The popular Minecraft Education Edition and new tools to support mobile computing and BYOD initiatives are included in the renewed agreement between the Ministry of Education and Microsoft, which gives state and state-integrated schools in New Zealand free access to Microsoft’s standard suite of learning and collaboration tools.

The latest agreement, which takes effect immediately through to 31 December 2021, gives all students and school staff free access to standard Microsoft Office 365 including Home Use, with the addition of Minecraft Education Edition (EE) on their devices.

Minecraft EE is an open-world game that allows students to design and build new projects in teams, promoting creativity, collaboration and problem-solving in a fun gaming environment.

Schools will retain access to Microsoft software such as Office 365 as before, as well as new tools such as ‘Intune for Education’ that support mobile computing and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programmes to allow ‘anywhere-anytime’ learning. These tools will include improved identity authentication capability to protect students’ and teachers’ privacy.

Anne Taylor, Education Manager for Microsoft New Zealand says the agreement provides equitable access to learning opportunities for Kiwi students.

Taylor says the agreement also supports schools to move to Cloud-based technology, providing all schools access to leading technology that is both easily manageable and affordable, and which keeps pace with change.

“This agreement is about ensuring that students, teachers, parents or caregivers are able to access digital resources whenever required and from any device. Whether it’s at school, or from the lounge at home, we want to help enable Kiwi students and their families access world leading software and make the most of digital learning.”

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