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

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  • Blog Post: Integrating Microsoft Office 365 Education with Desire2Learn Learning Environment

    One of the futures of Learning Management Systems is as a key bridge, building integration between different systems within an education institution. In the future, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a single monolithic system that solves every elearning challenge, but instead a set of best-of-class...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: How Deloitte made learning a game–Harvard Business Review

    Gamification of learning continues to be a hot topic for education (and as with most things within the education system, there's plenty of divided opinion on how it could be used in the classroom with students). But it's not limited to conventional education systems – we're also seeing gamification being...
  • Blog Post: Combining Moodle with OneNote and SkyDrive to raise standards

    There's a case study from the UK that I'd recommend reading. It's the story of a college that has enhanced their learning management system – Moodle – with integration Microsoft's OneNote to improve assessment and feedback processes for students and teachers. And their experience is that the system ...
  • Blog Post: Office Web Apps–the new Office Web Apps Server

    Two years ago we introduced Office Web Apps – browser-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. They appeared in a number of places – for example, you could work directly with them in the cloud, using SkyDrive. And they also ran on SharePoint servers, so that you could be opening and editing...
  • Blog Post: Linking SkyDrive and Moodle together

    Moodle, a popular Learning Management System, is widely used across education. And Microsoft's SkyDrive is also widely used by both teachers and students (although in some government systems, the access is blocked to SkyDrive when in school) as a cloud-based storage drive. So you may be interested to...
  • Blog Post: Integrating a learning platform with Office 365–LP+

    I just got an embargoed press release from the UK Learning Possibilities team for 15th June – and luckily for us, I can write about it already as we’re half a day ahead of the UK In a nutshell, LP+ is a rich Virtual Learning Environment for schools built on SharePoint 2010, which is...
  • Blog Post: Can your SharePoint become your Learning Management System?

    Over the last six months I’ve written about Learning Management Systems (LMS) quite a few times. I’ve asked questions like “ Do you really need a Learning Management System? ” and “ Are SharePoint Composites the future of the Learning Management System? ”, and shared...
  • Blog Post: Do you really need a Learning Management System?

    I was reading a blog post from Jonathan Rees earlier – a Professor of History at Colorado State University – where he discusses briefly the usage of the Learning Management System (LMS) (‘ An uncharacteristically subtle post for me ’). It was accompanied by a chart showing the...
  • Blog Post: Hosting Moodle in the Cloud - why now?

    It’s been a bit of a ‘big news week’ in the Moodle community this week. On Monday, it was announced that Blackboard had bought two of the world’s top 5 Moodle partners – MoodleRooms and NetSpot . NetSpot is Australia’s largest Moodle partner, and has been the partner of choice for many of the Australian...
  • Blog Post: Moodle in the cloud–a Moodle 2 kit for Windows Azure

    The Microsoft CodePlex site is host to a wide range of open source projects, and just last month the first beta release was made of the project to allow hosting of Moodle 2.0 or Moodle 2.2 on the Windows Azure cloud service. As the project notes say:   The MoodleBuild toolchain patches and packages...
  • Blog Post: Developing education applications and services in Office 365

    We’ve already said that the full Office 365 for education service will be launched this antipodean winter , and there’s a continuing trend for education customers to move their IT services into the cloud. So if you’re a Microsoft partner working with education customers moving more...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Composites - the future of the Learning Management System?

    I’ve been reading quite a few articles recently about the future of Learning Management Systems (LMS). These have attempted to look over the horizon - beyond today’s monolithic LMS - for a future where it’s likely that these systems will be comprised of a mash-up of different ‘best in class’ components...
  • Blog Post: The Microsoft Virtual Academy - a resource and an exemplar?

    When I wrote about the Australian IT skills shortage ( Where are the IT jobs ) earlier in the week, I highlighted that research had identified a growing need from employers for applicants with very specific Microsoft skills sets - eg experience in virtualisation and cloud computing, as well as product...
  • Blog Post: Are education leaders more optimistic about online education than the public?

    The Pew Research Centre are a respected American organisation that shares research on issues, attitudes and trends shaping modern life. Although they tend to be US-centric, much of their research is unique and provides a helpful indicator to issues elsewhere in the world. ( I like their description of...
  • Blog Post: What is your online learning management system called?

    Do you have a system that your staff and students use to manage learning online? Whilst there are common brand names - Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn etc - there doesn’t seem to be a common term to describe the system. Is it a Learning Management System? Or a Virtual Learning Environment? Or something...
  • Blog Post: Emerging trends in Learning Management Systems

    I’ve been keeping an eye on trends in Learning Management Systems for the last few years, and especially in the last few months as potentially big changes have been happening - such as the sale of Blackboard. If you’re interested in the LMS marketplace, and views on the future direction, then there’s...
  • Blog Post: Desire2Learn talk about learning analytics and student mobility

    We’ve just finished the Microsoft World Partner Conference in Los Angeles, which included handing over the Worldwide Education Partner of the Year Award to Desire2Learn for their Learning Management System. The Desire2Learn solution covers a wide range of areas - including learning management, analytics...
  • Blog Post: Free tools to create online courses

    Do you want to start creating your own learning packages for use in a Learning Management System? And want to find free tools to create online courses? I might be able to help… The Microsoft Learning team create and publish a wide range of online courses for IT professionals and developers using the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft worldwide Education Partner of the Year

    The World Partner Conference kicks off in Los Angeles next month, and in the build up to it, we’ve just announced the results of the Microsoft Partner of Year Awards for 2011. It’s a tough race, with over 3,000 companies entering from over 100 countries – and the judging process is tough on the entrants...
  • Blog Post: By 2020, all schools, universities and TAFEs in Australia will offer online virtual education

    The Australian Government has set a series of eight Digital Economy Goals - which are being used to drive the economy and public planning forward. They relate to use of technology at home, in business, in health, in government and in education. Digital Economy Goal for Education The Digital Economy Goal...
  • Blog Post: Using SharePoint 2010 to create a Learning Gateway - case study

    One of the schools that I worked quite closely with in the UK was Twynham School, a high school on the south coast of England. The school staff were in regular demand as conference speakers, sharing their experiences of enhancing learning and their school community through the work that they had done...
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