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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: 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: Still using paper forms for parent permission slips? Time to do a risk analysis?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: One of my pet hates is paper permission slips from my daughter’s school (and even more so now that they have switched to emailing me the slips, and I have to print them, sign them and send them back in my daughter’s hands. Double pet hate now!) So I’m genuinely...
  • Blog Post: Using Power BI for Education Analytics in schools

    I’m often asked to talk about Education Analytics or Learning Analytics, and I use the picture above for the first part of the story every time. Not because I’m lazy, but because I think that we need to talk about the true purpose of analytics projects. We’re trying to answer questions...
  • 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: Microsoft Next Level Learning workshops - November 2015

    This week we’re starting to pack our bags, as the team head out to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for the free Microsoft Next Level Learning workshops for teachers and school IT managers. There’s a Teacher Track with themes around engaging students, gamification...
  • Blog Post: Student drop out in Australian schools

    Yesterday media around the country reported that one in four Australian school students drop out without completing Year 12. The stories were based on a report from the Mitchell Institute, who published the report “ Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out ”, and a detailed...
  • 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: Ten communication technology trends shaping education

    Today, after a colleague finished reading the article “ 10 communication technology trends shaping education ”, they challenged me to come up with answers of which Microsoft products were relevant to the list. And they gave me two minutes to come up with the answers. It felt like I was sitting a very...
  • Blog Post: OneNote, SmartBoard and students with autism

    Our global Office blog recently published an excellent article from a teacher in the US, sharing their experiences of using OneNote for students with autism. They found it supported their use of tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom, with the OneNote notebook allowing students with autism...
  • Blog Post: What a 21st Century career looks like in the UK

    Want to inspire students with their career options (and also demonstrate how pervasive technology is going to be in their future lives?) This video, from the UK Surface team , is very different from what you’d expect from a Careers guidance session at school. In fact, there’s a bunch of things in here...
  • Blog Post: OneNote for Learning - Microsoft Hackathon 2015 winner

    During the last week of July Microsoft employees around the world participated in our //oneweek Hackathon, where teams create projects with technology to solve small and big problems. Some of the ideas are just fun things that go nowhere, and others end up being built into products that you then end...
  • Blog Post: Login to Mathletics with Office 365 Single Sign On

    Yesterday I wrote about the way to make Single Sign On easier for staff and students by using their Office 365 Education login on third-party websites . This week one of the most popular student learning websites in Australia (and elsewhere) has been added to the list, as your students and staff can...
  • 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: 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: 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: 2015 Microsoft NSW Schools Roadshow - Next Level Learning

    Each year we've worked with other partners to run a regional Microsoft NSW schools roadshow right around the state. And it's back again...the team road trip, just in time for winter! Basically, we're running quality, free, relevant and hands-on education technology workshops, which don't happen often...
  • Blog Post: How to write a NSW School plan using the 5P strategic planning template

    Here’s a question: If you’ve got a deadline just around the corner for creating a strategic school plan, what’s the best way to do it in a way that is still collaborative and inclusive – and hits the deadline? It’s a conversation we had with the Goal Huddle team about school planning templates for NSW...
  • 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...
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