NZ Education Blog

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

August, 2012

  • Bring Your Own Device To School Whitepaper

    Bruce Dixon, from the Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation and Sean Tierney, from the worldwide Microsoft Partners in Learning Programme are both passionate advocates of 1:1 learning programmes and have recently come together to publish their first 'Bring Your Own Device for schools' whitepaper.

    The overall aim of the paper is to examine the potential deployment models from teaching, learning and IT management perspectives. It sets out to investigate the myths of BYOD and understand which questions should be addressed when considering allowing students to bring their own devices, and which option might be best suited to a school or system’s culture.

    One particularly valuable aspect of the article is its emphasis on 1-to-1 learning. Rather than teachers controlling the process and knowledge, students have become empowered learners and active proponents of their understanding and ability to connect ideas in new ways. The paper also considers the rapidly evolving technology which has also influenced the nature of 1-to-1 learning programs. The Internet has become richer and more accessible, opening new ways to collaborate, communicate and connect to ideas and people.

    The article also goes into detail about the five potential models of BYOD and looks at the advantages and considerations of each.

    You can download the BYOD for schools whitepaper here.

  • Introducing the New Windows Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

    We are happy to announce new versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for Windows 7 and Windows 8. A few new capabilities have been added while also taking advantage of some advances in Windows 8. Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are two essential Windows applications hundreds of millions of people have come to rely on for making the most of photos and videos. Download Windows Essentials 2012 or see here for more infomation.

    Movie Maker
    Whether you’re making a short clip to quickly share or taking your time to make the most of that big event, Movie Maker showcases your skills as a budding film-maker. With major advancements in hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8, Movie Maker has evolved to include these state of the art enhancements. New features include:

    Video Stabilization: Movie Maker has taken advantage of new technology in Windows 8 to smooth out your wobbly videos.

    Music: By working with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store it is now easy to find music that is not only fitting for video, but also has the proper rights. Now when you go to add music to your movie in Movie Maker, you have the option of getting music from your PC or from three varied music services. You can also choose which form of audio you want to emphasize. This makes it easy to clean up and enhance the audio for your movie project.

    Photo Gallery
    This i
    s the number one way to organize, fix, find and share your photos and videos. And with advanced features like Photo Fuse and Panorama, Photo Gallery continues to bring creative enhancement to your memories.
    New features include:

    Auto Collage: You can now select seven or more photos and it creates and arrange them in a collage for you.

    Vimeo:  Vimeo as our new publish partner! Now you can share your videos straight to Vimeo from both Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. Once you have your project saved and are ready to share it with the world, just click on the Vimeo button in the share gallery, choose from a variety of options that Vimeo provides and you’re done. Now your movies can become a part of an ever growing community of film makers who call Vimeo their home.

    For more information on what’s included with Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, click here

  • Innovative Schools Workshop Receives Overwhelming Interest

    We have received an incredible amount of interest in our Innovative Schools Workshop held this week at Botany Down Secondary College, with more than 100 educators gathering to discuss, debate and collaborate on the best ways to utilise information communication technologies (ICT) within the classroom.

    The event facilitates two days helping school principals and senior leadership teams to build a strategic plan for effective ICT use within schools. This ICT plan will enable the schools to foster innovation amongst staff and students and accelerate better learning outcomes in schools. The workshop is free to all primary and secondary school educators and provides them with tangible ideas to kick start ICT use.

    If you have missed out on registering to attend this event we hope to be holding another in March 2013 and from then on every six months.

    If you are interested in attending a future Innovative Schools Workshop you are welcome to send me an email and we will keep you updated!


  • Another Weekly Office365 for Education Tip!

    Another Office365 for Education tip for you all!

    This week we are looking into mobile access of Office365 for Education. 
    Now more than ever students are using mobile phones and it becomes important to take advantage of this in the classroom.

    Have a look at this video from Leigh in the Education Team at Microsoft and her tips on mobile access to Office365 for Education.


  • Weeky Office365 for Education Tip

    Another weeky Office365 for Education Tip!

    This week we have a video on Outlook and Lync.

    These two applications are built into Office365 for Education and enable instantaneous collaboration and communication between students and teachers.

    For more information of Office365 for education see here.

  • The New Zealand Catholic Education Convention is Underway!

    The Catholic Education Convention kicked off yesterday at the Wellington Convention Centre where Microsoft presented the keynote on Building collaborative learning communities – Microsoft’s vision for 21st Century Learning, presented by Microsoft's Education Lead, Evan Blackman.  

    For those of you who missed it, this keynote provided an overview of Microsoft’s vision for 21st Century learning with the new Microsoft global partnership with the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) and what this could mean for New Zealand schools. The partnership means that Office 365 for education is being provided for the community of Catholic schools across the world. This will begin with provision of software for 4.5 million students as part of a three-year alliance plan.  The new network will provide innovative software, services, training and access to technologies that will better prepare students for the jobs of the future.

    In addition, OIEC’s community of schools will receive subscriptions for Microsoft Learning Suite, which includes a variety of tools and services that enable educators and students to create, conduct research, study, collaborate and teach. Beginning in 2013, components of the Microsoft Innovative Schools and Innovative Teachers programs will be made available to OIEC to help promote innovative teaching and learning practices. As part of these programs, OIEC schools will have access to the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, which is the largest online teacher and school leader professional networking community in the world with more than 4 million members worldwide. OIEC will have its own community area within the Partners in Learning Network to allow for collaboration targeted across the Catholic Schools community. In addition, select OIEC schools will participate in the Microsoft Innovative Schools program and will be given additional resources to help promote teaching and learning innovation.

    See the media press release  for information on the partnership and for Office 365 sign-up opportunities see here.

  • Celebrating innovative teaching

    At the U.S. Partners in Learning Forum this week, over 100 innovative teachers came to together to share how they are incorporating technology into their classrooms.

    The Microsoft event focuses on showcasing and celebrating educators and the work they are doing for their schools. See the video for highlights of the event including teachers incorporating programming, Microsoft Kinect and smartphones into their curriculum.

    See the GeekWire article for more details.

    You can also sign up to the Partners in Learning network to learn more from the innovative teachers across the world and perhaps share your own ideas of how to utilise technology in the classroom.


  • Weekly Office365 for Education Tip

    Here is your first weekly Office365 for Education Tip!

    With Office 365 for education, you can collaborate from anywhere through SharePoint class websites. Students and teachers can simultaneously work together on the same document and share project and assignment information through their class site.

    This short video, produced by colleagues in the US, aims to describe the whole process in just one and a half minutes.


  • Spaces still available for this years TechEd!

    For 17 years, industry professionals in New Zealand have found TechEd to be the best opportunity to stay aligned with Microsoft’s current technologies and new product opportunities. You and your colleagues can come to TechEd to discuss critical technology issues, gain practical advice and network with Microsoft and industry experts.

    Whether you are an deploying, managing, securing or mobilising Microsoft solutions, TechEd has much to offer you:

    • Be the first in the world to hear about and discuss the exciting wave of technologies on the horizon.
    • There are also incredible opportunities to expand your professional network - before, during and after the event.
    • Attendees have the unique opportunity to choose to experience learning opportunities such as technical sessions, workshops, certification testing, and of course TechFest, the industry’s biggest party.

    This year we also have a Microsoft Certification Centre where we are running exam crams and certifications on site!

    This is your opportunity to focus on the key technology and business issues that will help you solve today's real-world IT challenges and prepare you for tomorrow's innovations.
    Register now or see the TechEd website for more details.