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.
We've just launched our new Microsoft NZ Education Facebook page. If you enjoy receiving regular updates from us, come and "Like" us! We can't wait to give you more insight into what's going on in the NZ education sector.
Microsoft's worldwide Education leader, Anthony Salcito, is visiting New Zealand next week and is taking time to speak with New Zealand leaders in Education. This is a rare opportunity to hear about the global trends impacting education and the responses to this in other countries. Anthony will touch on the research programmes into 21st Century learning which Microsoft is supporting, and how these are informing Microsoft’s strategy to deliver real impact for education and accelerate the growth potential of every student, educator and school.
There will be two seminars focused on Primary and Secondary Schools, and also the Tertiary Education sector. See below for registration details:
For Primary and Secondary SchoolsThursday 21st June, 12:00pm - 1:00pmRegister Here
For Tertiary Education Thursday 21st June, 2:00pm - 3:00pmRegister Here
See you there!
There will be two seminars focused on Primary and Secondary Schools, and also the Tertiary Education sector. See below for registration details:
A desire that many school IT administrators, senior leadership, teachers and students have when working with technology that surrounds them in the classroom, at home or in a mobile situation is to know that the technology provider understands the users typical daily work requirements. We have previously showcased some of the fundamental reasons why the Microsoft Office 365 cloud service is built on a robust technology platform that doesn't sacrifice quality just because users are using the power of online services.
The following WhyMicrosoft post shows an infographic that continues to support this statement by highlighting how Office 365 enables and enhances the daily tasks for a teacher compared to the numerous shortfalls Google Apps has when searching for the same capability.See what a teacher’s experience is like using Office 365 versus using Google Apps especially when preparing their curricula, teaching students, reviewing students work, creating an accessible/safe environment, preparing student for the workforce and developing themselves as a teaching professional.
Teachers using Office 365 are empowered, productive anywhere, and use the latest tools. Using Office 365, teachers can develop lesson plans offline to post on a class website. They can create and share a digital notebook to pass onto their students as a study guide, and they can record lessons in class or elsewhere. -- None of these capabilities are available or supported with Google Apps for education. Next, teachers share recorded lessons on their class site and also with other educators, reaching and inspiring more students in new ways. Competition for jobs among young people is particularly strong, yet teachers using Office 365 foster skills that students will use in the workplace, such as using Word and Excel, and collaborating on group projects with the latest messaging tools.
With Microsoft Office 365 for education teachers spend more time doing what they care about most – teaching, because Microsoft’s reliable tools help educators work together, prepare for class, and support students’ learning.
Anthony Salcito is Microsoft’s worldwide leader for Education, and you have the opportunity to hear him discuss the global trends impacting education and the responses he is seeing in other countries. Anthony will touch on the research programmes into 21st Century learning which Microsoft is supporting, and how these are informing Microsoft’s strategy to deliver real impact for education and accelerate the growth potential of every student and educator.
The event will be held at the University of Auckland (see registration link for details), and will also be available live on the internet. Please register your attendance today.
For Tertiary Education Thursday 21st June, 2:00pm - 3:00pmRegister Here
We're pleased to announce that the popular Learning Suite tool Photosynth is now available on Windows Phone.
Available already for the iPhone and now phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or higher. This app is perfect for the classroom where sometimes a single photo - even a wide angle photo - doesn't do a place justice. Whether your demonstrating the depth of the Grand Canyon or showing the inside an incredible cathedral, this app is perfect for places that cry out for a full 360 panorama. Photosynth is the only mobile app that can stitch a full sphere. That's 360 degrees horizontally and vertically. Get Photosynth for free from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Start it up, move the camera around, and watch your panorama fill in. Make a 360 revolution and watch it join up. Capture the floor and ceiling too. When you're done the shots are automatically stitched together, and the results are beautiful and immersive. Next, you can publish your panorama to the Photosynth site and onwards to Bing, or you can share it via Facebook and Twitter.
If you have a Windows Phone running WP 7.5*, go to the Windows Phone Marketplace and install it now or see the Photosynth webpage for more information.
Windows has been reimagined to be more than a PC operating system.
Currently available as a Release Preview, Windows 8 delivers the experience that schools and universities need. With new possibilities for mobile productivity and providing IT with a more secure, easy-to-manage infrastructure. This is our final pre-release, and includes Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store.
