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Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

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  • Blog Post: Could Cortana in education help students and teachers?

    Cortana is the intelligent voice-activated assistant on a Windows Phone - described as ‘your personal assistant in your phone’ - and it provides a new way of interacting with other people and your phone. I’ve been using Cortana on my phone for a while now, using the Developer Preview of Windows 8.1 and...
  • Blog Post: Office templates to help families of children with autism

    My colleagues in the US have been working with Autism Speaks and the University of Washington Autism Centre to produce a series of free PowerPoint templates that can be customised to explain social situations to children with autism, as well as a series a Word templates of documents and forms for the...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility in Office 365 for education

    The Microsoft Accessibility team   run a wide range of initiatives, including a global network of Accessibility centres , an online Accessbility tutorial programme for Windows, Office and Office 365, which includes Office 365 for education . They also publish a comprehensive range of general guides...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Office Accessibility Training Sessions for Australian Government employees - 24 May 2012

    Microsoft will be running two training sessions in Canberra on optimising the accessibility of Microsoft Office documents. These sessions will primarily focus on Word, however PowerPoint and Excel will also be covered. The sessions have been designed specifically for Australian Public Service personnel...
  • Blog Post: Using Microsoft Office Accessibility Checker to create resources that all students can use

    I heard on the radio yesterday that 12% of students in New South Wales have some form of special needs that requires support from the education system. Which means that in every classroom there;s likely to be three or four students that may need additional support and more accessible resources. Given...
  • Blog Post: Three steps to create talking books for students with Word

    To improve accessibility for students, did you know that you can create talking books for students with visual and learning disabilities, using Microsoft Word? The system using a worldwide standard for creating accessible digital resources, called DAISY (the Digital Accessible Information System). And...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility in Windows 8 – what it means for education users

    Continuing the theme of previous Accessibility blog posts , I thought it would be useful to take a look at accessibility going forward, and some of the work that has been done within Windows 8, and how that will help schools, TAFEs and universities to provide support for their students and staff. This...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility workshop for education

      I thought I’d point you towards another resource that will be useful for partners, education trainers, and those who need to get the message across about Accessibility to their colleagues. Teacher Training Workshop on Accessibility It is a complete PowerPoint-based teacher training workshop on...
  • Blog Post: Achieving Accessibility in SharePoint 2010

    Vision Australia have just released an excellent detailed report about their experiences delivering an accessible implementation of SharePoint 2010, and including an assessment of SharePoint 2010’s conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. As they say in their introduction:   Accessibility...
  • Blog Post: Publishing accessible learning resources - more support in Office

    We’ve announced some new add-ins for Microsoft Office that will help education users publish their learning resources with added accessibility - making them more accessible to more learners, specifically those with visual and hearing impairments. Captioning add-in for PowerPoint to add captions...
  • Blog Post: Remote teaching for blind students

    After I wrote about the use of Microsoft Lync at Vicdeaf, where they are using the system to improve communications between deaf colleagues , I’ve had a few conversations with customers about different ways that Lync can help to improve the learning experience for students - especially those with accessibility...
  • Blog Post: What's Next at Microsoft

    Microsoft is a big place - with tens of thousands of people designing, creating, coding and building things around the world. There’s simply too much going on to keep up with it all. With just under 100,000 staff, it’s the equivalent of trying to keep up with what’s happening in every...
  • Blog Post: Five ways Microsoft OneNote can help students with dyslexia stay organised

    There was a time when students with special needs faced a choice (made for them by their school!) of either using a standard computer, and struggling, or spending large amounts on specific special needs software. These days, accessibility has been built into so many areas of standard software (eg all...
  • Blog Post: Office 2010 Accessibility Improvements

    Amongst your user base you are very likely to have students and staff with hearing, sight, or reading disabilities. Although accessibility has taken huge leaps in the last few years, there's plenty of other work still going on. We have just announced the public beta for two add-ins that help make Office...
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