Part eight of the series of Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips for schools, based on my BETT 2010 presentation

Yes, the one you thought you’d never see from me in this list of Top 10 ICT Money Saving tips! But here it is…

Did you know that you can buy a subscription called the MSDN AA (Trivia: MSDN AA stands for Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance). And the schools version is called High School AA. (Move along, no comedy to see here)

In a nutshell, what it allows you to do is use a range of software for teaching and learning purposes in IT, design, art, maths and science, without having to buy the licences individually. And the software includes Expression Studio 2 (including Expression Web, Web, Blend, Media and Design), Visual Studio Professional and SQL Server [Detailed list]. AND you can provide it to your students for their homework assignments.

All for £145 a year.

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At this point, I should reinforce the five words above “for teaching and learning purposes”, so you can’t take use it for your SQL Server for MIS. It’s for teaching and learning only. And, Yes, we have understood that a school is all about teaching and learning, but I guess you’ll realise that we’ve written the rules in a very specific way to make sure that what we’re supporting is classroom use, not you running your whole school ICT system on MSDN AA software.

The scheme also provides a range of support and training resources for teachers on the MSDN AA Faculty Connection web site. (To save you using your Babel fish, I’ll point out that K-12 on this US site means ‘schools’)

So if you are licensing any of the software above, or you’re using an alternative product (pretty likely with the Expressions Design or Expressions Web suite), then there’s a potential (big) saving for you.

You can find out more about MSDN AA on the Microsoft website.

And a final bonus. If you already have a School Agreement subscription, then you’ve already got a free subscription to MSDN AA included! You may just need to activate it on the website