New solutions built for education, breaking down barriers on deployment and access

Technology has an increasingly important and positive role to play in supporting primary school education in the UK

In the short-term, there’s a need to broaden access to devices – a process accelerated by the pandemic, which in turn laid bare and exacerbated the digital divide. But there is a massive amount of value for education that will emerge from greater digitisation over the long term, too.

During the onset of the pandemic, devices were purchased, in part, due to the necessity to mobilise whole classrooms to learn remotely. Now, as the dust settles, it’s evident digital can create a more equitable learning environment, with improved teaching and learning outcomes for educators and students alike.

The ability to gather data and extract insights from pedagogical processes will help spot students and classes that need support, faster, as well as revealing new ways attainment can be raised.

However, as education inevitably becomes more digitised, technology needs to suit individual needs. Technology can only make life easier if it is easy to use.

The same goes for IT leaders in the education system too, not just students and teachers. IT leaders often have to manage up to three different sets of devices, for pupils, teachers, and office staff. This can and should be streamlined, to save time, money and energy, so IT leaders can focus more on adding value, and less on maintenance.

Born from the cloud

For example, if all devices in a school network are using Windows, they can be managed in the same way and are equally easy to configure and maintain, with a familiar look and feel.

The same goes for devices – when hardware and software is consistent and optimised for schools, IT leaders are empowered to work more efficiently, with less stress.

This has led to the recent launch of Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. These solutions have been specifically designed to meet the needs of primary schools in the UK, and are sophisticated enough to meet the needs of students, teachers, and school IT decision makers, without any more compromises.

Streamlined operating system

Windows 11 SE is still Windows. It feels like Windows, it works and is managed easily the same way, through Intune. But it takes the requirements of the education sector onboard to offer a more bespoke solution.

Designed and built during the pandemic to address the most fundamental challenges schools face in the blended learning world, Surface Laptop SE will be the first device running Windows 11 SE and has been optimised to show what’s possible and provide a simpler, distraction free environment for students, unlocking new possibilities for all learners.

Take security, for example. The pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the school security ecosystem, making it much more complex. Just a few years ago, IT leaders could deploy technology that was ring-fenced within a school’s network, but this approach just doesn’t account for how devices get used anymore.

Now, IT leaders must account for multiple factors: who the user is, what the device is, where they are, what network they’re on, and so on.

This why Microsoft has adapted the enterprise grade zero trust security it delivers for some of the biggest, most complex organisations in the world, and streamlined it for education.

For the first time Microsoft has designed a laptop, an operating system, and cloud management tools from the ground up, specifically with education in mind. Features like Smartscreen protect students from malware by scanning links and preventing them from being opened, while Intune makes it easy to safeguard devices by rolling out and managing security updates.

Microsoft has taken cutting-edge enterprise security experience and expertise, and finetuned it for school IT leaders, because we know this is an area where things simply cannot be allowed to go wrong.

Optimised for equality

We are at a time when accessible, inclusive digital technology needs to be built into the overall education experience.

With solutions like Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE, Microsoft is offering IT leaders in education – especially those at primary schools – more choice, with lower cost solutions, streamlined and simplified for the education experience, while maintaining enough flexibility to meet the needs of different user groups.

We know the promise of inclusivity must extend beyond devices. Every learner should have the chance to fully participate in learning supported by educators who are empowered with insights to focus their time on the things that matter most.

At Microsoft, we are evolving our education solutions to support more engaging, collaborative, and accessible learning. Surface Laptop SE offers the same high-quality experience as the rest of the product portfolio, but with new levels of repairability for IT administrators, saving time for and money for IT admins and schools.

 

To find out more, visit the Microsoft website and learn about these new solutions for primary education in the UK: 

 

– Mark Rowland is senior product marketing manager, Microsoft UK

Leave a Reply