NZ Education Blog

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

March, 2014

  • Announcing the Office you love, now on the iPad!

    Over a billion people on the planet use Microsoft Office to get more done at work and at home. Every day we hear from you how important it is to have a great productivity experience on all the devices you use. We take that very seriously – we know that means you want the authentic experience of Office, made right for the device you’re using.

    Starting today, you can download Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad from the App Store.

    The apps have the robust capabilities and familiar look and feel that is unmistakably Office, while offering a fantastic touch experience built from the ground up for iPad. With the free versions of the apps, you can read your Word documents, view your Excel data and present with PowerPoint.

    Your documents will look as good as they do on your PC and Mac®, and better than ever on your iPad. With an Office 365 subscription, you can edit and create new documents with the iPad. When you edit a document, you can be sure that content and formatting will be maintained across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone. And, you always have access to your up-to-date documents in OneDrive.

    Your Office 365 subscription not only gets you the Office for iPad apps installed on up to 5 tablets, but also 5 copies across Office for your PCs and Macs.  With one subscription all of your devices are covered, so you can work the way you want.

    You can find out more and read the FAQ right here!

  • Register your interest now for the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Workshop!

    Helping school leaders clarify their vision for 1:1 learning and building an executable framework to bring this to life.

    Microsoft and CORE Education bring you the complimentary 21 Steps to 21st century learning workshop in May 2014.

    This two-day seminar will explore the planning and implementation of 1:1 learning in your school. Facilitated by world education leader, Bruce Dixon, the workshop is designed to support school Principals and eLearning leaders to work together. We recommend two leaders attend from each school.

    "The presenter was completely engaging, and a master of his knowledge. It was a privilege to be led by somebody who has been there with devices in the classroom since their inception." – Stephen Hensman, Principal, Taradale High School.

    We invite you to register your interest to attend the workshop in Christchurch: 12th-13th May, or in Auckland: 15th-16th May.

    In the workshop you will work through the 5 Phases that outline the Design and Deployment Guide to 1:1 learning:

    • Phase 1 – The Compelling Case for Change: Create a solid foundation for a 1:1 initiative, with a clear vision and actionable, measurable goals.

    • Phase 2 – Redesign Learning and teaching: Focusing on rethinking and redesigning all aspects of teaching practice and the learning experience, based on the information garnered and ideas developed in Phase One.

    • Phase 3 – Lead the Shift: The vision and goals have been set. It’s time to turn the vision into reality, and theory to practice. This phase develops strategies in the key areas of stakeholder engagement, financial models, equity of access, community buy-in and teacher professional growth to support your initiative.

    • Phase 4 – Manage Implementation: Once all the strategies for change are in place and being put into action, schools are ready to plan the actual 1:1 implementation. This implementation covers a range of tasks, including managing the budget, creating a 21st century learning environment, conducting a readiness assessment and establishing critical partnerships, culminating in the actual start

    • Phase 5 – Evaluate Continuously: Effective evaluation of your initiative is the backbone of its success. Without any genuine commitment to such a process, the impact of the previous 20 Steps can be marginal. It underpins the ongoing development of a program and ensures the best possible outcomes for students, staff and the school.

  • The Windows 8.1 Deployment Kit is here!

    We are very excited to announce that the Windows 8.1 Deployment Kit will this week be arriving on the desks of all NZ State and Integrated Schools, with rolls of less than 700 students.

    What’s in the kit?

    The deployment kit contains a ready-made ‘image’ of the latest Microsoft computer operating system and Office productivity tools, as well as a ‘plain English’ installation guide. This disk allows your school to deploy Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office 2013 across all your school-owned computers when you are ready. You will find all the documentation necessary to complete a full deployment of the latest Windows and Microsoft Office desktop.

    What’s in the kit?

    • Windows 8.1 image, including:  - Office 2013 Professional Plus - Internet Explorer 11
    • Guidance on implementing an automated image deployment process using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013
    • How to video’s
    • Microsoft Schools Deployment Kit terms of use.

     What should you do now?

    1. Pass the disk onto the relevant IT staff in the school, or to the school’s technology provider/partner.
    2. If you don’t have a partner, email and we can direct you to a partner.
    3. Don’t forget:
  • OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere, and service powered!

    OneNote is the ultimate extension for your brain, but it’s not complete if it’s not instantly available everywhere. We’ve already made a lot of progress in that direction with our mobile, tablet and online web experiences. But there was still a gap. People frequently asked for OneNote on Mac, and for more ways to capture content.

    Today we’re very excited to complete the OneNote story with three major developments:

    1. OneNote for Mac is available for the first time and for free. With this, OneNote is now available on all the platforms you care about: PC, Mac, Windows tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android and the Web. And they’re always in sync.
    2. OneNote is now free everywhere including the Windows PC desktop and Mac version because we want everyone to be able to use it. Premium features are available to paid customers.
    3. The OneNote service now provides a cloud API enabling any application to connect to it. This makes it easier than ever to capture ideas, information and inspirations from more applications and more places straight into OneNote, including:
    • OneNote Clipper for saving web pages to OneNote
    • for emailing notes to OneNote
    • Office Lens for capturing documents and whiteboards with your Windows Phone
    • Sending blog and news articles to OneNote from Feedly, News360 and Weave
    • Easy document scanning to OneNote with Brother, Doxie Go, Epson, and Neat
    • Writing notes with pen and paper and sending them to OneNote with Livescribe
    • Mobile document scanning to OneNote with Genius Scan and JotNot
    • Having your physical notebooks scanned into OneNote with Mod Notebooks
    • Connecting your world to OneNote with IFTTT

    Go to to get OneNote for free for your Mac, PC or other devices, and try out the new OneNote service connected experiences.

