Top 3 Reasons Schools Choose Office 365 over Google Apps

Originally posted on the Why Microsoft Blog.

As graduation caps flew into the air last week, other students earned a long, summer break from studying and raced their bikes to the corner store, or headed down to the lake. The luckiest students will return this autumn to schools that choose Office 365 for education. I’ll tell you why. Schools which choose Office 365 over Google Apps are more able to improve student outcomes, work together without boundaries, and prepare students for the workforce.

What are the top, 3 reasons schools choose Office 365 for education over Google Apps?

Number 1: With Office 365, educators can improve outcomes, by providing students with resources and tools that reinforce how they learn best.
Educators can personalize learning with Microsoft’s tools, addressing a variety of learning styles. In fact, learning is interactive and engaging with Office 365. For example, students can use an online whiteboard, unavailable with Google Apps, to share ideas with others.

One student takes notes in all of her classes and organizes her notes, assignments and schedule in a single, digital notebook. Another organizes his work in the way that best suits him. When schools choose Google Apps, students take notes with no ability to tag, catalog or search within them. The school might turn to investigating unsupported, third party tools.

Not only that, while Google earns poor grades in accessibility for its tools, students can excel when using Microsoft’s accessible technologies in Office 365 for education.

Number 2: Teachers and students work and learn without boundaries, online and offline, in and outside of the classroom with Office 365.
Both educators and students are productive when offline. On a class field trip to a history museum, using a SharePoint Workspace while offline, a teacher easily accesses the lesson plan she created earlier, and reviews the history of the period with her students. Returning to school by bus without Web access, the student begins her assignment using Word. However, teachers and students using Google Apps cannot create Google Docs offline, and are unproductive.

Today, with Office 365 teachers can record lessons and make them available for students to access outside of the classroom when they need to grasp difficult material, catch up on missed work, or reinforce learning in studying for a test. Google provides no capability for students or teachers to make recordings. Once again, schools must investigate unsupported, third party tools.

Number 3: Office 365 helps teachers prepare students for the workforce, building skills in using familiar Office tools, in ways people work today.
With Office 365, both teachers and students use familiar, Office tools and the latest technologies. When it comes time for students to enter the workforce they are better-prepared than students using Google Apps. Displaying writing skills using Word and analytical skills using Excel is essential compared to having skills with tools like Google Apps and Google Docs, where needs are negligiable in the workplace.

Today, people work in social groups. Educators use SharePoint in Office 365 to interact with colleagues, collecting ideas and feedback, and students use Office 365’s presence information to locate fellow students online, initiating chats and video chats when working on group projects. Google Apps has nothing close to the capabilities available through Office 365’s Lync Online and SharePoint Online.

Learn more about how students are engaged in learning, and teachers are productive and inspired using Office 365, instead of facing daily frustration using Google Apps. See the day in the life of a student and day in the life of a teacher infographics!

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