What’s New in EDU—Earth Day brings updates to your ecosystem of tech tools

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Happy Earth Day, educators! We’re celebrating with a suite of updates to your ecosystem of teaching tools, including a playful new set of Earth Day emoticons on Skype. OneNote, Teams, Minecraft Education Edition, Skype and Apple School Manager are all benefitting from added features and functionality this month.

Check out the full roster of updates below and be sure to visit our Earth Day 2019 resource center for ideas, activity plans and access to virtual field trips your students won’t soon forget. Also, for those who missed E2 in Paris last week, don’t miss our event recap.

New for educators this month

 

To Math Assistant or not to Math Assistant …

Learning Tools, the set of features designed to support you and your students in reading, writing, math, and communication, now includes the ability to control Math Assistant via an on/off switch in OneNote Class Notebooks. As previously announced at Bett, the flexibility to temporarily turn the Math Assistant on or off is especially useful during practice tests or assessments.

When teachers want to turn it back on, it’s just the simple click of a button! The on/off switch is supported in OneNote Windows 10 and OneNote Online.

Also new, teachers can now drag and drop the solutions and steps from Math Assistant to a OneNote page in OneNote Online. This provides students an easy reference when looking back at their work and breaking down solution steps.

 

Teams adds real-time captions

Microsoft Teams, the digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments and apps together in one place, now includes real-time captioning during meetings. By allowing everyone to read speaker captions in real time, meetings are made more inclusive for students or colleagues who are deaf or hard of hearing, have different levels of language proficiency, or are connecting from a noisy location. For more on this and the other great new Teams features announced at Enterprise Connect, check out our new blog here.

OneNote navigation updates (based on your feedback)

We heard your feedback and incorporated some new elements to improve navigation in OneNote for Mac and OneNote for Windows 10. The updated navigation allows teachers to switch easily between notebooks, search results and recent notes using the buttons along the left-hand rail as well as use the drop-down button across the top of sections and pages to view additional notebooks. If you want to maximize your canvas, you can hide navigation by clicking the notebooks icon at the top of the left rail. Click the icon again when you need to navigate your way to another page, section or notebook. Read more about the new navigation or find support.

OneNote also now supports EdPuzzle embedded on the canvas. This allows educators who use EdPuzzle to easily integrate their video lesson into OneNote—this update is supported in all versions of OneNote, except OneNote 2016.

Minecraft adds new ways to learn while you play this Earth Day

A trio of updates to Minecraft: Education Edition further empowers educators like yourself to use game-based learning across a variety of curriculum.

      • A Partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation
        Minecraft Education Edition is partnering with the World Wildlife Foundation on a month-long design challenge focused on the theme of zero waste. Throughout the month, we’re encouraging our educator community to share Flipgrid videos and social posts that feature their students’ boldest, most thoughtful designs. At the end of the month, we’ll publish a blog showcasing the best student submissions. Educators with Minecraft: Education Edition licenses can launch the challenge’s starter world here. Also, check out the World Wildlife Fund’s Zero Waste Toolkit. Starting Monday, we’ll be sharing daily tips on how you can easily reduce waste via Twitter and Facebook. A special Earth Day OneNote full of ideas, activities and resources is available here.
      • Minecraft Math Curriculum
        Now educators can access a full math curriculum for all grade 3 and grade 4 aligned to Common Core math standards. Featuring over 60 activities including lesson plans, rubrics, student worksheets and downloadable worlds, these curricula are designed to complement and enhance math teaching and learning. Browse our Math Subject Kit or download the guides directly (grade 3 or grade 4) for descriptions of standards alignment.
      • New Badges & Community Resources
        We have re-launched our Minecraft educator community page, now including digital badges. Join our global community to get advice on teaching with Minecraft: Education Edition, share and discuss lesson plans and classroom management strategies, and earn badges! Start by creating a profile and signing up for the community newsletter. Once you’ve unlocked the first two badges, share your experience and expertise with the world and apply to be a Minecraft Mentor.

 

Hacking STEM portfolio for Earth Day
Hacking STEM has you covered with ready-to-use lesson plans on earth science, environmental science, chemistry and physical science. These lessons include hands-on, interdisciplinary, inquiry-driven activities like monitoring water quality from a local waterway, measuring ocean depths to map the ocean floor and designing a windmill to generate electrical power. They teach 21st-century technical skills like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and data science. You can find these and other standards-aligned Hacking STEM lesson plans at the Hacking Stem site

Celebrate Earth Day with new emoticons

Each year, Skype in the Classroom celebrates Earth Day by bringing a world of exciting activities directly into your classroom throughout the month of April. This year, we’re adding to the fun with a custom collection of Earth Day-themed emoticons. Use them before, during and after your Skype sessions this month to raise awareness about our fragile planet.

 

New for IT administrators this month

 

Apple School Manager now supports Azure Active Directory for easy access for students and staff

We’re excited to announce that schools can now connect Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory to setup easy access for students and staff. By setting up Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory, students and staff members can automatically be set up with Apple services for seamless access. Instead of remembering separate usernames and passwords, students and staff members can simply use their existing Microsoft account to sign into an iPad, Mac, iCloud and Schoolwork. Students and staff members can now use the same account to sign into Apple devices and services as they do to Microsoft services such as Office 365. By connecting Apple School Manager with Azure Active Directory, schools can benefit from:

      • Streamlining processes: When you federate Apple School Manager with Azure AD, Managed Apple ID’s are created automatically.
      • Increasing timely access: Reduce the time that students or staff members can get access to relevant Apple services and devices by allowing them to sign into their Apple devices with their school email address and password.

To link your Apple School Manager to Azure Active Directory follow the steps below:

      1. Start the federated authentication process
      2. Connect to your identity provider by linking Apple School Manager to Microsoft Azure AD
      3. Verify your Azure AD domain ownership
      4. Turn on and test federated authentication

You can find additional details on how to configure this for your school on Apple’s documentation (need link here). We’re excited about bringing this integration to schools to help better provide seamless access for students and staff members.

Intune for Education makes it easy to set up and manage Windows 10 and iOS devices in just a few steps, including deploying apps or settings to users and managing shared devices.

      • Refined list of iOS Settings in Intune for Education – We’ve refined the list of iOS settings in Express configuration to help you get devices up and running even faster. Express configuration enables you to quickly set up devices and only features the essential settings. For more customization, view the full list of Windows 10 or iOS device settings.
      • Improved iOS settings names and tooltips – We’ve revised many of the iOS setting names, tooltips, and categories in Intune for Education to make settings easier to find and understand. For a detailed list of these settings see iOS device settings in Intune for Education.
      • New iOS device naming options – We’re adding new naming settings to help you group and identify your iOS devices. During iOS enrollment and MDM server token setup, Intune for Education will automatically name each of your devices with their unique device serial number. You’ll then have the option to add a custom name, such as Contoso or Math1, to the prefix. If you do customize the name, the device serial number will be attached to the end of it. For example: Contoso012a345b67c8.
      • New settings for Windows 10 – We’ve added new settings to give you more control over areas such as security power management, and Windows Update. Among the changes are new Windows notifications settings, which allow you to choose whether or not users see notifications about Windows Updates, and new Manual Windows Update settings, which allow you to choose whether or not users have access to the Windows Update scan, download and install features.

This month, we hope you’ll join us in highlighting Earth Day for your students. Inspiring them to take positive action begins with educating them on how to be responsible stewards of the planet, and that’s a mission we’re honored to put our resources behind.