I just got an embargoed press release from the UK Learning Possibilities team for 15th June – and luckily for us, I can write about it already as we’re half a day ahead of the UK
In a nutshell, LP+ is a rich Virtual Learning Environment for schools built on SharePoint 2010, which is run as a hosted service in the cloud – meaning that schools don’t need to spend on servers etc to run it on, and can provide seamless access at school and from home. What they have now done is to link this through to Office 365, so that students can access their email, file storage and the web versions of Microsoft Office applications, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint – making it much easier to create a single seamless learning environment in school and at home.
First of all, here’s an extract from the Press Release:
Learning Possibilities announces full integration of its new LP+4 learning platform with Microsoft Office365
Learning Possibilities, the leading learning platform provider, announces today that its new LP+4 learning platform now offers full integration and single sign-on with Microsoft Office 365. This means that LP+4 users can have access to Outlook Live, Lync and Office Web Applications from within the LP+4 learning platform and without need to login again.
Together with Office365, LP+4 delivers a whole new suite of online tools to improve collaboration and productivity where students and teachers are able to create, upload, edit and share Office documents and access emails, instant message and access calendars online from any device with a browser and internet access – even if schools do not have Microsoft Office installed on their computers.
One of the interesting aspects of LP+ is that they have built a system which can be designed around the individual schools and student cohorts – for example, the screen shots below show designs for a primary school and a high school – with different styles, sophistication and features showing up.
Today LP+ is mainly used with the UK, although there are plans to make it available in Australia, so for Australian readers I think the real interest is in the idea of linking a learning management system to the cloud, and how it helps to make a single coherent learning journey available at home and within the school – regardless of whether your students have 1:1 laptops or not. If they are using their own home computer, they can still have their learning resources, and tools like Microsoft Office available, in the same way.
I’m going to see if the LP+ team have a video demo available of the Office 365 integration, as that should give a good idea of how the students move between the different cloud services (and how students and teachers can move between using LP+, Office Web Apps, email and online real-time communications like Lync).