Windows 8 represents a reimaging of Windows. As you can see in the above video, it delivers a fast, fluid and no-compromise experience. Reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. With an all-new touch interface. It's a new Windows for new devices. And it's easy to try now—whether you're installing it for the first time, or moving from Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Download here or find out more from the Windows homepage.
Today, the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) took an exciting step toward delivering a brighter future for Catholic students around the world, demonstrating there is no greater resource to invest in than that of youth. Recognising changes were needed to provide their students with the 21st century skills they’ll need in their future careers, OIEC is partnering with Microsoft to bring Office 365 and other resources to more than 200,000 Catholic schools all over the world with the potential to reach 43 million students.
The partnership between OIEC and Microsoft deploys some of the newest technologies, including more than 4.5 million subscriptions to Office 365 for education – a free tool for educators and students worldwide, which will be made available in June this year during the first wave of deployment. The agreement empowers educators and students to do a number of things, including working together on class projects and documents simultaneously, collaborating in real time with virtual meetings, and participating in instant messaging and video conferencing across the globe. They’ll also be able to create and maintain compelling websites and edit them as easily as they would a Word document, and access a new “Social Network of Catholic Education,” designed by Microsoft and based on Windows Azure, as a private element of the Partners in Learning Network.
For more information see the media press release.
We've been having a lot of discussions with schools regarding their options when wanting to access and edit their Office documents online through a browser. Staff and students are confident and satisfied with a rich interface and tools within Microsoft Office on Windows desktops and Mac's but they desire to extend this access online when users are mobile or on a device without Microsoft Office installed.
Microsoft provides Office Web Apps extending your familiar Office experience to the web allowing you to access, edit and share your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents online sitting on top of our cloud storage and document management products SkyDrive and SharePoint Online.
One of the many advantages for using Office Web Apps is that the consistent feel and high fidelity that you expect when viewing and editing documents on Microsoft Office, is preserved when interacting with them in your browser. Combine this with built-in 'Save to Web' and 'Save to SharePoint' features directly in Microsoft Office in conjunction with a contextual, rich ribbon for productivity and get the tools required to produce quality content through an easy to use interface anywhere.
To see this first hand, www.whymicrosoft.com provides information and demonstrations on our product offerings when you are evaluating other tools in market. Notably when thinking about cloud document access and collaboration you can see live comparisons between Office Web Apps and Google Docs.
The example below shows a Word document comparison using Office Web App (left) and Google Documents (right)
Take a look at that the circles highlighting areas where your time and effort becomes lost having uploaded your work onto Google Docs. This creates the need for further time within Google Docs when editing the document between the familiar Microsoft Office desktop and Google Docs.
Check this live demo out yourself and compare...
Open this Word document in your browser using Office Web Apphttp://cid-9fbe63963526eb25.office.live.com/view.aspx/Website%20Demo%20Files/Demo-Hayden-Management.docx
Now open the same Word document uploaded to Google Docshttps://docs.google.com/a/whymsft.com/document/d/1woLz_vYkV7_YUz1kMU5OyqvD7y9TANJ3BJ6_5KyQPYk/edit?hl=en&ndplr=1&pli=1
What's the best thing about getting access to Office Web Apps? You can sign up for free by creating or using a Windows Live ID and uploading your documents to SkyDrive. Read more about SkyDrive in our previous blog post.
Another option for schools and universities is to sign up for Office 365 for education, providing the same capabilities through Office Web Apps on the SharePoint Online platform and more.
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
The INTERFACEXpo is back for 2012 and its free!
Microsoft New Zealand is a Gold Sponsor at the Interface Expo this year. It is a great opportunity for those of you who make decisions about the direction and implementation of ICT at your school. Throughout the course of the day, attendees will have the chance to hear about the latest solutions, see demonstrations, and talk to experts about deploying ICT solutions in your school. The day is an informative and inspiring combination of: hands-on workshops, keynote presentations, exhibition, and networking with peers.
There are still three events taking place over the next two weeks, so come along to check it out! Details of the events and locations are below, and you can register here.
If you are tasked with helping make your institution’s research activity more productive, we recommend you explore Microsoft Solutions for Research Management.
