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September, 2011 - Education - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

September, 2011

  • Education

    What are the PISA tests?

    • 0 Comments

    Every now and then you’ll read that Australia has done well/badly/averagely in the “PISA tests” - and there’s often an assumption about what that means (Variously: schools are doing well/badly/averagely; teachers need more help/money/inspiration; learners can/can’t read/write enough etc etc).

    So I like this YouTube video produced by the team who created the PISA tests - and in very simple language sets out the answer to your question of “What are the PISA tests?”. So I’m not going to tell you anything more about them - just hit play:

  • Education

    Australia School holiday dates - 2011-2012

    • 0 Comments

    Icons_teacher_blueA quick guide, if you are planning events or marketing activities with schools, on the remaining school holidays in Australia 2011 - state by state.

    State Spring Holiday Summer Holiday  
    NSW 26 Sep - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 26 Jan Link
    VIC 26 Sep - 7 Oct 23 Dec - 31 Jan Link
    QLD 19 Sep - 30 Sep 12 Dec - 20 Jan Link
    WA 3 Oct - 14 Oct 19 Dec - 31 Jan Link
    NT 3 Oct - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 27 Jan Link
    SA 3 Oct - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 27 Jan Link
    ACT 3 Oct - 14 Oct 22 Dec - 2 Feb Link
    TAS 5 Sep - 16 Sep 22 Dec - 14 Feb Link

    So, if you're planning any activities with schools, then the blackout period this month is effectively from 16 September to 14 October, and then for the summer holidays, you’ll need to get any activities completed before Friday 16 December.

    The list is in completely random order, mainly because of my poor searching skills!

  • Education

    Business Intelligence in Universities - Briefing event co-hosted by Microsoft and CALUMO - 12 October

    • 0 Comments

    We’re co-hosting a free ‘Business Intelligence in Universities’ event in Melbourne on the morning of the 12th October, at our Freshwater Place offices. It will be a focused roundtable event, where you’ll be able to learn from the experiences of other universities, as well as the speakers from Microsoft and CALUMO.

    Senior executives from both Finance and ITC will benefit from attending the event.   It’s an opportunity to learn what your peers are doing, have achieved and the lessons learned.

    CALUMO, who are specialists in applying effective Business Intelligence at Higher Education Providers, will bring you up to date on trends and achievements in the Higher Ed sector, including

    • Top BI implementation lessons for Universities
    • Exposing Load Planning from out of the ‘black box’
    • Course profitability – is it a dirty word(s)?
    • Issues around Research Reporting and compliance
    • Making budgeting and forecasting useful to everyone involved
    • How to trust your data
    • How the value of the Finance & IT Teams were recognised in previous projects

    The Microsoft speakers will provide updates on the key capabilities and the next evolution of the MS offering, including;

    • The current version of MS SQL Server 2008 R2, and what’s coming in the next release, code named “Denali”
    • Data Mining to better understand trends and relationships (for Alumni donations, student planning, learning analytics)
    • Master Data Management and BI Symantec layer – Cleaning and managing data
    • Statistical forecasting and predictive analytics
    • Enhanced visualisation for information delivery.

    We will also discuss how Universities are managing Cost Reduction, obtaining extra value from existing licensing arrangements and delivering at lower cost to the Uni.

    The best value from the briefing will be achieved through having an attendee from both Finance and IT, so that both the user-perspective and the IT-services perspective can be discussed.

    If you’d like to get an invitation to this briefing, then drop an email to Mike Henegan at Calumo, who will provide full details for event, which is from 9:00AM to 11:00AM on the 12th October

    Learn MoreEmail Mike Henegan for more info

  • Education

    Business Intelligence in Education - visualising learning data - part 2

    • 0 Comments

    Yesterday, I ran a '”Business Intelligence (BI) in Education” webinar - which included a number of examples of system-wide dashboards around the world. But the highlight (once we’d managed to sort out his microphone) was hearing from Rod Colledge of StrataDB - and ideas of how data could be made more useful by clever visualisations for teachers and school leaders. He was able to share some of the story of what he’s been developing, and how the different Microsoft technologies are going to help them to make a more powerful system for BI in education.

