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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.
Game based learning, commonly referred to as “gamification”, is predicted to take the education sector by storm as the awareness of 21st Century learning increases throughout the world. So what is this phenomenon? Game-based learning is a powerful new way of thinking for students.
When a child progresses through a game, they are learning; if they are actively engaged in the game, their minds are coming to understand a new system. Whether the game is for entertainment or serious purposes, this is true. So, when learning in the classroom feels dull for a student, they are not being engaged and motivated by the learning process. Learning is about acquiring the skills and thinking processes necessary to respond appropriately when under pressure.
What gamification gives our students is effective, interactive experiences that motivate their minds by actively involving them in the learning process.
Windows 8 has numerous learning based apps that are taking classrooms by storm. Among our favourites are Physamajig, which allows students to watch their own sketches be translated into realistic physics objects and Wordament, a very addictive word game, that provides a fun way to improve vocabulary.
This fantastic infographic created by Knewton, gives a very informative overview of game based learning. It is a great way to gain a basic understanding of a phenomenon you will be seeing a lot more of in 2013.
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 Mathematics is a set of tools that you can use to perform mathematical operations on expressions or equations in your Word documents and OneNote notebooks. Download from http://bit.ly/nzedu1
You can use the extensive collection of mathematical symbols and structures to display clearly formatted mathematical expressions. You can also quickly insert commonly used expressions and math structures by using the Equation gallery.
You can use Microsoft Mathematics to perform the following tasks:
The really cool thing is that you can insert the graphs directly into the document. e.g.
Watch this video to see how it works
Almost makes me want to go back to school :-)
You may have heard about the worldwide launch of the fantastic Microsoft Surface offer for schools and tertiary education customers. It is exclusively for education institutions, to buy Microsoft Surface RT tablets at a reduced price for a limited time. We’re excited to announce that this offer is now available in New Zealand, for a limited time only.
Between July 15, 2013 and August 31, 2013, Microsoft is pleased to offer the following special pricing on Surface RT to New Zealand schools and higher education institutions, through Authorised Surface Retailers:
All the prices above include GST
Microsoft Surface RT is a great choice for schools and higher education institutions that want powerful, affordable touch-enabled tablets for students, educators and staff. In addition to cutting edge hardware specs, Surface RT comes with many software and cloud features that will have educators and students teaching and learning in no time.
Here are just a few of the fantastic features of the Surface RT:
Microsoft believes every student and teacher deserves a fair opportunity to reach their full potential, and this means ensuring our education customers have access to affordable and high quality tablets with laptop functionality ready for education. Surface RT is a terrific tool for teaching and learning and we want students and educators to have the best technology on the market today.
For more information on this limited time offer, please contact your Authorised Surface Retailer:
1 This price is the recommended retail price for the offer. Your actual price will be determined by your Surface retailer. There is no obligation on any retailer to comply with any recommended retail prices.
2 Some features and programs unsupported. See http://office.com/officeRT.
3 Office 365 for Education (A2) version and SkyDrive are free, requires activation from Microsoft and ISP fees for download may apply.
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
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
A real world example using PowerPoint and Tablet computer in the classroom (click image to play).
This data is taken from my list of SharePoint Internet sites on http://www.wssdemo.com/livepivot which currently shows screen shots of nearly 2,200 sites.
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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 21st Century has seen technology play a key role in classroom innovation. Have a look at this interesting infographic by Open Colleges. As you can see, the changing dynamics of the classroom have revolutionised the arts of teaching and learning. And it can only get better.
More and more, it is becoming clear that collaboration is the future of education and its ability to optimise 21st Century learning. As a matter of fact, Collaborative Problem Solving will be added to the OECD’s international PISA study in 2015 as a compulsory element of 21st Century skill assessment.
Students learning in a collaborative, team setting are believed to think at a higher level, take away more information and retain that information for longer than those who work alone. Collaborative workers are more inclined to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas”.
