Best Windows 11 Edition for Teachers [Free & Affordable Picks]

Make an informed choice from the very start

by Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Afam is a geek and the go-to among his peers for computer solutions. He has a wealth of experience with Windows operating systems, dating back to his introduction... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Education series of Microsoft's latest OS is the most fitting for teachers and gives app control and other functionality that ensures students can focus only on the work at hand. 
  • Windows 11 Home is free, but the Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions which can be great tools for teachers are paid. 
  • Using an evaluation version of the Windows Enterprise edition allows for a lot of flexibility as a teacher, but will only last for 90 days.
free windows 11 for teachers

Windows 11 has two popular editions, the Windows 11 Home and the Windows 11 Pro. Even though these two are widely used and spoken of, there are other versions of Windows 11.

For consumer use, you would opt for the Windows 11 Home. It comes with all the essential features an individual may need. Enterprises and organizations would instead opt for Windows 11 Pro, which has better security and networking options. The Education series of Windows 11 would be the most fitting for students, teachers, and instructors.

This article explores free or less pricey Windows 11 options for teachers and instructors.

Is Windows 11 free for teachers?

Except for Windows 11 Home, there are no free options for a teacher.

If you own a Windows 10 PC, you are entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 11 Home. To get upgraded to Windows 11 Pro will set you back more than $100. These two options are the same for everyone, teacher and non-teacher.

The enterprise edition of Windows 11 is quite pricey, and depending on your role, you may be able to get an education edition of the OS for less money.

What is the most affordable Windows 11 option for teachers?

1. Windows 11 SE for education

Windows 11 SE for education is the most recommended option for teachers.

Teachers can sign up for it as faculty members by filling out the Faculty Save Too form. They will get the services for as low as $15 if the school is registered to use Windows 11.

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free windows 11 for teachers

Windows 11 SE for education comes in three varieties: Windows 11 Education, Windows 11 Pro Education, and Windows 11 SE.

Windows 11 SE for education is designed for instructors who want to provide a distraction-free environment for learners. It is also meant for school IT administrators to help maintain devices that are simple to install, safe, and easy to administer.

Only IT administrators can install Windows 11 SE systems programs, giving IT managers more control and ensuring that devices run smoothly throughout the year.

This cloud OS is tailored to the unique demands of K-8 education and tuned to offer exceptional educational experiences.

It’s designed to provide excellent educational experiences on cheaper devices while minimizing distractions to keep students engaged. Most of the devices meant for the Education edition range in prices between $200 and $350, including ASUS Expertbook, Lenovo 300W, Dell Latitude 3120, etc.

2. Windows 11 Home

This is not a top-of-the-list option for teachers, but it may be a good alternative if your school is not registered to use Windows 11 SE for education.

The advantage of using Windows 11 Home as a teacher is that it is free, as long as you own a Windows 10 PC.

You will need to upgrade your computer and will immediately be able to enjoy the great features of Microsoft’s latest OS.

free windows 11 for teachers

Our guide will show you how to upgrade from a Windows 10 PC.

The downside to this alternative is that you will not have the same networking capabilities as the Education editions and will not have control over what students do with their computers. With this option, you basically have a personal computer that you can try to adapt to fulfill your teaching needs.

3. Windows 11 Enterprise trial

Windows Enterprise is an excellent option for teachers. This edition is ideal for networking and organizations, but it is pricey.

Windows 11 Enterprise is available as a Windows Pro upgrade license. The Windows Enterprise per device license, the Windows Enterprise E5 per user license, and the Windows Enterprise E3 per user license are all options for licensing Windows 11 Enterprise. 

As a teacher seeking an affordable Windows 11 option, a trial version may be the way to go. However, you should have in mind that an Enterprise trial only lasts for 90 days, which means that if you cannot purchase the full version, you will return to square one.

For the enterprise trial, you must fill out the evaluation form with Microsoft.

free windows 11 for teachers

This trial program is for IT experts who want to give Windows 11 Enterprise a try on behalf of the company. Note that if you are not an IT expert, Microsoft discourages you from using this evaluation.

In many ways, it is overkill for a teacher. This edition offers a wide range of update control and OS deployment. As an instructor, you may find the extensive app, device management features, and print management with universal print convenient.

Windows 11 is a feature-rich OS. A simple Home edition will suffice in many cases for the instructor. It is excellent for in-class demonstrations, and of course, with a bunch of software, you can transform it into an absolute teaching OS.

If you need more free tools for teachers or students, don’t miss our guide on how to get GitHub Copilot for free.

That said, to get the ultimate experience as an instructor and the capacity to network and monitor student PC activity, we highly recommend using the Education edition of Windows 11.