    Yesterday afternoon Rod sat down with his software one more time, and recorded a demonstration of it in real-time, which he’s put onto YouTube. It’s a ten minute video, and worth watching right to the end.

    • About a minute in there’s a great example of a school dashboard in SharePoint (good for a snapshot in time)
    • At 4 1/2 minutes you get a demo of the ability to animate charts over time in the next version of our SQL server (really useful for longitudinal data)
    • And around 7 minutes in, you’ll see how StrataDB have used PivotViewer to present data visually that will immediately make sense to every classroom teacher and school leader

    StrataDB logoFor more about the work that StrataDB have been doing in Brisbane Catholic Education, take a look at my previous “BI in Education” blog post, or email Rod directly (I know he’d be really happy to answer questions, or arrange to show you more of StrataDB’s work)

    Learn MoreThere's plenty more on this blog about "BI in Education" - click here to find all related info

  • Education

    Alan’s Paperless School project

    • 2 Comments

    Icons_light_blueAlan Richards, the Information Systems Manager at West Hatch High School near London, has been running a ‘Paperless School’ project for the last 18 months. He’s been using the school’s SharePoint in order to reduce the amount of paper being used in the school or being sent home to parents. I wrote about his project last October (see ‘Schools spend more money on printer paper than on ICT’) and the initial results - cutting out 10,000 sheets of paper from their academic review process.

    Alan ran a webinar in the UK, where he talked about the project and gave a live demonstration of what they were doing now - with SharePoint and InfoPath - to reduce the amount of internal paperwork (as well as improving the communication process within the school). For example, by moving the Absence Request form online they’ve streamlined the process, made it easier for staff and administrators, and reduced the potential for lost forms to cause chaos.

    The recording of the webinar is now available on YouTube (or below):

    If you’ve got a truck arriving at school every month with your new supply of paper, then it’s worth investing half an hour watching Alan’s webinar recording, and then downloading the slides from Alan’s Edutech Now blog.

  • Education

    This week’s webcasts - 5-9 September 2011

    • 0 Comments

    Webinar iconThis year we’re offering a series of live webinars, led by a Microsoft subject matter expert, on a range of Microsoft products and education services. There’s the Microsoft Mondays, which are webinars for university/TAFE lecturers, Tech Tuesdays for school IT managers, and a range of other technical webinars which are not specifically designed to focus on education (attendees will be from a wide range of industries) but are ideal for an opportunity to spend some time looking deeply into a particular leading-edge Microsoft technology.

    Each week I’ll highlight the webcasts coming up soon, and provide a more detailed overview, and give a list of future sessions that you can book into your diary. All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
    See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

    This week’s webcasts

    Microsoft Monday - How to Collaborate in the Cloud

    Using a range of innovative technologies, Lawrence Crumpton will walk through collaborating on shared documents in the cloud via Live@edu.
    For: University and TAFE lecturers and support staff

    Monday 5th September 2-3PM AEST - Register here

    Tech Tuesday - Microsoft Partner story - Desire2Learn

    Desire2Learn are providers of an advanced Learning Management System, used in schools and universities around the world.
    For: School IT teams and eLearning leaders

    Tuesday 6th September 11AM AEST - Register here

    Microsoft Exchange Online: Unified Messaging in Microsoft Office 365

    Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM) is available in Office 365. This session explains the UM service architecture, what’s needed to connect to UM from customer premises, and compare the features of the Enterprise and Online versions of UM. Administration and operation of UM in Office 365 are demonstrated.
    For: IT teams from customers and partners (this session is for all customers, including education customers)

    Tuesday 6th September 2-4PM - Find out more, and register

    Inside Windows Azure, the Cloud Operating System

    Join the Session, for an under-the-hood tour of the internals of Microsoft’s new cloud OS. Topics include datacentre architecture, cloud OS architecture, and what goes on behind the scenes when you deploy a service, a machine fails or comes online and a role fails.
    For: IT Teams and developers from education customers and partners (this session is for all customers, including education customers)

    Wednesday 7th September 2-4PM - Find out more, and register


    Future webcasts

    Date
    Title
    Register Here

    20 September

    Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" AlwaysOn Series, Part 2: Building a Mission-Critical High Availability Solution Using AlwaysOn

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft Lync 2010: In the Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    23 September

