Microsoft says it now has over 200 million education users, unveils new hardware to help schools

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Microsoft has announced that it now boasts more than 200 million teachers, students, and faculty leaders using Microsoft Education products with its video collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab), helping lead the way.

Although much of the focus regarding the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been around workplaces, students have also seen their daily lives impacted significantly, with many forced to learn remotely. 

Digital solutions like Teams have enabled students to remain connected to their teachers even when face-to-face learning has not been possible.

School support

In addition to digital solutions, access to appropriate hardware has also been a challenge for some students while learning remotely, with a recent survey finding that 61% of teachers felt better devices or better internet access were required to improve the remote learning experience.  

In order to address students’ needs, Microsoft announced a series of new Windows 10 devices at this year’s flagship education conference BettFest (opens in new tab). The devices range in price from $185 to $329 and represent the most affordable LTE-connected partner devices in the Microsoft portfolio.  

In addition, Microsoft also unveiled its Classroom Pen 2, which allows students to write and draw naturally on touchscreen devices. The Classroom Pen 2 has been given a recommended retail price of $19.99

“Last year proved that everything can change without warning. In education, the importance of personal connection was highlighted, the integration of technology was accelerated, and the role of teachers was amplified,” Barbara Holzapfel, vice president of Microsoft Education, commented (opens in new tab)

“It’s encouraging to see the dedication to moving learning forward, toward a future where all students have the opportunity, the support, and the tools to be creative, confident, and optimistic learners, realizing their full potential.”

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Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.