On June 8 2018, in Trzebnica, Poland, Microsoft and Acer organised a conference titled ‘The Small-Town School in the Microsoft and Acer Cloud’. Its aim was to show the results of a project run jointly by the two companies in the field of education.
What was this project about? It started in February 2018, when selected schools were provided with Acer laptops working on the Windows 10 for Education operating system, featuring dedicated software for schools and training for teaching staff.
The schools prepared some materials for the Microsoft Educator Community platform, a free platform for educators from around the world offering on-line courses, educational resources and proposals for projects that can be conducted by schools.
A project born from the collaboration among Microsoft and Acer
Four schools participated in the project: Primary School no. 1 in Trzebnica, Primary School no. 2 in Trzebnica, Primary School no. 3 in Trzebnica, and the Primary School in Ujeździec Wielki. Each school nominated five teachers, who took part in training sessions to apply solutions developed by Microsoft and Acer. What were these solutions about? They were dedicated educational systems implemented with Acer devices running Windows 10 for Education, Intune for Education, Office 365, and Minecraft: Education Edition.
At the end of the training sessions, the involved teachers shared their newly-acquired knowledge with other educators in their respective schools.
Applications and systems developed for education by Windows
Let’s know more about the applications developed by Windows used during the project.
Windows for Education is a version of the popular operating system designed specially to meet the needs of schools and education. Thanks to the implementation of additional functions in the OS, all versions of software used within the ‘School in the Microsoft and Acer Cloud’ achieve seamless compatibility.
Intune for Education is a cloud service facilitating mobile device management in schools, as well as management of user access rights to data and applications, delivering robust security in the school ICT ecosystem.
Minecraft: Education Edition is a version of the popular Minecraft game dedicated to schools. It provides a perfect picture of modern approaches to education facilitating the development of both teamwork skills and creativity in pupils. It represents a powerful combination of fun and learning.
All schools participating in the project were able to take advantage of Office 365 for education at no charge, and support was provided by a dedicated Microsoft team. The free-of-charge Office 365 A1 allowed teachers, administrators, and pupils to use functions such as a school e-mail system, a OneDisk virtual drive with 1TB of space for every user, and modern tools for communication and cooperation to enjoy educational anywhere, any time, and on any device. Among these tools were Microsoft Teams, OneNote Class Notebook, and Forms.
A daily educational routine overturned from Microsoft and Acer solutions
The development of School in the Cloud depends to a large extent on the availability of compatible devices with the programme’s requirements. In this year’s edition of the project, these devices were Acer TravelMate B118-RN laptops – light and powerful portable computers running on the Windows 10 for Education OS. These machines are equipped with an 11.6” matte screen, making them convenient, light, and comfortable, both for individual use and during group activities. In addition, each model includes the intuitive Active Stylus, ensuring that the functionality of the touch screen in the TravelMate B118-RN is used to the maximum degree.
The project kicked off in February 2018, and the objective was to modernise education by introducing cutting-edge solutions developed by Microsoft and Acer into the daily educational routines of children and youngsters. Dedicated software and comfortable devices in the educational environment are key to growing the potential held by thousands of young people. Enhanced technological resources mean that pupils have far more opportunities to learn in a form that captures their interest and meets their developmental needs. Teachers benefit by receiving a full toolbox they can use to construct engaging lessons, as well as easing the task of handling paperwork and cooperating with other educators and administration. Schools that take advantage of modern technology are more attractive to both pupils and their parents.