Dreamspark is a program that Microsoft first announced last year for college and university students. Ever since then a Dreamspark program for high schools has been “coming.” Well just before Christmas a beta version of the program and web site soft launched. Soft launch means it was there if you stumbled upon it or if you heard about it by work of mouth. The idea was to try the system out with small numbers to make sure things work before making a big announcement. Well it’s ready for real now and I wanted to be one of the first to talk about it. (Though Brian Scarbeau found out about it during the beta and blogged about it already.)
Now privacy and the care of personally identifying information on minors is a huge concern for us all. Likewise we wanted to make sure that adults were able to see/read/understand/explain the EULA to students. So the way Dreamspark high school works is that a school administrator or teachers signs up for a school. There is a verification process and than the responsible adult at the school is given a set of keys or approval codes to hand out to students. Students use that code to log in and get access to a whole lot of software for free!
Developer tools, server operating systems, Robotics Studio and XNA Game Studio and more. Don’t miss the IT Academy Student Pass for free training either! And yes the college/university program is still there and still the same great program that thousands of students have already taken advantage of.