NZ Education Blog

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

NZ Education Blog

  • Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 released for free download

    Microsoft Mathematics provides a set of mathematical tools that help students get school work done quickly and easily. With Microsoft Mathematics, students can learn to solve equations step-by-step while gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus. Microsoft Mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a handheld calculator. Additional math tools help you evaluate triangles, convert from one system of units to another, and solve systems of equations.


    You can download it from

    This differs from the Math add-in for Word and OneNote in that it has more of a learning focus than just providing equation support in documents.

  • New Zealand Microsoft Surface RT offer for Education

    You may have heard about the worldwide launch of the fantastic Microsoft Surface offer for schools and tertiary education customers. It is exclusively for education institutions, to buy Microsoft Surface RT tablets at a reduced price for a limited time.  We’re excited to announce that this offer is now available in New Zealand, for a limited time only. 

    Between July 15, 2013 and August 31, 2013, Microsoft is pleased to offer the following special pricing on Surface RT to New Zealand schools and higher education institutions, through Authorised Surface Retailers:

    • Surface RT (32GB) - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$294 (Standard RRP1 is $499)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Touch Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$371 (Standard RRP1 is $649)
    • Surface RT (32GB) with Type Keyboard Cover - RRP1 for the Offer NZ$432 (Standard RRP1 is $698.99)

    All the prices above include GST

    Microsoft Surface RT is a great choice for schools and higher education institutions that want powerful, affordable touch-enabled tablets for students, educators and staff. In addition to cutting edge hardware specs, Surface RT comes with many software and cloud features that will have educators and students teaching and learning in no time.

    Here are just a few of the fantastic features of the Surface RT:

    • Versatile hardware. The HD display makes Surface RT ideal for reading digital textbooks and watching instructional videos. With a sturdy, built-in Kickstand, Surface RT can become more than a great tablet. The rear camera is angled, so students can record lectures when Surface is resting on a desk or table. Click in an attachable keyboard/cover and Surface RT lets students and educators work like they would on a laptop.
    • Microsoft Office built-in. Included with Surface RT is Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT, providing students and educators with the productivity tools they use most – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote – all optimised for a touch screen2. Students can write reports, crunch numbers, take notes and present their findings with Surface RT—without having to install additional software. And with the upcoming free Windows RT 8.1 update, Outlook 2013 RT will be included for email, calendar, tasks and more.
    • Classroom in the Cloud. With Office 365 for Education and SkyDrive3, your school can extend the classroom into the cloud. Students and educators can collaborate in real time on homework, host virtual classes and tutoring sessions, store and share documents. Surface RT is the perfect tool for connecting to the virtual classroom from home and from school.
    • Educational apps. The Microsoft Surface offer for schools also opens the door to thousands — more than 20,000, to be precise — of education related apps in the Windows Store, from big names like Khan Academy, Kno, Chegg, and major textbook publishers such as HMH and Pearson.

    Microsoft believes every student and teacher deserves a fair opportunity to reach their full potential, and this means ensuring our education customers have access to affordable and high quality tablets with laptop functionality ready for education. Surface RT is a terrific tool for teaching and learning and we want students and educators to have the best technology on the market today.

    For more information on this limited time offer, please contact your Authorised Surface Retailer:

    1 This price is the recommended retail price for the offer.  Your actual price will be determined by your Surface retailer.  There is no obligation on any retailer to comply with any recommended retail prices.

    2 Some features and programs unsupported. See  

    3 Office 365 for Education (A2) version and SkyDrive are free, requires activation from Microsoft and ISP fees for download may apply.

  • SharePoint for Internet Sites Adoption by Industry–Education on top

    This data is taken from my list of SharePoint Internet sites on which currently shows screen shots of nearly 2,200 sites.








    MS Certified Partners










    Professional Services






    Professional Association






    Utilities and Energy






    Food and Beverage




  • Free: Microsoft Mathematics Add-In for Word and OneNote released

    Microsoft Mathematics is a set of tools that you can use to perform mathematical operations on expressions or equations in your Word documents and OneNote notebooks. Download from

    You can use the extensive collection of mathematical symbols and structures to display clearly formatted mathematical expressions. You can also quickly insert commonly used expressions and math structures by using the Equation gallery.

