The Brady Bunch

#Sweepstakes! Back to School Technology: It’s a Brave New Cloud World!

The Brady Bunch

You know what time it is … much as we’d like to think that summer is just starting, September is right around the corner. My kids are in high school and college now, and when I think about the technological advances during the past three or four decades, it’s astounding.

Then: The Brady Bunch kids did homework with a pencil and paper.
Now: The Glee kids do homework on a laptop.

Then: The My Three Sons kids had classmates over to work on projects at their house (with Uncle Charlie’s chocolate cake for a snack).
Now: The iCarly kids Skype each other in for projects.

Then: I used a typewriter for school papers.
Now: My daughter uses a school-issued netbook to write papers.

You can see where I’m going with this. Times are different! A few statistics to back up my theory from a recent survey:

  1. Nearly all parents (93%) feel that computer software like Microsoft Office 365 is an important tool in helping their child achieve success in school.
  2. Students think that a laptop is a must-have for back-to-school, and 81% of parents think that it is important for their child to have a laptop to be successful.
  3. Software and online tools make it easier to communicate and collaborate with classmates or teachers.
  4. Nearly all teens (97%) agree that the tools and technologies they have today are far better than the ones their parents used when they were teens. No wonder! More than half (59%) of parents used typewriters while almost all teens (82%) use either a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer.
  5. Today’s students (70%) rely on computer software like Microsoft PowerPoint to lead presentations, while 85% of parents used posters or poster board.
  6. 41% of teens thought their parents used a compass when they were their age. Fact, 57% actually did!
  7. Almost all parents and teens agree that software and online tools are critical for success in school (87% and 93% respectively) and beyond (91% and 94%).
  8. Only 12% of parents used computer software when they were in school, but 73% of teens say they use it for school related activities.

Microsoft Makes It Easy!

Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 University (for college students) can make this the best year yet for you and your kids. Tools like the NEW Office 365 will ensure that you and your kids are completely equipped with Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and more.

Plus − all of your work is stored in the cloud with SkyDrive for easy access and sharing no matter where you are. Because we’re all working on various devices throughout the day, that’s major.

Tips for Kids and Parents:

Get homework done from anywhere: Access and review homework from anywhere with Office 365 Home Premium and SkyDrive on your Windows PC or Windows Phone. There, your kids can store papers done in Word, OneNote notes, PowerPoint presentations or math done in Excel so that you can help your kids with their homework from anywhere.

Don’t stress: Make back to school shopping and preparations a no-brainer with the back to school checklist template, containing sections for your to-dos and supplies to purchase. There’s even a helpful template for managing your family’s back to school shopping budget. Once you’ve figured out what you need to purchase, Windows 8 has several great apps like Office Depot that can help you quickly find out where to purchase.

Review homework in between everything: The Resume Reading feature on the new Word lets you use small pockets of time during the day to review your kid’s book reports and continue at the same place you left off each time you open the document.

Get organized: With Outlook, parents can keep their to-do lists in check, coordinate calendars, color code family activities, and organize important contacts and email. It’s easy to share schedules and thanks to improved search in Outlook, you can quickly find emails, attachments and contacts using keywords. Windows 8 and Windows Phone also let you pin individual Office documents, notebooks, presentations and spreadsheets right to your Start screen so they’re easy to access.

Wow the teacher: If your kid needs some creative inspiration for their next report or presentation, visit for thousands of free templates that can help them get a head start on any project. You can also find popular templates from the Start Screen from your favorite program.

About Office 365 Home Premium: A one-year subscription (US$99.99) includes the latest Office applications on up to 5 devices (PC or Mac), plus an additional 20GB of SkyDrive storage, and 60 anywhere minutes with Skype per month. You can also access your Office documents anywhere with Web Apps, Office on Demand and the cloud on SkyDrive. Looking to save? Get US$20 off Office 365 Home Premium when you buy a new PC at participating local retailers.

Tips for College & University Students:

Save to the cloud: With Office 365 University, students get 20 GB of free SkyDrive storage to save class notes, photos, papers, group projects and other stuff in the cloud, which is accessible from any browser. You can also fetch any file that is saved on your PC back home, so you never have to worry about forgetting something.

Present like a pro: Ensure your next presentation earns an A+ with the new Presenter View in PowerPoint. Now, you can easily view your notes on your monitor while the audience only sees the slide. Plus, PowerPoint now supports more multimedia formats and high-definition content, so you can present with pizazz!

Work better together: Office Web Apps enable classmates (or anyone you want to share documents with) to edit or view group assignments by simply sharing links, verses having to send bulky attachments or lug around printed copies.

Ditch the paper: Download the OneNote student planner for capturing and organizing class research, notes, web clips, photos and even embedded Excel spreadsheets that update the original spreadsheet when changes are made. Come study time, it’ll be easy to search your notes for a keyword, tag or date.

Pack smart: Heading off to college and don’t know where to begin? Simplify your move with this nifty college move checklist. It looks great, is easy to use, and should help you to remember everything you need.

About Office 365 University: Only available to full and part time enrolled university and college students in accredited institutions, a four-year subscription (US$79.99) includes the latest Office applications on up to 2 devices (PC or Mac), plus an additional 20GB of storage in SkyDrive, and 60 anywhere minutes with Skype. You can also access your Office documents anywhere with Web Apps, Office on Demand and the cloud on SkyDrive.

Be sure to check out Microsoft Office 365’s Back to School Throwback Sweepstakes:

  • Sweepstakes to launch on August 15th (on throwback Thursday!) and closes on September 27th
  • To enter, all you have to do is submit a “throwback” picture of yourself from back in the day.  Submit your picture here on the Office Facebook page and share it on Facebook or Twitter to let your friends know! (#tbt + #officebts)
  • Contestants are entered for a chance to win either a one-year subscription of Office 365 Home Premium (to be given away every weekday) or a Surface Pro (to be given away every Thursday).



3 responses to “#Sweepstakes! Back to School Technology: It’s a Brave New Cloud World!”

  1. Tanni Avatar

    Hey Jane! Thanks for your great tips! MS Office is indeed helpful for people of all ages. From doing homework to preparing presentation for business, Microsoft Office has made all of them easier to do.

  2. Stanley Avatar

    MS office has been the revolution of every aspect of our lives and especially colleges where you need to manage a lot of documents inform of homework.

  3. Esther Avatar

    we have no choice but to embrace technology. it is interesting how things are moving very very fast.

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