NZ Education Blog

Regular updates from Microsoft in the NZ education sector. Events and advice for education staff.

NZ Education Blog

  • The latest reason to trust Microsoft Azure as your cloud service provider!

    Microsoft is very excited to announce the latest step taken to reinforce Microsoft Azure's position as the most trusted cloud service provider!

     

    Microsoft Azure has just become the only cloud service provider to be certified against ISO 27018. What does this mean? ISO 27018 is a standard which requires cloud service providers to adhere to six key conditions to ensure the protection and privacy of customer's data:

    • Consent - Microsoft Azure will not use customer's data for any purpose other than what the customer has specified.
    • Control - Customers retain explicit control of their information and how it is used.
    • Transparency - Azure must inform customers where their information is stored and how it is handled.
    • Accountability - Any information security breach will trigger a review by Microsoft Azure to determine if there was any harm to customer's information.
    • Communication - In the case of a security breach, Azure will notify customers and regulators, and clear records will be provided about the event.
    • Independent yearly audit - a third-party audit will determine Azure's compliance to the standard, which can be relied upon by the customer.

     


     

    This is a major achievement for Microsoft Azure! It complements Azure's amazing features to provide the best possible cloud service to customers. And, certification against ISO 27018 provides further assurance about the reliability and security of Microsoft Azure for existing customers and those looking to join the cloud storage movement. To find out more about Microsoft Azure, go here!

     

    How does this impact the education sector? Universities across New Zealand are striving to create successful academic research environments. Microsoft Azure delivers the flexibility,
    speed, security, and responsiveness post-doctoral and graduate student researchers need to achieve an even higher level of productivity and innovation.  Research data requires vast, reliable, secure storage. Microsoft Azure makes storing massive amounts of data feasible and cost-effective as it provides the ability to increase storage when needed, and scale it back down when not in use. The Microsoft Azure platform takes care of infrastructure setup, network connections, data collection and storage, freeing researchers to focus on the work that really matters! And now, with Azure's certification against ISO 27018, researchers can have
    peace of mind that their data and information is well-looked after and secure!  

     

  • Quick Tip Videos from Microsoft - tech ideas to use in your classroom!

    There is unlimited potential for educators to improve students' learning experiences using the latest Microsoft technologies such as OneNote and Office Mix. Design engaging lessons? Improve collaboration? Get your message across in a new way? Captivate students' imaginations? All of these common goals can be achieved by using technology more effectively in the classroom! However, as educators it can often be difficult keeping up with the latest technologies and tools available. These products have the potential to improve the quality of your classroom experience, but how do you incorporate them into your lessons?

     

    To make it easier to harness the power of technology in the classroom, Microsoft have created a series of 2-minute Quick Tip Videos that show educators how to use Microsoft products in their classroom. These videos help educators to uncover the true potential of the technologies they are already using.

     

    Whether you are finding it difficult coming to grips with the latest classroom technologies, or you've heard about the cool things Microsoft products can do and want to know how to use them in your own classroom, these videos will be a useful starting point. They provide handy hints and tips to show you how to maximise the full potential of Microsoft's latest classroom technologies. Check them out here, and start using these fantastic ideas in your classroom!

  • Get Microsoft Office for free!

    There are now 17 tertiary institutions across New Zealand which are providing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to their students free of charge!

     

    What does this mean? The latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are available for offline and online use to best prepare you for class. As long as you’re a current student at an eligible institution that has activated the service, you’ll be able to use this software for free.

    • Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!)
    • Sync across all your devices with OneDrive
    • Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software
    • Use the same programmes as your lecturers and tutors to ensure full file fidelity
      If you are enrolled at an eligible tertiary institution that has activated the service, you can download the software by signing in to Office 365 using your institution login and password. If you’re a student at one of the below tertiary institutions, simply click on the corresponding link and follow the instructions. If your institution isn’t listed below but has activated this service, you can visit 
      this link and sign in using your institution login and password.

     

     

    Don’t forget, you’ll need your tertiary institution account login and password to sign in and take up this benefit.

     

    Did we miss out your tertiary institution? Ask your institution’s IT department about getting Office for free. We’ll keep you updated and provide direct links to other institutions that are providing this exciting benefit in future blog posts.

  • Teachers using OneNote to enhance classroom activities and encourage student creativity!

    Students often find creative writing a challenge, right? Not anymore! Using OneNote and other tools, a child can extend their imagination and surprise themselves with their own creativity. OneNote provides a new way to draw the best out of your class!

     

    Mr Dekker, a teacher at St. Andrew's College, gave his Year 6 students the task of creating "Pick a Path" stories using OneNote, and illustrating their creations in Minecraft or Paint.Net. Along the way, Mr Dekker's class were able to read each other's stories and give feedback to their classmates. The result? Students that were fully engaged in a writing task which is often found very difficult.

     

    Take a look at Harry who used Minecraft to improve the quality and creativity of his story. Harry was able to use his imagined world to reflect on his writing and make changes where he thought they were needed.

     Mr Dekker's class were already competent OneNote users, however the "Pick a Path" stories posed a new way of using the tool which presented an exciting challenge for the class. To read the full story from St Andrew's College, go here.

     

    The creativity of students is astounding, but sometimes it takes tools like OneNote to help them reach their full potential!

     

    Here at Microsoft NZ we are thrilled to hear about this exciting use of OneNote in an everyday New Zealand classroom. Got a story like this that you want to share? Then email us at nzeducation@microsoft.com.

     

    Want to learn more about how to set up OneNote in your classroom? Check out this awesome link - Getting Started with the OneNote Class Notebook Creator: A Walkthrough for Teachers

  • Spread the word to your friends!

    Spread the word to your friends!

