In my job, I am fortunate that I get to travel to schools around the world. I am often inspired by these visits, especially when I witness the passion in teachers when they can make a special connection with students, sparking both their curiosity and creativity. And in these travels, I also I see the mounting pressure on educators and schools to continually improve student achievement and prepare them with skills they’ll need when they enter the workforce.
The desire to prepare students for the future is what is propelling us every day at Microsoft to build technology that’s simple to use and can empower teachers to unlock the innate creativity and ingenuity in each of their students.
Our journey to inspire teachers and students is not a new endeavor for us. Last January, we announced several new low-cost Windows 10 devices for schools and Intune for Education, making it faster and easier than ever to deploy and manage Windows devices across districts of all sizes. Then, in May, we expanded our family of products to include Windows 10 S, Microsoft Teams, Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition and new tools to help educators bring 3D and mixed reality into the classroom.
Today, I’m happy to share that on October 1, we are taking another big step to give educators the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem with the availability of Microsoft 365 Education, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Minecraft: Education Edition in a single, affordable solution built for education.
We’ve learned from customers that we needed to make it easier to harness the power of the Microsoft toolset in schools. When we announced Microsoft 365 for Enterprise in July, we heard loud and clear this was the cloud-powered solution education customers wanted as well. Microsoft 365 Education is an exciting first step in evolving from a mix of products to an integrated, holistic experience that powers better learning outcomes.
With Microsoft 365 Education you can:
- Unlock creativity in each student with immersive and engaging apps, like Minecraft: Education Edition. Enhance independence and efficiency for people of all abilities using intelligent tools built into Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other Office apps.
- Promote teamwork with a single hub for classes and teams using Microsoft Teams. Make it easier to work together in real-time with coauthoring in Office, while providing a universal toolkit to connect, share and communicate.
- Provide a simple, safe experience for everyone in your organization while managing users, data and devices in a single dashboard. Protect identity, apps, data and devices with intelligent security.
Millions of teachers and students already love and use Office 365 for Education for free to communicate and collaborate with each other every day, and there are no changes being made to that existing offer. Microsoft 365 Education builds on that free service with advanced communications, management and security features. In addition, you can provide many of the advanced features found in Microsoft 365 Education to students at no additional cost with the student use benefit when you purchase for faculty and staff.
Andrew Cox, Director of Technology at Aiken County Public School District in South Carolina, is one of many current Microsoft customers who are encouraged by the integration of these tools when it comes to IT management.
“While Windows 10, Office 365 for Education, and OneNote can certainly stand on their own, they really shine when you allow them to work as a solution. Students can use their touchscreens to write equations, their keyboards to type essays, Windows Ink to highlight and annotate web sources, and OneNote to create digital notebooks containing all of their notes, research, and projects. Our teachers estimate they spend about 25 percent less time managing student work in this environment than they did with traditional printed materials,” shared Cox.
To learn more, visit Microsoft.com/education today or check out my Facebook Live Q&A session. For more information on the Microsoft 365 family of offers visit Microsoft.com/Microsoft-365. You can also learn more from a Microsoft Authorized Education Partner.