Thursday, 15 January 2009

Microsoft Dreamspark

I had sort of given up onour school becoming a MSAA high School a while ago, once I had done some research and had noone at Microsoft get back to me. That was until I read a blog from Americia. The blog author talked about a new prgramme from microsoft called dreamspark. It is a programme that entitles students to get the latest web development and software development tools from microsoft for free. Though these can only be used for 12 months. Once I contacted them, and they explained that it wasn't available in New Zealand, I gave up. Though I had a posting on a listserve from a teacher asking about the dreamspark programme and whether it was available in New Zealand. I thought I would try again, December 9th I sent away the registration, didn't hear anything back from them, until the other day, I was asked for a letter of authorisation from the school saying that I could be the administrator of the programme, whoohoo, though it took some emailing and some phone called to get the letter as at the moment our school is currently closed for school holidays. I received the 200 licenses last night and am in a quondary of what to do now. I am looking around for curriculums, as well as finding out that the ministry is having talking with microsoft next week on getting dreamspark in. Well here is hoping every school in the country gets dreamspark, because it will be huge for computing courses all throughout the country. Now we just need to get these teachers Professional Development. 

I have been thinking about this, if the schools are given software by the ministry will they want to use it, I realise that we have XP and office installed, but we have visual studio.NET, yet we don't use it, I instead found the express editions good enough and small enough for students to use and handle, plus they get it at home for free. Should the schools be 
given the dreamspark software, or made aware that it exists and this is what they should do to access it, it then puts some ownership on the teachers and the schools, rather than the ministry has provided the software.

I am now also waiting to hear back from microsoft whether I can download the software and keep it on our own servers at school for the students to copy from rather than using up there own internet traffic caps. Which some only have a 1 gig cap a month

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for your post.

I suggest you get in contact with your local Microsoft Rep who could help you find solutions to all the questions you have noted in this post. A contact I know of that works in the academic space is Ryan Tarak, you can contact him at, he is one of the primary people looking after Dreamspark for tertiary students.

Here is a few brief answers to your questions.

Dreamspark is available in New Zealand for both Tertiary Instiutes and High Schools. They are several methods for tertiary students to gain access to the site and you will find some information on this site: , Microsoft will slowly be populating this page showing how students can access the program.

High Schools students are provided access to the site by a local administrator on campus, as you have found out first hand. This has recently come available to High Schools, so you have done well to get your hands on the access codes early. The access codes are in your control and you have to decide the best method of distributing this to students that are interested in testing out the software.

The academic resource portal you are referring to can be made available to teachers for use in class. You best option here is to email Ryan Tarak to find out more.

Distributing Software within you school is best achieved through the MSDNAA program as the control on the distribution of the software can be hosted at the school. Dreamspark is purely an online program.

Hope that answers your questions. You can also check out a local site to help you get answers from your local MS rep.;