As much as we enjoy tearing open a cozy couple of socks or peeling back the paper on a snazzy blender (you shouldn’t have!), we’re of the firm belief that educators reign supreme when it comes to giving the perfect gift. For them, giving is an almost year-round thing, and the results are useful for the rest of your life. In our last episode of What’s New in EDU for 2018, we look back on a year’s worth of tools that supercharged learning and the amazing educators who brought it all to life for students around the world.
If that’s you: Thank you! Over the past year we’ve heard from thousands of teachers, districts, students – even parents – who are excited to step foot in today’s classroom and step up the possibilities available to their students in the future. With your feedback, we’ve been able to keep tailoring tools for educators want to boost and protect student voice, elevating it above the din of our demanding lives. We’ve seen that when students feel heard, feel seen, and feel acknowledged, their motivation to learn grows substantially.
Our passion for empowering all students went big this year, with our CEO Satya Nadella announcing our partnership with the Made by Dyslexia initiative. Together, we’ve rolled out new features to make learning more accessible for the 700 million students living with dyslexia.
Our Learning Tools also got major updates, like the Picture Dictionary, and continued to grow alongside the students who rely on them for reading every day.
We also saw another brilliant Hack the Classroom event, where changemakers in education and the passionate innovators in student-centered learning invented new ways to help students build future-ready skills and ignite their interest in STEM learning.
Computer science got a bit of a makeover in 2018 as well – as you’ll see in the video above, there’s a reason “the world doesn’t need any more computer scientists,” with educators expanding the subject to include all different kinds of creative projects, passions and people.
You might also remember catching #FlipgridFever this year. We were happy to announce that Flipgrid joined the Microsoft family, helping recast the role of video in the classroom, from a passive experience to a tool that empowers and amplifies every student’s voice. We also kicked off our You Can series of Tips (You Can catch up on all of them here).
And we can’t forget Minecraft: Education Edition’s year of cool coding updates: We announced the new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial, Voyage Aquatic, where students use their creativity and problem solving skills to explore and build underwater worlds with code. We also expanded coding possibilities in Minecraft: Education Edition with the new Code Builder update. If you’re looking forward to having some time off during the holidays, you can download a free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition now and practice coding at home!
Finally, let’s squeeze in one more thank you to all you hard-working educators. You’re changing the world, inspiring us constantly and always pushing us to think of new ways to help you write those student success stories. From inclusivity to STEM, to the addition of new tools like Flipgrid into the Microsoft family, it was an amazing year.
We’re primed and ready for next year – and beyond!