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TMCNet:  Manatee schools move forward with Microsoft 365 [The Bradenton Herald :: ]

[July 07, 2014]

Manatee schools move forward with Microsoft 365 [The Bradenton Herald :: ]

(Bradenton Herald (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 07--BRADENTON -- The Manatee County School District on Monday launched Microsoft 365, ushering in a new set of tools for students and employees.

The new programs include the most up-to-date versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher and Lync and can be accessed by students and employees at home or at school, on multiple devices, district officials said Monday.

"Office 365 will enahnce instruction for our students and provide the best software programs available for our teachers and other employees to support our classrooms," Superintendent Rick Mills said in a statement.

The program was launched in the summer to allow for proper training and working out any hiccups. Teachers and employees can also train and become familiar with the different system features from home.

For the time being, employees will still have access to the previous email system and software applications, to help ease the transition.

The district has more than 37,000 computers, including a recent $6 million purchase of 6,139 "ThinkPad" computers for students. The district purchased the ThinkPads at $425 per unit. The average cost per unit is $1,400.

The convertible laptops/tablets will help satisfy online testing requirements and be used for regular classroom instruction, officials said. The ThinkPads were purchased from district capital funds.

This story will be udpated.

Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reacehd at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.

___ (c)2014 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.) Visit The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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