     Share that you may be eligible to get Office for free through your school/tertiary institution for a chance to win a Surface!

    Use Vine, Instagram or Twitter and the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest to let your fellow students know that they may be eligible to get Office 365 for free. When you share you will be entered for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3! One lucky winner each week from now through until December 30th will win. See below for how to enter or read the Official Rules. School students can enter too, as long as they are 13 years or older.

    How to enter:

    You can enter by sharing on Twitter, Instagram or Vine.

    1. Share a video, photo or short statement on Twitter, Instagram or Vine encouraging others to see if they can Get Office 365 for free from their institution (by checking if your institution's name is listed above or asking your school/institution).

    2. Include the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest and a hashtag with the name of your school/tertiary institution.

    3. Include the link to the GetOffice365Contest page at aka.ms/yikrv1

    4. Follow @Office on the social channel you use to share your entry.

  • Update: Massey University and Western Institute of Technology - Taranaki are now providing Office to every student for free!

    Again, we're very excited to announce the latest additions of Massey University and Western Institute of Technology, which are now too are providing Office to their students for free.

    As we've posted over the last few weeks, the below listed tertiary institutions are providing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to every student free of charge - and now Massey University and Western Institute of Technology - Taranaki have joined the list!

    What does this mean again? The latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are available for offline and online use to best prepare you for class. As long as you’re a current student at an eligible institution that has activated the service, you’ll be able to use this software for free.

    • Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!)

    • Sync across all your devices with OneDrive

    • Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software

    • Use the same programmes as your lecturers and tutors to ensure full file fidelity

    If you are enrolled at an eligible tertiary institution that has activated the service, you can download the software by signing in to Office 365 using your institution login and password. If you’re a student at one of the below tertiary institutions, simply click on the corresponding link and follow the instructions. If your institution isn’t listed below but has activated this service, you can visit this link and sign in using your institution login and password.

    Don’t forget, you’ll need your tertiary institution account login and password to sign in and take up this benefit.

    Did we miss out your tertiary institution? Ask your institution’s IT department about getting Office for free. We’ll keep you updated and provide direct links to other institutions that are providing this exciting benefit in future blog posts.

  • Announcing Office Sway Preview: reimagine how your ideas come to life

    Say hello to Sway! Sway is an entirely different way to express yourself and bring your ideas to life. When your ideas are born, you want to explore, visualize and share them—quickly and easily, wherever you happen to be, and on whatever device you have. You want your ideas to be understood. Sway helps you do just that. It’s a new way for you to create a beautiful, interactive, web-based expression of your ideas, from your phone or browser. It is easy to share your creation and it looks great on any screen. Your ideas have no borders, edges, page breaks, cells or slides. Your mind is a continuous canvas, and Sway brings this canvas to life. Sway helps you focus on the human part: your ideas and how they relate to each other. Sway takes care of the design work—a Sway is ready to share with the world as soon as it is born. 

    The good news: While for the rest of the world Sway is invitation-only, in New Zealand the iPhone app is a free download in the iTunes store. Once you sign into Sway from the app, it also unlocks the full web-authoring experience. We are just starting our journey with Sway and want you to help us shape its future.

    Find out more about Sway here and tweet us your thoughts at @MSNZEducation.

  • Office 365 ProPlus benefit available for faculty and staff starting December 1st!

    We're excited to share that that faculty and staff will, as of December 1st, be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as their students. This means that any school or tertiary institution licencing Office for all of their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff.

    Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to faculty and staff ensures that teachers are using the latest versions of Office and the same feature set as their students. It will allow teachers to install full Office on up to five PCs or Macs and unlock the editing capabilities of the Office apps for iPad. It also gives them access to all their Office documents both at school and at home. With Office 365 ProPlus teachers can take advantage of great Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures.

    How does my school take advantage of this benefit you ask?

    This is a benefit of the Ministry of Education’s agreement with Microsoft, where every state and integrated school in New Zealand is eligible to get Office 365 ProPlus software for your students, and soon your teachers and faculty.

    Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and offers the ability for these to be locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. This also includes Office for Mac and Office for iPad.

    To enable your students (and soon staff) to get Office software for their personal use, the next steps are:

    If you already have the Office 365 cloud service:

    1. Contact Datacom to add the no-cost student and faculty Office 365 Pro Plus SKU's to your Microsoft agreement (faculty from December 1st)
    2. Assign the Office 365 ProPlus software to your students (in the Office 365 Admin Portal) and staff from December 1st
    3. Download – your students and staff are then able to download the Office 365 ProPlus software to their personal devices

    If you don’t have the Office 365 cloud service:

    1. Contact Datacom to add the no-cost Office 365 Plan A2 and the Office 365 Pro Plus licences to your Microsoft agreement
    2. Deploy Office 365 for your school (quick deployment at www.fasttrack.office.com, or you may need a partner to assist)
    3. Assign the Office 365 ProPlus software to your students and soon staff (in the administration portal in Office 365)
    4. Download – your students and staff are then able to download the Office ProPlus software to their personal devices

    You can contact Datacom to find out more and take these steps at nzschool@datacom.co.nz.

  • Update: NMIT and Waiariki Institute of Technology are now providing Office to every student for free!

    We are delighted to announce that Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Waiariki Institute of Technology now too are providing Office to their students for free.

    To reiterate, and as we posted last week, the below listed tertiary institutions are providing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to every student free of charge - and now NMIT and Waiariki Institute of Technology have joined the list!

    What does this mean again? The latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are available for offline and online use to best prepare you for class. As long as you’re a current student at an eligible institution that has activated the service, you’ll be able to use this software for free.

    • Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!)

