• Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Curriculum Resources for Windows Phone Development


    The Faculty Connection Resource Center is a multi-language collection including course outlines, textbooks, tests, labs, source code, and other materials developed by Microsoft or contributed by faculty worldwide. Highlighted below are some of the newest resources added this past month:

    Building Applications for Windows Phone 7.5
    Mango Jump StartThis introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone "Mango" solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps. This material is designed for 1st and 2nd year university students.

    Windows Phone 7.5 Tutorials
    The newly released tutorials on .toolbox illustrate how Silverlight and Expression Blend can help you build stellar apps on Windows Phone using the new "Mango" features and capabilities. The .toolbox site is a fun online learning environment, where you will learn basic design concepts and how to apply them, as well as the fundamentals of creating Silverlight applications using the Expression Studio tools.

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1
    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 is an exciting CS course in game and simulation development using C# and the XNA framework. Video tutorials and extensive labs enable students to apply foundational programming skills to learn advanced skills. This material is designed for high school or introductory classes.

    What's New in Windows Phone 7.5
    The latest release of Windows Phone has hundreds of improvements and new features. Explore these features plus learn how to get Windows Phone 7.5 on your current phone. If you are teaching your students about mobile applications, consider trying Windows Phone 7 curriculum resources.

    Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone
    The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone is designed to make it easier to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio 2012 Events



    Hearing directly from our experts is the best way to get a really good understanding of Visual Studio, especially now we’ve launched Visual Studio 2012. We have scheduled free in-person events on Application Lifecycle Management capabilities of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server for you to come and learn more about the new version.

    In the meantime we will continue to add ad hoc events and helpful videos which will cover all aspects of the latest Developer tools from Microsoft.

    If you would like to attend one of these events please register here http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-gb/visual-studio-events

    Want to try Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server in your teaching and learning see http://www.dreamspark.com

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Understand Cloud Computing with Patterns and Practices


    Microsoft Patterns & Practice team have released Twenty four design patterns Each pattern is provided in a common format that describes the context, solution, considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Windows Azure.

    Two primers and eight guidance topics Basic knowledge and descriptions of good practice techniques for developing cloud-hosted applications.

    Ten sample applications Usage of the design patterns described in this guide. You can use and adapt the source code to suit your own specific requirements.

    About patterns & practices

    The Microsoft Patterns & Practices team is responsible for delivering applied engineering guidance that helps software architects, developers, and their teams take full advantage of Microsoft’s platform technologies in their  application development project.

    Their goal is to help software development teams be more successful with the Microsoft application platform. We do this by delivering guidance that:

    ─     Helps to simplify the Microsoft application platform.

    ─     Provides solution guidance to common problems.

    ─     Helps development teams grow their skills and learn.

    For more information: http://www.microsoft.com/practices

    How to get it the new Windows Azure Cloud Patterns & Practices?

    You can view the documentation at http://aka.ms/cloud-design-patterns .

    The sample code is available for download at http://aka.ms/cloud-design-patterns-sample. A poster, book, and PDF is coming soon.


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect for Windows SDK – It’s Here!

    Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high from the UK Academic community.

    The SDK now available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.

    With the release of the SDK today, we’re looking forward to another wave of creativity from academic researchers community in the UK.

    As part of the Channel9 Launch event, Microsoft has been holding a Code Camp where a select group of software developers were challenged to test the limits of their imaginations and show what they could do with audio technology, skeletal tracking system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor. Channel 9 is broadcasting live today, highlighting some of these amazing applications as well as providing in depth sessions on how to program on Windows using the SDK.

    The beta SDK is only the beginning! Microsoft’s vision of the natural user interface is that interactions between people and computers will ultimately become invisible, computers will understand gestures, voice commands and respond to facial expressions.

    As Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, said – “As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale, the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.” There is more to come, including a commercial SDK that is geared toward enabling independent software vendors (ISV’s) and businesses to develop commercial applications.

    We look forward to seeing what’s next with Kinect and getting your feedback and input so if your a UK academic we would love to hear from you.

    Those interested in the SDK will find community resources, general information and download links at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Digital Literacy course teaches coding basics with TouchDevelop



    Build Your First App” – a free two-hour eCourse – launched today at www.microsoft.com/digitalliteracy this is  the newest addition to the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum.

