Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
Over the past few days I have had a number of questions, regarding the oppurtuity of institutions providing IT equipement as part of the overall student experience.
In particular I have had lots of questions regarding Windows Tablets or the new Slate form factor. I personnal use a Windows 7 ThinkPad x201 with a multitouch enabled screen which I simply take everywhere as its my office, phone and connection back to the corporate network, however what is really neat is that this is now also my note pad and my whiteboard during these meeting. This piece of kit has raised a number questions over the past few weeks from ITPro's, Academic and students during my institution vists.
So what are the questions. The number one statement is woo! thanks cool! the number one question is simply who can the new range of Windows Tablets and Slate devices support students learning as there lots of debate at present in the slate market simply because the price of device is becoming more attractive. The key question in my response to this is simply what is your software portfolio and how do you manage this? The Windows 7 Slate has a major advantage for most Institutions as it natively fully supports Windows applications such as Office.
To help answer the simple question or what are like to use? What can you do with these in regards to software applications? and how easy are they to use?
I suggest you watch the following video, the video gives you a quick overview of the power of Windows 7 and Office 2010 when used on the slate device form factor.
From my perspective the Window 7 slate device is a very attractive proposition for both students and institutions wanting to deliever and support software and hardware.
So UK Student's and Academic's are you doing anything as cool or interesting as this?
We would really love to hear about how your using Microsoft Technology and software in your curricula or research.
Tell us and and share your outcomes and experiences at the Faculty Connection UK Linkedin Group
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All UK academics with a interest in Cloud Futures are very welcome to attend and contribute to the workshop. Cloud Futures: Advancing Research and Education with Cloud Computing, June 2-3, 2011, Redmond, WA
Call for Abstracts & Participation
Cloud computing is an exciting platform for research and education. Cloud computing has the potential to advance scientific and technological progress by making data and computing resources readily available at unprecedented economy of scale and nearly infinite scalability. To realize the full promise of cloud computing for research and education, however, we must think about the cloud as a holistic platform for creating new services, new experiences, and new methods to pursue research, teaching and scholarly communication. This goal presents a broad range of interesting questions.
We invite extended abstracts that illustrate the role of cloud computing across a variety of research and educational areas---including computer science, engineering, earth sciences, healthcare, humanities, life sciences, and social sciences---that highlight how new techniques and methods of research in the cloud may solve distinct challenges arising in those diverse areas. Please include a bio (150 words max) and a brief abstract (300 words max) of a 30-minute short talk on a topic that describes practical experiences, experimental results, and vision papers.
Workshop updates will be posted at http://research.microsoft.com/cloudfutures2011/
Please submit your abstract by April 19, 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Invited talks will be announced on April 27, 2011
Logistics for Attendees and Selected Abstract Presenters
Academics worldwide are encouraged to attend. Workshop attendees and abstract presenters are expected to make their own air travel arrangements to Seattle including airport transfers. All attendees and presenters will be provided complimentary meals and refreshments during the workshop agenda (June 2, 3) including motor coach transport to/from the Bellevue Hyatt. Attendees are offered a special workshop room rate in the Bellevue Hyatt of $189 per night (plus tax). Deadline to book this rate is May 25, 2011.
Please use hotel booking link provided at http://research.microsoft.com/cloudfutures2011/
Abstract presenters will receive up to three nights’ complimentary accommodation at this hotel if booked by May 25, 2011. Microsoft is committed to adhering to local government laws and regulations, as well as institutional policies regarding conflict of interest and anti-corruption. To ensure compliance, Microsoft may be unable to cover the expenses and fees of some attendees and presenters for their attendance at Cloud Futures 2011.
Other hotels in Bellevue near the Hyatt
It may be possible for individual attendees to book at one of the following hotels and ride the workshop motor coach or the free Microsoft shuttle from the Bravern office complex to get to/from the workshop at the Microsoft Conference Center/Bldg 33 on June 2, 3. Inquire about the Microsoft vendor rate when booking. For a detailed schedule of the free shuttle from the Bravern building to main campus call (425) 703-6000.