With Cloud delivery (Windows Azure) and in-house Sharepoint solutions, these Research Management Solutions from Microsoft are smart and affordable platforms as well as tools that can help IT decision makers. These are designed to enable better collaboration and deliver smarter tools for analysis, development, plus powerful on-demand computing power at a lower cost of ownership.
Try Windows Azure.
Sign up to a 90-day Windows Azure complimentary trial. Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage research applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.Free Virtual Research Management SharePoint extensions.With SharePoint 2010, create your own secure research environment with virtual tools. Access over 13 SharePoint 2010 modules and extensions for project management, collaboration and data management scenarios. Download Here.
Continuing on with the wave of improvements of the popular SkyDrive cloud storage solution, we are excited to take another big step towards making SkyDrive far more powerful. You can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need—making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available.
We are also now offering 7GB free for all new SkyDrive users. Providing enough space for over 99% of people to store their entire Office document library and share photos for several years, along with room for growth.
Here’s what’s available for use, starting now:
You can download the new SkyDrive apps now, but you might want to take a look at this video first, which gives you a glimpse of all the things you can do with the new SkyDrive.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup is a competition that encourages students to solve the world's toughest problems.
Visual impairment is one of those, and Team Mobile Eye from AUT took on the challenge. Their winning solution is a mobile app to assist people with visual impairment to “see” the world around them, through a combination of computer intelligence and crowd-sourced audio support.
Congratulations to Team Mobile Eye for winning the Imagine Cup NZ 2012!
It was an intense competition this year. From an initial 400 entries across the country, four very strong teams were chosen from to contest the final stage of the NZ 2012 contest. These were Thought-Wired, Connect, Aura and Mobile Eye. You're all awesome.
For those that attended I know you’d agree that the competition was massive – we were delighted to host more than 1,000 people to enjoy the event in the Auckland Town Hall. What great enthusiasm for these innovators who will be hi-tech leaders in NZ's future.
Check out the full coverage of Imagine Cup 2012 here http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nzgovtech/archive/2012/05/03/congratulations-to-team-mobile-eye.aspx.
For more information on Microsoft Imagine Cup visit www.imaginecup.co.nz
Julia Breen, who won an Innovative Educator Award at the 2011 New Zealand Partners in Learning Forum, doesn’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to innovating in the classroom.
After being told her plans to bring television studio technology to the classroom were out of reach, the Physical Education teacher secured low-cost resources to meet her objectives. By using the free Microsoft Moviemaker software, the students own mobile devices and a green sheet with a spotlight, she created a technique called "green screening" to assess leadership skills.
Breen’s year-12 students recorded each other leading year-9 students in team-building exercises. They then recorded evaluations of each other, and using green screens, added the critique on top of the raw video. This helped students who were uncomfortable with giving and receiving criticism and taught collaboration and critical thinking.
The results speak for themselves, with “Excellence” grades increasing to 33% from 21% the previous year.
Join the Partners in Learning Network and experience global collaboration, free teacher resources and ways to improve your personal teaching practice using technology!
For more information visit daily edventures, a 365-day look at global educations heroes.
Microsoft Lync is a new connected user experience transforming every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere. For IT, the benefits are equally powerful, with a highly secure and reliable system that works with existing tools and systems for easier management, lower cost of ownership, smoother deployment and migration, and greater choice and flexibility. We have previously posted on this topic providing real scenarios in an educational context with how Lync can be a powerful collaboration tool through Microsoft's Office365 suite combined with SharePoint Online to meet the needs of students and staff. http://blogs.technet.com/b/nzedu/archive/2011/05/21/collaboration-in-the-cloud-with-sharepoint.aspx
We'd like to share with you, the journey Botany Downs Secondary College took to provide this collaborative environment through their choice to implement Microsoft Lync on premise.
Botany Downs Secondary College took the opportunity to move forward to Microsoft Lync:
"The new system gives us extra functionality and flexibility, while simultaneously reducing costs. The staff and students have all responded very positively to it." - Denise Bellette, Business Manager, Botany Downs Secondary College.
