Office 365 Education is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your schoolwork. It’s available for free to teachers who are currently working at an academic institution and to students who are currently attending an academic institution. The service includes Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), 1TB of OneDrive storage, Yammer, and SharePoint sites. Some schools allow teachers and students to install the full Office applications on up to 5 PCs or Macs for free. If your school provides this additional benefit, you’ll see the Install Office button on your Office 365 home page after you complete sign-up.
In many cases, the response time is instantaneous through an automated verification process. In other cases where an institution needs to be verified, it shouldn’t take more than three to seven days. If you are nearing the end of your 30-day trial and have not received approval of eligibility, please contact customer support.
Microsoft Classroom (“Class Dashboard” was the name for the private preview) is a new experience that we will make available on the Office 365 Education* home screen (upon sign-in) for teachers and students. We will be expanding the limited public preview of Microsoft Classroom in the US (English-only) starting on April 12th. IT Administrators (or admins of Office 365 tenants) can sign up for the preview at cd.microsoft.com and they will be added over the course of the summer. We will roll this out in the US in July, with international availability and other languages besides English in subsequent months of 2016. Here is what Microsoft Classroom is:
Office 365 Education includes Microsoft Classroom, a homepage where teachers can manage all of their classes and assignments online. Teachers can manage multiple class sections (like Biology A and Biology B), create or manage assignments and grading, collaborate with other teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and provide feedback to students with built-in Class Notebooks. In Classroom, students can collaborate with their teachers, their classmates, and access all the materials to be successful in the class even when they are absent. With Sway integrated, teachers can create interactive web-based lessons, assignments, project recaps, newsletters, and more—right from a phone, tablet, or browser— and even embed a quiz with the new Office Forms. Students can access all their assignments on their mobile devices (Classroom app). Office 365 is now optimized for teachers and students along with an integrated platform with the aim of saving teachers time and improving student outcomes.
In order to use Microsoft Classroom, all teachers and students must have the following:
- Be in the same Office 365 Education tenant
- Have SharePoint Online licenses
- Have Exchange Online licenses, active Exchange mailboxes, and the ability to send and receive mail.
Customers interested in this new experience should register and see the updated information at the cd.microsoft.com to be notified when it becomes available for Customer Preview. They can also watch the case study video from Omaha Public Schools use in Private Preview (see written case study).
In the meantime, any teacher can start OneNote Class Notebooks with their class today to experience a key piece of saving time, organizing, and collaborating with Office 365 Education: http://onenote.com/classnotebooks. Customers can now have assignments, not just pages and sections (announced last month), distributed in OneNote Class Notebooks also show up in Office 365 Education (Microsoft Classroom) and top Learning Management Systems (LMSs). Teachers can now get most things done in OneNote without jumping between applications!