As the second half of the academic year gets underway, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to share new information about its student user base, as well as its vision for the future of education technology (opens in new tab).
In a recent blog post, Barbara Holzapfel, Microsoft VP for Education, said that more than 200 million students, faculty, institutional leaders and teachers are actively using Microsoft Education products. She added that Microsoft Teams serves as the central hub, helping education professional engage students in remote and hybrid learning.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced education institutions (opens in new tab) into a remote and hybrid learning mode; many of them were faced with such a scenario for the first time. Some students struggled to adapt to the new normal and, in many cases, were limited by the lack of available technology.
Microsoft says it wants to address this issue by offering new software and hardware at affordable prices. To that end, the company announced Microsoft Teams app Reflect, designed to help educators “deepen the critical student/teacher relationship and help develop social emotional skills by checking in with individual students”.
It also announced an updated Microsoft Classroom Pen, which has all the same features as the previous version, but comes at a discounted price of $19.99.
Finally, Microsoft unveiled an expanded portfolio of new Windows 10 devices for the upcoming school year, many of which come with LTE connectivity.