School leaders, new research say technology helps increase engagement and career readiness

REDMOND, Wash. — June 6, 2016 — Schools around the world are choosing Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 platforms to enable greater classroom engagement and drive improved learning outcomes. According to Futuresource Consulting, Windows is leading in global device sales for K–12 education and is projected to gain market share in 2016.

“Microsoft continues to be the global market leader within the K–12 market, reaching 46 percent of the OS market in the first quarter of 2016 and gaining 6 percent global market share year over year,” said Mike Fisher, associate director of education technology at Futuresource.

With a mission to empower every student to achieve more, Microsoft is providing Office 365 and a wide range of affordable devices so all students and educators have access to programs to develop skills in the classroom. While the skills in demand from top employers evolve to suit the current job market, a new IDC study analyzed more than 76 million 2015 job posts revealing that tomorrow’s best jobs require proficiency in Microsoft Office and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Just a few examples of Windows and Office 365 in schools include:

Flexibility for students to learn anytime and anywhere

  • The flexibility of Windows allows Renton Prep Christian School in Washington to “Do More.”
    • “Windows 10 gives us the flexibility to do more with student-directed learning where multiple forms of nontraditional assessment are essential to demonstrate knowledge, creativity, collaboration, persistence and design thinking in ways we can’t capture with traditional forms of assessment,” said Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, director.
  • Consolidating an operating system, hardware, applications and storage on Office 365 for a single education platform is how Lafayette School Corporation in Indiana allows students to work effectively and efficiently.
    • “Since many of our students go home to evening situations in which they need to work on school projects and assignments but do not have internet access, the ability for students to work on OneNote and then sync their work when they come back to school is liquid gold,” said Summer Winrotte, digital coach and math teacher.
  • Modesto City Schools in California adopted 12,000 Windows-based devices (growing to 45,000 within five years) and Office 365 to improve teaching and learning, to standardize access on devices, and to provide cloud-based access to the latest productivity and collaboration tools.
    • “With mobile Windows-based devices in the classroom, students can access more resources when and where they need them … they can look things up, read what interests them, dig deeper, ask more questions,” said Cindy Minter, senior director of Information and Technology Services.

Preparing students for 21st century jobs

  • CDI College Inc. in Canada believes that the Windows operating system is more likely to provide its students with skills they’ll need after graduation, so it decided to use Surface devices running on Windows.
    • “By offering Surface devices with Office 365 in one high-quality package, we validate our brand promise of a first-rate education for students and high-caliber graduates for industry,” said Edward Bagg, vice president of IT.
  • Brescia House School in South Africa uses Windows and Office 365 to prepare students for the workplace.
    • “These tools, designed with teachers, students and classrooms in mind, help to change the paradigm of the traditional classroom,” said Lyneth Crighton, head of innovation and staff development.
  • Simon de Senlis Primary School in the United Kingdom provides on-demand access to a virtual version of the classroom, using a range of tools available through the Windows platform.
    • “Everyone talks about 21st century learning and what our children need for the future,” said Tom Rees, head teacher. “For us, it’s about our children shaping the future and being creative with it, and there’s so much that they need to know that sits outside of a formal curriculum: ways to work together, ways to use technology to communicate, to be creative.”

Freeing up time to learn

  • Saint Stephens College in Australia moved to an Office 2016 unified environment after using a combination of solutions for many years.
    • “The benefits [of a unified environment] are already becoming obvious with easier training and less support time, which will result in more learning time for students and less time out of class for IT support,” said Peter West, director of eLearning.
  • Newly opened school Claregalway College in Ireland wanted to create a text-free environment, so it used OneNote and Office 365 as primary admin tools and adopted Surface Pro 3 for students.
    • “We have seen that this change in approach empowers students to feel confident in their own abilities to construct knowledge from reliable sources,” said Gareth Callan, teacher.

Fostering stronger collaboration

  • Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska has led an effort to transform instructional technology through a partnership with Microsoft over the past two years. The district is using Microsoft School Data Sync and Microsoft Class Dashboard as part of its Office 365 Education subscription.
    • “Teachers now have the classes from our Student Information System synchronized with our Office 365 environment in a way that provides a collaboration space, a file storage space, a grading space — it’s always there, it’s always available,” said Jonathan Becker, system engineer.
  • River Dell Regional School District in New Jersey has had a 1:1 device program in place for over 10 years, but for the 2015–2016 school year, every teacher received a Surface Pro 3 and students received new fully equipped HP laptops. The combination of touch- and pen-enabled networked devices and Office 365 and OneNote has empowered teachers and students to take collaborative learning to a new level.
    • “We’re all in with Surface, Office 365 and OneNote on the students’ fully loaded HP laptops. It’s just the way we do business,” said Marianthe Williams, director of Technology.

Increasing reliability for real-time learning

  • Appleby College in Canada enjoys the reliability of Windows.
    • “Having used Windows in class the past few months, we’ve noticed it is a more knowledgeable and aware system running in the background to make the foreground easier, faster and more fluid,” said Cal Armstrong, mathematics teacher.
  • K–12 students at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Kentucky rely on Windows 10 running on Surface devices for their daily schoolwork.
    • “The best thing for us in the Windows 10 upgrade has been the most seamless Windows upgrade I’ve ever experienced. Windows has been a win all the way around at CCA,” said Stephanie Sorrell, IT director.
  • Qatar University turned to Office 365 to provide cloud-based email and access to apps anytime, anywhere.
    • “Having large storage capacity for each mailbox is an enormous benefit, and we have freed up significant time and management resources, which were really weighing us down before Office 365 was introduced,” said Trevor Moore, CIO.

Solutions that are easy to deploy and use

  • Aiken County Public School District in South Carolina upgraded existing Windows devices to Windows 10 and it cost it nothing.
    • “Upgrading to Windows 10 on existing Windows 7 and 8 devices has proven the devices not only run faster, but they are even more reliable,” said Andrew Cox, J.D., director of Technology. “The consistency with Windows 10 across all types of devices — whether it be a tablet, a laptop or a desktop — means that students spend less time learning the operating system and more time learning the lesson materials.”
  • Escuela del Deporte de San Juan in Puerto Rico uses Windows to promote communication, collaboration and creativity.
    • Windows is “the foundation of our innovative practices, allowing for us to extend learning even beyond the classroom,” said Yaiza Burgoa, English teacher. “It is an operating system that is easy to learn, easy to use and easy to build on.”
  • Özel Dünya Koleji in western Turkey worked with Microsoft to introduce a wide variety of new software and services that have helped teachers utilize cutting-edge educational tools and methods.
    • “Microsoft solutions were an ideal fit for our school. Our teachers and staff were already familiar with Windows and the Microsoft Office productivity suite, so they quickly became proficient with all the new tools,” said Serkan Atesol, IT manager.

Schools can receive free Office 365 today by visiting here. Qualifying schools can upgrade to Windows 10 for free until July 29 by visiting here.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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