No company on the planet can beat Microsoft's value to schools and education organizations. Between school-specific applications, heavily discounted pricing, and free on-site training from the Microsoft Retail staff, schools nowadays receive technology and help that none of us had growing up ask kids. In this post we'll go over everything school's should know about Microsoft and how they'll revolutionize your school.
Office 365 for Education Pricing
To date, schools have to buy their EDU licenses via a Microsoft Partner. While oftentimes the staff at Microsoft Retail stores will initiate the conversation with the school, ultimately the school will have the buy their licenses through an authorized partner. Ideally, you should buy these licenses from an Authorized Education Re-seller, a subset of Microsoft Partners that specialize in education.
Two ways to buy
Microsoft would bill the staff at one rate and students at lower rate. For example Office 365 A3 would be $3.25 per month/staff and $2.50 per month/student.
Let's use an example of John Doe High School. They have 50 staff members and 700 students. Their monthly cost for Office 365 A3 would be (50 x $3.25) + (700 x $2.50) = $1912.50.
Option 2 (Better Option)
If a school decides to purchase Office 365 for the whole school, then Microsoft will bill you for the number of staff, while giving those same licenses to the students, for FREE. However, the whole school has to jump on board to get this deal.
Let's use an example of John Doe High School. They have 50 staff members and 700 students. Their monthly cost for Office 365 A3 would be 50 x $3.25 = $162.50, and that gives the school Office 365 A3 to every staff and student! That is an insane deal!
Office 365 for Education Features
In addition to all the other features of Office 365, Microsoft developed education specific tools for the Office 365 for education licenses. This includes but is not limited to Microsoft Teams for Education, Minecraft for Education, Microsoft School Data Sync, OneNote for Education, Take a Test App, Immersive Reader tool, and so much more! Make sure to watch all the videos in the rest of this post to understand the full realm of possibilities with Office 365 for Education.
Microsoft Teams for Education
In the video below, Dr. David Kellerman demonstrates how he uses Microsoft Teams in his lecture class of 500 to keep students engaged and learning via a bot that develops study guides specific to each student, a bot that answers students' homework questions, and quizzes that grade themselves!
Microsoft School Data Sync
"School Data Sync (SDS) is a free service in Office 365 for Education that reads the school and roster data from a school's Student Information System (SIS). It creates Office 365 Groups for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, class teams for Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class notebooks, school groups for Intune for Education, and rostering and SSO integration for many other third party applications. SDS helps to automate the process of importing and synchronizing Student Information System (SIS) data with Office 365."
Microsoft integrates with learning management systems that schools are already using today, such as Blackboard, Canvas, Edmodo, and much more.
Minecraft Education Edition
Referred to as a game at quick glance, schools in recent years have been adopting Minecraft for Education Edition as an inclusive way to get students to solve problems. Schools have also been using it to teach students how to code.
The video below is a demo of how teachers in Toronto have used Minecraft to teach students about geography, science, urban planning, and the environment. They say Minecraft has led to students to become confident and engaged with learning and helps with creative problem solving.
Take a Test App
In addition to being able complete homework assignments, students can also take quizzes and tests via Take a Test App, powered by Microsoft Forms. This saves teachers time by not having to print out paper, collect tests, and grade them by having the take a test app grade the test for you, like an on demand Scranton.
In the video below, Dexter, a 6 & 7th grade math teacher shows you how fast it is to make a quiz using OneNote.
Additional Education Resources
90 Second Microsoft Education Tutorials
Visit the 90-second tutorial YouTube Channel to watch 50+ and counting videos that go through the step-by-step 90-second tutorials geared towards teachers and educators. Here are some examples below:
In the video below, Lisa, a 4th grade Humanities teacher, shows you how to assign quizzes to your class and how to grade free response questions using Microsoft Teams.
In this video below, Karen, a Tech Trainer, shows you how to use the 'Immersive Reader' tool in Office 365, which helps students from various backgrounds and language communities learn English. It's one of the greatest tools that are leveling the playing field for students who have difficulty in reading or English isn't their first language.
Education E-Books and Infographics
Here's some additional reading on how Microsoft 365 for Education helps teachers and their students. Just click on the picture of the e-book you're interested and a PDF version will open!
Microsoft Store Training and Hardware
This is a HUGE benefit to educators!! All of these Office 365 tools can be overwhelming and a lot to learn when teachers are already busy with preparation, teaching, and grading. Microsoft will send representatives to your school to train all of your staff and students for free, so that you are utilizing all of the tools to their full extent!
Find the nearest Microsoft store near you to find out more about training, or just contact us and we'll arrange a meeting with your local store!
In addition to providing training, the Microsoft stores are your go-to place for all hardware. They can get you deals that no other vendor or store could offer and have PCs and devices built specifically for students!
I hope all of this is helpful and will get you started with Office 365 for Education. If you have any additional questions, feel free to open the chat in the right-hand corner, or to schedule a call with us!