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!
Last week I was travelling the country talking to academics and students about the opportunity of building apps for Windows 8.
During the week I had a number of really interesting discussions, however on Friday I had a comment from one student, who simply believed Windows 8, was for touch devices only.
We got onto the topic of keyboard and mouse as I was presenting using a Lenovo thinkpad which supports both touch and keyboard and mouse. I was simply demonstrating Windows navigation via touch and then via keyboard and mouse during the presentation demos and the student in question seemed to be blown away by this and when we discussed this it more detail after the event he wasn't aware of the number of Windows Shortcut keys available.
So here a quick list of some of my favourites
Charms and menus
Apps Search Screen
Files Search Screen
Split to the right
Split to the left
Scroll Start Screen
Apps Options/App bar
Version: 1.0 Date published: 11/26/2012 Language: English
WindowsPhone8TrainingCourse2012-11-22.214.171.124.Setup.exe 157.3 MB Download
Hands on labs for Windows Phone 8 software development
Supported operating systems: Windows 8
Windows 8 – http://dev.windows.com Windows Phone SDK 8 – http://dev.windowsphone.com
Additional Learning Resources
Windows Phone API QuickStart Poster (PDF) Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 platform comparison What's new in Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Using the MVVM pattern in Windows 8 Targeting Multiple Platforms with Portable Code: Overview Sharing XAML UI Polymorphism (C# Programming Guide) MVVM Quickstart Implementing the Model-View-ViewModel pattern in a Windows Phone app How to: Add Existing Items to a Project Getting started developing apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 Develop Windows Store apps using C++ and XAML: Hilo Design library for Windows Phone Design guidance for Windows Store apps Cross-Platform Development with the .NET Framework Creating Windows Runtime Components Create a Continuous Client Using Portable Class Libraries Asynchronous Programming with Async and Await (C# and Visual Basic) Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8
BUILD 2012 VIDEOS
Create Cross-platform Apps using Portable Class Libraries (Build 2012) How to Leverage your Code across WP8 and Windows 8 (Build 2012) Windows Phone 8: Using C++ in your Applications (Build 2012) Windows Phone 8: Native C/C++ Game Development (Build 2012)
Last week a student at the University of York asked me about my views on typescript.
So what is Typescript
Microsoft Technical Fellow Anders Hejlsberg states that. TypeScript is designed to add those extra bits, with static typing and classes at the top of Hejlsberg's list of developer desirables.
So how is Typescript being used, TouchDevelop is a novel, touch-first IDE originally written as a Windows Phone 7 app using C# and XAML.
For more details on Touch Develop Development see the following //build session. http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/3-018
Typescript site http://www.typescriptlang.org/
New feature now available in Microsoft TouchDevelop, the mobile programming environment.
TouchDevelop Web App Preview at touchdevelop.com/app runs on
For Windows Phone 7/8 you can get the fully featured app in the Windows Phone Store that can access even more sensors and data.
We have quite some fun testing the latest TouchDevelop releases on many different devices…
TouchDevelop lets you create and run apps on pretty much any modern computing device you might own from smartphones to tablets and even PCs. TouchDevelop features a predictive on-screen code keyboard and a touch-optimized programming language.
Having been designed for mobile devices from the ground up, TouchDevelop is an excellent option for programming on touchscreen devices without keyboards. You can also use it with a traditional keyboard and mouse if your device supports them.
After you have designed your fun game or a useful tool, you can share it with other people with a single tap or mouse click, so that they can run it or tweak it. More than 12,000 scripts have already been shared with over 40,000 users who have signed in to the TouchDevelop experience.
TouchDevelop is also an excellent option for learning programming.
The high-level programming languages makes it super easy to create simple apps. But TouchDevelop is not just for beginners – for more complicated tasks only sky is the limit, thanks to the underlying powerful language and extensive library support.
If the TouchDevelop environment is not enough, you can export true apps and submit them to the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store to start earning money and building a portfolio
Start coding with the Web App in your browser at touchdevelop.com/app or get the Windows Phone app.
Like TouchDevelop on Facebook to stay up to date.
