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

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  • Blog Post: How OneNote helps students with assignment, notes and getting organised

    Yesterday I shared a video ( How OneNote makes a classroom difference ) from Carey Academy in North Carolina, who shared how they were using OneNote to support new ways of teaching and learning. Today, I’m going to share the next part of the story, which is their students’ perspective on...
  • Blog Post: Here’s one TAFE institute that’s already changed the face of learning with Yammer

    Shortly all education customers will be able to add the enterprise version of Yammer free to their existing Office 365 Education [ Want to know more about this, and what's in Yammer enterprise ]. But some education customers in Australia have already been using Yammer to support teaching and learning...
  • Blog Post: Building a MOOC in the cloud, using Microsoft Azure

    It would be fair to call MOOCs a phenomenon ( Phenomenon: Something notable: something that is out of the ordinary and excites people's interest and curiosity ). They have created an enormous amount of interest and curiosity – and jumped up to the top of the agenda for ‘EdTech futurists’ and any reports...
  • Blog Post: Using CRM to manage student lifecycles

    We’re just about to enter a new academic year, with just over half a million Australian students just about to start their first year at university. They’ve gone through (or are still going through) a process to select their course and university, and to enrol and be ready for next month’s...
  • Blog Post: The world’s first School in the Cloud

    The 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 “...
  • Blog Post: Webinar: Developing students’ 21st Century skills

    Expanding Learning Horizons , one of our national education partners, is running a webinar next Thursday on “How to develop students’ 21st Century skills”. Fortunately, the first thing on the agenda is to define what those skills are in an Australian context ( I mention this because...
  • Blog Post: What technology do you need for the Flipped Classroom?

    Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Melbourne is on the pathway to the Flipped Classroom - a pedagogical model that inverts traditional teaching by delivering instruction online outside of class while moving problem solving (traditionally given as homework) into the classroom. And one of the starting...
  • Blog Post: Stories of Windows 8 early adopters in education

    There are plenty of examples of education customers who have made the switch to Windows 8, putting new touch devices into the hands of students to allow them to get the benefit of three different worlds in one device: the ability to run software from previous versions of Windows (so that there's no need...
  • Blog Post: Building a personalised student portal on Office 365 Education

    The University of West London won the UCISA-Eduserv Award for Excellence for their student portal, which provides a personalised experience for each student with easy access to the university services like their email, blogs, academic documents, library services etc. And it allows students to connect...
  • Blog Post: Starting university with a Windows 8 tablet from Dell

    InformationWeek's Education section is reporting on the South Illinois University's plan to hand new students Windows 8 tablets from Dell as they start. According to the university, they'll be at the centre of a project to support new styles of learning as well as save students money through e-textbooks...
  • Blog Post: Using Lync for emergency contact management in universities

    Last week I wrote about Marquette University, and their Lync 2013 implementation project . One of the aspects l didn't explicitly mention is their use of Lync for emergency contact management - the university's emergency response team are using Lync 2013 to enable collaboration in real time. The university...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading to Lync 2013 in higher education - case study from Marquette University

    Two years ago, I wrote about Lync case study on Marquette University in the US , who switched from a conventional PABX system to Microsoft's Lync system. At the time, the Director of IT Services at Marquette University described succinctly the benefit of choosing Lync, because in addition to a replacement...
  • Blog Post: Australian case study - Using Lync to replace a PABX, to cut costs and improve productivity

    Although this Australian case study is of a local government customer, rather than an education one, I think that it's relevant because there are so many aspects of a council that match education institutions: Hundreds of staff distributed across multiple sites (in Adelaide City Council's case...
  • Blog Post: Helping their university save over $1m–Coventry's IT team

    It's always interesting to read about projects where IT costs have been reduced by the IT team of a university, and I've had this in my 'must share' list for a while. Coventry University saves £1m/$1.5m with virtualised network and management tools As there's a full case study on the Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: How to help students fly first class?

    I'm starting to see a number of Windows 8 apps that are creating a personal experience for their users. And the latest, for Emirates - one of the world's fastest growing airlines- made me think about the parallels to education. The Emirates KIS app for Windows 8 Emirates have just announced that they...
  • Blog Post: Box Hill Institute of TAFE and the IT Academy programme

    On Friday, I wrote about the fact that there are now more than 450 education institutions running as IT Academies in Australia , and so over the weekend I dug out a case study of one IT Academy, Box Hill Institute in Victoria . Box Hill Institute prepares students for Australia’s workforce by...
  • Blog Post: Combining Moodle with OneNote and SkyDrive to raise standards

    There's a case study from the UK that I'd recommend reading. It's the story of a college that has enhanced their learning management system – Moodle – with integration Microsoft's OneNote to improve assessment and feedback processes for students and teachers. And their experience is that the system ...
  • Blog Post: Case studies that show how the Windows Azure cloud is used in higher education research

    Researchers in universities and elsewhere are using the cloud (and HPC clusters) in their research in order to reduce the cost, or increase the speed of reaching research conclusions. I was asked yesterday for a few examples of how the cloud is improving research, so having created the list, I thought...
  • Blog Post: How a university saved $1.5m with virtualisation and management tools

    When I left the UK to move to Australia, we'd already had a few years of significant pressure on public sector budgets, and education had taken the hit alongside other sectors. At the time, there was a lot of talk about 'back office functions' as opposed to 'frontline services', and in many cases that...
  • Blog Post: How to manage student absence using a messaging system

    When students don't turn up to school, there's normally an established procedure for how to handle it, that may involve contacting a parent, or keeping your fingers crossed to hope that a parent remembers to contact you. The challenge that many schools face is that it is time consuming and costly to...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education case study–Woodleigh School in Victoria

    Last week, when we announced the broad availability of Office 365 for education in Australia, I was overseas, so I didn't manage to post as much information up as I'd hoped. So I'm catching up now – today it's a first Office 365 for education case study in an Australian school. The case study, from our...
  • Blog Post: Want ideas for Kinect in Education–take a look at the Microsoft Accelerator programme for Kinect

    What happens if you take 11 creative teams, give them three months to work on an idea, and a set of offices and social spaces in the Microsoft offices? Well, we know the answer now, because that's what the Microsoft Accelerator programme for Kinect has been all about. Why Kinect? Craig Eisler, the GM...
  • Blog Post: Using Samsung Series 7 slates in the classroom in Australia

    St Catherine's School is a girls school in Sydney with nearly 1,000 students and a 1:1 programme for their students. They are using Samsung Series 7 slates , running Windows and Microsoft OneNote to support learning right across the curriculum. What that means is that they can run all of their existing...
  • Blog Post: WorkSmart Guides - Updated ready-made IT user documentation

    When I started working at Microsoft, I hadn’t been in such an open, technology rich culture before. And with so many IT systems around, and so many different software resources, my head was buzzing. In fact, I remember that at the end of the first week, the number of links in my Favourites was massive...
  • Blog Post: Reduce costs by virtualising Blackboard onto Hyper-V

    According to analysts, one of the drivers for IT changes in Australian universities services is the need to continue to drive down cost of delivering IT services. That’s not only for planned changes (eg new systems and services), but also for existing projects, where there is an opportunity to cut the...
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