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!
I thought you all may be interested in the following.
Visual Studio is a ideal tools for schools, colleges and Universities for inspiring future developers, to enhance the experience Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, with the achievements students talents and learning are recognized as they perform various coding feats, which unlock achievements and earn badges which can be shared and displayed on social network profiles and web sites.
Some examples of individual achievements include Regional Manager (have more than 10 regions in a single class), Close To The Metal (use 5 preprocessor directives), Stubby (generate method stubs 10 times) or Interrupting Cow (have 10 breakpoints in a file). All in all, there are 32 achievements awaiting to be unlocked, all of which are listed here. Here's what the 6 different badges look like:
The Six Categories of Achievements
Visual Studio is a powerful tool with tons of features, many of which you may not know about. Earning some of the badges may result in learning about features you didn’t even know existed!
With the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, achievements are unlocked based on your activity. Your code is analysed on a background thread each time you compile. In addition, the extension listens for certain events and actions that you may perform in Visual Studio, reporting progress on these events to the server. When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up displaying the award. Each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. Students can then automatically tweet about achievements they earn and/or share them on Facebook.
Get Visual Studio for FREE via DreamSpark
As many of you know, alongside the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we also released the beta for the next version of Visual Studio 11. So whilst trying out the Windows 8 preview, there is No Better Time to Try Visual Studio 11 Beta, Team Foundation Server 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta are all now available and can be found here.
The best development experience for Windows 8
Continuing to ALM maturity
Visual Studio 11 Beta builds upon a strong legacy and with new collaboration capabilities to empower development teams, improved productivity through the core development experience resulting in delighted end-users with delivering modern, fast and fluid Metro-style, Windows Phone and Web apps.
There’s no solution on the market that can provide the depth and breadth of capability as Visual Studio across multiple platforms, and through Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) process maturity. You can find out more about how your organisation approaches ALM, and then make real improvements, by taking the ALM Assessment. ALM as an approach to Development, to testing, and to IT and we hope it adds real value to you as well as open up your minds to talking about how then the relevant tools can support your move to ALM.
What’s the new?
The new Visual Studio experience is built around three core pillars:
· Delighting end users – end users, or customers, are the core reason any software project begins in the first place. we know you want fast and fluid Windows experiences and web applications that feel modern and intuitive. Business users want systems that simplify their day jobs, where the hard work is done for them. Visual Studio 11 Beta delivers these great experiences.
· Development simplified – the most common, useful daily tasks are simplified with a new integrated development experience. Focusing on simplification has enabled developers to save time and reduce risks, continuously enabling quality throughout the development process
· Empowered teams – focusing on people, not processes. Agile can be experienced throughout Visual Studio 11 Beta; we’ve taken the very best practices from agile and incorporated them throughout. Every opportunity has been taken to eliminate waste and reuse and recycle code across projects.
So Why Wait…
We’re really excited about the release of Visual Studio 11 Beta, we are bringing the best experiences to developers for Windows 8 as well as building on the great work we started with Visual 2010 building towards a mature ALM Solution unparalleled in the market. Visual Studio, supported by DreamSpark, will continue to be the right choice for Academics and students who want to remain productive, efficient and skilled in modern and appropriate tools for employability.
Download the VS11 Beta preview yourself and visit some of the key resources:-
Read more details re Visual Studio
Follow @VisualStudioUK on Twitter
Last week I attend a number of events, which involved discussions in relation to using Windows 8 with a Keyboard and mouse. I mentioned the fact that Microsoft had introduced a suite of keyboard shortcuts to help you manage its classic and metro interfaces.
So here is the list of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts
For more details on Windows 8 see.
Developing Apps for Windows 8
Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Building Windows 8 Blog
Windows Store Blog
The Academic Search beta is a free search engine, developed by Microsoft Research, that helps users quickly find information about academic researchers and their activities. It is also a test-bed for our object-level vertical search research.
