If you are followers of this blog , you will have noticed that once or twice I am have mentioned that I am welsh and proud of it.
So it gives me great pleasure to announce, especially in light of our fantastic award win at the BETT awards, that Kodu is now available in Welsh , ‘the language of heaven’ as we say in Wales
What makes this announcement even more special is that the translation was a project developed by the amazing students at Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg in the Vale of Glamorgan , South Wales. For the past 6 months these students have been producing the localization files needed to have Kodu in welsh. This is a massive achievement, as their work is available to anybody , anywhere in the world who downloads the latest version of Kodu – www.kodugamelab.com Well Done to them.
Every copy of Kodu has a series of localiization files that sit in the main Kodu program folder. Navigate to >Microsoft Research>Kodu game lab>Content>xml>localizable , there you will find 16 other folders which will allow you to localize Kodu into languages such as French and Romanian. the welsh folder is CY, for Cymru.
How to localize your Kodu
Create a shortcut on your desktop using the following properties
"C:\your main folder\Microsoft Research\Kodu Game Lab\Boku.exe" /localization CY You can change the CY to any other folder depending on the language you want to play in Kodu in , FR for example will convert Kodu into French, Très bien !
"C:\your main folder\Microsoft Research\Kodu Game Lab\Boku.exe" /localization CY
You can change the CY to any other folder depending on the language you want to play in Kodu in , FR for example will convert Kodu into French, Très bien !
Don’t forget to check out and enter this year’s Kodu Kup. Details here
I have spoke to many ICT teachers and inevitably the conversation turns to the issue of the exam syllabus. Which should they choose? Making sure they have the correct resources, curriculum materials and certification. Luckily the answer is fairly simple, choose a Microsoft solution through AQA and IT Academy. The AQA computer science syllabus provides students with real-world, practical programming techniques that give them a good understanding of what makes technology work. IT Academy and its MTA programmes provides all the rich curriculum activities and knowledge base you need to deliver the AQA syllabus, finally you can use the tools in our Dreamspark offering (www.dreamspark.com) of all our developer tools for free, along with other free resources such as www.Touchdevelop.com. www.Zipapp.co.uk and App Studio. Perfect you might think? But no, we are teachers after all and we are pre-determined to look at the details. ‘How do all these things link together and map to the curriculum?’ is often the question. But thankfully now I have the answer, but more to the point, the Windows App.
Working with the brilliant Microsoft Educator Expert, Ray Chambers @lanky_boi_Ray we have been able to develop a simple Windows App that gives you all the info you need. Choose a curriculum area and the app with tell you the corresponding AQA exam syllabus and MTA curriculum that will help you teach that. All the mapping has been done for you.
Before you ask ….
We will be working on mapping other exam boards shortly.
In the meantime you can download the App from the Windows Store and if you are attending BETT, come and see Ray presenting this app and other aspects of his great work on the Microsoft stand.
Exactly a year ago when we launched at BETT, the inaugural Kodu Kup, we never thought it would be the runaway success it was. 70000 students and 2000 teachers took part. We are finding Kodu now to be an integral part of many school’s computing curriculum and if you are still thinking about what to do when the new computing curriculum starts in schools in England in September. Then participating in the Kodu Kup is the perfect way to start and if you entered last year, then enter again, as we have made some changes that we think you will like.
Let’s just remind ourselves of how good the Kodu Kup is.
About the Competition
The Kodu Kup is open to anyone from a UK school aged between seven and fourteen. (including those taught at home or in hospital schools etc) (they have to be this age when they make the game or at the time of the final)
Students must be entered as a team of three, forming a mini “game studio”.
The closing date for all entries is Friday 30th May
***** NEW!***** This year you can now submit a game created using Project Spark
Project Spark is a soon-to-be-released open-world digital canvas that enables anyone to build, play and share whatever they can imagine. We have included this in our competition to enable children to stretch their skills a little bit further. It will only be available for Windows 8 .1 and Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Download Project Spark at https://joinprojectspark.com/
The first 20 UK educators that can show that they have joined the Partners in Learning Network (i.e. screenshot) and send me a tweet @innovativeteach with the hash tag #kodukupUK. I will send a beta key , giving you access to this great new software. Project Spark will only run on a Windows 8/8.1 devices
About the Games
There is no specific theme or audience for the game but it must have a clear storyline, and well thought out characters with a detailed playing environment.
