6 Ways Microsoft Office 365 Can Boost Student LearningDonna Marie Padua
Microsoft isn’t taking its school and student users for granted in its Microsoft Office 365 for Schools and Students cloud-based software for free.
We all know how Office 365 can be so pricey. A subscription fee of 99.99 USD/year for a regular Home edition can already be hard enough for mere students to produce, let alone for a public school with pretty decent funding to provide for all of its students. Microsoft has, however, made it possible for both schools and students to enjoy the company’s new Office flagship through what it calls Microsoft Office 365 Education.
It’s complete with the basics and it’s for free!
Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice president of worldwide education, called the move a “game-changer for teaching and learning.”
We know that Microsoft promised to make Office 365 Education available for all teachers, students, and schools worldwide. However, it remains accessible only to those who are eligible under Microsoft’s conditions.
But there are ways to avail Microsoft Office 365 for Schools and Students.
How to Determine Your Eligibility
Checking for eligibility requires a school email address. If you do not have access to the email account issued by your school, you should first ask and secure for a school email ad. Your next step will be to visit the appropriate website to further investigate the possibilities for your school. You can check your category link from the Microsoft website.
Administrators of eligible institutions then can just give login credentials to their students for them to start using their very own Office 365. Microsoft’s offer, as described on their Office in Education site:
What about non-eligible students or teachers?
Your interest may prompt important conversations on behalf of the other students or teachers at your school. If your school is not eligible you can reach out to your school’s administration to request that they reach out to Microsoft regarding failed eligibility.
If they can’t approve you, then you can take advantage of the lowest prices on Microsoft Office 365 Home subscription at Softvire which is as low as $78/year!
Apps In The Office 365 Suite That Are Useful to Schools and Students
The 365 Suite broadens the capacity for learning with its new and creative outlets to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. Let’s take a quick look at the many ways that Office 365 can help students and teachers.
The Suite includes all of the original Office applications as Microsoft innovations from the last few years. They include:
- Microsoft Word – Microsoft Office suite’s flagship word processing program.
- Microsoft Excel – For graph and spreadsheet creation and where you can arrange data.
- Powerpoint – For slide deck presentations.
- Outlook – Microsoft’s protected email platform.
- Exchange Online – A cloud-hosted exchange server.
- OneDrive – Microsoft’s cloud storage application.
- OneNote – a note taking application.
- Publisher – A desktop publishing application.
- Microsoft Access – A database management application.
- Skype for Business – Yes, Skype is now under Microsoft. Use it for instant messaging and video conferencing.
- InfoPath – Your tool for creating, designing, and distributing electronic forms.
- SharePoint – Organizational file sharing tool that allows groups to post updates and access important files.
- Microsoft Teams – Collaboration tool that combines chat, meetings, notes, and attachments to help organizations communicate.
Some of these are not available on other Office suites. One of the best things about Office 365 is not the applications but how a customer can access those applications. Being cloud-based, all of these apps and data can be accessed anytime and anywhere. These things make learning more conducive for students.
6 Benefits Of Using Microsoft Office 365 In Schools
Learning on the go
Since the suite is cloud-based, Office 365 allows users to make changes and updates to their saved documents from any device, anytime they need to. In this generation, it is important to be connected all the time. Assignments are now being distributed through school apps or portals and students can just easily view them online. With Office 365, students can easily add thoughts to an essay draft or make changes to a PowerPoint slide at the very moment a new idea comes to them and can still finalize them later.
Access to premium apps
Let’s face it. There are those who cannot afford to buy premium versions of Microsoft Office for their home computers. Office 365 Education bridges the gap by giving free access to these apps that are already stored on Cloud. With an internet, any student can now experience these resources.
Collaboration at its best
Team projects don’t have to be demanding of time with Office 365 Education. With Microsoft Office 365’s collaborative tools, projects will have more structure by allowing small groups to work on their projects at various times throughout the day. Teachers can also join them online and give them guidance throughout their project making.
With the OneNote app, it makes it easier for students to build an ePortfolio. This app supports a variety of formats for text, audio, video, drawing and handwriting. This encourages more creativity out of students. means you can encourage more creativity from your students. Bring your ePortfolios to life with Office 365 and the OneNote app.
Endless communication and sharing
I already mentioned that just about everything in our generation is connected and on the go so why not make learning function the same way? Besides, it is nice to have an extend communication opportunity for both students and teachers. This makes lessons available not just inside the classroom, but also outside. With instant messaging and video conferencing, conversations about learning can be brought to greater heights.
All data saved by faculty and students using Microsoft products can be saved to the cloud. This greatly reduces the amount of data storage equipment the school will need to power, cool, and maintain in their own data center environment. There might be no more need for notebooks and papers in the future too, hence being economical an environmental at the same time.
Getting Microsoft Office 365 for Schools and Students for free
The most compelling reason for a school to subscribe to Office 365 is that a version of it can be attained for free. It’s called “Office 365 for Education,” and it is a distinct offering from the standard Office 365. It includes many of the core applications of the Office 365 suite, and it’s available for free to teachers and students attending an academic institution.
The free services include:
- Unlimited OneDrive storage for subscriptions with five or more users
There are a few stipulations and limitations of Office 365 for Education, but generally speaking, it provides the solutions above to qualified academic institutions free of charge. This is even valuable for individual students attending University if their resources are limited.
How to Avail Microsoft Office 365 for Schools and Students for free
Office 365 is accessible for part-time or full-time faculty members as well as students. However, they should have a school-specific email address that can receive external emails, have internet access, and be of legal age. The school can apply for younger students.
Length of Subscription
Users are able to access the Office products for as long as they work or study at their respective institution. After the plan expires, the applications enter in a “reduced-functionality mode.” They can view documents, but they can no longer edit the docs or create new ones. On the other hand, some apps like OneDrive will not function at all.
After registering your school, Microsoft will give promotional kits to students and teachers to explain the software and promote its use. The kit includes posters, flyers, and advertisements. In addition, it includes a faculty flyer and a faculty poster for higher education institutions.
Microsoft offers various resources to users to help them make the most of their Office products. This includes training, tutorials, an educator community, and free tips. These are all available in Microsoft Office 365 for Education webpage.
Not eligible for Office 365 Education?
Softvire got you covered. Avail the most affordable Office 365 subscription licenses from Softvire today!