2020 has been a unique year when it comes to education. The global pandemic forced teachers, students, and parents to adapt to unique circumstances, including remote learning, hybrid learning, and having to adapt quickly to new technology. Microsoft is involved in education in quite a few ways and also had to adapt to the unusual challenges of 2020. A recent blog post from the Microsoft Education Team highlights 20 ways that Microsoft helped education in 2020.
The first key area of improvement is that of virtual classrooms. Microsoft rolled out several improvements to Microsoft Teams, including expanding Gallery View to include up to 49 people at once, rolling out Together Mode, and adding support for breakout rooms. The new Spotlight feature also helps teachers control which person is focused on as a presenter within classes. All of these features help educators work with students in virtual classrooms and meet the demands of hybrid learning.
With more digital content for teachers to keep track of than ever, Microsoft released several new features to help educators. Education Insights help teachers see student activity at a glance, Microsoft Lists help assign tasks and manage schedules, and Assignment Notifications help teachers inform students about upcoming assignments.
Virtual classrooms can be immensely useful, but they often lack the personal touch of in-person teaching. Microsoft highlights in its blog post how Praise Badges, Stickers, and other content help students feel recognized. The company also highlights how Reflect Messaging in Teams allows teachers to check in on students.
The list includes several other ways that Microsoft helped bring teachers and students together as well as how Microsoft Innovative Educator programs help educators share experiences and resources.
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