New school year brings new security features to Office 365 Education

As schools prepare for the start of another school year and teachers get their classrooms ready to welcome students, Microsoft are introducing additional features to meet the needs of schools, teachers and students.

Today Microsoft are announcing changes to Office 365 Education that will make it easier for schools to meet their security and compliance needs at a time when teaching and learning are becoming increasingly collaborative and cloud-connected.

With today’s update Microsoft simplified their education lineup, moving to a single, free plan for all academic institutions and added several new features to help schools meet their security and compliance requirements.

In addition to the basic services—Office Online, 1TB of OneDrive storage, Exchange email and Skype—free Office 365 Education now includes advanced features such as:

  • Legal hold and eDiscovery to help you find, preserve, analyze and package electronic content for a legal request or investigation. This capability spans across email, documents and instant messaging.
  • Rights Management Services, which prevents file-level access without the right user credentials.
  • Data Loss Prevention to help you identify, monitor and protect sensitive information in your organization.

With these additional features, now included at no cost for Office 365 Education, schools can more easily maintain a safe, effective and compliant learning environment while providing world-class productivity tools for their teachers and students.

If you already have Office 365 Education, there’s nothing for you to do. These new features will simply show up as they become available.

School admins, if you’re not yet providing Office 365 Education to your entire school, contact Virtue Technologies today. We have deployed nearly 60,000 Office 365 seats across 86 customer sites.

For more information about Microsoft Office 365 visit our website or call us on 01695 731 233

Ben Whittle’s Uber Computer Update – Front Panel


front panelSo having chosen the fans he will be using, Ben has finally set about mounting them to the front panel. The front filter sticks to a self-adhesive magnetic strip; so Ben used this as a template to marks out where to cut once he had planned out the exact positioning of the fans.


32ddOnce the air intake was cut out Ben had to carefully mark out where to drill the mounting points for the fans. The secondary filters made this quite a laborious task as they overlap the 120mm fans by about 2mm on each side, otherwise he would have just lined all the fans in a row and pencilled through the mounting points.



The careful planning paid off in the end, as all fans perfectly lined up with the filters literally touching each other. Ben was  quite pleased with that result.



tbvOne small issue with the front filter is that it is 120 x 480mm including the border, meaning a fair bit of the surface area of the blades is blocked by the front panel. This isn’t so much an issue of airflow, more that the blades being so close to the mounting surface will result in the fans not performing as well as they could.

Thankfully there is a solution, Ben found a company called Phobya who make 120mm acrylic fan spacers. This should put some space between the fan and the mounting surface, with the added bonus of having pre-drilled 5mm mounting points for LEDs. So this little problem, in a way, has turned out to be a positive. The fan filters are somewhat transparent and Ben likes the idea of a light glowing behind the filter, the only reason he didn’t go for LED fans was that he wouldn’t have been able to link them to the lighting controller which will change the colour of the illumination under the glass. However, if he’s just buying a bunch of 5mm RGB LEDs he can wire them to the lighting controller and have all the illumination changing colour simultaneously, might be a bit of extra work but Ben thinks the end result will look pretty good.

tttggfffOnce Ben had finished mounting the fans, he ordered his spacers and made a start on the panels underneath the desk, making up the sections which will house the optical drive and the Asus ROG panel. Ben discovered that cutting angles out of 8mm plywood is a bit of a pain but the end result isn’t too bad.

Ben says there is still a lot of work to do on the front panel, he has yet to design the control panel. He is planning on having power switch, headphones jack, 4x USB 3.0 ports, volume control and UPS control al mounted to one panel. That alone will be a few hours work, especially with wiring.

Stay tuned for more Ben Whittle’s Uber Computer updates.

Fibre connectivity reaches 1.4Tbps

British Scientists working with Alcatel-Lucent and BT have broken a new record for data transmission. The test was between the BT tower in London and BT’s research center in Suffolk.

Using a fibre link, which used existing fibre infrastructure, data rates reached a speed of 1.4 terabits per second. That’s enough to download 44 full length, high definition movies in just 1 second.

It will be some time before we see anything like this in our homes or workplaces, with most of our customers currently enjoying between 50 and 100mbps internet connectivity.

We get it … email’s not for everyone! Welcome to our blog.

It’s often a difficult decision deciding on how best to stay in touch with our customers and partners. As many of you know we do from time to time send out (hopefully relevant) emails with details of deals, technology news and support information, however, if you’re anything like me then I receive literally hundreds of emails every single day and I prefer to get my news from services such as twitter and wordpress.

So, as of right now we’ve launched this blog where we aim to keep you up to date with all the latest news and information on Education ICT. We’ll also be inviting industry experts to submit their thoughts and comments on different topics and how technology can impact and complement the educational outcome within your schools.

We hope you find our blog useful, please do comment and let us know if you think it’s worthwhile or if you’d like to talk to us about becoming a guest blogger.