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

November, 2011

  • Education

    21 things that will become obsolete in education by 2020


    It’s nearly two years since Shelly Blake-Plock wrote “21 things that will become obsolete in education by 2020” on his TeachPaperless blog. I’d highly recommend it for a mid-week read - and perhaps use it to stimulate some thinking on where you can help your own organisation as you move into the future - whether you work in an education institution, or you’re a Microsoft partner working with education customers.

    Having moved from the UK to Australia at the beginning of this year, I’ve found that there are lots of differences between the two education systems, and the way that they are moving forwards organisationally. Re-reading Shelly’s ‘21 Things’ list has prompted me to think & write about a few of those - hopefully in a way that’s useful to supplement Shelly’s list. So here’s my take on the 21 list, and some comparisons between the UK and Australian schools in their progress on Shelly’s journey:

    21 things that will become obsolete in education by 2020

    1. Desks
    In both the UK and Australia, there are plenty of experimental learning spaces being built. I don’t feel we’re there yet in terms of finding a best practice model for learning spaces, but the journey’s definitely happening. Will it get rid of desks? Perhaps, or perhaps we’ll actually see the end of regimented learning spaces and fixed desks. (The first thing both of my children asked for when we arrived in Australia was to have a desk in their own bedrooms - to give them a space to spread their learning out in front of them)

    2. Language Labs
    In two years we’ve made a huge leap, and now it’s any place/any device that can become a language learning tool. My 'deeply-unimpressed-by-anything-her-Dad-says' 16-year old was actually impressed when she saw the translation capabilities built into the latest Windows phones, when we took a photo of her French textbook, turned it into text, and then translated it into English without needing any other software/web tricks.

    3. Computers
    We’re not going to see ‘computers’ replaced by phones in everybody’s pocket. In fact, the trend I see with new devices is that we’re adding more devices in the classroom and in learner’s hands, and they all complement each other. Some are great for consumption, but less than ideal for creating information. That may change sometime, but at the moment we’re still heading towards ‘more’ rather than less devices in learners’ and teachers’ hands.

    4. Homework
    There’s certainly plenty of enthusiasm for ideas like the flipped classroom, but there’s also a very traditional belief that students need to be given homework - and that’s as strong, or even stronger, here in Australia as in England, so this is probably one of the last things that’s going to change, because we’re going to need changes to some deeply embedded behaviours and beliefs to see this come about (and the research-driven jury appears to still be out on this).

    5. The Role of Standardised Tests in College Admissions
    In Australia, as in other countries, there’s a continuing focus, and debate, on standardised testing - and the use of the data that it produces. I’m not qualified to really dive down into this debate, but the comment I’d add here is that I think the move to online assessment will help us with the purpose of testing - understanding what a student has learnt, where they need more support, how to help them on their next journey step. This is because we can improve the speed of feedback and make it more usable for current and future learning. It removes the long gap between the test and the feedback (and it adds massively to the ability for a teacher to analyse and act upon results)

    6. Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher
    One of those things that I don’t know enough about to comment!

    7. Fear of Wikipedia
    One in six Australian schools still block Wikipedia. ‘Nuff said.

    8. Paperbacks
    Shelly said “Books were nice. In ten years' time, all reading will be via digital means”. I actually think that what we’re going to see is the appropriate content published in the appropriate way. When my children are doing their homework I see them having multiple books open, jumping between them and comparing information in them to digital information. That’s why they need a desk! (And see ‘lockers’ below). So we’re going to see a change in the mix of digital and paper media, not the end of one caused by another.

    9. Attendance Offices
    This is an area where we may go further by 2020 - we may see a complete redefinition of ‘attendance’, based on when and where you’re learning, rather than assuming that being in a physical place for prescribed hours means you’re learning.

    10. Lockers
    On current experience, we’re going to need bigger lockers! One of the huge changes that I’ve noticed between England and Australia is that kids here go to school with massive backpacks - my daughters sometime leave home with 8 kilo backpacks. This is because they are expected to carry around a big pile of text books, plus folders plus their laptop. And then they get their homework assignments printed on paper. So what’s happened is that technology has been added on top, and there hasn’t been a systematic approach to change existing practice. The result - heavier backpacks, not lighter ones.

