As per the blog released, the acquisition of Flipgrid by Microsoft is one conspicuous strategy of winning share in the field of Education. Flipgrid is a social education app which lets students record and share the short video clips on specific topics, to create collaborative lesson plans. The Minneapolis-based startup has been time and again known as Instagram and Snapchat for the social learning experience it offers. Evident enough by its public repute, it has already reported an 800% year-over-year growth in teacher accounts, accounted for last year.
However, although the deal has been sealed, the terms of the same haven’t been disclosed yet.
Boasting of a huge user-base, about 20 million teachers and students across the United States and beyond, have a recourse to this social-learning platform. Beyond a shadow of doubt, this acquisition is Microsoft’s latest attempt at boosting its educational offerings; and at the same time, spreading out its wings in order to blanket in more users. Recently, Microsoft updated Office 365 for Education tools and is also improvising Microsoft Office.
Microsoft’s Latest Acquisition Fosters Social-Learning
In a contemporary world, Education isn’t limited to just reading, or mugging up for sorts — it’s harbouring the technique to learn; how to learn. And Microsoft wants to be the first-and-last resort for the same. Microsoft’s acquisition of Flipgrid, fosters socio-emotional skills, as trivial but important as, day-to-day conversations. The Redmond-based tech giant hasn’t spoken much about its integration with Flipgrid, but it’s spearheading the collaboration by making the platform free to schools. Microsoft further claims that the schools that already have subscriptions will receive prorated refunds.
Improvising on a much-abridged manner, the new OneNote enables the grids and videos to automatically appear as soon as any new Flipgrid link is shared on OneNote. Additionally, free add-on of OneNote Desktop Learning Tools like Syllables and Parts of Speech are also upgraded, for a better experience.
In The Wake of A Losing Battle
The current move makes sense given, Microsoft’s changing guise in different domains. The company, having locked horns with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), has lost ground in the education domain. Clearly, Google surpasses with effective measures, including Chromebooks which are increasingly common and, not to mention, the cloud services. While Microsoft has been posing a challenge to Google on fronts, with new PCs and tools, Flipgrid works as its Samaritan in an area where Google, although a player, doesn’t compete.
Google, is already loved by educators, credits going to its cloud-based products and Chromebooks. If that wasn’t enough for Google’s rising popularity, Microsoft’s Surface laptop, despite limited to running apps from Microsoft store only, costs about $800. While Google’s Pixelbook costs less. Herein, Microsoft’s acquisition of Flipgrid is to strengthen its education strategy.
In the never-ending array of who-did-what-to-compete, in 2014, Google introduced Google Classroom for teachers to give out assignments and for students to complete and submit them back, using the company’s productivity apps, namely, Google Docs. In 2016, Microsoft took to launch a similar tool called Microsoft Classroom as part of its Office 365 productivity software package for education.
However, in a briefing, it was stated that although Flipgrid jumps into the Microsoft bandwagon, the company will continue to maintain its own brand. CEO of Flipgrid, Jim Leslie states that Flipgrid has always been about the educator community and since its inception, they have been the source of innovation and impact.
The impact of Flipgrid is yet to be seen on Microsoft’s portfolio. But what remains as undeniably true is the fact that Microsoft, Google and all alike-ecosystems are exploring the ed-tech scene like never before.