Ensure your school leadership team is across the opportunity afforded by new technologies, by hosting a complimentary Windows in the Classroom seminar. Find out more information by visiting our website. To book a Windows in the Classroom personal development seminar at your school or for more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsoft Partners in Learning is a $500 million global initiative working with schools and educators to improve teaching and learning practices; optimize the use of technology within pedagogy to improve learning outcomes; and help every student receive an excellent education and gain the skills they need in work and life. To sign up now, visit http://www.pil-network.com.
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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 http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windowsintheclassroom/ to learn about our complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminars.
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.
Futures recently spoke to Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Education at Microsoft, on how the Student Advantage programme will transform the way students learn. The report was written by Kelly Ng and gives fantastic insight into the benefits Microsoft technology is bringing to 21st century learning in the classroom. We thought we'd post the full article here, but if you want to hear more from Futures, simply go to http://www.asiafuturesmag.com/. IT Skills for the workforceCommunication skills, attention to detail and proficiency using Microsoft Office topped the list of 21st century skills that students will need for the top 60 high-growth and high-salary jobs, according to a recent study by IDC and Microsoft. The study evaluated 14.6 million job descriptions between April 2013 to September 2013 to identify the 20 most common hard and soft skills required for today’s job market. IDC further validated these skills by examining 60 jobs that have high-growth and wage potential between 2013 and 2020. Knowing Microsoft Office is ranked third of these top 20 skills, with understanding individual programmes Microsoft PowerPoint and Word placing 11 and 13 on the list. Microsoft Office was the only software solution noted within the top 20 skills.Launch of Student AdvantageUnderstanding that Microsoft Office proficiency is an important tool for preparing students for the workforce, Microsoft launched Student Advantage, a benefit that extends Office 365 ProPlus to students at no additional cost if their institution is licensing Office for staff and faculty. Office 365 was introduced more than a year ago, and there are now more than 110 million students, teachers and staff all over the world using it. More than 35,000 schools worldwide are currently eligible to use the Student Advantage benefit. Since 1 December, when Student Advantage was officially rolled out globally, these schools have had the option to provide students access to Office 365 at no additional cost.Benefits that Student Advantage brings“Productivity is a very important workload for schools. Giving students access will not only enrich the value of Office for them, but for teachers and staff as well,” Salcito added. Office 365 ProPlus provides tools, such as Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel that students are already familiar with and are now powered by the cloud. Students can install these tools on up to five devices, so learning is not limited to the classroom. Another benefit available in the Student Advantage programme is the Lync client, which is offered in Office 365 ProPlus. “Instead of Lync Online which was previously included in Office 365, students now get the full version of Lync that gives added functionalities such as recording, gallery video view, white boarding and screen sharing,” noted Salcito. Moreover, the solution has the ability to integrate between multiple modalities of deployment. “For example, schools that are deploying Exchange or SharePoint on premise can integrate these tools with the cloud. Or, a user who wants to use Office offline, can choose to sync the application dynamically with Skydrive when online.”One of the most important features schools will appreciate is the privacy and backend management control that can be expected in an enterprise deployment. “Besides ensuring students’ privacy and an advertising-free environment, school leaders can also take ownership of a student’s account if there is any suspicious activity,” he said.Looking ahead“We can expect more applications being built on the Office platform, so teachers can benefit from simple apps built into the productivity tool. For example, an application that many school leaders I’ve met appreciate is the ‘word cloud function’ built into PowerPoint that generates a word cloud easily. All you have to do is highlight the text you are interested in, and the app does the rest for you,” he described. Salcito expects more innovative education initiatives to come from institutions in Asia. In October, Microsoft recognized 250 ‘Expert Educators’ and 80 ‘Mentor Schools’. Of these, 33 Expert Educators and 19 of the Mentor Schools are from Asia. That is great representation from Asia as they were selected from more than 22,000 educators in 158 countries and 250 school leaders in 75 countries.“These educators and school leaders are on the leading edge of education innovation in the use of technology to improve learning and student outcomes. They are great examples of leaders who are using technology to do something transformational, around content, connection or enabling learning anywhere, anytime and anywhere,” concluded Salcito.
