Warwickshire County Council are moving their schools to the cloud with Microsoft.
Who is it for?
The new WeLearn365 service for Warwickshire Schools has recently been launched, providing the county’s schools with a new Education service built on Microsoft Office365 for Education.
What is it?
WeLearn365 provides schools with Microsoft hosted Exchange email and a “thin layer” portal, designed and developed on SharePoint Online from Office365.
The portal gives schools “20% of the features of most VLEs, but delivers 80% of what schools actually need”.
The system provides 25GB inbox per teacher and integration of the new Office Web Apps. By making familiar Office applications available from any browser, WeLearn365 will make learning far more accessible from a range of different devices and for families who cannot afford to license a full copy of Office2010 in their homes.
How does it work?
Schools plug-in online content and apps from a variety of sources to be used by teachers and students, both in the classroom and at home. Warwickshire and BFC networks have also developed the system to integrate the schools MIS data from Capita SIMS, which is hosted on a Microsoft SQL server farm at the Warwickshire HQ. By mixing some key “in county” private-cloud services for student data, with best-of-breed Microsoft public-cloud services from Office365, they’ve been able to achieve a very compelling proposition at a significantly lower cost than most traditional VLEs or school portals.
The interface was built with templates in SharePoint Online, enabling schools to quickly customise and personalise their own site with their school colours and logo.
The Warwickshire team and Microsoft partner BFC Networks have turned the generic SharePoint service in Office365 into something friendly and usable for any school.
All teachers and students across Warwickshire will also have access to a top level WeLearn365 site, enabling collaboration and sharing of best practice across the county.