Microsoft for Education

Continuing on the trend of technology integrated into education, Microsoft has launched a new classroom platform to further shape current and future classrooms through digital workspaces.

Since its founding in 1975, Microsoft has proven itself as the leading developer of personal-computer software systems and applications.

In 2011, with strict competition from Google, Microsoft Office 365 reached general availability and brought together its online services to then create the now-successful and widely used Office 365. Over the course of 5 years, Microsoft has gone on to expand Office 365 services through providing packages for small business, medium size business and even large businesses, etc. It’s even being used more and more by colleges and universities.

Through the Student Advantage Program, students at major research universities, like the University of Georgia, are able to have free access to the full version of Office 365 ProPlus during their tenure at the University of Georgia.

In April 2016, Microsoft launched Microsoft Classroom, stitching together tools from already widely-sued Office 365 and other learning management partnerships.

Google Classroom has already proven to take classrooms by storm, and the hopes for Microsoft classroom are the same. However, because of its inclusion of the already proven successful Office 365, there are some differences in the two educational platforms that could potentially tailor one over the other.

The big plus, it’s free for all Office 365 Education users.

The basics of Microsoft Classroom

What makes Microsoft Classroom unique is that just like Google Classroom, it operates like a learning management system. It has some similarities to what Google already offers, yet has some key differences that make it synonymous to Microsoft.

Just like Office 365, apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneDrive are all available to be used.

What makes it unique

What separates Microsoft Classroom from Google Classroom is Microsoft Classroom comes with the capability of being integrated with other learning management systems including Edmodo and Brightspace.

This is a key plus because this allows for “grades on assignments to be delivered via Classroom can automatically feed into supported third-party gradebooks,” according to EdSurge.

Perhaps what sets Microsoft Classroom apart from anything else is the School Data Sync feature that allows a schools’ student information system, like Infinite Campus, to automatically update individual class student rosters within Microsoft Classroom.

Comparing Google to Microsoft

 

Feature Google Apps for Ed. Microsoft Office 365
Browser Chrome Internet Explorer/Edge
Word Processing Docs Word
Spreadsheets Sheets Excel
Presentations Slides PowerPoint/Sway
Email Gmail Exchange/Outlook
Pages Sites Office 365 Sites/SharePoint
Drive storage Drive OneDrive
Instant messaging Talk Lync/Skype/Yammer
Video conferencing Hangouts Lync/Skype
Social networks Google+/Groups Yammer/ So.cl
Notes Keep OneNote
Native search engines Google Search Bing/Fast Search
Service status dashboards App status dashboard Office 365 service health dashboard

(Chart produced by campussuite.com)

So, which one is better?

Both Microsoft for Education and Google Apps for Education provide many services that cater to the growing needs of students and educators. Both are continually being worked on to evolve to become more user friendly and technologically savvy.

Microsoft, having just been launched allows educators full access to Microsoft applications they are all potentially comfortable with using. One other key advantage to Microsoft Classroom is the Professional Leading Center (PCL) feature, that provides educators with ability to interact with other professionals.

Google Classroom, on the other hand, has been pretty widely used since 2014. One thing that might keep users away is that it is only offered as a web-based platform, so if internet capabilities are down, so is Google Classroom.

Both platforms provide adaptability, efficiency and interactivity. Ultimately, it comes down to which one you are more comfortable with using.

 

 

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Photo Essay: Why students love Apple

Mac vs. PC.

It’s been the debate that has raged among college students for years.In a technology-savvy world, what leads a person to make the big decision of purchasing a certain laptop?

There are many factors that one has to consider before making such a large commitment. Many students want the laptops they purchase to last them throughout their college tenure–whether that be four years or eight years.

The biggest factor is cost.

Apple products are known for their high cost, but long life span. On the other hand, PC’s can be purchased for much less, but is their quality what you pay for them?

UGA students are like a majority of college students across the nation–seas of Mac’s like Moses parting the Red Sea.

Apple products, like this MacBook Air, can be seen all over UGA's campus. Apple products are known for their light weight, making it easy for students to put them in their backpacks and trek across campus.
Apple products, like this MacBook Air, can be seen all over UGA’s campus. Apple products are known for their light weight, making it easy for students to put them in their backpacks and trek across campus. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)
Juliana Lima, 20, a political science and world languages education double major, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, uses her MacBook Air for everything. Lima said her MacBook was the best investment she and her parents made and never has to worry about it crashing.
Juliana Lima, 20, a political science and world languages education double major, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, uses her MacBook Air for everything, on Monday, February 13, 2017. Lima said her MacBook was the best investment she and her parents made and never has to worry about it crashing. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)
Jessie Gerke, 21, a human development and family sciences major, from Acworth, Georgia, uses her MacBook Pro so much that she is actually in the market for a new one. Gerke owned her MacBook Pro for over five years.
Jessie Gerke, 21, a human development and family sciences major, from Acworth, Georgia, uses her MacBook Pro so much that she is actually in the market for a new one, on Monday, February 13, 2017. Gerke owned her first MacBook Pro for over five years. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)
Nil Patel, 20, a finance major, from Cordele, Georgia, has owned a MacBook Pro for almost four years. Patel said he doesn't have to worry about viruses on his MacBook Pro.
Nil Patel, 20, a finance major, from Cordele, Georgia, has owned a MacBook Pro for almost four years, on Monday, February 13, 2017. Patel said he doesn’t have to worry about viruses on his MacBook Pro. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)
Brianna Miller, 19, a management information systems major, from Powder Springs, Georgia, considers herself faithful to the Apple brand. Miller said one of the biggest reasons she loves the brand is because her MacBook Pro can be used for more than just a computer. Miller loves that her MacBook connects to her iPhone via her iCloud account.
Brianna Miller, 19, a management information systems major, from Powder Springs, Georgia, considers herself faithful to the Apple brand, on Monday, February 13, 2017. Miller said one of the biggest reasons she loves the brand is because her MacBook Pro can be used for more than just a computer. Miller loves that her MacBook connects to her iPhone via her iCloud account. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)
Katie Pilson, 20, a public relations major, from Washington, Georgia, is a fairly new Apple owner. She owned a PC during her first two years of college. Once she got into her computer coding and production classes, she made the switch to a MacBook Pro because it allowed her to work on more "hardcore" projects without feeling like her PC would crash.
Katie Pilson, 20, a public relations major, from Washington, Georgia, is a fairly new Apple owner. She owned a PC during her first two years of college. Once she got into her computer coding and production classes, she made the switch to a MacBook Pro because it allowed her to work on more “hardcore” projects without feeling like her PC would crash. (Photo/Chelsey Shirley)