Schools may wish to link this to current literacy projects already taking place.
There will be three winning teams in each of the following categories:
Primary – Secondary - Project Spark - Judges Choice
Primary – Secondary - Project Spark - Judges Choice
The three teams in each category will receive an invitation to present their games to a panel of judges from the games industry at Microsoft Headquarters in Reading at the final in July, to decide the category winners.
At the end of the day the winners of each category will each receive a Surface RT tablet and the overall winning team will take home the coveted Kodu Kup!
What Should be Submitted?
Teachers must enter their students’ work using the Microsoft Partners in Learning website and complete our Kodu Kup Survey. Two files will need to be submitted per team; these include the game itself along with the completed documentation created using the poster template provided.
For more details ….
Follow @KoduKup on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KoduKup) to receive regular updates, including dates of free training sessions!
You can download Kodu Game Lab www.kodugamelab.com and other useful resources from the Microsoft Partners in Learning website www.pil-network.com.
Kodu is also available for Surface RT devices in the Windows store
Project Spark – Windows 8/8.1 only can be downloaded from www.projectspark.com
I am pleased to announce….
Kodu Kup is now open!
Since starting this list three months ago, the number of Apps in the Windows store has grown immensely. I have been working with my good friends at the Tablet Academy and together we have grown this list, it is possibly the best list of apps you will find for Windows 8/8.1 devices anywhere for your classroom.
It would be great to get some feedback on these Apps. How are you using them in the classroom? for example.
If you are looking for more free stuff from Microsoft UK Education then why not download the free app I created. It has links to loads of the free resources available from Microsoft Education. Download here
This is my number one app. Available as a free App,
Create your own design in a QR code.
A simple app that easily and effectively converts measurements
A nice app for early years looking at letters, shapes, numbers and colours.
For those of you lucky enough to have a 3D Printer this App contains a number of models you can print. You can even create your own Train set.
a nice App for looking at Star Charts and information about Planets etc.
Create and animate objects using Physics – Build your own angry birds!
Personal Cloud Storage
A comic maker (not RT)
Adobe Photoshop Express
Photo editing App
A great paint App
Capture Images, and create great effects
Generate QR codes
Stop Frame Animation Creator
Simple Video Editor
A Photo Editing App
Create your own Comics
Movie Edit Touch
A video Editor
Paint with Words
Annotate captured images
Create your own Essay Marking rubric
Note taking App
Translate text via typing or through the camera
Create Mind Maps
NovaMind Mind Mapping
Video Coaching Pal
Record and analyse sport performance, also great in Science
Health & Fitness
Create and monitor you exercise and diet
New App in Windows 8.1
Create Photo Montages
Create and access AudioBoo
Simple doodling App
A collection of useful tools
Toolbox for Windows 8
Record Voice & Pen
Draw and narrate diagrams
A simple sound recorder
Windows Sound Recorder
Aviary Photo Editor
A photo editor with lots of effects
QR Code Reader
Scan - QR Code and Barcode Reader
App to access Wikipedia
App to access Khan Academy
A cloud based workspace
Download Youtube Videos
YouTube Player/Downloader - MegaTube
Explore the night sky
Collect articles to read
Create scrapbooks using Pinterest
Music Maker Jam
A simple music creator
Draw Notes for Skydrive
Draw notes and save to skydrive
Draw Notes for SkyDrive
Map Notes for Skydrive
Save maps and places to Skydrive
Map Notes for SkyDrive
Voice Notes for Skydrive
Record Voice notes straight to Skydrive
Voice Notes for SkyDrive
Collabor8r for Skydrive
Another Tool to use Skydrive
Corinth Micro Plant
Explore a plant to microsocopic level
Corinth Anatomy Augmented
Explore the human body in AR
Corinth Micro Anatomy Augmented
Kids Story Builder
Create visual stories with narration
A Kinect type game for Win 8
Another Kinect type game
Create your own Cartoons
Paint a Story
Paint and animate a story or diagram
Paint a story
Create a photo diary
Create images from text
Create stop frame animations
Want to know what is happening at BETT next week on the Microsoft stand. Then here direct from the BETTmiester himself. Tim Bush is the our schedule
As one of the largest EdTech shows in the world and with hundreds of exhibitors, the BETT Show can be pretty overwhelming for visitors without careful planning and a plentiful supply of snacks to get you through the day.
