We're now on Twitter. Follow @MSNZEducation to keep up to date on what's going on in the NZ education sector.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 http://j.mp/spssites
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 http://www.silverlight.net/learn/pivotviewer
I have also created a view of the New Zealand members of parliament (although a bit out of date now) which I use in my education demo on the vale of structured tagging of digital content. http://www.wssdemo.com/livepivot/parliament.htm
From Tech-ED North America 2011. This is a nice demonstration of what can be achieved with Office 365 in an education context. Several good examples of branding and student/lecturer collaboration around assignment assessment using Office Web Apps and Lync.
Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Whitireia New Zealand) is a government owned and funded tertiary institute of technology, known for its high student success rate and culturally diverse student body with approximately 10,000 users.
The Polytechnic compared the licensed VMWare and Microsoft virtualized platforms before deciding to go with Microsoft, the decision based on greater functionality, ease of use, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and the IT team’s preference.
Windows Server 2008 R2 was rolled out across the organization so it could support the Hyper-V platform. This was comprised of 34 physical servers and 140 virtual hosts. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Exchange 2010, System Centre Operations Manager 2007, Systems Centre Virtual Manager 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010, Forefront Identity Manager 2007 and Microsoft Line-of-Business (LOB) Applications were also deployed.
Read the full caste study here http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Windows-Server-2008-R2/Whitireia-Community-Polytechnic/Education-provider-significantly-reduces-costs-with-Virtualization-Platform/4000009929
Join us at the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup Festival and be inspired by our next generation of IT Professionals. This year you will have an opportunity to meet some of the most passionate and creative students building real technology solutions to problems we face today. Fighting mosquitos using lasers, using brain waves to control lights and appliances, and unmanned helicopters to help deliver aid, are just some of the innovative ideas you will see at this year’s competition.
Ideal for ICT teachers and college students to get excited about careers in technology.
It is being held on the 12th of April at the University of Auckland, register your seat today .
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...
In my job I come across a lot of people who blindly follow the advice of “anything but Microsoft” but the reaction from these people after I show them some Web 2.0 tools that Microsoft has developed and made available for free is “wow, I didn’t know Microsoft did that and it is so much better than xgylz product”.
Just looking at the user interface of the following 2 applications. One reminds me of the Internet in 1995, the other, a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that mimics a modern client application.
The 2 big differences between the backend solutions are:
The good news is that even if you have deployed “xgylz” product, you can also use Office Web Apps on Sky Drive. You can do this as an individual by signing up at http://office.live.com and create a LiveID (you can even use your existing Gmail address as your LiveID login) Or As a school by signing up to Live@EDU for free which allows students and staff to log on using the school email address allocated to them.
Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The visual nature of the language allows for rapid design iteration using only an Xbox game controller for input on a Windows PC (mouse/keyboard input is also supported).
Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games. The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.
If you are familiar with Scratch ( http://scratch.mit.edu/ ) then you can think of Kodu as a 3d equivalent and much more engaging for the students, especially when you put an x-box controller in their hands.
A key new feature of this version is an option for sharing games in an online community.
Look for Karl’s Football Frenzy game. Karl presented this last week during a Kodu workshop at the Learning@Schools conference in Rotorua (photos from the workshop will be posted shortly).
Download from http://bit.ly/MSKodu
There is also a Kodu Game Lab - Classroom Kit for teachers.
Windows® MultiPoint Server™ 2011 is a Windows®-based solution that is designed specifically to help educational institutions give every student individual access to PCs. By allowing multiple users to simultaneously share one computer—each with his or her own independent Windows experience—it’s a cost-effective way to get more technology into classrooms, computer labs, and libraries.
A major new feature in 2011 is the support for RDP connections from devices such as MacBook’s.
HP’s MultiSeat T100 USB Thin Client is still a very cost effective option for new deployments and I have been testing this device on my laptop running MultiPoint 2011 (I also have Moodle, SharePoint Foundation and Office Web Apps running on my MultiPoint server but I’ll save that for another post).
Another improvement is the management of the student sessions.
Learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/multipoint/learn-more.aspx MultiPoint Server Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/b/multipointserver/archive/2011/02/21/wms2011rtm.aspxDownload an evaluation copy from http://bit.ly/MPServer
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 http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/default.aspxRDS Component Architecture
The Essential Secondary Science Assessment (ESSA) test was delivered simultaneously to all secondary schools in a single day. Using 300 Azure instances cost ~ $40 per hour. The alternative was to purchase 60 physical servers.
This video was shown in the keynote at the Education Leaders Briefing in London on January 12, 2011 by Orlando Ayala.
