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

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  • Blog Post: OneNote, SmartBoard and students with autism

    Our global Office blog recently published an excellent article from a teacher in the US, sharing their experiences of using OneNote for students with autism. They found it supported their use of tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom, with the OneNote notebook allowing students with autism...
  • Blog Post: Login to Mathletics with Office 365 Single Sign On

    Yesterday I wrote about the way to make Single Sign On easier for staff and students by using their Office 365 Education login on third-party websites . This week one of the most popular student learning websites in Australia (and elsewhere) has been added to the list, as your students and staff can...
  • Blog Post: Sway for publishing curriculum resources–helpful updates for teachers in April

    When the Office team launched Sway, the newest member of the Microsoft Office family, I wrote about how helpful it would be for teachers and students . The simplest way I can describe Sway is that it lets you publish visually attractive materials, including multimedia elements, that will look good on...
  • Blog Post: 5.5m students in Australia can get Office 365 ProPlus free

    In 2013 we announced that students can download Office 365 ProPlus free (that’s the suite of Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher etc) onto their personal devices – Windows PCs, Macs, phones, tablets etc. We called this programme “ Student Advantage ”, and it applied to every...
  • Blog Post: Why the pen is mightier than the keyboard: The evidence

    When I wrote about “ How to help students to remember more ” towards the end of last year, I shared a video of my colleague Travis Smith talking about the power of pen-based input for students, over a simple keyboard interface, for key tasks such as note taking. (I recommend either the 15-minute or 60...
  • Blog Post: Get support from Microsoft for accessibility questions via the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

    The Microsoft Support team run the “ Microsoft Disability Answer Desk ” service, and have just announced that it’s now available for Australian customers, to allow you to get telephone support from Microsoft for accessibility questions. This service allows you to call a toll-free number and speak with...
  • Blog Post: edX and Microsoft partnership for teachers

    edX is an online learning environment which is extensively used for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), founded as a non-profit partnership between Harvard and MIT. They’ve just announced a partnership with Microsoft to help online course creators to develop content with Office Mix . Many faculty currently...
  • Blog Post: PhotoMath: Should you ban Windows Phone in the Maths classroom?

    Remember when calculators were banned in the classroom, because it made calculation too easy? Well, in the same spirit there’s going to be a maths teacher somewhere that will decide to ban their students from having a Windows Phone in their maths classroom. And all because of PhotoMath and how...
  • Blog Post: Digitise everything - Office Lens and teachers.

    The Office team have been doing some great work recently with adding new features to the Office suite of products, that are especially useful for teachers and students. OneNote has been getting a lot of attention on mobile devices including for iOS, Android and Windows phones. For example, this week...
  • Blog Post: Your opportunity to apply to join an exclusive community of innovative educators

    Richard, who runs our Microsoft Innovative Educator programme in Australia, has asked me to let you know about the opportunity for practising teachers to apply to join the Microsoft Innovative Education Expert program. We’re looking for top educators, ready to spread the word about...
  • Blog Post: Edmodo app for Windows 8 available now

    At 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...
  • Blog Post: Explain Everything for Windows 8 - now available

    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...
  • Blog Post: Research in Practice seminars: Learning and Thriving in a hyper-connected world

    The Principals Australia Institute and the Microsoft Australia Education team are collaborating on a series of breakfast briefings around Australia from mid-March to early April, as part of PAI’s established Research in Practice series. The series puts principals and educators in touch with the latest...
  • Blog Post: Is School Writing the best Windows 8 education app?

    Demografix is a Queensland-based education software developer producing great apps for schools and students – and they have just produced a Windows 8.1 version of their best-selling School Writing app. And working with them has been fascinating, as they have found extra capabilities in Windows 8 that...
  • Blog Post: Snap a whiteboard and bring it into OneNote for Windows 8

    What 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the Microsoft Australian Teachers Blog

    My colleagues have been talking for a while about creating a more teaching-centric blog for Australia, focusing more on the teaching and learning side of technology. And a couple of weeks ago they launched the Microsoft Australian Teachers Blog , which is all about technology in the classroom. It will...
  • Blog Post: GeoGebra for Windows 8 released

    GeoGebra is an open-source mathematics app that is used on over 700,000 classroom Windows computers in Australia alone. And the developers have just released GeoGebra for Windows 8 , so now there’s a touch-based version of GeoGebra for students using tablets, or teachers using interactive whiteboards...
  • 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: How students can work together on the same Office documents in real time

    The Microsoft Office suite has always had ways for different authors to work on the same document – but the reality for many people is that they often simply circulate a document via email, then people make changes and email the document back to the sender. And then somebody has to bring all the changes...
  • Blog Post: Collaborative learning with Windows 8 multi-touch apps– flip the screen over!

    Most of the Windows 8 education apps have been designed for a single user experience – a student sitting at a screen, or using a touch tablet – where the screen is always oriented in one way with a clear ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the screen – with the text and graphics designed to be readable in that way...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft IT-Girls Day 2013 - Sydney 6th May

    Do you work in a girls or mixed school in or near Sydney? Do you want to help to raise the profile of the IT industry amongst your female students? If you haven’t taken part in these events before, then you’ll be in a for a big surprise, as it shatters the image of IT as being a geeky...
  • Blog Post: nsquared numbers: free Windows 8 education apps from nsquared

    In my last blog post I wrote about nsquared , a Sydney-based company producing education software that works with touch devices, and the first of their free apps for Windows 8 – nsquared snap . Today, here's their next free Windows 8 education app – numbers.   nsquared numbers Link nsquared numbers...
  • Blog Post: Building an engaging Windows 8 education app for teachers

    Developing an education app is about designing an experience, before writing code . One way is to talk to teachers and students. Another way is to look at examples, and that's why we created 'App Idea Books' for Windows 8. They cover different areas – games, entertainment, news, productivity, sports...
  • Blog Post: Update 9–Windows 8 education apps from Australia

    I've written before about Lucas Moffitt , an independent developer who's writing Windows 8 apps to help teachers.  He's turning them out pretty quickly – Australian Teacher Professional Standards Evaluator , Class Seater and Lesson Coder – and he's just had his most ambitious project published in...
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