Microsoft Office 365 for Education review

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Schools can create and maintain multiple calendars and then share them with students and staff. These could include school or department events, sport fixtures or examinations.

With responsibility for these delegated to the right users, staff and students will always see the most up-to-date information every time they access the calendar through Outlook, their browser or their mobile device.

SharePoint Online

Office 365 SharePoint

The SharePoint Online facility provides schools with a site to share documents and other information. Documents can be created on-the-fly through the browser-based applications, or created and uploaded automatically from their more powerful desktop counterparts.

It’s this tight integration that perhaps best defines this service. SharePoint allows a link to a document to be shared with users who can then visit, work on and have their changes automatically merged into that file. Documents can even be downloaded and worked on offline, then automatically synchronised back into the SharePoint workspace.

In theory, SharePoint provides a fantastic opportunity to create a collaborative environment for staff, students and parents.

However, many schools have gone down the route of implementing virtual learning environments (VLEs), committing time and resources to create content-rich pages and experiences for students to access no matter where they are. Unlike SharePoint, VLEs such as Moodle and Frog are specifically geared at schools, offering proven, education-specific tools.

Similarly, many schools have introduced electronic portals for parents that allow access to data from the school’s management information system (MIS), including their child’s examination results and attendance.

Details

Software subcategory Office software

Requirements

Processor requirement N/A

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? yes

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