    • Sync across all your devices with OneDrive

    • Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software

    • Use the same programmes as your lecturers and tutors to ensure full file fidelity

    If you are enrolled at an eligible tertiary institution that has activated the service, you can download the software by signing in to Office 365 using your institution login and password. If you’re a student at one of the below tertiary institutions, simply click on the corresponding link and follow the instructions. If your institution isn’t listed below but has activated this service, you can visit this link and sign in using your institution login and password.

    Don’t forget, you’ll need your tertiary institution account login and password to sign in and take up this benefit.

    Did we miss out your tertiary institution? Ask your institution’s IT department about getting Office for free. We’ll keep you updated and provide direct links to other institutions that are providing this exciting benefit in future blog posts.

    DON'T FORGET! Spread the good news to your friends! Share that you may be eligible to get Office for free through your school/tertiary institution for a chance to win a Surface!

    Use Vine, Instagram or Twitter and the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest to let your fellow students know that they may be eligible to get Office 365 for free. When you share you will be entered for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3! One lucky winner each week from now through until December 30th will win. See below for how to enter or read the Official Rules. School students can enter too, as long as they are 13 years or older.

    How to enter:

    You can enter by sharing on Twitter, Instagram or Vine.

    1. Share a video, photo or short statement on Twitter, Instagram or Vine encouraging others to see if they can Get Office 365 for free from their institution (by checking if your institution's name is listed above or asking your school/institution).

    2. Include the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest and a hashtag with the name of your school/tertiary institution.

    3. Include the link to the GetOffice365Contest page at aka.ms/yikrv1

    4. Follow @Office on the social channel you use to share your entry.

  • Tertiary students may be eligible to get Microsoft Office for free!


    We are excited to announce that the below listed tertiary institutions are providing Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to every student free of charge.

    This means the latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are available for offline and online use to best prepare you for class. As long as you’re a current student at an eligible institution that has activated the service, you’ll be able to use this software for free.

    • Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!)

    • Sync across all your devices with OneDrive

    • Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software

    • Use the same programmes as your lecturers and tutors to ensure full file fidelity

    If you are enrolled at an eligible tertiary institution that has activated the service, you can download the software by signing in to Office 365 using your institution login and password. If you’re a student at one of the below tertiary institutions, simply click on the corresponding link and follow the instructions. If your institution isn’t listed below but has activated this service, you can visit this link and sign in using your institution login and password.

    Don’t forget, you’ll need your tertiary institution account login and password to sign in and take up this benefit.

    Did we miss out your tertiary institution? Ask your institution’s IT department about getting Office for free. We’ll keep you updated and provide direct links to other institutions that are providing this exciting benefit in future blog posts.

    Spread the good news to your friends!

    Share that you may be eligible to get Office for free through your school/tertiary institution for a chance to win a Surface!

    Use Vine, Instagram or Twitter and the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest to let your fellow students know that they may be eligible to get Office 365 for free. When you share you will be entered for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3! One lucky winner each week from now through until December 30th will win. See below for how to enter or read the Official Rules. School students can enter too, as long as they are 13 years or older.

    How to enter:

    You can enter by sharing on Twitter, Instagram or Vine.

    1. Share a video, photo or short statement on Twitter, Instagram or Vine encouraging others to see if they can Get Office 365 for free from their institution (by checking if your institution's name is listed above or asking your school/institution).

    2. Include the hashtag #GetOffice365Contest and a hashtag with the name of your school/tertiary institution.

    3. Include the link to the GetOffice365Contest page at aka.ms/yikrv1

    4. Follow @Office on the social channel you use to share your entry.

  • The 2015 New Zealand Imagine Cup Competition Is Now Open!


    Calling all students aged 16 years and over!

    The 2015 New Zealand Imagine Cup Competition Is Now Open: Register Now!

    Microsoft’s premier student technology competition, Imagine Cup, returns for its 13th year with three big competitions: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. You could win a trip to compete in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., the home of Microsoft for the coveted Imagine Cup trophy and $50,000.

    Get your team together, learn about the competitions, and register now!

    We are now accepting submissions to the 2015 competition. Deadline for Phase 1 is the 5th of December – check out http://aka.ms/icnz for more info.

     Phase 1 – Submissions – Oct 21st – Dec 5th

    Phase 2 – Develop Prototype – Dec 10th – Feb 27th

    Phase 3 – National Finals – March 8th – 9th

    Read More On Last Year's Winners - Team Estimeet

    Team Estimeet, our 2014 NZ winning team in the Innovation Category won a place at the Worldwide finals. The team went onto compete against 9 other teams from around the world and took out the top prize in the Innovation Category including $50,000USD in prize money. The team built a solution that improves the way people meet. The solution involved developing a Windows Phone app that help users understand how far people are from a scheduled meeting location, the apps focus was to reduce time spent calling and texting people when running late for meetings.

    Check out the team video

    Learn More about the 2014 Winning Teams
    34 teams of students were flown to Microsoft's hometown of Seattle this past July for the Imagine Cup 2014 Worldwide Finals. The teams competed for the top spot in Games, Innovation or World Citizenship, and then faced off in a live round, on stage before an audience of thousands, with VIP judges including Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella!

    Meet the winning teams and find inspiration for your 2015 project!

  • OneNote Class NoteBook Creator - making collaboration between students and teachers easy!

    In the words of Anthony Salcito, Vice President for Microsoft Worldwide Education, "sometimes all it takes for an amazing project to be born is the ability to listen."

    "It was March 2013, and Jonathan Grudin was attending the Workshop on the Impact of Pen and Touch Technology on Education (WIPTTE). It’s not immediately apparent from his unassuming aura, but Jonathan is actually a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and somewhat of a legend within Microsoft and beyond as a pioneer in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). With years of experience and groundbreaking research contributions, Jonathan certainly has a lot to share, but on this day his ability to listen allowed him to truly hear the needs of educators around the world, planting a young seed in his mind that would come to be nurtured by passionate peers in the company to become the OneNote Class Notebook Creator."

    So, what is the OneNote Class Notebook Creator?

    OneNote Class Notebook Creator lets teachers set up an ideal OneNote environment for their classes in minutes. With this SharePoint app for Office 365, teachers will quickly set up a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, all within one powerful OneNote notebook. OneNote class notebooks free the teacher to focus on learning, not software or a device. Student work and teacher feedback are exchanged automatically in one place virtually anytime, anywhere.

    This app will create a class notebook, which includes three types of sub-notebooks:

    • Student Notebooks – private notebooks that are shared between each teacher and their individual students. Teachers can access these notebooks at any time, but students cannot see other students’ notebooks.

    • Content Library – a notebook for teachers to share course materials with students. Teachers can add and edit its materials, but for students, the notebook is read-only.

    • Collaboration Space – a notebook for all students and the teacher in the class to share, organize, and collaborate.

    With OneNote powering your class learning experiences, join teachers around the world who:

    • Empower students to take naturally visual notes with ease—place images, text, printouts, tables, ink, screenshots, and files anywhere in OneNote’s “anything, anywhere” freeform canvas

    • Keep tabs on student performance—see exactly which students soar and struggle by observing their full learning process, from note-taking, to problem solving, to submission

    • Revolutionize homework feedback with real-time coaching while students work

    • Encourage collaborative creativity between students with fast synchronization on pages

    • Lead class with OneNote projected in full screen mode as the digital whiteboard

    • Eliminate paper by replacing printouts on paper with printouts to OneNote

    • Organize every lesson, handout, and assignment in flexible shared notebook structure

    • Combine OneNote with the creative power of digital ink to deliver the most natural digital educational experiences possible

    You can find fantastic, easy to follow, step-by-step set up instructions right here. Below is a sneak peak into what you'll get to do. We'd love to hear about your experiences with the OneNote Class NoteBook Creator - tweet us at @MSNZEducation!

     

  • Australia & New Zealand Expert Educators gathering in Sydney last weekend

    What happens when you bring some of Australia’s most innovative educators together? Well, the Microsoft education team in Australia & New Zealand was looking forward to finding out when the Innovative Educators Expert Program Australia/New Zealand kicks off with a two day forum in the weekend just been.

    The Innovative Educator Expert Program is a global Microsoft initiative which recognises pioneer educators who are using technology to transform education.   

    The programme features 37 Australian and 12 Kiwi educators who are coming together to share ideas and the details of how they are using Microsoft technologies to engage students and their peers in innovative ways to positively impact learning.

    Throughout the year-long programme, our ANZ Expert Educators will be sharing their experiences and working together as a community to promote ideas to innovate in teaching and learning.

    As a starting point, our educators used the hashtag #mseduweekend, over the course of the 11 and 12 October so Twitter users could keep an eye out for tweets over the weekend. You can still look at these tweets now - head on over to Twitter and check out @MSNZEducation while you're there. 

    To keep up with our Expert Educators, visit this blog to see their posts and experiences throughout the program! Look out for a post very soon introducing New Zealand's Innovative Educator Experts too.

  • OneNote in Education: Teachers using OneNote in the classroom

    Take a look at how the teachers at Cary Academy in Cary, North Carolina, seamlessly integrate OneNote into their classrooms to elevate the education of students through presentation, organisation, and real-time collaboration with both students and other educators.

    But what about a Kiwi school's experience? Shane Mann, physics and science teacher at Rathkeale College in Masterton, recently sent us a fantastic email sharing his experiences with OneNote in the classroom. We thought we'd share it with you!

    "I have been using the tool with my Year 9 Science class for the past 5 weeks and it is fantastic. As a teacher, it is extremely easy to share content and monitor student progress. My students have not needed to use a pen and paper at all! The feedback from students is very positive. They are desperate to continue using the technology for the rest of the year and have found lessons to be far more interesting and engaging. In addition to this, I have found myself becoming more of a facilitator of learning helping the students to work through the content at their own pace.

    During the trial I had most students using the original Surface Pro with the stylus pen. At the moment we have 70 of these devices that form 2 COW trollies and a number that are issued from the Library. This was by far the best device as it enabled students to complete the tasks while getting the most out of the technology without limits. The use of the pen was very popular and became a normal function of every lesson. We also had 2 iPad minis, 1 iPad, 1 Windows 8 laptop, 1 MacBook Air and a Samsung Galaxy tablet. All of these other devices had limits and were not as functional as the Surface Pros."

    We are delighted to hear of Shane's positive and exciting experience with OneNote and Surface in the Classroom. Got a story like Shane's to share? Email us at nzeducation@microsoft.com.

    Want to learn more about how to set up OneNote in your classroom? Check out this awesome link - Getting Started with the OneNote Class Notebook Creator: A Walkthrough for Teachers.

  • Microsoft EduCast: Register to attend Oct 14th Teaching with Technology Webinar

    Teach with Tech: How you can transform your classroom with technology!  

    REGISTER NOW

    ABOUT THIS EDUCAST

    As educators, the innovation you bring to the classroom amplifies and influences a generation. Staying ahead of the technology curve is critical to delivering current and compelling lessons that help students earn certifications critical to college and career goals. In this webcast, hear from educators including Katherine Schmit who has used technology to help her students compete at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championships and award-winning science teacher, author, and researcher Steve Martin and Katherine Schmit on how teaching and innovation can come together to advance students’ skill sets in the most effective and engaging way.