    The course is a collaboration among Microsoft Learning experiences, Microsoft Research, and Microsoft YouthSpark. Students start on a path to learning computer science and are inspired to use Microsoft tools and platforms as they build their first apps

    If your interested in the Touchdevelop course see at http://aka.ms/buildyourfirstapp


    · Learn the layout and elements of the TouchDevelop programming environment, and create your own account.

    · Learn programming principles that apply across all target devices – including lines of code, loops, variables, and conditional statements.

    · Create physics-based games that include sprites, touch input, and use of a device’s accelerometer.

    TouchDevelop, from Microsoft Research, lets you write scripts on mobile devices and traditional PCs. It is one of only three Microsoft tools to be included in “Hour of Code,” along with Kodu and Small Basic. TouchDevelop scripts can be exported to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store, or shared as cross-platform HTML5 Web Apps. By learning the fundamentals of programming and a scripting language, students are well prepared to move on to HTML5, JavaScript, and more.

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    About this course


    The course is immediately available online at www.microsoft.com/digitalliteracy and soon will be released on MLX so IT Academy teachers can assign it to students and track student progress.

    Presenter Steven Edouard guides learners through the course. Steven is a Software Development Engineer in Test for Microsoft Visual Studio, where he works on infrastructure and validation tools for the .NET runtime.


    Author Peli de Halleux is a Senior Research Software Development Engineer in Microsoft Research, where he works on TouchDevelop, Moles, rise4fun, and Code Digger.

    Both Steven and Peli teach Computer Science at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle as part of the TEALS program and have facilitated several live TouchDevelop workshops. They were featured in the New York Times for their work with TEALS: “Fostering Tech Talent in Schools

    This course is a great resource to attract students to computer science by leveraging their interest in apps. The students will learn how to become a creator of technology using a Microsoft environment … even if they are running an iPad!  -- Peli de Halleux

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Get Started with Microsoft Digital Literacy


    Whether you are new to computing or have some experience, Digital Literacy will help you develop a fundamental understanding of computers. The courses help you learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online, use technology to complement your lifestyle, and consider careers where you can put your skills to work.and click “go”, and you will be taken to the appropriate page.

    Choose your language English (UK) & Welsh both available

    The Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum has three levels.

    The Basic curriculum features a course called A First Course Toward Digital Literacy. This course teaches the value of computers in society and introduces you to using a mouse and the keyboard.

    The Standard curriculum features five courses that cover computer basics; using the internet and productivity programs; security and privacy; and digital lifestyles. These five courses are available in four versions that use examples and screenshots from different versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Please read the details below.

    Which includes

    Computer Basics: Learn the fundamentals of computing, the components of a computer, operating system basics, and how to use a mouse and a keyboard.

    Launch “Computer Basics” course



    The Internet, Cloud Services, and World Wide Web: Learn how to connect to people, information, and resources around the world, using Web sites, search engines, and e-mail programs.

    Launch “Internet, Cloud Services, and WWW” course


    Productivity Programs: Games, demos, and interactive guides help you quickly learn the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases.

    Launch “Productivity Programs” course



    Computer Security and Privacy: Identify and protect your computer and data from threats, and learn the ethical and legal issues related to Internet usage.

    Launch “Computer Security and Privacy” course


    Digital Lifestyles: Learn how new digital technologies like smart phones and digital cameras are creating new career opportunities and shaping the world we live in.

    Launch “Digital Lifestyles” course



    The Standard curriculum is available in four versions.

    Version 4 uses examples and simulations from Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013.

    Version 3 uses examples and simulations from Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.

    Version 2 uses examples and simulations from Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

    Version 1 uses examples and simulations from Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003

    The Advanced curriculum features five courses that cover building your first app, creating an e-mail account, creating a great resume, searching for content on the World Wide Web and social networking.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Phone 7 App Development






    Visuals & Media

    Make your applications visually appealing with images, animations, and media.


    Sensors & Other Phone Specific Features

    Use unique features of the phone, such the accelerometer, GPS, and camera, in your applications

      Beyond the QuickStarts


    So if you have developed your own apps and your a UK Student or Academic we loved to hear your experience and more about the app.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start: Now available on demand


    Windows Azure Jump Start? Is now available on demand on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). This free, expert-led course will help you understand how to use Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, such as virtual machines and virtual networks to migrate, extend, run, manage, and monitor common workloads in the cloud. Watch it now.

    Join Microsoft for this one day FREE event in central London on the 20th of June.

    Lean how Windows Azure can be used in curricula, support research endeavours, and enable student projects. Institution administrators can explore how to use Windows Azure for infrastructural and application needs.