Why Microsoft recently came up with this fantastic infographic, and we had to share it with you! The image gives you excellent insight into how Office 365 for Education can be leveraged in the classroom to help our students gain the 21st century skills so crucial in preparing them for the modern workforce.
To interact with the links on the full image, please see the original post at http://www.whymicrosoft.com/Pages/A-Day-in-the-Life-Student.aspx. Enjoy!
Currently the #1 PDF app in the App Store, Drawboard PDF has been designed by an Australian developer and is free for a limited time only. You can now view, annotate and manage student PDF documents the easy way! This App is ideal for replacing the pen and paper, avoid printing documents again by using these innovative features that make annotating a PDF a breeze.
You can either upload or create a new PDF, annotate using the extensive array of tools and then save it back as a compatible PDF. Drawboard distinguishes itself by its intuitive user interface and experience, stylus and touch input separation, smooth and natural pen, and array of tools.
Find out more and download the App here, it won't be free for much longer!
It is our pleasure to announce that, beginning 1st December 2013, every school in New Zealand that licences Office for staff and faculty is eligible to get Office 365 Pro Plus for students at no additional cost.
The Student Advantage benefit will support schools’ BYOD and 1:1 Learning programmes, enabling students to have the full Office software on their own device.
What’s included in Office 365 Pro Plus?
Office 365 ProPlus is the full version of Office and includes student favourites like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and more. Office 365 ProPlus is a user-based service and allows each student to install on up to five PCs or Macs. Students can install on home or personally-owned devices and are covered throughout their time at the school.
All New Zealand state and integrated schools have this benefit available now (through the coverage of the Ministry of Education Microsoft Schools Agreement).
To take up this Student Advantage added beneﬁt, the next steps are:
Please contact your Microsoft Reseller for more details:
Following on from our blog last week, Announcing the 2014 Expert Educators and Mentor Schools, Microsoft NZ is excited to announce that New Zealand's very own Theresa Bosch of Baradene College and Steve Martin of Howick College have been selected as Expert Educators. Added to this, Baradene College has also been selected as a Mentor School. As members of these programmes, Baradene and Howick will become a part of an exclusive one-year initiative that recognises pioneer educators and school leaders using technology to transform education.
Paul Muckleston, Managing Director of Microsoft NZ, commented that “Microsoft Expert Educators and Mentor schools are inspiring examples of how individuals and schools are using technology to prepare their students for the 21st Century. Not only are they doing innovative work in the classroom, but they are actively mentoring others and creating change within their own education systems. They set an outstanding example for their peers and we hope that they will benefit from the access to technology that they receive as part of Microsoft’s ongoing programs.”
What is an Expert Educator, and how did Theresa and Steve become one? The Expert Educator programme chooses 250 educators every year to become part of an exclusive global community of educational leaders, who use technology to positively impact learning and student outcomes. In order to be selected, Theresa and Steve underwent a rigorous application process, including an online application, learning activity and video. They were required to create a learning activity and a two-three minute non-professionally produced video that describes their project and how they used technology and innovative teaching practices to impact student outcomes.
Over the coming year, Theresa and Steve will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education, advocating and sharing their experiences on effective use of technology in education with peers and policy makers. In addition, they mentor other educators and help train them in education technologies and on the use of Microsoft products and tools.
Theresa and Steve, as Expert Educators and Baradene College as a Mentor School will receive a range of benefits including:
In Steve and Theresa's own words:
Steve: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of Microsoft’s Expert Educators! I look forward to making the most of the mentoring and learning opportunities that are now available to me, as well as being able to connect with like-minded educators at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum. Being a Microsoft Expert Educator will help me to increase learning outcomes for my students, as well as drive technology in education on a global stage.”
Theresa: "Being selected as a Microsoft Mentor School is an amazing honour for our school and will inspire us as a learning community. We look forward to using this community to help us better prepare our students for the world of work, as well as sharing our experiences with schools around the world. I’m also thrilled to have been selected as one of Microsoft’s Expert Educators and look forward to the experience."
Click here for more information on Expert Educators and Mentor Schools!
We look forward to keeping you updated on our NZ winners' journey over the coming months.
