A new school year brings excitement, a little apprehension, and maybe even relief that summer's hot weather is coming to an end. For educators, the start of the new school year is the perfect time to set the tone for a productive year ahead. For many teachers, this means finding the most engaging and empowering technology and apps to inspire students to learn.

Teachers are increasingly turning to Microsoft to ensure their classrooms' digital transitions - and ultimately their student outcomes - are positive and successful. "What Windows has done is listen to the voices of the teachers out there, and designed their product around that," says Tim Gerard, a teacher in Tallahassee, Florida. "It is the platform on which the students can interact with the rest of the world."

Here's a look at why Gerard and other teachers are excited about what Windows can do for students, and for overscheduled educators:

Technology has the power to expand the impact of education, and accelerate the growth potential of every student, educator, and school. That's why Microsoft is committed to partnering with schools at every stage. "Flexibility is important," says Bill Nimmons, IT Director at Leon County Schools in Florida. "Because what may work at the elementary school level may not be the same kind of device that you want to use at the secondary school level."

For teachers and students alike, technology also paves the way for more information and productivity from anywhere, at any time. Unique features like the stylus and the split screen on the Windows 8 tablet devices are enhancing the way teachers and students interact with technology and each other in the classroom. And using OneNote, teachers and students can take digital notes and create and share digital notebooks. As one school leader points out, "Some of our teachers love to have OneNote open, and in the other window they've got their electronic grade book so they're just putting in the scores as they go."

Whether it's through teacher training, professional development and networking opportunities, or the right mix of Windows devices and applications that can simplify personalized learning, Microsoft is dedicated to finding the right solution for each educator's unique challenges and each student's personal learning style.

Find more resources for teachers here: