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

August, 2012

  • Computer Controversies For Fun and Discussion

    I love a good discussion. Pros and cons and honest and hopefully friendly discussion of issue with different opinions make for good learning experiences. One of the things I would like to do should I ever get a full-time advanced computer science course is to ask students to study some controversial topics in computer science and write up their own researched opinions. Important issues need to be thought about and discusses seriously and not just have answers blindly accepted. And of course we all know how much emphasis there is lately in bringing writing and related literacy skills into more of...
  • Top Ways to prepare for an Office 365 deployment

    If you’re looking at deploying Office 365 for education at your institution, but you’re wondering what the best way to prepare is, then look no further! Over on the phenomenally useful Office 365 community there is a wiki page that steps through all the...
  • Cloud Fundamentals Video Series

    The Trustworthy Computing group has been recording a series on Cloud computing fundamentals. The series (some 25 videos) wraps up this week with a series finale . There are a lot of issues with cloud computing including privacy, transparency, security, and more. These videos capture industry leaders talking about these issues and providing some great information in detail. I recommend the series. And if you want to dig into cloud computing there is the option to take advantage of a Azure 90-day Free Trial Azure is Microsoft’s big cloud offering. This site lets you sign up for a 90 day free trial...
  • Guest post: Surround yourself with passionate educators

    Today it is my pleasure to feature a guest post from educator Kim Sivick ( @ksivick ), a second time contributor to @TeachTec , following her popular post, “ Don’t afraid to be awesome today .” Kim is a technology coordinator at Springside Chestnut Hill...
  • Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

    I ran into these Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics created by the Computer Ethics Institute while looking for something completely different. Isn’t that so often the case? I like them. I think they are useful guidelines that are worth thinking about and discussing. Ethics can be complicated though. Some complain that these rules are too simplistic and overly restrictive . This set of class notes expands on the commandments and includes a claim that the “ 10 commandments contradict the hacking communities constitution ” Thou Shalt Not Use A Computer To Harm Other People. Thou Shalt Not Interfere...
  • Georgia State University Switches to Microsoft Office 365, Saves $1 Million in Operating Costs

    Great news from Georgia! GSU has rolled out Office 365 as a replacement for their legacy GroupWise environment and users are now enjoying anytime, anywhere, any device access to their email and other collaborative services. I urge you to check out...
  • Useful Download Links for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Development

    Part of my job is to help people find valuable resources. I especially like it when they are free. Free is good. These links are for students, faculty and professional (or non professional) developer.  Please check these links out, visit the websites, find what looks interesting and download the tools. VS Express 2012 RC for Windows 8 Download on VS Site Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 provides the core tools that are required to build compelling, innovative Windows Store apps. And its free. VS Express 2012 RC for Windows 8 & Windows 8 Release Preview Downloads on Dev...
  • Interesting Links 27 August 2012

    Back to school hit home today as my wife went back to school for the first day of teachers. Kids come back the day after Labor Day so it is professional development and getting ready this week. We try and get all the summer we can up here in New England. I know that a lot of places have been back for a while already. If you are back in school I hope things are going well for you. Speaking of teachers and teaching I really liked this message that Arne Duncan ‏ @ arneduncan tweeted “ Some people are motivated by money or power or vanity. But teachers are uniquely driven by the desire to help others...
  • NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing 2012

    One of the ways that one can help young women with an interest in computing and related fields is to provide recognition for the world they have already been doing. One of the great programs in this regard is the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing . Along with the NCWIT awards listed below, a number of universities offer scholarships to winners and runners up of the Award for Aspirations in Computing. Applications open officially next month but you will want to look into the awards and application process now so you can encourage young women to apply. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing...
  • Quantity Is Not Enough

    There is often a focus on quantity in our society. Let’s get more apps! Lets get more students taking the AP course! Lets get more [you name it]? Unfortunately this focus on quantity sometimes means that quality takes a back seat. I mean really how many fart apps do you need for your smart phone? Barb Erickson and Mark Guzdial have been looking at the statistics for AP CS test takers and finding some interesting things. (see How White and Male the AP CS Really Is: Measuring Quality as well as Quantity ) It appears that not only is there a gap between white and minority students it taking the exam...
  • Online Coding Exercises For Programming Education

    Well it is that time of year again – back to school. On the SIGCSE mailing list are a couple of reminders about online exercise tools for a variety of programming langauges.. A few old timers and at least one big new name. I thought it would be worthwhile to list a few of what I know about. The big new entry is Khan Academy of course: Khan Academy’s new computer science section ( http://www.khanacademy.org/cs ): "The tutorials are interactive and live entirely in the browser. Instead of a video, each lesson contains a pane on the left side for students to enter code and a pane on the right...
  • Interesting Links 20 August 2012

