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Make the right 1:1 and e-learning choices with BT

Options are always good, but with so many choices when it comes to one-to-one computing, it can sometimes feel a little dauting to decide. BT’s education experts are here to make things easier.

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Choosing your 1:1 platform, apps, devices, accessories and service wrap

So, you’ve decided one-to-one is right for your school, college or university and you’ve got your strategy in place. Now you need to decide on the devices and the platform or “e-learning ecosystem” you’ll use to run your digital teaching and learning model.

You’ll also need to consider what accessories you’ll need to complement your device choice, as well as services to keep everything running smoothly and in tip-top shape. BT’s 1:1 specialists will explain all the options and help you make the right choices for your needs.

Using the cloud

The heart of your 1:1 deployment is the “e-learning ecosystem” or platform you select, such as Microsoft Office 365, Apple iCloud or Google G Suite. This choice could be influenced by the apps you’d like to run and in turn, may also influence your device decisions. We’ll guide you through the options.

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Windows, Apple or Chrome devices?

We work with all the top manufacturers of education devices like Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Asus and Microsoft Surface. There’s a perfect device for every need and budget. We’ll help you decide on the right make and model for your teachers and learners.

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Get the most from your devices

Accessories like headsets can add more functionality to help learners enjoy a better 1:1 experience, whilst a charging solution will make sure devices are always ready to go. To protect your investment, consider adding a rugged case and warranty. We offer it all.

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Our friendly 1:1 experts can guide you through the choices

Get the conversation started with one of our Education IT specialists today

Cloud-based platforms for modern hybrid learning

The modern approach to learning means empowering both teachers and their students to achieve more – wherever the learning happens. This could be in the traditional classroom environment, at other locations across campus, from home, or a hybrid combination of them all.

With hybrid learning, students are able to work from anywhere. Lessons can even be run with some students face-to-face in the classroom, whilst others join in remotely. With 1:1 and a cloud-based platform to underpin it, BT can offer all the essential elements you need to ensure continuity of learning.

Choosing a cloud e-learning platform for education

As well as deciding on the devices you’ll use, your 1:1 plan also needs to consider where files and other resources will be stored, shared and collaborated on. This is where the cloud comes in.

Female student using apple device in classroom

Everything in the cloud – accessible from anywhere

The cloud is the core infrastructure that enables the use of 1:1 devices beyond basic consumption and research activities. It provides a platform that enables students to create and collaborate on work, submit it to the teacher for feedback and much more. Students become creators as well as consumers of content, allowing for new teaching pedagogies to be deployed. And because everything is stored securely in the cloud, it’s accessible from anywhere.

Less on-site infrastructure needed

Once embedded, a cloud platform can streamline work processes and reduce the need to spend on technical infrastructure, like on-site servers, storage and the skills to manage them.

Leading cloud e-learning platforms and productivity apps for education

Office 365 logo

Microsoft Office 365 for education

Office 365 works everywhere. Familiar applications and always-accessible files update in real time to make building your curriculum easy.

Office 365 offers so much more than just Office apps in the cloud, though it does include all your favourite productivity apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and more.

It also includes OneDrive for online storage and Microsoft Teams, which is perfect for delivering live and interactive lessons virtually. Teams is a digital hub that brings together conversations, content, assignments and apps all in one place, helping teachers build collaborative classrooms and easily connect with colleagues.

Office 365 is free for education, whilst a paid version is also available with enhanced features.

It works seamlessly on Android and Apple iOS devices, but when Office 365 is combined with the power of devices based on Windows 10 for Education, you’ve got the ultimate solution.

Apple logo

Apple and iCloud for education

iCloud is Apple’s online storage tool. It enables the storing and sharing of files and apps between home and school, as well as between teachers and students.

It’s a safe place to store student assignments created using the powerful iWork suite of productivity apps that are built as standard into every iPad and Mac - so no extra charges. These include GarageBand to make homework sing and iMovie to put on a show, whilst the Swift Playgrounds app helps students learn the fundamentals of coding. There’s also Pages for documents, Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for presentations.

Apple devices offer lots of flexibility, so if you choose to run another cloud platform (like Office 365 or G Suite) on an iOS device, it’ll work great.

Apple’s Classroom app is a versatile teaching assistant that puts teachers in charge of every iPad and Mac in the classroom, so they can keep students on track. Whilst their Schoolwork app lets teachers easily assign anything from worksheets to activities in educational apps, as well as follow student progress and collaborate with them in real time.

Google suite logo

Google G Suite for education

G Suite provides online storage through Google Drive, plus real-time collaboration and a growing number of online applications including Docs for word processing, Sheets for spreadsheet work and Slides for presentations.

Google Classroom is the hub where teachers can manage their student groups to create, assign, edit and assess work in real time.

Using Google Meet, teachers can deliver live lessons virtually.

The basic version of G Suite is free, whilst premium features and enhancements are provided via a paid Enterprise for Education version.

G Suite can be used on Chrome-based devices, as well as Windows and Apple iOS-based devices.

Microsoft gold logo

BT is a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Microsoft Authorised Education Partner. With a close strategic relationship between the two companies, we're perfectly placed to support you with your Microsoft-based 1:1 ecosystem.

Learn more about BT and Microsoft in education

Apple AAES logo

BT is one of just a few Apple Authorised Education Specialists in the UK. This prestigious accreditation means we have all the expertise to support education customers with every aspect of their Apple-based 1:1 ecosystem.

Learn more about BT and Apple in education

Office 365 and Teams is free for Education

Staff and students can use the “A1 licence” for free. It gives online-only access to the Microsoft Office Suite, plus Microsoft Intune for device management. And because Office 365 includes Microsoft Teams, you’ve got a free, ready made collaboration platform that’s perfect for delivering lessons remotely.

Upgrade to Microsoft 365 Education for more control, functionality and features

Microsoft’s free Office 365 “A1 license” is great, but some schools will want to adopt a more corporate approach to managing their environment.

Upgrading to a Microsoft 365 “A3” or “A5 licence” offers this in spades, as well as access to more apps, offline versions of the Microsoft Office Suite, plus enhanced mobility management and security features.

Learn more
Teams screen for Education

What's the right 1:1 e-learning platform for you? We'll help you weigh up the options

Get the conversation started with one of our Education IT specialists today
Female student using mobile device in classroom

Apps for Education

We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s an app for that” - and there probably is. But installing and using too many apps can lead to a fragmented approach to teaching and learning, as well as eat up the memory on your devices. We recommend that educators choose a core set of up to around 10 apps, which can be fully embraced and used effectively across the whole curriculum. If you do need a specific app for a niche topic or activity, you can install and remove as needed.

Top Tips for Apps

A full suite of productivity apps will come with the cloud platform you choose (see above), but when it comes to additional apps,
here’s a few things you need to know:

  • Apple’s App Store offers by far the widest choice of apps that are suitable for education, some of which aren’t available on other platforms because they’ve been developed to support creative use of Apple’s hardware features like the high-quality camera.
  • Entry level Chromebooks are designed for accessing cloud-based apps only, though some Chromebooks include access to the Google Play Store where you can find several educational apps common to iPad and Windows devices.
  • Devices based on Windows 10 are the only devices which will run the full version of the Microsoft Office Applications. Plus, via the Microsoft Store you can take advantage of learning apps like Minecraft: Education Edition, which are great for increasing student engagement and supporting learning in STEM and creative subjects.

Get the conversation started

BT has a dedicated team of education specialists. We're here to support you with all aspects of your school, college or university's technology strategy across network, devices and apps. Just tell us how we can help and we'll have one of our education specialists call you back with free, no obligation advice.

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