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How to Download Your Save Games From Steam Cloud

Steam Store on a laptop and desktop.
Casimiro PT/Shutterstock

Steam synchronizes many save files to its servers. They’re automatically downloaded via Steam when you install a game, but that’s not the only way you can get them. You can download them directly from Valve’s website in your browser, too.

Enable Steam Cloud Sync in Steam

If Steam isn’t automatically downloading your old save games after you install a game, ensure Steam Cloud is enabled for that game within Steam.

To do so, locate the game in your Steam library, right-click it, and then select “Properties.” Click the “Updates” tab and ensure the “Enable Steam Cloud synchronization” option is checked for the game. If this option isn’t checked, Steam won’t automatically download your cloud saves—or upload any new ones.

If you don’t see a Steam Cloud option for a game here, that game doesn’t support Steam Cloud. Not all games on Steam do—it’s up to each game developer.

Click "Updates" tab and check the "Enable Steam Cloud synchronization for" option.

Download the Files in Your Web Browser

Valve lets you download your Steam cloud save files via a web browser, too. You can download just your save files without re-downloading the entire game.

To find your save files, visit Valve’s View Steam Cloud page in your web browser and sign in with your Steam account.

You’ll see a list of games using your Steam Cloud storage. Locate the game in the list (hit Ctrl+F to use the browser’s search)—and click “Show Files” to see all the files for a game.

List of Steam Cloud's saved games on the web.

Each game has a page showing all the files it’s storing in Steam Cloud, as well as the date they were modified. To download a file, click “Download.” Download all the save files for your game, and you’ll have a copy of its save games.

Click "Download" next to each save file you want.

This is especially useful for multi-platform games that don’t automatically synchronize save files between platforms.

For example, Borderlands 2 is available for both PC and Mac. It synchronizes its save files with Steam Cloud, but both the PC and Mac versions sync save files separately. You can download the Mac (or PC) versions from Steam’s website, and then manually import them into the correct folder to move your Borderlands 2 save games between platforms.

Without using the website, this would require downloading Borderlands 2 on one platform, extracting your save games, and then downloading the game on a second platform!

This is a known problem for other games, too—for example, it also seems to be required when moving save games from Torchlight for Windows to Torchlight for Linux.

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Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional Review & Rating

Salesforce help pioneer customer relationship management (CRM) systems and the company has built its considerable success largely on the back of this venture. Now called the Salesforce Sales Cloud, this platform starts at $25 per user per month and can provide organizations of any size with everything they need from a CRM and more, as long as they’re willing to pay both in terms of dollars and training. Still, with a peerless set of features, a large suite of easily integrated back-office apps also from Salesforce, as well as a huge ecosystem of value-add partners, Salesforce easily maintains its leadership position and keeps our Editors’ Choice designation, too, along with Apptivo CRM and Zoho CRM.

While the Sales Cloud is where the CRM product lives, we tested the version that costs $75 per user per month, which is called the Lightning Professional tier. This is the version most likely to appeal to both larger and smaller customers, sporting a streamlined sales pipeline, lead management features, instant alert and best practice recommendation pop-ups, and improved drag-and-drop dashboard functionality. The company has also added artificial intelligence (AI) features with its Salesforce Einstein Analytics products, which can help automate the time-consuming tasks that occupy sales teams, such as data entry, lead scoring, and forecasting.

All that makes for a great platform, but if the money is a problem, then it’s fair to note that Zoho CRM, which is also a top pick, offers many of the same customization options and advanced features but at a fraction of the cost. If you don’t really need all the features offered by Salesforce, then know that the CRM space has become sufficiently well populated that it can pay to look around.

Salesforce Pricing

Salesforce started out as a CRM company, but now has many different Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, which can make it confusing to get started. For this review, we tested Sales Cloud, the Salesforce automation and CRM software. Service Cloud is a separate product that can be bought from Sales Cloud, and is intended for running a customer service desk. Marketing Cloud provides email marketing and campaign management, Community Cloud enables customer self-service, and Analytics Cloud offers business intelligence and analytics. The Salesforce App Cloud lets you build apps without coding expertise, cleans leads and contacts, Pardot offers marketing automation, and provides customer helpdesk support for small businesses. And finally, Chatter is the social network for the organization.

