Empowering learning with Microsoft Copilot for education

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a revolutionary AI tool with the power to shape itself into your personal assistant, or ‘copilot’. With Microsoft recently announcing general availability of Microsoft Copilot for education, it’s time to find out how it will benefit you.

AI is becoming more widely used, quickly becoming an essential part of business operations for organisations worldwide. Where education and AI intersect, the results are innovative, adaptable, and transformational, highlighting the need to utilise the tool for what it is while training future generations on the downfalls and successes of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft has announced the expansion of Copilot for Microsoft 365, now available to education audiences. Read on to find out how Copilot can be used to support a range of roles in the education sector, from teachers and administrators to students.

Generative AI for education 

Generative AI is one of the newer functions of AI, used to generate content like copy, images, audio, and code from scratch. Generative AI is a revolutionary tool to be used in the education sector, giving staff and students the opportunity to save time while giving students incomparable learning experiences.

Studies have shown that creativity-first learning changes the game. By activating the part of the brain that holds creative thoughts and concepts, students are able to work more efficiently, memorise information effectively, and find learning more enjoyable.

Generative AI tools such as image and content generators, when utilised correctly, help students activate the creative side of their brain to help them brainstorm, understand topics, and expand their understanding.

The ethical and security background of Microsoft Copilot for education 

Many people have doubts about whether AI is safe to use, secure, and unbiased.

Unfortunately, there can be security implications of using public AI programmes. Data encryption isn’t as strong, which means that any information you give the programme is unsecure and at risk of intervention.

Due to the amount of student information institutes keep in databases, security is a big concern. Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a private AI programme, which means that any information, data, or statistics you input into the system are completely secure and confidential.

Download the free whitepaper to discover more about the importance of ethical AI.

Microsoft Copilot for education use cases 

Copilot for teachers 

We need modern methods to teach students in the modern world. Teachers worldwide are struggling with short staffing, lack of time, and reduced access to resources, impacting student experiences.

AI doesn’t diminish the need for teachers but aids and enables them by completing administrative tasks and streamlining processes. With each teacher having a portable, personalised assistant, they will have more time to spend one-on-one with students.

Teachers can use Copilot for a variety of purposes:

  • Lesson planning: Copilot can create lesson plans based on student age, past plans, and curriculums . For example, you can give Copilot a simple brief of a lesson, and it will turn it into an engaging PowerPoint with an interactive quiz
  • Reviewing work: use Copilot to mark work and provide feedback. For example, if you uploaded a series of student assignments along with the answer sheet, it would go through each one, marking them with feedback in a matter of minutes
  • Analyse student performance: Copilot can organise and present student performance in easily digestible formats. For example, when preparing for a parent-teacher meeting, you can give Copilot a spreadsheet of student results, and it will create a short, comprehensive review of each students’ performance, including recommended actions
  • Automate tasks: Copilot can schedule meetings, organise emails, and summarise information. For example, Copilot will summarise the important points made in a meeting between teachers, making it easy to keep track of next steps
  • Simplify online teaching: Copilot can set up online classrooms and calls, and record and summarise the lesson for students who were absent

Personalised learning with Copilot 

Studies show that by personalising learning, students gain the space and time to master learning objectives and close learning gaps.

With one teacher to a classroom of thirty students, it isn’t feasible to tailor the classroom material to each student, but with Copilot, we have the opportunity to provide each student with personalised, engaging experiences.

Copilot for administrators

A lot happens outside of the classroom. Administrators, support staff, and faculty can also utilise Copilot to streamline processes, improving experiences for students, teachers, and parents.

The use cases of Copilot for administrators are:

  • Summarise email threads: instead of scrolling through and reading endless back-and-forth emails, simply ask Copilot to provide a summary of the most important parts
  • Create meetings: ask Copilot to schedule meetings, ensuring the time and place works for all attendees
  • Draft support resources for students: with its generative capabilities, Copilot can create documents and visuals from simple briefs. It can create worksheets, information booklets, and revision resources for students
  • Create pastoral resources: Copilot can also be used to create posters and information sheets for pastoral care, using the generative capabilities
  • Budget organisation and enrolment management: use Copilot in Excel to create custom trackers, charts, and graphs to help manage school budgets and student enrolment

Copilot for students

Negative connotations of AI are cropping up within the sector, with many educators worried about students utilising AI to the point where they’re relying on it. Despite common misconceptions, Copilot doesn’t do the work for students. It simply enables them with the skills, resources, and information they need to succeed.

Students are absolutely using AI more, but as long as they are taught how to use the technology safely, ethically, and properly, the use of it will aid their learning, rather than hinder it.

As this technology becomes quickly and unapologetically integrated into personal and working lives, it’s vital to embrace it, rather than fight it. Workplaces are already using AI for a breadth of tasks, so applauding students in their effective use of AI is a valuable way to enable them with the skills to understand how people are learning and consuming information in the modern workplace.

“[Many people are worried that] students are going to be using forms of AI to cheat and do their assignments. They’re not going to learn, and it’s going to completely undermine education as we know it…

…But I think we’re at the cusp of using AI for probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen.” – Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy.

Students can leverage these innovations and more from Copilot to:

  • Brainstorm and get started on assignments
  • Get step by step explanations for math solutions
  • Find answers quickly, with links to sources
  • Improve their writing skills
  • Learn or study in the way that works best for them
  • Receive initial feedback on their work
  • Write code using natural-language requests
  • Make their projects more visually appealing
  • Free up time for what matters and interests them most*

*Taken from Microsoft’s blog here.

Take the next step to Copilot for Microsoft 365 today 

If you are interested in finding out more about Copilot for Microsoft 365 and how it could work for you and your organisation, book your free one-to-one call with one of our specialists by using the booking form below.

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Alternatively, please email us at [email protected] or call 01904 562200 and one of our specialists will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

Lewis Thomson
Lewis Thomson

Lewis joined Phoenix in February 2020 to build out Phoenix's FastTrack Programme. Since then, Lewis has grown into his role, becoming Copilot and Microsoft Programme Lead. Lewis is passionate about providing new technology to organisations and showcasing how this can help them do more with less.

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