Microsoft partners will set the pace for education in 2017

Students in a lab

In fiscal 2017, prospects for our Microsoft partners focused on K–12 and higher education markets are extremely bright. Together we will continue our progress toward our mission of empowering the world’s 1.4 billion students to achieve more.

This mission is vast and will provide our education partners with tremendous opportunities for their solutions to help schools and universities achieve better student outcomes, while helping to contain costs. In many cases we are working together to redefine learning in and out of the classroom, providing students with access to the knowledge and tools to design, invent, and build a prosperous future for themselves, their communities, and the world at large.

The four pillars of our education marketing efforts and messaging in fiscal 2017 are:

  • Engage your students, with immersive learning experiences in which students learn by doing.
  • Empower your educators, with the tools they need to help create those immersive experiences.
  • Optimize your education institution, with IT platforms to improve teacher and staff productivity, to manage students’ progress better, and to run school operations more cost-effectively.
  • Transform learning, with anytime, anywhere learning experiences enabled by technology but with technology operating transparently, securely, and trouble-free.

Market momentum. To achieve these ends, Microsoft offers our partners the opportunity to build and integrate on top of tremendously powerful technology platforms used by hundreds of thousands education institutions, and hundreds of millions students and teachers around the globe.  . In late July, for example, Windows 10 will mark its first birthday, well on its way to our goal of a billion users — among them students, teachers, and administrators. Our Office 365 Education platform has made significant traction with educators everywhere. In addition, Microsoft analytics, cloud, and mobility solutions hold more promise than ever for enabling greater student achievement and doing so much more cost-effectively.

A classroom game-changer.  With over 300 million Office 365 assigned users in education, it’s no surprise that innovative developers are working tirelessly to create powerful new apps to make it even more powerful. The long list of partners who have integrated with Office 365 and OneNote Class Notebook includes Canvas, Edmodo, RedCritter, Moodle, and Matific, to name just a few. That list is growing every day, and teachers are reaping the benefits.

Using applications that work with Office 365, and with each other, helps teachers save time, stay organized and — most important — deliver great lessons. Here are just a few ways integrated Office 365 Education apps are changing the game:

  • Single Sign On saves precious classroom time, allowing students and teachers to access all their applications and resources by logging on only once.
  • Roster Integration enables apps that can deliver more individualized experiences to students by getting student roster information — such as what grade they are in, who their teacher is, what other classes they are taking and who else is in their class — from Office 365 and Azure Active Directory.
  • Assignment Integration delivers assignments through OneNote Class Notebook, making collaborating, feedback, and grading easier — and accessible from nearly any device.

Office 365 and Edmodo partner to solve a big challenge

One example of how Office 365 apps are helping to change the world of education is Chula Vista Elementary School District. It’s California’s largest K-6 district, with more than 28,000 students and 1,500 teachers in 46 elementary schools, and needed a secure platform in which students and teachers could connect, collaborate, and share resources. Their solution? Providing access to Microsoft Office 365 on the Edmodo platform to all of their students, teachers and staff.

Edmodo teamed with Microsoft to build a solution that enabled students to log into Edmodo directly through their Office 365 accounts with a single password. With Single Sign On (SSO), students and teachers can now access their Office documents for collaboration, content sharing, and assignments within the Edmodo platform. Teachers and students can open, create, and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files and access additional tools, including Sway, OneNote and Office Mix, by simply clicking the Office icon in their apps launcher.

Not only does the Edmodo network connect teachers and students, but administrators and parents can also tap in to the electronic learning community. Parents can view upcoming assignments, read important class announcements, and track their students’ academic progress. Administrators can use Edmodo analytics to gauge student achievement against standards, and encourage innovative teachers to share their ideas with peers in other district classrooms.

Click here to read the complete story of Chula Vista Elementary.

Attending 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference?

If you will be attending next month’s 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, we have a number of great sessions lined up for our education partners, where we can share our 2017 plans in much greater detail with you. Even if you can’t make it, we’ll be keeping you informed of all the partner marketing resources we’re creating to help you have your best year ever in your K–12 and higher education markets. Join the Microsoft Education Partner Network  to stay informed.

By Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector – Education, Microsoft

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