Win cash by developing apps with TouchDevelop! Winners will take the stage in Las Vegas at a special live event during IEEE CCNC 2013.*
The Windows Phone 8 Jump Start videos are now available online. The Windows Phone Jump Start is two full days of demo-rich sessions led last week by our own experts, Microsoft Technical Evangelist Andy Wigley, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Strategist Rob Tiffany. Andy and Rob are two of the most respected authorities in mobile app development and were excited to help C#/XAML developers get the most from the Windows Phone 8 platform.
Jump Start Training On Channel 9: First session (of 21): Introducing Windows Phone 8 Development Part 1 (Links to others on that page)
Jump Start Training on Microsoft Virtual Academy: Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
More details are on Andy Wigley blog the presenter of Windows 8 Jump Start: Windows Phone 8 Jump Start Video recordings now available!.
Starting with last month’s //build 2012 conference, where we took the wraps off the new Windows Phone 8 developer platform, releasing the new SDK and continuing through last week at our popular Windows Phone 8 Jump Start training, our team has worked to compile useful technical content to guide you as you dive into development of new Windows Phone 8 apps. If you weren’t able to hear our experts deliver the content live, don’t worry, every breakout session is now on-demand on Channel 9. Check out the //build 2012 wrap-up blog post for a complete list of all available content, including the below topics:
Native C/C++ Game Development
XAML Application Development
Leverage Code across Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8
In-app Purchase & Dev Center
Networking, Bluetooth and NFC Proximity
Making Money With Your Apps
HTML5/IE10 for Developers
Maps, Location & Background Execution
Performance & Optimization
Photo and Lens Apps
Tiles, Lock Screen and Notifications
Using C++ in Your Apps
Using the Speech API
Wallet and Deals for Devs
App to App Communication
I recently took part in a Microsoft Partners in Learning Virtual University series on TouchDevelop delivered by Jonathan 'Peli' de Halleux who works for Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA. The series was part of a PIL Appathon Competition for educators around Europe, the final stage of which will be a 24 hour Appathon in London just before BETT in January 2013. I had no idea what to expect from the series and had no idea about what TouchDevelop was. The series was excellent and I know have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of TouchDevelop and how to create simple apps using it. It was also a fantastic experience to be part of a community of learners from around Europe sharing experiences during online sessions and via PIL network forums.
I teach Games Development at Reid Kerr College in Paisley, Scotland and I currently mainly use XNA with C#; however we have been looking at different tools to introduce students to programming such as Scratch, Kodu and MIT App Inventor, as XNA can be quite a jump for students who have never programming before. We are also keen to get students creating APPs and after learning about TouchDevelop I think it is a great platform to achieve these goals.
The really big difference about TouchDevelop and other dev tools is that it allows you to actually code and test your APP on a mobile device. You can choose to develop on a PC and then package it as an APP, but you can code on any device which has a modern HTML5 browser. So if your device can run IE10 or the latest versions of Safari or Chrome, you will be able to use TouchDevelop to code and test APPs on your device. I have used a variety of platforms successfully with TouchDevelop; on desktop PCs I have used IE10 in Windows 8 and Chrome in Windows 7. I have also used Safari on both the iPhone and iPad and on my Windows 7 phone I have used the dedicated TouchDevelop APP. So although TouchDevelop only creates APPs for the Windows Marketplace on WP7/8 and Windows 8, you can develop and test APPs via the TouchDevelop site on your favourite browser on pretty much any device.
Coding with TouchDevelop on iPhone
Another great part of TouchDevelop is the community aspect to it. The scripts (APPs) you publish are available to the rest of the community to use and play, which means if you don’t know how to do something you can look up someone else’s script doing a similar task and you will quickly find the solution. You can also take other user’s scripts and alter them and credit is still given to the original publisher as it shows how many variations of your scripts are out there. You can also build libraries yourself and then these libraries can be used by other users when creating their own apps and once again you can see how many scripts are using your library. One other great feature of TouchDevelop is the ability to have a high score table which the community can immediately contribute to as soon as you hit the publish button from your script. This is not publishing it as an app on the marketplace it is just making it available for the community to try out and it only takes 2 or 3 lines of code.
High Score Table
TouchDevelop comes with a variety of libraries which makes most tasks easy to do. I have been working a lot with the game board, which has built in functions for dealing with sprites, collisions, physics and touch events.
