Back-to-school time represents new beginnings, new perspectives, and new chances to grow. To set teachers up with the confidence, tools, and training they need to help students of all abilities thrive this year, we’ve rounded up several free resources for educators looking to personalize student learning and supercharge classroom engagement.

Let’s dig in!

Find back-to-school inspiration in one YouTube playlist

If you’re looking for back-to-school inspiration, we have the YouTube playlist for you. No matter how or where you’ll be teaching this year, these quick and informative videos can help you discover tips for making the most out of cutting-edge classroom tools including Microsoft Teams, Reading Progress, Immersive Reader, and more. 

Express yourself with an expanded GIPHY library

Personal expression is a powerful way to build classroom engagement, which is why we’re excited to announce a new set of GIPHYs rolling out just in time for back-to-school. These new GIFs are the work of several talented animators, motion designers, and other artists including French animator, Aurelia Durand; Melbourne-based motion designer Adrianne Walujo; American graphic designer, Jhenne Tyler; and Mexico-based digital illustrator, Valeria Alvarez. Starting Monday, August 30, the new GIFs will start appearing in Microsoft Education’s GIPHY Channel, discoverable by searching “Microsoft Education” when inserting a GIF in the Teams chat, Twitter, Instagram, or on Facebook.

Build your professional learning community (PLC) in Teams

Did you know you can create or join a PLC through Teams in a few simple steps? Whether you’re looking to do that or improve your existing PLC, Teams can help PLCs collaborate more effectively and efficiently. From swapping lesson plans to setting collective goals to staying organized while sharing and analyzing student work samples, learn more about how to get your PLC started in Teams today. 

Introduce computer science in your classroom with free Microsoft MakeCode curriculum

In partnership with the United States College Board organization, the recently announced Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles with Microsoft MakeCode curriculum is free and uses web-based technology and tools that can be accessed across platforms and devices. Learn how to bring computer science into your classroom here

Enroll in trainings to discover new ways of creating inclusive, student-centered classrooms

The Microsoft Educator Center (MEC) and Microsoft Store are offering dozens of free, on-demand workshops to help educators discover new way of creating personal, engaging, and socially-connected classrooms. From brushing up on Teams basics to sharing tips for fostering inclusive learning environments, these trainings offer technology, tools, and techniques to improve student learning outcomes this back-to-school season and beyond. 

These are just a few of the resources available to help you step into the school year with a toolkit of tailor-ready techniques that can help unlock every student’s learning potential. Stay in the loop with all the latest tools, trainings, and more, and sign up for Microsoft’s monthly educator newsletter today.