The ageing PBX system was struggling to cope with the requirements of the busy school, so in addition to more phone lines, the school searched for a communications platform to provide collaborative learning, web conferencing functionality, live audio visual staff and student communication. Microsoft Lync provided a cost-effective, future-proofed solution to support on-going growth and technology development, consistent with the vision of the College as a Lighthouse school in the area of ICT.
The new Microsoft Schools agreement has the ability to deploy Lync on premise and replace the ageing PBX systems.
For more information visit: http://lync.microsoft.com/en-nz/Pages/default.aspx
Today’s education leaders and staff are highly mobile and use a variety of means for accessing Windows and their applications. They expect the same experience no matter how they access them. Traditional approaches for roaming this experience no longer meet the needs of this new, flexible workstyle. They either require too much time and effort by the users, or don’t work well when staff roam in environments that include physical and virtual applications and desktops. To help education staff remain productive in however they choose to work, IT needs a simple, efficient way to provide users with a consistent Windows and application experience.
Microsoft User Experience Virtualization is an enterprise-scale user state virtualization solution that delivers a user’s personal Windows experience across many devices, is simple for IT to deploy, and easily integrates with existing management tools.
As part of the Microsoft Schools Agreement with the New Zealand Ministry of Education, primary and secondary schools are currently licensed for the current version of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack - contact your technology provider for more information on how you can deploy this solution within your school.
Visit here to view an article written by PCpro on Microsoft User Experience Virtualization.
UE-V will be available in a future version of MDOP, but you can get the beta now to see how it can help your organization. Click here to download the beta (Windows Live ID required).
For more information on UE-V visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/mdop/ue-v.aspx
We've previously posted on Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 regarding the new features available to teachers and administrators. Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is the latest version of the clever technology that allows you to share one computer between multiple students - saving money on hardware, power and IT management costs. It's an ideal solution when it's coming up to hardware replacement time - or where you need additional computers to supplement access for a 1:1 scheme. There are even domain join options and RDP support for enabling Windows sessions on old desktops/laptops or Mac.
The kind of places it's popping up are in computer labs, libraries and in activity centers within classrooms or kiosk environments.
Take a look at the multitude of reasons targeted at meeting the needs of educators and IT staff through the respective links to our datasheets.
HP's MultiSeat bundles provide all the required hardware to setup a solution running on Windows Multipoint Server 2011. One of the best things about these bundles are the T200 Zero Clients, providing excellent streamlined plug-n-play computing connectivity – fully configured with no networking or software to load.
Learn more about HP Multiseat bundles and other HP education offerings at http://h20427.www2.hp.com/services/education/nz/en/desktopsforschools.html
Microsoft NZ is running a series of webinars aimed at IT teams at NZ schools, universities and polytechnics. Run monthly in 45 minute sessions, these webinars will cover relevant Microsoft technologies in common teaching or IT scenarios.
The list of webinars until December are listed in the "Upcoming Events" tab on the NZ education blog homepage. Please register in advance to secure your spot and pass on to your colleagues who may be interested.
This months webinar is on: Business ready security for schools and universities. How Microsoft Forefront's business-ready security can help schools protect their assets and infrastructure.
April 27th: 2-2:45pm. Register Here.
Next months webinar is on: Optimised desktop for schools and universities. Learn about Windows 7 and education desktop solutions designed to help your IT organisation maintain security, streamline management and cut costs.
May 24th: 2-2:45pm. Register Here.
Microsoft New Zealand signs new licensing model with the Ministry of Education
Schools can immediately take advantage of the Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) agreement between Microsoft New Zealand and the Ministry of Education.
Simple and easy to understand, the newly signed variation to the Microsoft Schools Agreement has removed traditional barriers to software licensing and is designed to provide schools with significant value for money – reducing the total cost of ownership so more resources can be focused into the classroom.
In addition to the current core Microsoft products, schools are now able to access:
All schools need to re-enroll in the agreement in order to take advantage of the new additions. Please contact Datacom for more information.
More details on the varied Microsoft Schools Agreement are here.
Microsoft are very excited to announce the latest online services that are coming to the Education sector here in New Zealand in Winter this year. These latest services (Office 365 for Education) will be available for all students, faculty and staff in education. Some of the services will include Office web apps, IM & Presence, email, calendar and much more! Additional details can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/liveatedu/learn-about-office-365.aspx?locale=en-GB&country=NZ
Please sign-up here to be notified when Office 365 for education becomes available in New Zealand and get updates, feature descriptions, usage tips, onboarding and deployment guidance along with planning resources to help you get ready for Office 365 for education.