    You can use Microsoft Mathematics to perform the following tasks:

    • Compute standard mathematical functions, such as roots and logarithms
    • Compute trigonometric functions, such as sine and cosine
    • Find derivatives and integrals, limits, and sums and products of series
    • Perform matrix operations, such as inverses, addition, and multiplication
    • Perform operations on complex numbers
    • Plot 2-D graphs in Cartesian and polar coordinates, and 3-D graphs in Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates
    • Solve equations and inequalities
    • Calculate statistical functions, such as mode and variance, on lists of numbers
    • Factor polynomials or integers
    • Simplify or expand algebraic expressions

    The really cool thing is that you can insert the graphs directly into the document. e.g.

    Watch this video to see how it works

    Almost makes me want to go back to school :-)

  • Microsoft Learning Suite - free download now available!

    Over 20 of our most popular tools and teacher resources, all in one place.

    Learning Suite by Microsoft is a set of innovative applications for education that create a robust, creative and collaborative learning environment for students and educators. It includes a new, integrated interface that lets you access all these applications in one place, where they are grouped around four categories aligned to how you work - create, collaborate, teach and research and study . It makes managing your tools simpler, and it's especially efficient when combined with Microsoft Windows® 7 and Office 2010. 

    Get many of Microsoft's most innovative applications, web-based tools, and teacher resources in one simple, customizable download. Then access and update them from one easy-to-use interface.

    If you haven't done so already the Learning Suite can be downloaded by logging into the Partners in Learning Network or alternatively directly from here with either a Windows Live, facebook, Google or Yahoo account.

    For more information head to the Partners in Learning Network

  • Why You'll Love Windows 8

    Windows 8 is reimagined for learning. It arms schools and teachers with innovations designed to transform students’ learning experiences. It gives students a modern way to consume content and allows them freedom to create, collaborate, produce and share across a range of devices, with touch, mouse and keyboard or pen. Teachers can now use these capabilities to build their students’ 21st century skills and help ensure they reach their potential.

    Anthony Salcito, Vice President of World Wide Education at Microsoft, has put together 8 reasons why Windows 8 is great for education:

    Two of these, I think are particularly important for educators - the cloud foundation and the ability to open students to the world of education apps.

    The cloud foundation of Windows 8 means that students and teachers can easily access their information, collaboration and productivity tools. SkyDrive and Office 365 for education are central to the Windows 8 experience. This offers a flexible, anywhere, anytime learning experience across a range of different devices, both in and out of the classroom.

    Opening students to the world of education apps means that now there is a variety of experiences and content available that can aid in teaching in learning in the form of applications. I recently published a blog about the many different education apps available on Windows 8.

    These are just two of the many reasons why you'll love Windows 8. See the full list by Anthony Salcito here.  

  • The countdown to Windows in the Classroom begins

    We are getting closer and closer to kicking off our Windows in the Classroom New Zealand-wide tour and we can’t wait. Give your staff and students the opportunity to benefit from the most innovative tools and technology of today.

    Beginning at the end of this month, management teams from schools all over New Zealand will experience a complimentary two-hour seminar delivered by two Windows in the Classroom education specialists. The seminars will center around exploring the tools and technologies available to help educators teach 21st Century skills. For any school considering enhancing their one-to-one student learning programme, Windows in the Classroom will demonstrate the diversity of Microsoft software and relative devices available to aid student learning.

    We’re still taking bookings for our Windows in the Classroom education specialists. You can host a session at your school or attend one in your area. All you need to do is register your interest by emailing

    Alternatively, ‘like’ our new Facebook page to receive regular updates and feedback about the seminars Don’t hesitate to post a question or comment on our wall.

    You can also find out more at our website

    Ensure your school leadership team is across the opportunity afforded by new technologies, by hosting a Windows in the Classroom seminar.

  • Bill Gates pitches in for online education resource Graphite

    We are excited to announce that Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, is backing a new initiative called Graphite, a free online resource to help teachers discover and share education technology!

    Gates has always publicised his belief that investing in education and digital tools could help solve the world's education crisis.

    "What's surprising is given how the Internet has changed how we buy airline tickets and books and how we look up things, is that formal education hasn't changed hardly at all," Gates said in an interview with CNET in 2010. "The technology sector deserves its blame -- it could be doing more here. But now is the time."

    "Graphite will make it easier for educators to find the tools they want and empower them do their best work," Gates said in a statement. "It's a great example of how we can support teachers who want to incorporate education technology in their classroom to help every student excel."

