MSFT Today 2019–01–15 : Microsoft 365 Education

Brad Groux
Jan 16 · 10 min read
MSFT Today 2019–01–15 : Microsoft 365 Education — Subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or Google

In this episode of the Microsoft Today Podcast, we discuss Microsoft 365 Education, Office 365 Education, Minecraft Education Edition, Skype in the Classroom, Skype Translator, OneNote Class Notebooks, FlipGrid, Intune for Education, Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE), Microsoft 365 Education Hardware, Microsoft Store STEM Saturdays, Government Grants and Funding, Microsoft Inclusive Education and much more.

Bill Gates

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have made improving K-12 education in the United States a priority mission.

Khan Academy

Is a non-profit educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students

  • Received significant funding early on from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has received more than $9 million in funding from the foundation overall
  • Microsoft has developed and released Khan Academy Universal Windows Platform Apps
  • Bill Gates on Khan Academy (2010)

Microsoft Imagine (Formerly DreamSpark)

Dream it. Build it. Live it. Enter your tech project in the 2019 Imagine Cup for the chance to bring your innovation to life and win up to USD100,000!

Microsoft Small Basic

Is a programming language and associated IDE for Microsoft’s simplified variant of the BASIC programming language, intended as an easy programming language for beginners

  • Released in October of 2008

Kodu and Kodu Game Lab

Kodu is a visual programming tool (like Scratch) which builds on ideas begun with Logo in the 1960s, and Kodu Game Lab is the integrated development environment (IDE) by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs

  • First released in June 2009
  • Still actively updated

Project Spark

Was a game platform build on the foundations of Kodu, that allowed players to create game using the platform and programming language and share them with others


Microsoft MakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels

They have partnered with many different companies and brands to create fun and engaging coding tracks for students, including:

  • micro:bit — a tiny programmable computer, designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun!
  • Circuit Playground Express — An introduction to electronics and programming from adafruit
  • Lego Education (Mindstorms) — Allows one to program the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 using Blocks or JavaScript
  • Cue the Robot — Provides a transition from block-based code to state-machine and text-based programming
  • Grove Zero — Are color-coded and magnetic electronic modules that teaches students about programming, electronics, design thinking, and logics
  • Chibi Chip — The Love to Code (LTC) system is designed for beginners of all ages and backgrounds to try out programming without the frustration of installing software


Microsoft Stores

Microsoft provides many learning and education initiatives through their retail stores

STEM Saturdays — Teachers, students, and parents are welcome to drop by their local Microsoft Store to participate in these learning experiences. Projects are designed for 11- to 14-year-old students but can easily be completed by younger students with parental support

  • Intro to Robotics with Ohbot
  • Free new coding workshops
  • Free Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit workshop
  • How Do Sharks Swim? (build a joystick)
  • Make hustle happen

Start your own business or champion a cause — Learn from NFL heroes how to follow your passion, start your own business, and create positive change in your community. In this free two-hour workshop, students learn how NFL players “make hustle happen” through side businesses and collaboration to serve a cause they care about. Participants will brainstorm ideas for their own side hustle or a supporting a cause, then draft an action plan using Windows 10. At the end of the workshop, students present their action plans and get the inspiration they need to execute next steps


FlipGrid is an award winning platform that empowers student voice. Students capture short videos to share ideas and experiences with their classmates on the topics you define



  • Give all students a voice
  • Provide instant feedback and interaction for all, including educators
  • 100% Free
  • Integration — Can be integrated directly with team sites, learning sites, or LMS solutions… it can even be embedded in OneNote!

Goals of Microsoft 365 Education

To empower educators to unlock creativity, promote teamwork, and provide a simple and safe experience in a single, affordable solution built for education

Office 365 Education

OneNote — Helps students learn to be organized, collaborate and be proactive with their learning — while also providing the teachers with a single pane of glass for review

  • Class Notebook Creator — Lets a teacher quickly set up a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, all within one powerful notebook
  • Collaboration Space — Allows teachers and students to edit content
  • Content Library — Allows teachers to edit content, but students to only view or copy content (such as for tests or other course materials)
  • Student Notebooks — Provide a private space for students to work, that can be viewed by only the teacher and the student
  • By default, contains a Handouts, Class Notes, Homework and Quizzes sections
  • Class Notebook Sharing — Enables teachers to collaborate and share with other educators

Skype in the Classroom — Creating Global Citizens is “live learning” personified

“My students became lifelong learners because they understood the power of using learning to affect real change in the world.” (Source)

Microsoft Teams — The classroom experience in Teams empowers the generation that embraces technology as their first language, encouraging their developing voices and helping educators implement learning strategies for their future success

  • Teams is all about collaboration
  • Provides an instant-feedback platform for students
  • Empowers teachers and educators to collaborate with one another as well, so that they can better teach and inspire their students
  • Teachers don’t always have all of the right answers, so it is great to have an instant collaboration platform for when the need arises
  • Now has immersive reader
  • Can enable teachers to “speed grade” via the assignments tab
  • Rubic Grading in Teams

Microsoft is not resting even when they’ve lost a class, school or district to Google’s platform, they are still pushing the adoption of free technologies like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Translator, OneNote and FlipGrid — even if they don’t own the platform space.


