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

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  • Blog Post: Western Sydney University gives 5,000 Surface 3’s to new students

    This education news from the Microsoft News Centre was good to see: Western Sydney University will provide 5,000 Microsoft Surface 3 devices to commencing students this year, as it continues to provide innovative and highly engaging learning opportunities and cements its reputation as one of Australia...
  • Blog Post: Free Power BI training sources

    I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might...
  • Blog Post: Deploy a Moodle Cluster on Azure, using Ubuntu

    I’ve just finished a conversation with our team in the US who are working on lots of smart Moodle integrations to various Microsoft technologies (like the Office 365 integration with Moodle components and the Moodle virtual images for Azure ) and they mentioned that there are now also complete quick...
  • Blog Post: The first university-wide roll out of Windows 10 in the world has started, and it’s in Australia!

    Consumers are often the first to start using new releases of Windows, and large organisations tend to follow more cautiously, taking the time to carefully balance the new features some users want alongside the cry from others to not change anything. But in the case of Windows 10 there are features in...
  • 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: Learn Data Science and Machine Learning Essentials on edX

    At one stage in my career, working for fifteen years in marketing, I realised that it wasn't just enough to understand what the data told me about my customers, but to also understand how to extract stories from the data. And to do that, I had to understand the techniques for analysing data - not just...
  • Blog Post: edX and Microsoft Office integration - Office Mix and Office 365

    Last year I wrote about the Microsoft partnership with edX to develop services to help teachers, including integration between edX and Office Mix - to allow teachers to quickly and easily create multimedia content using PowerPoint. Open edX is an open source platform teaching and learning, and is used...
  • Blog Post: Free Azure Machine Learning in education - trials and credits

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote a couple of articles about using Azure Machine Learning in education. Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education and Making machine learning in education easier for every day users . It covered scenarios like using Azure Machine Learning for education problems like...
  • Blog Post: Stopping exam cheating - plagiarism checking is not enough

    I read in today’s Sydney Morning Herald the continuing story of universities in Australia fighting a constant battle with cheats in exams and assessments. Today’s story reveals that there’s not just a problem with plagiarism in essays, but also students paying impersonators to sit their...
  • Blog Post: Making things easier for your users: Single Sign On with Office 365

    Over the last year, we have been working with software and website developers to make it easier for students and staff to login to their services by allowing them to login with their Office 365 username. This means that students don’t need to remember yet another login identity and password, but simply...
  • 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: Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education

    You can't read anything about technology trends these days without reading about Big Data and the power of algorithms. It pops up in education with lots of discussions of education analytics/learning analytics and a pile of other acronyms.  I think that the discussion is so intense in education...
  • 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: Event Invitation: Keep Students. Save Millions

    One of our specialist partners, S1 Consulting , work with universities and TAFE institutes across the country to help improve the value of student management systems, and the use ability for individual institutions to manage the student lifecycle and student experience. Recently, they have been working...
  • Blog Post: Wired: Pens are making a high-tech comeback

    Last week, Wired ran a story on the research team working on next generation of digital pens and software experiences at Microsoft. It's a great read, because it raises some thoughtful questions about the way that we use computers, and the impact on learning and retention of information in our brains...
  • Blog Post: Uses for Hololens in education

    Less than 100 days ago, we revealed Hololens during the Windows 10 announcement, and since then we’ve all been waiting for a second chance to see it… Hololens in Education Well, last night, that finally happened at the \\Build\ conference as the team revealed what they have been working on, and especially...
  • 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: Sway for publishing curriculum resources–helpful updates for teachers in April

    When the Office team launched Sway, the newest member of the Microsoft Office family, I wrote about how helpful it would be for teachers and students . The simplest way I can describe Sway is that it lets you publish visually attractive materials, including multimedia elements, that will look good on...
  • Blog Post: 5.5m students in Australia can get Office 365 ProPlus free

    In 2013 we announced that students can download Office 365 ProPlus free (that’s the suite of Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher etc) onto their personal devices – Windows PCs, Macs, phones, tablets etc. We called this programme “ Student Advantage ”, and it applied to every...
  • Blog Post: Why the pen is mightier than the keyboard: The evidence

    When I wrote about “ How to help students to remember more ” towards the end of last year, I shared a video of my colleague Travis Smith talking about the power of pen-based input for students, over a simple keyboard interface, for key tasks such as note taking. (I recommend either the 15-minute or 60...
  • Blog Post: 2015 Back To School Surface 3 discount for students

    Hot off the press: Harvey Norman have just launched their Back to School student/teacher offer for the Surface Pro 3, with a 10% discount available to those who have an “.edu.au” email address. All the details are on their website here The offer is very simple to use – you supply your email address ending...
  • Blog Post: Moodle integration with Office 365–how to get it

    Last month, when I wrote that new Moodle integrations with Microsoft technology were on the way, I didn’t have an exact date, but forecast ‘late January’. And how time flies – because they’ve just arrived! Overnight, the work from our Microsoft Open Technologies team and the Remote Learner team (a Moodle...
  • Blog Post: Safeguarding student privacy

    Over on the Microsoft Australia blog , Pip Marlow, Microsoft Australia’s Managing Director, has written about our commitments to privacy of student data online: Technology has the unique power to influence and transform how we teach and learn. While the use of cloud...
  • Blog Post: Get support from Microsoft for accessibility questions via the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

    The Microsoft Support team run the “ Microsoft Disability Answer Desk ” service, and have just announced that it’s now available for Australian customers, to allow you to get telephone support from Microsoft for accessibility questions. This service allows you to call a toll-free number and speak with...
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