A new technology agreement for New Zealand students and teachers comes with a commitment from Microsoft that student data will only be used to improve education and help kids learn, and not be used for commercial purposes.
This comes with a Ministry of Education extension to its Schools Agreement with Microsoft NZ for the next three years. It covers 2,500 schools and 85,000 members of staff. It will help to deliver modern teaching and learning environments for more than 766,000 students nationwide.
“Parents and caregivers entrust the care and safety of their children to schools – they expect it to be a physically safe place,” said Evan Blackman, Microsoft NZ’s Education Sector Director Evan. “For Microsoft privacy is a core ingredient of its education products, committing simply and clearly to not use customer data such as the content of student emails and documents for advertising.
“Microsoft believes this safe environment must be extended to the digital world students now inhabit. We are committed to offering that safe and trusted environment.”
Under the Schools Agreement students can now get the latest Microsoft Office software for their own devices at no cost – while schools are being supported to move to cloud computing. On top of this, schools will now be able to access on-premise or cloud-based versions of Microsoft software such as Office 365, as well as new tools for managing mobile computing, identity, and BYOD programmes, which will support ‘anywhere-anytime’ learning.
Mr Blackman says the agreement has been refocused to reflect the fast changing technology environment. It will support schools’ moves into cloud-computing with a software-as-a-service model.
“This new approach has clear long term benefits for schools as it will enable them to move quickly towards a cloud-based model of IT infrastructure. This will free up staff time and budget to redirect back into the classroom,” says Blackman.
“The agreement also improves student access to market-leading technology which supports their current education and lays the foundation for future careers. This means no student misses out on the digital tools they need to expand their education. This reflects Microsoft’s commitment to empowering every student on the planet to achieve more.”
The agreement has a further eye on the future. The Ministry of Education and Microsoft have agreed to work together to help schools move to cloud-based technology and enable the effective use of digital technology in teaching and learning.
“This is a hugely significant agreement. It cements Microsoft’s role as a key technology partner for the New Zealand government and it showcases the company’s commitment to enabling world-class digital education in a safe environment for students.”
For more information on Microsoft’s activities in New Zealand, visit: http://news.microsoft.com/en-nz/