There are several tiers within Sales Cloud: SalesforceIQ CRM Starter, Lightning Professional, Lightning Enterprise, and Lightning Unlimited. The SalesforceIQ CRM plan ($25 per user per month) offers basic sales and marketing for up to five users, which includes account and contact management, opportunity tracking, lead scoring and assignment, task and event tracking, customizable reports, mobile access, case management, and Outlook sync. Chatter is automatically included. This is fairly basic as features go, and you would be better off considering cheaper and easier-to-use CRM software such as PipelineDeals or Zoho CRM if this is all you need.

We reviewed the Lightning Professional plan ($75 per user per month with an annual subscription), which has no user limits and offers campaigns, customizable dashboards, products, quotes and orders, mass email, and role-based access for users. This plan is the one best suited for small businesses, and it has some advanced features, such as collaborative forecasts. Overall, however, it feels expensive compared to other software. Based on price alone, it’s still tempting to go with the $12 per month per user Zoho CRM. Once you dig in, you’ll find that there are some under-the-hood reasons that more than justify paying more for Salesforce, however, as I will explain in this review.

The Lightning Enterprise plan ($150 per user per month with an annual subscription) is the company’s most popular tier and where Salesforce shows just why it’s still at the top of the heap. Along with all the features of the previous two tiers, this plan includes workflow and approval automation, report history tracking, enterprise territory management, profile pages, custom app development, and access to the web services API. The Enterprise plan also includes Salesforce Identity, which lets you create single sign-on for all enterprise apps, and Salesforce AppExchange, which lets you create your own corporate app store. The Lightning Unlimited plan ($300 per user per month with an annual subscription) allows unlimited customizations, multiple sandboxes, custom apps, 24/7 toll-free support, and unlimited training. If you need Service Cloud, you can get them both with the Lightning Unlimited Edition. These three plans will be out of reach of most small businesses, but it’s important for smaller but growing businesses that they have these powerful features to grow into, should they need them.

Setup and User Experience

Salesforce offers a generous 30-day trial of its software, which we think should be the industry standard. Sales processes can be complex enough that you want enough time to step through all phases to be sure you are comfortable with how the software works. As with Insightly CRM, you don’t need a credit card to sign up for the trial. If you don’t buy a plan at the end of the trial, make sure you export your data. The good news is that Salesforce has a robust import/export tool to simplify this process. To cancel your account, you need to contact your account manager over the phone to handle the process. The good thing is that there are no cancellation fees, and you get a refund of the unused portion.

After signing up for the trial, the first thing you see is a prompt asking what your role is in the organization: sales representative, company owner, information-technology professional, sales manager, etc. This helps Salesforce customize the product tour to show relevant features. This is a simple but powerful way to get users started. On the left-hand side of the screen is a tray marked “Walkthrough,” which lists tasks you should perform. These tasks include creating a custom dashboard (probably the company owner’s responsibility), integrating with other apps (something IT should do), and managing your pipeline (important for sales managers). These are helpful pathways for new users. The Getting Started tab on top of the screen also takes you to a video tutorial and a PDF of the user guide. You also see the links to download the mobile app from the App Store and Google Play on this screen.

Salesforce Home Screen

The tour, walkthrough, and Getting Started tab are helpful, though the Lightning dashboard is less overwhelming since the UI facelift. The menu options are all still at the top in a tabbed interface. Home displays the news feed, with updates and notes from other users as well as lists of tasks and scheduled activities. The bottom half of the screen shows a dashboard, which can be fully customized via drag-and-drop. By default, you can see graphs showing your pipeline, number of open activities, and closed sales. The bottom section of the page shows your tasks and calendar with scheduled events. You can customize this page completely, and move objects around as needed or add other widgets to create a self-contained sales experience. The UI update makes Salesforce easier to navigate, but it also builds upon the company’s concerted goal to put every aspect of the contact, lead, sales, and deal process in one place for business users.

