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Interviewed by Anthony Salcito, VP Education for Microsoft Corporation’s Worldwide Public Sector

After leading a session on Deep Learning Pedagogies at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Dubai, Meenakshi sat down for a deep chat with Anthony Salcito about what she has she been doing to transform the entire learning process.

Whether your school is learning remotely, adopting hybrid learning, or adjusting plans as you go, you won’t want to miss these new features—all designed with the current education systems in mind. For example, are you looking for help nurturing social and emotional wellbeing outside of the classroom, or need information on deploying and managing Teams for your school or changing up your Teams assignments? Check out new features organized by these topics, plus additional ones. You’ll want to bookmark this blog!

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In the spring semester of 2020, schools were forced to pivot to remote learning due to COVID-19. The questions that arose also prompted system and school leaders to reexamine education in broader terms.
Barbara Holzapfel, VP Microsoft Education, addresses some of the shifts that are happening right now. She also highlights key findings in a new whitepaper titled, “Disruptions and Opportunities: Lessons from the spring of 2020.” Have a look at this blog, which includes links to additional remote and hybrid learning resources.

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Schools around the world made an abrupt turn educational delivery in the spring of 2020. As with any major disruption and change—there’s a lot to be learned.

This report details the research findings of nearly 800 educators and IT professionals working in education, about the positives and negatives of the shift to remote learning in spring of 2020. It explores topics such as the benefits of being “unwittingly prepared,” disadvantages of being underserved, critical lessons learned, and managing the load for educators, students, and IT professionals.

Have a look.

View: Disruptions and opportunities in remote learning

How can we take what we’ve learned about the rapid response to remote learning and apply those insights to our current models as well as future schooling?

In this webinar, Microsoft Education VP Barbara Holzapfel leads a discussion with Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn, Global Directors for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. Both Fullan and Quinn believe that the disruption and reopening of schools sets a ripe environment for meaningful discussions and action to reimagine the future of learning. Listen to this thought-provoking webinar.

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As the global crisis of COVID-19 begins to abate, Microsoft is working closely with education systems around the world to support transitions to the next stage of schooling. This document outlines how the new technologies implemented during the crisis can continue to be used to support transitions back to school and to improve and reimagine schooling going forward. Most countries will continue working towards full connectivity distance learning readiness during the transition back to school to ensure all students have connected devices for seamless learning. These efforts will ensure all students can participate in distance and hybrid learning should school closure be necessary again.

View: Leadership and policy guide for system leaders

Serving almost 400 schools and over 345,000 students, this US school district has a significant task–even more so during a health pandemic that necessitates remote learning. Fortunately, the district has been ready for some time.

Read this story to learn how the district’s digital initiative “allowed the county to integrate increasing amounts of technology methodically and effectively into the classroom” which ultimately gave educators and students access to and experience with technology before the pandemic required it.

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Due to the global pandemic, nearly every school district has at least dabbled in distance learning. This document shares key learnings and examples of districts’ responses last year when the health crisis necessitated remote teaching and learning. Use this implementation guide to inform planning for the next steps—what does future remote and hybrid learning look like? What should future models of learning incorporate?

View: Resilience and transformation for the future of learning

One of the aspects students and teachers miss about remote learning is being together in the same space. With Microsoft Teams Large Gallery and Together Mode, everyone appears together—virtual high fives are encouraged!

Watch this short video for a quick tip on how to use these new features—and get your students together again.

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