Learning Next

Crucial Moments for K-12 Education in the US - Preparing for what’s next in K-12 Education is more than buying a laptop and adopting a curriculum. It must involve careful consideration of the right device, the right tools, and the right outcomes to help all learners - whether students, educators, or administrators. The K-12 Blueprint team has created a collection of kits that explore the most common features of Microsoft and Google education offerings to evaluate which works best for educators and students. Each kit includes a white paper, abstract, infographic, and demo to provide multiple ways to understand this topic.

Download other language versions of each abstract and infographic.

Ensuring Video Meetings are Accessible for All Students

Increasingly, educators use video to provide or supplement instructional experiences. Common video meeting solutions, such as Microsoft Teams for Education*, Google Meet*, and Zoom* enable educators and students to meet for instructional purposes. Although all these tools offer some degree of accessibility for teachers and students, Microsoft Teams stands out as the most accessible platform that caters to the language, visual, physical, and cognitive needs of students and educators.

Empowering Students to Find and Evaluate Digital Resources with Confidence

Information literacy is an essential life skill in academic, personal, and professional settings. With the rise of misinformation, disinformation, and biased information, students must navigate resources with a critical eye to ensure that the results are credible, factual, and relevant. When faced with teaching information literacy skills to their students, educators often find it challenging to prioritize information literacy in their lessons due to time constraints and not knowing where to start. Educators can reduce these challenges and meet students’ needs by introducing students to on-demand support built into commonly used tools where their learning is already taking place. Ideally, information literacy solutions should be simple to use and provide valuable feedback for students and actionable data for educators. Search Coach from Microsoft provides learners with an unmatched level of coaching and real-time feedback support, which is essential for developing vital skills.

Accelerating Learning by Helping Students Get Ahead and Stay Ahead in Reading and Literacy

Educators often face challenges meeting each student’s unique needs due to barriers such as the amount of time needed to assess and diagnose each student. Digital literacy tools help bridge that gap by providing students with a choice of leveled reading material; empowering educators with rich, actionable data; and, most importantly, adapting to meet individual student’s learning needs and preferences. When equipped with the right resources, educators can help each student grow and improve their literacy skills. For students and educators alike, Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams for Education supplies an inclusive, holistic, and data-rich literacy instruction solution that can help all learners gain vital reading skills. 

Empowering Students to Be Agents of Their Own Learning

Each day teachers work tirelessly to prepare students for a future full of varied demands and challenges. In response to these challenges and opportunities, employers and educators have developed important skills-based programs to assist young people in gaining evergreen skills for the workplace of the future. Communication skills, including public speaking, are essential for career and workplace readiness. To become strong communicators, students must have multiple opportunities to practice while receiving meaningful feedback. Microsoft Speaker Coach provides real-time feedback in addition to an analytical report that can meaningfully improve a student’s presentation and speaking skills.

Inclusively Designed Digital Notetaking

Inclusive design allows all people—regardless of native language, ability, or needs—to participate fully in the world. In a K-12 classroom, inclusive design provides each student the tools and resources they need to engage with content, collaborate with their peers, process new ideas and skills, and express their knowledge. Students and teachers alike need simple-to-use tools that empower classroom learning. Available across platforms and devices, Microsoft OneNote Live Captions allows students to automatically generate captions of lessons into OneNote notebooks in real time.

Prioritizing and Supporting Student Well-being

Student and staff physical and mental health has been a growing concern over the past two years, and the 2022-2023 school will most likely see those concerns in greater focus. In order to address this issue, schools have been implementing social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, training, and other solutions.

Making Learning More Accessible

Accessible solutions are not merely a nice-to-have option, but are, in fact, a must have component of any technology solution. As more and more educators have flipped their instructional approaches to meet the needs of blended and hybrid learning, the result has been an increase in the amount of teacher-generated content as well as a greater reliance on open education resources, or OERs. Regardless of the source of the curriculum – a traditional publisher, OER, or educator-created – schools need to ensure all these meet compliance regulations and are accessible to all learners.

Supporting Reading and Literacy

No one person engages in learning the same way. Schools are made up of diverse communities of students, all of whom deserve access to an equitable education – including best-in-class learning solutions and technologies. Some students have specialized learning needs and benefit from accessible options like translation in a home language or hearing a text read at a slower speed. When learning environments are created to address and support the unique needs of all students, equity becomes possible. Tools that give students an easy way to have texts of all kinds read aloud and offer customizable reading preferences can help limit reading distractions and help readers focus.

Leveraging Technology for non-Native English Speakers

Since 2000, immigration patterns in the U.S. have shifted to include many more hubs around the country as opposed to several high concentrations, which has led to schools becoming increasingly diverse and serving more bilingual students. Consequently, the ability to effectively translate learning resources, both written and spoken, is a core tenant of the modern classroom. English Language Learners deserve the same right to a great education as their English-speaking peers. They deserve access to a rich curriculum and validation of their home language and culture. They deserve the best we have to give them.

Accelerating Learning with Workplace Math Skills

Math Assistant in Microsoft OneNote empowers students to access and engage with mathematical content and concepts in more personalized ways. With built-in process explanations and Immersive Reader, students can access the instruction that they need when they need it and in their preferred format and language. Math Assistant offers a more comprehensive and accessible solution that helps students become expert learners.