Join us for a special two-hour virtual College & Career Readiness Event
Choose the event time that fits your schedule: Thursday, February 13 | 8:00 – 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time | Add this event to your calendarFebruary 18th from 12:00-14:00 Asia/Singapore/ 15:00-17:00 PM Sydney | Add this event to your calendar
Who should attend: If you are in education, this event is for you! Administrators, educators, instructors, teachers, faculty, career counselors, curriculum planners are encouraged to attend.Format: Live, interactive virtual broadcast with engaging chat and Q&A opportunities for attendees and industry experts
About the Event
For technology educators, the responsibility of preparing students for success in higher education and future careers is no small one. Educators are tasked with fostering a dynamic set of foundational soft skills and technical skills in technologies that never stop evolving. The pace of change in the job market, technology platforms, and in-demand skills can outstrip educators’ ability to keep up—but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Join Microsoft IT Academy program for an informative, free, two-hour virtual event showcasing the latest best practices technology educators can adopt to effectively guide college and career-minded students, and foster a new generation of innovators in the IT and developer technology fields.
This virtual event will consist of six mini-sessions hosted by industry experts and drilling down into the topics that matter most to you.
AgendaSpeakers to be announced shortly!
8:00 – 8:10 A.M.: The Global Skills Gap and Job Market LandscapeAn overview of the technology skills development landscape and roadmap for guiding students to success.
8:10 – 8:28 A.M.: Extending Today’s Technology Curriculum in the Classroom and OnlineExplore the value and best practices for adopting technology curriculum and certification in the classroom and online learning platforms, including Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate, and Microsoft Certified Professional certification tracks.
Entry-level Technology for Your College- and Career-Minded Students (two sessions)8:28 – 8:46 A.M.: Technology for Everyone: Validating your students’ success in Microsoft OfficeThe right mix of tools, training, and certification is essential to inspire entry-level students to set a course for a future career using the latest business technologies. We’ll review the best practices for getting students started on a productive path, including the value of Microsoft Office training and certification options.
8:46 – 9:04 A.M.: Entry-level technology for your college and career-minded students Aspiring technologists thrive when immersed in the IT and developer technologies they’ll work with every day in future roles. Learn about Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) training and certification, and how it helps students get hands-on with the latest technologies.
9:04 – 9:22 A.M.: Technology Endorsements that Get RecognizedHelping students develop solid technology skills is just part of the learning equation. Validation is a critical, ongoing need to ensure students stay motivated, focused, and empowered. Learn from IT Academy educators and learning experts on ways to endorse and validate students’ skills.
9:22 – 9:40 A.M.: The Last Mile: Résumé Building and Interview TechniquesStanding out in a crowded job marketplace requires sharp self-promotion skills. Join a panel of hiring experts on the very latest hiring trends and best practices for successfully landing entry-level technology roles. We’ll discuss tips for creating résumés that can’t be ignored, and interview preparation tips that you can share with graduating students.
9:40 – 10:00 A.M.: Q&A – Get your questions answered live!
Keep up with the latest details on this unique event for the educators across the globe! Stay tuned to this blog and IT Academy social channels for event updates as we announce guest speakers and session details
Today we are very excited to announce the launch of the Surface in the Classroom Design Challenge!
Calling all designers, teachers, students & parents! We want your ideas for how classrooms can evolve to support 1:1 learning with Surface tablets. Submit a design sketch and a description of your idea, and you will be entered for a chance to win a Surface 2, or a Surface Pro 2. The grand prize winner will receive 32 Surface 2’s and an Anthro Charging Cart to be donated to the school of their choice!
To find out more and to enter, click here. We can't wait to see all the entries!
Last week saw the exciting launch of Microsoft NZ’s first series of the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Workshop. We are so excited to announce that both the Wellington workshop (held at Scots College) and the Auckland workshop (held at Botany Downs Secondary College) were a huge success. Over 50 educators in Auckland and 30 in Wellington attended, ranging from Principals to teachers and ICT Directors.
