Supporting: Project MindSpring - The New Zealand Online Learning Community (NZOLC), The Community Technicians Project
“We aim to be a long-term partner for the NZ government, to contribute to improved learning outcomes for students and lifelong learning opportunities for all New Zealanders through better access to and use of ICT.”
Microsoft is involved with two Digital Opportunities projects – providing software for two Hamilton schools involved in the Digital Bridges project, and providing a suite of software products for Project MindSpring™ .
Project MindSpring™ is a platform to launch portals that can help support teachers and schools throughout New Zealand.
MindSpring™ puts students and teachers at the centre of a collaborative web-based learning environment that combines a range of Microsoft products in a secure framework. It offers the functionality for teachers to create, share and assign electronic resources and access the thinking and knowledge of teachers nationwide. Students can monitor their own progress, get instant feedback, and access their learning anywhere at anytime. MindSpring™ strengthens communication between parents, teachers, students and schools; it reduces time-consuming administration; and lets students collaborate, express themselves and develop independent learning habits.
MindSpring™ integrates seamlessly with widely used Microsoft® Office products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint®, Publisher and FrontPage®. This means a very short learning curve for teachers and schools can gain more benefit from what they are already familiar with. MindSpring™ has been developed through the integration of the following Microsoft® products:
Microsoft® Class Server is a learning management tool that enables teachers to manage resources. It includes a wizard to easily produce tests, assignments, learning notes and resources, for students to access anywhere, anytime. Advanced functions allow for teachers to embed sound, movies, applets, and Flash into web pages.
Windows® SharePoint™ Services provide leading document management and a collaborative environment enabling integration with Microsoft® Office. Windows® SharePoint™ Services is a leading industry environment for collaboration, and has been tailored in the MindSpring™ environment to cater for education.
Microsoft® Exchange 2003 provides Outlook® email services and personal information management including calendaring, task lists and other communication tools. This function is available for teacher use only.
MindSpring™ is a collaborative project involving The Ministry of Education, The New Zealand Online Learning Community, Unisys New Zealand Ltd and Microsoft® New Zealand. The strength of this partnership comes in combining experience in the New Zealand education market to support the adoption of ICT by schools.
Contact: Nils Beehre, Education Manager, Microsoft NZ LTD