    October 14th, 2014 at 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Pacific

    For start and end times in other locations, please click HERE

     Steve Martin

    Steve Martin is a science teacher at Howick College in Auckland, New Zealand. He is an author, honorary lecturer and researcher who has won awards for both teaching and innovation.

     Katherine Schmit

    Katherine came to teaching through the Washington State Career and Technical Education Business Route, employed as a library assistant when the school saw her technical skills and asked her to become a teacher. She uses her 20+ years of business experience to quantify her college experience in conjunction with 2 years of CTE teacher courses and is in the 7th year of teaching Business and Technology at Kalama High School

    Upcoming Microsoft EduCast webinars. Register for the series today!

    NOV 11, 2014:  Let's Get Creative!: Learning with Bing and Office Mix

    DEC 9, 2014:  Collaborative Classrooms: Using O365 to learn together

    JAN 14, 2015:  Flip This Classroom! Creating deeper learning experiences with personalised learning

    FEB 10, 2015: Wow, Windows 8!: Now Windows 8 can simplify and amplify student learning experiences 

    MAR 10, 2015: Job Well Done! Prepping students with 21st century college career

    APR 14, 2015:  Up in the Clouds: Using the cloud to deliver engaging and immersive learning experiences

    MAY 12, 2015:  Winning in a Digital World: Helping your students succeed in technology

    JUN 9, 2015:  Blended Learning 101: A technology toolkit for 21st century classrooms

  • Education Empowered - Book your complimentary Microsoft in Education Seminar today!

    Ensure your school leadership team is across the learning opportunities afforded by new technologies, by hosting a Microsoft in Education seminar.

    What is it?

    This complimentary seminar will help you explore the tools and technologies available to help educators teach 21st century skills and optimise the classroom for advanced student achievement.

    It's a great starting point for any school considering or enhancing their 1-to-1 learning programme, and it allows you to see the diversity of Microsoft software and HP devices applied to learning. Windows 8.1 will also be demonstrated through learning how it can be used to inspire students and improve educational outcomes.

    Your end-to-end solution begins here.


    In this seminar you will:

    • See rich curriculum samples and global examples of best practices that demonstrate how technology can enhance teaching, learning, and assessment for students.
    • Understand how technology and devices enable consumption, creation, and collaboration for students, educators, and parents.
    • See how students can continue learning where they left off - at home, in the library, or at the park.
    • Discover how students can organise their learning, take notes, and become highly efficient in the way they study.
    • Learn where to get free tools that spark imagination and inspire learning.

    Booking:

    To book a Microsoft in Education Seminar at your school or for more information, email nzeducation@microsoft.com. You can also find out more by visiting microsoft.co.nz/educationseminars.

    Proudly supported by:

  • Student Advantage: Your next steps on how to get Office 365 ProPlus at no additional licensing cost!

    With Student Advantage, your school can enable all your students to have the full Microsoft Office software for personal use, at no additional licensing cost­*.

    This is a benefit of the Ministry of Education’s agreement with Microsoft, where every state and integrated school in New Zealand is eligible to get Office 365 ProPlus software for your students.   

    Office 365 ProPlus includes all the familiar and full Office applications, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and offers the ability for these to be locally installed on up to five devices and available offline. This also includes Office for Mac and Office for iPad.

    To enable your students to get Office software for their personal use, the next steps are:

    If you already have the Office 365 cloud service:

    1. Contact Datacom to add the no-cost Office 365 Pro Plus SKU to your Microsoft agreement
    2. Assign the Office 365 ProPlus software to your students (in the Office 365 Admin Portal)
    3. Communicate this benefit to your students and parents (using the ready-made communications templates, see the link below)
    4. Download – your students are then able to download the Office 365 ProPlus software to their personal devices

    If you don’t have the Office 365 cloud service:

    1. Contact Datacom to add the no-cost Office 365 Plan A2 and the Office 365 Pro Plus licences to your Microsoft agreement
    2. Deploy Office 365 for your school (quick deployment at www.fasttrack.office.com, or you may need a partner to assist)
    3. Assign the Office 365 ProPlus software to your students (in the administration portal in Office 365)
    4. Communicate this benefit to your students and parents (using the ready-made communications templates, see the link below)
    5. Download – your students are then able to download the Office ProPlus software to their personal devices

    You can contact Datacom to find out more and take these steps at nzschool@datacom.co.nz.

    Communicating to Students and Parents

    • We’ve prepared a set of materials that include email templates, posters and web banners you can re-purpose to communicate with your students.  Click here for details.
    • A step-by-step guide to downloading Office 365 Pro Plus can be found here

    *Datacom may charge an administration fee, for further details please contact Datacom at nzschool@datacom.co.nz.

  • Office Mix – The Evolution Of The Whiteboard? St Andrew's College Leads the Way in Classroom Innovation Again!

    We are very excited to feature another one of Sam McNeil's blog posts, showcasing yet another example of the exciting work St Andrew's College in Christchurch is doing in facilitating 21st century learning in the classroom. You can view his original blog post here. We encourage you to browse through his previous posts too, you won't be disappointed! Love your work Sam!

    "We are fortunate at St Andrew’s College that there are a number of teachers that are “flipping the classroom” in various ways and using a number of different technologies to support this. Examples already blogged about include:

    One of the common tools that has been used by a number of these teachers is the ageing Microsoft product called Community Clips. This has been a reliable piece of software for creating screencasts however it has struggled with new devices, failing to support the native resolution of the Surface Pro3 devices we are trialling with a number of teachers in various classrooms.

    Enter Office Mix.

    This relatively new product is a free plugin for Microsoft Powerpoint that allows you to record your screen, voice and video all at the same time. Additionally, it allows your Powerpoint to become interactive, with students able to complete quizzes directly within a slideshow.

