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GitHub’s new schools program sees Microsoft deepen its education play

GitHub’s new schools program sees Microsoft deepen its education play

The bundled GitHub Education suite includes access to GitHub, along with a growing collection of developer tools

Freemans Bay School student Minh Vu and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Source: Microsoft)

Freemans Bay School student Minh Vu and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Source: Microsoft)

GitHub is rolling its education offerings into a single free bundle for schools, effectively seeing the company’s soon-to-be-new owner Microsoft deepen its education sector play.

It should be noted that GitHub has been free to individual students and teachers for classroom use for years.

However, the code repository and software development platform operator is now making it possible for schools of all types to adopt GitHub and its education offerings in a single bundle.

The bundled GitHub Education suite includes access to GitHub, along with a growing collection of developer tools in the Student Developer Pack, workflows for teachers in GitHub Classroom, and training through Campus Experts and Campus Advisors.

The bundled offering sees GitHub put all of these tools and programs together, along with free access to its Business Plan and GitHub Enterprise.

“We’re excited to expand our commitment to include the features that schools need, like SAML single sign-on and access provisioning, with GitHub Education,” the company said in a blog post.

The move comes just days after Microsoft, which confirmed on 4 June it would acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion, announced it had struck a deal to acquire video-based social learning platform Flipgrid.

Flipgrid is used by schools, teachers and students in 180 countries around the world, including Australia.

One of the first things the company said it would do as a result of the acquisition was to make the platform free for use by schools.

Users of the Flipgrid platform, which counts pre-kindergarten to Ph.D.-level educators among its 20 million-plus users around the world, who have already purchased a subscription from Flipgrid will receive a prorated refund as a result of the deal.

According to Microsoft education corporate vice president Eran Megiddo, the Flipgrid platform and products will continue to work across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems post-acquisition.

“Fans of Flipgrid can rest assured the Flipgrid they know and love, in joining Microsoft, will continue to grow and thrive across the Microsoft, Google and partner ecosystems, all while retaining its distinct brand, culture and team,” Megiddo said in a blog post. 

“Furthermore, Flipgrid will continue to be a safe, secure place for students and teachers to communicate in alignment with Microsoft’s GDPR, FERPA and COPPA compliant privacy architecture,” he said.

Microsoft sees Flipgrid as a tool to help teachers and students build social emotional skills beyond traditional curricula, the software vendor said in a statement.

Microsoft already offers its Office 365 Education software to schools for free; with GitHub’s free schools bundle and Flipgrid’s new free offering, Microsoft is positioned to insert itself even further into the global education sector, a strategically important market for the software vendor. 

“Together we have a shared mission to empower educators and students…building communities around learning is more important than ever,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said when the company announced its acquisition of Flipgrid.

“The way people interact, socialise and work are rapidly changing. Equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in this future will require an engaged community made up of dedicated administrators, great teachers, motivated students and involved parents,” he said.


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