    The idea behind Graphite is to provide educators with free online resources to better teach in their classrooms.

    Want to find out more? Read the full article here! Tweet us your thoughts - @MSNZEducation - we are interested to hear!

  • Windows 8.1 is here!

    You may have heard, Windows 8.1 has been released today! We are very pleased to announce that it is available for free download right here. If you have a PC running Windows 8, there are a huge variety of reasons to upgrade to the new version. This update will introduce you to many useful tools and we can't wait to see what you think of them!

    So, what's new in Windows 8.1?

    • Start faster. The Start button has returned to the desktop—tap or click to get to Start. If you prefer, you can now go straight to the desktop when you sign in, or use the same background for both your desktop and Start. And see all your apps at once in the new all-apps view.
    • Search everywhere. With Bing smart search you can search once and see everything—from the web, or the settings, files and apps on your PC—and act on search results right away. Play a song, call a friend, open an app, or get to your favorite site. Just search and do. (Certain features unavailable in some regions.)
    • Do more at once. Chat while gaming, shop while watching, or work while listening. Depending on your screen size, you can now see up to four apps on your screen at once and move through all the ways you use your PC with ease.
    • Get more apps. In the redesigned Windows Store, you'll discover apps built only for Windows 8.1, new community favorites, and personalized recommendations. This update also gives you some great new built-in apps like Reading List and Food + Drink. And now you'll be able to install your apps on all your tablets and PCs running Windows 8.1.
    • Use it your way. On your Start screen, there are more tile sizes, more color options, and animated backgrounds. On your lock screen, you can see a slide show of your favorite photos and take photos—all without unlocking your PC.
    • Type smoothly. The updated touchscreen keyboard learns as you type, making suggestions based on what you've written. If you use multiple languages, you can type text more easily with new keyboard layouts. Emoji are now in color.
    • Always have your files. Save documents, photos, and other files to SkyDrive automatically so you'll have them anywhere—even on another device. And they'll be safe if something happens to your PC.
    • Browse better. Internet Explorer 11 has faster load times, a full-screen experience that includes side-by-side browsing of sites, and real-time info from favorite sites delivered to your Start screen.

    You can learn even more about the Windows 8.1 features here and take a look at Mashable's recent post, 10 Reasons You Should Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Now.

  • SharePoint Online introduces the Touch Design mobile experience

    We are so excited to announce that the new SharePoint now allows for more innovative interactions with SharePoint sites and content on mobile devices: contemporary views, device channels, and new native apps (SkyDrive Pro apps and SharePoint Newsfeed apps).

    Mark Kashman, a Senior Product Manager on the SharePoint team this week blogged about how, "From the start, touch has been a key area of investment across all of the products in the new Office, and SharePoint is no exception. Now we're making SharePoint even more touch friendly. The new Touch Design mobile pages enhance the touch experience of two core SharePoint components, SkyDrive Pro and Sites.

    "Now, when you access SharePoint Online from smaller devices-from 11-inch screens down to 4-inch-you have a new app-like experience that enables you to work your best with your documents and team sites," Mark adds.

    Take a look at a few screen shots of SharePoint on 11-inch and 4-inch screens:

    The Touch Design view of "my documents" in SkyDrive Pro on an 11-inch touch tablet device.

    Backstage of the Touch Design experience on a 4-inch screen showing navigation access to Office 365 tiles. After clicking into the SkyDrive Pro tile, you see a "shared with me" documents pivot.

    To find out more, read Mark's full article here. Tweet us your thoughts! @MSNZEducation.

  • Optimising the Flipped Classroom with Office 365

    The Flipped Classroom was pioneered by Jonathan Bergmann, Lead Technology Facilitator at Kenilworth School District, Illinois, USA. The Flipped Classroom revolves around the central idea of changing the dynamics of the classroom. In his own words, Bergmann believes in “changing the pedagogy with the aid of technology.” It seems as though teaching is turned on its head – the classroom lecture becomes homework, and classroom time is spent ‘practicing’.

    But in Washington state, USA, numerous college professors are exploring the idea of flipping their classrooms, and with positive results. Students are more engaged in classroom activities and performing better in tests, assignments and exams.