Check out Microsoft's announcement on the "Office Blog": http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft_office_365_blog/
Innovative educators and education leaders from 19 countries gathered in Auckland last week for the 8th Microsoft Partners in Learning Asia and Pacific Forum.
The two hundred strong delegates from as far as Brunei and Sri Lanka attended the three-day forum to learn, share and connect with fellow peers from around the region.The conference opened with a Maori welcome followed by several key plenary sessions – all with a common theme of stressing the importance of technology in assisting with 21st century learning and teaching.
The conference was opened by Paul Muckleston, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand who spoke of the company’s local initiatives that support the New Zealand government’s commitment to improving education levels among youth.
Educators in New Zealand have proven to be world-class producing two worldwide Partners In Learning award winners to date – Nathan Kerr from Howick College and Chris Clay from Botany Downs Secondary College.
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: www.tigurl.org/march2012.
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 www.deforestaction.org to sign up!
Capturing students’ interest and making concepts come alive in a personalised way can be a challenge for educators in this technology and gadget-driven world. The popularity of gaming outside the classroom makes it an appealing and exciting platform for kids inside the classroom. Gaming can be a revolutionary technology that provides an immersive content experience, it inspires collaboration and builds connections in the classroom, community centers, and everywhere else you engage with others in and outside of the living room.Below are two useful case studies that represent some of the great work that teachers are doing to incorporate the power of gaming and the ability to cater for mulitple learning styles with Kinect/Xbox in their classes.Sunset Elementary School
At Sunset Elementary School in Colorado, students are using Kinect across the curriculum, to study geography, science, natural history etc. And their teacher reports that she’s seen improvements in their comprehension and knowledge retention.As Cheryl Arnett says:
“There’s power for kids in things that capture their interested, and are also something they can learn from. We’ve barely scratched the surface of where this can go; it’s limited only by our imaginations.”
A NZ example of effective game-based learning in the classroom: Rural teacher's highly successful gameplan one out of the Xbox from NZ Herald article
Teacher, Jan Anderson has incorporated gaming systems such as the XBox and movies into her schedule, and her recipe for enhancing traditional teaching has proven worthy of international recognition.
"When we were doing science and looking at forces in motion, I used an XBox game called Thrillville, where the students are making their own rollercoaster," Mrs Anderson said.
Mrs Anderson's work at Methven Primary School earned her the Microsoft 2010 Innovative Teacher Award - given to only one teacher in each of the Asia Pacific countries.
"Students involved in it over three months increased their reading age on average by one and a half years."
University of Washington
Robin Angotti, an associate professor of maths education at the University of Washington-Bothell, is also working with Kinect for education.
With two computer science students at UW-Bothell, Jebediah Pavleas and Jack Chang, she’s created a custom Kinect app to help teach students functions of mathematics such as distance, acceleration, and velocity by letting them plot these equations on a graph in real time using Kinect and their bodies rather than just computing an equation with a pencil on graph paper.
She came across Kinect and decided to create a math app that would bridge the gap between the abstract formulas and the real world her students live and breathe in. Why?
As Robin says:
Maths is a gatekeeper. If kids don’t get into algebra by their [their first] year of high school, they’re off track to major in any kind of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] field. It’s really interesting – data shows that maths is a favourite subject when kids are younger. Somewhere in the middle school years, when they’re starting to have to abstract (when math moves from the concrete world of addition, subtraction and multiplication to the more abstract equations of geometry and algebra), we’re losing them. This piece of software makes math less abstract.
What’s going on?
Why are there so many projects looking at the use of Kinect in education? Cameron Evans, the National and Chief Technology Officer for the Microsoft Education team in the US, puts it simply:
The potential behind bringing gaming to education is immense.The majority of time spent playing video games, the gamer is failing, he said. Yet when a player fails in a game, they come back again and again until they get it right. Bringing gaming to education could help a student who fails a maths test, for example, keep trying until they get it right.
Where to find out more about Kinect in education
To witness first hand some of the great ideas that have been put into action and see new ones being developed, check out...
