By Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education
It's officially the season of giving, and Microsoft is giving in a big way to teachers and students around the globe. I'm pleased to announce that the popular Office 365 ProPlus Benefit is now available worldwide to all students and educators. This means that any eligible organization – anywhere in the world – can provide an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff.
Today's announcement is the latest expansion of the Office 365 ProPlus benefit, an evolution of last year's popular "Student Advantage" program, which was created to address the very real needs of our fast-changing global economy. Office 365 ProPlus includes all of the familiar (and professional-grade) Office applications like Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. The program also includes Office Online and 1TB of storage on OneDrive for Business, enough to support all of the productivity – and creativity – 21st century learning can unleash, all in a safe and secure environment.
Office 365 is the productivity tool for the world of education, matching the anywhere, anytime learning environments of today. The program offers students and teachers throughout the world access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies everywhere. And Microsoft believes that by making Office more available where it's needed most (like we recently did in Thailand, where Office 365 is helping to create massive repositories of knowledge that can be accessed and shared by every student nationwide), we are furthering our mission to help everyone on the planet do more and achieve more. By helping students, faculty and staff throughout the world be more productive, we're helping them focus on what really matters: the business of learning.
That's the reason why Cognita Schools Asia, a leading international independent schools group operating in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam including their flagship school Stamford American International School has chosen Office 365 to enable its teachers and staff to collaborate and communicate more seamlessly in and across campuses to facilitate better learning outcomes for students through Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive and Lync.
Brian Rogove, Chief Executive, Cognita Asia, said: "Cognita Asia has a clear vision of providing the highest level of quality in teaching and learning excellence for our students in Asia Pacific. Our schools are constantly innovating to enable our teachers, staff and students to stay ahead in a world where technology has radically changed the way we communicate. That's why we are excited to be now on Office 365 to enhance the way we teach, communicate and collaborate across our network of schools."
Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to teachers and staff ensures that educators now have access to the latest version of Office across all their devices. It also means that teachers are using the same technology and features as their students, and allows them access to all their Office documents both at school and at home. With the program, educators can access full Office on up to five PCs or Macs and can unlock the editing capabilities of Office apps for iPad.
They can also take advantage of great Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures. With tools like Lync, classrooms around the world can communicate and collaborate instantaneously. With OneNote, teachers can share lesson plans, class notes, photos, and ideas on any device, accessible from anywhere. And all of these tools meet Microsoft's rigorous standards for security and our unwavering commitment to protecting the privacy of young people. (Read here how we're demonstrating that commitment in South Korea.)
Microsoft is proud to reinvent tools that make the most of the moments that matter — at home, at work and in school. We're even more proud that we can share this gift with resource-strapped schools in diverse communities around the world. For teachers, school leaders and students alike, Office 365 ProPlus expands the very potential of education. And perhaps more important, it provides a solid foundation in the skills that 21st century employers need, paving the way for an opportunity-filled future for today's young people.