    11. IT Departments
    I agree with Shelly that this is really about the change in the role of IT Departments, not their disappearance. They are going to undergo a series of changes that will drag the most recalcitrant ones kicking and screaming into providing a user service, rather than looking for reasons not to do things. Ultimately this will hugely empower IT departments, and hopefully the same thing will happen in education as is happening in business - they are being seen as the powerhouse of transformation, because of what they can enable. (And in the corporate world, there are increasing examples of large organisations where it’s the CIO that’s being promoted to CEO. Wonder if we’ll see that soon in an education institution?)

    12. Centralised Institutions
    Australia is in a different place politically to the UK in the journey of de-centralising education - which is one of the key factors which enables the creation of less-centralised learning institutions. There are political, financial and organisational barriers to overcome before this change can happen systemically in education in Australia.

    13. Organisation of Educational Services by Grade
    Probably linked to (12), this is also going to take longer to happen than Shelly predicted.

    14. Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology
    Yep, this is already happening, and there’s less fuss about it in Australia than in the UK. There are less scary newspaper headlines for Australian teachers, and more comfort in terms of organisational support and guidance. For example, teachers have an official NSW education Social Media Policy that supports their use of social media in learning.

    15. Paid/Outsourced Professional Development
    In technology terms, I personally believe that in both Australia and the UK, there isn’t enough focus on Professional Development in IT projects. All too often over the last decade, education IT projects have focused on the ‘what’ - the hardware, software, services - at the expense of the ‘how’ - pedagogy, change management and professional support for teachers/users. It’s no different between the two countries, but wouldn’t it be great if we changed the way that technology is bought, and focused on the outcomes, and less on the widgets & gadgets?

    16. Current Curricular Norms
    I agree with Shelly’s original thought, which is firmly established here in Australia: “There is no reason why every student needs to take however many credits in the same course of study as every other student. The root of curricular change will be the shift in middle schools to a role as foundational content providers and high schools as places for specialised learning.”

    17. Parent-Teacher Conference Night
    Some schools do an excellent job of keeping in touch with their parents, and providing a ongoing narrative of their children’s learning progress. But the majority lag behind - there’s no shortage of general parental communication (paper newsletters, email udpates, special announcements) but little that is specific to their child. This is an area where Australia is definitely trailing the UK, and where the UK government policy directive of schools providing online parental gateways and regular online reports has forced a rethink for many schools - and improved the regular insight that parents have into their children’s progress.

    18. Typical Cafeteria Food
    There’s nothing I can add to this, as I've not yet been hosted to enough school lunches in Australia to compare to years of school lunches in the UK!

    19. Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering
    Shelly says ‘Let the kids do it’, and he’s spot on. Give them real-life projects. Your students are writing mobile phone apps for learning, designing websites, helping their parents create business presentations in PowerPoint and re-imagining the world with technology. Why shouldn’t they apply those skills to help you with your social media strategy for student engagement, website design or even curriculum material design?

    20. High School Algebra
    There’s nothing I can add to this thought either (mainly because my struggle to understand the subject was demonstrated when helping my 16-yo with her homework!)

    21. Paper
    6-7 million sheets of paper would be 8x the height of the Sydney Opera HouseShelly said “In ten years' time, schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%”. Sadly, I think we’re going the wrong way on the trend line in Australia - increasing the amount of paper usage. Despite the massive investment in technology that should reduce paper use - laptop 1:1 schemes, interactive whiteboard projects etc - Australian schools are even bigger users of paper than UK schools. The average UK high school uses around 1-2 million sheets of copier/printer paper a year. In Australia, I’ve come across schools that are using four times as much - 6+ million sheets a year. That’s a pile of paper that’s over 8x the height of the Sydney Opera House. This is one area that is definitely not going to happen on it’s own. In the UK, the public sector budget cuts, and the downward pressure on school budgets has led to projects like Alan Richards’ Paperless School.

    With pressure on education budgets in Australia, perhaps we’ll see similar projects here too? (Or are there some already?)


    There are lots of areas where Shelly’s predictions are happening, and two years on, the list looks like a good list to refer to and benchmark against. The question for me now is whether some of these things are happening fast enough? For example, could more effort be invested in reducing paper usage, to free up funding and resources for other teaching and learning needs? If there’s a new model of learning coming, then we’re going to need to find ways to fund the shift from today’s model - now matter how gradual the shift is. That’s where Shelly’s list might help aid the discussion.

    Learn MoreRead the original “21 things that will become obsolete in education by 2020” on the TeachPaperless blog.

  • Education

    The looming teacher shortage in Australia - what does it mean for ICT?


