Technology solutions provider Microsoft's cloud-based suite Office 365 for Education has been adopted by students and educators at a Malaysian private university, the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU).
"We realised the enormous collaborative benefits that Office 365 for Education would bring," said APU technology and infrastructure manager, Rasodin Ramuddin Hamzah. "Using cloud computing through Office 365 has tapped into an enormous amount of teacher potential that extends so far beyond the traditional classroom boundaries."
"The services offered as part of Office 365 for education are reliable, robust, and secure," said Rasodin. "Also, despite the cost being free, there is no advertising, unlike some other market alternatives available."
Available to schools at no cost, Office 365 for Education includes the familiar Microsoft Office desktop applications, as well as Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Lync Online.
"It provides educators with powerful tools to create anytime, anywhere* learning opportunities across multiple devices in addition to e-mail, calendars, Microsoft Office Web Apps, video and online meetings plus advanced document creation features for curriculum planning and student projects," said Microsoft Malaysia education segment director, Khatijah Samah.
"The cloud and online learning are key trends transforming education today. Office 365 for education delivers a holistic collaboration platform that will change the game," said Khatijah. "As schools face increasing needs to maximise resources and the pressure to innovate, we are offering enterprise-quality technology for free that will modernise teaching practices and help prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow."
Reach more students
"Office 365 allows schools to teach from virtually anywhere, reach more students, teach software skills employers are looking for and provide enterprise-class tools that reduce IT costs," said Khatijah. "Students can engage in ad-hoc instant messaging or video chats to collaborate on class projects in real time, regardless of where they are working or on what device. They can create documents with Office Web Apps that provide the same features as the desktop version of Microsoft Office, share class notes by synchronising OneNote notebooks, and create digital portfolios.
"Teachers can create curriculum, record lectures and publish them on online class sites in the cloud where students are able to view, open, produce, edit and share their homework. Office 365 provides new ways to extend classroom teaching time and distance learning, tutor students online, and whiteboard ideas. School IT departments can save money and free up more critical time by counting on Microsoft to manage routine tasks such as applying server updates and software upgrades. People won't be forced to purge files with the provision of 25GB mailboxes."
Education institutions currently using the Microsoft Live@edu platform will be upgraded to Office 365 beginning this summer. Customers can sign up for a 30-day trial now.
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