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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: Solving the biggest problem with Office 365’s SharePoint in schools

    I’ve come across implementations of SharePoint in schools where it has been rolled out as another vanilla IT service – a bit like a shared network drive, or a plain portal. And the IT team are so overloaded with projects that they haven’t had the time to personalise the look and feel to make it suitable...
  • 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 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: How quick is it to setup Office 365 for education?

    John Kleeman , founder of Questionmark , is a big SharePoint user, and passionate about the use of SharePoint for assessment in higher education ( you can read more about their work here ). So I follow his SharePoint and Assessment blog – I wanted to share one of his recent blog posts: A couple...
  • 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: Achieving Accessibility in SharePoint 2010

    Vision Australia have just released an excellent detailed report about their experiences delivering an accessible implementation of SharePoint 2010, and including an assessment of SharePoint 2010’s conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. As they say in their introduction:   Accessibility...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Education Case Studies from Australia

    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. And other times, they are looking...
  • Blog Post: Cutting out paper - Getting rid of paper forms

    Continuing the month’s worth of ideas to support a New Year Resolution to cut paper use in education… Looking at other sources of paper use around the school, then there’s an obvious opportunity to get rid of paper forms used internally. The obvious benefits of this aren’t restricted to saving paper...
  • Blog Post: Cutting out paper - Get rid of school reports

    Continuing the month’s worth of ideas to support a New Year Resolution to cut paper use in education… Get rid of school reports on paper, by providing electronic reports to parents Although many schools are already doing this, there are plenty that still provide parental reports on paper. And don’t want...
  • Blog Post: Cutting out paper - change printer defaults

    Continuing the month’s worth of ideas to support a New Year Resolution to cut paper use in education… In some schools it’s the students that use too much paper. They’re doing a project, and then they want to print out a draft of their work (or even a draft of the first paragraph of their work), to see...
  • Blog Post: Collaboration with Microsoft Office 365 - free ebook from MS Press in more formats

    The Microsoft Press team announced that their ebook on Office 365  is available as a free ebook in a range of new formats. The chapters of the book are: What’s happening in the world of work Getting started with Office 365 Administering an Office 365 Account What your team can do with Office 365...
  • Blog Post: How many ways can you use SharePoint in education?

    Alex Pearce, is a SharePoint Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the UK who works with education customers, and writes extensively about SharePoint in Education on his blog at BFC Networks . In this guest blog post, Alex gives some thoughts on the many ways SharePoint can make for productive learning...
  • 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: Business Intelligence in Education - visualising learning data - part 2

    Yesterday, I ran a '”Business Intelligence (BI) in Education” webinar - which included a number of examples of system-wide dashboards around the world. But the highlight (once we’d managed to sort out his microphone) was hearing from Rod Colledge of StrataDB - and ideas of how data could be made more...
  • Blog Post: Alan’s Paperless School project

    Alan Richards, the Information Systems Manager at West Hatch High School near London, has been running a ‘Paperless School’ project for the last 18 months. He’s been using the school’s SharePoint in order to reduce the amount of paper being used in the school or being sent home to parents. I wrote about...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Governance and Lifecycle Management in education

    As you’d expect, we run a massive internal SharePoint system at Microsoft. It contains 250,000 site collections and 36 terabytes of data - growing at the rate of 1 terabyte every three months (yup, that’s the equivalent of 300,000 extra 1MB documents every month). The impact of that growth was not just...
  • Blog Post: Collaboration with Microsoft Office 365 - free ebook from MS Press

    The Microsoft Press team have announced that their new book - Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime - is now available as a free ebook in PDF format. The chapters of the book are: What’s happening in the world of work Getting started with Office 365...
  • Blog Post: Weekly technical webcasts - 15-20 August 2011

    This year we’re offering a series of live webcasts, led by a Microsoft subject matter expert, on a range of core Microsoft products. They are not specifically designed to focus on education - and attendees will be from a wide range of industries - but I wanted to highlight the opportunity for you to...
  • Blog Post: Ten of the best - Australian education websites built on SharePoint

    Following on from my previous blog posts, ‘ Ten of the best SharePoint School websites ’ and ‘ Ten of the best SharePoint University websites ’, then it’s time to get closer to home with Ten of the best Australian school websites built on SharePoint (or best TAFE websites...
  • Blog Post: How to make a beautiful school SharePoint site

    Last week ago I shared my list of “ 10 of the best school websites on Sharepoint ”. And the opinion around the office was that the Twynham School Sixth Form website was the most astonishing one (in fact, half a dozen times I was asked by Microsoft colleagues “ Are you sure that was done in SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Updating the Ten of the Best University websites build on SharePoint

    I had to update the Top Ten University websites build on SharePoint over the weekend, as one of the websites I’d listed wasn’t actually built on SharePoint (Whoops - turned out their internal sites run on SharePoint but they’d used something else for their external site . And because I’d chosen to only...
  • Blog Post: Ten of the best - SharePoint University websites

    After the list of school websites built on SharePoint from earlier in the week, here’s another handy (and subjective!) list of Ten University SharePoint websites. These websites are all public facing, and by building them on SharePoint, it means the universities can manage the content in exactly...
  • Blog Post: Ten of the best - SharePoint School websites

    A colleague asked me to recommend some school websites built on SharePoint, that they could share with others. After I’d finished it for him, I thought I’d pop it into a PowerPoint for others - and then go further by popping up a quick blog post too. Here’s my take on 10 School SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Power Platform Briefings–SharePoint plus SQL equals Business Intelligence

    I’m convinced that over the next three years in education we’re going to see a massive surge of interest in connecting data together, and turning it into useful information. I know that there is already much happening, but there’s a way to go before we can really say that all of the data that is created...
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