- Just more than a year after its debut, Microsoft Classroom got some upgrades for the start of the 2016-17 school year in an effort to respond to educator feedback and remain competitive with Google Classroom.
- Ed Tech Magazine reports Microsoft Forms now gives teachers and students the power to create surveys, quizzes, questionnaires and registration forms, and OneNote includes greater shading and sketching color options with a stylus, as well as the “ink math assistant,” which can tell if a student is working on a math problem and help show the work that would lead to the correct solution.
- Through Skype in the Classroom, schools can now take virtual field trips, hosted by experts, by accessing pre-recorded forays into national parks, animal habitats and the ocean floor, among a growing list of destinations.
Google Classroom dominates schools, and while Microsoft alternative has an uphill battle to gain market share, it seems to be incorporating feedback from teachers in ways that will make its products more attractive for classrooms. When it comes to virtual field trips, Google is also just getting started with its “Expeditions.” The low-cost Google Cardboard allows students to get a look at sites they may never see in person using virtual reality.
The ink math assistant could be a powerful tool for teachers who struggle to offer problem-solving support to multiple students at once. Teachers, of course, will have to make sure the feature isn’t abused by students who want it to show them the right path instead of doing the work of figuring it out themselves.