    If you’re looking for long-term trends in education in Australia, that will strongly influence decisions that schools, TAFEs and universities take on their future strategy, then one strong driver of behaviour for leaders (at an institution and state level) is going to be the availability of teaching staff.

    According to the Clarius Skills Index:

      Three major employment sectors will face substantial skills gaps as Australia’s ageing workforce heads for retirement, according to the latest Clarius Skills Index…for every 107 teachers who retire, there will only be 73 to replace them if the wider population’s qualifications remain unchanged over the next decade-and-a-half.  

    So as the average age of the teacher profession increases (with a large group who are now close to retirement), there aren’t going to be enough young teachers coming into the classroom to replace them. According to the ABS, there were 286,000 teaching staff in Australian schools in 2010*, and other research suggests up to a third are close to retirement*.

    Australian teaching staff:student ratios

    Over the last decade, the number of students per teacher has declined, leading the potential for smaller class sizes, and more specialist teaching in smaller groups. The chart below, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows the trend for 'Student to Teaching Staff’ ratios since 2000.

    Graph: Full-time Equivalent (FTE) STUDENT TO TEACHING STAFF RATIOS, by affiliation - 2000 to 2010

    At the same time, the number of students in private schools has increased by 21% compared with an only 1% increase in students attending government schools. The proportion of students in private schools is now 34%, or more than 1 in 3, up 4% since 2000*.

    What happens next?

    In other countries facing this problem, there have been two key focus strategies.

    • Increase the number of people entering teaching (which has turned out to be quite tricky in many cases)
    • Develop new models of learning that rely less on low student:teacher ratios

    Australia is no different to these countries. But the critical difference is that over the next few years we are going to see an increase in the devolution of power to school Principals - including more responsibility for hiring their own staff. That’s going to be quite a challenge to take on at a time when there’s going to be more competition for teachers due to a shortage.

    Enter the role of ICT in the classroom?

    If you are considering developing an education technology for the future, this trend probably means that there will be much more demand for learner-centric support, rather than teacher-centric (eg with less teachers, are we going to see less demand for teaching led from the front of the class with interactive whiteboards, and more demand for interactive study resources for learners to use individually?).

  • Education

    How many Live@edu users are there?


    Globe iconOne question I do get asked frequently is “How many Live@edu users are there?”, or more generally “How many education customers use the Microsoft Cloud?”. Often the answer I have to give is outdated - at BETT in 2011, we announced that it had now reached a total of 15M students using Live@edu, up from 11M in November 2010.

    Over on the ‘Official Microsoft Blog’, we’ve just released an update, and there are now 22 million students using Live@edu worldwide, a doubling since this time last year. And it’s growing at the rate of 27,000 students every day. New institutions signing up for Live@edu recently include a range of universities including  University of Colorado at Boulder and Kings College London ; a number of state-wide school systems including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and not for profit institutions like the Royal National College for the Blind in the UK.

    Read the Official Microsoft Blog post Live@edu Tops 22M Users, Grows 100 Percent Year Over Year

    As we move into this next year, we’re continuing to offer Live@edu as a free cloud email, collaboration and communication service for staff and students, as well as bringing in Office 365 for education. It will include everything available in Office 365 for enterprises, and we are offering some qualifying education customers Office 365 in order to take advantage of Exchange Online and Lync Online today. We will add SharePoint Online capabilities in 2012 when Office 365 for education is broadly available. Current Office 365 education users include Georgia State University, Dundee University in Scotland, East Norfolk Sixth College in England, the Inzai City Board of Education and Wakayama City Board of Education in Japan - and earlier in the year I also highlighted Curtin University here in Australia.

    As I’ve said before, education is moving quickly to using the Cloud, to save money, build more flexible ICT infrastructures and enable much more effective collaboration. So, although the answer to the question “How many Live@edu users are there?” is 22 million today, it’s already wrong by the time you read this. Because every day education customers are doing more in the Cloud.

    Learn MoreRead related Cloud Case Study articles on this blog

  • Education

    Another take on qualifications – thought about the Microsoft IT Academy?


    IT Academy Programme If you’re running the ICT systems in your school, and NOT running the curriculum ICT, then you may want to forward this onto the ICT Curriculum Co-ordinator. Although it’s got ‘IT’ in the title, the IT Academy is actually all about curriculum development and helping your students/staff to gain commercially valuable qualifications.

    imageI’ve mentioned the Microsoft IT Academy scheme a few times recently, but not gone into the detail. Basically the scheme offers schools the chance to deliver Microsoft’s IT training and qualifications to your students and staff. The qualifications that you can deliver will help your students (or even parents in your community) raise their skills to prepare for business roles, or potentially for technical employment as web developers or systems administrators.

