There are many office suites available nowadays such as Google Docs and LibreOffice, but as fine as they are, none compare to the venerable Microsoft Office. When you send your son or daughter to school, you are hoping that they become equipped to handle the "real world" when they eventually graduate. Microsoft Office is what the business world largely uses.
Sure, you may be able to get by with an alternative to Office, but why would you want to? Oh right, cost; LibreOffice and Google Docs are free, while Microsoft Office costs money.
Today, Microsoft announces that money is no longer an issue in this regard, as some students and teachers can now easily score a copy of Office for free.
"It was just about a year ago we announced Student Advantage, a benefit that allows eligible students to get Office 365 from their school for free.
One drawback to Student Advantage - the onus has been on the school to initiate the service, create an account and order the Office 365 license on behalf of the student.
Today we're making it easier on the school IT department with a new self-serve model for students that lets them sign up for the free service on their own", explains the Office Team.
The team further explains, "we have even more great news to share - we're also announcing that faculty and staff will soon be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as their students. This means that any organisation purchasing Office for all of their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff".
Here is what is included for free:
- The latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher
- Installation on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPad
- 1 Terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage
- Office Online
That is a very impressive package and is sure to enhance both the learning and teaching experiences. Students love iPads and they will enjoy working with and editing Office documents on a lightweight tablet as opposed to a clunky desktop. Since teachers can now gain access to the same version of Office as the students, there will be no confusion from a tutor using anything outdated.
Unfortunately, students must be 13 years or older to be eligible and I think that is a shame. I understand that students younger than that likely won't have a school-issued email address, but a 9 or 10 year old could benefit from Office too. Hopefully a solution can be found for younger learners.
To find out if your child is eligible for a free copy of Office, simply click here.