After introducing a slew of useful Windows 10 features for everyday users in its Anniversary Update, Microsoft now has its sights set on the classroom. The company is rolling out a wide range of Windows 10 tools for educators, which run the gamut from an automated test-taking app to a school-friendly version of Minecraft. Here are some key features both teachers and students can look forward to.
Easy Setup and Test-Taking
With the new Set Up School PCs app, educators can prepare their students' devices without the help of an IT department. Using the tool is a simple three-step process that consists of saving a setup file to a USB drive, turning your students' PCs on, and loading the file onto each computer. Windows 10 is also getting a Take a Test app, which allows teachers to easily create quizzes or standardized tests.
In addition to these new services, the Windows Store will be updated to make it easier for teachers to find education apps. Schools will even be able to purchase and distribute apps in bulk. Set Up School PCs, Take a Test and the updated Windows Store will be available to all users with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Think of Microsoft Classroom (opens in new tab) as an all-encompassing hub for teachers and students. A new app within Office 365 Education, Classroom allows teachers to create and grade assignments as well as send direct feedback to their students via a shared OneNote Class Notebook. Meanwhile, students can easily keep track of their various assignments, turn in their homework and even collaborate with classmates in real time.
Microsoft has also rolled out Microsoft Forms, which lets teachers quickly create surveys and quizzes to get student feedback. Office 365 Education customers can try out the preview version here (opens in new tab).
Minecraft Education Edition
We already knew that Microsoft was working on a classroom-friendly version of Minecraft, and now we have a launch window. Minecraft: Education Edition will release in early access, starting in June, for both Windows 10 and OS X El Capitan. This variation on Mojang's beloved world-building game includes tools for easily sharing creations and photos as well as multiplayer support for up to 40 players.
Curious how you can make Minecraft useful to your students? Check out the game's resources page, which includes lesson plan ideas that range from electrical engineering to ancient history.
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