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Today the news in filled with impact of the global funding crisis, the US debit Crisis and issues more closer to home with the Euro in Greece, Ireland and Spain. With the global impact of the economy the workforce and opportunities for students is changing.
In todays economy more than 50% of today’s jobs require some technology skills, workforce experts predict this will increase to 77% in the next decade. Today’s reality: jobs in every industry, and at every level, require basic proficiency with computers and other digital technologies. The question I have as a parent and a advisor is are the skills and tools being taught in school necessary and appropriate?
I have blogged before about Microsoft DreamSpark and Microsoft IT Academy programs, these programs help students increase their technical skills to better compete in the global economy. However one thing which I haven't stressed is that Microsoft DreamSpark is available to all school students worldwide. For a number of years, Microsoft has offered university students worldwide access to the latest professional-level developer and designer tools for FREE. There has been millions downloads already and the package has been a valuable tool for college and University students.
However the goal of DreamSpark is to empower students to pursue their academic and professional goals, so they are 100% ready to take their place as the next generation of business leaders. This program eases some pressure from the individual student their parents, teachers and administrators who are balancing the need for students to gain tech skills with diminishing resources.
School administrators will need to register their schools to help verify their school as an accredited institution so their students can get access to all the software for FREE. The first step to get verified is to have a Microsoft LiveID and then simply sign in and verify at the DreamSpark website https://www.dreamspark.com for more information on the program see https://www.dreamspark.com/FAQ/Default.aspx?i=gen# for how to sign up and resources:
We all know that todays students hold the key to long-term economic stability. Microsoft DreamSpark and access software means students will learn the skills required of a demanding workplace, which triggers greater creativity, opportunity and greater success.
So please use these resources so that students can learn and succeed through technology.
Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh
Today we released Beta refresh of Kinect SDK Beta the update contains the following features
· Updated RSS feed with release announcement is now live: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/kdkrss.xml
· Blog post: http://bit.ly/KinectSDKBeta1RefreshBlogPost
· Details of fixes: http://bit.ly/KinectSDKBeta1RefreshDetails
· Web content updated: http://research.microsoft.com/KinectSDK
The updated doc links are also all live at http://bit.ly/KinectSDKDocs
Updated FAQ - http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/faq.aspx
Update Promo on home page, now says “Explore the project gallery” and links to http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/
Windows Phone Mango Completion
There are 30 more Mango developer phones up for grabs for great student prototypes. Here’s what to do if you want one (and be honest, you want one):
1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device
More details at the blog: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/07/29/mango-device-love-for-wpappitup-prototypes.aspx
Faculty Connection Newsletter July 2011
Welcome to the July edition of the Microsoft® Faculty Connection newsletter. This resource provides information about new curriculum resources and other useful educational content for use in the classroom. If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a colleague, please feel free to subscribe today to receive future editions directly.
New Faculty Connection Web Site with Visual Search
We are happy to announce the release of the new Faculty Connection web site. The new design provides a better user experience, allows for quicker content access, and links to various programs, software tools, and services including Microsoft Research and software products. One of the key features is the Visual Search application. This enables you to search or pivot on the data, so you can refine your search and even explore and view the content before you download it. We think you will find this a unique way to find the content you need. New to Faculty Connection? Review details on the program.
Project Hawaii Releases Cloud Services SDK for Windows Phone 7 Beta The MRC Engineering team, in collaboration with the newly formed Microsoft Mobile Computing Research Center (MCRC), has released the fourth and final cloud service for Windows Phone 7 development: Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The OCR service is the next step in the evolution of Project Hawaii, the Microsoft Research project that is exploring how to take full advantage of the cloud to enhance the use of smartphones. With Hawaii OCR, you can use your smartphone camera to take a picture of an object that contains text (in Roman characters), send the image to the cloud, and then receive a Unicode string of the text. This text string can be used in a number of interesting scenarios, such as translation of street signs or restaurant menus. For more details, read Aloha: Text from the Cloud.
Dream Chasers: Winners of 2011 Imagine Cup Announced in New York City
Teams from Ireland, Taiwan, France, Poland, Brazil, Greece, Korea, Denmark, and Romania took home the nine top awards at Microsoft's 9th annual Imagine Cup. Microsoft also announced a $3 million grant program to help Imagine Cup participants solve the world's toughest challenges.
