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

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  • Blog Post: Updated: Microsoft Bring Your Own Device to School Discussion Paper

    Since we produced our first ‘BYOD to School’ whitepaper last year, there’s been a lot said about Bring Your Own Device in schools, and plenty of different views expressed about which model is best. From all those discussions, I and my colleagues are convinced there’s not a simple solution – there’s definitely...
  • Blog Post: Spending your holidays working in the office? There is another way

    Loryan Strant, who's a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Office 365, is also CEO of Paradyne , one of our Office 365 for Education partners in Australia. It’s tricky, running a business and creating a work-life balance, which Loryan wrote about on his blog in September in ‘ Focus on fatherhood...
  • Blog Post: Student Advantage–the best way to get Office for student BYOD devices

    Last week we announced Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions that brings Microsoft Office to more students worldwide. This is a global programme that most Australian education institutions will already qualify for. And for Australian schools, universities and TAFEs, it comes at...
  • Blog Post: Reducing friction for international student recruitment with unified communications

    Two weeks ago I explained why Lync and Skype are joined together , and some examples of how it will be useful in education. In a nutshell, it allows you (and your external users) to connect conversations between your own Lync system and consumer Skype users – typically the kind of software students and...
  • Blog Post: Why are Lync and Skype joined together?

    We’ve just announced that Lync and Skype can be joined together: Join – often called ‘federation’, it allows the two different systems to talk to each other, so that somebody on Skype can chat with somebody on Lync & vice versa Lync – Microsoft’s service for unified communications for businesses...
  • 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: 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: 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 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: 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: How quick is it to setup Office 365 for education?

    John Kleeman , founder of Questionmark , is a big SharePoint user, and passionate about the use of SharePoint for assessment in higher education ( you can read more about their work here ). So I follow his SharePoint and Assessment blog – I wanted to share one of his recent blog posts: A couple...
  • Blog Post: Carbon tax strategies in education–reducing PC power usage

    Next month’s carbon tax will cost Australian education institutions upwards of $50m a year (see ‘ How the carbon tax will affect education ’), and that’s money that won’t be easy to find. But the issue of managing energy usage isn’t unique to education – so what can be learnt from other industries? Our...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Another Lync case study, at The University of the West of England

    After last week’s Lync case study, of the Open University saving $3m through implementing unified communications to replace their existing telephone system, here’s another university case study of doing the same thing – and this time it’s the University of the West of England (UWE) near Bristol in the...
  • Blog Post: The Open University uses Lync 2010 to save $3m

    The Open University (OU) is the UK’s largest university, and delivers its courses via distance learning to over 250,000 students. With 5,000 staff spread around the country, the OU decided to explore options to replace their existing PABX telephone system, as well as introduce new communications technology...
  • Blog Post: How the carbon tax will affect education

    I know there’s a political debate about the carbon tax, and I don’t want to go near that. But I did see the stories earlier this week (eg this one on Sky News ) that the carbon tax is going to increase costs for NSW public sector organisations by nearly $50M, and figures quoted that the 2,177 public...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft and the Cloud – what it means for education

    There’s recently been a lot of discussion within education about different models of ICT services. Individual universities have tended to use a mix of services provided on-premise and cloud-based services . And newer models of teaching and learning have accelerated the trend towards cloud-based services...
  • Blog Post: Learning Suite - free software for teachers in February

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free. Learning Suite This month I’ve shared Free...
  • Blog Post: The NSW Science ESSA test - the background monitoring service

    Yesterday I wrote “ Why put assessment in the Cloud? ” about the project last year for students in New South Wales in Australia to complete the statutory Science examinations online - replacing a paper-based system that had been used for years. As well as the time-saving and paper-saving, one of the...
  • Blog Post: Why put assessment in the Cloud?

    One of the often-quoted benefits of using Cloud computing is that you can provide for big bursts of activity by using the flexibility of massive datacentres being built around the world for this. And that if you want to use this service, you simply pay for the bit you use. It means that you can activate...
  • Blog Post: The Office Add-in for Moodle - free software for teachers in February

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free. Free Microsoft Office Add-in for Moodle...
  • Blog Post: Mouse Mischief - free software for teachers in February

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free. Mouse Mischief A simple idea: Let your students...
  • Blog Post: Cutting out paper - using tech to meet parents where they are

    Continuing the month’s worth of ideas to support a New Year Resolution to cut paper use in education… For a break I thought you’d like some ideas that don’t come from me. Instead, I thought it’s worth highlighting ideas from Chris Wejr , a school Principal for Kent elementary school in Canada. He’s written...
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