    8.30 - 9.00 Arrival
    9.00 - 9.10 Welcome to UCL
    9.10 - 10.00 Welcome to Windows Azure - Rob Frazer Microsoft, Cloud CTO
    10.00 - 10.15 Morning Break 
    10.15 -11.00 Windows Azure in Academia - Ashwin Karuhatty Microsoft, Director of Academic Programs
    11.00 - 12.00 Windows Azure PaaS, IaaS, SaaS - Carlos Oliveira http://www.shapingcloud.com and Windows Azure User Group http://ukwaug.net/
    12.00-13.00 Lunch Break (Lunch will not be provided)
    13.00 - 13.50 Windows Azure Pop Up Labs - Steve Plank Microsoft, Azure Technical Evangelist
    13.50 - 14.00 The Windows Azure Prime Challenge
    14.00 -15.00 Windows Azure VM Depot - Steve Lamb, Microsoft Open Technology http://vmdepot.msopentech.com/
    15.00 - 15.15 Afternoon Break
    15.15 - 16.00 Windows Azure in Research - Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research Connections
    16.15 -16.40 Azure Q and A Panel Microsoft
    16.40 Close

    Register at http://azureineducation.eventbrite.co.uk

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Visual Studio Online



    So are you using Visual Studio?

    Are you using Team Foundation Server?

    Are you implementing any Application Lifecycle Management solutions that covers the range of software development activities from requirements capture through to development and onto testing and release into production.

    Well if not.. why?

    - TFS has strong version control, with an ALM element, and also supports GitHub.
    - The platform offers integrations for Eclipse, JIRA, MS Project, as free Add-Ins.
    - It’s possible to have unlimited VU’s for Load testing as long as you have Visual Studio Ultimate
    - There’s an option to have customisable Process Templates, and the user can also customise Burndown charts through Reporting
    - In terms of Release Management, Workflows can be added using PowerShell
    - Team Rooms can be used for enhanced collaboration, such as requesting feedback
    - Excel can easily be used for bulk update to TFS, which is useful in migration

    Here’s just a few links you may find useful to learn more about Visual Studio, TFS and ALM:

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Foundation of Digital Games Conference





    Last week I attended the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games which was hosted in the beautiful city of Bordeaux. FDG is a focal point for academic efforts in all areas of research and education involving games, game technologies, gameplay and game design.

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    The goal of the conference is the advancement of the study of digital games, including new game technologies, capabilities, designs, applications, educational uses, and modes of play.

    FDG 2011 was an interesting event and well attended by academics, commercial gaming vendors along with a number of staff from Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelists teams from the US and a group from Microsoft Game Studios.

    As part of the event the entire US and UK team developed, created and presented the final keynote presentation entitled ‘Kinect in the Classroom’.


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    The presentation featured a history and the evolution of gaming consoles, controller and then closed with details on the Kinect device hardware configuration and a drill down on the newly released Kinect SDK. The presentation also included information on Microsoft Game Studio’s Edison Project which includes Kinect Fun Labs and the Kinect Share community which were launched recently on to the Xbox community.


    Integrating Imagine Cup into current and proposed Curricula

    Andrew Parsons, Microsoft US ADE team and Captain of the Imagine Cup Game Design Competition chaired an interesting panel session on the value of leveraging Imagine Cup within the academic curriculum.

    The panel included Tara Walker Microsoft US ADE, Professor Frank Lee from Drexel University, Ian Parberry from the University of Texas and Frederic Pedro, a former Imagine Cup game competitor and now CEO of his own game company, Pohlm Studio and mentor of this years French Imagine Cup winning team.


    Each of the panel members recounted their success in integrating Imagine Cup into the academic curriculum. If your interested in learning more about the imagine cup please visit http://www.imaginecup.com

    Andrew presented a showcase of this years entries and the video of entries including the following video on the order of this years competitors For information on this years Imagine Cup Game Design entries see the entry video below and visit Andrews blog for the latest information on the Games Design Competition and an analysis of this years competitors.

    So if your interested in entering next years Imagine Cup and making students aware of the competition then these are the key dates for the Games Design competition are as follows more information will be posted on http://www.imaginecup.com




    Round 1 – Storyboard/Summary Submission

    July 13, 2011

    February 14, 2012

    Round 2 - Game Submission

    February 16, 2012

    March 13, 2012

    Round 3 - Worldwide Finals Qualifying

    April 3, 2012

    May 1, 2012

    Round 4 - Worldwide Finals

    July 2012

    July  2012


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