The rest of the menu is pretty standard: Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Opportunities, Reports, Dashboards, Chatter, Files, Products, and Forecasts. You can also create new tabs to bubble certain tasks up to the top level, which is quite helpful if there are pages you go to on a regular basis. A universal search bar is at the top of the screen. It’s unobtrusive, so it doesn’t feel like it’s taking up any screen real estate.

Users and Contacts

As the administrator, you create new users under Setup. To create a new user, you need to provide the name, an email address, a username, and the user’s role. Salesforce also makes it easy to track the number of users you are allowed to have under your license. Admins can create users who use only Chatter, which doesn’t count towards the number of Salesforce users you pay for, which is a good cost-saving detail. You can have non-sales and marketing personnel using Chatter without driving up licensing costs. The bulk edit page is also nice for creating multiple users at once with the most basic information.

The new users page has a lot of other fields, such as whether the user is permitted to access data offline, use mobile devices, or have access to forecasts. The Color-Blind Palette on Charts checkbox is particularly useful—this is a company thinking about the best way to get the data to all its users. You go here to define roles to restrict what kind of data each user is allowed to see and the kind of tasks he or she can perform. The administrator also has a simple way to send a mass email to all the users, a useful feature if you need to notify all the employees of downtime, for example.

If you integrate your account with Google G Suite or Microsoft Exchange, you will see all your contacts listed under the Contacts tab. There is a simple New Contact button if you want to manually create a new contact, or you can import accounts and contacts from other sources via a comma-delimited file.

Salesforce Sales Dashboard

Salesforce Sales Dashboard

Under All Contacts, you can see contacts belonging to everyone across the organization or just look at your own list under My Contacts. You can easily click on users and add them to new opportunities. When you click on the individual person to view the record, you see the contact information, all open activities, activity history, saved emails, and files attached to this record. The status update box for the news feed can also be used to add notes about the contact. You also don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see all the open activities since you can hover over the quick links at the top of the record. Like the dashboard and everything else on this platform, this page’s look is customizable. SugarCRM is the only other CRM software we’ve tested with this level of customization, although Zoho CRM comes close.

A big focus for Salesforce in 2017 has been its Einstein AI platform, which includes Einstein Activity Capture, Einstein Email Insights, Einstein Lead Scoring, Einstein Opportunity Scoring, and Einstein Forecasting. Activity Capture automatically pulls in customer interactions from a user’s email and calendar, so that entries are up to date. It also has a calendar manager for easy scheduling, without switching between software. Email Insights uses natural language processing to surface important emails and recommend responses and bring reps to “inbox zero” much faster. Likewise, the Lead and Opportunity Scoring tools use machine learning to prioritize the user’s time. Finally, Forecasting mines your Salesforce data to help your company see what’s on the horizon.

You can track accounts, leads, and opportunities under each tab. Salesforce provides a consistent interface for creating accounts, leads, and opportunities, making it easy to use the platform after the initial learning curve. Each tab points you to detailed reports so you can see the status at a glance, which is a nice touch.

Salesforce Pipeline Board

Lead Management

Salesforce also offers good lead management. Creating a lead automatically generates a task by default, but you can create other tasks and activities. You can also automate your workflow so that certain leads will always be assigned to the same user or so that given tasks are automatically created when new opportunities are added.

Sales and Lead Generation are considered two separate apps, although the UI is, as mentioned before, similar enough to make it easy to go from one to the other. You also have access to the same data; the listing of leads, accounts, etc., in the Sales app will be reflected in the Lead Generation app. The difference is in some of the tabbed features that are available. For example, the Sales app includes tabs for Notes, Tasks and other activities, while the more narrowly-focused Lead Generation app offers a tab for Campaigns.

It is extremely useful to be able to filter your view to prioritize leads. You can also view your list of leads either as a traditional list table or as a Kanban table, making it easy to move leads along your pipeline.

A major source of analytics is Sales Cloud Einstein Lead Scoring, which uses the Salesforce Einstein Analytics Platform to score each lead. It uses historical data from your company to discern success patterns. (To use Lead Scoring, you need to be using Sales Cloud Lightning.) Salesforce recommends that, in order for lead scoring to work, the company should have had at least 1,000 leads created in the last six months, with a minimum of 120 conversions.

