Great news from Educause this week! Microsoft announced that new SharePoint Online-based collaboration and productivity services will be available for students as part of the Live@edu next year. These new SharePoint-based services will offer IT departments more flexibility and control to set up and manage their school’s collaboration and productivity tools in a security-enhanced environment…as well as the ability to access and manage permissions to sites, documents and content (pictures, videos) with enterprise-class control.

Separately, Blackboard plans to announce an alliance with Microsoft that will offer students and learners a streamlined access to information from their courses while navigating the Web. Under the agreement, Blackboard and Microsoft will work together to enable notifications from students’ online courses to appear in their Web browser using the Bing toolbar when new course information becomes available through the Blackboard Learn™ platform. Press release can be found here.

Finally, more universities are choosing Microsoft’s cloud computing offerings, to save schools time and money.  In the past four months nearly 5,000 schools have enrolled with Live@edu joining the thousands of other institutions in more than 100 countries already providing Live@edu to tens of millions of students worldwide.

See the blog from Anthony Salcito, Microsoft VP for Education Worldwide.

Kevin