NZ Education Blog

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

May, 2011

  • Internet sites built on SharePoint

    I have been maintaining a list of web sites built on the SharePoint platform since 2006. I find the sites using specially crafted search queries on bing and Goole to find most of the sites. People can also submit a site using this form…

    There are nearly 2,200 (279 of them are Education) sites which would make it hard to navigate through them based on normal folksonomy tagging so I used a controlled taxonomy and created a visual pivot of the sites using the Silverlight Pivotviewer control. This lets you easily view sites by country, industry, platform and rating. You can view the pivot here


    Explore the user interface which lets you filter the sites using the refinement panel on the left. The facets can be sorted by quantity or alphabetically and more than one item can be selected from multiple facets.


    You can also change from the tile view of sites to a graph view based on any of the facets.


    The Silverligt Pivotviewer is a great way of visualising data. To find out more about Pivotviewer, go to

    I have also created a view of the New Zealand members of parliament (although a bit out of date now) which I use in my education demo on the vale of structured tagging of digital content.

  • Whitireia Community Polytechnic significantly reduces costs with Hyper-V

    Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Whitireia New Zealand) is a government owned and funded tertiary institute of technology, known for its high student success rate and culturally diverse student body with approximately 10,000 users.

    The Polytechnic compared the licensed VMWare and Microsoft virtualized platforms before deciding to go with Microsoft, the decision based on greater functionality, ease of use, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and the IT team’s preference.

    Windows Server 2008 R2 was rolled out across the organization so it could support the Hyper-V platform. This was comprised of 34 physical servers and 140 virtual hosts. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Exchange 2010, System Centre Operations Manager 2007, Systems Centre Virtual Manager 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010, Forefront Identity Manager 2007 and Microsoft Line-of-Business (LOB) Applications were also deployed.

    Read the full caste study here

  • Collaboration in the Cloud with SharePoint

    From Tech-ED North America 2011. This is a nice demonstration of what can be achieved with Office 365 in an education context. Several good examples of branding and student/lecturer collaboration around assignment assessment using Office Web Apps and Lync.