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December, 2013 - Education - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

December, 2013

  • Education

    Office 365 - Ignite Technical Training in Sydney–April 2014


    Office 365 Education is based on exactly the same platform as the full-blown enterprise-grade Office 365 system used by companies globally. One of the benefits of this is that you get the same Service Level Agreements for the cloud service that one of Australia’s ASX50 companies would get. And another significant benefit is that as a user, you get access to the same training programmes we provide for these big companies – like the Ignite training…

    On 29 April, we’re running free*, three day technical training workshops in Sydney for all of the different components of Office 365, including the core Office 365 platform, Exchange, SharePoint, Visio, Project, as well as Yammer. And there is also a specific stream for developers who want to develop for the Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 App model.


    Ignite Training in Sydney – who can attend

    The Ignite training in Sydney is part of the global Ignite training programme. It’s open to Microsoft customers and partners, and is delivered at a deep-dive technical level by our key product experts who are coming over from the US.

    For general IT professionals, the runs for a single day, on Tuesday 29 April, and finishes with a networking reception at the Hilton on Tuesday evening.

    For developers, architects and IT implementation teams, there’s a much deeper agenda running Tuesday-Thursday, so you're going to need to be pretty technical to get the most out of the event. If you’re working in the IT team or app development team within an education institution or Microsoft Partner in Australia, then this is the event for you.

    Ignite Training in Sydney – agenda

    The Ignite training in Sydney runs from Tuesday 29 April, 9AM to Thursday 1 May, 5PM. There are a mix of one-day workshops, or three-day workshops (click on any link below for the detailed agenda for each session)

    One day workshops

    It kicks off on Tuesday morning with a keynote for everybody together, and then breaks after lunch into dedicated sessions:

    • Office 365 – an overview of Office 365 capabilities
    • Visio – an introduction session to Visio that demonstrates the scenarios it enables
    • Yammer – an overview of Yammer and how to drive and manage enterprise social network use

    Three day workshops

    These all start with the Tuesday morning keynote, and then from Tuesday afternoon through until the end of Thursday, there’s a series of different deep-dive streams for you to choose from, which include both presentations and hands-on labs:

    • Developer – including a session on developing mobile apps for SharePoint
      This session will be particularly useful for education customers who want to use Office 365 and SharePoint as a tool for automating some of the paperwork processes that currently slow down the
    • Exchange – including architecture, high availability, eDiscovery, security and hybrid models
    • Project – including key scenarios with Project Online, and the business intelligence reporting available
    • SharePoint – including architecture, search, customisation and upgrading to SharePoint 2013
    • Lync – including Lync and Skype integration, and deep dives on voice, mobility and security.

    There’s full details of each of the streams on the Ignite Summit website

    Ignite Sydney Banner

    How to register for Ignite Training in Sydney

    Make a dateIf you're from a customer organisation, then register here

    If you're from a Microsoft Partner organisation, then register here

    * Yes, the training is free to attend, but we’re taking the exceptional step of charging $600 for people who book a place and don’t turn up (waived if you let us know by 19th April). If you’ve ever turned up late at an event, and seen tens/hundreds of unclaimed delegate badges, you’ll know why…

  • Education

    Office 365 sales training for partners


    What's your diary like for April? How about investing one of your spare days in training for you and/or colleagues on Office 365, with a focus on strengthening your customer conversations about the transformation from traditional desktop software to cloud-delivered software services?

    Drumbeat training - Sydney - bannerOn 28th April 2014, we’re hosting a Drumbeat Sales Readiness day for our partners’ sales & pre-sales teams at the Sydney Hilton. Selling Office 365 requires a new way of selling, so in addition to sharing Microsoft best practices, programs, and selling tools, we will also present insights into the cloud services market and the opportunity for partners who invest in growing an Office 365 practice. 

    There continues to be a fast adoption rate of Office 365 Education, with schools, TAFEs and universities opting to use Office 365 as the platform for many new services to their staff and students. The result is that opportunities are growing for Microsoft Education partners to deliver services to implement Office 365, and to add business value after implementation through integration, process simplification, and collaboration services.