This can be especially useful for large operations where leads can be routed depending on the lead score so that, for example, higher scores (indicating a higher likelihood of conversion) can be automatically sent to more experienced salespeople. Smaller organizations can use the scores to sort their lists of leads (available as part of Sales Cloud) and decide whom to contact first.

Salesforce Opportunity Workspace

Reporting and Third-Party Integration

A truly useful feature of Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional is that you can have multiple dashboards, each assigned to its own data set. The Sales Executive dashboard can display the current pipeline by product family, recent sales activity, the biggest deals on the board right now, and neglected accounts. The Marketing Executive dashboard can focus on unspent marketing dollars, the current pipeline by account type, the top three marketing channels sorted by total value opportunities for each, and leads driven in by campaign for the current quarter. Here you can create custom reports as summaries, tables, or matrices.

In comparison, Pipedrive CRM offers a workflow-based dashboard geared specifically at the sales pipeline, showing a straightforward way to track deals and activities but without as much built-in features or reporting. Zoho CRM also does a better job of customizing the dashboard to display data analytics, but not to the scale that Salesforce does.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional - Kanban list of recently viewed leads

Salesforce Pipeline Board

Salesforce has among the largest third-party app marketplace, and you will likely find it possible to integrate the CRM with every business app you use, including Quickbooks, RightSignature, and Zendesk, to name a few. Launched in 2006, the Salesforce AppExchange now offers more than 3,000 available apps and, according to Salesforce, has facilitated more than 3.8 million business app deployments.

At the Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited tiers, there is also a wealth of add-ons available to layer additional functionality atop the business CRM experience. The SalesforceIQ Inbox gives users a suite of mobile and desktop productivity apps, including email and calendar integrations with smart reminders of pressing deals and leads. Wave Analytics adds more business intelligence (BI) to the sales process with natively integrated dashboards showing quarterly and year-over-year performance, risk indicators, and forecast metrics through its pipeline trending functionality. Another useful add-on is called Steelbrick CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote). This is Salesforce’s automated quote-to-cash engine for configuring products and pricing for cross-sells, up-sells, contract and proposal generation, and billing processing of invoices and payments.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional - Full lead page

The list of add-ons goes on and on. And they all cost somewhere between $25-$75 each for the basic functionality. The cost can add up quick on top of the premium you’re already paying for Salesforce, but for specific use cases, the add-ons can make a valuable addition to your CRM capabilities.

For social media, Salesforce has Chatter, its social networking platform. Chatter lets you set up a profile and update your colleagues on your status; a Share button sits at the top right-hand side of the main page. You use Chatter to update project status, or give other users notes on a lead, opportunity, or account. Salesforce offers mobile apps for iOS and for Android as well, which let users do pretty much everything they do on the website, such as looking up deals and contact information, which puts it heads and shoulders ahead of the competition. Insightly, for example, lets you only look up contact details on its mobile app.

Salesforce’s support options are stellar as well. You can fill out a form on the site, call the toll-free phone number, or look at the help tips dispersed throughout the software. You also have the option to log into Salesforce Success, a support portal that give you access to training videos, webcasts, knowledgebase articles, and user forums.

Powerful for Small Teams

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional may be more expensive than most other CRM services on the market, but it does a lot to create a productive, collaborative CRM environment. Because it is so flexible, businesses can modify Salesforce to suit their needs and workflow, instead of having to adjust to the existing interface. Operating the service feels remarkably lightweight, given the huge amount of power underneath the surface. It’s not as modern looking or attractive as some of the smaller competitors, but the sheer amount of features, analytics, and customizations prove why Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional remains our Editors’ Choice for CRM. If the price tag is holding you back, however, then consider our other Editors’ Choice, Zoho CRM, as it has many of the same features, but at a lower price.

