By Morgan Hanson
Dallas County Community College District students can use Microsoft Office 365 suite free while enrolled, and for a year after leaving the district.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s online subscription-based productivity software. It includes cloud versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Publisher, Access, Outlook and 1 TB of cloud storage, according to dcccd.edu. The same programs are available for download with Office 2016 to PCs and Macs. However, Publisher and Access are not available for Mac.
To obtain the Microsoft Office suite, students must first login to their DCCCD student email using their eConnect username and password, according to the district website. Students can access their email at outlook.dcccd.edu.
According to the district website, an academic email through Outlook, with 50 GB of storage space, is created for each student upon enrollment.
Once students access their email, the first screen will allow them to use the online suite or install the software on their computer. Microsoft Office 2016, the desktop software suite, can be installed on up to five computers and five mobile devices, according to dcccd.edu.
The software is compatible with Windows, MacOS and some distributions of Linux. Mobile system compatibility includes iOS and Android, according to products.office.com.
Some professors attest to the value of this bundle and how it benefits students who use it. Haven Abedin, a Brookhaven College English professor, said in an email to The Courier, “Anything that helps students save some money that can go to other expenses is worthwhile.”Abedin, and some other professors, include instructions for accessing Office 365 as part of their course materials.
Bill Sigsbee, a psychology professor and lead instructor, said in an email to The Courier, “I think it can save students money, so I think it is valuable.”
“I am not aware of what percentage of the student body is aware of this free download,” Sigsbee said.
Students cannot utilize tools they are not aware of. “I do not know if most of the student populace knows about this benefit, but I hope so,” Abedin said.
Although many students are already cognizant of this benefit, not every student knows. Conor and Jacob Farmer are brothers, in their first year at Brookhaven. Conor said, “I was told today [about Office 365] by my English teacher.” He said he only used to have Word 2003 at home.
“I actually did not know about [free Microsoft],” Jacob said. Jacob said it is good and is a step in the right direction for students. “I will be sure to implement it,” he said.