    So what role does Microsoft’s Office 365 play in this innovation? Check out this fantastic video to see how Lync Online can facilitate on the go class time through SharePoint, email, chat and online video conferencing. Office 365 creates a seamless platform for home communication between classmates, lectures, tutors and teachers.

    Follow this link to watch Anthony Salcito, Vice President for Microsoft Education, conduct a fantastic interview with Jonathan Bergmann himself.

    Finally, have a look at this interesting infographic provided by Knewton. It gives a great insight into exactly what a Flipped Classroom can look like and why there is so much hype surrounding it!

  • “Learning is changing” – hear Anthony Salcito’s view on this

    Anthony Salcito, Vice President for Microsoft Education, is mentioned regularly on this blog and it’s not hard to see why. He has an enormous passion for education globally, and is an education leader that is highly recognised and respected.

    Last month, he travelled to Paris to give this compelling “TEDxPantheonSorbonne” talk. Throughout this talk, Salcito gave insight into the changing role of teachers, the internet, collaboration and information. He questioned the traditional classroom roles as a result of these changes, telling educators “Your students are learning without you”.

    His talk prompts us to question how educators can embrace the ever-changing role of technology and how we can empower students to drive personal and meaningful outcomes as a result.

    Take ten minutes to be captivated by Salcito’s thoughts, we certainly are!



  • Collaboration and the role of technology in the 21st Century Classroom

    The 21st Century has seen technology play a key role in classroom innovation. Have a look at this interesting infographic by Open Colleges. As you can see, the changing dynamics of the classroom have revolutionised the arts of teaching and learning. And it can only get better.

    More and more, it is becoming clear that collaboration is the future of education and its ability to optimise 21st Century learning. As a matter of fact, Collaborative Problem Solving will be added to the OECD’s international PISA study in 2015 as a compulsory element of 21st Century skill assessment.

    Students learning in a collaborative, team setting are believed to think at a higher level, take away more information and retain that information for longer than those who work alone. Collaborative workers are more inclined to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas”.

    Microsoft Office 365 has all the features you need to operate a creative and collaborative learning environment in the classroom. Check out this great video and see how easy it can be for students to collaborate between themselves and their teacher. Excel Surveys and Lync are two fantastic examples of how Office 365 has changed the future of teaching 21st Century skills.

    And don’t forget, it was a collaborative middle school computer club that combined the two minds that changed the face of computing - Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft.

  • Top Eight Educational apps on Windows 8

    Windows 8 has been reimagined for learning. The new Windows 8 educational applications revolutionise classroom learning and student productivity. Now your students can experience the full educational benefits behind months of programming and design. Teaching is made easy - ask your students to sketch a picture and watch their faces light up as it is translated into a realistic physics object. Get your students to connect to the future by building their dream career path and sharing it with their friends. The learning opportunities are endless as Windows 8 applications give new meaning to ‘interactive learning’.


    Attendance allows teachers and tutors to mark class attendance on an easy to use platform that brings their students to life. Mark students as present, absent or late, store a note for a particular student, create numerous calendars or enable flagging of those students with interesting attendance records. The functions are endless in this app and ticking down the roll book won’t ever be a hassle again.

    Age rating: 12+

    Periodic Table

    Chemistry has never been so simple. The Periodic Table app contains comprehensive information of the chemical and physical attributes of all the chemical elements. Students can browse the colour coded elements, enrich their learning with extra images and links and pin their favorite element to their Start screen. Studying is made easy as students can search the elements by name, symbol or atomic number.

    Age rating: 7+


    Career Path

    This innovative application allows children to explore real world career paths based on an aggregate database of more than 30,000,000 data points. Students can select their desired career path and drill down further into the requirements of each occupational role such as skills and qualifications. The application is connected with social networking sites Twitter and LinkedIn, allowing older students to explore and connect with guides and mentors.

    Age rating: 12+My Study Life

    My Study Life is the perfect productivity tool for students, teachers, tutors and lecturers. The application is designed to reduce the stress of study life by storing classes, tasks (assignments, homework, revision, marking) and exams in the cloud. A student’s study life is now available on the go and being organised has never been so easy.

    Age rating: 12+



    This application is the perfect solution to Mind Mapping on a tablet or PC. Mind8 can be used for taking notes, studying, carrying out projects or as an organiser for student life. It has an integrated synchronising feature which keeps students work up to date across all devices.

