Vodacom Business and Microsoft have partnered to provide continuous access in a Connected Digital Education initiative for schools, educators and learners.

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The partnership will provide all learners free access to Microsoft Office 365 Education, its cloud-based service for productivity apps like Teams, OneNote, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook; and Vodacom’s cost-effective data through its Edu Data Bundle.

The move is in response to the growing needs for affordable online learning solutions that meet the educational needs of today’s learners through a secure combination of connectivity, collaboration, communication and educational tools and resources, while also considering the long-term need to transform education, said both companies. 

As a company with a purpose to connect for a better future, we are leveraging our ongoing partnership with Microsoft to provide educational institutions, from schools through to universities, with an education bundle of data at an affordable rate to participating institutions. We are fundamentally accelerating digital transformation in education through online learning now and well into the future” says Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group.

The Connected Digital Platform will allow educators to deliver classes online to their learners who can participate through chat or voice using a SIM card, with free access to Teams, regardless of where they are, or what device is being used. The products work on laptops, PCs, mobiles, tablets and browsers and on Android, iOS or Windows.

“The solution addresses the short-term need for online learning, while education institutions are partially closed, by giving educators and learners access to the tools and resources they need to teach and learn respectively, but also the long-term need to transform education. It provides learners with the tools needed to equip them with technological fluency, high-level knowledge skills and an agile mind-set that embraces innovation and creativity – the skills that are needed for future employability.”

“This empowers both educators and learners, and enables learning to continue in a seamless manner, which is a priority for Microsoft as we aim to ensure that South African learners are equipped with the right tools and skills needed to make them future-ready. The ability to bring together learning into one hub or solution is invaluable, and forms an important part of our commitment to building a complete education solution with critical partnerships with organisations like Vodacom Business,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa.  

In order for students to take up the Office 365 access offer, it will need to be done directly through the educational institute. Microsoft said today in its livestream event that they want it to be done with the school, college or university as a whole even though licences for Office 365 is available to students. 

More information can be found on the Vodacom website: https://www.vodacombusiness.co.za/business/connected-education