NZ Education Blog

Regular updates from Microsoft in the NZ education sector. Events and advice for education staff.

August, 2013

  • How to take advantage of the Surface RT Offer for education institutions

    We've had an excellent response on our Surface RT offer for schools and tertiary education institutions!

    Haven't heard about it?

    Until September 30, 2013, Microsoft is pleased to offer the following special pricing on Surface RT to New Zealand schools and higher education institutions, through Authorised Surface Retailers:

    • Surface RT (32GB) - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$294 (Standard RRP1 is $499)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$371 (Standard RRP1 is $649)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$432 (Standard RRP1 is $698.99)

    All the prices above include GST

    If you are interested in finding out more about this offer for your school, please contact any of the following:

    Take a look at the brochure below to see how taking advantage of this deal will benefit your school or tertiary institution! 

    1 This price is the recommended retail price for the offer. Your actual price will be determined by your Surface retailer. There is no obligation on any retailer to comply with any recommended retail prices.

  • Mana College launches Microsoft IT Academy

    This week was a very exciting one for Mana College, as they launched the Microsoft IT Academy programme. Microsoft NZ's Education Sector Lead, Evan Blackman, travelled to the school to mark the occasion.

    What is Microsoft IT Academy? It's a program which provides industry-leading technology skills to help bridge the skills gap. With it, institutions get digital curriculum and certifications on fundamental technology skills -- as well as courses critical for students to be successful in today’s technologically evolving world - all at significantly reduced pricing for academic institutions and their educators, students and staff.

    • For Educators and staff: Professional development, a full curriculum for teaching technology courses, and learning tools.
    • For Students: Technology skills and certifications to be college and career ready for today’s technology-centered job market.

    Interested about finding out more for your school? Click here!

  • Bill Gates pitches in for online education resource Graphite

    We are excited to announce that Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, is backing a new initiative called Graphite, a free online resource to help teachers discover and share education technology!

    Gates has always publicised his belief that investing in education and digital tools could help solve the world's education crisis.

    "What's surprising is given how the Internet has changed how we buy airline tickets and books and how we look up things, is that formal education hasn't changed hardly at all," Gates said in an interview with CNET in 2010. "The technology sector deserves its blame -- it could be doing more here. But now is the time."

    "Graphite will make it easier for educators to find the tools they want and empower them do their best work," Gates said in a statement. "It's a great example of how we can support teachers who want to incorporate education technology in their classroom to help every student excel."

    The idea behind Graphite is to provide educators with free online resources to better teach in their classrooms.

    Want to find out more? Read the full article here! Tweet us your thoughts - @MSNZEducation - we are interested to hear!

  • Be the first to sign up for our new #MysterySkype community!

    Mystery Skype is an educational game played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other strategic questions. Mystery Skype can be played by students of all ages.

    Microsoft ash been working with a team of teachers who love Mystery Skype lessons to come up with the best way to help you plan your Mystery Skype call.

    We'll be launching a new Mystery Skype community very soon! Register here to take part now and we’ll let you know when it launches.

    So what are teachers around the world saying about Mystery Skype? Katy Gartside, of the United States, says, “Be honest with your students about being new to Mystery Skype, learn together and let them be a part of it. The more you let them be a part of it, the more they buy into it. The hardest part for teachers is handing control over to the students.”

    Click here to find out more!

  • Major Updates For OneNote On iPad, iPhone, & Android

    We are very excited to announce that OneNote has released a major “version 2.0″ update for iPad, iPhone, and Android. These apps deliver a full-powered OneNote experience across each device with more reliable sync, via SkyDrive. Engineering changes in the backend will allow Microsoft to make quicker updates going forward.

    The application will now have a consistent look and feel across all of these devices. With the new OneNote updates all formatting looks exactly the same across devices – this includes text formatting, tables with shading and borders, layout and so on. Hyperlinks and note tags are consistently supported. Even ink from your Windows tablet is shown on iOS and Android now. In short, your notes look the same, all the time, on all devices. 

    Read the full Microsoft-news.com article here, and see the comparison in picture.

  • Ministry extends Microsoft Schools Agreement to 2015

    We are very excited to announce that the Ministry of Education has extended the Microsoft Schools Agreement through to the end of 2015! This enables chools across New Zealand to have greater access to the most modern e-learning tools.

    The Microsoft Schools Agreement provides New Zealand Schools with unlimited access to the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software for school-owned or leased devices, as well as unrestricted use of Windows Core Servers.

    Pauline Barnes from the Ministry of Education says, “The extension to December 2015 gives schools greater ability to make IT network management plans. It will support schools to access and provide modern digital teaching and learning environments”.

    Evan Blackman, Microsoft Education Sector Manager, says, “Technology should enable collaborative learning and give students access to amazing resources, not take educators away from the classroom to roll it out.  So we’ve created a deployment kit that basically does the heavy lifting involved for schools in upgrading to Windows 8."

    Find out more about this exciting agreement by reading the full article here.  

  • 10 advantages of taking up the Surface RT offer for education institutions

    The fantastic Microsoft Surface offer for schools and tertiary education customers is still available, and there are now more reasons than ever before to take up this limited time only offer.

    Between July 15, 2013 and September 30, 2013, Microsoft is pleased to offer the following special pricing on Surface RT to New Zealand schools and higher education institutions, through Authorised Surface Retailers:

    • Surface RT (32GB) - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$294 (Standard RRP1 is $499)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$371 (Standard RRP1 is $649)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$432 (Standard RRP1 is $698.99)

    All the prices above include GST

    Microsoft Surface RT is a great choice for schools and higher education institutions that want powerful, affordable touch-enabled tablets for students, educators and staff. In addition to cutting edge hardware specs, Surface RT comes with many software and cloud features that will have educators and students teaching and learning in no time.

    James Kendrick, of ZDNet, recently blogged about the 10 advantages Windows 8 tablets have over the iPad and Android and we had to share it with you.

    "Android tablets and the iPad are solid tablets, but Windows 8 has distinct advantages over both of the other platforms. Windows 8 is a full PC OS and that brings some important capabilities to the tablet", Kendrick explains. "The 10 features in this collection that give Windows 8 an advantage over the competition are by no means the only ones. They are significant enough to break them out from the rest."

    Read Kendrick's top 10 advantages here, you won't regret it!