Microsoft Office 365 now available free to all CPSB students
Public Information Officer
November 14, 2018
Over the course of the last several months, the Calcasieu Parish School Board has transitioned to utilizing Microsoft Office 365 district-wide. All employees and students now have access and the ability to take full advantage of the program. Because of the school district’s agreement with Microsoft, students and employees are able to download and install Microsoft Office ProPlus desktop applications on up to five devices outside of the classroom setting at no charge.
“For many years our employees and students have seldom worked with the latest, greatest version of Microsoft Office products because of the cost and the ability to upgrade,” said Calcasieu Parish School Board Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus. “Those days are gone with the implementation of Microsoft Office 365 in our district. The added bonus of employees and students having the latest program versions available at both school and at home made the transition decision very simple.”
With Office 365, students now have web-based access to Microsoft applications and have the ability to work across multiple devices directly from an internet browser. Those include all of the original applications associated with Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) as well as innovations from the last few years.
"Microsoft Office 365 provides equal accessibility to all students and teachers,” said Maplewood Middle School teacher Lacey Blocker. “With the improved apps such as Sway, OneNote, and Forms, students and teachers also experience increased productivity and collaboration. I have really enjoyed using all of the great features that Microsoft Office 365 has to offer. "
This transition also means students and employees will have access to their stored files from any computer or device with internet connection.
“Students can access so many tools from home due to this exciting, new platform,” said Barbe High School teacher Eloise Pruitt. “Documents can be saved in students’ OneDrives and accessed from multiple types of devices. This saves students time and allows them to edit or revisit assignments, projects, and assessments from home. All files are easily shareable with other CPSB students and teachers to allow for meaningful and efficient collaboration; teachers can provide students with quicker, more meaningful feedback by utilizing these resources. We are also able to model and support positive, digital citizenship through these collaborative tools. In this digital age, it is wonderful that we can provide students with access to current, free technology resources.”
The benefits associated with this technological transition are numerous and far-reaching. Data storage equipment and management is reduced due to the amount of storage now taking place in the cloud. Microsoft Office updates are now done automatically through the cloud, unlike in past years when the CPSB Technology Department has installed updates manually to all district devices. However, the program access now available to all CPSB students is what will have the most direct and immediate impact.
“As a technology trainer, the benefits of using Office 365 in schools include the ability for real-time collaboration, improved efficiency, less paper, and access to content at any time from any location,” said Technology Trainer Meredith Boullion, who is also a CPSB parent. “As a parent, I appreciate that my daughter is no longer limited to binders in her backpack and that she is being taught relevant digital skills that will carry over into her college and career years.”
Microsoft Office 365 can be accessed directly through the district’s website, www.cpsb.org/office365. Click here for an informational flyer with step-by-step instructions on accessing and downloading the program applications.
This program is a Calcasieu Parish School Board tool/service, and all activities within the district’s Office 365 are monitored closely by the Technology Department.