Microsoft in Education Blog June, 2012 - Microsoft in Education blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

June, 2012

  • Office 365 for education now available at no cost!

    Today, I’m excited to announce the launch Office 356 for education . It’s here, it’s powerful, and it’s free for schools! Prestigious universities like Cornell University, Dartmouth College and Gonzaga University, and top K-12...
  • A Day in the Life of a Student

    (Cross post from the Why Microsoft blog and authored by Tony Tai.) Whether you are a school’s IT leader, an educator, a parent, or someone who values learning, you know students and care about their success. Successful students are excited about...
  • A Day in the Life of a Teacher

    (cross post from the Why Microsoft blog , By Tony Tai) My favorite secondary school teacher helped me look forward to each class. I wish she had Office 365 tools to help her. Teachers using Office 365 are empowered, productive anywhere, and use the...
  • Microsoft Store Summer Camps are Now Open for Registration!

    Microsoft Store Summer Camps are Now Open for Registration! Our 2012 Summer Camps are first come, first served. Don't wait to register your child for one of these four hands-on camps. Go to www.microsoftstore.com/summercamps , select your location, and register for one of our four camps! *The parent, legal guardian or authorized adult caregiver of every camp participant must remain in the Microsoft Store for the duration of the event.
  • Microsoft and Dell empower students with accessible technology and training

    Early in my career at Microsoft, I was inspired to see how accessible technology empowered and enriched the lives of individuals with disabilities and enabled new opportunities to learn and communicate. These experiences fueled my passion to ensure that...
  • Why I Love Windows Live Mesh

    It could be argued that I have too many computers. There is my cool demo machine – Samsung 9. There is my backup machine. There is my Windows 8 machine (which I am using more and more and which I may upgrade my demo machine to real soon now). And there is my personally owned laptop. Oh and I am expecting a tablet real soon now! I tend to grab which ever one suits my current needs and goals and get to work. So here is the issue. Suppose the files I want to use are not on that computer? That would be frustrating at best and really bad at worst. It’s hard to anticipate what you will need on a business...
  • Interesting Links 18 June 2012

    Some of you may remember that I was nominated for the  Top 30 Fascinating Technology Teacher blog voting. I came in at number 7. Thanks to all of you who voted for me. Over at the CS Principles @ North blog is a nice post about  'Who can teach CS Principles ?' that those of you following the development of this new AP CS exam. Jimmy Edwards @ Jimmy_Edwards is an innovative teacher in the UK who has created a KINECT Green Screen application for use in his school. On his blog you  an see a video demo and get the actual code. A link from the @ MSTechStudent twitter account sent out...
  • Introducing Microsoft Surface…

    No longer just TV fantasy…Now you can finally have your own Microsoft logo’d device…and it’s a beauty. Microsoft Surface debuted in Los Angeles, California today at a super secret press conference.  And I do mean super secret.  It was fun reading the predictions of what some thought it might or might not be. With that in mind, there is going to be a [...] Related Stores: The Great Transition: Windows XP to Windows 8 CSEdWeek: Beginner’s Resource Guide for App Developers – Updated Windows 8 Release Preview in Pictures
  • Studio K – Program to make Kodu Curriculum and Tools more accessible in Classrooms

    The other day the Kodu team announced Studio K . What is Studio K you ask?  In my opinion it’s the biggest curriculum, teaching and overall educational news about Kodu since Kodu was announced. From the announcement on the Kodu blog : Collaborating with Microsoft and the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Foundation , the Educational Research group at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created the curriculum and tools to make video game design programs such as Microsoft Kodu more accessible in K-12 classrooms. More from the  Studio K website: Studio...
  • Video Game Victory: Students Fight a Growing Epidemic with Technology

    In the battle against childhood obesity, many schools are revamping their lunch menus, removing junk food from vending machines, and instituting exercise and healthy eating programs. First Lady Michelle Obama has championed the fight against this epidemic...
  • Thinking About Next School Year

    As the rolling schedule of school year openings and closings continues it looks like school is just about done everywhere in the US this week. Today is the last day with students at the school my wife teaches at. It seems like most of the local schools finished this week already. Of course in parts of the country schools have been finished for weeks. There will be the same sort of rolling start in the fall. Or actually the late summer as some schools start in early to middle August.  Still that is some time away and most teachers really need some time to clear their heads once school finishes...
  • Using Kinect in Special Ed Classrooms: Advice from Loudoun County, Virginia teachers

    We continue to hear inspiring stories every day about how teachers are using Kinect for Xbox 360 to bring learning to life in the classroom. Today’s USA Today features a story by Greg Toppo about how special education teachers at Steuart Weller...
  • Windows 8 Release Preview Released

    Yesterday Microsoft announced that Windows 8 Release Preview is now available for download in 14 languages. This is the final pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store. And it’s free. Summer is coming up and summer is a great time for teachers and students to check out noew things. Windows 8 is as new as it gets. Some of the things that are new in this release are: New Metro style Bing Travel, News and Sports apps. Gaming...
  • Live@edu Upgrade: Are your details up to date?

