We’ve spent our summer building innovative tools to help students of all ages and levels get the most out of learning, the minute they walk back into your classroom. In this latest edition of What’s New in EDU, we’re excited to share a new batch of features and enhancements to help you encourage independent learning and engage your students – and we’re kicking it off with the expansion of Minecraft: Education Edition.
Transform your classroom with Minecraft: Education Edition for iPad
Today, we are excited to announce we’re bringing the magic of Minecraft: Education Edition to iPad. Now, students can tap into the power of iPad to build historic monuments, swim through coral reefs with the Update Aquatic, bring creative stories to life, experiment with chemistry, and document their learning with the camera and portfolio features.
Educators trying Minecraft: Education Edition for the first time can get started with a beginner’s tutorial world and access a number of free class resources on education.minecraft.net. A global community of Minecraft Mentors offers year-round onboarding and classroom support, right alongside the growing Minecraft: Education Edition community – now with 35 million licensed teachers and students in 115 countries.
“Minecraft: Education Edition on iPad unlocks new and intuitive ways of collaborating and sharing and has revolutionized the way our students and teachers explore curriculum and projects,” says Kyriakos Koursaris, Head of Education Technology for PaRK International School. “The features allow for deep and meaningful learning, and the values it promotes, from inclusivity to 21 century skills, empower everyone to use technology with extraordinary results,” said Koursaris.
Here’s how to get Minecraft: Education Edition on your school’s iPads next month:
If your school district is already licensed through Microsoft:
If your school is licensed through Microsoft 365 for Education (A3 or A5), you already have access to Minecraft: Education Edition. You will be able to download the app onto iPads in September. To learn more, visit this webpage. What’s more, we’ve updated Intune for Education so it’s easier than ever for IT administrators to manage student devices from one unified, streamlined console.
If you’re interested in trying Minecraft: Education Edition on iPad in your school but have not purchased a license in the past:
Minecraft: Education Edition is licensed via yearly subscriptions that are purchased through the Microsoft Store for Education, via volume licensing agreements and through partner resellers. To learn more, visit our webpage on how to license Minecraft: Education Edition.
And for Minecraft players and families who play outside of school:
We’re excited to share that players of the Windows 10 PC and Xbox console version of Minecraft can now use the Chemistry Resource Pack, released originally for Minecraft: Education Edition.
The Chemistry Resource Pack introduces lab tables, element blocks and items that are craftable only using the new chemistry features. With this added feature, players can create elements and combine them into compounds, build a periodic table and combine materials using chemistry to create new items like helium balloons, sparklers, latex, and underwater torches. Learn and experiment with the building blocks of chemistry in the world of Minecraft!
To get the Chemistry Resource Pack, go to the ‘Create New World’ option in the game and, under the ‘Cheats’ menu, toggle the ‘Education’ option.
What else is new in Microsoft Education this month?
Office 365 Education:
Microsoft OneNote helps teachers organize class content, create and deliver interactive lessons, provide feedback, and collaborate. Graphing in Math Assistant is now available in OneNote Online – this tool helps students visualize math problems and equations as they learn the steps to solving a problem.
OneNote is also making improvements to help you save valuable teaching time. Roaming Ink enables Pens and Ink preferences that follow you from device to device. You and your students can easily reuse the custom pens and ink you love, even when you switch devices. Learn more about using OneNote in your classroom.
Open Up resources:
We’re extremely excited to partner with Open Up Resources to offer high quality, free curriculum materials through Microsoft OneNote and Forms. Since the partnership announcement, we’ve been working to incorporate Open Up curriculum seamlessly into OneNote and Forms.
Using OneNote Class Notebook to access the Open Up curriculum, teachers can distribute course materials on any device. Students can write, draw, collaborate, and save their work automatically in their personal digital notebooks. Open Up content in OneNote integrates seamlessly with common LMS and SIS platforms. Using Open Up in Forms, teachers can access one-click assignment and efficient scoring. Get started using Open Up curriculum now.
Technology can be a wonderful tool to help personalize learning for every student in your class. To help students customize reading even more, we’ve added additional colors for page themes in Office Lens. Choose from the expanded selection with the latest update of Office Lens (version 2.15) for iPhone or iPad. Read more details here.