    The chart on the right (click on it to see the BIG version) shows the routes to the qualifications that students can attain. And because the qualifications are instantly recognisable in the commercial sector – like MCSE qualifications – it is an instant help with preparing for employment.

    But this isn’t just about student qualifications – it can also be used to provide training and qualifications for the wider community, and this is exactly how some of the current IT Academies use it – which is either helping to generate a revenue stream, or to increase parental engagement.

    Once you’ve signed up to be an IT Academy, the scheme includes all of the following resources:

    • Over 300 Microsoft eLearning courses
    • A bunch of software licences
    • Discounts on Microsoft Certifications and Courseware
    • An MSDNAA & TechNet Plus Subscription
    • Microsoft Certified Trainer Membership

    And yet it doesn’t cost a fortune (just over a couple of thousand dollars a year for a typical high school)…

    Learn MoreFind out more about IT Academy


    ps You may not want to tell the curriculum side, but it’s also a great way to get yourself an inclusive MSDNAA and TechNet Plus subscription if you’re having difficulty getting it paid for otherwise!

  • Education

    Did you know that there’s an international ICT competency framework for teachers?


    UNESCO have captured a great understatement with their introduction to the new framework for ICT in education:

      Two decades after the first mainstream rollout of computers in schools we have learned many significant lessons about ICT in Education and their potential transforming impact on national education systems. Yet, countries around the world face urgent challenges in harnessing the power of ICT in the classroom and beyond.  

    UNESCO have just updated their ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, which is an international model for use by education systems around the world to support teachers’ use of ICT in teaching and learning. It aims to help countries to develop comprehensive national teacher ICT competency policies and standards, and they position it as an overall component of national education strategy.

    I also think it’s a valuable framework for individual schools, or school systems, thinking about the development needs of existing teachers. It can be used as a self-diagnosis tool by individual teachers, or as a professional development framework for a curriculum department or whole school.

    What the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers contains

    Front cover of the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers from UNESCOThe framework addresses:

    • Understanding ICT in education - policy awareness, understanding and innovation
    • Curriculum and Assessment - basic knowledge, how to apply it, and skills for a knowledge society
    • Pedagogy - integrating pedagogy, complex problem solving and self management
    • ICT - the tools
    • Organisation and Administration - from the standard classroom, to collaborative groups, to complex learning organisations
    • Teacher Professional Learning - from digital literacy, to the teacher as a model learner



    UNESCO’s framework emphasises that it is not enough for teachers to have ICT competencies to be able to teach them to their students. Teachers need to be able to help students become collaborative, problem solving creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective global citizens.

    The current version of the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers is a 2011 update of the original version published in 2008, and is the result of the successful continued partnership between UNESCO and CISCO, INTEL, ISTE and Microsoft.


    Sometimes these types of documents can be quite theoretical and dry, but a lot of work appears to have been put into this to make it accessible to readers - for example, there are three tables which clearly illustrate the three levels of competency discussed, with examples from a teacher’s everyday life (on pages 10, 12 and 14). On their own, they’d make a great discussion resource for a professional development day or training course.

    Common mistakes when developing teacher competency with ICT

    In many sections, the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers also lists a set of common mistakes. For example, when exploring the use ICT to enhance teacher productivity, it lists three common mistakes as:

    • Trying to use all the available tools
    • Using ICT for a critical task when beginning to learn how to use ICT
    • Not persevering despite initial mistakes

    Download the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers

    Learn MoreDownload the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (PDF)

  • Education

    Business Intelligence Bootcamp for Microsoft partners


    Sarah Arnold, over on the Australian Partner blog, has just announced that there’s extra help available for partners who are aiming to get the Business Intelligence competency for Microsoft Partners at Silver level. If you’re a partner that’s deeply engaged with education customers, you’ll know how much data education institutions collect, and how much useful insight it would deliver to them if they were able to analyse it easily and comprehensively - whether that’s for learning, assessment, finance or many other uses. Over 2,000 people a month in Australia search for either ‘BI in education’ or ‘learning analysis’, so there’s definitely an untapped potential.

