In just over 2 weeks, Microsoft Australia will be hosting a free technical academic day on the Gold Coast. Since this is my baby, I thought I’d better actually write something about it here and not just email and twitter. :)

Here’s the official spiel:

Tech.Ed Academic Day is a dedicated day of content relevant to IT educators. The day brings Microsoft “thought provokers” and respected university lecturers together to discuss current topics such as social and new media, and offers the chance to network with fellow educators. In addition to learning about exciting topics such as game development in the classroom, how Microsoft views open source and others, attendees will also learn about programs they can use to excite their students about technology such as Imagine Cup, the world’s biggest technology competition for students aimed at generating socially responsible technology-based solutions to the world’s toughest problems, DreamSpark for free software, Faculty Connection for a wealth of resources for use in your own curriculum stream, and more.

Tech.Ed Academic Day is free to attend – simply register your intent to attend here: http://www.microsoft.com.au/events/register/home.aspx?levent=347949&linvitation

Seriously though, the day is just too darned cool for words (check out the agenda below). Jeff, Jane and Ross are all excellent at what they do and totally worth coming to listen to, and I’ve also managed to get a few of Microsoft Australia’s best speakers along too as well as Phil Fawcett from Microsoft Research US who will bring us some amazing stories about some of the things he’s seen. And you’ll get a chance to ask me those burning questions about Faculty Connection or DreamSpark or Imagine Cup or anything else I rave on about.

Even for those of you who are interstate – flights from Melbourne, Sydney and even Canberra are only a couple hundred bucks for a return flight – how much would you pay for a typical Professional Development day even if it was in your own backyard?

Don’t miss out – the official registrations close in just a few days and I can’t guarantee you’ll get in if you don’t get your name down.

Time Activity
9:00am – 9:15am Welcome and Introduction.
Andrew Parsons, Academic Initiatives Lead, Microsoft Australia
9:15am – 10:15am Social and New Media and the impact on students, both in the classroom and without.
Dr Jeff Brand, Bond University
10:15am – 10:45am The place of Research in the Educational Institution.
Dr Jane Hunter, University of Queensland
10:45am – 11:00am Morning Tea
11:00am – 11:45am Microsoft and Open Source – a marriage made in heaven.
Nick Hodge, Professional Geek for Microsoft Australia
11:45am – 12:45pm Lunch – Informal session sponsored by ACS Foundation and NICTA.
Short presentations delivered by John Ridge (ACS Foundation) and Chris Nicol (NICTA)
12:45pm – 1:15pm Using Imagine Cup, DreamSpark and Students To Business to inspire your students to change the world.
Andrew Parsons, Academic Initiatives Lead, Microsoft Australia
1:15pm – 1:30pm Talking about experienced with Microsoft from a student’s perspective.
Luke Kim, Student Partner Lead
1:30pm – 2:00pm Who is Microsoft Research?
Phil Fawcett, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Research
2:00pm – 2:15pm Afternoon Tea
2:15pm – 3:15pm Game Development – how to get students excited about software programming.
Dr Ross Brown, Queensland University of Technology
3:15pm – 4:15pm The Future of the Web.
Michael Kordahi, Delicate Genius and Developer Evangelist for Microsoft Australia
4:15pm Close.