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Become a Certified Cloud Computing Expert With This AWS Training, Now $49

Most of the apps we use every day rely on cloud computing platforms. The same goes for enterprise software — so it’s not surprising that certified engineers are in demand. If you want to dive into this lucrative career path, the AWS Solutions Architect Certification Bundle is a great place to start. The bundle includes six in-depth courses, working towards official Amazon exams. You can get all 32 hours of training now for $49 in the Semi-Annual Sale at MakeUseOf Deals.

Amazon Web Services

From Adobe to Zynga, hundreds of thousands of companies rely on Amazon Web Services for daily operations. If you want to become a cloud computing professional, it’s pretty essential to master the platform.

This bundle helps you get acquainted, with 32 hours of video instruction. The tutorials start from scratch, explaining how to build and deploy cloud apps using AWS products.

Along the way, you will get the lowdown on security in AWS, service pricing, cost management, automation options, and more. The bundle also contains specialist courses on cloud security and deployment with Docker.

Just as importantly, you get extensive prep for the AWS Solutions Architect (Associate) and Cloud Practitioner exams — including practice tests. With lifetime access to the training, you can study at your own pace.

32 Hours of Training for $49

Order now to get the training for $49 in the Semi-Annual Sale, saving over $1,600 on the standard price for these courses.

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School district moves forward on a trajectory for better learning outcomes with affordable devices and cloud environment

“We work to avoid falling behind the technology gap, constantly updating to provide the best technology for both students and staff. That’s why we chose Windows 10 and the Office 365 cloud environment.”

– Rabih Hamadeh, Director of Information Technology Infrastructure, Tucson Unified School District

Tucson Unified, Arizona’s second-largest school district, is a large and diverse mix of 89 elementary, middle, and high schools that educate more than 45,000 students. School leadership and a dedicated IT project team of 10 recognized the need for a robust technology presence years ago and committed to making technology a priority for the district. For years, the district ran the Windows 7 operating system on school-owned devices. Blaine Young, Tucson Unified Chief Technology Officer, knows schools must have a forward trajectory of increasingly effective, modern technology or they risk falling behind the technology gap. That’s why he and his team were thrilled to continue with Microsoft Education, updating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and deploying Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, Azure Active Directory P2, Power BI, and Intune. By embracing modern technology and the cloud environment, Tucson Unified is moving forward on a path of dynamic, sustainable technology for the district.

Technology looks different at each of Tucson Unified’s schools. “There are varying levels of technological resources available on our campuses—some students share devices, some have one assigned to them, and some learn in labs or libraries. We want to continue that forward trajectory of providing more technology to our students,” says Young. Microsoft Education solutions support Young’s district-wide goals: ”The technology must be adaptable to meet student needs, it must serve educational programs and objectives, and it must be secure.”

The draw for Windows 10, according to Rabih Hamadeh, Director of Information Technology Infrastructure at Tucson Unified School District, was how it supports Office 365 and the cloud environment and that Windows 10 devices, managed by Intune, were “easy to use, accessible, adaptable, easily updated, and secure,” says Hamadeh. “We work to avoid falling behind the technology gap, constantly updating to provide the best technology for both students and staff. That’s why we chose Windows 10 and the Office 365 cloud environment.”

Adaptable deployment processes save time and money

Covering more than 250 square miles and containing 89 sites, the district manages 50,000 unique devices—a real challenge until it moved to the cloud.

Tucson Unified received support from both Microsoft and Microsoft partners to facilitate the Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade and cloud rollout, and it was pleased that both options—an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 and a hardware refresh—were available. As such a large district, Tucson Unified does not have one standard device or hardware. Therefore, deployment and updating processes must be as adaptable as the technology it installs. The district considers the in-place upgrade a good solution for its collection of PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. “It also helped us spend less time on updating and imaging devices and reach our goal of having almost all our devices on Windows 10,” says Hamadeh. Because Tucson Unified could use in-place upgrades for Windows 10, it cut costs by taking advantage of existing assets, instead of replacing every device. And, thanks to strategic support from Microsoft and an internal team of engineers, Tucson Unified saved money on external contractors for both the hardware refresh and in-place upgrade.

Another adaptable process embraced by the district was co-management, in which schools concurrently manage Windows 10 devices with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Intune.