    The key feature that appealed to Mr Hilliam was the recording of his screen in full, native resolution and the ease with which he was able to launch recording. Whilst the older Community Clips also allowed you to select a section of the screen to record, this is far easier in Office Mix.

    Because Office Mix records native resolutions the files can become quite large – it’s not unusual for these to get up to around 400MB for a 10minute video clip. However, because most of the teachers at St Andrew’s College subsequently upload them to YouTube.com the size is less relevant. YouTube automatically streams the best quality video that the user’s internet connection supports, so those with high speed can comfortably watch in HD.

    I recently asked Mr Hilliam to demonstrate this combination of Microsoft OneNote and Office Mix recording to a visiting delegation of Principals and Senior Leaders from the Independent Schools of New Zealand and this is the video he made on the fly:

    Year 9 class solving algebraic problems

    SUMMARY:

    St Andrew’s College has interactive whiteboards in every classroom in the Preparatory School from Years 4-8 and these are used widely by the teachers and students. However, these units, projectors and associated software are expensive to purchase and install.

    It’s intriguing to see how alternative configurations can deliver equivalent functionality, but also extend on it in two important ways:

    1. The teacher is not “tethered” to the front of the room – with Miracast technology they can roam around the room, allowing students to write on a tablet and have that displayed on the “whiteboard” at the front of the room for all students in the class to see.
    2. Through shared OneNote notebooks, all students get a copy of the examples, working and dictation from the teacher (if the Office Mix recording is uploaded to YouTube and the link shared in the Notebook).

    Whilst SurfacePro3 tablets are not cheap, we are currently trialling them with five classroom teachers across Maths, English and the Preparatory School. The initial feedback is that they would happily hand back their school-supplied laptop and use the SurfacePro3 as their primary and only device full time.

    I was pleased to hear this, especially after I have set the challenge of writing school reports on the 12″ screen of the SurfacePro3 and only using the web interface of our Student Management System (Synergetic).We have also pre-ordered a number of ScreenBeam Pro for Education miracast units. These units have additional security enhancements for classrooms, and also come with a VGA / HDMI converter so existing older style VGA projectors do not need to be replaced immediately.

    From what we have seen these units also hold the wireless connection more reliably and are easier to connect to than the existing miracast units we currently use.

    These technological advancements are definitely contributing to a smarter, and more evolved version of the traditional whiteboard."

    Again, you can access Sam's full post and other fantastic work here. Awesome stuff!

  • Students and teachers: You may be eligible to get Office for free!

    It was just about a year ago we announced Student Advantage, a benefit that allows eligible students to get Office 365 from their school for free. One drawback to Student Advantage—the onus has been on the school to initiate the service, create an account and order the Office 365 license on behalf of the student.

    Today we’re making it easier on the school IT department with a new self-serve model for students that lets them sign up for the free service on their own.

    If students are 13 years-old of age or older, here’s what they can do the check your eligibility and get Office for free:

    1. Go to Office 365 for Students.
    2. Enter a valid school-provided email address.

    Here’s what qualified students will receive:

    • The latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher
    • Installation on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPad
    • 1 Terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage
    • Office Online

    Sign-up for students is available in the U.S. today, and will expand worldwide later this year.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, the student must attend a school that has purchased Office organization-wide for all faculty/staff via the Microsoft Volume Licensing program.

    These changes not only make it easier for students to get Office, but it makes managing the services easier on school IT. In the past, organizations were required to initiate the service, create accounts and order the free licenses on behalf of their students. All this needed to be done prior to students being able to access Office and OneDrive. The new self-service model removes all of that unnecessary friction and delay by simply allowing eligible students to sign up for the service themselves, while maintaining the same level of control, flexibility and security institutions have come to expect from Office 365.

    Office 365 ProPlus benefit available for faculty and staff starting December 1, 2014

    We have even more great news to share—we’re also announcing that faculty and staff will soon be able to access the same Office 365 ProPlus benefit as their students. This means that any organization purchasing Office for all of their faculty and staff can now include an Office 365 ProPlus subscription at no extra cost for all students, faculty and staff.

    Extending the Office 365 ProPlus benefit to faculty and staff ensures that teachers are using the latest versions of Office and the same feature set as their students. It will allow teachers to install full Office on up to five PCs or Macs and unlock the editing capabilities of the Office apps for iPad. It also gives them access to all their Office documents both at school and at home. With Office 365 ProPlus teachers can take advantage of great Office apps and add-ins like Office Mix to record and publish class lectures.

    Teachers in the U.S. can sign up for Office 365 ProPlus in October and expand to worldwide teachers later this year.

    You can contact Datacom to find out more by emailing nzschool@datacom.co.nz.

     

  • Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert applications close next week, don't miss out!


    Applications close on the 26th September, we don't want you to miss out!

    We posted all the details last week, but we're posting them again this week - just so you are fully aware of the eligibility requirements and benefits of applying and becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. This is a unique opportunity for Kiwi talent, and we are so excited to showcase the some of the most innovative educators in New Zealand in this prestigious and global program.

    We’re looking for top educators, ready to spread the word about the great things they are doing in the classroom from across NZ. The Microsoft Innovative Educator - Expert Program is an exclusive program created to recognise pioneer educators who are using technology to transform education.

    Microsoft is seeking top innovative educators who are using Microsoft technologies to engage students and their peers in innovative ways to positively impact learning. We’re particularly interested in educators who are actively mentoring others, active in social media and have a passion for and a desire to share their experiences.

    As a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert, you will be asked to advocate and share your experiences with peers and policy makers on effective use of technology in education. The NZ MIE Expert community will also provide access to fellow innovative educators to share valuable experiences, lessons and best practices and work together as a community to promote ideas to innovate in teaching and learning.

