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Microsoft Updates Office 365 Education

Microsoft has added new features to its Office 365 Education portfolio of products for students and teachers.

In April, the company released Microsoft Classroom, which provides course management operations for teachers. For school IT staff, an updated Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer tool would let them set up shared devices in bulk for classroom scenarios where students share devices. Finally, an updated release of Windows 10 offered Windows Ink, a technology that enables the user to write on his or her device as if it were paper.

Now, Microsoft has introduced two new features in time for the new school year.

First, a version of Microsoft Classroom and a new software product called School Data Sync will help IT administrators connect existing school systems to Office 365, enabling a single sign-on for teachers and students while automating Microsoft Classroom set-up.

Microsoft representatives described School Data Sync as "the easiest way to provision online classrooms in Office 365 Education." It will also allow teachers to create and manage online classes and then connect that data with third-party apps or other databases that the schools might rely on.

An advancement on Windows Ink is OneNote Ink that now — in addition to letting students shade, sketch, draft, save and share ideas — recognizes math equations. The belief is that students will now be able to show their thought processes while working on math problems and teachers can better identify the gaps in understanding.

IT administrators can get started with Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync while teachers learn about the new OneNote Ink.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.