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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: Take part in a Global Enterprise Challenge with other primary schools

    I learnt today that a school I used to work with in the UK, Broadclyst Community Primary School, were given a grant by the Microsoft global Education team to fund their Global Enterprise Challenge, to allow them to join 1,000 students from 20 countries together in a challenge for Year 6 students. And...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summits 2014

    In the first week of August we are running half-day partner training events for Microsoft Education partners in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. This year’s education ICT buying season is almost underway, and it promises to be like no buying season in history. There are significant...
  • Blog Post: Office Apps for Education–Academic Wordsmith plagiarism checker for Word

    In the past I’ve written about the way that developers can now write apps for Office – which means that specialist capabilities can be added to Office to support particular uses. There are now hundreds of apps in the Office Store , which are add-ins for the Office suite – Word, Excel...
  • 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: 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: Solving the biggest problem with Office 365’s SharePoint in schools

    I’ve come across implementations of SharePoint in schools where it has been rolled out as another vanilla IT service – a bit like a shared network drive, or a plain portal. And the IT team are so overloaded with projects that they haven’t had the time to personalise the look and feel to make it suitable...
  • Blog Post: 21st Century Learning Design in Action–two day workshop from ELH

    Are you going to EduTech next week? Would you like to be able to develop practical strategies that help you turn some of the great ideas into concrete plans? The team at Expanding Learning Horizons have created a training  event, running in Brisbane in the two days before EduTech, that’s setup perfectly...
  • Blog Post: Webinar: How Office 365 Education helps students learn

    We’ve got a webinar coming up in two weeks for Australian schools: The subject of our next school-focused webinar is “ How do you give your students better learning experiences with a rich, interactive collaborative environment that will prepare them for the demands of a 21st century workforce? ” We...
  • 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: Education DevCamp in Sydney – Building apps for Office 365 and SharePoint

    On 14/15 May 2014 we’re running a training event for developers of education applications and services in Sydney. It is a two-day detailed training workshop that will help partners to develop for the Office 365, Office and SharePoint platform. The workshop is for developers and architects, and will mix...
  • Blog Post: Technology Enriched Instruction - A Partners in Learning workshop for Higher Education Faculty

    Microsoft and University of New England would like to invite colleagues from other universities and TAFE Institutes to the first Australian hosting of the Technology Enriched Instruction workshop on April 3 and 4 2014 at the UNE Futures Campus in Parramatta . Attendees with a range of teaching experience...
  • 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: Windows 8 education app - 21st Century Learning Design app to support curriculum planning

    If you’re designing learning activities, or curriculum planning for 21st Century skills, that require students to demonstrate or develop 21st Century skills, then there’s some help in the form of a new app for Windows 8. 21st Century Learning Design is a tool developed to help teachers in assessing where...
  • Blog Post: Using PowerBI and open government data

    PowerBI is one of the most flexible ways to visualise data that I’ve seen (it’s just been released as part of the Office 365 service). And, what’s even better for me, is that it uses Excel as the starting point – which means that I’ve already got 90% of the skills needed to work with it. (I know I work...
  • Blog Post: What does Office Online mean for students?

    We made an announcement at the end of last week about the name and easier access to the online versions of Office. I think this is important for Australian students and teachers, as it is now much easier for students and staff to be able to use Office on the web. Anybody can do it – they don’t...
  • Blog Post: Integrating Moodle and Office 365 for Education

    We’re continuing to build the list of integration resources that we provide for Moodle, so that schools, TAFEs and universities can integrate their Moodle platforms more securely with the rest of their existing infrastructure. This is a common goal for central IT teams, where they want to ensure their...
  • 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: School 1:1 programmes–Miami-Dade County Public Schools announce 100,000 Windows 8 devices

    We’ve just announced that Miami Dade County Public Schools in the USA will be providing 100,000 Windows 8 devices for their students by August 2015, starting this term with HP and Lenovo computers for 13,000 primary and 15,000 middle school students. It is part of the bigger programme of technology...
  • 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: 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: What does my list of top 10 Education blog posts of 2013 tell me?

    I’ve just finished looking at the statistics for this blog to compile a summary of the top Education blog posts you read during 2013, and thought it might be useful for people if I shared it. And then, at risk of making this a little ‘ inside baseball ’, I wanted to share what I learnt...
  • Blog Post: Lock a Windows 8 computer to one app for controlled assessments or information screens

    Do you ever need to be able to limit users to a single application reliably and securely? Or you have a display computer which you want to limit to a single application (eg an information booth PC)? One of the features of Windows 8 that will be useful for education customers is Kiosk, or Assigned Access...
  • 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: Office 365 - Ignite Technical Training in Sydney–April 2014

    Office 365 Education is based on exactly the same platform as the full-blown enterprise-grade Office 365 system used by companies globally. One of the benefits of this is that you get the same Service Level Agreements for the cloud service that one of Australia’s ASX50 companies would get. And another...
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