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Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Queensland–welcome back from the break

    Good morning Queensland schools. Hope you enjoyed your break I know, work intruded a bit with some planning and prep, and you were only just starting to wind down and suddenly it's back into another semester. Whilst you were away, we planned a few things, so I thought I'd give you a quick post-holiday...
  • Blog Post: There’s a World Championship for Microsoft Office–and you could be going

    Seriously…There’s a World Championship for Microsoft Office, and it's been going for 13 years. Last year students from 52 countries gathered to compete for the coveted title of Worldwide Champions in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.   The competition attracted more than 285,000 unique...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft IT-Girls Day 2013 - Sydney 6th May

    Do you work in a girls or mixed school in or near Sydney? Do you want to help to raise the profile of the IT industry amongst your female students? If you haven’t taken part in these events before, then you’ll be in a for a big surprise, as it shatters the image of IT as being a geeky...
  • Blog Post: Building a personalised student portal on Office 365 Education

    The University of West London won the UCISA-Eduserv Award for Excellence for their student portal, which provides a personalised experience for each student with easy access to the university services like their email, blogs, academic documents, library services etc. And it allows students to connect...
  • Blog Post: Starting university with a Windows 8 tablet from Dell

    InformationWeek's Education section is reporting on the South Illinois University's plan to hand new students Windows 8 tablets from Dell as they start. According to the university, they'll be at the centre of a project to support new styles of learning as well as save students money through e-textbooks...
  • Blog Post: The Gizmodo "Back to School and Uni Gear Guide"

    I've written a few times about some of the new Windows 8 devices for education customers from an institution perspective, and it's good to see that Gizmodo have published some device ideas for students, just in time for the new university year. They've looked at a range of devices, on different operating...
  • Blog Post: Building an engaging Windows 8 education app for students

    Earlier I wrote about building a Windows 8 education app for teachers , and here's part  two - building an interactive, engaging Windows 8 education app for students. We pick up where I left off earlier – where teachers have assigned an assignment to a group of students. Creating an immersive Windows...
  • Blog Post: Technology classroom wall poster

    Here's an interesting poster for your IT classroom walls, highlighted by Steve Clayton on the Next at Microsoft blog . Apparently it was created for the Microsoft careers team, to highlight some of the different career options linked to the many different technologies that we work with at Microsoft....
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