    Back from vacation and trying to catch up with things. I had over 450 unread email messages in spite of doing some triage over the vacation so if I haven’t gotten back to you yet I will soon. I did collect a few links to share for you during the course of the week though. See how hacking the Kinect has led to advances from real-time light sabers to medical imaging breakthroughs in this CNN article . Modern UI courses for faculty (and students wanting self-study) on his blog at Courses for Windows 8 Microsoft offers 90-day evaluation of Windows 8 Enterprise edition to developers and releases .NET...
  • How To Use Excel Web App To Survey Your Students

    Getting real time feedback from your students and staff can be a challenge. I’m a firm believer in finding better ways to engage students and teachers and the new Excel Web App in SharePoint Online (at which you can take a sneak peak in the new Office...
  • How To Read Code

    We don’t teach students how to read code. Actually we don’t event teach them that they should read code for the most part. The closest we get is sample code in textbooks, demos, and for AP CS teachers the case study. Even there I think we could do more. One of the great learning experiences of my early learning career involved reading some code. My professor handed me a deck of cards (yes this was some time ago.) He explained that they had purchased this set of functions to help enable graphics programming but somewhere along the line the documentation had been lost making this code unusable. There...
  • Customising Your AD FS 2.0 Sign-in Pages

    If you’re deploying Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 in your institution to enable single sign-on you might want to customize the default look and feel with some custom text, logos and colours to make it fit in with your brand and to make it more...
  • Try Kinect at your K-12 School

      Capturing students' interest and making concepts come alive is an educator's greatest challenge!   Kinect™ for Xbox 360® can help get students engaged and inspired with immersive experiences.     è Try Kinect at your K-12 School   The Kinect Trial Program gives K-12 institutions the opportunity to try Kinect™ for Xbox 360® at no charge and see first-hand how Kinect can help enhance traditional lesson plans, physical education, school communications and after-school programs. The Kinect Trial Program provides usage of one or more Kinect in Education Trial Kits for a limited...
  • Travels to New Zealand and the state of education

    New Zealand is in the midst of lots of changes. Some of it is politically driven but most of it is driven by a real desire to improve education in the country and really grow how education can make a difference among both students who have had access...
  • Exploring the new Office Web Apps – Excel Web Forms

    Today we are going to highlight one of the features in the Excel Web Apps, which can be found as part of the new Office 365 demo environment. The Office Web apps are part of the SharePoint Online experience and can be used to either create new content...
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  • Recursion First

    I’ve long had mixed feelings about recursion . (I’ve written about recursion several times in this blog.) In one post, Recursion Early, Recursion Late , I wrote about the suggestion that recursion be dropped from a first programming or computer science course. In another post I asked if it should be added to a list of Four Key Concepts of Computer Programming . Well recently over dinner a colleague stated that students learn recursion better if they learn it before they learn loops. A second colleague responded that they had seen the same thing. Apparently they both feel that students have to unlearn...
  • Scripting License Assignment in Office 365 for education

    As more and more education institutions take advantage of Office 365 for education’s powerful capabilities a question that comes up is: how can you script license assignment for your staff, students and alumni so that you don’t have to manually go through...
  • Interesting Links 13 August 2012

    Well it’s the middle of my vacation. Mostly I’m avoiding the Internet and email. Mostly. I’m not all that good at this vacation thing. In any case I do have a few links to share with you. A teacher friend of mine, Peter Vogel, shared this interesting article with me recently.   Is it Time to Reconsider AP Classes?   A lot of comments on this at various places online. Cameron Evans has a great post on BYOD versus Academic Equity With a lot of interest in bring your own devices lately this is a must read. The ACM has created a very useful and informative PowerPoint deck on Computer Science...
  • User soft-delete and Dirsync filtering enabled

    A huge request I get from my education customers deploying Office 365 for Education is how do you filter out OUs, Domains or users from a Dirsync Appliance?  The answer prior to this week was you could enable filtering within Dirsync however it was...
  • Public Sector TechBytes Series

              Register Today ! Select a date below to register online or call 1-877-MSEVENT Nationwide Events The team is also hosting a series of Windows 8 DevCamps across the nation. Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity that combines the broad reach of Windows, our best in class developer tools and a re-imagined user experience with a new support chipset and industry-leading business terms built-in store. The schedule for these DevCamps can be found at: http://aka.ms/fzytjr   Connect with us Public Sector TechBytes Series Join the Technical Evangelist Team...
  • 2012 Microsoft US Forum Wrap Up

    I missed out on most of the US Forum this year but as I said on Monday () I was able to attend the gala that finished out the event with the award ceremony. I wanted to link to more information provided by people who were there for the whole event though. This picture below includes many of the attendees at the gala. Can you find me? The winners who will be going on to compete at the world wide forum are listed at the TeacherTec blog . Doug Bergman who was a judge wrote up his experiences and insights at a post titled The Value of Innovative Education .  The amazing Vicki Davis AKA @coolcatteacher...