Watch this video to see how your budget can come to life
Here is a copy of the Excel spreadsheet shared on Office.com
Microsft has funded an open source filter allowing users to "Save-as" from word in MediaWiki format to allow easy importing of existing word document content into MediaWiki.
More information on the MediaWiki website
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 http://bit.ly/MSMath
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.
Microsoft New Zealand has today announced the top 20 teams set to battle it out at the Imagine Cup 2011 finals festival in April next year at the University of Auckland.
The 20 teams were whittled down from 280 submissions from university students across New Zealand.
See the full details here http://bit.ly/InfoNewsImagineCup
Pat Yongpradit's winning Innovative Teacher Award project, which encourages female students to engage in game programming uses XNA and the Zune. It is a shame the Zune never sold in New Zealand but I expect the same approach would work with Windows Phone 7.
Te Taka Keegan, Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato, talks about the benefit of the Maori LIP in Windows and Office and how it is being used at Toku Mapihi Maurea Kura Kaupapa Maori.
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We have just published a guide to AD FS 2.0 interoperability with Shibboleth2 and the InCommon Federation.It includes a walkthrough of setup of a basic lab deployment of Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 and Shibboleth 2 that performs cross-product, browser-based identity federation.
For all my Mac loving friends out there (who don’t run windows 7 on their Mac).
With Windows Media® for QuickTime, by Flip4Mac™, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a Web browser.
Download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=915d874d-d747-4180-a400-5f06b1b5e559
Don’t forget to check out the other free Mac products from Microsoft like Messenger and Remote Desktop Services client from http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx
This is the demo I usualy do to show the rich mapping and photosynth integration in Bing maps.
This screencast was recorded in realtime while connected to the Internet from my home ADSL connection.
Microsoft has a big focus on employment diversity, including women in IT. To achieve this, we need to encourage school girls that technology is cool. Microsoft has started a program called digigirlz in the US which includes an online course that I think is applicable in New Zealand.
If you are reading this blog and are a teacher, or in a parent with children at school, I would encourage you to review the course and consider supporting it by either facilitating the delivery of it or at least raising the awareness of it with the school.
I have had many comments from teachers about how much better the Bing maps look compared to other mapping solutions (most recently at the North Otago Principals' Association Teaching and Learning Conference on Oamaru).
In New Zealand, the “Maps” option doesn’t appear on the search results top menu so you either have to change your country to US or type the url http://bing.com/maps directly in the browser address bar.
You then have to “Get more from Bing Maps” by clicking on the Try it now! > link. If you don’t see this message, try the “Welcome” button at the bottom.
This will require the installation of Microsoft Silverlight if you don’t already have it. If you PC is severely locked down (i.e. you can’t install any software yourself) then you might have to get your IT administrator to install this for you.
The map page will now look something like this (your current location is estimated from your Internet Service Provides IP Address)… A sample Photosynth for your location, if available, is highlighted next to the temperature reading.
You can view other Photosynth's by clicking on the “Map Apps” at the bottom of the page and selecting Photosynth from the many other geo based applications that can be added to the map (try the Twitter feeds also although I take no responsibility for what people might be saying;-)
I usually demonstrate this using the Colosseum in Rome http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?org=aj#5003/0.6002=q:rome:nelat:-43.4174843248435:nelong:172.984512328812:swlat:-43.6795453993899:swlong:172.55192565889:nosp:0:adj:0/5872/style=auto&lat=qzfh8b&lon=j16y34&alt=79.063942&z=19&h=356.76612&pid=5874
If you are using a laptop, navigating the map and Photosynth works much better with a mouse as you can pan and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. The map will automatically switch to the high altitude view when you have zoomed in far enough. Select the Photosynth map app and you you should see this after clicking on one of the green icons (start with one that is already featured with a preview image)
Select the Dive in” link to open the Photosynth. You can navigate around the inside of the Colosseum by either dragging from the centre image rotate arrows in any direction or click and drag from any location and release the mouse button to reorientation the view on the currently selected image.
Don’t forget to try the overhead view to see where all the pictures were taken from and click on one of the images to see the model rotate around to the correct perspective.
Finally, try creating your own Photosynth at http://photosynth.net
This is one of the presentations I'm giving at the North Otago Principals' Association Teaching and Learning Conference. It is still a work in progress but that is one of the great things about Office Web Apps embedded support, as I update the presentation, it will be updated in this blog automatically.
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:
Download the document from here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=ef232619-7600-4768-b111-f60ba13862ea
A free Microsoft Research developed Word 2007/2010 add-in. http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/3ebd6c86-95b0-4dc3-950e-4268508f492e/
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.
A real world example using PowerPoint and Tablet computer in the classroom (click image to play).