    So investing in Business Intelligence in Education makes sense! Here’s Sarah’s offer, which includes five days of training for two of your staff in December, to help you work towards Business Intelligence certification:


    Are you working towards your Business Intelligence Competency and can you commit to achieving it by December 31, 2011? We have an offer for you on a first come, first in basis…

    This ‘Competency Development Offer’ provides Microsoft partners with resources to support you in achieving your Silver Business Intelligence competency on the basis that it is completed by December 31, 2011. The resources include;

    Complimentary access for 2 individuals (for Silver competency) on the Business Intelligence Bootcamp training course valued at $7,500 per person, in Sydney.

    Duration: 5-day accelerated boot camp

    Location: Macquarie University,

    Date: Tuesday December 13 to Saturday December 17, 2011

    Training hours: 8am to 8pm each day

    Content: Exam Prep Training content (Instructor led courses covering Theory, Hands-on labs, Revision and Exam preparation) targeting: Exam 70-448: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance and Exam 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development.

    Note: Accommodation can be arranged at Macquarie University if needed but this will be at your own expense.

    If you are interested in participating in this offer and can achieve the Silver Business Intelligence Competency by December 31, 2011 please email me and I will send you an application form. As spots are limited this is a first come.


    Of course, this is open to all Microsoft Partners in Australia that are aiming to get the Silver level competency in Business Intelligence, but I wanted to highlight it to the education partners that read this blog, to give you a chance to jump in quickly!

    Learn MoreEmail Sarah now to get the application form

  • Education

    What skills do employers look for in interviews - persuading your students to value ICT subjects


    Over the weekend, a friend of my daughter was excited about the idea of becoming a spy for a career, and how her careers officer had failed to mention it as part of her career planning. So my daughter decided to help her by finding out how you get a job as a spy.

    My father-in-law said it was all about the ‘old boy network’, but he was quickly corrected when we found out that MI5 - the UK security agency equivalent of ASIO - run job ads on their website in the same way as another organisation).

    So we went online to look at their job ads. And it turns out if you want to get a job as a spy, these days you need to know how to use business applications like Excel and Access [link]


    And linking back to the blog post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, ‘What skills do your students need to work in the world’s best workplaces’, it seems that’s true for lots of other companies.

    Of course, if you want to work at Microsoft, knowing how to use Microsoft software is an absolute must. And the same applies for many other jobs in other companies. A colleague in the US spotted that if you want to work at Google, you’re going to need the same kinds of skills. When he checked last week, there were 88 open jobs on their website that required either Excel or PowerPoint experience [link]


    So as your students start to make choices about the subjects they are studying, remind them that the right choice of the skills and qualifications they can get at school, TAFE and university will be critical when it comes to getting their first, second or even tenth job.

    Maybe that’s why we’re seeing lots of education systems around the world taking advantage of the IT Academy programme, where students can get technical and/or proficiency qualifications as they progress through the education system. Students could leave with a high level technical qualification on their resume, such as Microsoft Certified Professionals, Microsoft Technology Associates or Microsoft Office Specialists. (And you’d also give them a great intro to the acronym-tastic modern workplace, with MCP, MTA & MOS as starters!)

    Some of the IT Academy participants include North Carolina, KL University, Boston City Campus and Business College, Washington State and Box Hill TAFE in Australia.

    Learn MoreLearn more about the Microsoft IT Academy programme

  • Education

    Incentive programme for Microsoft education partners in Australia - EEScore



    Since we launched the new Microsoft licensing programmes for education earlier this year, with their snappy names of EES (Enrolment for Education Solutions) and OVS-ES (Open Value Subscription for Education Solutions), we’ve had good feedback on how they have radically simplified licensing for our education customers.

    I was in Melbourne speaking at an event a couple of weeks ago, and one school actually said to me “I keep telling the other companies we deal with that they need to make their licensing much simpler, like yours is now.”. As a 25 year veteran of Microsoft education licensing, I can assure you that was a bit of surprising (and pleasant) moment!

    What the scheme does is to allow schools to simply count their Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staff, and then decide which software to license, and that gives them their core desktop licensing agreement under either scheme. Then they add on a ‘student option’ for any devices that are dedicated 1:1 for students, and any additional products (like servers and Microsoft Project/Visio etc), and then they’re done. There’s a similar scheme (just under EES for their servers too).

