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CJ Robinson, Reporter
Microsoft 365 was made available to Pierce College students in January. This program includes options including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Additionally, this includes one terabyte of data on OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud service.
In addition to downloads to Office 2013 on a personal device, other programs are offered such as Microsoft Newsfeed, Sites, Delve, Video and Sway.
A username and temporary password were sent out through student email, enabling students to login to the service. Students may reset their Office 365 password using their student portal. Up to five downloads are available to personal devices, including computers or any device which supports the Apple Store and Google Play. It also supports OneDrive, the cloud service that functions similarly to Google Drive. A student is able to access their files on any device with an Internet connection.
Pierce has used Google products more than 10 years. Since a Google account is utilized by students, many of the services such as Google Drive, Docs and Gmail provided stem from that account. Chief Information Officer Mike Stoke said that this proved difficult for the college’s attempt to grant student’s access to Microsoft 365. Most schools with Microsoft-based emails got the service instantly, but it took longer to coordinate the software problems that arise with using a Gmail account to log into a Microsoft service.
Stoke said the benefits of these programs are clear when considering that many of these programs are used in the professional field.
“When students leave Pierce College, we want them to be able to access, to be using that type of software if that’s what they’re going to find when they’re working at companies.” Stoke said.
A year after Microsoft released this program and bouts of technological troubleshooting, the college was given permission to send out login information.
Student Madi Martin said that she wasn’t aware about the addition of the programs but thinks it’s beneficial to students.
“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for students at Pierce who couldn’t afford it previously,” Martin said.
Martin plans to use Microsoft 365 regularly and said it’ll help during the rest of her time at Pierce.
The program didn’t come without complications. Stoke said a few students were unaware of how to log in and the problems were mainly related to simple user errors, but for some students the complications lie in the way the program is supplied. Computer Information Systems student James Hall has to use Microsoft Visio for his CIS courses. This is separate from the free Microsoft account provided to the entire school, and can cause problems when a student wants to use Visio and open a Word document or PowerPoint at the same time.
“It involves going in and logging in with different accounts every time I want to open a different product,” Hall said.
There’s currently no solution to this problem.
The next phase is to transition into Outlook emails for students, Stoke said.
Students can log into Microsoft Office 365 at https://login.microsoft
If students have any questions or trouble getting access to their Office products, they can email or call the Pierce Help Desk at 253-964-6373 or firstname.lastname@example.org. [/responsivevoice]
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