Technology planning resources

At Microsoft, we work with hundreds of thousands of schools and school systems to solve big problems. Here are resources to guide school leaders as they transform schools with a vision to empower students to achieve more.
  • Discover

    Compelling case for change

    Our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. Education is about creating, innovating and cultivating curiosity, and you can expand the power of education with complete technology solutions from Microsoft. We help school leaders transform their schools so students are inspired and achieve more.

    Five reasons Microsoft is the smart choice for schools

    1. Microsoft Office skills are critical for college and career readiness

    An IDC study recently revealed that Microsoft Office is one of the most important skills required for tomorrow’s best jobs (Office is #3 on the list of top skills for students), making it an essential tool for every student. When schools use Office, teachers and students get hands-on experience. The best part? Your school can get Office 365 Education for free for your entire school. Qualified academic institutions can get Office 365 for free or choose a plan that works for your school.

    2. Microsoft offers the right tools for deeper learning—digital pens on Windows devices aid learning more than keyboards

    When it comes to learning, the right tools are critical. Research presented in the paper Computer Interfaces and their Impact on Learning shows that digital pens more accurately accommodate how we think than keyboards. That means you can enhance tlearning and problem-solving by providing digital pens in your classrooms. These are just some of the tools Microsoft offers to encourage deeper learning.

    3. Microsoft offers secure IT management for devices across all platforms.

    Microsoft provides enterprise-grade IT solutions so schools can easily manage desktop, laptop, and tablet devices across all computing platforms. With this flexibility, schools can effectively and efficiently improve IT management and security, while supporting both teachers and students—along with the devices, applications and data they use.

    4. Microsoft Imagine Academy provides digital skills, curriculum and certification

    Academic institutions and their educators, students and staff benefit from digital curriculum and certifications for fundamental technology skills—as well as courses critical for success in today’s technologically evolving world. Find out more about Imagine Academy.

    5. Microsoft supports elevating global research by educators for educators to improve student outcomes

    To advance education, Microsoft Research partners with universities on innovative curricula, conferences, fellowships, and research and travel grants. Microsoft also supports the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research project (read the project’s most recent findings), which aims to transform education by integrating technology. ITL’s 21st Century Learning Design materials help you build a professional development program to create innovative pedagogies.

    What schools are saying about Microsoft

    • Potential is Endless in Manteca, California

      Young students are delivering PowerPoint presentations, teachers are managing their classes with OneNote, and seniors are graduating with technology skills that will help them in their futures. See how this unlikely district led massive learning transformation.

    • Chester County School District

      Find out why a school Principal kissed a pig in front of hundreds of students, and hear about the success of the district’s hiTEC 1:1 initiative which puts a Microsoft Windows 8 tablet with Office 365 Education into the hands of every high school student and now 8th-graders.

    • Leon County Schools 1:1 Digital Initiative

      See how teachers are using Windows 8 tablets in the classroom, and the impact the devices have had on student engagement.

    • Miami Dade County School District

      Miami-Dade County Public School District share their enthusiasm for providing over 100K Windows 8.1 tablet devices for their students.

    • Fresno Unified School District rolls out 15,000 Windows 8.1 devices

      Fresno Unified rolls out 15,000 Windows tablets to meet testing requirements and to support their 1:1 device vision.

    • Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District 1

      School district adopts teacher-led IT strategy to support leading-edge learning

  • Plan

    Map a plan to transform and modernize your school

    Start by evaluating and assessing your school, then create a plan using the Transformation Framework and learn from what other school districts have done to successfully transform and modernize teaching and learning.

    Five steps to mapping a technology plan for your school

    1. Evaluate your school

    Complete a School Readiness Survey to assess your school. These surveys are free, anonymous, and confidential—and a great starting point. Preview the questions.

    • Leader survey Take a five-minute online survey to reflect on how you think your school is doing.
    • Administrator and teacher survey Send out a 10-minute online survey to get your staff’s feedback.

    2. Plan your transformation

    Check the facts

    Fast-track transformation in your school or system and avoid common pitfalls with the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework brochure.

    This insightful overview introduces ten components of transformation to help schools plan and implement change at systemic level. It summarizes decades of quality research so you can quickly see what global leaders are recommending and tap into their best practice and experiences.


    Open the debate

    Introduce your stakeholders to the ten components of successful transformation with the Microsoft Education Transformation Framework poster. Then use it to identify your readiness stage - developing leadership and policy, or implementing 21st century pedagogy - and select objectives that fall within your vision.


    Provide the detail

    Once you’ve selected your area(s) of focus, download helpful resources to inform your decisions. And ask your Microsoft partner about arranging a workshop.

    3. Learn from other school districts

    Manteca Unified School District Going Digital in the Classroom

    Updating IT infrastructure and adopting mobile devices for teachers and students helped bring this school district into the forefront of 21st century education.

    Get the whitepaper

    Baltimore County Public Schools

    A strong digital infrastructure underpinning the educational system helps teachers and students alike to become more engaged, and allows schools to teach students valuable technology skills.