The workshop worked through 5 Phases that outline the Design and Deployment Guide to 1:1 learning:
Bruce Dixon, co-founder and President of the Anywhere Anytime Learning Foundation, facilitated wonderful conversations around 1:1 strategies and 21st Century Learning. Focus was on the pedagogy that drives student outcomes and then the technology that supports that. Our feedback indicated that school leaders found the workshop very helpful in either setting strategy and/or deploying the 1:1 programme, depending on which stage they were at.
General feedback surrounding the workshop highlighted Bruce’s great depth of knowledge and his willingness to “tell it as he sees it”. Many attendees commented on the value of having their key decision makers attend the conference and emphasized the relevance of learning strategies for Principals and Senior Leaders. Those who were in the early days of developing a 1:1 learning programme commented that they will look back on the course in the future and see it as a critical point for their school. One school leader, currently in the process of deployment, viewed the workshop as an “oasis” to gather their thoughts and move their school forward in the implementation of a 1:1 learning programme.
All in all, it can certainly be said that the two days were immensely valuable for all attendees, no matter which stage and depth of knowledge they had of 21st Century Learning. Schools left feeling highly informed, confident and supported in their way forward and their understanding of the importance of the pedagogy.
We would like to introduce you to the cool new tools for educators now available on Partners in Learning. In particular, the featured Windows 8 Apps are a fantastic resource to keep you up to date on the most innovative classroom tools.
A top featured App this week is Brain Pop, an App which allows your students to watch a different animated movie every day, then test their new knowledge with an interactive quiz. It currently has 100 tutorial and 918 learning activities. But like all of these featured education Apps, it's growing every day!
Check out all of the tools here and don't forget to sign up to Partners in Learning for access to other fantastic tools and resources for innovative teaching!
This exclusive series will show you why now is the best time to modernize your schools with Windows 8.1 and the new Office, and how you can leverage this technology to drive better learning.
Register today for these additional educator-focused webcasts:
Sign up to Partners in Learning for regular invitations to webcasts and other interesting resources!
Last week, Anthony Salcito had the honour of announcing Microsoft’s 2014 Expert Educators and Mentor Schools. Members of both programs are part of an exclusive, year-long program designed to recognize educators and schools that are on the leading edge of education innovation. Expert Educators were selected from nearly 22,000 educators in 158 countries, while Mentor Schools came from nearly 250 schools in 75 countries. These educators and schools are using technology to transform education, often overcoming overwhelming obstacles in order to prepare their students to be 21st century leaders.
Salcito explained how, "Winning Expert Educators are not only doing innovative work in the classroom, but they are actively mentoring others and creating change within their own education systems. For example, one of our winners created digital literacy courses and produced audiobooks for non-native speakers and the blind, and then designed a multimedia centre to allow any student or teacher to access their work and experiment with broadcasting language lessons. Yet another designed a history project for their students to study medieval history. Students took in-person tours of medieval castles, researched and compiled all their information, and then created virtual tours that could be used by other teachers and students who could not visit the castles in person. These innovators set an outstanding example for their peers."
"Or take winning Mentor Schools like GENTE (Gin Exp Novas Tecnologias Educacion) in Brazil, and Campbelltown Performing Arts High School in Australia. At GENTE, the focus on personalized learning has completely transformed their curriculum and learning outcomes. Each student creates his or her own online “formative itinerary” that lists the skills they already have and the ones they need to develop. A digital adaptive evaluation system monitors what the student has learned, and where they can improve. At Campbelltown Performing Arts High School (CPAHS), action learning project teams explore four key areas of 21st-century learning: project-based learning, personalized learning, flexible learning spaces and student voice. CPAHS is firmly committed to practices that improve learning outcomes for students and prepare them as 21st century citizens who have the capacity to reflect deeply, collaborate effectively, think critically and work creatively."
"The Expert Educators and Mentor Schools programs are designed specifically to help enable major transformations for both the educators and the schools. This year’s winners will benefit from the access to technology that they receive as part of Microsoft’s ongoing programs. We also see the programs as a “fellowship” of sorts: winners will not only work extremely closely with Microsoft, but they will also have access to a global community of world-class educators and schools."
Look out for the applications for 2015 later next year!
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?
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.
