Microsoft provides a platform with tools and applications designed for distance learning. Among these, we also find Teams
Computers, smartphones and other computing devices have now assumed a fundamental importance in every aspect of our lives. They allow us to communicate, work and play. And, of course, to study as well. Just take a quick trip around the web to find e-learning platforms of all kinds, allowing you to do online classes, video conferencing, collaborate on projects and much more.
In this scenario, Office 365 for Education is one of the most complete and versatile solutions available. As the name suggests, Microsoft's platform makes Office available for free, but that's not all. The schools that adhere to the service of the house of Redmond allow their students to be able to access without having to pay anything to an email box with 50 gigabytes of space available, 1 terabyte of space on the OneDrive cloud and dozens of other services designed specifically for distance learning.
Including access to Microsoft Teams, the collaborative platform that allows you to create "closed" groups within which to start group video calls and make online lessons at a distance.
Office 365 Education A1, what is it and what is it for
Office 365 Education A1 is the name with which it is identified the free plan of the productivity platform dedicated to the world of school. It is a complete and versatile e-learning product that allows you to create text documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, as well as to create "virtual classrooms" on messaging and collaboration platforms where you can hold real online classes or work on group projects in a free and autonomous way.
How to access Office 365 Education
To access Office 365 Education you must, first of all, have activated a free plan or subscribed to one of the two existing paid plans. Then you will need to have an email address "certified" by the school itself, so that the Microsoft platform can recognize the student as belonging to an accredited institution.
At this point the personal profile configuration procedure will begin: just follow the instructions that will appear on the screen and enter all the information required by the Microsoft educational-collaborative platform.
What Office 365 Education A1 offers
In its free version, Office 365 Education already offers most of the tools that students and teachers need to carry out their educational activities at a distance. Il pacchetto Office 365 Education A1, infatti, mette a disposizione le web app di Office aggiornate sempre all’ultima versione (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook e OneNote, accessibili all’indirizzo www.office.com), una casella di posta elettronica con 50 gigabyte di spazio d’archiviazione e 1 terabyte di spazio nel cloud Microsoft.
A questo si aggiunge una lunga lista di servizi pensati per la didattica a distanza e non solo. Fanno parte del piano gratuito:
- Microsoft Sway (per creare presentazioni e progetti multimediali);
- Microsoft Forms (per creare quiz a risposta multipla da somministrare agli studenti);
- Microsoft Stream (per fare lo streaming video in diretta di video archiviati sui server Microsoft);
- Microsoft Flow (per creare diagrammi e flussi di lavoro);
- Microsoft Yammer (social network “privato" all’interno del quale conversare e scambiare file multimediali)
Come già accennato, poi, c’è la possibilità di creare una “classe virtuale" su Microsoft Teams, piattaforma di messaggistica con strumenti e applicativi progettati ad hoc per migliorare la collaborazione tra studenti e insegnati.
Come fare lezione online con Microsoft Teams
Grazie a Teams, ad esempio, potranno essere creati dei gruppi di lavoro dove gli studenti possono confrontarsi e completare progetti collaborativi. Gli insegnanti, invece, potranno organizzare lezioni online a distanza, sfruttando la possibilità di avviare videochiamate di gruppo con un massimo di 250 partecipanti. Video lessons can also be recorded and stored in the cloud, so that absent students can easily catch up without having to ask the teacher to repeat concepts that have already been expressed.
During online lessons you can share your screen, activate a virtual whiteboard with which to explain more complex concepts; create and manage homework, class assignments and the online register.