The Faculty Connection Resource Center is the place to find these and other classroom-ready teaching materials:
Visual Studio 2010 C# Programming Review 24 presentations covering Visual Studio 2010 and C# programming. The material starts with obtaining the software and using the Visual Studio environment, the C# language and object oriented programming. It also features more advanced programming, including threading, databases, Internet communication, DirectX, PC interfacing using USB, and analogue I/O.
Windows Phone Programming in C# This material, created by Rob Miles, is an introduction to Windows Phone development for anyone learning to program. It contains 8 sections with labs, PowerPoint presentations, demos, and detailed notes.
Expression Web 4 Quick Start Tutorial: Beaches Around the World A fast-paced lesson that helps beginners create HTML pages with layers, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), interactive buttons, and Dynamic Web Templates. Build a Web site about the trip of your dreams to beautiful beaches around the world with this quick and easy Expression Web 4 tutorial.
Programming with C# and XNA 0.5: Jump Start This material contains lessons and projects for an exciting and engaging 4-5 week mini-course introduction to simulation and game programming using the C# language and XNA Game Studio. It is ideal for students who have fundamental programming experience.
A Changing World - Driven by Technology Our world is now changing driven by technology rather than evolution. This keynote session examines two key trends that will dominate the next wave of IT.
What Students Should Know about SharePoint 2010 SharePoint is one of the fastest growing products in the IT industry, and SharePoint 2010 has come a long way from previous versions. Learn about all the newest features and capabilities of SharePoint 2010, how many large enterprises are using it today, and why gaining SharePoint skills can help make students more marketable after graduation.
NEWS FROM MICROSOFT RESEARCH
Find recent news from a Microsoft Research site near you.
The Promise of Games in Lifelong Learning Microsoft Research announced the launch of a program designed to support collaborations between Microsoft Research Connections and major research institutions to build the foundations for a unified game layer for education. The first official project is Just Press Play, an experiment to craft gameful experiences for the students of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) undergraduate game design program. Gameful experiences incorporate the use of game play mechanics that focus on the user's intrinsic motivation to improve engagement and produce long-lasting and powerful results.
Top Students Descend on Microsoft Research Cambridge With the academic year drawing to a close, Microsoft Research Cambridge welcomed more than 60 doctoral students for the sixth PhD Summer School at the end of June 2011. Participants came from as far as Israel and Russia, numerous European countries, and locales across the UK. This annual event provides an opportunity for some of the brightest graduate students to come together at the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab for a week of immersive technical talks, personal development sessions, and socializing.
NEWS FROM MICROSOFT DYNAMICS
New Microsoft Dynamics Case Studies Available Two new Microsoft Dynamics case studies demonstrate how faculty use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions in the classroom. In today's world, employment is a primary objective of many educational institutions, and student experience with ERP and CRM is highly valued in the workplace. Microsoft Dynamics Partners can work with schools to help create an in-depth experience, offering guest lectures, curriculum development, and other services, including hiring interns and college graduates.
Microsoft Dynamics solutions and support are offered at no cost through the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance program.
IN THIS EDITION
The Faculty Connection Resource Center contains recommended Curriculum Resources, Reference Materials, Software, and Supplemental Resources:
View the Faculty Connection Resource Kit page for curriculum materials on areas such as Cloud Computing and Operating Systems. These kits contain lecture materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, white papers, labs, and more that can be used for classroom presentations.
Find Higher Ed and Teacher resource kits to help you engage your students.
Find additional faculty and student resources:
These are the top downloads by faculty and teachers from the Faculty Connection Resource Center:
1. Windows Phone Programming in C#
2. Web Development With .NET
3. Introduction to Programming Through Game Development Using Microsoft XNA Game Studio
4. ASP.NET for Programmers
5. A Lap Around Microsoft Expression Blend®
6. Learn Programming with XNA
7. Windows Operating System Internals Curriculum Resource Kit (CRK)
8. Comparing the Linux and Windows Kernels -- CRK Unit OS-B
9. Apparel Business Systems-Philadelphia University Glossary of Terms
10. Indexers Lab - Programming C#
If you have any questions or would like to know more about Microsoft Faculty Connection, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.