If you haven’t checked out Office 2010 by now, you really should play with it yourself to see how it can change teaching and learning and enable students and staff to be more productive and collaborative. Download the free trial here. Here is my top 5 list of what I think is cool for education.
1. In OneNote 2010, I love the changes and updates. An especially critical feature for students is the Linked Notes that makes it super easy to do research. If you dock your OneNote window to your desktop while you work side-by-side with other programs or a Web browser…as you take notes, they are automatically linked to whatever you are looking at. So imagine your notebook a year later and being able to easily find your source material.
2. For students and staff who use Excel, the increased functionality with analysis tools will help you create great new ways to visualize data. Sparklines in Excel 2010 are awesome (see picture on the left)…tiny charts in the background of a cell help you see patterns and trends in the data, not just formulas. PowerPivot allows you to quickly calculate data sets of hundreds of millions of rows from multiple sources at lightning speed which can eliminate the need to spend money on additional BI tools.
3. I love the changes and optimizations with PowerPoint 2010. There are a lot of fantastic new tools for photo and video editing (screen shot below on the right). You can now trim a video clip without leaving the application and having to re-embed the file, turn a color film into black and white, add artistic effects to photos and more without the need for expensive third party tools.
4. Office has evolved to be much more collaborative to really help drive project-based usage. Co-authoring in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote enables simultaneous editing to reduce the administrative work that can come from team collaboration; security is not compromised since the information can be hosted on premise. What a time saver not to have to deal with multiple versions of documents and everyone’s rev marks…you can have just ONE version of the file!
5. Office Web Apps are a game changer for education as I’ve blogged about before. Documents where and when you need them and the integration with Live@edu presents tremendous opportunity. Now students don’t have to worry about whether they have Office on their PC or what version of Office is on the library kiosk they are working on…this ability to share notes and collaborate and create rich documents on the phone, browser or a traditional client provides the flexibility and the dynamic learning environment students need.
Once you have Office 2010, you can download Ribbon Hero to help you explore and learn all the new features available. For institutions, we have rolled out Electronic Software Distribution (ESD) for Academic Volume License customers who want easy access to Microsoft software, eliminating the need to acquire and distribute physical media. So take advantage of that to reduce costs, deployment and logistics hassles, and get new software into the hands of your students and teachers faster.
For more specifics on Office 2010 in education, read more on the UK team’s blog here. Check out the new Office 2010 and tell us what you think…