Courtyard by Marriott – Bellevue – (425) 454-5888 Microsoft Vendor Rate: $17911010 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 (Note: this hotel 11 minutes walking distance from the Bellevue Hyatt for the workshop motor coach or attendees can take a free Microsoft shuttle from the Bravern building located across the street from this hotel with daily shuttle service to Microsoft Redmond Campus)
Hilton Hotel – Bellevue - (425) 455-1300Microsoft Vendor Rate: $165300 112th Avenue South East, Bellevue, WA 98004 (Note: this hotel 26 minutes walking distance from the Bellevue Hyatt for the workshop bus or attendees can take a free Microsoft shuttle from the Bravern building located 16 minutes walking distance from this hotel with daily shuttle service to Microsoft Redmond Campus)
Transfers to Bellevue Hyatt from SEATAC Airport
ShuttleExpress Eastside Town Car and Limousine Service – flat rate from SEATAC Airport - Telephone: (425) 652-1465Sound Transit Bus #560 from SEATAC Airport to Bellevue Transit Center ($2.50) takes 40 minutes
Last SEATAC departure for Bellevue from SEATAC Airport is 11:24 pm
Bellevue Hyatt is 7-10 minutes walking distance from the Bellevue Transit Center
Questions about the workshop should be directed to email@example.com
Microsoft Faculty Connection is constantly updating and improving the curricula and training materials available to higher education.
Windows Operating System Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK) (Faculty Resource Center) The Windows Operating Systems Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK) explains operating systems (OS) concepts based on the Microsoft WindowsP and Windows Server 2003 operating system family, structured following the ACM/IEEE Operating System Body of Knowledge (BOK) as defined in the Computing Curriculum 2001 project by the Joint IEEE and ACM Task Force (CC2001).
Programming Language Fundamentals – From Java to C# Interested in learning C#? These curriculum materials, build on your expertise in Java to introduce C#, .NET and Visual Studio. The curriculum consists of 12 modules covering approximately 15 hours of core ACM requirements. The modular curriculum facilitates as much or as little of the content to be used.
Introduction to Programming through Game Development Using Microsoft XNA Game StudioLearn the underlying skills and principles of software development as you design and build your first games for Xbox 360, Windows, and Zune.Designed specifically for students with no computer science background, this curriculum teaches the fundamentals of C# programming and the XNA Game Studio framework for skills you can apply to game programming and beyond.
Cloud Computing - Software Engineering FundamentalsThis set of materials on cloud computing is from Professors Johann Heinzelreiter and Werner Kurschl from the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. The materials propose a possible cloud computing curriculum. This curriculum discusses key software technologies and cloud software architecture issues, and also defines key terms. It also shows implementations of comparable sample applications based on Microsoft Windows Azure and Google App Engine as well as architecturaldesign issues for large and complex cloud applications. Design guidelines as well as open issues conclude the curriculum. The following material is covered in this set of resources:
Microsoft Bing is more than an internet search engine
As a academic your day is filled with non-stop time commitments, class preparation and on-going research. Microsoft Office can help you handle the writing, presenting, organizing and communicating it takes to keep moving at the speed of the academic calendar.
For more info on how Bing can help click here
Windows Azure Platform Training Kit & Training Course.
The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit & Course includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use the Windows Azure platform, including: Windows Azure, SQL Azure and the Windows Azure AppFabric:
Download the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit.
The January update provides new and updated demo scripts and a new Windows Phone 7 hands-on labs for the Windows Azure Platform. These new demo scripts demonstrate how to use Windows Azure Connect, Web and Worker Role Enhancements, Windows Azure Virtual Machine Roles, and the "Rafiki" application (a keynote demo at PDC10). Additionally, this kit includes an improved mechanism for installing Visual Studio code snippets.
