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What teachers need to know about Windows 10 Education

Posted in Articles on 11/8/2015
Does it make sense for schools to upgrade to Windows 10 Education?

Of all the concerns school administrators have in mind, a computer operating system (OS) is probably at the bottom of that list. 

However, if they're thinking about purchasing new PCs or expanding their institutions' technology portfolios, it wouldn't hurt for them to learn about Windows 10 Education.

An overview of Windows 10 Education 

According to the Windows Blog, Microsoft will be releasing seven iterations of Windows 10. Windows 10 Education, as the name suggests, is built for administrators, staff, teachers and students, and will be available via the Microsoft's Academic Volume Licensing, which is discussed further in the next section.

Integrating many of the features found in the Home, Pro and Enterprise editions, Education will allow users to:

  • Secure sensitive information and manage multiple devices remotely
  • Access Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant/machine learning program
  • Surf the web with Edge, a browser featuring read-only and note-taking functions
  • Conduct a wide range of enterprise-level IT administrative tasks

Notes on the Volume Licensing agreement 

One thing to keep note of: ZDNet's Ed Bott mentioned that any PCs currently running Windows Home editions are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home for one year. While this iteration does not offer the management tools inherent in the Pro, Enterprise and Education versions, it may be the better option for schools with limited budgets.

Without tumbling too far down the rabbit hole, Microsoft offers two types of Academic Volume Licensing programmes: 

  • Subscription licences provide institutions with the right to use any products covered in the plan. Upgrades, downgrades and Automatic Software Assurance provisions are also included.
  • Perpetual licences enable schools, administrative boards and other such organisations to use software for a set period of time, until the agreement ends. 

It's not that one programme is better than the other. While some institutions may prefer a subscription model, others could benefit more from the perpetual accord.

As far as Windows 10 is concerned, the OS runs on everything between tablets to smartphones. This functionality is something a few administrators would benefit from keeping in mind. 

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