    • EES is for organisations or consortia with more than 1,000 FTEs
    • OVS-ES is for organisations with less than 1,000 FTEs

    Many customers are saving money under the new scheme, and one of the significant benefits is that it takes out the peaks and troughs of IT spend, as instead of big lumps of software purchases, you pay a single consistent subscription fee each year.

    Although many education customers already know about this in Australia - of the 3,000+ non-state schools, nearly half have signed up to the scheme - there are still lots of individual schools out there (independent and catholic schools) that would benefit from looking at the new schemes to replace their existing licensing arrangements.

    Ultimately, the choice is there for the customer to decide which one works best for them, but to encourage all of our Authorised Education Resellers (AER) to have the conversation with their customers, we’re running an incentive programme for education partners until the end of December, which is applicable to partners promoting the OVS-ES programme for customers with less than 1,000 FTEs.

    If you’re a Microsoft Education partner in Australia…

    If you’re an AER, you should have heard about the programme from us directly by email, but just in case you haven’t, you can register and find out more at the EEScore website (What are the odds we’ve sent the email to somebody who’s out on holiday for a month, and when they come back, it’ll be down the bottom of their inbox?)

    If you’re not an AER, then I assume you’re not selling licences to education customers (because only AERs have access to the special academic pricing), but if you want to, there’s more info on the AER programme here.

    There are two webinars coming up for partners, covering both the EES and OVS-ES programme, on 17th November and 1st December - both at 10:00-10:30AM. You can register here

    If you’re an Education customer in Australia…

    If you’re a customer and buy your own licences, and you’ve not heard about this from your regular Microsoft partner yet (either EES or OVS-ES), then I suggest you get them on the phone, as you don’t want to be last to find out the details! If you want to find your local Authorised Education Reseller, then you can look them up on this AER Search page

    Learn MoreLearn more about our Academic licensing programmes

  • Education

    Homework is all about learning - yours and theirs


    I think I’m a pretty dab hand at PowerPoint, but that hasn’t stopped my kids showing me some pretty impressive things I’ve learnt from. So, whilst the video below is an advert, I reckon it’s happening in real life in households all around Australia on a regular basis.

    Next time you’re preparing a presentation, maybe ask your kids for help - I bet you’ll both learn something.

    • You’ll learn something about PowerPoint
    • They’ll learn something about what you’re planning to talk about


    And in related news…I can’t use Publisher. My 11 year-old uses it all the time (party invites last night). But fortunately she still needs my high-tech skills - because she can’t turn the wireless printer on - it’s on top of a cupboard Smile

  • Education

    Using the Cloud for research in Higher Education


    After two weeks of discussions with various groups in universities in Australia about using the Cloud for research in higher education, here’s a couple of press items that caught my eye that are relevant to the discussions:

    CSIRO to mesh Azure Cloud with HPC infrastructure

    According to ComputerWorld, CSIRO are integrating its high performance computing infrastructure with Microsoft’s Windows Azure Cloud to support ‘computed tomography reconstruction’ and virtual labs. The CSIRO eResearch director, Dr John Taylor, is quoted in the article:


    In addition, Taylor said Azure could provide a platform for CSIRO to build virtual labs that will enable scientists within CSIRO and Australia — with plans to expand internationally — to work together online and have quick access to the same software, tools and data resources.

    “Instead of having to chase around and ask their colleagues what they’ve got, what tools they might have, what data they might have, we’ll make it all available in the Cloud and potentially build international laboratories based on this Cloud infrastructure,” he said.

    According to Taylor, employing Cloud-based infrastructure will offer the CSIRO access to greater speed and storage.


    You can read the full article “CSIRO to mesh Azure Cloud with HPC infrastructure” on the ComputerWorld website

    Fujitsu-Microsoft cloud floats to Australia

    From IT Wire comes news that Fujitsu have announced that they will be providing a hosted version of the Azure Cloud here in Australia:


    Australia will be one of five countries initially targeted for a hybrid cloud based solution announced overnight by Fujitsu which allows organisations to use Microsoft Windows Azure components, but choose where their data is located. For Australian clients that means they can choose to keep their data in Australia – overcoming the data sovereignty issue that has held many back from a holus bolus race to the cloud.


    The reason that this is an issue is that some research and other public sector organisations have a need to use a cloud data service, but want to be able to keep their data within Australia. Although, in my experience of these discussions, it can often be caused by a cloud understanding of what the regulations require - and the cost implications of private vs public cloud often changes decisions!

    You can read the full article “Fujitsu-Microsoft cloud floats to Australia” on the IT Wire website

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