“We have to make sure that we are centrally monitoring and upgrading our devices and not having to drive to sites to do that,” says Hamadeh. That’s why processes like co-management are so valuable for multisite school districts or organizations. IT can phase in highly secure, modern cloud solutions like Intune, which will reach every Tucson Unified school by the end of 2019, while still performing necessary maintenance from one location. Eventually, by moving to the cloud environment, the district will save time, money, and IT effort that used to be spent touching each device. “The fact that you can monitor, control, and download to devices through a cloud solution or based on Intune is big for us because we are a very large district,” says Hamadeh.

Security that suits a sprawling public school district

Rolling out the modern computing environment of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus also provides Tucson Unified with the next generation of powerful, dynamic security features. “We’re always looking for security,” says Hamadeh. “Having the flexibility of access is good, but security is of supreme importance. We must safeguard our staff and students against hacking, malware, and phishing at all times. The combination of our internal teams’ monitoring and built-in Windows 10 and Office 365 security tools helps us do that.”

Security is such a priority at Tucson Unified that Young, Hamadeh, and their teams evaluated a number of platforms and vendors before deciding on Microsoft Education. Tucson Unified stuck with Microsoft because it needed a solution that could grow along with the district and that could provide service and support for a large and complex system. When it comes to security, Young explains, Microsoft doesn’t just offer a slate of features—it offers enterprise-level security that evolves with the landscape. For example, because the district owns and works with a broad array of student and teacher devices, Tucson Unified needed device-level security through Azure and Intune. The benefit of using Azure and Intune for security, says Hamadeh, is that “you get the real-time accessibility, security, and flexibility to use that system on campus and off campus.” Safeguarding devices means that students’ and teachers’ learning experiences can extend well beyond the walls of the classroom.

“Over the years, Microsoft has done enterprise well, which means its solutions scale well,” says Young. “That’s important when most organizations are running lean teams with limited budgets. When you buy Microsoft solutions, you get both economies of scale and a source for help as you plan for the next generation of services. It’s good from an investment protection perspective, and it’s good for mitigating risk.” 

Tucson Unified has more security features planned for rollout, including single-sign on, Windows Hello for Business, and Secure Boot. Teachers can expect these features to be enabled in the next year.

Future-ready skills through Minecraft: Education Edition and Office 365 ProPlus

The benefits of Microsoft Education extend beyond administration. Teachers at several schools within Tucson Unified are using Office 365 ProPlus and Minecraft: Education Edition to teach their students future-ready skills.

Michael Tinkey, a teacher at Booth-Fickett Math/Science Magnet School in the district, teaches a computer science course in which his students learn how to code in JavaScript through Minecraft: Education Edition. The elective course is a favorite among students, who often play Minecraft in their spare time. The class is both instructional and fun. For Michael’s Halloween class, students constructed haunted houses and then used Code Builder in Minecraft: Education Edition to fill their houses with monsters.

Running intensive apps like Minecraft: Education Edition requires a robust device and operating system, which Michael finds in Dell Latitude, HP ProBook, and HP Stream laptops running Windows 10. In a win-win for his students, Michael knows that teaching Minecraft: Education Edition isn’t just fun, it’s preparing his students for their futures. With this class, “we expose our students to the skills they might need in occupations like software engineering and programming, which are in high demand,” explains Michael. Minecraft: Education Edition allows users to modify different aspects of the game. “With every project, I make sure my students are able to read the code, go through and identify what aspect of JavaScript explains the functions of the code, and diversify the different inputs they’re using,” says Michael. Using Minecraft: Education Edition in a learning environment on a robust device helps students bridge the gap between something they enjoy—playing video games—and skills they need to put them on a path to actually making the games someday.

At Cholla High School, also part of Tucson Unified, teacher Julie Lindner uses Office 365 ProPlus to improve learning outcomes for her students. Lindner teaches Exceptional Education, and most of her students have learning or intellectual disabilities.

“Depending on the day,” she says, “I could have them writing. I could have them sharing. I could have them working together with a classmate to create a PowerPoint or Sway presentation. I could have them working on writing a resume.” Lindner knows that when her students graduate, they will likely use Microsoft products in their professional lives.