While we can’t help you with the snacks, we can help you with some information to help you plan your day at the show.
The Microsoft Theatre, which is a focal point of our stand (D270), offers visitors to the show access to a series of informative and thought provoking sessions, delivered by teachers and Microsoft staff, that discuss how technology can make a real difference within your institution.
Covering a wide range of topics such as computer science in the curriculum, flipped learning and the future of collaboration, the content in our theatre this year promises to be our best yet and is sure to provide you with the inspiration you need to help enhance any of your current projects.
So that you don’t miss any of the great content in our theatre, and help you plan your day, I just wanted to share the full agenda for all 4 days of the show.
BETT 2014: Microsoft Theatre Agenda
10.30am – 11.00am The Future of Collaboration: How Windows 8, Lync and SharePoint is helping to transform learning within Broadclyst Primary School Matt Pitts @ Broadclyst Primary School
11.00am – 11.30am Using Skype to Create the Global Classroom Jon Tait @ Woodham Academy
11.30am – 12.00pm A is for Algorithm: Your first steps in primary computing Claire Lotriet @ Henwick Primary School
12.00pm – 12.30pm Flipped Learning: How Wymondham High Academy Trust is using Office 365 Education, Yammer and Surface to transform teaching and learning Kevin Sait @ Wymondham High Academy Trust
12.30pm – 1.00pm My Digital BFF - How a Windows 8 devices is the perfect teaching and learning companion for all ages Steve Molyneux @ Tablet Academy
1.00pm – 1.30pm How IT has helped transform teaching and learning and support a new culture of learning excellence at Twickenham Academy Dwayne Philip @ Twickenham Academy
1.30pm – 2.00pm Inspiring the developers of the future: Everything you need to light up the imaginations of young developers Ray Chambers @ Uppingham Community College
2.00pm – 2.30pm IT Manager of the Future - Where do you want to go tomorrow? James Marshall @ Microsoft
2.30pm – 3.00pm The Future of Collaboration: How Windows 8, Lync and SharePoint is helping to transform learning within Broadclyst Primary School Matt Pitts @ Broadclyst Primary School
3.00pm – 3.30pm Using Skype to Create the Global Classroom Jon Tait @ Woodham Academy
3.30pm – 4.00pm A is for Algorithm: Your first steps in primary computing Claire Lotriet @ Henwick Primary School
4.00pm – 4.30pm Flipped Learning: How Wymondham High Academy Trust is using Office 365 Education, Yammer and Surface to transform teaching and learning Kevin Sait @ Wymondham High Academy Trust
4.30pm – 5.00pm My Digital BFF - How a Windows 8 devices is the perfect teaching and learning companion for all ages Steve Molyneux @ Tablet Academy
5.00pm – 5.30pm How IT has helped transform teaching and learning and support a new culture of learning excellence at Twickenham Academy Dwayne Philip @ Twickenham Academy
5.30pm – 6.00pm Inspiring the developers of the future: Everything you need to light up the imaginations of young developers Ray Chambers @ Uppingham Community College
**** Please note the theatre sessions finish with Claire Lotriet’s presentation at 4pm on Saturday ***
We are looking forward to welcoming you on the stand at BETT 2014. If you have any questions about any of the theatre sessions, please do not hesitate to get in touch via Twitter – @microsofteduk
Don’t forget to visit me on the ‘Wall of Appiness’ on our stand, where I will be demonstrating 100s of great Windows 8.1 apps. Come and say hi and get in touch via Twitter – @innovativeteach
It’s just under a week to the world’s leading learning technology show BETT 2014 at the Excel Centre in London. The Microsoft stand will be bigger and better than last year with a range of great speakers covering topics of all things Microsoft in Education.
