Guest post from Sean O’Shea, Schools Business Manager – North.

I always enjoy reading a “Top 10” or “The Best 5” lists so I thought I would create one of my own. There is so much that Microsoft do as a company, not just in terms of the sheer amount of different software and services that we offer, but also various programs and initiatives that it’s hard to keep track sometimes! Therefore, I decided to create a “Top Ten Tips” to show what Microsoft can do for schools. I used Twitter to send them out (#seanstoptips…now there’s a mouthful) and had a good reaction. So for anyone that missed it, please find them below. Enjoy!

Tip 1: Make sure your school is licensed in the most cost effective way with EES: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/schools/software-licensing/types-of-educational-licence/enrolment-for-education-solutions.aspx

Tip 2: Provide your staff and students with free email, collaboration and communication apps with Office 365 http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/office365/education/compare-plans.aspx#fbid=3tvpnNdrT7Q

Tip 3: Connect (for free) with over 4 million other teachers globally in the Partners in Learning Network http://www.pil-network.com

Tip 4: Download free apps for schools with the Learning Suite http://www.pil-network.com/Resources/Tools/Details/9db2ca32-098d-40ad-a4c4-d236d50bd4dc

Tip 5: Free tools, resources and software for schools and students on gaming/app design/coding and much more with Dreamspark https://www.dreamspark.com/Default.aspx

Tip 6: Sign your schools up to IT Academy to provide CPD for staff & technicians as well as certification for students http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/schools/curriculum-resources/IT-academy/default.aspx

Tip 7: Save money and power by using Azure to move your server into the cloud! Have a go with a free trial http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/

Tip 8: Looking at BYOD? Worried about how to manage different devices and operating systems? Microsoft can help http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2012/09/10/system-center-2012-configuration-manager-sp1-beta-and-windows-intune-update.aspx

Tip 9: Talking about what to do with Computer Science in your school? Have a look at the new GCSE from AQA which is aligned to the Microsoft Technology Associate certifications http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcses/ict/computer-science-microsoft.php?id=10

Tip 10: Last tip… make sure you have a look at all of the options when choosing a Windows 8 device for your school! There are some great choices available http://blogs.msdn.com/b/education/archive/2012/09/12/what-are-you-going-to-choose-for-the-new-academic-year-new-windows-8-devices-coming-soon.aspx

Anyway, I hope you found this useful. I love telling people about all of the amazing stuff that we do, but the hard part is finding a way to speak to everybody! If you have any suggestions for future posts (or top 10’s) then please let us know.

Sean