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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • 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: The world’s first joint research centre for Social Natural User Interfaces is in Melbourne

    Yesterday we have the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces . This is a joint research centre between the University of Melbourne and Microsoft Research, in partnership with the state government of Victoria and Microsoft Australia. The centre will explore applications of Natural...
  • Blog Post: The challenge of student retention–how early do universities spot students at risk

    I’ve been chatting with Jon Ryder at XMPro in the UK, who has been working with British universities on projects for student engagement and retention. I’ve also been working with Microsoft Education partners in Australia on the same challenge, and their solutions which help universities and TAFEs identify...
  • Blog Post: Markbook for Windows 8–a replacement for Mindtrail?

    I’ve written before about Lucas Moffitt , and his Teacher Collection apps for Windows 8 . As a reminder, Lucas has developed 9 different apps to help teachers with typical classroom tasks, like marking, lesson observation, creating curriculum resources and lessons etc. His latest app is Markbook for...
  • Blog Post: How many devices can you install a Windows 8 app on?

    When we first launched Windows 8, we allowed customers to install an app from the Windows Store onto up to five devices. This was similar to other app stores at the time, but personally I quickly found the limit was a challenge. For example, if I was trying out a range of different devices (as an education...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 in Education: How to deploy Windows 8 in education

    This is part five of a set of articles on Windows 8 deployment in education. To start at the beginning, take a look at “ Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning Guide ”, then “ Windows 8 in Education: Windows Store apps and deployment ”, followed by “ Windows 8 in Education...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Guide for BYOD in Education

    This is part four of a set of articles on Windows 8 deployment in education. To start at the beginning, take a look at  “ Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning Guide ”, then “ Windows 8 in Education: Windows Store apps and deployment ” and finally “ Windows 8 in Education: setting up Virtual...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 in Education: setting up Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in education

    This is part three of a set of articles on Windows 8 deployment in education. To start at the beginning, take a look at  “ Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning Guide ” and “ Windows 8 in Education: Windows Store apps and deployment ”. One of the challenges for educational institutions is...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 in Education: Windows Store apps and deployment

    This is part two of a set of articles on Windows 8 deployment in education. To start at the beginning, take a look at yesterday’s “ Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning Guide ” The use of Windows 8 on devices in education brings many new benefits, features and technology capabilities. One prominent...
  • Blog Post: How big is the Office 365 for education mailbox?

    Up until last Friday, the answer to “How big is the Office 365 for education mailbox?” was 25GB ( remember, that’s every education user of the free Office 365 for Education service getting a free 25GB mailbox storage limit ). But as of Friday, we’ve announced we’re rolling out increases, doubling the...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 in Education: Deployment Planning guide

    This week I’m going to focus on a new set of guides for Windows 8 deployment in education. So if you’re an IT manager in a school, TAFE or University, and you’re thinking about your project plans for the approaching summer break, then you’re probably going to be rubbing your hands in anticipation of...
  • Blog Post: Education is the fastest growing user of unified communications

    I’ve been aware of the steady advance of unified communications at the expense of old-fashioned PBX telephone systems for a few years. Personally, my journey of unified communications started 6 years ago, when Microsoft started to replace our telephone handsets with Communicator 2007 software and...
  • Blog Post: Are you running Windows XP or Office 2003 anywhere?

    I was in a government medical clinic two weeks ago, where they had rolled out a brand new system for managing their customer workflow and medical records. And every single computer, with this brand new software system, was running on Windows XP. They had built a brand-new mission critical IT system on...
  • Blog Post: University of New England heads to Lync for 23,000 students and staff

    Last week we were able to announce the news that the University of New England, in Armidale in northern New South Wales, has become the latest big education customer to use Microsoft Lync for real-time communications. It will become the way that their 23,000 students and staff can collaborate and communicate...
  • Blog Post: How to choose the right device in education

    The search for the right device for both yourself and your school, TAFE or university can be challenging. What type of device will I get? What do all the specs mean? Which device will best cater for my needs? The problem is, with the broad collection of Windows devices now available, and the vast price...
  • 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: Update 3: Microsoft Surface RT Education offer in Australia

    One of the most frequent questions that we’ve been asked about the Microsoft Surface RT offer for education customers in Australia (the offer is for education institutions to be able to order the Microsoft Surface RT from AU$219) is “can I get the Surface RT Education offer in stores, rather...
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