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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: 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: Supporting BYOD in education– Outlook everywhere for students and staff

    There’s no doubt that the trend towards BYOD ( B ring Y our O wn D evice) in education for students is gathering pace. According to The Australian yesterday, 30% of schools have moved to BYOD, and for universities we’re pretty much at 100% already. And it’s happening rapidly for staff too – even if it...
  • Blog Post: Collaborating on professional development–Office 365 in Omaha

    I’ve been away for four weeks, enjoying a cold Christmas in Europe, and attending a very traditional English wedding set in a beautiful country house. But while I’ve been away I’ve kept up with my reading, and bookmarked an interesting set of articles and resources to share. So now that I’m back in Sydney...
  • Blog Post: Staff training for 2015: Work Wonders with Office 365

    Every Tuesday afternoon our Office team run free 15 minute webinars for users of Office 365 with handy hints and tips on getting the most of the Office suite, including handy user tips for PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Lync and Yammer. They run at 2pm AEST (ie perfect for an early-afternoon tea break Sydney...
  • Blog Post: edX and Microsoft partnership for teachers

    edX is an online learning environment which is extensively used for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), founded as a non-profit partnership between Harvard and MIT. They’ve just announced a partnership with Microsoft to help online course creators to develop content with Office Mix . Many faculty currently...
  • Blog Post: Office DevCamp in Melbourne: Learn how to develop apps for Office and Office 365

    On December 11th, in Melbourne, we’re running a free, full-day Office DevCamp for developers who want to write apps and services for Office or Office 365. It’ll help you to build solutions that can use Office to do things like allow students to read and write from their OneDrive (and save you having...
  • Blog Post: Perth and Melbourne Education Partner Training - places still available for December

    Invitation to Microsoft Education Authorised Education Resellers This event is for Microsoft Partner Network members and Microsoft Authorised Education Resellers We’ve had consistent feedback from our partners that our education-focused training for you has been hitting the mark, and you’d like to ensure...
  • Blog Post: How OneNote helps students with assignment, notes and getting organised

    Yesterday I shared a video ( How OneNote makes a classroom difference ) from Carey Academy in North Carolina, who shared how they were using OneNote to support new ways of teaching and learning. Today, I’m going to share the next part of the story, which is their students’ perspective on...
  • Blog Post: How OneNote makes a classroom difference

    I spent some of this weekend with the Microsoft Expert Educators from Australia and New Zealand, as they gathered together to discuss the future of teaching and learning ( to see some of the things they talked about, take a look at their #mseduweekend conversation on Twitter ). One of the tools they...
  • Blog Post: Sway–a unique way to present ideas and information

    Yesterday, the Office team introduced a brand new app to the Office portfolio – called Sway, and as the team say on the Sway blog : Sway is an entirely different way to express yourself and bring your ideas to life. When your ideas are born, you want to explore, visualize...
  • Blog Post: Delivering Office 365 on your different screens and wrist

    The Office team have also been busy creating plenty of new scenarios for using Office on a range of different devices (it seems as if every month there’s a new format of device appearing that can support a scenario with one of the Office apps). If you still think of Office as being an app that you install...
  • Blog Post: Developing education solutions in Office 365

    With so many education customers using Office 365 globally (now in the tens of millions of education uses), there's continuing interest by developers in creating services for customers, running on top of Office. This could mean developing an app for Word, Excel, PowerPoint; or could be developing a system...
  • Blog Post: Digitise everything - Office Lens and teachers.

    The Office team have been doing some great work recently with adding new features to the Office suite of products, that are especially useful for teachers and students. OneNote has been getting a lot of attention on mobile devices including for iOS, Android and Windows phones. For example, this week...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Office 365 sales training for partners

    What's your diary like for April? How about investing one of your spare days in training for you and/or colleagues on Office 365, with a focus on strengthening your customer conversations about the transformation from traditional desktop software to cloud-delivered software services? On 28th April...
  • 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: What skills do I need for the future?

    When we announced the global Student Advantage programme, it meant that students could get the full Office suite when their institution subscribed for their staff (see ‘ The best way to get Office for student BYOD devices ’). Part of the reason that supported doing it was some new research from IDC on...
  • Blog Post: Have you signed up for the Brisbane Education Partner Summit this Friday?

    Our last Education Partner Summit is in Brisbane this Friday, 1st November, and there are still places available for partners to attend. We’re meeting with Microsoft Education Partners including the Microsoft Authorised Education Resellers, to provide an in-depth training programme to help our...
  • Blog Post: How to build a buzz about Office 365 for your users

    You know what it’s like – you spend a long time managing a technology implementation project, and then at the last minute you get feedback that users aren’t ready for it. You hear things like “We didn’t know it was coming”, or “We don’t want to change anything because what we’ve got works for us now...
  • Blog Post: What software is included in Office 365 ProPlus as part of Student Advantage

    Last week I wrote about the announcement of Student Advantage , which allows you to provide Office Pro Plus at no additional cost to all of your students, as long as all your staff are licensed for Office appropriately. I’ve been asked what’s included in the Office Pro Plus licence, and what devices...
  • Blog Post: Student Advantage–the best way to get Office for student BYOD devices

    UPDATE: The details below have been superseded by the February 2015 announcement - see here for details of the easier way to get Office for student BYOD devices (and every other device they have!) Last week we announced Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions that brings Microsoft...
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