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!
Exclusive for UK Games Developers
Microsoft and supporting games industry partners are working together to help encourage the growth in the UK games industry which seeks to recognise and help game studios and developers of all sizes. As part of this ambition we have developed a competition which seeks to provide new Store opportunities for your games as well as helping you to get your titles discovered and downloaded.
Go to: www.beautifulgamecomp.com
Power Up: The Beautiful Game competition commences from 3rd March until 20th June 2014. The competition is open to all UK games developers who port and publish their new or existing games titles to Microsoft Windows 8 and/or Windows Phone Stores. Each game entered will receive points based on a wide range of game experiences, as well as recognising the quality of the game, any marketing activities, plus the number of downloads the games get on the Windows or Windows Phone Stores. The top 20 games with the most points secured will win great prizes for their developers but all entrants have an opportunity for their games to be discovered and downloaded by 100,000’s to millions of players. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your game(s) to a much wider audience and be generously rewarded.
Boost your downloads We want to ensure that your game is discovered and downloaded. The quality of the game does not always guarantee success. As such we have partnered with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) to provide some guidance on good practice apps marketing. Visit the competition website for more details. Points are awarded for: Game experience – quality of audio execution, visual execution and gameplay. Downloads per store – as an additional measure of the game’s quality we will count the downloads in both the Windows and Windows Phone store.
A total prize fund in excess of $50,000! Prizes include: Unity Pro licenses, Supercar all inclusive weekend rental, holiday in Slovakia, Nokia Lumia 1520, 1020s and 520s, Dell Tablet, a Chartered Institute of Marketing Apps Marketing course, a chance to attend a special mentoring event with selected Board members from TIGA and UKIE, and an awards ceremony at Dolby’s prestigious theatre in Soho Square. For full prize listing go to: www.beautifulgamecomp.com
How to score points and win plus details of the prizes on offer see.The competition
Follow the developer instruction below to add a line of code to your app. Once you’ve added the code, send over your App Details (App GUID code & AppChallenge GUID code) to email@example.com
Developer Instructions before you can be included you need to do a little bit of development work to ensure inclusion. Please see the below instructions for further details.
1. In your app’s “About” or “Settings” section, add the AppChallenge button included in this email.
2. Generate your Private GUID for each of your apps by visiting guidgenerator.com
3. For Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 link the button with this:
1: await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("appchallengeuk:appGuid=YOUR PRIVATE GUID", UriKind.Absolute));
4. For Windows Phone 7 (app compiled on WP7 but can run on WP8), link the button with this:
The AppChallenge logo should be displayed only if the user has a WP8 (because AppChallenge is not available on WP7). This is done via the code:
1: if (Environment.OSVersion.Version.Major> = 8)
2: imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Visible;
4: imageAppChallenge.Visibility = Visibility.Collapsed;
Then, on the event Tapped of the image, write the following command:
1: WebBrowserTask wbTask = new WebBrowserTask();
2: wbTask.Uri = new
3: Uri("http://theukappchallenge.azurewebsites.net/redirect?app=YOUR PRIVATE GUID",UriKind.RelativeOrAbsolute);
5. Once your app’s on the Windows Store, send a table of correspondence between its GUID and the one you generate for AppChallenge to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions please email email@example.com.
Thank you very much for your participation and support of The UK App Challenge.
The AppChallenge will encourage you to explore & discover new Windows & Windows Phone apps. Plus, you will get the opportunity to be rewarded with fantastic Windows devices.
It's simple to get started. First of all, download the UK Application from the Windows Phone or Windows 8 store, as appropriate (the "App"). Within the App, participate in the weekly challenge and earn points by downloading and sharing the suggested other apps suggested. The more apps you download and share, the more points you will be awarded. The top 3 competitors (those with the most points accumulated within a week) will walk away with the Windows device prizes each week.
Download The UK AppChallenge App for Windows 8
Q: Where do I do go to download the UK AppChallenge app? A: Search for Store within either Windows 8 or Windows Phone and type in 'The UK AppChallenge' and download the app.
Q: Can I participate in I am not a resident of the UK? A: Unfortunately no. To participate in the AppChallenge, you must be a current UK resident.
Q: How do I maximise my chances to top the leaderboard? A: Make sure you have downloaded and shared all the selected apps as soon as it becomes available within each week of the challenge.
