Benefit supports school system’s 1:1 digital conversion program
Baltimore County Public Schools students and their family members can now access free of charge up to five copies of the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus suite for their personal computers, tablets, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices – a program that helps to support the BCPS 1:1 digital conversion initiative known as S.T.A.T.
The benefit to BCPS students and families, which is worth up to $11 million annually to the school community, is possible through Baltimore County’s participation in the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Benefit program. The same access also is available to all BCPS teachers and staff, an annual value to the school district estimated at $1.6 million.
“Microsoft is invested in providing educators with a variety of tools and resources that help them leverage technology to the fullest for the benefit of their students,” said Margo Day, vice president of U.S. Education for Microsoft. “Office 365 provides students and teachers with the collaboration opportunities necessary to learn and teach in new ways. We’re pleased to see Dr. Dance and his team taking the steps to ensure the students of Baltimore County Public Schools receive a 21st century education.”
BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance said the free downloads are a natural complement to the rollout of S.T.A.T. (“Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow”) this year in a pilot set of 10 county elementaries known as “Lighthouse Schools.”
“Having the infrastructure and devices to facilitate digital learning is only part of the equation if we are to fully prepare students for a 21st century world,” Dance said. “This software enables everyone to use Office applications on their school devices, and it gives families, students, and teachers the opportunity to enhance the learning experience through one of the world’s most popular, familiar, and universal digital platforms.”
The program, which is included in the Microsoft licensing agreement and costs BCPS nothing, is offered through the school system at no cost to students, their family members, and staff.
The Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus suite contains all of the most widely used Office functions – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher software tools. Proficiency with the suite of applications is among the most commonly required skills among employers both nationwide and internationally.
In addition, BCPS will be able to provide students and staff with unlimited free, secure, and private storage of all documents and files. The online storage capabilities may be used any time from any device.
To access the Office 365 benefit, BCPS students and staff should go to www.bcps.org/Office365 and log in using their full BCPS username (including @bcps.org) and password. Students who do not know their BCPS usernames are asked to contact their school’s technology liaison for assistance. On the Installation page, make sure the language is set to “English (United States)” and then click install. Users should not change the default option of the Office 365 32-bit version.
BCPS students and staff who encounter any problems installing the software, or who would like instructions for installing Office 365 on Apple or mobile devices, should click the “Troubleshoot Installation” link on the main installation page.