Collaborate to bring AI innovation to education

In recent months, artificial intelligence technology, the surrounding discussion and learning in the global education community has continued to progress. In March, we shared three critical focus areas that continue to guide us as we work to bring AI innovation to education. Today, we’re excited to announce our recent partnerships with New York City Public Schools, PowerSchool and Kahoot!, highlight more AI-powered experiences, and introduce a new AI course built for educators.

Preparing New York City Public School students for the future

Last month, New York City Chancellor David Banks shared a look at the journey they’ve taken over the past six months to embrace the potential of generative AI to support students and teachers. We are proud to share our partnership with New York City public schools to support their exploration of developing generative AI tools tailored for their use and to help ensure they can lead the way in responsible, safe and innovative of AI by implementing adequate safety and security measures. This has already included the launch of a chatbot using Microsoft AI technology to be the first point of contact with employees and families calling the IT Help Desk to offer faster, more personalized support. As new opportunities are explored, it is important to note that the district has been working toward goals such as a comprehensive picture of student performance for years.

We are excited to work with Microsoft to develop a path forward and leverage AI tools to bring meaningful benefits to our schools. I’m encouraged by the initial success we’re having and the opportunity we have to build on the huge strides we’ve already made with Azure.
– Zeeshan Anwar, Deputy Chief Information Officer of New York City Public Schools

New York City public schools also focus on preparing students for a world where understanding generative AI is critical. They are working to ensure that the benefits of this technology are fairly distributed and that students are educated about the significant ethical concerns it contemplates. These discussions are already taking place in classrooms across the city and will continue to equip students not only with the tools to use artificial intelligence but also to critically examine its implications.

We are committed to taking the lead in understanding and leveraging this technology for our students, especially as AI reshapes the future jobs and careers available to them. We also believe it is critical to learn how AI can support our educators and be incorporated more effectively into teaching and learning by interacting closely with our community and industry leaders like Microsoft.
Tara Carrozza, director of digital learning initiatives for New York City public schools

Enable our partners to personalize learning and save time

We’re also excited about the work we’ve done with PowerSchool and Kahoot! to enable their new AI-powered experiences with the Azure OpenAI service.

PowerSchool recently shared its vision of providing personalized learning paths built for individual students based on their learning goals within a secure platform. This new collaboration between PowerSchool and Microsoft provides additional functionality within the PowerSchool Custom Learning Cloud that saves educators time by leveraging AI to create formative assessments aligned to a desired learning goal, grade level, subject, and standard. It will be complemented by Adaptive Testing to better understand the needs of each student and the ability to monitor student progress thanks to standards-aligned assessment elements created by Generative AI. We look forward to continuing our cooperation.

Kahoot! has begun integrating generative AI into its product suite as an extension of its longstanding commitment to innovate and make learning efficient, accessible and engaging. While Kahoot! already embarked on an AI journey, the new capabilities offered by the Azure OpenAI service have enabled them to further enhance their experience and save educators time. In addition to improved brainstorming and research capabilities, Kahoot! makes it possible to create quizzes and presentations on any topic in seconds. We sat down with the Kahoots! team to share more about how this feature is already giving educators valuable time back to focus on what matters most.

Improve reading progress with AI-powered experiences

At Microsoft Education, we’re continuing to focus on opportunities to save teachers time and keep them at the center of new AI-powered experiences. This includes learning and building alongside education experts, and with their help, we’re excited to share new step-generation features. Educators can now generate a passage directly in Reading Progress, allowing them to leverage insights to tailor it to the needs of the class and individual students. Pass generation provides the ability to select a topic, age, length, and language. Additionally, educators can easily adjust the complexity of the passage once it has been generated.

A quick demo on how to generate a custom passage in Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams.

Generate a custom passage in Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams.

Comprehension is a key pillar of reading fluency, but it often requires a significant amount of educators’ time to create questions. To better support educators, we’ve created a new feature that can generate comprehension questions based on a specific reading passage. Teachers can choose the number of questions and then review them, make any necessary changes and publish them for students. We’re excited about the potential of these features to save time and further personalize learning for each student or class. Pass Generation and Understanding questions leverage the power and security of Azure OpenAI, as well as platform innovations to support responsible use in education. Both features are in initial private preview with our testing community.

A quick demo on how to generate reading comprehension questions in Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams.

Generate reading comprehension questions in Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams.

Building AI literacy

The importance of AI literacy will only continue to grow, as evidenced by a recent study which found that 82% of leaders say employees will need new skills such as analytical judgment, flexibility and the ability to target the AI ​​with the right suggestions. As part of our continued efforts to support AI literacy, we’re excited to announce a new AI course built for educators now available on Microsoft Learn: Enable educators to explore the potential of AI. The course is designed to help educators navigate the world of AI in education by covering essential AI concepts, practical applications, and Microsoft AI technology. And in the coming days, Microsoft will announce more opportunities to help people gain the AI ​​skills they need.

Artificial intelligence and the various ways it can be useful in education are undoubtedly top priorities for many of us, and we are encouraged by the progress and innovation we have been able to share today, especially as we recognize that we are still at the beginning of this journey. We are optimistic about the opportunity we collectively have to unlock the potential of AI for education and will continue to prioritize the time we spend collaborating and learning from the wider community to innovate responsibly.

Take the course: Enable educators to explore the potential of artificial intelligence

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