Pong created in TouchDevelop
Once I got used to working with the interface and the language I was able to quickly put together some games. I created a touch version of PONG in about 2 to 3 hours, in which you use your finger to control a Bat by sliding your finger up & down to try and defeat an AI controlled Bat. I also created a Space Invaders clone called TouchInvaders which took me roughly about 4 hours to get a working version, although I did go back later and tweak it to add shields and play about with the controls.
TouchInvaders on iPhone
TouchInvaders running in Chrome on a Windows7 PC
TouchInvaders running in IE10 desktop browser on a Windows 8 PC
TouchInvaders running in IE10 on a Windows 8 PC
TouchDevelop is still in its infancy and therefore has a number of minor bugs, but the Microsoft team are constantly working on these and improving it and adding functionality on almost a daily basis. Overall I would say that TouchDevelop has amazing potential and is a good alternative to some of the other tools out there that can be used to teach programming at a beginner’s level, however unlike Scratch it actually allows you to make games I would want to play.
David thanks for your comments and if your interested in learning more about touchdevelop see http://blogs.msdn.com/b/uk_faculty_connection/archive/2012/12/03/touchdevelop-web-app-preview-at-touchdevelop-com-app-runs-on-windows-ios-android.aspx
With the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, this academic year promises to be our biggest yet for the opportunity of building amazing games in a variety of technologies and frameworks including C++, DirectX, Unity, MonoGame, Marmalade, C#, Construct2, GameMaker and HTML5!
Want to be part of the excitement? We’re hiring NOW for our 1st phase of Windows Games Ambassadors.
There are up to 20 Ambassador places available. Applications close Friday 4th January at 5pm (GMT).
Apply Now - http://www.ubelly.com/fancy-being-a-microsoft-university-gaming-ambassador/
Students Developers who are undertaking gaming course, proactive and personable are perfect for the role. Being trustworthy is also a quality we look for in all Ambassadors as you’ll be relied upon to perform your duties in your own time. It’s essential that you’re interested in games development and have demonstrable skills in at least one of these technologies XNA, C++, C#, DirectX Unity and HTML5 don’t worry if you’re not the savviest of tech minds or a C++ ninja as we will provide you access to training resources. Finally you must be an student studying a gaming related course at university in the UK.
As one of the first to get to grips with the opportunity of games development for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. There will be opportunities to unleash your inner developer and people skills setting up your own partnerships between Microsoft Developers and local student bodies as well as running local development events and supporting gaming competitions and incentives.
Don’t worry if this sounds above you; the role will not require more than 12 hours of your time per month (we’re also considerate to the demands of your exams periods) and you’ll be given bespoke training and guidance throughout the year, you will also develop your own portfolio of at least 4 Windows Store games which will become a key part of your CV and portfolio.
We’ll give the latest tech in the shape of a brand new Windows 8 device and a Windows Phone 8 and regular incentives. However more importantly you’ll gain valuable experience working with the biggest technology brands in the world on their latest opportunity in gaming!
Interested? Yes? Then just add your details to the form below to apply and Good Luck!
So what does it involve?
As a team we are responsible for helping students, start-ups and indies design, create and publish great quality games for Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.
The Ambassador role is to help us achieve this by:
· creating great quality games
· writing great content and blogs that we can use to showcase student talent
· co-delivering content with Microsoft at events aimed at the gaming industry
So we are looking for students who:
· are experienced software developers specifically in gaming
· are passionate about developing games and for Microsoft
· are able to prove this passion
you have written an application
· are at a UK university and over 18
· have the support of a faculty member
· are able to articulate technology to a crowd
We do want to encourage discussion and debate about technology and hence your experiences and opinions are extremely valuable. If you want to share your passion and develop industry-leading skills, we want to hear from you.
What will you get in return?
As part of your role as Ambassador you will receive the following
· Amazing Microsoft Kit and access to developer tools
· Online sessions and calls with the UK Windows 8 and Windows Phone Gaming Team
· technical education sessions organised on-line
· the ability to showcase your skills to a wider audience though Microsoft promoting your games and developer skills to the wider student, developer and indie community
· increased visibility in your university (dependant on you driving this with your faculty contact)
How do we select Ambassador?
We’ll review applications in Jan. Subsequent selection will take place until the end of Feb 2013.
To consider applying for the Ambassador Program, you must be:
· Over 18 years of age.
