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

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  • Blog Post: Translating resources for international students - and talking to your watch

    Australia continues to grow our international student education sector, with a record $18.8 billion of revenue in 2014-15 from the nearly half a million international students who study at our universities, TAFEs and schools. In universities international students make up a quarter of all students ,...
  • Blog Post: Still using paper forms for parent permission slips? Time to do a risk analysis?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: One of my pet hates is paper permission slips from my daughter’s school (and even more so now that they have switched to emailing me the slips, and I have to print them, sign them and send them back in my daughter’s hands. Double pet hate now!) So I’m genuinely...
  • Blog Post: Hosting Moodle in Azure - TAFE South Australia moves online

    I’ve written before about the work that our technical teams have done to make it simpler to run Moodle on Azure , and the way that you can integrate Office 365 with Moodle to make life easier for teaching staff and students (as well as easing the manage of a potentially-complex IT system). This week...
  • Blog Post: Dynamics CRM Online certification to Australian government security requirements

    Six months ago we announced the important news confirming the Certification of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) via Australian Government’s Independent Registered Assessors Program (IRAP). Australian government certification for Microsoft cloud services...
  • Blog Post: How to migrate large data sets from on-premises disks to Office 365

    School IT teams sometimes face very different challenges to business IT teams (and have to solve them with smaller budgets and less people). Moving services to the cloud is an example, because once you’ve made the decision to do it, you’ve got to deal with moving hundreds of gigabytes of data for thousands...
  • Blog Post: Introducing: Microsoft Office 365 for Moodlerooms

    Moodlerooms, from Blackboard, is now integrated to Office 365, so that students\staff can use Office 365 identity for a smooth single sign on experience, sync info to their Outlook calendars, store files on OneDrive for Business, and submit assignments and feedback through OneNote. Last week at EDUCAUSE...
  • Blog Post: Australian Education Case Studies Update - November 2015

    One question that I’m asked frequently about new projects is: “ Who else is doing this? ” In some cases, what people (partners/customers) are looking for is confirmation that they’re going to be at the innovative edge - and that what they are doing hasn’t been done before. But most of the time, they...
  • 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: Case study - Applying Azure Machine Learning in education to student dropout

    Having recently written two articles about the theory of applying Machine Learning in Education - “ Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education ” and “ Making machine learning in education easier for every day users ” - I think it’s time to dive into a specific example of machine learning in...
  • Blog Post: Making machine learning in education easier for every day users

    Last week I wrote “ Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education ”, which started exploring the use of algorithms, alongside cloud-based machine learning in education to solve some of the key challenges facing education institutions. The problem is that it all sounds so very geeky. Hey, I just...
  • Blog Post: Ways for schools and universities to manage inappropriate web content

    For six years, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has been working on PhotoDNA technology – a way of detecting illegal online child sexual abuse photos. It is used by a wide range of social media and photo sharing companies, like Facebook, Twitter and Flipboard, to scan user-generated images as...
  • Blog Post: Uses for Office 365 Video in education

    A few months ago we announced the Office 365 Video service , which is an internal video publishing service on Office 365, and we recently confirmed that it is now rolling out to all of our Office 365 Enterprise customers (that automatically includes Office 365 Education services, with plan E1 and E3...
  • Blog Post: New Moodle integrations with Microsoft technology are on the way

    Over the last couple of years I’ve written a number of times about integration points between Moodle and Microsoft, to help education customers understand what the opportunities are to be able to integrate two of their key tools for students and staff. This turns out to be important even for universities...
  • Blog Post: Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australian datacentres

    This morning we made an announcement that will be especially interesting to Australian education customers. The news is that we’re going to be running Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australia datacentres by March. This follows our launch two months ago of the two Microsoft Azure datacentre services ...
  • Blog Post: Update on running Moodle in the cloud on Microsoft Azure

    There’s been quite a bit of news around integration work for Moodle on the Microsoft Azure cloud recently, so I have gathered together some update info. This post is about running Moodle in the cloud. Next week, I’ll pull some bits together on integration with other Microsoft technologies. Fully supported...
  • Blog Post: How do other education institutions solve their storage problems? Webinar

    Education customers have vast quantities of data to be stored – and demand for more storage from users is growing all the time. There are three basic choices: Keep adding storage in-house in your own datacentre (even if you’re a smaller school with a little stack of servers, it’ll quickly grow to become...
  • 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...
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