Originally posted on the UK Education Cloud Blog.

It's school time again! A time of mixed emotion – exciting to be back in the thick of things but maybe a little sad that summer is over. Your first day of school might be full of all or many new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school!? Whether a fresher in school or in college, there’s no better way to start the year than by having the confidence in knowing that you’re armed with all the right things it takes to be successful.

Gone are the days when all a student needed was stationary and a backpack. Now, more than ever, parents and students rely on technology to keep on top of all the demands of school and life.

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To help get Back to School 2014 started on a winning note, we’ve put together five valuable tips that are guaranteed to get you the most out of your technology and your education this year.

1. Check if your school/college/university has Student Advantage: Access to the latest and most widely used productivity solution in the world at no cost to you

Student Advantage not only gets you 5 copies of Office for your PCs and Macs but also allows Office for iPad apps installed on up to 5 tablets. With one subscription all of your devices are covered, so you can work the way you want, from where you want….at no cost to you!

2. Take notes in OneNote: Free app for most popular computers, tablets, and phones and on the web

This year, make OneNote the single place for all your notes and information. With this digital notebook you can type, handwrite or sketch your thoughts, paste and insert class notes and research, clip links and webpages, and organize them in notebooks and sections that are automatically saved and searchable. Additionally, it’s easy to share and collaborate with classmates for team projects and group assignments.

3. Keep it in OneDrive: Free app for most popular computers, tablets, and phones and on the web

Here are five reasons to cross that USB-drive off your shopping list and use OneDrive:  1) You get 15 GB of cloud storage for free; 2) You can’t lose OneDrive; 3) You can easily store and share photos, videos, documents, and more; 4) You can access OneDrive on any device; 5) You get 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage with an Office 365 Education subscription (Plan A2 is free) through your institution. 1 TB is the equivalent to approximately 50,000 trees made into paper and printed!

4. Use Yammer: Yammer + Office 365 = Social Productivity

Yammer is the new cool social network. Included in your school’s O365 Education subscription, Yammer allows you to be part of a new kind of learning that is more engaging and more connected to real life and better prepares you for life and work in today’s world. Yammer allow you to get connected to the right people, share information across project teams or organize around projects so you can go further – faster.

5. Take the Acer Aspire Switch 10 to class: £299.95

Not only does this device save you some serious cash, it’s the ultimate convertible device that makes you look cool. Rain or shine, it can be used in four modes – use it as a tablet, notebook or put it in tent mode to watch movies, or give a presentation. Not to mention, it’s compact and sleek so you can rest assured you’ve got a good looking device at a screaming deal!

Whether you have a big budget to spend on technology for back to school, or you already blew it all, Office 365 Education is here to help make sure you have everything you need to succeed this year, and that you look good.

Good luck students and parents!