With Academic Search, you can easily find top researchers and their papers, conferences, and journals. You can also find relationships between researchers who co-authored papers. Academic Search will be changing its name with the upcoming release of new and improved features. In the meantime, try Academic Search and explore more than 15 million publications.
Disney's New Tron: Legacy Site Comes to Life Using IE9 with HTML5 After my recent visits to numerous Universities across the UK, I am aware a number of you have been teaching HTML5 for a number of years as part of your curricula. Therefore I thought you may be interested in the following examples of HTML5.
Check out what Disney Publishing was able to produce using Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration and HTML5.
There are also numerous other show case sites from BMW, SKY, Wired, Top Gear and many more… the sites are specifically designed and developed for IE9 and HTML5 visit the beauty of the web showcase site to see the power of IE9 and HTML5.
UK Academic community, This evening Microsoft is announcing something very special. which I know a lot of you will .
Check out the live stream from MSDN Channel9
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To help explain Microsoft Azure offering please view the following short overview video below
For more information on Microsoft Cloud services see http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/cloud/developer/default.aspx?WT.srch=1
Check out the following blogs
Simon May is an IT Professional Evangelist in the UK for Microsoft. His focus in on Microsoft Windows and Microsoft cloud technologies - http://blogs.technet.com/b/simonmay/
Steve Plank, or "Planky" as he is more usually known, works for Microsoft in the UK's Developer and Platforms group. His focus is on Microsoft's cloud technologies such as office 365 but especially Windows Azure - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx/
The Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3 (Microsoft RDS) is a Windows based environment for academic, hobbyist, and commercial developers to easily create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware. All previous editions of Microsoft RDS 2008 R2 (Express, Standard and Academic) have been combined into one new version, RDS 2008 R3 and can be downloaded at no charge from MSDNAA or DreamSpark.
The Microsoft CCR and DSS Toolkit 2008 R2 is no longer available as a standalone product and is now included for no charge with RDS 2008 R3. RDS 2008 R3 includes a lightweight asynchronous services-oriented runtime, a set of visual authoring and simulation tools, as well as templates, tutorials, and sample code to help you get started.
The key problem with both games and robots has been the cost and complexity of producing the necessary building blocks that faculty can use to create computer science assignments. By partnering with faculty who are domain experts in robotics and teaching, Microsoft External Research has collaborated with many institutions and researchers to advance state-of-the-art curricula, coupling existing practices with compelling, practical, and affordable robotics technology.
The website is now live for the next PhD Scholarship Programme applications call
Application deadline: 16 September 2011, 17:00 GMT
Please let your academic contacts know about it!
The programme is open to all universities or national research institutions in any country in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
As previous years, applications must be made by PhD supervisors not by students. Supervisors will be informed of our decision in January 2012 and will then have up to one year to find the best student for the proposed project. Students will typically start their PhD in October 2012.
The page also contains a link to a number of currently open PhD positions sponsored by Microsoft Research at a number of Universities:
If you have questions or feedback, please contact us.
Microsoft are pleased to announce the release of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games
This toolkit is a preview but will allow you and your students to quickly get started building new social games in Windows Azure.
The toolkit includes the following assets
3. Developer tools
The toolkit also includes specific services and code to handle capabilities unique to games, such as storing user profiles, maintaining leader boards, in-app purchasing, and so forth. In addition to releasing the toolkit, we have also teamed with industry innovator Grant Skinner and his team to create a game called Tankster.
Tankster is built with HTML5 and comes complete with reusable service-side code and documentation. It also supports a variety of social interactions including messaging, wall posts, and comments while player achievements and game stats are presented on a live leaderboard so gamers can interact with each other.
For more information please visit the following
Windows Azure Team Blog: Build Your Next Game with the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games
WA.com: Social Gaming on Windows Azure
Channel 9: Social Gaming on Windows Azure
CodePlex: Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Gaming