• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Small Basic – A great tool for introducing programming




    Microsoft Small Basic is, in my opinion, one of the really cool platforms for introducing programming to younger students. A FREE simple IDE, a simple subset of BASIC, and built in turtle graphics all resonate with me. And a number of teachers around the world seem to agree.

    What is really great is that we have some Excellent curriculum support. This includes a complete set of PowerPoint presentation with notes for teachers . There are other resources available

    Get Started with Small Basic

    Microsoft Small Basic puts the fun back into computer programming. With a friendly development environment that is very easy to master, it eases students of all ages into the world of programming.

    Read the Small Basic FAQ

    Download Small Basic from DreamSpark.com

    Use the Getting Started Guide to start learning Small Basic

    Use the curriculum to expand your knowledge

    Read sample chapters from e-books to dive deep into Small Basic

    Ask Questions in the Forums

    Stay informed about Small Basic by reading our blog


    Small Basic Curriculum Resources – Tutorials and Guides.


    If you use this curriculum or anything else associated with Small Basic we would love to hear from you? Also any feedback about what we can do better or differently would be appreciated.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Student Graduating this summer connect to your career



    Microsoft Student to Business http://www.microsoft.com/studentstobusiness/


    Coming soon – Career Week! Week commencing May 14th

    Join the discussion on Microsoft student experience Facebook group, the Facebook group will host a themed week around career-related topics. As part of the career week, students will be able to participate in a live Facebook chat with Kevin Otten, Microsoft University Recruiter.

    Microsoft IT Academy category has been added to the S2B portals.

    This new category will expose jobs requiring MS certifications, encouraging more students to complete courses to increase their employability.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    F# in education


    F# for Education and Innovation Workshop

    The F# for Education and Innovation workshop will be held at the University of Pisa on June 28, 2012.


    The free, one-day workshop provides a forum for attendees to learn and explore the use of F# 3.0 for education, research, and industry. Don Syme, from Microsoft Research Cambridge, will present the keynote session. The workshop will highlight the latest developments for information-rich programming in F# 3.0, delivered through Microsoft Visual Studio 11 and Try F#. The workshop is preceded by a free F# tutorial session on June 27.

    If you are interested in attending this workshop, contact Kenji Takeda Microsoft Research.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    TouchDevelop developing directly on a smartphone




    TouchDevelop is a novel software development environment that lets users write programs for Windows Phone directly on a smartphone, without the need of a separate PC. The Windows Phone app can be used in the classroom—along with accompanying videos, a book, and slides—to teach programming concepts. TouchDevelop is ideal for courses on mobile computing, as it reduces the time required to write apps. It is also relevant for some compiler and computer-language courses.

    Windows Phone Loan Programme

    To help students gain access to this revolutionary new programming language and environment, we have established a program to lend academics Windows Phones for use in a course for one semester. If your interested please send a short proposal to outreach@microsoft.com. The proposal should include the name of the instructor, the course website, the number of students, and how the smartphones will be used.

    Learn more:

    · Learn more about TouchDevelop

    · Read about the TouchDevelop programming environment

    · Learn programming with TouchDevelop

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Be one of the first to help create an amazing experience for Microsoft’s next generation operating system!



    Windows 8 offers unparalleled new opportunities for application developers to build and sell apps world-wide via the Windows Store. In this event, we'll deliver developer-level, demo-driven sessions that give you an accelerated entry into what it means to design, develop and publish exciting, modern, polished, world-ready applications for next-generation devices running Windows 8.

