Microsoft in Education Blog December, 2011 - Microsoft in Education blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

December, 2011

  • Let’s go do some math

    I was watching an episode of Mythbusters the other day. I always enjoy that show and while most of the attention goes to the two main stars my favorite is Grant Imahara . On this particular episode they were trying to determine if a bullet could set off a rocket propelled grenade and if so what would happen to the people shooting both the RPG and the bullet that set it off. They started with some timings to see how fast both the bullet and the RPG would be moving. Once these timings were complete Grant utters a line you don’t hear often on TV – “ Let’s go do some math!” And boy did he have some...
  • Top Most Read Posts of 2011

    It may be a little early to post this but not much. At this point it would be a big surprise if some other post made it into this list. These fifteen posts were far and away the most read of 2011. The first on the list had over 20,000 views. The last on the list was over 4,500 views which was a good 500+ more than the next on the list. Most of these posts had so many views because of links from other places. Somehow they hit a nerve with some people and a lot of extra traffic came towards this blog. The average post was probably read about 400 times over the course of a year. Still not bad but...
  • Interesting Links 26 December 2011

    Well I spent more time on the computer in general and blogging last week then I intended. I may have a problem. I managed to ignore a lot of email and didn’t do much of my usual work though so I got some break. This past weekend was spent with family and friends celebrating Christmas. It was great. I hope your weekend was as good regardless of what you do or do not celebrate. I collected a few links to share beyond the stuff I blogged about though. Perhaps you’ll find something to interest you while you rest off the weekend. Are you interested in learning more about the Cloud that everyone is talking...
  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

    This year has been an amazing time for me at Microsoft in Education.  The conversation for educational transformation has begun building the urgency it needs for leaders and communities of stakeholders to take informed action. I am thrilled to see the progress the nation is making. I will add that we still have more to [...] No related posts. ...read more
  • Kinect Educators

    One of the great things in my job is the chance to make connections between people doing interesting things. Lately a lot has been happening in the world of educational uses for the Kinect Sensor utilizing the Kinect for Windows SDK . Johnny Kissko seems to be the center for a lot of this so I have been trying to make sure he knows about them. Johnny is building a real virtual team (real virtual team? Did I just write that) via his KinectEDucation website. He’s introduced a number of people who are working with him via his blog: KinectEducation Team Member Intro #1: Welcome, Lou Zulli!   Welcome...
  • One Compile A Day

    A recent blog post by Ian Bogost ( The Virtues of Long Compiles ) has me thinking once again about the trouble with fast compiles. How would you program differently if you could only compile your project once an hour or perhaps once a day? Actually its more complicated than that. What would you do between compiles? Would you work on other programs or perhaps new modules for the compiling program? There are risks associated with working on modules that have to work with code that hasn’t actually been tested yet. Would you read the manual or textbook looking for new ideas? (That is one thing that...
  • Using Live@edu with a Windows Phone

    Windows Phone rocks! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could sign into your Windows Phone using your Live@edu Windows Live ID? If you've already got a phone, or you’re lucky enough to be getting one over the Christmas period, there are some simple steps you...
  • SIGCSE 2012 For Computing Teachers

    This is another of several recent “CSTA Blasts” that I am posting on my blog. If you are a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association you will have seen this and I apologize for the duplication. If you are a computer science educator, especially in K12, you should be a member. SIGCSE and the CSTA Computer Science & Information Technology conference are and away my favorite events of the year. Not that I don’t love TCEA and ISTE but the ratio of good CS conversations at these too events is just over the top cool for those of us interested in Computer Science education. As usual, the...
  • Textbooks–The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

    I was reading through a couple of blog posts by Garth Flint earlier today. I’ve been using some of my vacation time to catch up on blog reading and had put off reading some of Garth’s posts until I had time to do it right. Garth is one of those people who uses his blog for self examination and the working through of ideas. It’s always a great read. In fact a perfect example of how educators can share ideas and thought processes with each other. In both of the posts Garth mentioned textbooks.  In one context he talked about the difference between his current projects and what it was like when...
  • Help Shape the CSTA Annual Conference: Be a Proposal Reviewer

    This is one of several recent “CSTA Blasts” that I am posting on my blog. If you are a member of the Computer Science Teachers Association you will have seen this and I apologize for the duplication. If you are a computer science educator, especially in K12, you should be a member. The annual CSTA CS & IT Conference is an outstanding professional development conference for CS educators. Good reviewers help the program committee make sure that the best and most useful sessions are presented. Once again CSTA is looking for volunteers. This year our annual CSTA Computer Science & Information...
  • CS AP Principles–UW Bothell

