With the back-to-school season just around the corner, school and university administrators, educators, parents, and students are preparing for another challenging year. The August release of Dynamics 365 education accelerator includes updated data model and sample apps that can help partner ISVs continue to build and deliver solutions for schools and universities.
In addition, the K-12 portal, an information hub built on Microsoft Power Apps, has been redesigned to make it easier for parents and students to track school activities and assignments. Plus, the release includes a data model aligned with Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS), an application offered with Microsoft 365 Education.
What’s new in the August release
- Higher education event marketing allows education institutions to leverage Dynamics 365 Marketing capabilities to reach students and families in meaningful ways.
- K-12 portal update includes an improved interface of the student portal for K-12 schools and a better experience for all users.
- School Data Sync (SDS) data model alignment makes it easier for partners to build connectors and for educational institutions to leverage the ability to flow data from SDS to Microsoft Dataverse.
Take advantage of event management capabilities in Dynamics 365 Marketing
With the August release of Dynamics 365 education accelerator, partners can leverage Dynamics 365 Marketing to bring the power of personalized communication and campaigns to education customers around the world. Partners will help customers enable targeted communication, direct customer journey, and ensure ongoing engagement with their institution.
This capability can be used to build campaigns for a variety of school events, including back-to-school orientation, family night, or school tours. Schools and universities can create events where participants can register and communicate with the institution, and schools can view attendance. Best of all, this capability is completely flexible for partners to customize.
Improved usability of the K-12 student portal
The K-12 student portal has received a design uplift to improve user experience.
School Data Sync (SDS) data model alignment transforms data gathering
School Data Sync (SDS), an offer from Microsoft 365 Education, reads rosters from most Student Information Systems (SIS) and creates classes and groups in Microsoft Teams, Intune for Education, and third-party applications.
By aligning the data model between the education accelerator and SDS, we will enable the possibility for customers already using SDS to leverage the powers of Dataverse, the Common Data Model for Education, and Power Platform. This is transformational from how data was gathered before and allows partners to build specific connectors for their customers.
Eduphoric is one such partner, and we are excited to see how customers will benefit from this work. According to Pamela Kott, Eduphoric’s director of education technology, harnessing the advantages of the Power platform help “… educators to support more students, more effectively in less time.” Kott says Eduphoric’s Learning Team solution “… aggregates attendance, behavior, course performance, wellness, and tech readiness data into one holistic student profile so that teachers, counselors, administrators and support specialists can identify struggling students and work together to get them back om track.”
What other partners are saying about Dynamics 365 education accelerator release
Microsoft’s partners who have seen a sneak peek are excited about the power and flexibility the August release provides:
- Thomas Manders, managing director for Coffee + Dunn: “With many of our clients in the education space, we understand schools’ needs to increase communications efficiency, improve the student relationships and innovate for the future of education. Serving as a robust foundation, the accelerator helps schools eliminate data silos, enable powerful insights and act on these insights to deliver exceptional student and alumni experiences. As a partner, we can help our clients achieve these goals much faster than starting organically.”
- Shekar Kadaba, chief experience officer for Frequency Foundry: “Over the last couple of releases, the Industry Accelerator team had responded to the market need for supporting and engaging students in different learning modes by adding additional functionality to support the student lifecycle. We see that envelope being been further pushed with the latest release.”
- Dr. Jennifer Beyer, vice president of product management for Anthology: “Our college and university partners have been able to leverage D365 Marketing as part of our solution to increase their intentional connections with their students whether it is driving them to complete their admissions application or keeping current students on track.”
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. If you’re a partner working in the higher education space and want to use the accelerator and help shape the next version of it, please reach out to us.