Computers have become an integral part of education in schools, and almost every good school has computer systems for its students. The only problem with computer education in school comes when students get distracted by various apps and features of the PCs. Windows Store has a new app called Set up School PCs for teachers and IT support staff in schools. This new app from Microsoft helps the school’s technical staff set up Windows 10 PCs for students in the school. The app is particularly tailored for the students, wherein it will keep the useful apps required for learning and remove the unwanted apps & features from the PCs.
Set Up School PCs app
As the name suggests, this app helps teachers and IT staff to set up the computer systems for students as per their needs and requirements. The app follows Microsoft’s recommended education settings and sets up the PCs accordingly. Also, the app lets the IT staff save those settings in a USB drive for quick use on the next PC, wherein the teacher has to plug in the USB device, and it automatically adjusts the tweaks.
The basic education settings in the Set Up School PCs app include:
- This app gives a unique and familiar name to each student’s PC, which further helps in management.
- The app automatically adjusts the computer systems according to Microsoft’s recommended school PC settings, including the shared PC mode, automatic account cleanup, and a faster sign-in.
- Joining each student’s PC to the Azure Directory tenant and the school’s Office 365 account.
- If the school has a licensed MDM (Mobile Device Management) provider, this app enrolls each student automatically in the MDM. The settings, however, can be changed later if required. Moreover, the students are not allowed to remove their PCs from the device management systems. They can never change the School PC settings as well.
- The app removes all the unwanted software preinstalled on the PCs and keeps only the ones required for learning.
- The tool saves the wireless network profile on each PC and adjusts the configurations automatically.
- Guest account option for the visitors and younger students in the school. Guest accounts also help in the case of lost passwords.
- The app locks down the student’s PC in case of suspicious activity.
- There is also optional secure testing included in the PC settings.
- Without any manual adjustments, the app keeps updating the student’s PCs from time to time.
- It installs useful apps for students like Sway to create interactive reports, OneDrive for their cloud storage, and more. It also customizes the Start layout for the students.
- One of the essential features of the Set Up School PCs app is that it removes unwanted and distracting apps from the PC like Solitaire and more.
- Students are not allowed to add their personal Microsoft accounts to the PC.
Set up School PCs step-by-step
1. Download the Set Up PC School app from the Windows Store. Launch the Setup School PCs app and click on Get Started button at the bottom.
2. The next step is to sign in to your school’s Office 365 account. Enable the student’s PCs to automatically connect to Intune for Education, Azure AD, and Office 365. You can, however, skip the sign-in and jump to complete the setup. Note that if you set up the PC without signing in, Student’s PCs won’t be connected to management services or the cloud services, which may give you troubles later.
- If you sign in, select the account from the list and click Next. If you don’t see the account in the list, you can add a new account. You may be asked to provide the login details. Give the app the required permissions to access your account. Click on Next.
- Select the school’s wireless network page if you the student PCs to connect automatically to the school’s wireless network. See if the school’s wireless network is in the list of available networks, add it manually if required, and click Next. If you have an ethernet connection, you can skip the step of adding the wireless network.
3. The next step is to name the PCs. Select some short and easy-to-remember names for the PCs. The Setup School PCs app will be using this name from then onwards. Once done with the name, click Next.
4. Head over to the configuration page for different settings.
- Since it is a Student PC, install only the base Windows image and remove apps preinstalled by the device manufacturer.
- Select Allow local storage so the students can save files to the Desktop and Documents folder. Don’t select this option if it is a shared PC.
- If you want the guests to use student PCs, Let guests sign in to these PCs.
- From the configuration page, you can change the default lock screen background and set your school’s logo or any custom background.
5. Next is the ‘Take a Test app.’ Here you can set the assessments and quizzes for the students. The app adjusts the settings so that students won’t be able to access anything else on the PC while taking the test.
- Select if you want the ‘Take a Test‘ button to appear on the screens of students’ PCs. The other two checkboxes let you decide whether to allow keyboard text suggestions and allow teachers to monitor online tests.
- Add the assessment URL, if any. You can, anyways, fill it in later also.
- Click Next when done with the above settings. Click Skip if you don’t want to set up the Take a Test app.
6. Recommended Apps- Here, you have to select the apps according to your preferences from a set of apps recommended by Microsoft.
7. Summary- Under this tab, you can review the package settings summary. Check all your settings and change if required. Click Accept if the settings are OK.
8. Save Package- This is where you can save all your settings. Click Save Package and select Insert a USB Drive Now. Insert your drive, save your package settings for further portable usage, and click Save. The app will notify you when the package is saved to your USB drive. Click Next, and you are done. There is also an option of adding another USB if you want to.
9. Run Package- Click Run Package, select Get the Students PC Ready, and follow the instructions. Click Next and select Install the package.
Follow the instructions, and you are all done with the Set up School PCs. Click Create a new package if you want the package with different settings.
For a detailed read, you may visit docs.microsoft.com.
Can I activate Windows with my school account?
Windows activation is not connected to an account, but if your PC has been set up by the school or offered by the school, they can activate it from their side. Some schools offer access keys that one can use to activate the PC. So yes, you can, but only with the help of the school.
How can I legally activate my Windows for free?
The only way to legally activate Windows is by buying it. This can be done through Microsoft Store or a Retailer. You also need to ensure that the activation is not one-time and can be used again if you reinstall Windows on the same PC.