    Were hosting a special one day event for UK Students only at

    Microsoft Customer Centre
    Cardinal Place, Victoria
    80-100 Victoria Street
    SW1E 5JL London
    United Kingdom

    Friday, June 8, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM (BST)  Register Now

    Level of knowledge required:

    1. Beginners Welcome.

    2. A familiarity with .NET development and Visual Studio would be advantageous but not required.

    Register Now to avoid disappointment

    Agenda (subject to change):

    09:30 – 10:00 - Registration Opens

    10:00 – 11:00 -  Windows 8 for Modern App Development

    11:00 – 12:00 -  Metro Design Language

    12:00 – 12:30 -  Lunch

    12:30 – 13:30 - "Metro Style" Apps - The Power of the Device

    13:30 – 14:30 - “Metro Style" Apps - The Power of the Cloud

    14:30 – 15:00 - From Idea to Store – Next Steps on the Journey

    Register Now

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Did your School, College or University Students enter the Imagine Cup 2012



    “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

    The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.

    Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.



    UK Entries for 2012 Imagine Cup Competition


    Aberdeen College

    Aberystwyth University

    Alperton Community School

    Anglia Ruskin University

    Anniesland college

    Ashbourne College

    Ashington College

    Aston University

    Aylesbury College

    Banff and Buchan

    Bangor University

    Belfast Metropolitan College

    Birkbeck College, University of London

    Birmingham City University

    Birmingham Metropolitan college

    Bishopsgarth School

    Blackpool & the Fylde College

    Boston College

    Bournemouth University

    Brunel University

    Bsix Brooke House Sixth Form College

    Burton College

    Canterbury Christ Church University

    Cardiff Metropolitan University

    Cardiff University

    Cardonald College

    Carnegie College

    Castlereagh College

    Chichester College

    City College Plymouth

    City of Glasgow College

    City of Sunderland College

    City of Wolverhampton University

    City University London

    College of North West London

    Collegite High

    Coopers Company And Coborn School

    Cumbernauld College

    De Montford University (Leicester)

    Dumfries and Galloway College

    Durham University

    Edge Hill University

    Edinburgh's Telford College

    Exeter College

    Fareham College

    Fitzharrys School

    Forth Valley College

    Glamorgan University

    Glasgow Caledonian University

    Glyndwr University

    Gunnersbury Catholic School

    Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School

    Halesowen College

    Heriot Watt University

    Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre

    Holy Cross College, Bury.

    Imperial College London

    Isle of Wight College/Chichester University

    John Flamsteed Community School

    Ken Stimpson Community School

    Kilmarnock College

    King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

    King George IV College

    Kings College London

    Kingston University

    Kirkham Grammar School

    Kirkintilloch college

    Lancaster University

    Leeds Metropolitan University

    Leeds University Business School

    Leicester College

    Liverpool Hope University

    Liverpool John Moores University

    London Metropolitan University

    London School of Commerce

    London South Bank University

    Loreto College

    Manchester Metropolitan University

    Meridian Business School

    Mill Hill Country High School

    Monkseaton High School

    Motherwell College

    Newcastle College

    Newcastle University

    Newcastle Upon Tyne University

    Nottingham Trent University

    Oriel High School

    Orkney College

    Paddington Academy

    Queen Marry University of London

    Queens University Belfast


    Reading University

    Reid Kerr College



    Robert Gordon University

    Runshaw College

    Sheffield University

    Sir John Deane's 6th Form College

    Solihull College

    South Downs College

    South Essex College Basildon Campus

    Southport College

    St Andrews University

    St Leonard's RC Comprehensive School

    St Pauls Catholic College

    St Peter's Sixth Form College

    St Wilfrids Sixth Form

    St.Augustine High School

    Staffordshire University

    Stevenson College

    Sunderland College

    Sutton Coldfield College

    Swansea University

    Teesside University

    The Coopers' Company and Coborn School

    The Grange School

    The Sutton Academy

    The University of Birmingham

    The University of Bradford

    The University of Nottingham

    The University of Salford

    The University of Sheffield

    The University of the West of England

    The University of the West of Scotland

    Titanic Quarters Belfast BMC (Belfast Metropolitan College)

