In the five years I spent as a teacher, I learned that technology’s role in education was rapidly evolving. Today, that rate of change continues and Microsoft has collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams that are helping revolutionize the classroom.
I distinctly recall the days I had to improvise a lesson, or the anxiety I experienced when I heard the words “testing day.” It was these days I particularly dreaded because the technology being used was so outdated, it took me more time to manage it than to use it.
Not that technology didn’t empower my students and me – quite the opposite. By employing basic technology, the Title I school where I taught increased its passing rate from 30 percent to full accreditation in just three years; a very fast transformation. This experience was a first-hand account of technology’s significance in improving learning outcomes.
However, as my career path shifted from education to technology, I began to see even more educational institutions implementing remote learning technology and collaboration tools. I realized that the need for a modern classroom had never been more necessary.
Technology is changing the educational platform. Teachers and students must develop remote teaching and learning skills for a modern classroom environment; as the show (or more accurately, curriculum) must go on.
Microsoft Teams Can Help
Are you moving to remote learning for the first time? Microsoft has built-in tools that can help. Let’s start with Microsoft Teams, or as I call it,” the game changer.”: It’s like a chatroom, a video conferencing tool and a real-time document editor combined into an easy-to-use application, and it’s free.
Below are some highlights of Microsoft Teams:
- Fully integrated with Office 365
- Conversation channels and threads
- Reduced emails
- Accessible on all devices
- Direct access to email, Skype and OneDrive
- Security features to help manage documents
Learning Tools – A Teacher’s Aid in Every Classroom
Because of my experience working in a Title I elementary school with diverse groups of learners, I understand the challenges that many classrooms face. For example, you can have a classroom with four various reading levels. How do you prepare four different lessons fast enough to accommodate each student? Tools such as Immersive Reader and Math Solver can provide students with personalized lessons to enable better learning outcomes and also provide further assistance with the push of a button.
With Immersive Reader you can:
- Change font size, text spacing and background color to maximize readability and eye comfort
- Split up words into syllables to assist with phonics
- Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives and sub-clauses
- Hear text read aloud and change the speed of reading when needed
With Math Solver you can:
- Provide equation tools to help students remember formulas
- Give math assistance so students can work out problems step-by-step
- Utilize the Windows Graphing Calculator
The exciting part is, these two features are just the tip of what Microsoft tools offer the classroom. You can learn more about them in the links below.
- The Best 19 Features of Microsoft Teams in 2019
- What is Immersive Reader?
- 12 Microsoft Learning Tools updates across reading, writing, math and communication for the new year
What I thought would be the education of the future has become the education of today. With collaboration tools and education resources from Microsoft, you can change the remote learning game for students around the globe.
Microsoft and Tech Data are here to help you make the transition to remote education and proved full classroom solutions with a variety of options. Our Classroom-as-a-Service (CaaS) can connect you with cost-effective devices from our wide-range portfolio, all in a scalable plan that allows your solution to be as flexible as your classroom.
I honestly never thought I’d leave the classroom, but when I realized I could help teachers everywhere, I made the move to technology. Just like you should make the move into a modern classroom with Microsoft Education.
About the Author
David Stonage is a Business Development Manager for Microsoft Education at Tech Data. A Greater Pittsburgh native David attended Slippery Rock University, graduating with a degree on Education. After 5 years teaching at both the elementary and high school levels, David opted for a career change, joining Tech Data in 2018. Outside of teaching, David shares a passion for fitness/nutrition, Pittsburgh sports, education, and dogs.