Modern day technology has drastically improved the accessibility of quality education at all levels. But where reach has improved, the impact is still under question. The current curriculum still lacks effective methods for students to understand what they are good at.
It doesn’t arm them with enough tools to fully explore their creative sides or motivate them to sidestep the status quo.
MS Office 365 apps aim to change this and develop such learning techniques which not only educate but also enlighten.
Its arsenal, which includes apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and so on, can be utilised on a personal level as well as on an institutional level for helping students reach their best potential.
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How Students Are Using Microsoft 365 Worldwide
#1 Bombay College of Pharmacy Partners with Microsoft to Drive in Better Academic Results
The college had issues in establishing effective communication between students and faculties. This was because students and teachers were using personal emails for communication which led to frequent data loss and was causing a roadblock in partnering with industry.
As part of immediate remedy, all official mails were to be done using Exchange online which is a part of MS Office 365 Educations suite. With the help of a hybrid active directory, a single online identity was created for all college related mails and internal sites. The staff and students were also on boarded to MS Outlook to exchange data in a secure manner with SharePoint online.
#2 Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CDMA) Used Microsoft Office 365 Solution for Enhanced Learning of South African Students
CDMA originally provided support to young, budding musicians in South Africa. To attract more funds, they decided to include e-lessons of mathematics and science.
The expansion plan of CDMA involved scaling their operations for including two more subjects and their modules. The organisation chose Microsoft Office 365 for the same and for improving collaboration. CDMA is also benefitting from the cloud computing solutions and now provides an option to copy learning material directly to their OneDrive.
#3 Microsoft Flagship School in Poland
Microsoft flagship school in Poland is a designated facility developed by Microsoft to adopt technology as a part of daily learning of students. But at the same time, it aims to use modern technology in a wise and skilled manner.
Using Microsoft 365 services in school have enabled students to undertake critical thinking on a far larger scale and collaborate with their peers to find solutions. A student can sync all their devices to access the services from any device. Their safety is also given due consideration. Students can only access safe sites and their data as well as profile is secured against leaks.
Microsoft 365 Education: Empowering Students with Powerful Education Tools
The whole lineup of Office 365 apps has been designed keeping the dynamic needs of modern students in mind.
Best for educators to establish one-to-one or group communication with students.
Outlook is one of the key proponents of Microsoft student edition. This app is available both on a browser and as desktop/mobile native application. Outlook is particularly useful for remote learning as instructors can create mailing groups and easily forward assignments and test results. Students have the option of attaching their assignments directly from their device or upload the document to OneDrive and then attach the link. They can also reach out to potential employers with their profiles in a professional manner.
Best for professional and personal writings.
This one needs no introduction. From easily taking down notes and personal musings to attaching high quality images and audio, word is suitable for whomsoever is opting for MS Office for students. MS Word has an extremely useful feature known as mail merge using which instructors can send out a notice to all their students at the same time. Students pursuing higher education can easily add watermarks to their thesis and projects and even convert them to PDFs.
Best for converting normal data into bars, charts and graphs.
Excel forms an important part of the office 365 education version. It helps in better visualisation of data, thus making analysis easier. Excel also supports conversion of any data set into a website. This makes it easier for information sharing between large groups and has been adopted by educational institutions for communicating with remote students. Moreover, this Microsoft 365 app for students can easily convert numbers into graphs and charts.
Best for students and teachers to present in a creative and intuitive manner.
Another popular app from MS office student version, MS PowerPoint is used by students to create visually enriching presentations. PowerPoint is quite popular for imparting lessons and interactive knowledge sessions to a large group of students online. It not only provides several template slides but also different styles of animations to make your presentations more engaging.
Best for students to smartly take down notes.
Perhaps one of the most modern tools of Microsoft Office 365 education plan, OneNote is the perfect study companion. Students can easily take snaps of whiteboards and OneNote will auto trim to improve readability. It is also compatible with stylus so that you can handwrite notes and diagrams. Students can type on any part of the virtual OneNote page and even record audio from within the app. OneNote creations can be shared with other people with whom you can collaborate and edit the creation in real time.
Best for teachers and students to remotely communicate with one another.
Microsoft Teams is a video and voice communication app as a part of Office 365 suite. It has been the first choice for several institutes to conduct online classes. Classes can be scheduled in advance and different channels can be created for different subjects. Students can upload their assignments and teachers can easily add a remark on them.
Best for students to design professional creatives.
Microsoft Publisher is used for professionally designing leaflets, brochures, newsletters, birthday cards and more. The software is useful for those who are aiming to make a career in graphic designing. Publisher is also useful for creating eye-catching creatives and social media posts.
Best for teachers and students to manage their attendance and lessons.
Access MS Office 365 app helps educational institutes with the management of databases. Access is useful for handling the schedules of all the teachers in your institute so that no two teachers are allotted the same time or a single teacher allotted multiple classes at the same time. It can also be used by students to manage their lesson plans. Access is a handy application for student attendance management as well as library management.
Other Relevant Microsoft Office Student Apps
Although the following apps do not feature as a part of office 365 for students, they are quite useful for students, teachers and educational institutes. Have a look.
This app is most useful for creating quizzes with auto marking, surveys and polls in no time.
SharePoint is your organisation’s intranet that enables educators and students to share documents and files within or outside the organisation.
Stream is a video streaming service where educators can upload class videos or more such relevant content. It also offers advanced features such as auto-generated closed captions and speech to text.
As education continues to modernise, more apps will be developed which makes students and educators efficient. Presently, MS Office 365 apps provide an extensive learning experience to students which help them perform to the best of their abilities.