I will be sharing the great apps in the Windows store that make a Windows 8.1 device the perfect choice for education. See Windows 8 Appedagogy Blog post
So make sure you visit us on stand D270 and be amazed at the wall of Appiness. where myself and colleagues will be demonstrating over 100 apps that will impact on the teaching and learning in your classroom.
We will also be announcing some brand new apps including:-
- Ebook Creator – to create your own media rich ebooks and publish them
-Mediacore – bring media rich learning resources from various sources together to create your own learning activities
-Lightspeed – a management system for Windows devices
We will also have news about this year’s Kodu Kup Competition.
If that’s not enough, you will also find two of our Microsoft Innovative educator Experts, Ray Chambesr and Nicki Cooper, who will be able to share with you the great work they are doing in their schools with Touchdevelop, Kodu and Project Spark.
So come along and say hi at BETT and share some Appiness.
This new version offers powerful new features and includes access to exciting new data sets. The entire rendering system has been rewritten with cutting-edge technologies that give users a high-performance, cinematic experience.
Make movies with the new timeline editor that provides detailed control of camera motion, settings, and animation.
What’s more, WWT can now import and display highly detailed 3D models, and it even comes preloaded with several, including a high-fidelity representation of the International Space Station.
WWT 5.0 includes data about the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. For Mars and Earth, new models that show how sunlight interacts with the planetary atmospheres provide realistic visualization effects, including simulated sunrises and sunsets. In WWT’s 3D mode, you can search for an Earth-based location and instantly fly to it.
The BBC in the UK are currently running a series of programmes called Stargazing Live. You can follow up this interest with your students by charting the sky with a collection of new and enhanced overlays that work in both the Sky and 3D-universe modes.
If you running Windows 7 or have a Windows 8/8.1 Pro device then treat yourself to some breath-taking imagery and the wonders of the universe by downloading Worldwide Telescope 5.
As most of you know, IT Academy provides a bounty of benefits for teachers, not least of which is access to free Microsoft certification exams. These exams lead to three relevant certifications for teachers:
While many staff and instructors take advantage of this benefit, others don’t. Why is that?
The Q&A answers below, compiled in part from last month's webinar on professional development through Microsoft certification, might make you think twice about passing up that exam benefit. Read what these two IT Academy educators have to say—and watch the webinar to view their presentations. Both teachers are Microsoft certified and eager to share their perspectives on the value of certification.
Katherine Schmit, Business & Technology Instructor, Kalama High School in Kalama, WA
ITA: How and why did you pursue Microsoft certification? KS: I became a teacher and tried to teach my students these skills. I was teaching digital and computer applications at the time, and I knew that no matter what they learned, it wouldn't matter unless I could quantify it with some type of certifications for an employer.
When I heard about IT Academy and three certification exams, for me as an educator in Washington State, I was all in. It didn't matter what it took. I wanted to lead the way for them by getting myself certified.
ITA: What might hold a teacher back from certification? KS: For a teacher, probably our biggest concern with certification is time constraint. The second would be fear: What if I take the exam and I fail? I'm supposed to be teaching my students this. Don't let that scare you. I say, get into the exam as soon as you possibly can.
ITA: In your opinion, what’s the greatest value of Microsoft certification for teachers? KS: When you can tell your students that you are certified and that you know that they can do this, they have so much more confidence in you. Certification is key for an instructor. For me, it's created all the difference in my confidence as an instructor as well as in my students' confidence in me to lead them.
ITA: How does Microsoft certification lend to a teacher’s ability to adhere to Common Core Standards that are being enforced in the United States and numerous countries worldwide? KS: Currently every single discipline in the United States has a Common Core technology component that should be included with their final exam or with their final classroom-based assessment.
