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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: 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...
  • 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: Free - Teacher Dashboard for Office 365 Education

    Teacher Dashboard is an app for Office 365 Education that lets you easily share files and assignments with your students, and then allows you to grade them and provide feedback. It’s a web-based classroom manager tool for Office 365 that customises your school’s system to support the teaching...
  • 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: Providing advice for parents on BYOD

    With the end of the federal funding for computers, the move to BYOD in Australian schools has been rapid and decisive. With parents’ and students’ expectations raised by the DER programme, the gap in funding is now being filled by schools asking students to bring along the right device for their return...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: New Moodle integrations with Microsoft technology are on the way

    Over the last couple of years I’ve written a number of times about integration points between Moodle and Microsoft, to help education customers understand what the opportunities are to be able to integrate two of their key tools for students and staff. This turns out to be important even for universities...
  • Blog Post: Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australian datacentres

    This morning we made an announcement that will be especially interesting to Australian education customers. The news is that we’re going to be running Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australia datacentres by March. This follows our launch two months ago of the two Microsoft Azure datacentre services ...
  • Blog Post: Which Windows device do I buy for students (or recommend for BYOD)?

    After writing about the $90 7” Windows tablet two days ago (called the Pendo Pad) being sold by Coles , I thought I should spend a little more time on the range of options available for students/schools this summer, because there’s such a range of different devices, and I really don’t think that there...
  • Blog Post: Paradyne briefing for schools in Melbourne–12 November

    The team over at Paradyne are running an education briefing at our offices in Melbourne early in November, which will cover Office 365 Education and the ways that other schools are using it to support their teaching and learning goals. They are also going to feature Docusign to talk about one of my pet...
  • Blog Post: Reimagine Sydney - a briefing about change and digital disruption

    There’ still an opportunity to register to attend the Reimagine event in Sydney on 29 October, at the Royal Hall of Industries from 9AM-12:30PM The briefing isn’t just for education customers, and offers a learning opportunity from the experiences of transformation happening in other industries. The...
  • Blog Post: Research says the pen is mightier than the keyboard – and other useful education research nuggets

    Like to talk about pedagogy and 'research driven education', but don’t want to read all those long academic research papers? Well, here's some really important academic research, but in TL;DR format: First, the reason that my colleagues and I often talk about pen input on Windows tablets:   Students...
  • Blog Post: Take part in a Global Enterprise Challenge with other primary schools

    I learnt today that a school I used to work with in the UK, Broadclyst Community Primary School, were given a grant by the Microsoft global Education team to fund their Global Enterprise Challenge, to allow them to join 1,000 students from 20 countries together in a challenge for Year 6 students. And...
  • 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: Explain Everything for Windows 8 - now available

    I’ve been away for a nice holiday, and now that I’m back I’m staring at a huge backlog of blog posts to write up, as there’s been so much happening and announced whilst I’ve been away. And because many schools, TAFEs and universities are heading back next week, I thought I’d better get started… There...
  • 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

    Please note that this information has now been superseded by further announcements and code releases. More information here http://blogs.msdn.com/b/education/archive/2015/01/20/moodle-integration-with-office-365-how-to-get-it.aspx We’re continuing to build the list of integration resources...
  • 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...
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