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Microsoft Announces Availability of School Data Sync for Benefit of School IT Administrators

Microsoft announced today the general availability of School Data Sync (SDS), a tool that improves the lives of IT administrators by helping them reduce time while helping school staff use Office 365 Education to create online classrooms; SDS also improves the lives of teachers who can spend less time managing rosters and troubleshooting these classrooms.

After filling out a request form, school administrators and teachers can now deploy SDS for no charge. For a limited time, school administrators can even sign-up to receive free one-on-one support to assist SDS deployment. That form can be found here.

According to Microsoft, SDS is designed to help both school IT professionals and educators create online classrooms with ease; thanks to SDS, Microsoft says educators need not worry about constantly-changing student rosters affecting the efficiency of a given online classroom.

"Schools often find it can be costly and time-consuming to maintain the online classrooms because rosters naturally change throughout the year. With SDS, IT admins can save time creating online classrooms, and teachers can enjoy online classrooms that are up and running with students on the first day of the term," Microsoft said in a post.

Microsoft says SDS can enrich the use of apps with single sign-on and secure access to roster data; examples of compatible and popular apps include Edmodo, Class Policy, Moddle and more.

Satisfied school districts that have already deployed SDS include Omaha Public Schools. In the video above, the district's Executive Director IMA Rob Dickson says the automation of classes is a huge time saver.

"Keeping up with their connected campuses often takes time away from IT administrators'] more strategic work," said Tony Prophet, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Education Marketing on the Microsoft blog.

SDS is designed to help make the most of these administrators' time to help ensure student success.

"Our mission is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. With Microsoft Classroom, and student focused, teacher inspired Office 365 Education, we’re doing just that," Prophet said.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

1/23/2017

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