It has been almost 12 months since Microsoft announced the availability of multiple platforms that can be leveraged and added to existing products. So, what’s new in the classroom as a result? Large Language Models and AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be infused into many solutions today with Azure AI Studio and OpenAI, enabling you to deliver better solutions to your end users, or students!
Microsoft has added even more AI solutions to their education products, that will only help teachers with their lessons and students’ outcomes. Announcements from Microsoft leading up to the BETT Show in London, demonstrate how you too could both use and build AI into existing solutions.
Getting AI from existing investments
Microsoft Copilot (formally called Bing Chat Enterprise) has been available to faculty members with a Microsoft 365 A3 or A5 licence since November 2023. Microsoft is increasing the availability of Microsoft Copilot with Commercial Data Protection to allow students who are 18+ to use the service. Soon, Microsoft 365 Administrators will be able to select students’ age groups and then allow them to use the power of Chat-GPT 4 Turbo and DALL-E 3 for their education needs.
Copilot for Microsoft 365 for teachers and students
Copilot for Microsoft 365 is already bringing so much opportunity to both teachers and learners. Being able to deliver AI-generated content directly to educators has already proven to save teachers time and improve their wellbeing. For example, teachers can ask Copilot to create customised lesson plans directly into Word and then convert this into ready-to-go slides in PowerPoint. Or they can ask Copilot to create tailored content for each student according to their individual levels.
Microsoft classroom solutions powered by AI
Reading Coach, which is available to all Microsoft 365 Education customers for free, has been around for several years, and continuously demonstrates improvement in students’ reading abilities. This cloud product available through Microsoft Teams enables a teacher to pick a piece of predefined text which suits the student's reading ability. The voice recognition feature in Reading Coach can then listen in and feedback to the teacher where words are pronounced incorrectly.
AI is also being added into Reading Coach to help students further increase their reading ability with personalised content. AI will listen into the student’s reading and speaking and help them improve by assigning them the next level of reading content. It can also personalise certain words or sentences that the student found challenging. Imagine it being a book with many chapters, but the next chapter is written based on how well you read the last one - making the story more complex but also challenging according to the student’s reading ability.
Teachers can also assign tasks and assignments to students and classes with Microsoft Teams, and this includes Reading Coach. Students can complete quizzes with Microsoft Forms as tests, and AI has been added to help teachers with creating the assignment details. Giving AI a few details in the prompt will enable teachers to give more information to their students around expectations on completing the assignment.
Softcat is here to support
With dedicated Microsoft Education Account Managers at Softcat, we can support with any of your AI needs. Ask your Softcat Account Manager about how you can get Copilot for Microsoft 365 added to your tenancy or ask us more about AI, and we can point you in the right direction. You can also visit our dedicated Copilot landing page to find out more.