    Get the whitepaper

    4. Design a deployment plan

    Develop a design and deployment plan to meet your school’s or district’s needs. Read the Design and Deployment Guide for 1:1 Learning to discover a five-step program that enables you to give every student a tablet or laptop.

    5. Run your school efficiently and effectively with modern IT solutions

    Manage your school or campus efficiently and effectively on the Microsoft cloud platform. Microsoft and our partners offer schools enterprise-level IT solutions for:

  • Engage

    Leading the shift

    Make sure everyone in your school—from students to teachers to IT professionals—has the technology they need to prepare your graduates for college and work. Expand the power of education with complete technology solutions from Microsoft.

    Devices for your school

    Modernize your classrooms with devices that enable learning both within and beyond the walls of your school.

    Find the right device for teachers, students, and staff. Explore education apps for Windows. Find special offers for schools, teachers, and students at the Microsoft Store.

    Student and Teacher Productivity

    Equip your students with the tools they need to develop relevant work-related skills.

    Office 365 Education creates dynamic learning experiences in and outside of the classroom with devices that deliver the power of a PC and the mobility of a tablet. We create products with teachers in mind and they tell us that products like Microsoft Classroom, Office Mix, OneNote, Sway, and Skype help them bring new creativity and engagement to the classroom. Schools can also use a scalable, secure solution built on Office 365.

    Training and Professional Development

    Provide educators with training and professional development to help enhance their teaching experience.

    From webcasts and quick tip videos to workshops and Teacher Academies, Microsoft provides online and in-person training to help educators develop a deeper understanding of the role technology can play in their classrooms.


    Discover a variety of the latest IT management solutions to help your school run efficiently and securely.

    Simplify your school’s IT management with Microsoft’s enterprise-level solutions. Microsoft provides enterprise-grade IT solutions so schools can easily manage desktop, laptop, and tablet devices across all computing platforms. With this flexibility, schools can effectively and efficiently improve IT management and security, while supporting both teachers and students, along with the devices, applications and data they use.

    We will do it together

    We can partner with you to use technology to empower students and teachers to do and achieve more.

  • Transform

    Manage implementation

    We help educators transform the classroom to create lifelong learners. Once you have a technology plan in place, transform teaching and learning within the school. Find resources you need to inspire students, empower teachers, and inform IT staff.

    Start here

    The school transformation process helps schools or school systems systematically reflect on, plan, and implement reform.

    It does this by providing six lenses to examine important issues and steps through a cyclical process with insights enabling continuous improvement.

    Equip and inspire students

    Provide and deploy devices. Read the Design and Deployment Guide for 1:1 Learning to discover a five-step program that enables you to give every student a tablet or laptop.

    Make Office available. Research shows that knowing Microsoft Office is among the top skills your students will need to land the best jobs. Your school can get Office for free — and so can your teachers and students.

    Supply classroom apps. Make learning fun and interactive using the top 100 education apps (PDF), organized by subject and grade level.

    Teach technical skills and provide certification. Help your students learn valuable technical skills with Imagine Academy and Dynamics in the classroom.

    Inform students. Students can access deals, product information, opportunities and resources for using technology to enhance learning.

    Inform your IT managers

    Windows deployment guides and resources for education

    Office deployment guides resources for education

    Manage your school or campus efficiently and effectively on the Microsoft cloud platform. Microsoft and our partners offer schools enterprise-level IT solutions for:

    Attend an Office deployment webinar to get your questions answered.

    Find upcoming training and events, watch recorded webcasts, read TechNet, and find additional training.

    Empower school leadership teams

    Technology for effective and efficient schools. Draw inspiration from other schools that have made the transformation and download Manteca Unified School District’s guide: ‘Going Digital to Transform Teaching and Learning’.

    Download and use the Microsoft 21st Century Professional Learning Conversation Guide (presented in OneNote) to help school leaders, head teachers, professional learning coaches and teachers collaborate in redesigning and transforming learning.

    Identify education competencies. Use success profiles to determine characteristics that make for successful education employees.

    Consider joining the Associate Showcase Schools program.

    Contact school leaders in Showcase Schools to ask questions and learn best practices. Email their private Yammer community.

    Empower and train teachers

    Develop a professional development plan to ensure teachers, students, and staff have the training and support they need. Learn how other school districts successfully trained teachers in Manteca and Baltimore.

    Offer training and development. Keep your teachers learning with extensive on-demand and in-person training.

    Provide management apps. Help teachers manage their classrooms easily with Windows apps for education.

    Join the Skype in the Classroom global community for teachers.

    Teach technical skills and provide certification. Provide access to digital curricula and certifications through Imagine Academy at greatly reduced prices.

  • Achieve

    Evaluate continuously

    Microsoft tools, technologies and programs help support educators and inspire students to achieve more through lifelong learning.

    Celebrate the transformation

    Encourage teachers and school leaders to join the community through the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program and the Microsoft Showcase Schools program.

    Encourage students to participate in Imagine Cup, Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft Imagine Academy and Microsoft DreamSpark programs.

    Join us and share your experiences

    Join the Skype in the classroom global community for teachers.

    Share your experiences on Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter.

    Read the Microsoft in Education Blog and the Daily Edventures Blog about education heroes from around the world.

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