Free is always good. And, it’s even better when something that’s free is also super useful. Microsoft has three free tools for educators we think you should take full advantage of as they will organize staff and enable professional development.
Flipgrid announced last summer that its recent partnership with Microsoft means it will be free for all educators and students. Flipgrid is a video discussion platform used by tens of millions of PreK to PhD educators, students and families in 150 countries. It works on Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, PCs and Android devices.
What’s special about this software is it has tons and tons of uses, including how administrators can use it to engage their professional learning network. Flipgrid can build community among staff and create conversation beyond small talk. Just returned from a conference and have something to share? Take a few minutes and use a grid.
The best part is if you already had Flipgrid, it was automatically upgraded to Flipgrid Classroom this summer. And if you bought it, no worries, Microsoft is prorating every educator who upgraded to Classroom last year.
Organization is the name if the game. Get the entire team on one page with Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft teams is the tech giant’s complete chat and online meetings solution. With it, you can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities and communicate with school staff from a single experience. Host audio, video and web conference or just chat with any staff member in your building, Microsoft Teams makes it all easily attainable. Oh, and it’s free.
What’s more is this handy tool is also integrated with Office 365 apps so you can easily co-author and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and SharePoint files. It is customizable and pairable with a phone system.
Today’s school culture can include students and parents who speak another language besides English. When you can’t employ enough translators or bilingual teachers, download the free Microsoft Translator app.
The app works on any device to allow you to start and join a translated conversation. Microsoft Translator can translate more than 60 languages and its camera capabilities translate text in photos and screenshots. Voice translation mode allows you to have conversations with parents and students who speak a language other than English.
These three free Microsoft tools may be just the tech you need to make the new school year run as smooth as cafeteria pudding. Which ones are you planning on integrated into your school this semester? Share in the comments below.