    This is a non-paid, ambassador program, however you will receive some fantastic benefits as an MIE Expert. Benefits include your own Windows 8 tablet, mentoring from experienced innovative educators in the MIE community, and other rewards such as a chance to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Microsoft HQ, Seattle, in March 2015.

    Applicants will be evaluated based on their learning activity, application form and interview if called. Click here to apply.

    Please note, this job advert says for Auckland - but teachers from all over the country may apply! Applications close 26th September.

    What we need you to be

    • Full-time educator in Y1-13 or in a higher education faculty of education
    • Energised, with a friendly and outgoing personality
    • Able to work autonomously and within a team
    • Display confident and articulate presentation and written communication skills
    • Full-time educator in K-12 or in a higher education faculty of education
    • A fan of Windows devices and services – 3+ years’ experience on a Windows device using Microsoft Office and other key Microsoft applications

    What you’ll be doing

    • Advocating Microsoft technologies in the context of the classroom from October 2014
    • Representing Microsoft and sharing your experiences through social channels (blogs, communities) online engagements (webinars) and presenting at local events
    • Using a Windows 8 device and other Microsoft products and services
    • Mentoring and training other educators in applying the use of Microsoft technologies to learning
    • Providing input in professional development content for educators
    • Collaborating with other MIE - Experts and Microsoft on your experiences
    • Reporting weekly reporting on your activities

    What you’ll get

    • Training at a workshop in Sydney in October 2014
    • A Windows 8 device with Microsoft Office 365
    • Unique MIE Expert presentation and event collateral
    • Monthly incentives for the top MIE Experts
    • Select MIE Experts will receive the opportunity to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in March 2015
    • Access to an exclusive community of educators with monthly webinars from education specialists, Microsoft technology and education specialists and a private online community
    • Mentoring from Microsoft and experienced education specialists

    What’s the next step?

    As part of the application you will be asked to provide details of a particular learning activity that is a good example of your Microsoft in the Classroom story as well as a simple cover letter and program relevant resume.

    We’re inviting educators from the all over New Zealand to apply for the MIE Expert program today. Click here to apply. Please note, this job advert says for Auckland - but teachers from all over the country may apply! Applications close 26th September.

  • OneNote to Rule Them All: St Andrew's College's Innovative use of OneNote in the Classroom

    This post was originally blogged on the St Andrew's College e-Learning Stories blog, here. We are so excited to re-post it here on our blog, as yet another fantastic example of the innovative work St Andrew's College is doing around e-Learning. Enjoy!

    It started as a way to help her students organise their notes, but Year 11 Dean and English teacher Jacqueline Yoder quickly found that Microsoft’s OneNote had a lot more potential.

    “It has an extensive collaborative capability which allows students access to all my folders, and lets me see their work,” she says.

    By using OneNote, an electronic version of a traditional binder, Jacqueline can access students’ online exercise books so if a student has a question she can see what they are working on and make suggestions, especially if she notes they are going off track.

    “I didn’t want a place just for storing documents. I wanted kids to interact, not to struggle to use their devices, and to have a ring binder in the sky.”

    With some help from Director of ICT, Sam McNeill, Jacqueline created a folder on OneDrive to which she uploads everything.

    “My two English classes don’t have books they only use OneNote – that’s their method of storing all of their work and assessments.”

    Jacqueline also does all her marking online making her classroom effectively paperless.

    “The students hand in nothing. I do a lot of colour coding in my feedback so they get back a far more visually enhanced assignment. I am also experimenting with oral feedback.”

    This involves inserting a video into her feedback providing a medium for more detailed analysis. It’s a different way of marking and works for students who struggle with English and find it difficult to read a marking schedule.

    But does it make better English students?

    “The evidence of my first trial group who have gone into Year 11 is that teachers say they are doing very well at NCEA. OneNote doesn’t replace teaching, it’s a tool to help students organise their work so they can find everything they need. It gives me a way of providing more informative feedback on a regular basis because I can literally comment immediately.”

    It’s this combination of staying organised and engaging feedback consistently over time rather than
    just at the end of an assignment, that Jacqueline says makes the difference.

    Another attraction is the software’s collaborative potential. Because work is stored in the cloud, it offers opportunities for students to work together. Jacqueline’s Māori students are working on shared presentations and movies.

    While the thought of adopting technology can be daunting, Professional Learning Groups are available. Jacqueline is keen to share the knowledge among StAC teachers that the software is more than just a word processor.

    “It makes learning seamless. When it’s time to write reports I have all the information at my fingertips through those shared notebooks. Parents have real time access to their child’s learning so they can see what they’ve done during the day. It’s a triangle of student, teacher, parent, which is a powerful way to make learning happen.”

    For Jacqueline, using technology such as OneNote is about the student owning the learning – transferring the ownership of the learning from being teacher centred to student centred.

    “It’s a move from where the teacher owns all the information on the student in a folder to the student having the ownership of the learning and being able to access to look and learn from it in real time.”

    Increasing use of technology also fits in with the school’s commitment to lifelong learning.

    “Because technology is evolving all the time, you can’t think you’ve ever mastered something. It’s exciting to push the system and discover where it will take you next.”

    Rector Christine Leighton says it is exciting to see how St Andrew’s teachers are embracing opportunities through e-Learning.

    “Teacher voices are really powerful and to be able to share that voice with other teachers, as well as parents and greater numbers of students is very effective. Teaching is not staying enclosed in a classroom.”

  • Your opportunity to apply to join an exclusive community of innovative educators!

    We’re looking for top educators, ready to spread the word about the great things they are doing in the classroom from across NZ. The Microsoft Innovative Educator - Expert Program is an exclusive program created to recognise pioneer educators who are using technology to transform education.

