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!
Moodle hosting in the Cloud via Windows Azure
There are two projects currently available for hosting Moodle on Windows Azure, both on CodePlex (Microsoft's open source project hosting site, which hosts over 200,000 projects currently):
http://moodle2azure.codeplex.com/ This is a port of Moodle 2.x Course Management System to Azure platform.
http://moodleazure.codeplex.com/ Enable Moodle 1.9.9 to run on Windows Azure and SQL Azure
Both of these projects are on CodePlex, there's a community of support on the site for advice as you start to implement and use them there are a number of other moodle associated codeplex projects and a whole forum on the Moodle community website for Windows users
We are excited with the launch of DreamSpark site and the opportunity for schools, colleges and universities to utilise the benefits of this amazing software offer.
As we mentioned earlier this month, this will not impact any of the existing MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) services or IT Academy subscriptions. What is new is that all existing EES licensed schools, college and universities will receive a complementary copy of DreamSpark $99 campus wide license.
So What has changed?
• MSDNAA and DreamSpark have been consolidated into a single program that provides Microsoft products to students and educators across primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions. • We’ve added a new institution-wide subscription that licenses you to distribute our development and design products across your institution’s labs and to all of your students and faculty this is complementary if you have have a valid EES subscription. How does this affect your existing subscription? • Developer AA has simply been renamed DreamSpark Premium. You’ll continue to access all the same software titles as you did before. • Designer AA and High School AA have been discontinued and replaced with a new institution-wide offering named DreamSpark. There will be no change for the duration of your subscription. • Upon renewal, you’ll be provided guidance on how to enroll in the new offerings. What’s next? • We have prepared Q&A and Usage Guidelines to help take full advantage of the new DreamSpark program, available at www.dreamspark.com/support/default.aspx • Visit www.dreamspark.com to learn even more.
• In the meantime, continue to use the benefits you’ve enjoyed with your MSDNAA subscription.
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
Last week the National Retail Federation (NRF) conference in New York took place last, showcasing some of emerging trends and innovation. The feedback from the event really made me start thinking about how are we positioning the consumerisation of IT within your teaching and research?
At the NFT Conference Razorfish demonstrated a beta version of it's Retail Experience platform (codename "5D") and were drawing crowds with an amazing multi-channel retail experience that utilised Microsoft Surface, Tag, Windows Phone, Kinect and Windows 8 on Samsung slate. Whats interesting is the The 5D platform connects both enterprise devices such as kiosks, large-screen displays to personal and consumer focused devices such as tablets and personal smart phones, the goal is to better attract consumers into the stores, drive product engagement and arm store assistants and retailers with more contextualized digital tools.
A Short video of a fashion retail scenario is shown in the video below I hope this helps generation of some interesting potential research projects. The quality of graphical detail and transitions caught the attention of many so I thought I'd share here for all to see the power of a connected retail experience of the future.
Razorfish Connected Retail Experience Platform (codename "5D") from Razorfish - Emerging Experiences on Vimeo.
Overview of the video - A user is seen browsing a large-format catalogue using the Kinect, transferring the catalogue to a phone with a Microsoft Tag, shortlisting the catalogue on the Surface and even virtually trying on products with the Kinect. At the same time, a store assistant is able to assist the customer with a tablet application.
The Microsoft IT Academy Program curriculum builds knowledge and experience in productivity tools and other technology applications that students will encounter on the job. It also provides an excellent foundation for future work and career advancement in technology and other fields. Students can develop skills that qualify them for certification as Microsoft Office Specialists, Microsoft Technology Associates, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists, or Microsoft Certified IT Professionals.
Optimize your curriculum with Microsoft Certification
It is recommended that educators integrate certification in their curriculum because it promotes workforce readiness and helps prepare students for their careers.
Microsoft Office Specialist Microsoft Technology Associate Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Benefits Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Overview Microsoft Certified IT Professional
Also check out our Microsoft IT Academy Program career path resources.
Over the past few weeks we have had a number of interesting meetings with IT Services teams and academic faculties within UK Universities. These discussions have been particular interesting as we have discussed the opportunity of enhancements academics can make to curriculum if they had access to the latest desktop OS and web browsers. These discussions were particularly interesting as a number of the IT Services teams highlighted a need for applicants/employees with very specific Microsoft skills sets. For example. experience in virtualisation and cloud computing, as well as product specific skills such as System Centre, Windows 7 and MDOP. Microsoft has a number resources available including IT Pro resources such as TechNet and IT Developer resources such as MSDN. To the specific training and certifications resources Microsoft IT Academy programme as one route for institutions to help their staff and students get recognised certifications and knowledge.