Students need to know how to use PowerPoint, how to integrate a spreadsheet into their PowerPoint, how to integrate Word, how to integrate charts. All of those types of things, how to save your PowerPoint as a movie so that it can be broadcast on the internet. These are just basic skills that students have to know across the disciplines.
Ask us more at the Microsoft stand at the BETT show – Jan 22nd – 25th
This is the last post of 2013 and what a year it has been.
Next year will be even better and for us on this blog it will be about Apps, not just from the Windows store , but making your own. Find out more and come and see us at BETT 2014
But, that is next year, so what about the big day when you open your new Win 8.1 device here are some great apps to keep you entertained during the festive season.
Track Santa as he delivers your presents with the NORAD Tracks Santa App . Watch Santa traverse the globe in real time on Christmas Eve as he distributes gifts to all the world's children & grown ups! Watch videos about Santa's journey and hear special holiday greetings from each of NORAD’s Commands.
Two the best movies for the big kid in all of us have been Despicable Me 2 and Frozen. Download these games for some great fun.
Join Anna, Elsa, and more of your favourite characters on a journey to slide and match 75 icy puzzles for free! download Frozen Free Fall from the Windows Store.
Gru’s loyal yellow gibberish-speaking Minions are ready for their toughest challenge in Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Play as a Minion and compete with others in hilarious, fast-paced challenges in order to impress your boss, (former?) super-villain Gru! Jump, fly, dodge obstacles, collect bananas, be mischievous, and defeat villains to earn the title of Minion of the Year!
Enjoy and Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd dda i chi !
With Christmas just around the corner I thought a festive treat was needed for our e-zine readers. I have scanned all of Microsoft’s educational offerings and put together a software and resource overview. I’m calling it the one stop blog for all you need to know about what we do for teachers and schools and where to go to find out more. I’ll be back in the new year with more e-zines to share, but in the meantime enjoy this festive edition and have a great seasonal break!! Mandeep.
Accessibility: A Guide for Educators
Assistive technologies can help make the educational environment more accessible for students who have special learning needs. Use this teacher’s guide to find out how.
Amazon Kindle® for PC
Find out everything you need to get started with Amazon Kindle, from compatibility and installation, to registration and paying for downloads.
Create photo collages with your students to use as posters, covers for projects or mementos of school outings. All they have to do is pick a folder, press a button, and in a few minutes AutoCollage creates a collage.
This is a great way to make history or geography come to life. Simply select a location and explore cities at eye level and in 3D. Download Microsoft® Silverlight® for a richer experience.
Microsoft® Chemistry add-in
Empowering students, teachers and chemists to easily author documents in the language of chemistry.
Complimentary download which develops interactive timelines unifying the four major historic regimes of Cosmic, Earth, Life and Human History, up to the present.
Microsoft Community Clips
The Community Clips screen recorder can be downloaded here.
DeforestACTION is a not-for-profit partnership between NGOs, Microsoft and schools, that involves young people from across the globe using technology to collaborate in solving one of the world’s most pressing issues ... deforestation.
Devices in Education - For Senior Managers and IT Pros
Devices in Education - Educators
Devices in Education - Secondary Student
Devices in Education - Primary Student
Microsoft® Digital Literacy
Teach and assess basic, everyday computer concepts and skills. Choose from three course– performance levels: Basic, Standard and Advanced.
DreamSpark is simple; it’s about giving students Microsoft professional tools at no charge.
Microsoft® Education Labs
Test out software prototypes designed specifically for the education sector by both community members and Microsoft product teams. It’s a great chance to provide feedback that will shape the technology of the future.
Microsoft UK Education Free Resources App
Teacher guides, complimentary software applications and online resources as well as news and teacher blogs.
Microsoft® Faculty Connection
Training resources, software and tools, news, publications and downloads.
Flashcards is a Microsoft® Silverlight® Web application where you can create, share, and study online flashcards. Find a deck in the community, or create your own.
