Kathmandu, May 1st, 2020
Microsoft’s Ideal Solution for Digital Learning and Teaching. The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to adopt alternatives for learning and working. With the opening of schools and colleges still uncertain, it seemed unacceptable to stay put and wait for the crisis to pass. Thus, almost all educational institutes have started digital classrooms with or without proper infrastructure or preparation.
As a crisis also generates opportunities, Microsoft is coming forward with what it claims to be an ideal solution for digital learning and teaching. Most schools and colleges are still struggling to adopt online education, while others are struggling with the platforms they are using.
Microsoft has several products that facilitate digital learning and teaching such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Azure, and more. These powerful tools support remote learning through digital classrooms.
Deependra Bajracharya, Business Development Manager at Microsoft says, “Microsoft has a complete distance learning ecosystem. In Nepal, we have around 250 schools/colleges operating on this. The best example is Nepal Open University.”
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A Complete Ecosystem of Digital Classroom
The solution from Microsoft provides users with a dynamic digital classroom experience through collaboration and communication tools.
Microsoft claims that the ideal scenario looks like this:
Now, according to Deependra Bajracharya, we can start with Moodle on Azure as the learning management process. Similarly, we can use Azure for research and development.
Prashant Dhewaju, who oversees the Office 365 community says, “The implementation of this distance learning solution in Nepal Open University has set a benchmark in the context of Nepal. I believe most schools and colleges didn’t feel the need for this solution due to the continuity of regular physical classes. However, due to the lockdown, the scenario has completely changed.”
What do Educational Institutes get?
There are a few applications and services for students that are available for free. After a school or college approaches for the solution, there are certain criteria to validate.
Microsoft MVP – Prashant says ” Any education institution with a valid domain such as edu.np is eligible for this program.”
Office 365 and Microsoft Teams are some of the tools that the institutes will get for free if they are validated. So, the team of Microsoft is responsible for integrating the applications and providing guidance to use it.
Like Microsoft Teams, there are other parts or tools of Office 365. So, educational institutes will get individual emails for teachers and students with 50 GB of Mailbox size including 1TB storage in OneDrive with few applications for students.
List of applications that students will be getting.
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Why Microsoft’s Ideal Solution for Digital Education?
For starters, Microsoft 365 or Office 365 is entirely could-based. This means that you have the ability to access it from anywhere if you have an internet connection. For teachers and students at home due to lockdown, they won’t have to install any additional software to access it.
Why not get to know more from an expert? Here’s what Prashant Dhewaju says:
“The first and most important thing is the collaboration between teachers and students. Other tools are efficient and easy to use as well. But, why I would incline towards Microsoft Teams and Office 365 is because it has an excellent content called ‘Collaboration’.
From my experience using other tools, we need to generate new sessions every next time we use it. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams will notify each student after the sessions are scheduled. It gives the feel of an actual classroom with such features.
The second thing is productivity. Microsoft’s solution maximizes productivity with assignment management, availability of recorded class sessions, and teaching materials. So, even if a student misses a class for some reason, they can learn by themselves by watching the recorded session.
Finally, the third upper-hand Microsoft has is its remarkable security. All of us have heard about the security vulnerabilities in some video conferencing or e-learning applications. When it comes to security, Microsoft Teams is quite superior as it has been providing solutions to government-level organizations.”
Implementation of Microsoft Teams
Deependra Bajracharya confirmed that over 250 schools and colleges are already operating on Microsoft’s distance learning solution. In a recent interview with ICTFrame, he hinted at the addition of more educational institutions soon.
It seems like the number is growing every day and here’s proof:
Alok Pandey, MVP (Visual Studio and Development Technologies) at Microsoft, posted this on his Facebook.
One thing is for sure! Microsoft Teams and Office 365 are indeed reliable platforms when it comes to brand reputation and security.