Our Office in the Cloud

clip_image002I have written previously on this blog of the obvious merits of cloud computing for education You really can’t argue that a move to cloud based applications and services is a no-brainer for all cash-strapped schools, not alone are there considerable cost savings but the functionality promised by the cloud  far out strips traditional standalone software.  It’s hard to imagine in today’s connected world that it was just back in 2006 when Google launched its pioneering Apps suite. Considering the phenomenal growth of these tools and services in the intervening years it can only be a matter of time before our entire digital needs will be catered for via broadband 

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Clifford Brown wrote previously about ‘Live@edu–Free Tools for Schools from MS’, one of the most comprehensive suites of cloud based tools available and the good news is that Microsoft has now launched an even more powerful cloud based suite in Office 365 which is available for free to schools and colleges. So now in addition to Exchange based email, shared calendars, online storage and Office Web Apps, Office 365 includes instant messaging, web conferencing, team sites (for sharing and collaborating on files), voice chat capabilities and web authoring and hosting. In addition if schools already have Office 2010 installed locally on school workstations it can be integrated fully with the cloud. If however you haven’t got a license for Office 2010 and require this integration Microsoft offer a monthly subscription model per user (Plans and pricing for education) but the Free A2 Plan providing full online access should be more than sufficient for most schools.

So how do I get my school setup? To sign-up for a free school account follow the Signup for 30-day trial optionm to get the ball rolling on domain verification and configuration of cloud services on your own school domain.  So why not sign-up today and move your Office into the cloud!

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