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

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  • 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: 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: 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: How OneNote makes a classroom difference

    I spent some of this weekend with the Microsoft Expert Educators from Australia and New Zealand, as they gathered together to discuss the future of teaching and learning ( to see some of the things they talked about, take a look at their #mseduweekend conversation on Twitter ). One of the tools they...
  • Blog Post: Lock a Windows 8 computer to one app for controlled assessments or information screens

    Do you ever need to be able to limit users to a single application reliably and securely? Or you have a display computer which you want to limit to a single application (eg an information booth PC)? One of the features of Windows 8 that will be useful for education customers is Kiosk, or Assigned Access...
  • Blog Post: Drawboard PDF is currently free in the Windows 8 store

    There’s a new version of the Australian Windows 8 app for education, Drawboard PDF , which is great for teachers to use for marking feedback onto homework, or for students to make notes directly onto PDF documents. It allows the teacher to draw or write – using pen or stylus – on the student’s homework...
  • Blog Post: How to build a buzz about Office 365 for your users

    You know what it’s like – you spend a long time managing a technology implementation project, and then at the last minute you get feedback that users aren’t ready for it. You hear things like “We didn’t know it was coming”, or “We don’t want to change anything because what we’ve got works for us now...
  • Blog Post: A short video for training when rolling out Windows 8 for teachers

    If you are using Windows 8 for teachers’ laptops, then you might want to make a note of this video, from the Windows team. It’s a great way to explain how to use some of the new features of Windows 8, and the way that you can have both existing Windows software as well as the new Windows 8 apps. It’s...
  • Blog Post: Wednesday's Webinar–Tablets in schools

    This week's webinar "Tablets in Schools" is on Wednesday 5th December from 1 – 2pm. Cooper Wearne, the host, promises:   Everything your school needs to know about Windows 8 hardware. We will be looking at the emerging role tablets are playing in schools and we will highlight our recommended...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education training videos

    Last week I posted a series of blog posts of Office 365 for education videos, produced by my colleagues in the US, sharing some of the things that Office 365 makes possible. And I realised that it would be helpful to stick them all onto one page, rather than four separate ones. They were created to help...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education video–the online classroom

    Office 365 for education enables teachers to give online presentations so their students can learn from anywhere. These presentations can be interactive with the students and saved for future viewing. This short video, the fourth in a series of four produced by my colleagues in the US, aims to describe...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education video–Outlook and Lync

    Office 365 for education has Outlook and Lync built in, which enable instantaneous collaboration and communication between students and teachers, with email, IM, voice and video calls between users. This short video, produced by my colleagues in the US, aims to describe the whole process in just two...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education video–Classroom on the go

    Office 365 for education means that students and teachers can be productive on the go by having access to class calendars, documents, and assignments all on their mobile devices. This short video, the second in a series of four produced by my colleagues in the US, aims to describe the whole process in...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for education video–collaborating with a class website

    With Office 365 for education , you can collaborate from anywhere through SharePoint class websites. Students and teachers can simultaneously work together on the same document and share project and assignment information through their class site. This short video, produced by my colleagues in the US...
  • Blog Post: Moving to Windows 8. My top tip

    Every few months, I seem to get a new computer to try out, and this year I’ve also got to try out a few versions of a new operating system. Which means that I’ve got used to switching all of my files between computers. Sometimes I’m installing a temporary computer (eg to give it...
  • Blog Post: WorkSmart Guides - Updated ready-made IT user documentation

    When I started working at Microsoft, I hadn’t been in such an open, technology rich culture before. And with so many IT systems around, and so many different software resources, my head was buzzing. In fact, I remember that at the end of the first week, the number of links in my Favourites was massive...
  • Blog Post: What you need to tell your teachers and students next week about new SkyDrive

    Once again, we’ve just released a bunch of new features for Windows Live SkyDrive – the cloud storage system that’s part of Windows Live, and the Live@edu email service used by millions of teachers and students. You can read all of the detail on the Building Windows 8 blog , and...
  • Blog Post: Three steps to create talking books for students with Word

    To improve accessibility for students, did you know that you can create talking books for students with visual and learning disabilities, using Microsoft Word? The system using a worldwide standard for creating accessible digital resources, called DAISY (the Digital Accessible Information System). And...
  • Blog Post: Classroom Interactive Whiteboards and Windows 8

    I watched this video and wondered: Do we still need lots of extra special software to work with interactive whiteboards, when there is now so much standard software (and lots more coming around the corner) that uses touch capabilities? I know we used to - in the days of Windows XP, you had to have special...
  • Blog Post: Accessibility workshop for education

      I thought I’d point you towards another resource that will be useful for partners, education trainers, and those who need to get the message across about Accessibility to their colleagues. Teacher Training Workshop on Accessibility It is a complete PowerPoint-based teacher training workshop on...
  • Blog Post: Something for your parent or student newsletter? Avoiding scams

    While he was working from home, a friend of mine recently got a phone call, from "Microsoft support", claiming to want to help him fix his PC. Fortunately, he's the suspicious type. And he's right to be. It's a scam. I’ve even received the call myself at home - and I've been prompted to write...
  • Blog Post: Video conferencing in Australian schools

    The Polycom education newsletter has just dropped into my email inbox, and I wondered if you already know about it? The Microsoft partnership with Polycom extends the use of video conferencing and audio conferencing in education across a wide range of scenarios, from remote 1:1 teaching, to professional...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live Writer- free software for teachers in February

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free. Windows Live Writer At long last, we’ve...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live Movie Maker - free software for teachers in February

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free. Windows Live Movie Maker Windows Live Movie...
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