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Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summit – Sydney – 25th March

If you’re based in New South Wales, or can jump on a plane for the day, then this is going to be the best opportunity to understand how all of our new product releases and launches fit together in the education market, hear about our future strategy and learn how we can help you to win more business in a fiercely competitive market.

This event will be headlined by the Vice President of Microsoft Education Worldwide, Anthony Salcito. You can see Anthony speaking at TEDxPantheonSorbonne here.

The agenda will focus on helping you to understand the way that our key desktop and cloud products and services – especially Windows 8 and Office 365 in education – help education customers to transition to new models of teaching and learning.

You will end the day equipped with the value proposition of Windows 8, Office 365 in education and our other cloud services, in a format that will help you to share this with your customers to support your conversations around products, services and devices in education.

The morning (9AM-12PM) will be a series of keynote presentations and open Q&A sessions with key executives from the Microsoft global and Australian business. And then in the afternoon (1PM – 3:45PM), we'll be offering a choice of breakout sessions, which will focus on specific topics.

Find out more, and register for the event

Windows 8 – more apps for education

Teachers: Don’t throw away all your apps – but add new ones for amazing results
The beauty of Windows 8 for schools and teachers is that it supports all of their existing teaching and learning practice, by continuing to let them run their existing software, and use their existing lesson plans and resources - and then it adds a whole new layer of immersive, touch-based Windows 8 Store apps on top. So when you’re showing your customers what’s possible with the latest devices and software, it’s always good to have something to show them that gives a ‘wow’ moment. Here’s an easy one to demo:

Corinth Micro Plant
Here's a free app for biology teachers that's great on a touch tablet for an individual student to explore, or for a teacher to project onto a classroom interactive whiteboard (it would be great to use this on a multi-touch whiteboard for zooming and navigation around the 3D models).
The reason I’m recommending it is that you don’t need to be a biology teacher to show it to people, and it really clearly demonstrates the powerful zooming and 3D capabilities of a native Windows 8 app.
More info on Corinth Micro Plant

On the business systems side: touch-based apps for SAP

SAP is the business system of choice for many education customers nationally. It’s been/being implemented across a bunch of state education departments and universities for HR, finance and other use. There’s even a chance that somewhere in your business there’s something running linked to SAP. But like many traditional ERP systems, the interface can sometimes seem a little complex and old-fashioned. So here’s a bonus - SAP have released a bunch of free Windows 8 touch-based apps that create employee-friendly access to their systems.

SAP WorkDeck
SAP WorkDeck allows employees to initiate new requests for purchasing, leave, travel etc, oversee upcoming events and monitor the progress. And it enables managers to react and process workflows on-the-go, such as travel, leave and purchasing requests.

SAP Manager Insight
An employee profile app that provides managers with access to key indicators, such as diversity, headcount, employee talent by location, as well as employee profiles, to drive collaborative and informed HR decision-making.

SAP Interview Assistant
A recruiting app that eases the cumbersome task of arranging interviews. It also helps managers review candidate information, prepare notes, record results, and provide immediate feedback to HR.

SAP GRC Policy Survey
A policy app for employees to review and acknowledge relevant policy changes and fill in surveys to ensure they understand the policies.

How to get the SAP apps for Windows 8

Industry News

Dean Groom: “Why Windows Surface will replace iPads in schools”
Dean works in education, and even though I’m sure it’s a
click bait headline, his blog post is worth a read, especially as the arguments apply to most of the Windows 8 tablets and laptops that support touch. In a nutshell, there’s you get to keep everything you have today with a conventional Windows computer – manageability, accessibility, Office - and then you add all the new Windows 8 features – touch, tablet form factor, new interface.
Why Windows Surface will replace iPads in schools