Microsoft is committed to the success of every student, and our goal is to help students reach their full potential through the world's leading productivity tools in Office 365. It is important to us that, as educators, using Office 365 is made easy in order to support and facilitate 21st century learning in your classroom. Here's two fantastic resources you should keep bookmarked for the year ahead:
This is the official technology blog announcing the various new services available on Office 365.
In addition to what is available on the Partners in Learning Network, this resource has videos and how to guides for getting teachers and students started on using Office 365.
The Office 365 team has just announced the arrival of real-time co-authoring in Office 365, as well as a whole host of new features in the Office Web Apps that will help the education sector collaborate and work together more productively both Online and Offline.
Students and educators can contribute and edit documents simultaneously in the Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App or Excel Web App. New real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document so that you don't create conflicts as you edit.
Additionally, the new ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen will help you and your co-authors stay on the same page as your ideas develop and evolve.
And because Office Web Apps now save as you go, your team's edits are included and seen as they happen.
Check out the details here: http://bit.ly/1floWsB
The changes are being rolled out now across Office 365 and SkyDrive, and are part of Office 365's regular upgrade cycle.
It is no secret that students today require skillsets that are hugely different from what was needed to secure jobs a decade ago. We see this change playing out everywhere in the world, and the gap between what employers are looking for and what recent graduates have to offer is only widening.
So, it's a new year, and the perfect time to get up to scratch on the power of how 1:1 learning can be used in the classroom to develop 21st century skills. That is why on 14th January, Microsoft is hosting the latest in our Partners in Learning Virtual University webinar series featuring global experts and covering some of the most exciting innovations in education today. This session, Promoting 21st Century Skills, will be co-hosted by Richard Olsen, Assistant Director of ideasLAB, and Adrian Blight, Managing Director of Imagine Education.
In his role at ideasLAB, an Australian education research and development incubator, Olsen identifies new technologies and their transformative possibilities for schools and for learning. He specializes in online learning communities, social networking, inquiry-based learning and game-based learning.
For his part, Blight specializes in helping governments, NGOs and the corporate sector worldwide build the capacity of educators and maximize the impact of new technologies on teaching and learning. Blight is also responsible for training educators across the Middle East and North Africa as part of The British Council’s Connecting Classrooms program.
This session will look at the key skills needed in the workforce and how those needs have evolved in the past decade. We will also look at why the capacity to learn is more important than knowing information – the all-important skills vs. knowledge shift. And we’ll explore how modern social learning leads to positive interdependence where knowledge is co-constructed around objects of inquiry, along with the non-linear path of inquiry-based learning in solving complex problems.
This event is available at 7:00 am PT or 5:00 pm PT. Please join at the time most convenient for you. For more details on this important dialogue, and to register, click here.
We are very excited to share with you Microsoft's latest BYOD discussion paper put together by Partners in Learning Australia. This paper is a significant update from the previous version and gives you a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about implementing a BYOD programme in your school.
The ongoing debate regarding the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model in schools warrants deep analysis to help educators and institutions understand this provisioning model and its potential benefits and pitfalls for learning. This discussion paper sets out to define and investigate current BYOD models to clarify which questions should be addressed in the context of your school’s culture, to determine the most suitable BYOD model for your situation. It is intended to stimulate discussion around what constitutes best practice 1-to-1 learning.
The paper explores all of your questions around the following:
Readiness, planning, technical support for devices, maintenance of devices, software licensing, security, school policy and parental consent, device life cycle and warranties.
Network and security considerations, file considerations, print considerations, software considerations.
You can view and download the full guide by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post!
Keen to find out more about 1:1 Learning programmes for your school? Register now for the 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning Workshop!
Facilitated by world education leader, Bruce Dixon, the complimentary workshop is designed to support school Principals and eLearning leaders to work together. We recommend two leaders attend from each school. We invite you to attend the workshop in Auckland, on 11th-12th November, or in Wellington, on 14th-15th November.
Places are limited and the first workshop is only 10 days away! Find out more here or register now by emailing email@example.com.
Two of New Zealand’s most tech-savvy schools, both in Auckland, have been awarded classroom sets of Microsoft Surface RTs in recognition of their leadership in digital learning.