· Studying a full-time gaming related course at an officially recognised university in the UK.
· Have the support of a Faculty Member or a Professional within the technology industry.
· Everyone needs to have published at least four games the Microsoft or Store (Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 during the role)
· If you have an app in the design stage you can become an Ambassador on probation for 3 months until your first game gets published
What are we looking for?
All Ambassadors should have the following basic qualities:
· Passionate about gaming and gaming technology and what it can do
· Someone who loves to learn
· Be part of an active and vibrant network
· Demonstrates a high degree of responsibility, honesty, and integrity
· Good rapport with faculty and students studying other disciplines
· Willing to share knowledge & eager to educate and inspire others
· High level of social activity, both online & offline
· Willingness to support and organise university events and involve the local community
What’s the fine print?
· The time commitment is somewhat variable and depends on you and the activity but it might be somewhere between 1-3 hours/week.
· Students must be enrolled fulltime in an accredited academic institution within the UK and studying a gaming related degree course.
· In order for new people to be accepted onto the programme we expect prospective Ambassadors to provide some evidence that you have the desire, capacity and willingness to share your passion for gaming technology.
· If we find it is not meeting your needs then Ambassadors are free to leave the programme at any time
· Microsoft retains the right to exclude people from the programme at any time.
· Your details will not be used for any other marketing purpose.
How to apply?
Applications for the 2013 Academic Year are now open. To apply for the Ambassadors programme, please refer to the competencies required and the responsibilities above.
· Complete the application form at http://www.ubelly.com/fancy-being-a-microsoft-university-gaming-ambassador/
· You will need to provide contact details from an academic member of your department or the professional who you have worked with in the technology industry
Best of luck!
The Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) Program is a college and career ready education program available to all accredited academic institutions. The program is designed to provide students, educators and staff with the latest Microsoft technology skills necessary to acquire certification and be competitive and effective in today’s workplace.
What is the Microsoft IT Academy Program?
The Microsoft IT Academy Program is an annual membership program that enables academic institutions to deliver training on Microsoft IT professional, developer, and Office technologies to their students, as well as to offer resources on the latest Microsoft technologies to their faculty.
Membership is open to all primary, secondary, post-secondary, preparatory schools, vocational and trade, military or technical accredited educational institutions, and accredited sources of continuing education.
The program is available on an annual subscription-based membership, as an attachment to any qualifying Academic agreement; OVS-ES, EES, Select, Campus & Schools.
More information can be found at www.microsoftitacademy.com .
General FAQ on Microsoft IT Academy Membership
Is there a membership fee?
Yes. Program members pay an annual fee. Fees vary in different countries, so please visit www.microsoftitacademy.com or contact your Regional Support Center (RSC) for details. See the Contact Information section for information on how to contact your RSC.
If an institution has multiple campuses, must each location complete a separate application to be approved for the Microsoft IT Academy Program?
Yes. Each campus location must apply for and pay the annual program fee independently of each other. Contact your RSC for details.
How do I become a Microsoft IT Academy Program member?
•If you are a Volume Licensing customer, please contact your academic reseller.
•For all other academic institutions, Microsoft provides an online registration tool. The application process includes:
•Completing an online application
•Accepting the Microsoft IT Academy Program Agreement and other terms and conditions and submitting the required documentation
•Remitting your payment
What are the requirements for participating in the Microsoft IT Academy Program?
Microsoft IT Academy Program members are required to submit the information requested by Microsoft for consideration and admittance into the program. Program benefits will become available when all application requirements are fulfilled, which may include:
•Proof of academic accreditation by an approved accrediting body or government sponsorship
•Proof of non-profit status (if applicable to your institution)
Can we use curricula materials other than MOAC, MOC, E-Reference, and E-Learning?
Where available in your local language, MOAC, MOC, E-Reference and/or Microsoft E-Learning courses should represent the foundation of your content for delivering training on Microsoft technologies under the IT Academy Program membership. Your institution may supplement this content with additional other materials. IT Academy Program members in geographies that do not have MOAC, MOC, E-Reference or Microsoft E-Learning in their local language may substitute local language curriculum that covers the same objective domains of the Microsoft Certification exams. For more information about objective domains, visit www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/policies/examdev.mspx.
Do our instructors need to be full-time employees of the institution?
No, your instructors may be adjunct or part-time employees.
