In this article we look at five reasons to consider Office 365 for your school, college or university. We provide you with information on some of the best features but also a balanced opinion to help you decide what’s best for your organization.
1) Office 365 is a Free for all qualifying educational establishments.
That’s free Email, Free Lync and Free One Drive.
Maybe you are struggling to maintain your old exchange server. Maybe it’s still hosted on Server 2003 and you are worried about the end of support deadline looming large. Office 365 gives you a full, up to date Microsoft Exchange service in the cloud. A free mailbox for all students and faculty with a 50Gb inbox and business class calendar and contact management. You also get unlimited online meeting and IM facilities with the Lync App so that you never have to worry about snow days or missing classroom time again. Simply host the lesson on Lync. Every member of your school, college or university can take advantage of the free file storage and sharing capabilities of One Drive for Business with up to 1TB of storage per user. One Drive for business is fully maintained by Microsoft so you can eliminate the cost of storage and expensive back up in house.
And did we mention, its free?
2) One Note Class Notebook Creator
With Microsoft One Note in the classroom, teachers can create feature rich notebooks that help them to deliver curriculum material and monitor student progression. Combined with the power of SharePoint Online it provides a great place for teachers and students to openly collaborate and share ideas. Teachers can create high quality material for students to work on digitally, take extra notes or take home to finish that all important coursework. No need to manage exercise books or sheets of paper, simply share content and let some great learning begin. Watch the overview on http://onenotefor teachers.com or ask for a demonstration.
Get started with a free download of OneNote from www.onenote.com
3) Office Mix and Delve
Office Mix is a great free add in for PowerPoint that allows you to create interactive online presentations. Combined with the Power of SharePoint teachers and students can create and easily share their work online. It’s quick and easy to make engaging material that can facilitate learning wherever and whenever it suits the teacher and student. With Office Mix, teachers can track learning outcomes and follow up on the personalised learning experience of students by making use of the wide range of analytical tools available. The transition to Office Mix is so easy. Many teachers are already used to using PowerPont. With Office Mix we can take standard material and add interactive elements to interest and stimulate our learners, including snap shot surveys, quick quizzes and so much more.
Check out this great tool at https://mix.office.com/en-us/education
Delve is a great new tool that facilitates the discovery of relevant material and contacts based on your recent activity. Delve will display the most relevant information that is important to you right now. The more your class works together by viewing, editing and sharing documents, the more useful Delve will become to the teacher and students. Delve learns how your students work and how you support their learning to provide up to date information to the individual. Delve follows the permissions of One Drive for Business and SharePoint so students will never see confidential information in Delve. You don’t even need to remember the title of the document you were working on. Delve will do all that for you no matter where you stored it in in SharePoint Online or One Drive for Business.
4) Office Pro Plus for Students and Faculty
Formally known as Student Advantage, Microsoft are now making Microsoft Office Pro Plus available for all students and faculty to download and install on five devices. As long as the institution is licensedfor Office 2013 Professional Plus via theiriEES/OVES agreement or the Office 365 Pro Plus plan in Office 365.
You get these great Office Applications to download to your PC, tablet or MAC for use at any time.
You can order this through your reseller or ask your partner for advice on how to add this to your Office 365 tenancy and make the latest version of Microsoft Office available to students and teachers right now.
5) Great Opportunities for Hybrid
So you want to take advantage of the free offer for Office 365 but you also want to maintain control of your content and interact with your Management or Student Information System. Maybe you have regulations about the storage of material that means you need to maintain an on premises solution or maybe you just prefer to keep things under your roof. That’s fine but what if you also want to make use of some of these great features in Office 365. Well now you can. If you haven’t yet considered a hybrid, this could be your answer. A Microsoft SharePoint-based portal that takes full advantage of the power and breadth of SharePoint 2013 locally hosted, together with the cost effectiveness and flexibility of the features within Cloud-based Office 365. You could be making full use of Exchange Online and have migrated all your mailboxes but maintain your own SharePoint farm. Student and Teachers can share material and collaborate online and take advantage of the free storage available with One Drive for Business hosted in the cloud with a Single Sign On solution.
Read more about a real life hybrid deployment at one of our partner schools here the blog.
What to do next.
If this article has sparked an interest or you want to know more, why not get in touch. SharePointEduTech are proud to be Microsoft Cloud Platform partners so we can have you up an running on Office 365 in a very short time.
Talk to us about your email requirements, your thoughts on migration and we can discuss the options. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org