Lindner continues, “I really want students to be able to walk out of high school knowing how to use any of the Microsoft products. The more I can teach them about the Office 365 collaboration platform, the more prepared they’re going to be for the workforce.” Her students use Word to hone their resume-writing skills, and Lindner uses real-time collaboration features in Office 365 ProPlus to follow along with her students and comment as they work. Meanwhile, Lindner reaps the benefits of cloud-managed devices, noting that device updates are deployed remotely and, thanks to Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run, “take effect even without having to restart the computer.”  

The flip side of collaborating in real time is that students and teachers use Office 365 ProPlus apps to work and learn outside the classroom. Alternative education students can have difficulty getting to school, so they use Office 365 ProPlus to stay on track.

“For our students to be able to access their homework, for example, from home or anywhere else is very beneficial to us. We have a lot of students who do distance learning education for Alternative ed. And that tool being available not only onsite, but offsite as well, is very helpful,” says Young.

Seeing and sharing student progress

An important forward-thinking adoption by Tucson Unified is the use of Power BI for data visualization and sharing. “We use Power BI in two ways. First, we use it for visualization of the data that we use internally for a lot of our decision making. We also aggregate data on student achievement and make it available publicly. We put information out about how our students are performing and about performance at a school level or district level overall,” explains Young. Introducing and implementing Power BI within Tucson Unified was relatively easy, he says, thanks to the district’s existing Microsoft environment and familiarity with Microsoft tools. Tucson Unified has been learning from and sharing data for a long time, independent of any policy or compliancy requirements. “It is just the right thing to do,” says Young.

The same commitment Tucson Unified has shown in providing its students with the best possible technology-enabled education is evident in the way it uses Power BI to communicate with constituents.

“Families—students and parents—are our first and foremost priority, but we also do it for all the citizens within our city who take an interest in public education and how we’re doing as a district,” Young says. As a public school district that takes its responsibility to the community seriously, Tucson Unified uses Power BI to help make essential data available in a form that’s easy to understand and navigate.

An ocean of evolving technology

As a district, Tucson Unified is “always looking for the best possible solution,” says Hamadeh. It recognized that Microsoft Education and the modern solutions offered not only the best solution for today, but a way to continue its path forward. Having made the leap from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and from on-premises to co-management and eventually to the cloud, the district has seen firsthand how Microsoft has a history and commitment to evolve software and solutions, setting customers up for future success.

Although Tucson Unified is well on its way to completing its Windows 10 and Office 365 deployment, the district is nonetheless excited for the opportunities it sees ahead. “We’re really in our infancy of adoption,” says Young. “We expect over the next couple years to grow in our ability to leverage the environment and do creative things that help us as a school district in running the district, and in instruction, and for our students to learn. I think of it as an ocean to swim in.”

Find out more about Tucson Unified School District on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Learn what it takes to become a cloud computing architect with this $39 bundle

Companies traditionally deployed physical storage and systems to handle their infrastructure. However, cloud computing makes it easy for said enterprises to borrow storage and processing power to add to their network. As more companies migrate to the cloud, the demand for cloud computing architects has skyrocketed. If you’re interested in landing a job in this field, this $39 bundle is for you.

The Cloud Computing Architect Certification Bundle features 9 courses on how to become a cloud computing expert, as well as how to use services from leading cloud providers. Getting Started with Cloud Computing will serve as your introduction to the cloud, as it will illustrate the evolution of cloud technology, explain the Fire Characteristics of Cloud Computing, and teach you about different cloud service and deployment models.

Once you have the hang of it, you can get hands-on practice with Projects In Cloud Computing, which includes 69 lectures on cloud architecture, techniques, and emerging technologies. You can even specialize further into Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud, all of which are covered in this bundle.

Cloud computing makes it easier and cheaper than ever for companies to set up their infrastructure, so there will always be a need for cloud architects. You can learn what it takes to become one with the Cloud Computing Architect Certification Bundle, which is on sale for only $39, or 97% off.


The Cloud Computing Architect Certification Bundle – $39

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