    Age rating: 3+


    Physamajig makes physics fun, letting students create their own games. Simply sketch a picture and the application translates it into a realistic physics object. But the real learning begins as students add attributes like friction and joints and creating their own games by adding Behaviors to their objects. Play a sport, land on the moon, destroy monsters with your cannon or go online to learn from the fantastic creations made by other users.

    Age rating: 12+


    This application is a great way to get the younger students’ minds buzzing – with a little competition to keep them on the edge of their seats! Wordament is a one-of-a-kind word game, where students compete head to head in real-time, on the same board, against everyone else online. Students try to find the most words possible and earn bonuses by finding longer words.

    Age rating: 10+


    NASA Be A Martian

    Bring science to life with NASA Be A Martian! Invite your students to be a part of a space exploration and learn all about NASA’s missions. Let them view Mars images and videos and be up to date on the latest mission news.

    Age rating: 3+

    Windows 8 makes interactive learning fun and easy. Apps seamlessly synchronise between multiple devices, making the implementation of a BYOD programme all the more worthwhile. To find out more about how Windows 8 can help encourage 21st Century learning, request a Windows in the Classroom seminar today. Follow this link to find out more

  • Update for Education Apps for Windows 8

    With the launch of Windows 8 last week its about time we told you some of the great education apps available.

    There are currently plenty of Education Apps in the Windows Store so I wont list them all but here are the some of the key apps for teachers and students:

      SAS Flash Cards gives you the ability to increase your knowledge by practicing with flash cards using Windows 8.

    The Periodic Table app contains chemical and physical information of all chemical elements

     Attendance allows instructors to take attendance with an easy to use interface that brings their students to life with photos

     My Study Life is a planner for student, teachers and lecturers. My Study Life is designed to make your study life easier by storing your classes, tasks (assignments, homework, revision) and exams in the cloud making your study life available wherever you are

     Mind8 is an easy to use Mind Map Application for Windows 8. You can use Mind8 for your thoughts, ideas, for taking notes, for your studies or as an organiser for your business tasks. It's an all-inclusive companion that helps you manage your daily life in every situation.

    I will keep you updated on anymore relevant Windows 8 Education apps that come up also.



  • Apply to become an Expert Educator and get the opportunity to win a trip to the Partners in Learning Global Forum 2014 in Barcelona!

    Submit your application to become a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert before the September 30th, 2013 deadline to be considered for this exclusive program. Completing and submitting your application means you'll have an opportunity to join the Expert Educator Program and an all-expense paid trip to the Partners in Learning Global Forum 2014 in Barcelona–Spain. The Forum is where the worlds' most innovative educators will gather March 11–14, 2014 to learn together and to be inspired.

    The Microsoft Expert Educator program is an exclusive, one-year program that recognises educator visionaries around the world who use technology to create better learning and student outcomes. As an Expert Educator, you will be a global advocate, sharing your knowledge with other educators and education leaders. You will exchange best practices and learn alongside some of the most innovative educators in the world.

    When you become a Microsoft Expert, you will receive:

    • A trip to join 250 other Expert Educators at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain
    • A free Microsoft Surface RT for your school
    • Promotion of your good work through publicity and marketing
    • Professional and career development

    To work on your application, please click here.

  • Windows in the Classroom Tip #1 - making Windows 8 your own

    Over the next 5 weeks we will be giving you a sneak peek into the tips and tricks school leadership teams across New Zealand are learning at their complimentary Windows in the Classroom seminar.

    This week we’ll cover the basics – teaching your students to customise their own start screen. Students can maximise productivity by keeping all the information that’s important in one place. They can now glance at their own personalised tiles to stay updated on the latest headlines, real-time news and information or they can quickly and easily access their favourite apps, websites and folders.

    Two particularly cool functions include the ability to pin and unpin apps and to create tiles for your favourite people and places.

    Pinning apps

    Some of the apps your students use most might not be pinned to Start. But students have the freedom to pin what they want, where they want. On the Start screen, students can simply open the Search charm, select the app they would like to pin to open its commands, and then tap or clock to Pin to Start.

    Creating tiles

    A tile gives students the freedom to open their favourite app or content from the Start screen. To pin a website or contact from an app, open the app commands and click Pin to Start. To pin a folder or document, open it in File Explorer, right-click it, and then click Pin to Start.

