The Ministry of Education has renewed its Microsoft software agreement providing schools with free access to Office 365 and other learning and collaboration tools.
The latest agreement gives all students and staff free access to standard Microsoft Office 365 including Home Use, with the addition of open world and collaboration game Minecraft Education Edition, which promotes computational thinking through in-game programming.
Schools will retain access to Microsoft software such as Office 365, as well as new tools which include "Intune for Education" that support mobile computing and bring your own device programmes to allow "anywhere-anytime" learning.
The tools include improved identity authentication capability.
"The agreement provides students and educators with the digital support to ensure equity of access to learning opportunities,” said Anne Taylor, education manager at Microsoft New Zealand.
Taylor said the agreement, which runs until the end of 2021, also supports schools to move to cloud-based technology ensuring students, teachers, parents or caregivers are able to access digital resources whenever required and from any device.
"This agreement reinforces Microsoft’s role as a technology partner for the Ministry and demonstrates our commitment to digital education," Taylor added.
Furthermore, the new agreement includes mobile device management, identity and access management services and unlimited licensing for Windows servers and networks for on-premise, remote and cloud hosted environments.