    Torquay Boys' Grammar School

    Trinity Saint David

    Trowbrige Collage

    Tyne Metropolitan College


    UKE Learning

    University of Aberdeen

    University of Abertay Dundee

    University of Bath

    University of Bedfordshire

    University of Birmingham

    University of Bolton

    University of Bradford

    University of Brighton

    University of Bristol

    University of Cambridge

    University of Central Lancashire

    University College London, UCL

    University of Chester

    University of Derby

    University of Dundee

    University of Durham

    University of Edinburgh

    University of Essex

    University of Glamorgan

    University of Gloucestershire

    University of Greenwich

    University of Hertfordshire

    University of Huddersfield

    University of Hull

    University of Kent

    University of Kingston

    University of Leeds

    University of Leicester

    University of Lincoln

    University of Liverpool

    University of Newcastle upon Tyne

    University of Northumbria

    University of Nottingham

    University of Manchester

    University of Oxford

    University of Plymouth

    University of Reading

    University of Salford

    University of Sheffield

    University of Southampton

    University of St Andrews

    University of Strathclyde

    University of Sunderland

    University of Surrey

    University of Teesside

    University of the West of England

    University of the West of Scotland

    University of Ulster

    University of Wales

    University Of Westminster

    University of Wolverhampton

    University of West London

    West London College

    Wiltshire College

    Woldgate College

    Workington Sixth Form

    Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, Abergele

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone migration of apps to Windows 8


    winphone     win8logo

    If your interested in porting/migrating from Windows Phone to Windows 8 then the following blog is a excellent resource from Jared Bienz

    The first three articles have now been published

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Application Excellence Labs – Make your app shine



    Registration is now open for the UK Windows 8 App Excellence Lab for May.

    What is it?

    The Windows 8 App Excellence Labs is the only channel for UK developers to gain earlier access to the Windows Store. And of course, gain valuable feedback and advice around enhancing their great Metro user experience and much more.

    The lab is a 4-hour engagement with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer who will run their app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure their app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when they submit.

    The App Excellence Labs will be held in the Microsoft Technology Centre at Microsoft HQ at Thames Valley Park, Reading

    What do you need to do to take advantage of the App Excellence Labs?

    1. Apply to join our UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group.

    2. We will reply asking you for some details of what it is you are building and then admit you into the group.

    3. You build a great app following the guidance that we have online and which meets the Store certification requirements.

    4. We will use the LinkedIn Group to invite you to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading where you’ll work with an engineer to ensure certification requirements are being met and that the app is providing a great experience to the user.

    5. You leave the lab with a registration code that lets you begin the app submission process at the Windows Store.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio Achievements, bringing gamification to the IDE - Now with Azure Support


    clip_image001Last January, we released Visual Studio Achievements, bringing gamification to the IDE.  The reaction from the developer community was very positive and we’ve had 85,000+ downloads to date. 

    Today, we’re excited to announce an update to extension, adding 15 new achievements, all focused on Windows Azure development. You can read more about this on the official MSFT blog, the Windows Azure blog and, of course, on Channel9.



    Bring Some Game To Your Code!

    A software engineer's glory so often goes unnoticed. Attention seems to come either when there are bugs or when the final project ships. But rarely is a developer appreciated for all the nuances and subtleties of a piece of code--and all the heroics it took to write it. With Visual Studio Achievements Beta, your talents are recognized as you perform various coding feats, unlock achievements and earn badges.

    Learn More About Visual Studio

    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!

    Download It

    Download it today from the Visual Studio Gallery

    How It Works

    With the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, achievements are unlocked based on your activity. Your code is analyzed 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:


    Figure 1 - Unlocking An Achievement

    In addition, your Channel 9 profile is updated with any achievements you earn, recalculating your position on the leaderboard:


    Figure 2 - The Visual Studio Achievements Leaderboard

    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




    Customizing Visual Studio

    Don't Try This At Home

    Good Housekeeping




    Just For Fun

    Power Coder

    Unleashing Visual Studio

    Share Your Flair

    Each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. You can tweet about achievements you earn and/or share them on Facebook:


    Figure 3 - Share A Page

    Or, you can show a list of achievements on your blog using the Visual Studio Achievements Widget which is as simple as adding one line of script to your page. After all, those badges look so shiny and nice! Here's an example of the widget on a blog:


    Figure 4 - The Visual Studio Achievements Widget On A Blog



    We're just getting started with Visual Studio Achievements and are hoping to release more in the future. If you have ideas for additional achievements, we'd love to hear about them. Please use the Q&A section of the achievements extension to make suggestions for future achievements. And if you have suggestions, concerns, issues or problems, again, use the Q&A section of the achievements gallery page. Give a read to the FAQ as well as your question may already be answered.