    Understanding How Microsoft Virtualization Compares to VMware

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    30 September

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview

    Find out more, and register

    4 October

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Setup, Deployment, Upgrade and Coexistence Scenarios

    Find out more, and register

    14 October

    Virtualization: State of the Union

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    What's New in Manageability for Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali"

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365: How to Set Up a Hybrid Deployment

    Find out more, and register

    21 October

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012: Overview

    Find out more, and register

    25 October

    An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    28 October

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    Find out more, and register

    1 November

    Microsoft Office 365: Deployment Overview

    Find out more, and register

    8 November

    Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Code-Named "Denali": A Comprehensive Look

    Find out more, and register

    11 November

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: What’s in It, and How It Enables the Building of Private Clouds and Federation to the Public Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    15 November

    Taking Office to the Cloud: Integrating Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Managing Windows Azure Applications

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    Find out more, and register

    25 November

    Integrating the Microsoft System Center Stack for Process Compliance and Automation

    Find out more, and register

    29 November

    What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Integration Services

    Find out more, and register

    6 December

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Audio, Video and Web Conferencing Architecture and Experience

    Find out more, and register

    ** By running them as webcasts, our aim is to allow you to get the latest news, without travel costs, or event fees. And with all of the advantages of being able to watch an online webcast whilst also being able to do other things if necessary.

    All of the free webcasts are one or  two hour sessions, and combine technical presentations and live demonstrations. The level of the content is suitable for IT teams in schools, TAFEs and universities, as well as for pre-sales consultants and technical consultants working within Microsoft’s education partners. There are some which are much more specifically tailored for developers, and I’ll highlight those.

    You’ll need to register in advance, and you’ll then receive a Calendar note as well as info on how to join the Live Meeting online. All of the timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

  • Education

    This week’s webcasts - 12-13 September 2011

    • 1 Comments

    Webinar iconOnly two webcasts to know about this week - and they are both education-specific ones. There’s the Microsoft Mondays webinar on Lync, and the Tech Tuesday one for school IT managers and elearning leaders, about the work that Janison have been doing in online assessment.

    All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
    See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

    This week’s webcasts

    Microsoft Monday - How to 'Lync-up' with Colleagues and Students

    Using Lync as the enterprise equivalent of Skype, Kirsten Gilbertson will walk through the benefits of instant messenger as a productivity tool.
    Monday 12 Sep 2-3PM AEST
    For: University and TAFE lecturers and support staff

    Monday 12th September 2-3PM AEST - Register here

    Tech Tuesday - Microsoft Partner story - Janison

    Janison won the Microsoft Australia Education Partner of the Year Award 2011, for their online examination project for the NSW Online Science Assessment.
    For: School IT teams and eLearning leaders

    Tuesday 13th September 11AM AEST - Register here


    Future webcasts

    Date
    Title
    Register Here

    20 September

    Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" AlwaysOn Series, Part 2: Building a Mission-Critical High Availability Solution Using AlwaysOn

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft Lync 2010: In the Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    23 September

    Understanding How Microsoft Virtualization Compares to VMware

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    30 September

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview

    Find out more, and register

    4 October

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Setup, Deployment, Upgrade and Coexistence Scenarios

    Find out more, and register

    14 October

    Virtualization: State of the Union

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    What's New in Manageability for Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali"

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365: How to Set Up a Hybrid Deployment

    Find out more, and register

    21 October

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012: Overview

    Find out more, and register

    25 October

    An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    28 October

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    Find out more, and register

    1 November

    Microsoft Office 365: Deployment Overview

    Find out more, and register

    8 November

    Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Code-Named "Denali": A Comprehensive Look

    Find out more, and register

    11 November

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: What’s in It, and How It Enables the Building of Private Clouds and Federation to the Public Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    15 November

    Taking Office to the Cloud: Integrating Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Managing Windows Azure Applications

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    Find out more, and register

    25 November

    Integrating the Microsoft System Center Stack for Process Compliance and Automation

    Find out more, and register

    29 November

    What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Integration Services

    Find out more, and register

    6 December

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Audio, Video and Web Conferencing Architecture and Experience

    Find out more, and register

    ** By running them as webcasts, our aim is to allow you to get the latest news, without travel costs, or event fees. And with all of the advantages of being able to watch an online webcast whilst also being able to do other things if necessary.

