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

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  • Blog Post: Are you attending the Education Strategy Briefing at the Australia Partner Conference next week?

    Next week we’re hosting the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference in the Gold Coast Convention Centre. It’s a week full of strategic information on key topics across the Microsoft business. On Tuesday 2 September, before the main conference opens later, we are hosting an Education Strategy Briefing...
  • 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: Webinar on cloud privacy and data sovereignty

    The benefits of cloud computing for public sector organisations run right across the public sector, including education.  But as executives explore the opportunities, they often become concerned about data security and the privacy risks associated with online services – and justifiably so. We’re...
  • Blog Post: Can education customers get Yammer free?

    We announced recently that Yammer for education customers will be free of charge this Spring ( that's, Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, or as we would call it in Australia, 'Autumn/early Winter' ), through your Office 365 for Education subscription (which is also free). Which means that educational...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 sales training for partners

    What's your diary like for April? How about investing one of your spare days in training for you and/or colleagues on Office 365, with a focus on strengthening your customer conversations about the transformation from traditional desktop software to cloud-delivered software services? On 28th April...
  • Blog Post: Identity management in the cloud (or how to avoid the need to login every two minutes)

    Many education institutions in Australia are using Active Directory for their identity management. Typically, when a new student or staff member starts, they have an account created in the Active Directory (in many cases, this is done automatically by their student management system). That then allows...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Australian datacentres–the impact of last week’s announcement

    Did you catch the announcement last week that we are planning to significantly expand our cloud services in Australia, by the creation of a new Windows Azure ‘major region’ for Australia? Which means that when complete we’ll be delivering Azure services locally from Windows Azure Australian datacentres...
  • Blog Post: Is there academic pricing for Windows Azure? No, but there's something better…free Azure

    For many of our products and services, there's special education pricing – these typically give education customers up to an 80% discount on normal prices, or even go so far as providing some services (like Office 365) free for education customers. It doesn't apply to Windows Azure, as there...
  • 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: Full agenda for the 2013 Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summit

    Last week I announced the date for the 2013 Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summit – on Monday 25th March in Sydney, and the fact that we've got Anthony Salcito kicking off the event with his characteristically engaging story telling on the future of education, and our role in supporting...
  • Blog Post: University of Washington - Moving business intelligence to the cloud

    International case studies are always good to review, because sometimes you see things that aren't being done in Australia, and give useful ideas for solving problems for Australian education institutions. Of course, many international education organisations run in a very different way to Australian...
  • Blog Post: Join the online launch of Office 365 on Thursday 28th Feb

    The invitation is out for anybody to join our Virtual Launch Event next week as we celebrate the availability of a major new release coming to Office 365 for businesses and education customers. Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, will talk about Microsoft’s vision for productivity...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 in education��webcast for Australian partners

    CIOs are looking to cloud computing for delivery of ICT capabilities, and that is no different for education customers. In education, there's an emphasis on mobility, and supporting students and teachers using their own personal devices. Microsoft has a free version of Office 365 – Office 365 for education...
  • Blog Post: 29th Jan Webinar - Office 365 for education with Microsoft MVP Loryan Strant

    As I've mentioned before, Loryan Strant's running weekly Office 365 for education webinars for schools in Australia ( Office 365 for education is our free, cloud-based service, that gives you Exchange email, SharePoint collaboration, Lync communications, and the browser-based Office Web apps - Word,...
  • Blog Post: Improving school to home communication by giving parents access to Office 365 for education

    My colleague, James Marshall, is a whizz with Office 365 for education . And he regularly shares information on his UK Education Cloud Blog on how to use the Office 365 cloud services to support education organisations (from both an IT management and user perspective). I really recommend following his...
  • Blog Post: Getting started with Office 365 for education - webinar from Microsoft MVP Loryan Strant

    Office 365 for education is our free, cloud-based service, that gives you email through Exchange, collaboration with SharePoint, and document services with Office Web applications (Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint - all running through your browser). You can use it for all kinds of things, from something...
  • Blog Post: The Technology behind NORAD tracks Santa

    Yesterday I told you about NORAD Tracks Santa – a website and group of apps where parents and children can track the progress of Santa on Christmas Eve as he travels around the world delivering presents to all the children who have been good this year. Although these days children think that...
  • Blog Post: Update: Microsoft Education roadshow in Sydney on 23 November, then Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth

    A reminder of our roadshow – which kicks off in Sydney in a week's time We've got together with a couple of our partners – Generation-e and Paradyne - and are heading out to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth with an education roadshow for schools . And the timing's perfect, because we've got the...
  • Blog Post: Today's online ESSA Science test in New South Wales

    It’s on again, the annual online science assessment (the ESSA test) that brings all year 8 students, in all Government, Catholic and Private Schools in NSW, together on one day to do an online science assessment. And it's happening right now, with help from Microsoft's cloud services. Each year this...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Education roadshow coming to Sydney-Melbourne-Perth and Adelaide in November 2012

    We've got together with a couple of our partners – Generation-e and Paradyne - and are heading out to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth with an education roadshow for schools . And the timing's perfect, because we've got the opposing effects of rapid technology change and squeezed IT budgets, happening...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure pre-purchase offer

    Microsoft's cloud system - Windows Azure - is being used in education more widely, and there are plenty of conversations going on about how educational partners can move their applications to be hosted on Windows Azure to reduce the cost of expanding their service (because you can just expand a service...
  • 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: More on building apps for the new Office

    In August, I wrote about building education applications for the new Office, Office 365 for education and SharePoint , which is a new way of creating services and application add-ins for the new Office applications. The new Office has a focus on cloud services, and developers can build cloud applications...
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