    Microsoft is seeking top innovative educators who are using Microsoft technologies to engage students and their peers in innovative ways to positively impact learning. We’re particularly interested in educators who are actively mentoring others, active in social media and have a passion for and a desire to share their experiences.

    As a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert, you will be asked to advocate and share your experiences with peers and policy makers on effective use of technology in education. The NZ MIE Expert community will also provide access to fellow innovative educators to share valuable experiences, lessons and best practices and work together as a community to promote ideas to innovate in teaching and learning.

    This is a non-paid, ambassador program, however you will receive some fantastic benefits as an MIE Expert. Benefits include your own Windows 8 tablet, mentoring from experienced innovative educators in the MIE community, and other rewards such as a chance to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Microsoft HQ, Seattle, in March 2015.

    Applicants will be evaluated based on their learning activity, application form and interview if called. Click here to apply.

    What we need you to be

    • Full-time educator in Y1-13 or in a higher education faculty of education
    • Energised, with a friendly and outgoing personality
    • Able to work autonomously and within a team
    • Display confident and articulate presentation and written communication skills
    • Full-time educator in K-12 or in a higher education faculty of education
    • A fan of Windows devices and services – 3+ years’ experience on a Windows device using Microsoft Office and other key Microsoft applications

    What you’ll be doing

    • Advocating Microsoft technologies in the context of the classroom from October 2014
    • Representing Microsoft and sharing your experiences through social channels (blogs, communities) online engagements (webinars) and presenting at local events
    • Using a Windows 8 device and other Microsoft products and services
    • Mentoring and training other educators in applying the use of Microsoft technologies to learning
    • Providing input in professional development content for educators
    • Collaborating with other MIE - Experts and Microsoft on your experiences
    • Reporting weekly reporting on your activities

    What you’ll get

    • Training at a workshop in Sydney in October 2014
    • A Windows 8 device with Microsoft Office 365
    • Unique MIE Expert presentation and event collateral
    • Monthly incentives for the top MIE Experts
    • Select MIE Experts will receive the opportunity to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in March 2015
    • Access to an exclusive community of educators with monthly webinars from education specialists, Microsoft technology and education specialists and a private online community
    • Mentoring from Microsoft and experienced education specialists

    What’s the next step?

    As part of the application you will be asked to provide details of a particular learning activity that is a good example of your Microsoft in the Classroom story as well as a simple cover letter and program relevant resume.

    We’re inviting educators from the all over New Zealand to apply for the MIE Expert program today. Click here to apply. Please note, this job advert says for Auckland - but teachers from all over the country may apply! Applications close 26th September.

  • New tools and services available for educators, now!

    We are very excited to announce that we have now added Phonics supports to our Chekhov cloud services and tools – allowing early-grade teachers (and teachers of English as a foreign language) to create free eBook resources which will read themselves aloud to learners on any Windows or Windows Phone device.  Anyone, anywhere can access these Azure-based services and create a new eBook in a matter of minutes. Every book they create can be published as a Windows 8 App, a Windows Phone App and as a free print-on-demand PowerPoint file. Educators (and students) can add their text, illustrations/photos and recorded audio - which will now include narrated audio for the phonemes which construct each word, which as we know is of huge educational value to beginning readers.


    • Download a sample App from Diana Sharp here and encourage your fellow educators to access the free Chekhov tools at the www.lit4life.net website.
    • For a short video tutorial showing how to use the Chekhov tools to create your own eBooks go here.
    • You can also create an eBook directly from your Windows Phone! Simply download the Chekhov Story Author App here.
  • Your Tuesday Afternoon Watch! Why Teachers and Students are Excited About Microsoft in Education

    Hear teachers share their experiences using Windows 8 tablet devices and Microsoft tools and their use has empowered teaching and learning both in and away from the classroom. Happy watching!

    And most excitingly, a word from the students:

  • Has your school taken advantage of Yammer Enterprise yet?

    In case you didn't know, educational institutions across New Zealand now have free access to Microsoft’s networking platform, Yammer Enterprise.

    Yammer Enterprise offers schools a sophisticated version of the social networking platform. Within a school’s internal online environment, Yammer Enterprise provides seamless, open sharing and cross collaboration opportunities. It is a transformational technology which has changed the way students and staff work. It promotes sharing ideas, thoughts, finding information and asking questions to innovate and collaborate. The service is being offered as an extension to the free Office 365 for Education plan. Up until now, Office 365 offered only Yammer Basic to New Zealand educational institutions.

    Opportunities to utilise Yammer Enterprise within the educational environment are plentiful! The platform can be used for tasks such as making school announcements and keeping in contact with Alumni students. It can also provide a platform for external communications and collaborations with researchers, companies and other educational institutions.

    Teachers and students of Auckland’s Avondale College are already realising how Yammer can play a vital role within the school environment. The school is using the platform as part of its Innovation Programme, helping students to get used to collaboration as a key part of their learning process.

    “Yammer is fundamental for how we transition practitioner and student behaviour from old paradigm education into a new paradigm of creativity, with agile, project-based learning processes,” Paul McClean, Information Technology teacher, says. “We are looking forward to Yammer Enterprise, as a more advanced tool for communication, student and practitioner support, event coordination and success profiling, to forming an integral role with our ongoing Innovation Programme.”

    Yammer Enterprise is now free under Office 365 for Education A2, A3 & A4 plans! The Office 365 A2 plan is the free plan available for staff and students. Our Office 365 for Education offering was recently enhanced with additional no-cost Office application downloads for students through Student Advantage and will now include Yammer Enterprise. All existing Office 365 Education plan schools will receive licenses for Yammer Enterprise. Please email nzeducation@microsoft.com for any questions.