Closed captioning in Stream is also now available so you can make a lesson more accessible by recording it and adding captions.
Microsoft Teams is the digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place. Educators can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff – all from a single experience in Office 365 Education. Check out all the new updates in the Teams back-to-school blog post.
- Rubric Grading now available. Built directly into Teams, rubric grading helps increase assignment transparency for students and allows teachers to give more meaningful feedback. Customize your grading criteria with your own rubric to enable skills-based grading of your assignments.
- Updates to the assignments experience on mobile: With new updates to iOS and Android apps, you can now access all of your assignments directly when you launch the Teams app and see a simplified list of upcoming tasks, across all of your classes. Students can work on their assignments directly on their phones and turn in.
- Archiving teams: Instead of deleting older teams, you can now archive the team, placing it in a read-only state. This way you can go back and reference what you covered last year, any time you want.
- Reusing assignments: Reuse assignments from current or archived class teams, bringing over instructions, attachments, and customizations from previous assignments to your new assignment.
- New Class Notebook and Staff Notebook tab app: Teachers can enjoy the new and improved Class Notebook and Staff Notebook settings directly inside of Teams. Just select “Manage.”
Skype in the Classroom:
Skype in the Classroom (SITC) is an online community that enables thousands of teachers to inspire the next generation of global citizens through transformative learning over Skype.
- New Activity Plans for your favorite Skype in the Classroom activities. Whether you are going back to school or in the middle of the academic year, make learning relevant and fun for your students by participating in one of the Skype in the Classroom LIVE learning experiences. Use the new Activity plans, written by teachers, to enrich your students’ learning experiences with activities and assessments aligned to ISTE standards. They can be followed step by step, or you can adjust them based on your classroom’s needs. Explore all activity plans here.
Microsoft Photos App:
The Microsoft Photos App makes it easy to tell stories with photos and videos. There is a built-in video editor, making it easy for you and your students to create movies using photos, video clips, music, 3D models, and Hollywood-style special effects. Whether it’s a group history project, a lab report, or a music video just for fun, the Photos app makes it easy to quickly assemble content, add titles, drop in music, enhance your story with special effects, and share. If you liked making videos with Movie Maker, you’ll love what you can do with the Microsoft Photos App.
- Newsroom-inspired 3D effects. We’ve added newsroom-inspired offerings to the 3D effects built into the Photos app. Now your class can add “LIVE” overlays to their video projects, and identify breaking news, 24-hour coverage, or inspiring sports stories.
- Video Editor tile: Jump directly into video projects, or start a new one quickly, with the new Video Editor Tile. Your next big story is only a click away.
When we sit down with our education customers, many tell us that they’re looking for hardware that seamlessly integrates with their larger ecosystem of Microsoft-powered devices. Beyond that, our education customers need a device that’s small and sturdy while still providing the performance their students need. And all of this has to be at the right price. That’s why we’re excited about what Surface Go offers for schools, and the magic that it unlocks within each student who uses it.
Surface Go equips both students and teachers with the quality and productivity that Surface is known for in a more compact – and affordable – package. At just 1.15 pounds and 8.3 mm thin, Surface Go packs amazing portable performance into a 10” device. Starting at just $399 MSRP for education customers, it represents a new entry point for the Surface family, while keeping the premium qualities that have come to define Surface.
Surface Go is a great device for schools looking for a Windows 10 device that offers tablet to laptop flexibility, pen and touch input, a natural typing experience with the Surface Go Type Cover, seamless digital inking, and the ability to run full desktop applications.
Early reception to the device has been positive and tech journalists across the world are excited for what Surface Go can do for education.
Intune for Education makes it easy to set up and manage Windows 10 devices in just a few steps, including deploying apps or settings to users, and managing shared devices.
- iOS device management features are now available in Intune for Education. Intune for Education is already a great way to manage your school’s Windows 10 devices, and you will now be able to use it to manage apps and settings on your classroom iOS devices. With these new features, Intune for Education continues to grow as a unified, streamlined administrative console to manage your school devices.