The disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis has made digital learning a critical requirement for modern education. Today, virtual classrooms, online curriculum, and the integration of digital tools in classrooms (think AI technology like ChatGPT) have become the standard for teaching and learning. As technology continues to transform the future of education, there is a greater need for efficient digital experiences to meet the increasing demands of students, instructors, and administrators.
The launch of Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 11 (along with the special edition Windows 11 SE), could not have arrived at a better time for educational institutions seeking to expedite their modernization goals. With reimagined features and an improved user interface designed to match the needs of the hybrid world, the new OS gives schools, libraries, and other educational institutions a secure and efficient platform for teaching and learning.
As an education leader tasked with managing your organization’s technology stack, the decision to upgrade to the most recent operating system is sure to be a significant milestone for your organization. You may be unsure if it’s the right move to make right now. But while concerns about migration are understandable, deferring the update any longer is not the best idea: there is a lot to do before the October 2025 end-of-support date, meaning the deadline to upgrade is approaching faster than you might think. Delaying the upgrade to Windows 11 until the last minute comes with risks, some of which you may already be experiencing:
- Procurement challenges
- Legacy application compatibility issues
- Exposure to cybersecurity threats
- Potential data loss and other performance issues
- Falling behind in education
As technology evolves rapidly, learning institutions that remain on older operating systems may face complications like those above that could negatively impact the overall learning experience. Preparing for the OS upgrade now will make all the difference in minimizing the likelihood of issues and educational institutions that make the switch sooner will also benefit from performance improvements made possible by Windows 11. In this blog, we’ll look at the top features of Windows 11 and how they can help your school district or library system realize the full potential of learning.
1. A Simplified Interface for Improved Navigation
Microsoft Windows devices available for K12 education offer a potential ROI of 90% for school districts, according to the latest Forrester Economic Impact report. Upgrading to the new Windows 11 OS can ensure your devices are also optimized to provide a comprehensive and secure learning experience.
One of the primary improvements of Windows 11 for education is the updated look and feel of the user interface. Beyond being more visually appealing, the new layout is more user-friendly, making it easier than ever for administrators, teachers, and students to navigate. The Start menu is centered on the taskbar, integrating pinned apps, recent documents, and a search tool for ease of use. Students and teachers will now be able to quickly access their most frequently used applications and documents, allowing for a more focused digital experience.
2. Enhanced Productivity and Multitasking
Productivity tools are invaluable for delivering a high-quality learning experience. Microsoft Windows devices available for K12 education have been shown to contribute to greater student performance and engagement thanks to a streamlined experience. They also increase teacher productivity by an average of 1 hour per week and allow administrator’s to recover over an hour of time each week, according to the latest Forrester Economic Impact report. Upgrading to the new Windows 11 OS can further support your students, teachers, and administrators by ensuring devices are also optimized with the latest productivity and time-saving features. Whether it’s making a presentation, conducting research, or taking notes, students, and teachers can benefit from the powerful multitasking capabilities of Windows 11 to help them stay on track.
The latest addition of Widgets and Snap Layouts manages your open applications and enables pivoting to specific tasks smoother when you need to switch between documents and communication tools during lessons. The Voice-to-Text feature, with its improved speech recognition technology, generates instant transcripts that eliminate the distraction of writing and keep students focused on the discussion.
3. Intensified Security Protection
With the advent of online learning, educational institutions are more vulnerable to cyber threats than ever before. Windows 11 provides robust mechanisms to prevent identity theft and preserve critical data for schools to mitigate cyber threats. Smart App Control is a cloud-based security solution that detects and blocks potentially harmful software or undesirable apps. Another feature, Windows Hello is a biometric technology that ensures only authenticated users can access devices.
Windows 11 SE adds an additional layer of security by restricting app installation to only content filtering, test-taking, classroom communication, accessibility, diagnostics, and browsers. The student-focused operating system is optimized for teaching or learning, making it ideal for avoiding unnecessary distractions and ensuring proper use of the equipment provided to students and teaching staff.
4. Improved Accessibility Features
Accessibility is a cornerstone of education. Windows 11 makes significant efforts toward closing the disability gap with new and improved accessibility features that enable vision, hearing, mobility, and neurodiversity learning ensure an inclusive learning environment for all.
The expanded tools include Narrator for screen reading, Color Control for adjusting light and color sensitivity with Dark and Contrast themes, Live Captions for audio content, Voice Access for commanding control over devices through speech, Focus Sessions, and Immersive Reader to minimize distractions, among many others.
Reshaping Education in The Digital Age with Windows 11
Digital technology revolutionized the educational sector for the better, extending the possibilities beyond the classroom into immersive experiences while improving learning outcomes. There’s no better time than now to begin implementing Windows 11 and utilizing its features to empower educators and prepare students for the future. That’s why UDT is on the frontlines of facilitating the transition. With over a decade of experience working with K12 school districts and library systems, UDT can provide curated expertise across IT Modernization, Lifecycle Management, Cybersecurity and Managed Services for education.
Whether you’re ready to make the switch or want some additional information around how to navigate the transition to Windows 11, you can refer to our free, comprehensive guide on how to prepare your institution for the pending OS update and how to adopt Windows 11 successfully.
Your Guide To Transitioning to Windows 11
UDT’s team of experts have pulled together a guide to keep you informed on what to expect and empower you with considerations you’ll need to think about as you navigate the transition.