Technology empowers educators and inspires students to achieve more. It opens the door to a classroom and world full of possibilities and learning infused with curiosity. Innovative educators are seeking resources that can spark this curiosity and imagination, drive discovery and creation, and foster sharing and collaboration.
Thanks to passionate students and visionary educators around the world we are finding Minecraft to be one of these resources in classrooms. In response to the excitement from educators I’m excited to introduce our new Minecraft destination designed to provide educators with a forum to share their ideas and receive inspiration. We expect this new community to help educators get inspired about what’s possible with Minecraft in education.
I’m personally excited by how educators are incorporating Minecraft into their curriculum and what their students are picking up in this immersive learning environment. Elementary students in Seattle are learning foundational math skills by calculating perimeter, area and volume in Minecraft during a Saturday math program. Middle school students in Los Angeles are learning about major world religions as part of their humanities class. They are visiting sacred sites in their city, researching international sites and then building them in Minecraft.
Alfriston College students in New Zealand are partnering with Auckland War Memorial Museum to learn the history of the New Zealand people who served in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign by re-creating the landscape in Minecraft, block by block. Middle schoolers are learning the building blocks of computer science in an online Minecraft coding camp. Elementary students in Scotland are learning about city planning and engineering by reimaging, redesigning and then building in Minecraft what they think Dundee waterfront should look like.
Also today we’re introducing three more new resources that provide more collaboration in the classroom and immersive learning experience and complement our existing offerings, free resources and professional development. Two new free services are in Preview and coming soon to Office 365 Education – Microsoft Class Dashboard and Microsoft School Information Sync. These services make communication and collaboration easier between teachers and students, and simplify connections between systems.
Edmodo, a global education network, announced that they will integrate Office 365 into the Edmodo platform. Now, when teachers and students create and collaborate in Edmodo, they will do so using Office 365’s suite of productivity tools including the award winning OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel and Word. Sway and Office Mix, tools that both students and educators love, will also seamlessly blend into the Edmodo experience. OneDrive integration will let users store and share their work without having to leave Edmodo. We’re proud to work with all of our many partners who are working tirelessly to develop and provide technology that share our vision to support teachers and inspire students.
And lastly, to improve teacher-student interaction and increase the flow of information in the classroom, Microsoft’s Bing Pulse is announcing the availability of Pulse in the classroom – a real-time student engagement and classroom insights platform.
At Microsoft, we do not believe that technology is the solution to every need, but we do know – and have seen first-hand that when educators are supported, and provided access to technology, the possibilities for them to create, innovate and cultivate curiosity with their students are endless. Educators will forever be the heroes of the classroom, and Microsoft will continue to support them on their learning journey with the best tools, resources and leadership.
Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft