Part ten of the series of Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips for schools, based on my BETT 2010 presentation.
Good news, my counting was hopeless, and my Top 10 tips actually contains 14 Top ICT Money Saving Tips. So there’s more to come after this one
So far I’ve talked about saving your school budget directly, but for the next couple of tips, I’m going to look at saving your students money (or perhaps their parents!).
The first student money saving tip is to ensure that when they’re buying Microsoft Office or other Microsoft software, they are getting the best price. As you know, we have specific education licensing schemes for schools, which means that you pay a lot less for our software than a consumer or a business. But did you know that your students can also buy software under an education licence too?
What price is Microsoft’s student software?
Let’s use Office as an example. Not only are there lots of different versions of the Office suite, but lots of different prices:
- Our retail package, Office 2007 Home and Student, can be bought from a high-street retailer or online store, and typically costs £60 or over.
Today, it’s £59.99 at Amazon, £69.95 at Dixons, and £70.49 at Misco, and £69.95 at PC World
- The business packages, like Office 2007 Standard, are sold through most Microsoft partners, and typically start at over £200. (Some parents buy these licences for their children, because they specifically want Access or Publisher, and haven’t realised there are Academic versions)
- The Academic licence version of the business packages, which is limited to use by education institutions, staff or students. You won’t see them in the high street or at most normal computer shops, as they are only available through our authorised Education partners. Although each of our education partners set their own price, I grabbed a copy of the Pugh catalogue, and their price for Office Standard is £94 under our “Academic Fully Packaged Product”. (For schools to buy these licences for their own use, Pugh quote £52 under our “Open” licence scheme, and £29 under “Select”)
- For students, we have a small number of partners who run online shops, where students can order Academic versions directly. Normally, after the students order, the partner will ship out a DVD along with their licence key. A quick scan across the sites gives a slim range of prices for Office 2007 Standard Academic Edition:
- Most students actually buy the Professional or Professional Plus version, so that they get Access and Publisher, and the prices vary on these between the suppliers (but always at a significant saving). It’s worth shopping between the stores depending on what version your students want (Today, the cheapest price on Professional Plus is £44.99 at two of the stores above)
Should students be buying software for their schoolwork?
I know there are people that think students shouldn’t have to buy software for their schoolwork. However, the reality is that many of them do buy copies of Office (if you want to know if that’s true in your school, go and ask a typical class how many have Word and PowerPoint at home). And if they’re going to do it, you can help them save money by buying from the right place.
And I also know that there are people who argue that it shouldn’t be as expensive. Often this is said by people that think that Office costs £100 or more (in a research panel recently, we found that 60% of students believed Office cost over £100 in the shops, when the reality is it’s often under £70 everywhere).
And there’s another argument that’s relevant for parents:
A copy of Office will typically last for 3 years before it’s replaced, costs under £40, and will support their children’s learning in lots of ways.
A copy of Call of Duty will typically last a lot less time, costs more money, and I think it’s difficult to argue that it supports learning of the National Curriculum
I’m not arguing that parents shouldn’t buy games for their children, but am arguing that there’s a balance to the argument that Office is expensive!
Where students should buy software
In a nutshell, to save money when buying Office, your students should go to one of our student partner shops, because they are going to get between 40% and 95% off: