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

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  • Blog Post: What does my list of top 10 Education blog posts of 2013 tell me?

    I’ve just finished looking at the statistics for this blog to compile a summary of the top Education blog posts you read during 2013, and thought it might be useful for people if I shared it. And then, at risk of making this a little ‘ inside baseball ’, I wanted to share what I learnt...
  • Blog Post: Where the Microsoft research and development budget goes

    I've just finished reading a great article on PCWorld, titled " Meet Microsoft, the world's best kept R&D secret ", about the hidden work going on in the Microsoft research and development labs – and some of the projects that are being delivered in return for the $9.6 billion being invested...
  • Blog Post: How Deloitte made learning a game–Harvard Business Review

    Gamification of learning continues to be a hot topic for education (and as with most things within the education system, there's plenty of divided opinion on how it could be used in the classroom with students). But it's not limited to conventional education systems – we're also seeing gamification being...
  • Blog Post: How to succeed in Education Technology

    I've just finished reading an excellent article, "How to Succeed in Education Technology" written by the cofounders of Wikispaces , to provide advice and support for people running companies producing education technology products and services - or people thinking of starting one. It's clear...
  • Blog Post: Selling your things to schools–advice on how to get it right in the long-term

    Doug Woods , an education blogger, trainer and consultant from the UK, recently offered some great advice to ICT companies in his blog post " Selling your things to schools ". Although Doug's advice was specifically for the UK, a large portion of it is directly relevant to Australia. So here's Doug...
  • Blog Post: New directions for school leadership and the teaching profession

    The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Victoria have outlined a vision for "a teaching profession that will raise student performance in Victoria to math the very best jurisdictions worldwide". Their first step, to publish a discussion paper called ' New directions for school...
  • Blog Post: Headline writers versus reality

    The media sometimes seem to use education as a point-scoring football eg in my first 9 months in Australia, I noticed that much of the media focus on education focused on a narrow debate about school funding. (In fact, if I was an alien landing in Australia from deep space, the media and political debate...
  • Blog Post: How to use keywords to recruit students

    Late last year, I ran some workshops for some Microsoft education partners, focusing on reaching more customers through blogging and other online engagement (for many, the reality is that their potential customers simply don’t know that they are there, and what services they offer). One of the areas...
  • Blog Post: Best practices for migration to the cloud

    Every week, I hear of a new education customer who’s moved some part of their IT provision onto a Windows Azure cloud service. Sometimes it’s been the move of a complete service – like cloud-based email or collaboration tools – and other times it’s a part of the core IT infrastructure that’s supporting...
  • Blog Post: Bring Your Own Device in schools - one school’s experience

    School IT budgets will come under pressure, as the DER programme reaches it’s zenith, and overall spending on education continues to be in flux. Although we’ve now reached the point of every Year 9-12 student having a laptop, there’s still plenty of schools where the teachers and students don’t have...
  • Blog Post: Snippet - Retiring academics create a problem in Higher Education

    I’ve been collecting interesting snippets (not quite full blog posts) on my Posterous space for a few months. But I thought I’d change the habit and share them on the blog instead. Mainly they comprise an interesting quote and link to an article worth reading, with a short comment to go with...
  • Blog Post: Is CRM in education any different to CRM in the voluntary sector?

    One of the things I’ve noticed is that although there are very specific requirements for CRM in education - student recruitment, grants management, parental communication etc - there are also many parallels to tasks done in other industries - room and facilities bookings, sales pipeline management, HR...
  • Blog Post: Financial changes at the University of Sydney

    The Conversation , and other media, are carrying the story today of the cuts at the University of Sydney. Basically, what’s been announced is that they are to cut staff costs by $53m (7.5%) by reducing academic and general staff. The underlying causes are a need to make investments in buildings maintenance...
  • Blog Post: How do you prepare for paper-based exams in the age of IT?

    Interesting story in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, about the dilemma for today’s students. Their everyday learning is commonly taking place on or with a computer - writing essays in Word not with a pencil, researching online as much as through books, and developing high level skills as they draft...
  • Blog Post: Common and critical mistakes in using data to monitor student performance

    After writing about the new UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers yesterday , I spent time reading through the model, and thinking about how the information could be applied. I found some sections which were really useful in the context of Business Intelligence in education - how schools use their...
  • Blog Post: How many ways can you use SharePoint in education?

    Alex Pearce, is a SharePoint Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the UK who works with education customers, and writes extensively about SharePoint in Education on his blog at BFC Networks . In this guest blog post, Alex gives some thoughts on the many ways SharePoint can make for productive learning...
  • Blog Post: The debate between employers and the education system

    I’ve been in Australia for 9 months today, and one of the things that I’ve noticed is that the Australia media only focuses on a few issues in relation to schools - and a lot of it is about political, rather than learning-centric, issues. So I was heartened to open the Sydney Morning Herald today to...
  • Blog Post: Where are the IT jobs?

    I just read an interesting article on the APC magazine website, about the hot skills required in 2012 for IT jobs. If you’re thinking about the skills that students will need as they enter employment, then it’s a great article to share with your students (and if you’re hoping to influence students to...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Governance and Lifecycle Management in education

    As you’d expect, we run a massive internal SharePoint system at Microsoft. It contains 250,000 site collections and 36 terabytes of data - growing at the rate of 1 terabyte every three months (yup, that’s the equivalent of 300,000 extra 1MB documents every month). The impact of that growth was not just...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 to reach four out of 10 computers by end of year

    Last month, I wrote that two-thirds of PCs are still running Windows XP , and wrote about some of the things that hadn’t been created when Windows XP was launched ( Feeling nostalgic? Your students may not be ). It surprised me to hear that there are so many out of date PCs (as Windows XP is a decade...
  • Blog Post: Emerging trends in Learning Management Systems

    I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in Learning Management Systems for the last few years, and especially in the last few months as potentially big changes have been happening - such as the sale of Blackboard. If you’re interested in the LMS marketplace, and views on the future direction, then there’s...
  • Blog Post: How do you approach Cloud security?

    Jean-Phillippe Courtois, the President of Microsoft International, has written a guest post about Cloud security on the Viewpoints blog. You should read it if you’re at all interested in the framework for security and compliance of Cloud services - it delves into the Microsoft Cloud offerings, and the...
  • Blog Post: Why is the Cloud so important to software developers?

    Imagine you’re a big IT supplier. You build a successful business by being responsive to your customers, and giving them what they need. If the customer is a big one, then normally their budget is too. And so, their list of requirements is big too. Which means that when they want to do IT projects, they...
  • Blog Post: International students in Higher Education in Australia

    There are three big sources of revenue for Australian universities - Australian students, international students and research. The balance between all of these revenue sources is interdependent: Funding from students typically subsidises research work Universities charge international students up to...
  • Blog Post: Business Intelligence in Education - Visualising learning data

    I’ve written before about the ways that data can be visualised to help teachers and leaders understand the story of learners within their own school. And one of the examples I have used is PivotViewer, which helps to focus on individual students - and groups of students - in a very visual one ( see this...
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