How will this program benefit our students?
Professional IT skills are highly advantageous. For students and prospective employees, Microsoft Certification status can translate into enhanced job opportunities in today’s high-tech marketplace. Certification:
Helps students meet hiring criteria. Many companies have introduced certification into their hiring decisions. For businesses, certification provides an objective, reliable benchmark to aid in hiring, promoting, and planning employee career paths, or outsourcing services and development. Your institution can help prepare your students to become job-ready with the business and professional IT skills they need.
Provides early access to new Microsoft technology skills. Microsoft IT Academy Program members are in a select group that receives early information and training on new software releases, beta versions, guidelines and tips on new courses—both online and instructor-led training. This means that your students will have access to courses on newly released Microsoft technologies that will help keep them ahead of the industry curve.
How will our institution be able to distinguish itself from other academic institutions that are not Microsoft IT Academy Program members?
The Microsoft IT Academy Program brand was created with distinction in mind. By adding Microsoft as a prominent element to the branding of this program, it signifies that authorized IT Academy Program members are delivering Microsoft-approved curriculum. Program members have access to a logo and marketing collateral they can use to promote their membership status.
When can we begin using the Microsoft IT Academy Program logo?
The Microsoft IT Academy Program logo will be available to a member institution upon activation of your Microsoft IT Academy Program membership and your acceptance of the Microsoft IT Academy Logo License Agreement. You may access the Microsoft IT Academy Program Logo Agreement if you follow the instructions from the members-only website. You may use the Microsoft IT Academy Program Logo in accordance with the Microsoft IT Academy Logo License Agreement, as long as your institution (i) maintains Microsoft IT Academy Program member status, (ii) follows the curriculum and course delivery requirements as described in the IT Academy Agreement, Program Guide and any applicable license agreements.
What type of support can our institution expect?
Program support is provided by our customer support staff via phone and email. Upon acceptance in the Microsoft IT Academy Program, members are provided with contact information for the support center in their geographic area. Members also receive e-newsletters with information such as program benefits, certification news, curriculum releases, and more. Please also refer to our member’s-only website for questions.
What is the curriculum source for the E-Learning?
The E-Learning provided to IT Academy Program members is a portfolio of Microsoft commercial E-Learning courseware
Do you have a great app in the iOS store, but haven't got around to porting it to Windows 8 yet?
Well fear not, because help is at hand. We're running a 2 hour virtual workshop to give you all the information you need to to unlock a whole new market and opportunities to turn your work into profit.
The workshop will run 10am-12pm on Saturday 8th Dec. It's completely free - we want to help you make the most of the fantastic opportunities the Windows Store offers.
As part of the workshop our expert team will take you through the following stages.
For more information, and to sign up now, visit http://ubel.ly/porttoios.
For more resources on Windows 8 training camps and development resources see http://www.microsoft.com/uk/msdn/windows8
Microsoft has developed a excellent app template for UK Institutions with office365 and windows 8 clients.
The Contoso Learning Companion app for Windows 8 allows students and teachers can use to access their SharePoint/Office365 learning environments directly from a Windows 8 device. This application is white-label meaning that it can be customized by the institution or a Microsoft Partner.
The Contoso Learning Companion for Windows 8 provides a touch-friendly baseline Windows 8 sample app to support education scenarios on Office 365. It provides users with an aggregated experience that would otherwise require the user to access multiple sites via the browser. The Learning Companion for Windows 8 solves this issue by taking advantage of the new Windows 8 touch-friendly UI and by adding some client-side aggregation logic, and leveraging OneNote for managing lessons and assignments.
· Aggregated view of current events, classes, and study groups in SharePoint
· Access to class and study group sites, and their respective, events, materials, and related features in SharePoint
· OneNote integration for consumption and management of lessons and assignments via a class notebook
The Learning Companion is provided to serve as a baseline framework, which developers can use to create tailored solutions for their customers/institutions. Developers can take advantage of Windows 8 app contracts to extend the experience, such as through the Search, File Picker, and Send To and Play To contracts. Developers can customize the look and feel with school colours or by integrating stock imagery as a background. They can also extend the UI by adding additional components, such as an existing news feed and other server-side data sources.
Why not download the package to play around with the code to implement you institutional Windows 8 Office365 app.