Like the Kinect for Education Facebook page and subscribe to the KinectEd Youtube channel to keep up to date with the latest teaching ideas and case study examplars.
There’s a further article about Kinect in education projects where teachers are using Kinect with Xbox to support learning:
Find our more about Kinect in Education on the Microsoft website
The Live@edu plug-in for Moodle developed by Moodlerooms was officially released last week to the Moodle community.The plug-in integrates email, calendar, instant messaging and Bing right into the Moodle classroom environment. This Moodlerooms release works for both Moodle 2.0 as well as Moodle 1.9.
You can download the free plugin directly from Moodle.org. Give it a go today!
The plug-in built by Moodlerooms integrates email, calendar, instant messaging and Bing right into the Moodle classroom environment, making it simple and easy for students and teachers to share ideas, work on projects together and have all the information important to them in one place after signing in only once.
With this integration, Moodlerooms will make the rich functionality of Live@edu directly accessible within the Moodle 2.0 and 1.9 environments via single sign-on, further enabling teachers and students to access the quality, enterprise-level tools they need to effectively teach and learn online.
Watch the video below where Microsoft’s Frank Chiappone talks about the new plugin.
This is yet another great example of the many projects across Microsoft that improves interoperability with Open Source technologies and illustrates a broader commitment to openness on our platforms.
Are you an educator or academic leader wanting to find more resources on Live Services with Moodle, discuss its efficient use amongst teachers and get access to even more free interactive and engaging tools?
Register to our free, Partners in Learning Network at www.pil-network.com. Putting you in touch with over 4 million educators across 115 countries where "your ideas matter".
A few months ago, we annouced a wave of improvements for the already popular SkyDrive cloud storage solution. This has led to an even more powerful and streamlined collaboration feature set to sreamline intergration through an app-centric approach to getting work done together. Students now are able to complete their tasks with less screens to move between and stick to the applications they already use for their projects, Microsoft Office and a browser. While we continue to improve SkyDrive to meet adapting learning needs, today’s SkyDrive can already help students work together more efficiently. To spread the word, we’re showcasing what students can do with SkyDrive and Office, to help get the most out of SkyDrive and Office for full-powered collaboration.
This blog post includes an example scenario ultilising the features of Office and SkyDrive as a student collaboration suite with productive, high quality results.
Let’s say you're working on a business plan competition (or another group project) with a few other people. Your teammates are across campus, in different classrooms, across town or even across the country. Some use PCs. Some use Macs. You want to put your best foot forward with a compelling pitch deck, smart business plan, and sound financial analysis. How can you easily work together and create something great?
You could use web-based apps like Google Docs. While they may work well for simple tasks, they may not have the features you need to create professional documents. You can also have formatting issues when you move between these apps and Office. You could also use a “file cloud” like Dropbox, but these tools aren’t really designed for collaboration, and they don’t let you work simultaneously with others on a document.
Faced with these choices, many people decide to work independently and email files back and forth. This makes it hard to know if you’re working on the latest version of a document, and sometimes you can run into attachment limits. It also can take a lot of time to piece together different Word documents or PowerPoint presentations from multiple email messages.
With SkyDrive, you have a better option. You can store all your files in one place, so everyone can access the latest version. You can also use free Office Web Apps for basic editing from any browser.
But what most people don’t know is that SkyDrive and Office Web Apps integrate with the Office apps installed on your PC or Mac so you can work together on documents in the cloud right from your desktop apps. With the right setup, you can work together on a Word doc or PowerPoint presentation with your teammates at the same time.
Working this way, your team gets the powerful authoring and formatting tools that you’re used to in Microsoft Office, while also being able to take advantage of cloud-based collaboration. Everyone can work from the latest version and even work on the doc at the same time. You won’t have to convert your document into a different format that could lead to formatting problems.
Also with tools like OneNote Web App and PowerPoint embedding, SkyDrive can save your team time by being the one place to brainstorm, create, collaborate and publish.
Want to get going? It's free and easy, log into SkyDrive with your LiveID or simply sign up. If your school is a provider of Live@Edu, you already have access to all of these great methods of working. If your school is interested in Live@Edu check out our resource center full of case studies and training materials catered at granting access to these tools and more.