    All of the free webcasts this week are one hour sessions, and combine presentations and live demonstrations.

    You’ll need to register in advance, and you’ll then receive a Calendar note as well as info on how to join the Live Meeting online. All of the timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

  • Education

    Microsoft Mondays for lecturers - Spring 2011

    • 0 Comments

    MicrosoftMondays

    We started with Tech Tuesdays (for school IT managers), and then Webinar Wednesdays arrived (for developers and technical partners). Now I have pleasure in bringing you Microsoft Mondays for universities.

    As you can see our creativity lacks no barriers, although we’ve haven’t yet found a suitable rhyming name for Friday events Smile

    Microsoft Mondays are webinars that are designed to help university and TAFE lecturers to get more out of the IT systems that they have available. What we’ve seen is that it is relatively easy to deploy technology, but can be very difficult to support the change management that goes with it - specifically helping colleagues to understand what they can now do. So we’re here to help with Microsoft Mondays. As the team put it:

     

    Would you like to learn how to engage your students more effectively?
    Or deliver captivating presentations to improve the learning outcomes of your students?
    Become a hero at your University by discovering productivity 'best practices' being used by the most innovative lecturers in Australia.

     

    The webinars are on Mondays 2-3PM AEST

    Microsoft Monday - 5th September

    How to Collaborate in the Cloud
    Using a range of innovative technologies, Lawrence Crumpton will walk through collaborating on shared documents in the cloud via Live@edu.
    Monday 5 Sep 2-3PM AEST

     

    Learn MoreLearn more and register for Microsoft Mondays - No further Microsoft Mondays currently scheduled, so no link :(

  • Education

    The Education Sessions at Australia Partner Conference - Part nine of nine!

    • 0 Comments

    This is the final part of a series, covering the Education sessions at the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference.
    Start at part one (The Microsoft Australia Education Team) here...

    We’re at the end of the write-up of the Education session from the Australia Partner Conference. At the conference, we packed all of these last nine blog posts into a 45 minute session, and yet this series has already run to 7,000 words - boy, we must have spoken quickly at APC Smile

    Anyway, on with the final section, expanding on the story we shared at APC. Now it’s looking back and forward at the Microsoft product and service opportunities that exist in the education marketplace in Australia.

    Key successes of the last year

    Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen a number of key opportunities for our partners. The slide summarises them, but here’s some more commentary for each of the bullets:

    • imageThe Cloud: Education customers continue to adopt the Microsoft Cloud services with enthusiasm, including the shift to the Live@edu email service and new adoptions of the Windows Azure cloud service for building more flexible ICT services within schools and universities.
    • Windows 7 & Office 2010 deployments: These also continue across all sectors. Customers who have made the switch are discovering the increased manageability of their systems, and the cost-savings possible through reduced helpdesk support and reduced power usage. As part of the switch, many customers are exploring how to use better virtualisation - either of applications, or of the complete desktop - in order to reduce ICT management costs, and increase flexibility and mobility for users.
    • SQL Server: Another of the things we’ve seen in the last year is customers running projects to move key databases onto their Windows SQL Servers, from other platforms. In the case of Oracle databases, this has often been driven by the aim of reducing cost, whilst maintaining their service levels. And for critical workloads, there are examples of institutions moving their student management systems and learning management systems across to their SQL servers.

    Looking ahead to next year

    If those are the things we look back on, we also talked about the things we’ll expect to look back on in a year’s time with you - a forecast of the successes of 2012. Obviously, a bit trickier to do, but we thought it would be valuable to try and put some ideas down on a slide… Many of them are linked to cost saving opportunities for customers, as well as continuing to move their ICT infrastructure forward.

