Peter West, director of eLearning at Saint Stephen’s College in Australia, shares tips for a smooth transition to a Bring Your Own Laptop program

bring-your-own-laptopOverview: Experience in a real-life scenario in a K-12 school at the beginning of 2014 demonstrated that an integrated Microsoft environment that leverages cloud based solutions can help an organization to roll out a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) program, complete with the installation of key software, with few problems, in a very short period of time–a day or two.

While it requires planning and development of resources, the final solution is robust and effective. In this example, students experienced few problems, teachers were happy as all students had key software required for learning, and the IT department was “underwhelmed,” instead of being overwhelmed.

The Process

Part of a successful (BYOL) program requires that students have access to software at reasonable prices. An Office suite is an essential part of this software program.

Microsoft makes this easy for educational organizations by providing the Office suite for Windows and Apple laptops at no cost as part of their Student Advantage program, to supplement their Office 365 (O365) cloud suite. This suite incorporates Outlook/Exchange in the cloud, Office Web Apps, Sharepoint in the Cloud (including OneDrive Pro) and more.