    Check out this quick video to get a better idea about how your students can benefit from the flexible and innovative new Start screen.

    Make sure to look out for next week's Windows in the Classroom tip!

    DON'T MISS OUT, we’re still taking bookings for our Windows in the Classroom seminars. You can host a session at your school or attend one in your area. All you need to do is register your interest by emailing

    Alternatively, ‘like’ our new Facebook page to receive regular updates and feedback about the seminars. Don’t hesitate to post a question or comment on our wall. You can also find out more at our website.

    Ensure your school leadership team is across the opportunity afforded by new technologies, by hosting a Windows in the Classroom seminar.

  • Windows Steady State like functionality for Windows 7

    Windows Steady State was a solution for Windows XP that made it easy for an IT Pro to manage a kiosk type shared computer by resetting it back to a known state after a user logged of. Lots of people have asked for this capability in Windows 7 and Microsoft has just released a document to help you achieve the same type of functionality.

    This document is intended primarily for IT pros who configure shared-computer access in business environments, but partners who support shared-computer access in schools, libraries, and Internet cafes will also find the information useful. The document set includes:

    • Creating a Steady State by Using Microsoft Technologies (this document), which describes the native Windows 7 features and free tools from Microsoft that you can use to create a steady state on computers running Windows 7.
    • Group Policy Settings for Creating a Steady State, which is a reference that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and prevent users from changing those settings.
    • The SteadyState Reference worksheet (.xlsx file), which you can use to look up and filter settings that this document and the reference describe. For example, you can quickly find information about settings that are related to Start Menu restrictions.

    Download the document from here

  • Kinect for Windows SDK beta available for download

    It is finally here! Great for students working on human interface technology


  • Blended Learning From the Ground Up

    Getting Smart recently created this awesome infographic on what schools need to implement blended learning. As the infographic describes, blended learning is more than electronic textbooks and productivity tools. It involves inventing and adopting new learning environments that work better for students and for teachers.

    Do you need help with the tools needed for using the classroom to start blending your classroom? Go to to learn about our complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminars.

  • Medical Article Authoring Add-in for Word Beta

    A free Microsoft Research developed Word 2007/2010 add-in.

    This add-in for Word enables authors and editors to save Word files in the National Library of Medicine's Document Type Definitions format, which is used for publishing and archiving articles and books.

    NLM Metadata view in Office Document Information Panel.

  • 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.

  • DeforestACTION Live Event March 2012

    On March 28th, join us for an exciting DeforestACTION live event! We will take you deep into the heart the Borneo jungle to connect with orangutans, hear from Dr. Willie Smits and the Eco Warriors about the work they are doing with the Masarang Foundation, and speak with other youth and schools around the world taking action to stop deforestation.

    Register now:


    DeforestACTION is a global movement of youth and schools taking action to stop deforestation and create a permanent habitat for orangutans and other species that depend on forest ecosystems. The program connects youth, students and educators in collaborative learning and action through the use of online educational resources and is currently focused on the forests of Indonesia, where widespread illegal deforestation has made the country the number three emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

    Support DeforestACTION and help empower youth around the world to understand and act on one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Visit to sign up!



  • Remote Desktop Services vs VDI

    Desktop Virtualization doesn't just mean using your existing server virtualization platform to deliver virtual desktops. As many people have found out, the ROI on doing this for a mass VDI solution doesn't stack up.

    If you take a user centric approach to defining the requirements, you should end up focusing on the user Data and Applications rather than the platform on which you will run the OS.

    I see a new lease of life for Windows Terminal Services, now called Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have not evaluated RDS and only had experience with TS then I would encourage you to look again at the Microsoft offering. There are many architectural changes to have resolved many of the issues previously experienced with TS. e.g.

    ·     64 bit only - better concurrent session support

    ·     Integration with System Center and Unified Access Gateway - manage in the same way as physical desktops

    ·     Application Virtualization - less susceptible to dependencies allowing greater number off apps per server and easier updates

    Other Resources:
    Microsoft virtualization strategy
    RDS Component Architecture

  • Webcast on SharePoint LMS

    Things are hotting up in the e-Learning space with LMS, collaboration and lecture recording merging into an integrated solution. This is an Interesting video describing the Microsoft platform and in particular the use of SharePoint as a platform on which to build an LMS.

    It changes to english after 30 seconds...