    If you’re anything like me then you’re excitedly waiting to find about when you’ll be able to get your Live@edu tenant upgraded to Office 365 for education. Hot on the heels of the upgrade portal I talked about recently , I have some more information...
  • Windows 8 Release Preview in Pictures

    Windows has been reimagined to be more than a PC operating system. Here is my first day with Windows 8 RP in pictures. Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview is available for download here . Install it today and experience Windows Reimagined.  Also, checkout the free apps in the new Windows Store. Related Stores: Computer Science Students, Get Ready for the Windows Store Developer Jobs for America with Windows 8 Saving Money on Security Products
  • Interesting Links 4 June 2012

    This past Saturday was my 9th anniversary working full-time for Microsoft. It’s been a great time so far and I hope if continues to be great for some time to come. I’ve sure met a lot of great people though this role and this blog and its readers have been a big part of that. So thank you all. And now a whole bunch of links (this was an interesting week) starting with a slightly self-promotional link. This is an honor. I don’t know how the judges came across my blog but I’m pleased that they liked what they found when they did. Feel free to vote for me if you also find this blog interesting . Voting...
  • There Is More To Computing Than Computer Science

    Last week Doug Peterson pointed me to an article called “ Let’s not call it computer science if we really mean computer programming .” My initial reaction was “ Let’s not call it computer programming if we really mean software engineering .”  Really the author was talking more about the difference between CS and SE than much else.The ACM has a great Computing Careers web site which lists a number of computing fields and degrees. I recommend this series to teachers and guidance councilors all the time. They list five different degree paths: Computer Engineering Typically involves software and...
  • Finalists for the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum

    Today we are excited to announce the official list of educators for the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum. This is the 8th annual Partners in Learning Forum, a global program that last year attracted more 250,000 educators from over 70 countries...
  • So you want to teach computer science?

    A number of years ago after being laid off from a job developing software I went into teaching. I taught a year in a pair of elementary schools and then spent 8 years teaching high school computer science. It was awesome. One day I want to get back into the classroom full-time. Over the years I have met more than a few people who have also made the transition, life style change really, from the computer industry into teaching. These are some of the best computer science educators I know. But it is not an easy transition and it is not for everyone. The education establishment doesn’t always make...
  • Interesting Links 11 June 2012

    Well I had a great weekend. My wife and I spent the weekend with our son and daughter in law. I little work done around my father’s house, a little sun, a little beach, a little time on  the stand up paddle board, and lots of good family time. A great way to spend a weekend. I hope your weekend was as good. I find that a good weekend makes the work of the rest of the week a lot easier. Which brings us to today’s set of interesting links. I hope you’ll find something interesting and/or useful in this list. Erin (Ed) Donahue @ creepyed collected a month’s worth of Tweeted links on a single blog...
  • What desktop updates do I need for Office 365 for Education?

    This was a question from a university in northern California deploying Office 365 for Education for faculty, staff and students.   Step 1 – Ensure your workstations meet the minimum Office 365 requirements The first thing you need to do is assess...
  • Delivering Success through Technology for Students with Disabilities

    Homework, tests, reports and pop quizzes are standard fare in the life of a student, but for those diagnosed with a disability, they can be challenging to manage. However, with creative use of technology, educators are finding new ways to break down barriers...
  • Big Projects!

    Last night I visited Londonderry (NH) High School to see some of their student’s senior projects. I met a student from this school at the FIRST Robotics Championship earlier this year and was told about his team’s project to create a virtual tour of the school. This school is not far from me and in fact my son is the assistant principal of the elementary school just down the street from the high school. So when I received an invitation to come see this project in person I had to accept. A team of four students had created a very impressive virtual tour of their school. It wasn’t...
  • Latest Curriculum Resources at the Faculty Connection

    The latest Microsoft Faculty Connection Newsletter came yesterday. I thought it might be useful to highlight some of the news from this issue here. The Faculty Connection Newsletter highlights new curriculum resources and other useful educational content for use in the classroom. If this newsletter was forwarded to you, please subscribe today and receive a new edition each month. CURRICULUM RESOURCES The Faculty Connection Resource Center is a multi-language collection including curriculum materials developed by Microsoft or contributed by faculty worldwide. Highlighted below are some of the newest...
  • My IT Department Will Not Let Me

    Today on Facebook Gary Stager posted a rant of a status update: Here's a novel idea. Don't send teachers to computing PD with laptops on which they are banned from installing software. Teachers are neither imbeciles or felons and they do not work for the IT staff. The IT staff works for the teachers. This is a sentiment I can relate to very well. And yes I have blogged about it before but I see so little progress on this. I talk to teachers pretty regularly. I’m also on a number of industry advisory boards for programming and web development programs at career/technical high schools. It amazes...