Microsoft Office 365 has all the features you need to operate a creative and collaborative learning environment in the classroom. Check out this great video and see how easy it can be for students to collaborate between themselves and their teacher. Excel Surveys and Lync are two fantastic examples of how Office 365 has changed the future of teaching 21st Century skills.
And don’t forget, it was a collaborative middle school computer club that combined the two minds that changed the face of computing - Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft.
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.
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
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
Windows Live Sync beta for Mac brings Live Mesh and the previous version of Windows Live Sync together into one product. With Windows Live Sync beta for Mac, you can keep the folders you choose in sync across your computers (Mac and PC) so the files you need are always right there with you.
This is particularly good for Live@EDU students who can use this to share files via Skydrive across platforms.
A vital need for students, faculty, staff and administrators in education today is effective, productive access to and control of technology. For end-users, that translates to productivity in accessing information and transforming it into knowledge and supporting collaboration. For administrators, effectiveness is providing a resilient infrastructure that supports the success of students and faculty and their broader education goals. And for information technology and system administrators, that means supporting education technology needs in a way that maximizes results from the scarce budget and people resources of their school or campus.
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)
Please contact your Microsoft Reseller for more details:
- 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
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.
We're very pleased to announce that the Surface RT offer for schools and tertiary education institutions (see previous blog post) has been extended until the 30th September, 2013!
Now, between July 15, 2013 and September 30, 2013, Microsoft is pleased to offer the following special pricing on Surface RT to New Zealand schools and higher education institutions, through Authorised Surface Retailers:
Interested in finding out more? We've put together a FAQ to ensure you have all the information you need.
Q: Is there a minimum order requirement for the Surface RT offer?
No. Education institutions may buy any quantity of Surface RT for their organisation, through this special offer.
Q: How long is the offer available?
This offer is available between July 15 2013 and September 30th 2013.
Q: How do institutions order their Surface RTs?
Eligible education institutions can place an order with their local participating Retail Partners (Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and Noel Leeming). If your institution doesn’t have an existing business relationship with these retailers the national contact information is below:
Q: Do I need to prove that I’m an education institution?
A: This offer is for eligible education institutions only. The participating Retail Partners have a list of Microsoft approved education institutions, and if the institution is on this list the order will be processed automatically. If an institution is not on the list the Retail Partner will contact Microsoft for approval.
Q: I’m an individual teacher or a student – how do I buy one for myself?
A: This offer is only available to eligible education institutions that wish to purchase eligible Surface products for their institution’s own use, and not for resale.
Q: What is the warranty on the Surface RT devices?
A: Microsoft offers a 2 year warranty on Surface RT devices.
Q: Will Microsoft be providing support to schools who take part in this offer?
A: Customers can get help with Surface service orders, warranty information and registration at this link: https://myservice.surface.com/en-NZ/Pages/Welcome.aspx.
Q. Why is Microsoft making such a compelling Surface RT offer to education now?
A. We want this audience of educators to be able to experience the benefits of Surface first-hand. Microsoft has a long tradition of giving special pricing to resellers who sell to education customers. Microsoft’s mission in education is to help schools, students and educators realise their full potential. We do this by investing in education institutions through software, hardware and services at affordable prices. We think Surface RT is a terrific tool for teaching and learning and we want students and educators to have the best technology on the market today.
Q: Why does this offer include Surface RT but not Surface Pro?
A: Surface RT is a great tablet that lets you get stuff done and is optimised for mobile scenarios where long battery life and a thin, light form factor are critical. We want this audience of educators to be able to experience the benefits of Surface RT first-hand, including Windows RT’s enterprise ready form-factors, a reimagined application platform and a touch-first UI to enable new mobility and productivity scenarios that meet IT standards for security, manageability and support.
Keep up to date with Microsoft NZ's regular announcements on the education sector like this by following us on our new twitter account!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This is why I work at Microsoft...