Microsoft has been on a roll lately, with government agencies and school districts making the move to Office 365. In an official blog post today, Microsoft announced that the Houston school district in Texas has made the move to Office 365 and Windows to improve education.
The Houston school district is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh largest in the US. The district is providing Office 365 to faculty and staff, and planning to roll it out to students at no additional cost using the Student Advantage benefit.
On top of improving communication and collaboration across the district with Office 365, nearly 65,000 high school students will receive HP Elitebook Folio 9470m Ultrabooks running Windows 8 to further enhance personalized learning for students. This will happen once the devices have been fully implemented over the next three years.
"This deployment process was unique because teachers were given the opportunity to teach their students with just pen and paper during the first semester, and then see them the second half of the year on a digital platform," said Lenny Schad, chief information technology officer at Houston Independent School District. "Teachers tell us that students are blowing them away; artistic, writing and other skills come out of the woodwork when you allow students their own path to learning."
The school district is optimistic about the future and confident that students will gain new skills and experience new opportunities thanks to Windows and Office, ultimately boosting their path from graduation into college or a career.
"You can't help but feel good when you see students' faces as they open their laptops, or when you hear from parents and grandparents how grateful they are that this technology - something they'd never be able to afford on their own - has been provided, because it's so important to their students' futures and education," Schad adds.