    • imageOffice 365: Continuing the move to the cloud, the next wave will be implementation and advice about Office 365 for education - helping customers to understand where it fits within their infrastructure and how to use it to reduce their on-premise ICT costs.
    • Voice: As ageing PBXs come up for replacement, there are more and more customers who have realised that using Lync for their voice system, instead of a conventional PBX, helps save money as well as improving collaboration between staff across campus - as well allowing new models of teaching and learning.
    • Windows 7 and Office 2010 deployments: This will continue to be something that customers will value the support of partners for, as they continue to migrate their installed base of computers, as well as extend out their use of System Center and Forefront to replace other software. And as customers realise that one of the best ways to prepare for the next version of Windows is to complete the deployment of Windows 7, this will continue to accelerate.
    • Private Cloud: If ‘Cloud’ was the buzzword of last year, then ‘Private Cloud’ and ‘Public Cloud’ will be the next year’s two buzzwords. We expect to see plenty of partners asked to support migration to Hyper-V, either to virtualise existing physical servers, or to reduce the cost of virtualisation compared to other virtualisation solutions.
    • CRM: Despite the fact that education has one of the most complex customer-relationship maps of any industry sector, it has been one of the slower sectors to adopting the use of CRM systems. However, what we’re now seeing is that that’s turning around fast (accelerated by changes in the marketplace, like the Bradley Report). The ideas that are popping up aren’t just confined to conventional CRM (like student recruitment) but also for managing some of the internal processes and events that institutions run.

    Will this really be the list that we look back on next year, and say “Yes, these are the successes of 2011/12”? Well, although we don’t know, you can at least hold us to account by asking us to put the slide back and up and reviewing it!

  • Education

    This week’s webcasts - 26-30 September 2011

    • 0 Comments

    As most Australian schools are on holiday this week, we’re not running the education-specific Tech Tuesday this week or next. So for a fortnight, the only webinars to note are general technical ones - although they are not specifically focused on education ICT, the subjects they cover will be of interest to IT managers across education.

    All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
    See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

    This week’s webcasts

    Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

    Learn how to become a Visual Studio coding guru! In this fast-paced session, learn to write code faster than a speeding bullet, leap around large projects in a single bound, and become more powerful than a locomotive with the debugger. We take a wild ride through C# and Visual Basic IDE features in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and indispensible out-of-the-box solutions that will help you get your job done better and faster.
    This webinar is mainly for software developers!

    Tuesday 27th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

    Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

    Any platform, by its own nature, creates an ecosystem for third-party tools and helpers. Windows Azure is no different. In this session we look at a variety of the third-party tools available in the Windows Azure ecosystem. Included are tools for both developers and IT professionals. We look at tools that will help manage storage and resources, migration, scaling, diagnostics and software components that will help you build cloud applications.
    This webinar is suitable for both IT managers and developers.

    Tuesday 27th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview

    Configuration Manager 2012 is now in Beta 2! A strong engineering investment has been made in optimizing the site and hierarchy architecture for the Configuration Manager 2012 release. This session examines those changes and provides guidance on how best to design and deploy an optimized Configuration Manager 2012 infrastructure. This session covers topics such as site server roles, boundary management, Role Based Administration, Discovery, Inventory, content deployment and changes to Collections.

    Friday 30th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here


    Future webcasts

    Date
    Title
    Register Here

    4 October

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Setup, Deployment, Upgrade and Coexistence Scenarios

    Find out more, and register

    14 October

    Virtualization: State of the Union

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    What's New in Manageability for Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali"

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365: How to Set Up a Hybrid Deployment

    Find out more, and register

    21 October

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012: Overview

    Find out more, and register

    25 October

    An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    28 October

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    Find out more, and register

    1 November

    Microsoft Office 365: Deployment Overview

    Find out more, and register

    8 November

    Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Code-Named "Denali": A Comprehensive Look

    Find out more, and register

    11 November

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: What’s in It, and How It Enables the Building of Private Clouds and Federation to the Public Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    15 November

    Taking Office to the Cloud: Integrating Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Managing Windows Azure Applications

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    Find out more, and register

    25 November

    Integrating the Microsoft System Center Stack for Process Compliance and Automation

    Find out more, and register

    29 November

    What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Integration Services

    Find out more, and register

    6 December

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Audio, Video and Web Conferencing Architecture and Experience

    Find out more, and register

    ** By running them as webcasts, our aim is to allow you to get the latest news, without travel costs, or event fees. And with all of the advantages of being able to watch an online webcast whilst also being able to do other things if necessary.

    All of the free webcasts this week are one hour sessions, and combine presentations and live demonstrations.

    You’ll need to register in advance, and you’ll then receive a Calendar note as well as info on how to join the Live Meeting online. All of the timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

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