    You can learn more about these fantastic developments, right here!

  • Greetings from the Global Education Forum!

    The Microsoft in Education Global Forum 2014 kicked off to an amazing start with over 1100 educators, school leaders and government officials from nearly 100 countries coming together in Barcelona to celebrate innovation in education and work together to transform education for the 21st century. The event has grown to be one of the most important events on the Microsoft, and education industry calendar – and each year it continues to break new ground to push learning forward, share best practices and make vital connections within this important community.
    This year, the Forum provided an opportunity for more influencers, school leaders and educators to participate in this exciting event, including; 150 Government Education Leaders, 260 Educators, representing our Expert Educator program, 300 School Leaders from the most innovative schools around the globe, 30+ Global Media and 50+ Partner sponsors.

    Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education for Microsoft.

    Highlights so far;

    • 260 Microsoft Expert Educators started their individual project competition with their Surface devices, judged by over 100 worldwide education thought leaders. Award winners will be announced at the Gala today.
    • 80 Microsoft Mentor Schools and 34 World Showcase Schools initiated an inspiring week of collaboration, leadership and learning.
    • Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Sonia Recasens, officially opened the event on Tuesday 11th March during the welcome reception. Attendees had the opportunity  to discover new technologies and immersive learning scenarios through the Tech Showcase where partner sponsors provided hand on experience and demo’s of the latest technology.
    • On Wednesday 12th, the opening Keynote brought together all 1100 attendees and a number of special guests to provide an insightful start to the week ahead.
      • Eve Psalti, Global Director, Education Audience, introduced the keynote and framed the session about “be the change that you want to see in the world”;
      • Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman Microsoft Europe, focused on the need for technology skills in a global world;
      • Xavier Prats Monne, Deputy-Director General for Education of the European Commission, who will be appointed Director General on July 1. to manage a 9,4 billion €€ budget aimed at transforming education across 28 countries;
      • Montserrat Gomendio, Secretary of State for Education, Training and Universities, Spain, announced the creation of two new platforms. (1) an open platform content with Creative Commons to provide a network between regional governments, involving teachers, families and students will share experiences and inspiration in education, (2) a digital book platform, which will facilitate the acquisition of books at significantly lower price to help families in crisis;
      • Anthony Salcito delivered the main keynote focused on Microsoft’s commitment to education, a view on the future of learning, and provided some home truths of what we all need to be thoughtful about when thinking about transforming education with technology. The keynote also included a demo of latest apps, Microsoft and partner solutions.


    New Zealand's very own Expert Educators, Theresa Bosch of Baradene College and Steve Martin of Howick College.

     Beautiful Barcelona!

  • Countdown to Barcelona: 2014 Global Forum Kicks off Next Week

    The 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain is next week! For the Expert Educators and Mentor School leaders we’ll be celebrating, this event is the culmination of many years of hard work on the front lines of education reform.

    Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Education, describes the scale of the event perfectly.

    "When we bring together the world’s most innovative educators – this year, a group of 1100 teachers, school leaders, higher-education faculty and government officials representing 97 countries – we will see living, breathing proof of Aristotle’s assertion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The combined energy and enthusiasm of these education innovators always translates into new ideas and inspiration that is then transmitted to the attendees’ schools, their countries and beyond. The Global Forum also creates life-long professional development networks among participants, leading to continuous growth, long after the closing keynote."

    Don't forget that New Zealand will be represented by Theresa Bosch from Baradene College and Steve Martin from Howick College will attend the Global Forum, as part of being selected to take part in the Microsoft Expert Educator Program! Our very own Anne Taylor, Schools and Academic Programs Manager, will be there reporting back too.

    We'll keep you updated on the exciting happenings at the forum, but you can also follow along on Twitter through #MicrosoftGF and #MSExpertEducator.

  • Getting Microsoft Office for your students has just become easier.

    Student Advantage enables every school in New Zealand that licenses Office for staff and to be eligible to get Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. You can get it now!

    This supports the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or 1:1 learning programmes that you may be looking at implementing, or are currently running in your school. Office 365 Pro Plus is the full version of Office and allows each student to install the full version of Office on up to five PCs or Macs.

    To take up this benefit, the next steps are:

    1. Contact Datacom to add the zero-cost license Student Advantage SKU to your Microsoft agreement.
    2. To do this you will be invoiced a $75 administration fee from Datacom.
    3. If you do not already have Office 365 A2 plan ordered, this will also need to be ordered and will be included in the $75 administration fee above.
    4. Check with Datacom that your contact person for Office 365 and Student Advantage activity is correct.
    5. Deploy the Office 365 A2 Plan service for staff and students; then Students are able to download the Office ProPlus client software to their devices (up to 5 devices per student).

    Please contact your Microsoft Reseller for more details:

    ▪ For schools enrolled in the Microsoft Schools Agreement with the Ministry of Education, please contact Datacom on

    • For all other schools, please contact your Academic Reseller or partner.