The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition, open to students over 16. Every year, the Imagine Cup encourages students from all around the globe to come up with creative ideas using technology to help solve the world’s toughest issues.
InkSeine is a prototype ink application from Microsoft Research. It is designed from the ground up to have a user interface uniquely tailored to pen input.
Microsoft® Interactive Classroom
Create in-class polls and share them over a wireless network in real time. Plus share notes and content with students during lessons using Microsoft® OneNote®.
Microsoft® IT Academy
Subscribe your institution to comprehensive IT training, resources and Microsoft certification opportunities.
A great site for your students with fantastic tips and tricks, answers to all kinds of questions, kids’ courses and a secure place to connect with other students.
Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Microsoft® Xbox® or PC, allowing rapid design iteration using a game controller (or keyboard) for input.
Learning Content Development System (LCDS)
Create and publish high-quality, interactive, online courses including interactive activities, quizzes, games, assessments, animations, demos and other multimedia.
A multimedia and animation tool that lets students create animated stories using avatars.
Microsoft Mathematics 4.0
Plot graphs in 2D and 3D, calculate numerical results, solve equations or inequalities, and simplify algebraic expressions in Microsoft Word® and OneNote®.
Microsoft® Mouse Mischief™
Allows you to create Office PowerPoint® presentations that children can interact with in class using multiple mice.
Microsoft Office 365 Education
Provide staff, faculty, and students at your school with free email, sites, online document editing and storage, IM, and web conferencing.
Microsoft® Partners in Learning Network
Join the global community of educators who value innovative uses of information and communication technology that improve learning outcomes. Collaborate with like-minded colleagues; participate in discussions and accessing lesson plans, tools and more.
Microsoft® Partners in Learning School Research
Microsoft’s Partners in Learning School Research is a self-assessment survey research system that helps educators and school leaders understand and measure innovative teaching practices.
Microsoft® Partners in Learning Expert Educator Program
A site dedicated specifically for inspired teachers. Find out how you can become involved in the Microsoft Partners in Learning program and teachers awards.
Students can reconstruct a scene or an object in 3D from photographs and publish it over the Internet.
Microsoft® Pro Photo Tools version 2
Find the tools for editing metadata in photographs including latitude, longitude and other location details.
This complimentary download* works with Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® to let you zoom in and out of slide sections and move directly between slides that are not sequential in your presentation.
Microsoft® Ribbon Hero™
A game for Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel® 2007 and 2010, designed to help you or your students boost your Microsoft Office skills and knowledge in a fun way.
Microsoft® Security Essentials
Provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It’s always kept up to date making it easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.
Microsoft® Touch Pack for Windows® 7
This site offers a collection of Microsoft games and applications for your multi-touch PCs and laptops running Windows 7, including Surface Globe – a program that you can use to explore the earth as a flat 2D or immersive 3D experience.
Microsoft® Worksheet Generator
Create your own maths worksheets in minutes. You can generate multiple maths problems based on a sample – from basic arithmetic through to algebra.
Skype in the classroom
Meet new people, discover new cultures and connect with classes from around the world, all without leaving the classroom.
Windows Live® Essentials
Free versions of Microsoft programs for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, blogging and more. Get them all in one easy download*.
Windows Live® Movie Maker
A fast, easy way to turn photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slideshows that you can share with students, other faculty or on the Web.
Windows Live® Photo Gallery
This complimentary download* lets you load photos and videos from a camera to PCs. You can crop, recolor and retouch photos to create impressive panoramic.
Windows Live® Writer
A complimentary blogging tool for students. They can share comment, photos and videos on almost any blog service: Windows Live®, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad and many more.
Windows Media® Centre
Turn a classroom PC into a TV, where you can play videos and music.
This amazing virtual telescope brings together imagery from ground and space telescopes from around the world, so students can explore the galaxy, the solar system, the planets and their moons.
A complimentary service for viewing and sharing high-res imagery. Give us the link to any image and we give you a beautiful new way to experience it — along with a nice short URL.