Microsoft Corporation announced on Wednesday, June 24, its two new education services – Class Dashboard and School Information Sync. The two services simplify the link between school systems to enhance the collaboration between educators and their students. They leave teachers to have more time to engage with their students, via daily use of easy-to-use tools from Microsoft Corporation.
Class Dashboard is a website that brings to the classroom together, Office apps that are already familiar – Excel, Word, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint. Educators can maximize these tools to keep their students engaged in new collaborative learning experiences, in order for the outcomes they achieve are better. Class Dashboard makes teachers and students alike to stay organized, and likewise save time. A OneNote Class Notebook is provided for each class, and the class materials, notes, shared calendars and assignments notes are stored in a single online space. It makes them easily accessible by teachers and students, whether they are at school, at home or on the road.
Teachers will be able to build assignments with documents, online reference material and links. They will cooperate with students using the Microsoft tools that are accessible from a browser on the Web. Teachers can share assignments with students, give feedback and assign grades.
Meanwhile, automating the connection of manual and complex processes, and connecting data of the Student Information System with class websites and educational apps are the functions of the School Information Sync. It will sync class rosters and user profiles from the SIS, and make student data updated and accessible over an encrypted connection through learning apps.
As with any data, Microsoft sees to it that school information access is managed and in compliance with the school policies. The system takes care of this matter, and lets the school administration and teachers spend more time with the students and their class materials. Microsoft Corporation’s two new education services will be available for free to users of Office 365 Education.
Microsoft Corporation announcing its two new education services – School Information Sync and Class Dashboard, is just the first phase of the Preview program of the new services. PowerSchool School Systems Managing Director Bryan MacDonald says that PowerSchool is the market leading SIS, and that their partnership with Microsoft for more integrated experience between their system and Office 365 is bringing excitement.
PowerSchool is a portal for parents and students which provides easy and quick access to assessment information, marks, attendance records, school announcements and student assignments. Teachers can do their jobs more productively, while students can access study materials more easily. Parents and guardians are provided with web-based portal in order to monitor the progress of their children at school, as well as get more informed and involved in their child’s student life. More than a million students, teachers and parents rely on PowerSchool daily, and its integration with Office 365 to bring in more improvements in the classroom is a welcomed concept.
According to Renaissance Learning CEO Jack Lynch, they are looking for ways so that the lives of educators become easier; streamlining the use of educational tools is a win-win-for the schools, as well as the organizations that serve them. Kelly Arbuckle, a Summer school principal in Omaha, Nebraska said that technology’s real test is whether it benefits both the teachers and the students, and that Class Dashboard is a definite yes to this question.
Teachers are using Microsoft Office products in creating documentation, and they would welcome a software that can make use of their existing materials. These education materials from Microsoft enable teachers to share educational data and materials to students with a few clicks, while giving feedback along the way.
Microsoft Corporation’s announcement of new education services is another contribution of the Internet and mobile era to the field of education. There are already a lot of existing educational tools from Microsoft Corporation alone. Dashboard and School Information System will be joining OneNote Class Notebook, Sway and Office Mix. Microsoft Corporation’s technology puts powerful tools on the hands of educators, which students also love to use.
By Judith Aparri
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Microsoft News: Microsoft’s Two New Education Services: Microsoft Class Dashboard And Microsoft School Information Sync
Office Blogs: Coming soon—new ways to achieve more in your classroom
Microsoft Class Dashboard: Preview
Photo courtesy of Northern Ireland Executive‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License