How Copilot in Windows Will Redefine Education in the Classroom

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Edmund_McGowan
edited May 20 in Education

You may have heard of Microsoft Copilot, an AI assistant in Windows that can help users with a variety of tasks from writing to answering questions, coding, generating images, and much more. Formerly known as Bing Chat, Microsoft Copilot is actually a family of, well, Copilots. These Copilots have a variety of applications including the enterprise oriented Copilot for Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Copilot for Sales

Today, we’re going to focus on how a next-generation AI productivity tool, namely Copilot in Windows, promises to redefine education in the classroom. Read on to discover seven ways that Copilot for education can help students and teachers to improve their learning journeys by being their education copilot. 

1. Efficient Lesson Planning 

Unfortunately, many teachers these days are overworked. According to a survey by the RAND Corporation, teachers work an estimated 53 hours a week, that’s seven hours more than the average working adult! Much of these working hours, including time spent planning lessons and marking papers is unpaid, creating a burden of stress that can lead to burnout. Thankfully, Copilot for Word can reduce lesson planning time: Copilot responds to prompts and creates lesson plans, quizzes, rubrics, and other class resources that can be tailored by the teacher to meet students’ needs. What’s more, Copilot can suggest activities, resources, and assessments aligned with educational objectives, streamlining the lesson planning process. By harnessing the power of Copilot, educators can save time and energy, allowing them to focus their energy on engaging with students, and adapting their teaching methods.

Suggested prompt: “Create a 60 minute lesson plan on the English Civil War for an 11th grade history class.”

2. Personalized Learning

Imagine a never-tiring assistant who is always happy to rewrite, tweak and customize your writing and content. Well Microsoft Copilot for Word and PowerPoint is a never-tiring assistant that’s ready to work 24/7. Copilot saves teachers a great deal of time in crafting content and feedback that resonates with individual student needs and learning styles. Even if they work all hours under the sun, and burn a bit of that midnight oil too, many teachers today simply don’t have enough time to create educational content that is tailored to meet the diverse needs of all of their students. By leveraging generative AI, Copilot can adapt to different student profiles and provide tailored support to students of all levels. By providing personalized learning experiences, Copilot enhances student engagement, understanding, and retention of material.

Suggested prompt: “Create spelling worksheets for 9th grade students with three levels of difficulty.”

3. High-Quality Educational Materials

In the age of the internet, artificial intelligence, fake news, and social media, surely it is the duty of every educator to ensure that the educational materials that they give their students are of the highest-quality possible? Once again, time is of the essence, and many teachers simply lack the time to consistently produce high quality educational materials. Copilot to the rescue! Fortunately, Copilot is able to create a wide range of consistent and high-quality educational materials including class notes, summaries, and even study guides. The use of Copilot for teachers in producing high-quality educational materials benefits both teachers and students by ensuring reliable resources are readily available. What’s more, educators can easily maintain access to well-structured content while reducing their workload.

Suggested prompt: “Create a summary of Hamlet in 300 words.”

4. Innovative Teaching Approaches

Innovation is at the forefront of education today. From interactive learning experiences, to hybrid, remote, and even flipped learning, the days of rote learning and chalkboards are numbered! Educators must take the plunge and innovate, but it's not always easy, or practical to get started. Thankfully, Copilot can be a useful tool that encourages educators to explore new teaching methods. Copilot can alleviate the drudgery of everyday tasks, such as administrative tasks, plagiarism detection, and data analysis. By handing these routine tasks over to Copilot, educators have more time to experiment with innovative approaches in the classroom. Easier said than done, perhaps? Well a real life example of how Copilot can be leveraged effectively is in Wichita Public Schools. They have leveraged Copilot to personalize learning, resulting in time savings that can be reinvested in student support. 

Suggested prompt: “Rewrite page 5 of this PDF, using academic language.”

5. Accessibility and Inclusion

Increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of educational content is a groundbreaking feature of Copilot for students. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to education, and Copilot can be a lifeline for students with diverse requirements. Traditionally, learners with visual impairments would make the most of class time by sitting at the front of the classroom to see what was happening on the board, or screen. With Copilot, accessibility features are effortlessly integrated into the learning experience. Accessibility is delivered by generating alt text for images, ensuring content is legible for students with visual impairments. Many classrooms today are multilingual spaces, where learners have varying levels of English, and different mother tongues. Copilot can accurately and efficiently translate to and from many languages, facilitating the creation of materials in multiple languages, making education more inclusive for diverse student populations.

Suggested prompt: “Translate this task into Spanish”

6. Professional Development for Teachers

As teachers, we want what’s best for our students as we guide them on their learning journeys. At the same time, it’s important for teachers in all fields to stay up to date with teaching and learning developments. Copilot supports a community of continuous learning and professional growth for educators by assisting them in researching educational best practices, and more. In practice, through data analysis and machine learning algorithms, Copilot locates areas where teachers can improve their instructional practice, providing personalized recommendations. With tailored, relevant resources, educators are able to continuously develop their teaching practice, as well as collaborate with others, by sharing everything from lesson plans to classroom insights.

Suggested prompt: “Add differentiated instruction to this lesson plan.”

7. Safe and Responsible AI

With cyber attacks and ransomware on the rise, safety and security of student and organizational information are paramount. The information that we share with AI needs to be safely and responsibly used and stored, whether it's handing over lesson planning duties to Copilot, organizing student data, or simply asking general questions. Microsoft is committed to responsible AI practices, and privacy-preserving machine learning. What this means for users is that teacher, student, as well as organizational data are protected. What’s more, chat prompts and responses are not saved or used for training large language models. Ensuring that your data is safe adds peace of mind to users and organizations, and Copilot’s commitment to privacy and security sure makes it a reliable tool for educational settings.

The takeaway

We hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s educational adventure, and along the way have learned how Copilot in Windows will redefine education in the classroom. While it’s still early days for AI integrated education, teachers and students worldwide are already benefiting greatly from Copilot. From aiding educators in efficiently planning personalized, high-quality lessons, to discovering innovative teaching techniques, the potential application of Copilot are many. Accessibility and inclusion are also a key benefit that Copilot brings to the classroom, as well as the ability to help teachers in continuous professional development. Finally, remember that your data is in safe hands with Copilot, thanks to Microsoft’s commitment to ethical AI. Whether you’re a student or an educator, check out Copilot in Windows, and see how it redefines your education.

Empower Your Learning: Educators and students alike can stay ahead of the curve with the latest educational technology updates through our Acer Corner Email Digest. From innovative teaching tools to tech tips that enhance learning, our digest is your gateway to advancing education. Sign up now to receive monthly insights directly in your inbox.

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Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.

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