Microsoft Translator for EducationCommunicate with Students

  • In the US, the number of ESL learners has more than doubled since 1990
  • As the teacher speaks, translator provides real-time translated audio and transcripts for the student
  • With the Translator PowerPoint add-in, Translator can provide more accurate translations
  • Translator’s transcripts also provide notes that can be used by all students

Translator for Real-Time Sub-titles — Enables the Deaf


  • Microsoft has partnered with to create the code training using Minecraft for grades 2 and up at
  • Minecraft also has its own MakeCode site at
  • Microsoft has also developed the Minecraft Education Edition and it’s supporting curriculum as part of Microsoft 365 for Education

Intune for Education

Microsoft Intune for Education: a new cloud-based application and device management service that is built on the proven Microsoft Intune service, offering easy setup and management in shared learning environments

  • Integrates directly into Microsoft School Data Sync
  • Pulls in users, teachers, and students automatically
  • Device deployment, management and security
  • Has over 150 configurable settings
  • Includes an auto-enrollment feature
  • Mass deployment of settings by USB key
  • Windows Store for Business integration for Application Deployment
  • With Windows 10, all settings follow the user


Device Management — Azure Active Directory, Group Policy and other management tools

Training — No cost educator training across the entire Microsoft 365 Education product line

Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIEs) Programs — Are designed to help educators move along a pathway from those who are just beginning to integrate Microsoft tools into the classroom to becoming leaders of innovation in education

  • Microsoft Innovative Educator
  • Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer
  • Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
  • Microsoft Innovator Educator Community Is a place to discover, research, share and collaborate with other like-minded innovative educators
  • There are more than 4,000 Microsoft Innovative Educators across the globe


Affordable notebooks starting at just $189

  • $189 Lenovo 100e
  • $219 HP Stream 11 Pro G4 EE
  • $229 Dell Latitude 3180
  • $279 Asus VivoBook W202

Dynamic 2:1s starting as low as $299

  • $299 Acer TravelMate Spin B1
  • $299 Dell Latitude 3189
  • $329 Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP401
  • $380 Surface Go


All-in-one Minecraft cart — Teach STEM with Minecraft: Education Edition to help students develop critical and computational thinking skills. Engage students across all STEM subjects and flex their creative problem-solving skills in an open-world game.

  • Minecraft: Education Edition licenses and everything you need to get started
  • Microsoft 365 Education, which includes Intune for Education and Office 365 Education with Teams and OneNote
  • Bundled with device hardware
  • Bretford CUBE Cart device storage that looks like a Minecraft “Grass” block


  • Grants — Microsoft can assist with obtaining grant funding for STEM education programs
  • The federal government issues more than $500 billion in grants each year through its 26 grant-making agencies
  • Most states also offer additional grant money, or provide “passed-through” funding from specific federal agencies
  • Private foundations and corporations provide more than $50 billion each year in funding

Top Grant Programs for STEM Education

STEM+ Computing Partnerships Grant Program (STEM+C) — Seeks to build evidence to inform development of new pedagogical strategies and pedagogical environments for integrating computing and computational thinking in the teaching and learning of pre-K-12 STEM

Computer Science for All Grant Program (CS for ALL) — Hopes to provide all U.S. students the opportunity to participate in computer science and computational thinking education in pre-K through high school

Navy & Marine Corps STEM Education & Workforce Development Grant Program (ONR STEM) — Seeks proposals for developing innovative solutions that directly support the development and maintenance of a diverse, world-class STEM workforce. The goal of any proposed effort should be to provide “game changing” solutions to establish and strengthen the pipeline of students in grade 9 or higher interested in civilian or enlisted Navy & Marine Corps related workforce opportunities. The proposed STEM learning, therefore, must relate to domains of naval relevance or strategic value

21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program (21st CCLC) — Supports the creation of community learning centers that provide extended learning time opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. Centers provide a range of high-quality services to support student learning and development, including: tutoring and mentoring, homework help, academic enrichment (such as hands-on science or technology programs), character education, drug and violence prevention, family engagement, community service opportunities, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities

Education Innovation & Research Grant Program (EIR) — Provides funding to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve student achievement and attainment for high-need students, and rigorously evaluate such innovations. Recent priorities have included: supporting high need students, improving school climate; promoting diversity; increasing post-secondary preparedness; improving the effectiveness of principals; and re-engaging disconnected youth

Microsoft Learning Tools Availability

Deployment Guide:

Microsoft prides itself for providing their learning tools and platforms to students from all skill, education, cognitive and accessibility levels… inclusive learning for all students. This isn’t something new for Microsoft, rather it is something Microsoft and Microsoft Research have been working on and developing for decades. From to text speech, eye tracking technologies, Kinect breakthroughs, and working with the likes of the late, great Professor Stephen Hawking and the SwiftKey team, to working with Steve Gleason on his fight against ALS, while also working with thousands of disabled gamers to develop the Xbox Adaptive Controller — empowering those with disabilities is ingrained within their DNA.


MSFT Today 2019–01–15 : Microsoft 365 Education

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Brad Groux

Written by

Microsoft enterprise expert who after 20 years has decided to transition from Windows Platform to Azure DevOps, Serverless, Microservices & the Power Platform.

Microsoft Today

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