MSDNAA for IT Academies


Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance is a subscription programme offered by Microsoft allowing non commercial educational institutions to access many Microsoft products for free for use in teaching and for direct distribution to their students. Normally there is an annual charge for the programme on a departmental basis but with IT Academy membership you get free access.

As a key benefit of IT Academy membership and an opportunity to offer your students free software including Windows 7 I’m sure you’ll all be keen to find out how to set up and make the most of your MSDNAA subscription.

Below is my three step guide to getting MSDNAA set up and maximising the use of this benefit.

1. Do you have an MSDNAA subscription?

All new IT Academies set up in the last six months or so should have been emailed MSDNAA credentials and a subscription number when they joined. If you already have this information skip to step 2.

If you were not emailed credentials when you became an IT Academy or you no longer have this information please email me directly and I’ll be more than happy to help you get set up.

2. Setting up online administration

Once you have your MSDNAA subscription set up and you know your subscription number and credentials you will be able to log in and access the included software yourself. To really make the most of your subscription though you’re going to want to set up our online administration portal which will allow you to give direct access to both staff and pupils in your institution.

Getting online admin set up is really straight forward, all you have to do is complete this form and the online administration portal will be provisioned within a couple of days. Once you have the URL and credentials for your online admin you can move to step 3, if you have any issues at this stage please drop me an email and I’ll lend a hand getting things sorted.

3. Granting access to your students

The online administration portal offers a lot of functionality and this can make it a bit daunting at first. To be honest there is only one function that you’ll likely be interested in at first and that’s ‘User Management’. This function allows you to grant access to both staff and students with minimal admin overhead.

There are two ways to offer access; 1. By uploading a list of student/staff email addresses in which case our system will generate credentials for each user and email them login info directly or 2. By uploading a list of student IDs and then pointing the students to the authentication URL where they can register for access using their IDs. To access either upload option you simply need to select 'User Management>ELMS Authentication>Import List’ from the left hand navigation (full instructions are also provided on this page).

You can download a video of the above process here.


And finally…

Occasionally we hear of concerns about giving students access to the system from administrators so I want to take this opportunity to allay any fears. We want to get MSDNAA into the hands of as many students as possible so please do proactively grant access to your students and promote the programme as a benefit of attending your institution. Students are generally very excited about getting access to software like Windows 7 for free and we hope this will help to grow their passion for technology as they continue their studies!

Hopefully this guide has been a useful introduction to MSDNAA, if you have any questions, need help or advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch.