On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, essentially bringing the life of the operating system to an end after a decade. For IT directors at K–12 schools currently running the OS, now is the time to evaluate options for next steps.
While some may choose to continue using Windows 7 without support for the time being, this is hardly an ideal solution. With no further security or performance updates available, choosing to stay the course will only delay the inevitable.
Changing operating systems can be difficult enough without switching providers. That’s why Microsoft is working with schools and school districts around the country to ease the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for Education.
Through Windows 10, educators can deliver a unique experience to students, as well as enhance the educational experience and encourage collaboration.
Personalize Learning with Windows 10 Education Tools
With Windows 10, Microsoft provides a range of technologies to help educators find the right experience for their students.
For example, students can interact with their laptops and PCs via voice, pen, touch screen and gesture to find a learning style that fits them best.
Windows 10 devices can be equipped with a wide variety of assistive technology as well. Teachers can easily create inclusive environments to help each student overcome challenges and succeed in the classroom.
Provide Feedback Seamlessly with Windows 10 Devices
Feedback is an essential part of the learning process, allowing teachers to offer encouragement or steer students in the right direction. However, this process often gets lost in the shuffle as teachers juggle their many tasks throughout the day.
Windows 10 features several productivity tools designed to reduce teachers’ daily workloads.
This gives them more time to teach and to provide students of all academic abilities the kind of thoughtful, thought-provoking and personalized feedback that is so crucial to the learning process.
Expand the Classroom with Mixed Reality Tools
Studies show teachers experienced a 35 percent increase in student engagement and retention when using immersive and 3D technologies.
In light of these of these trends, Windows 10’s mixed reality capabilities allow teachers and students to dig more deeply into subjects.
Mixed reality is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments where physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real time.
Microsoft Paint 3D, headsets and mixed reality apps are just three of the tools Windows 10 offers to immerse students in more engaging learning.
For schools that use its mixed reality platform, Microsoft offers a 25-volume library of standards-based content on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Windows 10 Devices Make Collaboration Efficient
Learning to collaborate is a valuable skill that will help students both professionally and personally.
Several Windows 10 tools, such as OneNote, allow students to work together easily. Students and teachers can work on the same document simultaneously, whether they’re sitting together, down the hall from each other or in entirely different countries.
With Skype, students can participate in virtual field trips to places they might otherwise not have the opportunity to visit, such as the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Smart Pens Improve Student Performance
With student testing done via computer today, students may not be developing some of the skills that can help them succeed.
For example, in researching her book The Design of Future Educational Interfaces, Sharon Oviatt found that students who diagram their problem-solving with a pen can improve science test scores by 25 to 36 percent versus those who use only a keyboard.
Recognizing the important role of physical drawing in the learning process, Microsoft Classroom Pen and other Windows 10-enabled smart pens allow students to take advantage of this benefit on their devices to enhance their learning experiences and improve their test results.
While it may not be top of mind for schools and school districts currently using Windows 7, now is the time to make a change.
Among many options, Windows 10 offers the tools, technologies and personalization to help students and teachers succeed. And with support from Microsoft, IT departments can ease the transition to a new operating system.