The following post is from the Windows Team, and is also featured on the main Microsoft in Education blog.
As teachers are returning to their classrooms, we want to help make this the best year yet! Here are some simple tips and tricks on how the new features in Windows 10 (free to upgrade) save time for teachers and make learning more fun for students. For more extensive training on using Windows 10 in the classroom, check out our Quick Tip videos.
1. Annotate in Microsoft Edge to easily plan and teach lessons
With the “Make a Web Note” feature (desktop experience only), you can easily write and draw on your web browser and save images, not only for your own reference, but to share with your students. Microsoft Edge is also a great tool for teaching lessons–just as you would annotate on slides and overheads before, now the Internet is at your fingertips (literally!). This tool is also great for students wishing to make notes while doing research or working on a project
2. Read without distraction with the Reading View in Edge
Bring what you want to see front and center. For a clean and simple reading experience, click ” Reading View” in Microsoft Edge. This feature minimizes distractions and ads when your students are reading on the web. You can also add articles for future reading to the “Reading List.”
3. Get things done faster with Cortana*, your clever new personal assistant
Let us make your life easier. Cortana helps you set reminders, manage your calendar, do math, and find documents and resources easily from your own computer or the web, all with one search. She can even tell jokes! To get started, simply ask a question in the search box (type or speak).
4. Snap windows to corners for easy multitasking (Windows key + arrow key)
Multitasking has a new best friend: Snap Assist ( + left/right arrow). Snap Assist lets students work simultaneously on four windows easily, side by side. Making a PowerPoint presentation with info from a Word doc and photos? Taking notes in OneNote from your Microsoft Edge browser? Easy.
5. Set up spoken reminders to keep track of tasks and events
Ever felt like you have a million to-dos in just one day? Next time this happens, hit the mic icon in the search bar and Cortana* can help. For example, you can say, “Remind me to set up parent-teacher conferences next week.” Cortana will feed that information into the calendar, and email apps will send you a reminder at just the right time.
6. Keep track of your day, and network, from the Action Center
A simple swipe from the right of your screen will bring up the Action Center, giving you a cumulative view of your emails, Twitter alerts, and security and maintenance updates — allowing you to manage them or take action right away from that screen. Customize the four bottom tiles through “Notifications and Actions” in Settings and choose what’s most important for easy access — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, quiet hours, tablet mode, brightness, etc.
7. Organise different workspaces with multiple desktops
Whether you need them to separate different classes, divide your personal and professional work, or just to keep your desktop less cluttered, you can easily create multiple desktops by selecting the Task View Button (two overlapping rectangles) on the bottom taskbar, or by pressing Windows Key + Tab and selecting “New Desktop.”
8. Leverage new features in the exclusive universal Twitter app to stay connected
Staying connected with your Professional Learning Network is easier than ever with the new universal Twitter app, exclusive to Windows 10. New features include:
Twitter Live Tiles
Multiple photo Tweets – upload up to four photos per Tweet
Share photos privately in Direct Messages
9. Transition between PC and Tablet mode seamlessly with Continuum
Windows 10 is truly the platform you will never outgrow. Students and teachers have the choice of running in desktop or tablet mode and can change at any time.** Windows 10 Continuum helps ensure your apps and content can display beautifully from a touch-focused tablet experience to a keyboard-and-mouse desktop experience — and even as you transition from one mode to another.*** Windows 10 is also introducing Continuum for phones.**** With this capability, students and teachers can use their phones like a PC for getting things done, or turn them into large-screen projectors for presentations.
10. Upgrade your productivity with Office Mobile apps for Windows 10
For today’s busy teacher and student, productivity comes from being able to learn and create using whichever device happens to be available and handy, whether it’s a desktop PC, tablet, or phone.
Windows 10 aims to reinvent productivity with Office Mobile apps. It’s built from the ground up for touch, and whether you’re using a desktop, tablet, or phone, you can make edits knowing your changes will render across all devices. Your files are automatically saved to OneDrive, making co-authoring and collaboration super easy. This is great for adding comments to students’ work, and makes it easier for students to work together on group projects across devices.
Features like Smart Lookup in the Word app, powered by Bing, are great for bringing additional online resources like images and web references to students without the distraction of going directly online. Download Office Mobile apps today from the new Windows Store in over 190 countries.
*Cortana available in select markets at launch, experience may vary by region and device. A Microsoft account may be required for some functionality.
***App experiences may vary
****Limited to select premium phones at launch.