Microsoft New Zealand is giving Botany Downs Secondary College and Ferguson Intermediate School in Otara 25 Surface RTs that will become a shared resource and accelerate the schools’ innovative teaching practices. Both schools are Microsoft Partner in Learning schools, meaning Microsoft has partnered with them to up skill teachers and increase the use of technology as a learning tool.
These schools have become so skilled at using technology in the classroom that international delegations of teachers have visited to learn from them. Last month, both Botany Downs Secondary College and Ferguson Intermediate School were further recognised when they became two of only 34 schools in the world to be a World Tour School, an honour that recognises the colleges as global leaders in education innovation.
Mike Leach, Principal of Botany Downs Secondary School, says most tablets are designed for people to passively consume information, like watching videos and reading current events. In contrast schools need devices that allow students to learn by creating things independently, as well as working together.
“We’ve got lots planned for our Surface RTs. Every one of our students will benefit from using programmes like PowerPoint and Word on a portable tablet and it allows us to actively engage them in an enjoyable way,” says Mike.
Jenny Leach, Principal of Ferguson Intermediate School, agrees that these tablets will help excite her students about learning. She sees implementing up to date technology as a way of addressing digital inclusion and supporting the school’s broader community.
“The best way we can prepare our students for success in our digital world is by giving them hands on experience with up to date technology. For most of them, their jobs will incorporate technology and it’s important that they know how to use it and how to collaborate with other people via technology,” says Jenny.
Evan Blackman, Microsoft Education Sector Manager, says bringing technology into the classroom isn’t a nice to have anymore, it’s fundamental to learning.
“This gift is tied into a much broader commitment Microsoft New Zealand has made to the education sector and these two specific schools. We’re working with teachers around the country to show them how to use technology in the classroom to make learning better. This means actively engaging students, giving them access to experts and getting them to collaborate with each other,” says Evan.
Surface RTs are used throughout the education sector, including by tertiary students, because they have all the features people expect in a laptop, like Microsoft Office and a USB port, but remain small enough to easily carry around.
We are looking forward to keeping you updated on each school's exciting digital learning journeys!
Continuing on from our blog yesterday, we are delighted to bring you another fantastic example of the success a school has experienced by choosing Surface as their BYOD tablet.
St Patrick’s College in London offers industry-standard vocational coursework to a diverse population of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and their mission is to prepare their students for career success. As part of this mission, they decided to provide second-year students with Microsoft Surface, which comes pre-loaded with Office.
A recent study found Microsoft Office applications rank #3 in a list of the top 20 in-demand skills for high-growth and high-pay careers, so they knew their students would be learning skills that could help them with their careers.
Surface with Windows and Office RT is helping St Patrick’s College provide a real-world technology experience for their students allowing them to make the transition from the classroom to the workplace with confidence. Due to the success of the Surface rollout, the London School of Business & Finance Alliance Cooperation, of which St Patrick’s College is a member, has purchased 10,000 Surface RT tablets to be deployed to students at other member universities. Vicente Fraser, Chief Information Officer of LSBF believes, “There is a big shift toward mobile and tablet computing, and educational institutions like ours have to be at the front of that trend.”
Check out the video above!
Today Microsoft announced the Student Advantage programme, which will help ensure all students at New Zealand schools and higher education institutions have access to the productivity tools used in most New Zealand workplaces, before they enter the workforce.
Beginning 1 December 2013, every school and tertiary provider in New Zealand that licenses Office for staff and faculty will be eligible to get Office 365 Pro Plus for its students at no additional cost.
This comes off the back of The IDC Workforce Readiness Study, released today by Microsoft, which reveals the key skills that people looking for work in high-growth, high-salary jobs need. Behind core communication skills and attention to detail, the third most important skill for prospective employees is knowing how to use Microsoft Office.
Paul Muckleston Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, says Student Advantage gives schools and academic institutions the tools they need to better prepare students for entering the workforce, without spending additional money.
“The impact of Student Advantage for New Zealand students is going to be far reaching. We believe it will help address the country’s challenge of ensuring equity of access for all students to eLearning, as more than one million students will be eligible for Office 365 ProPlus under this new benefit.”
