Encouraging and empowering teamwork in Education with Microsoft Collaborative Tools
When we were children, collaborating on a school project usually meant gathering around a piece of paper, pencils in hand, tongues probably sticking out of the corner of our mouths, wishing that we’d been partnered with one of the brainy kids. Someone would eventually be nominated as ‘writer’, someone else as ‘drawer’, and then the most opinionated would hold court, ordaining proceedings in the vein of a miniature dictator. Inter-school collaboration was rare and fragmented. International collaboration almost unheard of.
The developing technology of the last 20 years has brought about no end of changes to the ways in which schools operate, but few provide a more startling contrast than the means of collaboration. Continuing our run down of Microsoft’s educational offerings, today we’re looking at the ways in which our favourite manufacturer’s educational app store could help make teamwork easier in an educational environment, especially when working on a Microsoft Surface.
Creative Collaboration Spaces
GoToMeeting – Whether homework projects, interschool ventures, or PTA gatherings from afar, GoToMeeting provides a free-to-use virtual conferencing suite, where invited groups can meet, share documents and converse – either using a video or audio link. Available in English and Chinese languages, the system in safe and secure, keeping children away from unwelcome third parties, and sensitive information away from potentially prying eyes and ears.
Microsoft Remote Desktop – One of the greatest fears of setting children off to work online is that you won’t always know what they are doing; while inappropriate websites and materials can be blocked, there remain concerns over both cheating and surreptitious bullying. Microsoft Remote Desktop is the teacher’s ultimate tool for keeping an eye on their pupil’s activity. Enabling the remote access of multiple desktops, the app not only allows users to access their personal data from a distance – for when you’ve left an important file on your home PC – but to observe the activity on all linked systems, so if there’s a lot of giggling on table five teachers can check to see what the little darlings in their charge are up to.
Splashtop Business Remote also offers similar solutions.
ShareFile – The name kind of gives this one away, but we’ll elaborate anyway. If you’re looking for a means to transfer, synch and store files quickly and securely, then this free to use app could be right up your digital street.
Project Timeline – A real multi-tasker, Project Timeline can be used in numerous circumstances, whether for a single project being worked upon by multiple parties, or for keeping track of multiple projects for one individual. It could even help with a revision time table. Helping users to make the most of their time, the app allows at-a-glance prioritisation. With tools to plan, organise and allocate tasks, invite co-collaborators, and synch to multiple devices, this free to use software makes missed deadlines a thing of the past.
BoardPad – With hacking a growing problem, handling sensitive data online can bring concerns. Using world class encryption, with a suite of editing tools, BoardPad provides a highly secure space to share work and collaborate from a distance.
It might not be up there with the STEM subjects, but learning to collaborate is a genuine life skill that all kids need to master and all teachers know the importance of. People always used to say that using a computer was isolating and antisocial, that students should be outside, working face-to-face. With Microsoft Surface and the MS Education Store working together from a distance is virtually the same as working side by side.
And what better way to start selling Surface to your Education partners than to save yourself money while doing so? Take a look at the latest Surface Pro bundle promotions exclusively available to Education partners.