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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: 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: The world’s first School in the Cloud

    The most memorable moment of the Microsoft Innovative Education Forum that I attended in the UK in 2010 was hearing Professor Sugata Mitra talking about his Hole in the Wall, and Granny Cloud projects.  Like many inspiring people, I first heard about his work through TED, in his 2008 Ted Talk “...
  • 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: Accelerate–the Microsoft Australia Education Newsletter

    We've just launched the sign-up page for the customer newsletter from the Microsoft Australia Education team. It’s designed for teaching and learning staff in schools and colleges across Australia, and will be sent out monthly in 2014. This is in addition to any of the other newsletters you may receive...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the Microsoft Australian Teachers Blog

    My colleagues have been talking for a while about creating a more teaching-centric blog for Australia, focusing more on the teaching and learning side of technology. And a couple of weeks ago they launched the Microsoft Australian Teachers Blog , which is all about technology in the classroom. It will...
  • Blog Post: NSW Schools Roadshow 2013

    This time next week my colleagues from the NSW Microsoft education team will be running the first of 9 roadshows for schools. They are going to be on the road until the end of the month, visiting Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Wollongong, Sydney, Campbelltown, North Ryde, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo...
  • 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: Top ten tips for using Office 365 education

    Earlier this year my colleague James Marshall, from the UK , wrote 10 posts on his Education in the Cloud blog , each covering one of his top tips for Office 365 Education. He’s also helpfully summarised all top 10 tips in one handy place – which I’ve reproduced below: Office 365 Education is constantly...
  • Blog Post: GeoGebra for Windows 8 released

    GeoGebra is an open-source mathematics app that is used on over 700,000 classroom Windows computers in Australia alone. And the developers have just released GeoGebra for Windows 8 , so now there’s a touch-based version of GeoGebra for students using tablets, or teachers using interactive whiteboards...
  • 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: Webinar: Developing students’ 21st Century skills

    Expanding Learning Horizons , one of our national education partners, is running a webinar next Thursday on “How to develop students’ 21st Century skills”. Fortunately, the first thing on the agenda is to define what those skills are in an Australian context ( I mention this because...
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