More information can be found here:
For New Zealand schools to take up this added benefit, the steps are:
- Add the zero-cost Student Advantage sku to your Microsoft agreement; and
- Deploy the no-cost Office 365 A2 Plan service for staff and students; then
- Students are able to download the Office Pro Plus client software to their devices (up to 5 devices per student)
- For schools enrolled in the Microsoft Schools Agreement with the Ministry of Education, please contact Datacom on 0800 22 55 428
- For all other schools, please contact your Academic Reseller or partner
The following post was originally blogged on The Official Microsoft Blog and is written by Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft. We thought it was a fantastic read and are so excited to share it with you.
"I’m still over in Abu Dhabi, where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week.
I have to say, I’m really excited for a 1080p Lumia with a third column on my start screen so I can keep a close eye on more people, more news, more stuff.
Of course, even with the 720p display I’m using right now, I could easily spot some coverage today that needs to be corrected.
Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino.
So let me try to clear some things up.
Note: If you are the TL;DR type, let me cut to the chase. Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world’s most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively. Making Apple’s decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.
Since we launched the Surface line of tablets last year, one of the themes we’ve consistently used to talk about them is that they are a terrific blend of productivity and entertainment in one lightweight, affordable package. In fact, we’re confident that they offer the best combination of those capabilities available on the market today.
That’s not an accident, it’s exactly what we set out to design. We saw too many people carrying two devices around (one for work and one for play) and dealing with the excess cost, weight and complexity that “dual carrying” entails. We believed that there was another, better way: A tablet built to offer great touch-based entertainment activities combined with a productivity powerhouse that helps people crank through the stuff they have to get done before they watch zombies or flick birds.
That’s what Surface is. A single, simple, affordable device that helps you both lean in and kick back. Let’s be clear – helping folks kill time on a tablet is relatively easy. Give them books, music, videos and games, and they’ll figure out the rest. Pretty much all tablets do that.
But helping people be productive on a tablet is a little trickier. It takes an understanding of how people actually work, how they get things done, and how to best support the way they do things already.
The good news is that Microsoft understands how people work better than anyone else on the planet. We created the personal computing revolution by giving people around the world a low-cost, powerful, easy-to-use device that helped them accomplish an unbelievable array of tasks. And together, Windows and Office ended up reaching every corner of the globe and powering every academic institution, industry and profession. Of course both Windows and Office are evolving all the time – to reflect the way people work today – more social, more mobile and connected through the cloud.
We literally wrote the book on getting things done. And that’s how we knew that Surface needed to include three things to help people do their best work:
1. The gold standard in productivity software – Office.2. Faster and more precise input methods like keyboard/trackpad.3. The ability to use apps and documents side by side, allowing the comparisons, analysis and synthesis that happens frequently during content creation.
That’s what we delivered. And it’s why the Surface is the most productive tablet you can buy today. We also knew that it would make our competitors take notice. That as consumers got a taste of devices that could really help them get things done, they would see alternatives as being more limited.
And so it’s not surprising that we see other folks now talking about how much “work” you can get done on their devices. Adding watered down productivity apps. Bolting on aftermarket input devices. All in an effort to convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines.
In that spirit, Apple announced yesterday that they were dropping their fees on their “iWork” suite of apps. Now, since iWork has never gotten much traction, and was already priced like an afterthought, it’s hardly that surprising or significant a move. And it doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to get work done on a device that lacks precision input and a desktop for true side-by-side multitasking.
But you wouldn’t know that from reading some of the coverage I’ve read today. Perhaps attendees at Apple’s event were required to work on iOS devices that don’t allow them to have two windows open for side-by-side comparisons, so let me help them out by highlighting the following facts:
• The Surface and Surface 2 are less expensive than the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively, and yet offer more storage, both onboard and in the cloud.• … come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.• … offer additional native productivity enhancing capabilities like kickstands, USB ports, SD card slots and multiple keyboard options.• … include interfaces for opening multiple windows, either side by side or layered to fit the way most people actually work.
So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don’t see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up.
