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July, 2014 - Education - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

July, 2014

  • Education

    Take part in a Global Enterprise Challenge with other primary schools

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    I learnt today that a school I used to work with in the UK, Broadclyst Community Primary School, were given a grant by the Microsoft global Education team to fund their Global Enterprise Challenge, to allow them to join 1,000 students from 20 countries together in a challenge for Year 6 students. And they've just opened nominations for schools to take part, and it's open to Australian schools to enter.

    Here's the details from my UK colleagues:

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    Sign up your school today!

    It is with great excitement that we announce the Microsoft Global Enterprise Challenge which has just gone live! Based on the enterprise project created by Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) in South West England, schools throughout the world are currently being sought to participate in a ground-breaking enterprise challenge developed and run by BCPS and funded by Microsoft. During the Challenge, 1000 students across 20 schools in 20 countries will connect to run ten international companies, each with ten regional offices/teams. The teams will be developing, producing and marketing ten products selected in a pitch situation by the project co-ordinator, and will be competing with each other to become the most successful company globally.

    Much like the real business the world, the companies will be judged on how profitably they are running, which will give the students a taste for the commercial world.

    How will the Global Enterprise Challenge benefit your students?

    The GEC incorporates many different elements of the curriculum making the challenge a brilliant opportunity for the students to contextualise core subjects they are being taught such as Maths, Design, English and even Accounting into the enterprise sphere, which will make the learning activity highly engaging and fun.

    The opportunity will also encourage young students to start to align their learning outcomes to the commercial world: From the Broadclyst Community Primary School video below, you can see that the students are given a real taste of entrepreneurship as they have to not only choose what product they think will sell, but additionally create this desirable product. Indeed the teams are solely in charge of making (manufacturing) their products and even promoting (marketing) them which they can do by filming adverts and getting really creative.

    Broadclyst Primary are looking for other schools to sign up and get involved.

    Applications are open until 1st September so make sure to sign up your school and get involved using this link

    Microsoft Global Enterprise Challenge from Broadclyst Primary School on Vimeo.

  • Education

    Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summits 2014

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    In the first week of August we are running half-day partner training events for Microsoft Education partners in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

    This year’s education ICT buying season is almost underway, and it promises to be like no buying season in history. There are significant changes in the market including a shift to BYOD, a growing move away from institutional purchase towards students buying devices from retailers, and the devolution of the decision making from systems to schools and parents.

    All of these provide unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the existing business model of many of our education partners.

    We’d like to invite you to attend a half day event in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth to learn how your business model can evolve, and how Microsoft can help you to grow your education sales.

    The Education Partner Summit is an opportunity to get deep insight into the changing dynamics of the schools sectors from the Microsoft Education team.

    Education is one of the biggest IT markets in the country, and increasingly a competitive and critical market for Microsoft and our partners, with key organisations seeing the long term value of winning the institution and seeding their brand through these schools to reach teachers, students and parents. The combination of the consumerisation of IT, technology adoption at younger ages, the accelerating desire for 1:1 computing, and BYOD are requiring schools to continue to take more innovative approaches to learning in the classroom.

    The agenda is specifically focused on meeting the needs of sales and marketing personnel in Microsoft partners who want the most effective messages and strategies to grow in a transformed marketplace. With traditional revenue streams being disrupted by increasingly fragmented decision making, the Education Partner Summit will focus on ensuring that you walk away with the information you need to develop an effective and profitable strategy to serve your customers and grow your business, with practical sales resources, and understanding how you can leverage your Microsoft relationship and the resources of the Microsoft Education business to sell alongside you.

    The day will benefit sales and marketing teams dealing with schools, TAFEs and Universities. Additionally, the seminar will provide valuable insight to product marketing and development teams who are looking to identify new product and service opportunities within the education sector.

    Venues and dates

    For each half-day event the agenda will include:

    • Overview of the education market and changes happening today
    • Deep dive into the Office 365 Education suite, and how partners can use it to deliver educational solutions for schools
    • How to position Windows devices for education customers, and the supporting programmes available for partners and customers to support improved educational outcomes from their investments, including the new “Microsoft in the Classroom” and “Expert Educator” programme
    • Updates on the Microsoft Academic Licensing programmes

    We will be hosting the summits in the following Microsoft offices next month:

    • Sydney - 4th August 2014 - 12:30PM to 5:30PM
    • Brisbane – 5th August 2014 - 8AM to 12:30PM
    • Melbourne – 6th August 2014 - 8AM to 12:30PM
    • Perth – 8th August 2014 - 8AM to 12:30PM

    Registration

    We’ll shortly publish a registration link for the Microsoft Partner Network, but click the link below to register your interest, and to receive a registration link and a placeholder request for your calendar by email.

    Make a dateRegister now for your local Education Partner Summit event

  • Education

    Office Apps for Education–Academic Wordsmith plagiarism checker for Word

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    In the past I’ve written about the way that developers can now write apps for Office – which means that specialist capabilities can be added to Office to support particular uses. There are now hundreds of apps in the Office Store, which are add-ins for the Office suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc – and this includes a whole range of free and paid education apps for Office you can see here – other education apps in the Office store include a School Planner App for SharePoint, a GeoGebra app to create interactive worksheets in PowerPoint, a SCORM content player for Office 365, and a Lesson Planner for Word.

    We ran an Australian Education DevCamp for apps in May, and the first app to appear from an attendee is Academic Wordsmith, a plagiarism checker for Word - an app for students from the Teacher Collection team which runs within Microsoft Word. The app allows students to check an essay for originality, by comparing sections or whole assignments against Internet results – and displays possible matches between the assignment and online sources such as academic papers. Here’s some more from the website:

     

    imageMake a simple selection or submit your whole document, checking for originality could not be easier from right within Word. After our detailed analysis, your results are then delivered back to the same window for a quick and easy review.


    A detailed breakdown of matches found allow you to see exactly where problems have been detected including links to the matching locations. This allows you to make decisions about your current work and any chances you might need to make.

    Using our “Benefit of the doubt” algorithm, results that could potentially be related can also be returned, allowing you to easily find other material that may help and support your arguments!

     

    There are other services that do this (like WriteCheck, from the creators of TurnItIn), but what’s smart about Academic Wordsmith is that it runs within Office, so that students can check an assignment as they are working on it, rather than having to upload it to another website first.

    Learn MoreLearn more about Academic Wordsmith

  • Education

    Edmodo app for Windows 8 available now

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    Edmodo for Windows 8 logoAt the ISTE Conference in the US, the team from Edmodo (“the world’s largest, free K-12 social learning network”) released the Windows 8 Edmodo app for teachers and students. With thousands of teachers in Australian schools using Edmodo, it means that learners in Australia can easily access the Edmodo suite from their Windows 8 start screen, and receive live tile notifications (eg showing when there’s new messages or reminders for the user on their Windows Start Screen via the app’s live tile).

    One of the benefits of the Windows 8 Edmodo app is that when you click to view a file or internet link, it will open it in split screen view – leaving both Edmodo and the new file on the screen, rather than switching between apps.

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    Learn MoreGet the Edmodo app from the Windows 8 Store

  • Education

    Explain Everything for Windows 8 - now available

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    I’ve been away for a nice holiday, and now that I’m back I’m staring at a huge backlog of blog posts to write up, as there’s been so much happening and announced whilst I’ve been away. And because many schools, TAFEs and universities are heading back next week, I thought I’d better get started…

    There have been some great new apps added to the Education section of the Windows 8 store recently, and one of the highest profile ones is Explain Everything for Windows 8.

    imageExplain Everything for Windows 8 is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. You can use it to create slides, draw in any colour, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer. It allows you to rotate, move and arrange any object added to the stage, and then to record and playback your screencast.image

    You start by using an existing images or PDFs (you can save Office files directly as PDFs within Word and PowerPoint) and then use a variety of tools to edit and annotate as you go along – with Explain Everything recording all the actions for playback later as a video file or still images.

    Find More

    Download Explain Everything from the Windows Store

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