Microsoft's Freebees for Teachers

FREE TOOLS FROM MICROSOFT PIL: IPads may be popping up in many classrooms but Microsoft is heading to school, too. Expect to see the Redmond giant approaching--with gifts.

Consider, for instance, initiatives like Microsoft's Partners in Learning. The site offers considerable resources -- technology tutorials, PD opportunities, learning activities, and an online community of educators -- for exactly zero dollars. Included in that cost is also a number of Microsoft products (41 to be exact). You may recognize certain staples like Skype for the Classroom but there are some interesting newcomers, too. TouchDevelop, for example, helps teach students programming through a touch-based code editor.

We're still in the second inning of understanding what technology proves most valuable in schools. We browsed around Apple in Education and sadly only found videos and how-to guides offered free-of-charge. With rumors of a 7" Xbox Surface tablet on deck, don't be surprised if Microsoft creeps back into the global edtech conversation.

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