online classrooms, meetings, assignments, files, and collaboration, for effective learning, all in one place. This includes Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams, which makes discussions and teamwork easier by dividing classes into small groups.

An expanded literacy portfolio to reach every learner

Reading Progress, released in late 2021, is a free tool within Microsoft Teams designed to support teachers in creating personalised reading experiences that build confidence and reading fluency in their students. Research correlates the relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension and the impact of this as students move throughout primary & second level education.

Measuring reading fluency has traditionally been a time-intensive undertaking for the teacher, having to individually assess each student, analyse their performance, identify strategies and opportunities for improvement. Now, built into Assignments in Teams, Reading Progress passages are easy to create and differentiate for impactful instruction.

Teachers can upload a single reading fluency passage, or differentiate for their class’s many reading levels. Students read their passages out loud, creating a recording teachers can access and review at their convenience. Teachers can use the Auto-detect feature for quick review, or manually review the recordings. Class and individual data are collected in Insight and this will allow teachers to have a holistic view of trends and data including accuracy rate, correct words per minute, most challenging vocabulary, mispronunciations, omissions and insertions.

Microsoft strives to empower all learners to achieve more, including Ukrainian language support for auto-detect in Reading Progress

To help ensure Ukrainian students worldwide have the ability to practice and continue to grow, Microsoft have globally rolled out auto-detect speech detection for the Ukrainian language in Microsoft Reading Progress, bringing the total number of languages and locales supported to 105.

Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration and problem-solving in an immersive environment

Educators can translate passages to Ukrainian in Microsoft Word and use the auto-detect feature in Reading Progress to mark the student’s reading accuracy and fluency in Ukrainian. This can be leveraged to allow the student to continue developing fluency in their native language, while also providing some context to help them engage in content learning with their classmates in a novel language.

With auto-detect in Ukrainian, educators who do not speak Ukrainian can still get a sense of a student’s reading level and adapt to support student growth. In addition, Reading Progress recordings allow educators to check students’ progress more regularly while freeing up time for relationship building and providing the differentiated support that students in crisis need.

Immersive Reader and Microsoft Translator also support Ukrainian and are available in tools across Microsoft 365, helping educators to differentiate and providing an entry point for displaced Ukrainian students no matter their reading level. With Immersive Reader, Microsoft supports Ukrainian read aloud, as well as Ukrainian translation across over 100 languages.

Taking learning to the next level

For more creative and game-based learning, there is Minecraft. Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment. This environment gives pupils the freedom to experiment, encouraging creative self-expression and problem solving.

It includes special features for educators such as easy tutorials, classroom management tools, secure sign-in, classroom collaboration and tons of sample lessons, plus a global network of mentors and tech support.

Educators are using Minecraft: Education Edition to teach a range of subjects, from history and geography to literacy and mathematics, and can map lessons directly to specific learning outcomes and curriculum standards.

Explore over 500 lessons, immersive worlds, challenges, and curriculum all at your fingertips.

Being organised is being in control

With Microsoft OneNote, educators can create notebooks that can help them stay organised, deliver the curriculum, and collaborate with students and colleagues. Classroom organisation has never been easier. With a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, OneNote for Education empowers students to create their best work. With digital ink, handwritten notes, sketch diagrams, videos, and pictures, OneNote turns notes into living documents. Whether you’re a student, teacher, or staff member, there’s a OneNote Notebook designed just for you. For budding artists and writers, you can even create e-portfolios, so all your notes will always be accessible across multiple devices.

The Lenovo 300w laptop

Powering the future of learning

With the technological evolutions gaining pace in every sector post-pandemic, it's fair to pinpoint the past two years as the beginning of a new world when it comes to education.

As with all seismic shifts, there is a period of adjustment and that's why Microsoft Ireland has partnered with Lenovo and Exertis Ireland, to show its commitment to supporting schools in communities right across Ireland on their digital transformation journey.

Exertis’ mission is to empower and inspire the future of learning. Together with its industry partners, Exertis has created an education portfolio that keeps IT productive, educators inspired, and students engaged. Based on 20 years of education technology leadership, Exertis’ solutions are easy to deploy, secure, manage and use – designed to enable safe, accessible learning for all and spark discovery in any learning environment. Whether you focus on primary or secondary education, Exertis has the solutions you need.

When it comes selecting a student device for the classroom, look no further than the Lenovo 300W. The powerful Lenovo 300w delivers a simplified, secure experience optimised for a cloud-first learning environment in the classroom and beyond. This convertible device is built for education, and boasts the latest processors, integrated graphics, robust security features, and simplified device management.

Learning is seamless with Microsoft collaboration software and familiar, curated, education-first apps and productivity tools. Engineered for the future of education, the Lenovo 300w Gen 3 boasts state-of-the-art features like a 360-degree Sync hinge, an optional 5MP world-facing camera, an optional AES garaged pen, plus a touch display with Pencil Touch technology – all with the rugged durability you’ve come to expect from Lenovo. Wi-Fi 6 capability means students can now enjoy faster connectivity while watching lessons, connecting virtually with classmates, and uploading their latest creations, while 4G/LTE keeps teachers and students connected in a world beyond wifi.

Windows 11 gets top marks for education

In a new era of hybrid learning, educators must accomplish more with less. A rapid shift to online learning saw schools rush to supply technology/devices to ensure digital equity for all students, at school or online. There was a drive to offer personalised education for all students, of all abilities and learning styles. Students require knowledge, tools and skills to succeed at school, in their future, career and beyond.

Microsoft reimagined Windows for a new era of digital learning, helping educators unlock the full potential of every student, with powerful tools to learn, collaborate and create in a secure and trusted environment.

Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed Windows ever, with greater accessibility and more built-in learning tools and user controls than ever before. This will empower students to access materials independently, while teachers can personalise learning for all, regardless of ability or learning preference.

To enhance learning outcomes, this release also offers new tools that reduce distraction: from smart cameras that blur background movement to settings that minimise visual clutter. These innovations will enable all learners to focus and do their best work, whether they are at home or in the classroom.

Windows 11 was designed to offer optimised performance on a variety of affordable devices such as the Lenovo 100w and 300w. These can provide experiences with tools and technology that prepare students for the future, despite tight technology budgets. This will enable schools to conserve critical technology resources while helping to bridge the digital divide by offering affordable devices to more students worldwide.

Windows is still the best choice to run the familiar apps that schools and educators rely on, such as Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Word, Flipgrid, and Minecraft: Education Edition. Parents can be confident that these are the technologies students will need to be successful in the classroom, in college, and in their careers of the future.