Live@edu–Free Tools for Schools from MS
One of the great free resources for schools from Microsoft is Live@edu. This is a cloud-based service and it allows teachers and schools to deploy a full e-mail, calendar, tasks and office tools without the need for any software installation.
As it is a cloud-based service it is accessible anywhere and at any time and can be used collaboratively to share documents, PowerPoint presentations, calendars etc.
The Outlook web app functions like the software-based Microsoft Outlook. It possible to share calendars with other teachers, schedule events and see attendees availability.
It’s easy for teachers to create contact lists or groups. The principal can use the application to communicate with all teachers by e-mail or with a class of students. Likewise a teacher could remind the class by e-mail to bring specific requirements to school for a lesson. Also in the event of a school closure the application can be used to inform students and provide them with activities to complete during the period of the closure.
Microsoft also provides each user with 25 GB of free storage space. This space can be organised into folders for various resources and can store documents, photographs and movies.
When logged in it is possible to upload documents very simply by dragging them into the application.
Once uploaded a document may be shared and it is possible to give editing rights so others can work collaboratively on the document.
With every teacher and student in school each receiving 25 GB of free storage a lot of resources can be built up easily.
There are full authoring tools available accessible from any computer. It is possible to create documents , spreadsheets and presentations within the cloud service .
A new feature of the service is the smartphone app that allows you to have access to your documents and other resources on your phone.
These are just some of the features and I would encourage you to investigate further. It is possible for an individual to have access to these services also. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu to find out more and setup an account. You might find you can live your life in the cloud!