Educators, Increase Collaboration and Professional Development with New Office 365 Education Updates
As part of Microsoft’s Education announcement in April, Microsoft announced new experiences and updates to Office 365 Education coming this summer that will make it easier for teachers to manage their classroom and collaborate with peers, and for them or their IT administrators to set it all up. As part of this announcement, Microsoft mentioned there’d be even more updates coming this summer! Microsoft is thrilled to share these with you today—all are teacher inspired and student focused.
Today, Microsoft is announcing enhanced educator collaboration with PLC groups, better content sharing with Docs.com, easier formative assessments with Microsoft Forms and additional Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS) partners with OneNote Class Notebook.
All educators have access to these new updates through Office 365 Education, which is totally free for teachers and students when you go to office.com/teacher.
Educator collaboration with PLC groups
Aside from getting started with the technology, Microsoft knows there can be some barriers to collaborating and sharing knowledge between teachers:
- Teachers can be isolated, time is severely limited and collaboration is difficult.
- Professional collaboration tools are disconnected and don’t always support meaningful, sustained collaboration.
- Information is often stored in the personal files of educators, making it difficult for new teachers to ramp up.
To foster collaboration, educators look to professional learning communities (PLCs), where groups of educators can meet regularly to share expertise and work collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. In April, Microsoft announced how they’re going to further improve our experience for PLCs by customizing Office 365 Groups to fit this PLC model even more easily.
Today, Microsoft is excited to announce the PLC Groups Preview—tailored to meet educator needs and overcome barriers to engagement. Office 365 Education users who are faculty can now create PLC groups, similar to any other Office 365 group, and access shared conversation spaces, file space, OneNote notebooks and calendars. PLC groups also integrate directly with Microsoft Planner, released in general availability with Office 365 earlier this month. Here is an example of how one of Microsoft’s early adopters, Omaha Public Schools, is using PLC groups with Office 365 Education:
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