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 resources added this past month:

Game Development with XNA and Microsoft Technologies on Windows Phone 7: Semester 2
The Game Development with XNA and Microsoft Technologies: Windows Phone 7 Development Module is a six-week, three-unit Module for students in high school and above who have XNA programming experience. It is intended to be used after the XNA Game Development: Semester 1 curriculum.

Introduction to Web Design Using Microsoft Expression Studio 4: Module 2 - HTML5
This curriculum, for use with Microsoft Expression Studio 4, is a complete, standards-based, single semester course on web design. Module 2 on HTML5 reflects the most recent standards of the W3C (as of May 2012).

TOP STORIES

Windows Azure
New Windows Azure Services deliver "hybrid cloud"
New Windows Azure services simplify building applications that span cloud and on-premises servers. Some highlights include:

  • Virtual Machines allow you to move your Windows Server and Linux virtual hard disks (VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud.
  • Virtual Network, which lets you provision and manage virtual private networks (VPNs) in Windows Azure as well as securely extend on-premises networks into the cloud.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites offer easy deployment of open source applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco, and Drupal.
  • This release provides updated support for Java, PHP, and .NET, and the addition of Python as a supported language on Windows Azure.
  • The SDK now provides 100% command line support for both Windows and Mac.

Educators interested in using Windows Azure in their courses can apply for a free 5-month pass, no credit card required. Try it yourself and provide free access to your students too. Also, check out the latest Cloud Computing curriculum resources available on Faculty Connection as well as the presentations and videos from the Cloud Futures 2012 event held at UC Berkeley in May.

Vote in the Imagine Cup People's Choice Awards
Vote for your favorite Imagine Cup finalists for the Imagine Cup People's Choice Awards, ready for public voting on June 20. The winning team with the top voted solution to one of the world's toughest problems will be announced on stage at the Worldwide Finals and will receive $10,000 USD.

Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate now available for download
Now available for download, Visual Studio 2012 2012 RC offers an improved setup experience (you won't even need to uninstall the beta!), better performance, user interface and, when installed with Windows 8 Release Preview, enhancements for building Metro style apps.

WebMatrix2 Release Candidate is now available
WebMatrix2WebMatrix is a free web development tool from Microsoft that lets you quickly and easily create, customize, and publish a web site or application. WebMatrix is optimized for open source web apps such as WordPress, Umbraco, and Joomla, and designed for popular technologies such as PHP, Node, and ASP.NET. It was built with developers looking to scale with cloud or mobile by providing simple Azure publishing functionality and extensions for mobile enabled sites. WebMatrix looks to stand above the rest by providing support for top databases such as SQL Server, SEO, and contextual assistance. WebMatrix will continue to be enhanced with extensions from the community. Download the WebMatrix2 RC now.