If we have learned anything from the past 15 months, it is the importance of flexibility and resilience. Yet, despite the massive worldwide disruption, schools had to continue educating the world’s students to prepare them for the future. To meet this unprecedented moment, educators rapidly transitioned to remote and hybrid learning. In a matter of weeks, they created hybrid classrooms, where students could learn and communicate from anywhere, regardless of ability, learning preference, or socioeconomic status.
While these challenges were complex, they offered an opportunity, as well. They allowed us to envision a new approach to education and to build safe, scalable student-centered technology that engages all students, wherever they are, and helps them gain skills to succeed in education and in life.
That’s why today, we are announcing a reimagined Windows for a new era of learning, helping educators unlock the full potential of every student, giving them powerful tools to learn, collaborate, and create in a secure and trusted environment.
Welcome to the new Windows 11—a Windows for what’s next!
Accessibility for all
Windows 11 uses the latest advances in user-centered design to create a more intuitive, more productive interface that leaves students and teachers free to focus on education. On touchscreen devices, users will find an enhanced experience with greater accessibility and more adaptive user controls that make it easier to type as well as move and resize windows.
We’ve also expanded gesture, voice, and pen interactivity, as well, so users can type using their voice and write with a digital pen in almost any app. This will empower all students—regardless of their abilities or learning preferences—to access materials on their own, boosting their confidence and sense of agency, while teachers can personalize learning for all students and make the best use of their classroom time.
To enhance learning outcomes, this release also offers new tools that reduce distraction—from smart cameras that blur background movement to settings that minimize visual clutter. These innovations will enable all learners to focus and do their best work, whether they are at home or in the classroom.
Comprehensive security and privacy
Educators and IT leaders who use Windows 10 will be pleased to know that our Windows 11 offers the same trusted, easy-to-use management tools that they are already comfortable with—including hands-free setup and management options that allow for rapid installation of education-ready apps. But we’ve also added enhanced privacy protections and security controls from the device to the cloud. That includes the ability to customize and schedule monthly cloud-based updates without disrupting learning. And new, always-on protections that safeguard the operation system as well as stored information.
These features are designed to prevent costly security breaches, which are becoming more common than ever. In fact, according to Digital Shadows, a global digital securities firm, identity attacks increased 300 percent between 2018 and 2019.i These security features also help protect students—whether they are at home or at school—by blocking dangerous and inappropriate content.
Built for learning, anywhere
What’s more, the new Windows will come on a range of affordable, personalized devices built for both the classroom and remote learning. This will enable schools to conserve critical technology resources while also helping to bridge the digital divide by offering affordable devices to more students worldwide.
We are excited about the new tools and features we’ve built into our new Windows. But you can rest assured that some things will stay the same.
Preparing students for the future
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. Families and parents can be confident that these are the technologies that today’s students will need to be successful in the classroom, in college, and in their careers of the future.
What does this mean for you? Buy a Windows 10 device today! Windows 10 devices for education are still the best choice for schools, since they come built with critical security and management features that are important in educational settings. Plus, all new Windows 10 devices are fully upgradable to run the new Windows, once it’s released. So, you can be ready for what’s next!
Check out this video by Panos Panay.
To learn more about Windows 11 for Education, check out our frequently asked questions.