I think they, like others, are waking up to the fact that we’ve built a better solution for people everywhere, who are getting things done from anywhere, and who don’t have hard lines between their personal and professional lives. People who want a single, simple, affordable device with the power and flexibility to enhance and support their whole day."
Cyclone is presenting the Surface Education Usage Seminar to give you the opportunity to meet the new Surface range! You'll get the opportunity to say hello to Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 and hear directly from Microsoft on what’s new. You'll also get to hear from local education sites that are currently deploying and using them. Learn how Windows 8.1 makes a strong case for doing everything within the modern-style interface.
Cyclone has been appointed one of the official resellers of the Surface range and they have the resources available that can assist on all procurement, pedagogical and deployment services for everything Surface related.
You can attend the seminar on any of the following dates:
Christchurch: 30th October, 2:30 - 4:00 Auckland: 7th November, 2:30 - 4:00 Wellington: 21st November, 2.30 - 4:00
You can find out more and register here! We look forward to seeing you!
Tablets in the classroom is one of the biggest trends in education today – many schools are in the midst of implementing a “1-device-per-student”-type project, and many teachers are incorporating technology in new and innovative ways into their lesson plans. If you visit your local school, you’ll see that Year 3 has changed a lot since you were there! And over the past year, we’ve seen that Surface adoption in education has continued to grow and have a positive impact on the way students learn and prepare for their futures. We believe the reason Surface has been chosen by so many schools is that it enables educators and students to teach and learn in new ways. Allowing them to be more productive, more mobile and deliver real outcomes.
Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts was looking for a device for their 1:1 computing initiative for a few years, but hadn't found anything they thought was versatile enough to be used across subjects and grades, and intuitive enough to be adopted in a deep and meaningful way by both teachers and students… until they found the Surface Pro. They decided to equip all 700 of their students and faculty with a Surface Pro tablet and Office 365. Since the deployment last fall, Surface has become a part of academic life at Williston. From working together on group projects in PowerPoint, using shared OneNote Notebooks for student – teacher collaboration, or posting multi-media homework assignments, they have seen how using Surface and Office 365 has fostered more real-time interaction and collaborative learning between students and teachers – bringing down the walls of their classrooms and making Anytime, Anywhere Learning a reality.
Look out for another great video tomorrow!
Scots College, an independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys Years 1 - 13, recently deployed Office 365 as their school wide staff and student productivity tool. After hosting their complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminar (http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windowsintheclassroom/), Assistant Principal of the Senior School (NCEA) and ICT Manager, Alistair West saw Office 365 as "a key factor on our BYOD strategy".
"In order to facilitate going fully mandated BYOD, we needed a system whereby students could create, edit, collaborate and access files online on any device or operating system. Office 365 is the best solution we have found for that. We are using OneNote for management meetings, our appraisal system and SkyDrive Pro for sharing and collaborating on documents."
"So far we have held staff training sessions on SkyDrive Pro, sharing files and folders, collaborating on documents and using the Newsfeed. A student BYOD/Office 365 session will be held later this month. Some staff have begun using the sharing features of Office 365 to provide real-time feedback to students working on reports/essays. Gail Moynagh (Teacher of Mathematics and Science), has been using the drawing tools in OneNote on an interactive whiteboard to share her lessons with students. In one instance, a student was at home sick, he could log in, open the shared OneNote and see notes appear in real-time."
When asked on how she was using Office 365 in and outside of the classroom, Gail explained, “The massive advantage I see in it is the ability for collaboration with ease between staff and staff, staff and students and students and students. The features of the NewsFeed seem like they will be an excellent way to get information to users quickly and easily.”
"One of the many strengths we are seeing of Office 365 is that it is using resources that our staff were already familiar with (e.g. Word, Excel) and we are just making the next obvious step into doing this in the cloud," Alistair explains. "This makes it more approachable and less overwhelming for staff that are not confident with the use of technology. However, it appears to have huge opportunities for our savvy users as well and we are just beginning to really see its full potential."
"We are just beginning to see how Office 365 can facilitate 24/7, anytime, anywhere, personalised learning."
You can book your complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminar here: http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windowsintheclassroom/.