Another service we discussed was, The Microsoft Virtual Academy, MVA is a online training centre which uses some of the characteristics of game-based learning to motivate learners. It’s free and open to anybody, not just those staff and students in formal education institutions, and it focuses on a range of Microsoft cloud-based technologies.
Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a fully cloud-based learning experience focusing on Microsoft Cloud Technologies. You can access a variety of training content online and become one of the renowned experts in the IT Pro community around the world. MVA provides its users with a virtual university experience: the student can select a track and study the material and then do the self-assessment. By doing so, they will collect points that will promote them to a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Level. Students on MVA can get access to all the information, statistics and advancements of their training career, allowing them to maintain a long-term relationship with Microsoft. Learning through MVA is FREE of charge, and you can study the contents at any time and at your own pace.
In the UK there are currently
Topics covered include:
Clustering Hyper-V Office 365 Private Cloud Public Cloud Security SQL Azure System Center Virtual Machine Manager Virtualisation Windows Azure Windows Phone VMWare
The whole system runs in the Cloud, as it’s built on Windows Azure so is extremely scalable and reliable. So let me know how you get on with these resources.
For those of you interested in building Windows Phone app’s or putting the finishing touches on your Windows Phone app the following are a great set of resources for your students additional reading to the curriculum material we provide.
As always if you want to have a Windows Phone 7 Phone Camp on YOUR Campus please email firstname.lastname@example.org as you can see we have been busy visiting campus locations the length and breadth of the UK.
Windows Phone 7 Resources – Getting Started:
Code Samples for Common Tasks:
Panorama/Pivot View Sample:
Location Service/GPS Sample:
Use Sensor Data Sample (Accelerometer/Gyroscope/Compass:
Process and Use RSS Feeds in Win Phone:
Isolated Storage (3 Scenarios):
Local Database App w/MVVM for Win Phone:
AD Control Sample: For those students who want to make money on their Phone app via including advertising in their apps:
Last week I had the pleasure of playing with a SUR40 Surface 2 at the BETT Show. The SUR 40 is a 40-inch full HD LCD, that can be mounted horizontally or vertically and incorporates PixelSense technology which allows NUI controls not just touch.
The SUR 40 is now shipping and available through Samsung channel via Midwich in the UK. The SUR40 is a impressive piece of kit which has recently won a number of awards including the Popular Science Award, and International CES “Best of Innovations 2012” award winner. The awards recognize and honours outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 32 product categories, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Check out this video of Steve Clayton demonstrating the SUR 40.
The Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone is now available as a reward with the Windows Phone UK Developer Reward Programme.
By simply joining the UK Developer rewards programme Educators and Students can get rewarded with loads of other fantastic prizes for building Windows Phone App and publishing it on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The programme concludes (Sunday 5 Feb 2012). So There is no better time to start building and publishing your Windows Phone app. It’s incredibly easy with 5 simple steps:
So download the tools form DreamSpark and Register and start building & publishing your Windows Phone apps today.
Enter to compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012 Windows Phone Challenge and create software that can really make a broad impact in the world.
Get started on your solution today.
Get your questions ready! Join Windows Phone Challenge Captain Jukka Wallasvaara on 22 February at 15:00 GMT or 23 February at 05:00 GMT via Live Meeting and ask him about competing in the Windows Phone Challenge. Follow these instructions to join Live Meeting. The Live Meeting sessions will be recorded and posted on this page under the Helpful Links. Find out what time it is your country/region.
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In addition to over 400 sessions with Microsoft and industry speakers, TechEd offers you face-to-face connections with thousands of your peers who share your challenges. TechEd is the forum to gain the expertise and insights that will help you get the most from your IT investments. TechEd offers 4 days to:
Need Even More? Attend a Pre-Conference Seminar
By arriving a day early on Monday, 25 June and registering for the special Pre-Conference Seminars you will get in-depth training and insights on the Microsoft technologies and products that power your business. Select from 10 different topics taught by John Craddock, Kate Gregory, Steve Fox, Mikael Nystrom, Kent Agerlund, Alberto Ferrari, Richard Hundhausen, and more!
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