    Sydney Drumbeat Agenda

    It’s a free, full day event, that includes many different scenarios for Office 365, and will guide partners through the pre-sales conversations surrounding Office 365, that will help you to deliver the Microsoft solution with your implementation and ongoing services to help customers get the best value from their Office 365 deployment:

    • Introducing the new Office and How to Demo
      The new Office provides a next-generation productivity experience for our customers.  Learn how to demonstrate the exciting features and benefits of the new Office with your customers. 
    • The Partner Opportunity
      The new Office represents a once-in-a-generation shift in technology and a new era of partner opportunity.  Microsoft Is front-running the industry transformation to the cloud and Office 365 is leading the charge.  Learn more about our investments in the new Office and how we have created new partner opportunities across the customer lifecycle.
    • The Benefits of Becoming an Office 365 Cloud Deployment Partner
      Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing business ever to the tune of $1 billion and counting.  And 3 out of 4 enterprise customers work with a partner to deploy their Office 365 service.   
    • Yammer, A New Opportunity for Partners
      IDC predicts the Enterprise Social Software market to reach $4.5B in revenue by 2016; most companies are expected to define their strategy within the next 12-18 months which provides Microsoft and its partners a great opportunity.  Learn more about the Yammer partner opportunity, how to sell the value of Enterprise Social to the business and how Yammer is transforming the way that companies work together.
    • Selling Office 365 - Why Use the Customer Decision Framework (CDF)
      The proliferation of devices, broadening workplace demographics and a transformative shift to the cloud are all trends impacting the way we work.  Office 365 clearly addresses all of these trends and is backed by a sales process that has helped grow a $1B business.  Learn how to sell to customers using the Customer Decision Framework, a sales process that enables partners to make the shift from traditional software selling to successfully sell Office 365 in the cloud. 
    • Selling Office 365 - Qualify the Opportunity with Cloud Principles
      Microsoft's Office 365 is built on a set of cloud principles that form how we position Office 365 to customers.  Become familiar with these principles and learn how to showcase the value of Office 365 cloud services across a breadth of real customer scenarios.  
    • Selling Office 365 - Sell with the Customer Immersion Experience (CIE)
      The Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) is a hands-on introduction to Windows 8 and the new Office.  For partners, it is an effective sales tool that provides customers with an opportunity to experience these powerful new productivity solutions for themselves.  Learn how the CIE simplifies customer conversations and provides business decision-makers with an opportunity to experience the full Office stack.
    • Selling Office 365 - Office 365 FastTrack
      Office 365 FastTrack is Microsoft’s new 3-step pilot and deployment process designed so customers experience service value early in the cycle, with a smooth path from pilot to full deployment within hours and no 'throw away' effort.
    • Selling Office 365 - Licensing Overview
      Microsoft's Office and Office 365 offerings have evolved greatly over time culminating in today's flexible licensing strategy built around Office 365.  Gain an understanding of the Enterprise offerings within the new Office, and how we license against top customer scenarios.
    • Office 365 Support and Communications
      Microsoft is strengthening its partner support and communications strategy to better enable our partners to sell, service and support customers.  Learn about new ways to enhance your service offerings and stay connected with the latest developments on Office 365.

    Make a dateMicrosoft partners register here for Drumbeat Training in Sydney on 28 April 2014

    The Drumbeat training is for Microsoft Partners only. But we are also be running a customer & partner technical readiness event for IT Pros looking to deploy Office 365. This Ignite Technical Summit event runs from April 29-May 1 at the same venue and details for this are here.

  • Education

    The world’s first School in the Cloud


    img4The most memorable moment of the Microsoft Innovative Education Forum that I attended in the UK in 2010 was hearing Professor Sugata Mitra talking about his Hole in the Wall, and Granny Cloud projects.  Like many inspiring people, I first heard about his work through TED, in his 2008 Ted Talk “Kids can teach themselves”. Shortly before speaking at our Innovative Education Forum, he inspired again at TED, talking about “child-driven education”, and earlier this year he spoke about his wish to “Build a school in the cloud”.

    As fascinating as the journey, and stories, have been, the thing that really stands out about Sugata’s vision is his passionate pursuit of making things happen. And I’ve just finished reading about the next step in that journey, as he’s just opened the doors of the world’s first School in the Cloud, in England, funded through his TED Prize seed money.