    Download it today from the Visual Studio Gallery

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012 UK Results



    On Wednesday 25h April at 16:00 BST, the UK hosted its local Imagine Cup finals webcast at the Microsoft Campus in Reading. The 6 finalists from the Software Design competition who were chosen from a round of preliminary judging were whittled down to the two top teams on 19th April through 5 hours of judging in a sealed room at our Microsoft offices in London Victoria. Through much deliberation over the next few days, we chose one team to represent the UK at the Imagine Cup worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia!

    Imagine Cup Software Design in the UK this year: A few stats



    · We had 991 registrations for the Imagine Cup UK this year

    · 374 of them signed up to the Software Design competition

    · 49 teams were formed for the Software Design competition

    · 26 teams submitted a Round 1 entry

    · 6 teams were selected for the UK final

    · 1 team won and will go to the worldwide finals in Sydney to represent the UK

    The Judges


    The Teams


    Bazinga! From Motherwell College – were inspired to use smartphone technology to inspire students all about Science! “Professor Duffy’s Interactive Labs app” is a complete science Lab on the phone utilising various sensors on the phone to demonstrate the practical side of science in a fun and interactive way.

    Teesside 0x32: From Teesside University was inspired to develop Cloud Doctor – In Ethiopia for example there is 1 doctor to 50,000 patients. Cloud Doctor, as the name implies, harnesses Windows Azure and Cloud technologies combined with Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets to deliver an on-demand, flexible and intelligent collaboration system – connecting healthcare workers in the developing world with specialists and doctors all over the world who volunteer their time to help patients on the ground.

    Team EyeWorks: From Northumbria University and Newcastle College were inspired to develop MIRA (a Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis platform). MIRA is a cloud based platform that utilises Smartphone technology coupled with a specialist lens attachment developed at Northumbria University to identify early stage sight loss in the developing world.

    WykeWare: From the University of Hull were inspired to develop a smartphone application to assist those people with a risk of falling be it the elderly or people prone to fainting. Their submission embraced cloud technology to match emergencies and responders to identify how to prioritise how best to help.

    Sentient Systems: From the University of Reading were inspired to develop “Sentience” a cost effective software solution designed to run affordable , advanced and customizable robot systems utilising cloud based distribution, plug-in architectures, commodity frameworks and low cost hardware specifically Kinect!

    Team Loading: From The University of Manchester were inspired to develop Project Sky High. Project Sky High is a Windows Phone application combined with a netduino hardware sensor to allow aid workers in the developing world to transform a smartphone into a cost effective portable ultrasound scanner and mobile blood pressure monitor. The patient data will be recorded in the cloud in Windows Azure and accessible by a medical professional.

    The Winners

    In 3rd place and winners of a pocket digital video camcorder each were…


    In 2nd place and winners of a Windows Phone each were…


    In 1st place and winners of a Windows Phone each, a trip to the Microsoft Technology Center in Reading to spend a day with the experts and also the grand prize of a trip to Sydney, Australia to compete in the worldwide finals were…


    A huge congratulation to all teams who competed and this year the decision was made much harder than ever before as the entries this year far surpassed previous years.

    All teams who submitted a Round 2 video entry will be receiving feedback and teams who have won prizes will be hearing from the Academic Team very soon! Congratulations to Team EyeWorks and we will be seeing you in Sydney!

    Watch the Video of the Imagine Cup 2012 UK Live Web Cast relieving the Winners of the UK Imagine Cup entries

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