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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: 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: 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: New Moodle Mobile app released for Windows 8 and Windows Phone

    Moodle for Windows 8 and Windows Phone has been available as an app since August this year – through the “Moodle Mobile” app. Just last week, the latest version was released – Moodle Mobile 1.9 – which has a updated look and feel and is designed to be more user friendly. It allows your students to access...
  • 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: A Windows 8 tablet for under $90?

    This seems incredible to me! Coles have a 7” Windows 8 touch tablet, with Office 365 Personal, for $89. It’s just one of a few surprises that I have seen this year, as more and more low-cost laptops, tablets and convertibles (tablets with detachable keyboards) have been appearing. But I never expected...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft joins-up with UTS and NSW Government to hatch Sydney talent

    Exciting news shared yesterday on the Microsoft Australia 'The Big Picture' blog . Sarah Vaughan, our Director for Developer Evangelism and Experience at Microsoft Australia, talked about a new project we are part of with the University of Technology, Sydney. It’s all about growing compelling student...
  • Blog Post: How to help students remember more

    My colleague Travis Smith is an ex-deputy principal, and an enthusiastic pedagogue. His time is spent obsessing about how to enhance teaching and learning with technology, and the ways that it can support deeper learning by students. One challenge is that we need to focus on helping students remember...
  • Blog Post: PhotoMath: Should you ban Windows Phone in the Maths classroom?

    Remember when calculators were banned in the classroom, because it made calculation too easy? Well, in the same spirit there’s going to be a maths teacher somewhere that will decide to ban their students from having a Windows Phone in their maths classroom. And all because of PhotoMath and how...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The education offer for Microsoft Surface ended–but JB Hi-Fi have a special deal…

    Lots of education customers in Australia took advantage of the special Surface RT Education offer , but when it finished at the end of September, there were plenty of people who asked if it would be extended as they’d just missed the deadline. Although at the time the answer was a sad ‘no’, I just saw...
  • Blog Post: Updated: Microsoft Bring Your Own Device to School Discussion Paper

    Since we produced our first ‘BYOD to School’ whitepaper last year, there’s been a lot said about Bring Your Own Device in schools, and plenty of different views expressed about which model is best. From all those discussions, I and my colleagues are convinced there’s not a simple solution – there’s definitely...
  • 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

    Last week we announced Student Advantage, a new benefit to qualifying institutions that brings Microsoft Office to more students worldwide. This is a global programme that most Australian education institutions will already qualify for. And for Australian schools, universities and TAFEs, it comes at...
  • Blog Post: How to choose the right device in education

    The search for the right device for both yourself and your school, TAFE or university can be challenging. What type of device will I get? What do all the specs mean? Which device will best cater for my needs? The problem is, with the broad collection of Windows devices now available, and the vast price...
  • Blog Post: Education is still Australia’s biggest services export

    According to the latest data on international trade from the Australian Bureau of Statistics , education services are still Australia’s largest services export, with a $15bn revenue in 2012. Whilst this is $3bn ahead of the next largest export (personal travel services), it’s still a big drop from the...
  • Blog Post: Is there academic pricing for Windows Azure? No, but there's something better…free Azure

    For many of our products and services, there's special education pricing – these typically give education customers up to an 80% discount on normal prices, or even go so far as providing some services (like Office 365) free for education customers. It doesn't apply to Windows Azure, as there...
  • Blog Post: Stories of Windows 8 early adopters in education

    There are plenty of examples of education customers who have made the switch to Windows 8, putting new touch devices into the hands of students to allow them to get the benefit of three different worlds in one device: the ability to run software from previous versions of Windows (so that there's no need...
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