A recent amendment to the Ministry of Education’s Microsoft School Agreement gives schools access to their Microsoft server software hosted by third parties, including the Ministry of Education and other schools within the region.
The change was made in response to requests from schools for more flexible server hosting arrangements, particularly in light of the recent Christchurch earthquake, where many schools were left with damaged or unavailable technology infrastructure.
Ministry of Education Manager e-Learning Innovation, Howard Baldwin, says the change was made within the scope of the Ministry’s existing agreement with Microsoft which provides operating systems and Office productivity software for state and state-integrated schools.
“This will allow schools to more easily work together to establish shared infrastructure, enabling them to reduce IT costs and focus more resources on learning.”
Evan Blackman, Education Manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says this amendment will also complement the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout to schools taking place over the next five years.
“The combination of high speed connectivity and the amended Microsoft School Agreement will enable schools to more easily adopt local Cloud services as they gain ultra-fast broadband capability,” says Blackman.
“With the revised Microsoft School Agreement now in effect, interested schools should contact their technology partners to discuss whether offsite server hosting and business continuity solutions are appropriate for them.”