Microsoft today has announced that it is making the managing of online classrooms easier thanks to the power of School Data Sync for Office 365. The announcement was made in a post to the Office Blog by Tim Richardson, lead program manager for School Data Sync.
In the post, Tim Richardson addresses that School Data Sync (SDS), the online classroom automation solution, moved out of preview and is now generally available. To access the feature, and receive help from Microsoft in deployment, educators and IT admins are urged to fill out a request form. The feature can be used in nearly every country where Office 365 Education is available. It is described:
SDS helps schools automatically create online classrooms in Office 365 from their Student Information System (SIS or MIS). SDS supports virtually every SIS on the market, and hundreds of customers in over 20 countries have already used it to sync over 100,000 teachers and 2 million students.
SDS imports user profiles and rosters from a SIS into Office 365 and automatically keeps them up to date. 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 notes that SDS was designed to make life easier for the entire Office 365 ecosystem since SDS saves time for IT admins and teachers, who get more time back for classroom instruction. According to a case study, SDS also keeps students safe since Students with Office 365 Education can use Microsoft Classroom Preview and email to communicate with each other.
IT admins can sign up for SDS here, install the SDS toolkit, watch an SDS demo, or download SDS sample data scripts. Teachers, meanwhile, can visit the Microsoft Classroom Preview website to learn more about SDS, and watch deep dive videos to learn how the Microsoft Classroom works.