    A number of universities around the US are piloting courses to fit the proposed Advanced Placement CS Principles course . At the University of Washington Bothell Professor Kelvin Sung had the idea to create an CS principles course for AP high school that introduce non-programmers to programming via game design.  The video below shows off some of the results. There is more information at the course web site at http://depts.washington.edu/bcusp110/ The view of some of the final projects is pretty cool. This is designed as a concepts course and not as a programming course. The students were not...
  • Live@edu Deployment and Marketing Kits

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas… Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas already? It’s been a whole year since I started writing for this blog and what an exciting year we’ve had! As many of you break up for the holidays you’ll probably be looking forward...
  • Activation & Marketing Webcast Recordings

    We’ve reached the end of our webcast series for 2011. The final two episodes were all about how to market the service around your campus, and some best practices for how to get the most out of Live@edu. Unfortunately due to a technical hitch we were unable...
  • Interesting Links 19 December 2011

    I’m on vacation this week. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t collecting links last week and putting them together for this post. I’m not sure how much if at all I will be blogging between now and the end of the year. Yes, I should probably take time off from blogging as I am from other work. But you know sometimes I just have to post stuff. So we’ll see. Submit your idea for an application that uses Kinect for a chance to win an Xbox 360 with Kinect!* This month, Microsoft Student Partners are sharing the story of Kinect technologies at high schools across the US - is yours one of them? Share your...
  • Office 365, now with added HIPAA BAA

    Just a quick post to highlight the fact that Office 365 now offers customers requiring a HIPAA BAA the option of executing one with us. This is an unique proposition from us as a major provider of cloud services, and one that we are delighted to be able...
  • Unlocking Live@edu accounts and other password reset options

    If you have the opportunity to take a vacation to some exotic location this holiday season…Congratulations! You deserve it. But keep in mind that your Live@edu users may be planning to do the same. Whether it’s a trip to the mountains, the beach, somewhere...
  • American Teacher: Philadelphia Screening at a Futurist School

    American Teacher is a documentary that chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Narrated by Matt Damon, the teacher’s stories are told through a mixture of footage and interviews...
  • Rethinking Innovation in Education

    I had the pleasure of attending the Worldwide Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), held in Doha, Qatar recently. This is the third year Microsoft has participated in the summit and it continues to be a very valuable K-20 conversation around the state...
  • Office 365 becomes first and only major cloud service to meet the rigors of U.S. HIPAA requirements

    Concerns over security and privacy are common barriers holding some education institutions back from moving to cloud computing. Microsoft has been making deep investments in security, privacy and compliance in our products to help our customers move to...
  • First Do No Harm

    I came across a great quote by Pablo Picasso the other day “ All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up .” When I tweeted this someone replied that students were also scientists. A good point. Kids are naturally curious. They want to know about the world and the way things  work – science! They want to tell stories, to draw pictures, to make music (well happy sounds anyway) and to dance. Too often we teach that out of them. The other day I spoke to a group of students in a gifted and talented program in New Haven Connecticut.  The youngest kids were...
  • Pick The Software First

    Last week an email passed though my inbox that said something like “ my district is buying the latest shiny new computing gadget. What software should I get to teach computer science on it?” OK now I am a software guy and biased towards software but this question seems all wrong to me. I’ve always believed that first you figure out what software you need to solve your problem (or teach your course) and then you find the operating system and hardware that software runs on. As I Tweeted last night “ Asking what software should I buy for my computer is like asking what kind...
  • 18 of the world's most innovative teaching projects

    As I’ve said before, the highlight of my year is attending the Partners in Learning Innovative Educator Forums around the world. This year's worldwide finals event in Washington, D.C. was no exception. It's an amazing opportunity to talk, to witness...
  • Creating Engineers One Student At A Time

    Last weekend I visited the Maine State Championship for FIRST Lego League which is run by a group of volunteers in an organization called Maine Robotics . They had about 500 students (grades 3 to 8) who were part of 62 teams competing to win some interesting trophies. There was quite a lot of excitement throughout the day. I’ve been to FLL events before and every time I go I am impressed with the results students are demonstrating. I watched several matches and was impressed with the focus students had. The event consists of several parts including a presentation to judges of student...
  • MICROSOFT TECH STUDENT KINECT SWEEPSTAKES- OFFICIAL RULES

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES: These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Tech Student Kinect sweepstakes promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Sweepstakes” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Sweepstakes. “You” refers to an eligible Sweepstakes entrant. WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? This Sweepstakes starts at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on December...
  • Year Up Visits the MTC

    Last Friday the Microsoft Technology Center in Waltham MA was please to again host a group from Year Up Rhode Island. I again gave a career talk. Unlike last time ( NUI Whoops ) I didn’t get fancy and try to use a Kinect to show off. During the lunch break the students did try out a Kinect and Xbox 360. The young man in the center of the picture below moved much better than I ever could. I talk about Kinect during my career talks these days because I firmly believe that we are right at the beginning of how it and devices like it will change how we interact with computers and through...