Some of the specific changes with the January update of the training kit includes:
Once you learned everything about Windows Azure, you can start building your application on it in 3 simple and easy to do steps:
1. Download the Tools:
Get Visual Studio Express and the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio to start building and debugging applications for the Windows Azure Platform http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/cc974146.aspx. If you have already Visual Studio installed you can download the tools directly from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/cc974146.aspx.
2. Setup an Account:
Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric. You can learn more about the accounts http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/ff798116.aspx or you can sign up directly http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/offers/.
3. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:
First learn how to create a simple ASP.NET application in Visual Studio for Windows Azure on your local machine http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/ff798115.aspx. Once successfully created, learn how to deploy this application on the Windows Azure Platform http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsazure/ff798117.aspx.
When all steps are executed successfully you should have running your first application on the Windows Azure Platform!
Bring subjects to life. Windows Live™ Movie Maker is the fast, easy way to turn photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slide shows you can share with students, other faculty, or on the Web. And it’s free.
Learn more about the power of Movie Maker click here
Quick Step by Step guide to using Movie Maker click here
This month has been a very exciting time for Microsoft, the Guinness World Records has added the Kinect for being the fastest-selling electronic device in history. Kinetc has sold an average of 133,333 units per day, giving it a total of eight million units in its first 60 days on sale from 4 November 2010 to 3 January this year.
"The sales figures here speak for themselves," says Gaz Deaves, editor of Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition. "We can confirm that no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector." The new record will be included in the next Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition.
A further two million Kinect devices have been sold since the beginning of January - 10 million units in all additionally Microsoft's has also sold over eight million Kinect games. As a result this means that a large number of children are aware of have used the kinect device.
Take a look at this video of how young children are simply using Kinect without any thought or guidance.
There has also been a number of new features for the Xbox this spring, including Kinect-enabled applications allowing users to use hand gestures and their voice to control films on Xbox Live. Also coming this year is Avatar Kinect, allowing players to control their avatar's movements and expressions by smiling, frowning, nodding or speaking. Players can get together with up to seven friends in a range of themed environments.
What is really exicting from a Academic perspective is that Microsoft has announced that it will release a Kinect for Windows SDK "starter kit" this spring "to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces" using the motion-sensing device.
"Microsoft's investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us," said Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie when announcing the non-commercial SDK. The non-commercial SDK will "give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor." With the release of the SDK we're going to see lots of new ideas and a number of challenges in relation to how technology supports teaching and learning in a more immersive and innovative ways, additionally if you consider the video above of the young children the experience of using this technology will make their lecture standing in front of an Blackboard or interactive whiteboard look very old school.
The following videos are examples of how researchers and developers have integrated a number of applications using Natural User Interfaces and the Kinect devices.
The challenge for you now is how can you use the Kinect SDK in your teaching and learning or research?
So if your interested in the challenge, or have ideas that you would like to share and discuss please do get in contact.
University offers students a lifelong web-based resource called iPortfolio The iPortfolio service supports reflective learning for students of the institution and provides a useful job-hunting tool after they graduate.
To permanently host the ever-growing amount of iPortfolio data was a daunting storage challenge for Institutions IT staff, and their original solution was expensive and difficult to scale. With the help of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Intergen, the university has moved iPortfolio data and computing resources to the Windows Azure platform. By moving to a cloud-based platform, the Institution has reduced data storage costs, simplified IT resource planning, streamlined development, and enabled exciting enhancements to the iPortfolio application.
Want to know more about Windows Azure Cloud Services watch this short video
Case Study - Download
To better support student learning and simplify IT budget planning, Curtin University needed to replace its storage area network–based iPortfolio data repository with a less-expensive system that is easier to scale and manage.
The university has moved its locally hosted iPortfolio storage and computing resources to the cloud-based Windows Azure platform.
Reduced data storage costs and simplified IT planningEnhanced learning resourcesMore agile development
Software and Services
Windows AzureMicrosoft Live@eduMicrosoft Visual StudioMicrosoft SilverlightMicrosoft SQL AzureMicrosoft ASP.NET