    The classroom above matches many other 21st century learning environments that are being built around the world. But what makes it stand out is the way the space is managed and used. I’ll let the TED Blog pick up the story:

      The Killingworth School in the Cloud is run by a committee of 12-year-old students, who manage a schedule to let different classes and groups use the lab in time slots before, during and after school. The lab is, of course filled with computers and touchscreen devices, as these are the tools students use to do their detective work. This lab is the first live demo of the School in the Cloud web platform, which not only connects labs to the “Granny Cloud” but also serves as a community foundation for SOLE practitioners and contains an evolving library of guides and resources. Microsoft and Skype are the core technology partners for this digital platform; Made By Many is the co designer and development partner; and IDEO assisted with design research. Five more School in the Cloud learning labs of varying resources and bandwidth are scheduled to launch throughout India in 2014, and the second UK lab will go live in the spring. All seven Schools in the Cloud will be directed by the School in the Cloud web platform and its community of Grannies. Beta testing for the School in the Cloud platform will begin publicly in March at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver  

    Learn MoreLearn more about Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE)

  • Education

    Snap a whiteboard and bring it into OneNote for Windows 8


    OneNote logoWhat if there was an app that your students could use to take a photo of anything you write on a whiteboard, store it, convert it to text, and make it easy for them to search back to find a specific word you’d written on the whiteboard last term? And thus mean that you could deliver lessons/lectures using a mix of whiteboard and PowerPoint, without putting students at a disadvantage when they need to find the brilliant example you drew up on the whiteboard? Well, yep, there’s some help!

    Capture lesson/lecture notes with OneNote

    Here’s an example from a meeting earlier today – the image on the left was the original that I took with the camera – and on the right is the version that I took with OneNote from exactly the same position – it automatically cropped it, straightened it, and worked out which bit of the image was the whiteboard!

    First photo of a wall whiteboard with writingSecond photo - automatically straightened by OneNote

    So here’s more of the detail:

    Last month we announced a series of enhancements to the OneNote app for Windows 8, including making it much easier to share information with OneNote from other Windows 8 apps (using the Windows Share Charm). But the feature that I think might be most helpful for teachers, lecturers and students, is the ability to take shots of whiteboards and documents, and import them into OneNote automatically cropped, straightened and sharpened.

    The Camera Scan features allows you to capture documents, magazines and whiteboards easily into OneNote. It will automatically crop, rotate, straighten, remove shadows and sharpen the image so it looks like a scanned document. This makes it easy to capture, read, and re-use sets of notes from other sources – for example, to quickly capture a set of lecturer’s notes from a whiteboard. To use Camera Scan, you simply select the camera in the OneNote radial menu and snap away.

    You can see it working in the video below.

    Once you've got the image in, OneNote also scans all of the text in the image and converts it via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to full text. That means you can then search on text in the image and even copy text from the image, for use in another document!

    The video below shows how this works in practice, with a scan of a shop receipt:

    Learn MoreLearn more about the recent updates to the Windows 8 OneNote app

    Or, download the free Windows 8 OneNote app and try it out yourself

  • Education

    The world’s first joint research centre for Social Natural User Interfaces is in Melbourne


    The world's first joint research center devoted to social NUI

    Yesterday we have the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces. This is a joint research centre between the University of Melbourne and Microsoft Research, in partnership with the state government of Victoria and Microsoft Australia. The centre will explore applications of Natural User Interfaces—better known as NUI—in social situations. It is the world’s first joint research centre dedicated to studying and perfecting the social applications of NUI.

    There’s some amazing work going on with new ways of interacting with technology across the world, and especially in the world of gaming, where things like Kinect have enable interaction through gestures, voice and whole-body movement. There’s some great examples of non-gaming uses on the Kinect for Windows gallery, like the example below of turning any surface into an interactive whiteboard.


    Learn MoreYou can read more about the Research Centre announcement on the Microsoft Research Connections blog

  • Education

    Accelerate–the Microsoft Australia Education Newsletter


    We've just launched the sign-up page for the customer newsletter from the Microsoft Australia Education team. It’s designed for teaching and learning staff in schools and colleges across Australia, and will be sent out monthly in 2014. This is in addition to any of the other newsletters you may receive. Paul Randazzo is the editorial lead for it, and here’s the invite he’s created for you to sign up:


    Each generation fosters the belief that successive generations will be better equipped to face the challenges of the future. And it’s almost universally accepted that the best way to achieve that is through the transformative power of education.
    Which is why we’re so passionate about learning. We see education as the force behind social and economic progress, with technology as the driver to enhance student experience, promote young entrepreneurship and provide lifelong, workforce-ready skills.
    So it makes complete sense for us to launch Accelerate – a new, monthly newsletter written for educators and institutions and packed with tips and tricks, thought leadership, best practice and industry insights.
    This email offers a small taste of what you can expect. But If you’d like to receive this moving forward, join our mailing list today. And doing that couldn’t be easier. Simply:



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