Q: When does each challenge start and end? A: Each new challenge starts at Monday 12:01 AM and finishes on Sunday at 11:59 PM. This means that a new set of selected apps will be available for you to download and share on Monday.
Q: I have a Windows Phone 7 handset, am I eligible to participate in this AppChallenge? A: Sorry, this AppChallenge is only available for Windows Phone 8 users.
Q: I've downloaded the app now. How do I earn the points? A:
Q: I've shared the app now. How do I earn the points? A:
Q: I've added a Facebook login now. How do I earn the points? A:
Q: How do I know if I have won the weekly challenge? A: We will communicate to you via email within 3 days at the end of each weekly challenge with further details of prize delivery.
Q: Can I win more than once in the AppChallenge? A: Yes, but you can only win a maximum of 4 prizes in total.
Q: I have other questions, where can I get answers from? A: Drop an email to AppChallengeUK@microsoft.com.
With http://www.DreamSpark.com all institution get FREE copies of Visual Studio for all Students and teaching labs.
http://www.Xamarin.com provides Visual Studio add-ins so that you can develop your iOS, Android and Windows apps all in a single solution so this means your primary IDE for all environments can be Visual Studio and write your apps entirely in C#, sharing the same code on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. This allows students to reuse their favourite .NET libraries, and still easily incorporate platform-specific libraries and frameworks when they want to.
Building for a Mac using Windows and Visual Studio
http://xamarin.com/visual-studio Xamarin extensions support building, deploying, and debugging on simulator or device.
Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio allows native iOS applications to be developed and tested on Windows computers, with a networked Mac providing the build and deployment services. Xamarin provides new Visual Studio features that enable iOS development, including iOS device Toolbar, File > New Project for iOS apps, and iOS Project Property pages.
You will however need one Mac within your teaching labs to undertake the build and deployment.
For some institutions this is a prohibiting factor. A perfect solution to teaching a cross platform course. http://www.MacinCloud.com is cloud based solution with a dedicated Academic Plan.
MacinCloud allows current students, teachers and school staff from government accredited, high schools, colleges, universities and other accredited educational institutions to enjoy discounts from MacinCloud service offerings for non-commercial, academic use.
They offer the following pricing models for Academic Users Only
3-Hour Daily $16per month Up to 3 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development and Mac App Development included
5-Hour Daily $20per month for Academic Users Only Up to 5 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development Mac App Development included
8-Hour Daily $30per month for Academic Users Only Up to 8 Hours per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development Mac App Development included
No Time Limit $35per month for Academic Users Only No Time Limit per day 1GB Hard Drive Space iOS SDK and Tools for iPhone/iPad App Development Mac App Development included
COMING SOON: Computer Science Women Students, join us on 13 March in London from 6-9pm for the exclusive, first-ever Codess University event, where you will have the chance to check out the latest Microsoft technologies by Xbox UK, Skype, Microsoft Research, Bing and Yammer. There will also be a panel of experienced engineers and we’ll discuss your future career. There will be many opportunities for networking and of course, cool swag for everyone!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and an invitation to register.
When: Thursday, 13 March 2014 from 18:00 to 21:00 (GMT)
Transportation: Coaches will be provided from multiple locations throughout the London area, as well as from Cambridge and Oxford.
For more information, check out these links:
In less than 10 years, students have made approximately 48 million downloads of our developer tools – fuelling massive learning and innovation from students.
Microsoft has invested in thousands of Young developers and entrepreneurs with Microsoft BizSpark. The support which BizSpark has provided has provided these new companies with huge opportunity to shape the technology industry’s future.
Today’s young developers are tomorrow’s innovators and business leaders so we care and offer a range of services and support to help them succeed in the future. According to UNESCO, there are 146 million Higher Education students worldwide. Microsoft research shows that 46% of students worldwide (i.e. 67 million) are “student technologists” meaning they have done some amount of development in the last 12 months. Since its introduction in 2003, students in 165 countries have utilised Microsoft DreamSpark, generating approximately 48 million downloads of our developer tools.
We know students are passionate about technology and the number of student developers participating in the Imagine Cup has grown from a few thousand the first year (2003) to more than 350,000 in 2011 and our research shows that more than half of student developers are non-STEM disciplines so DreamSpark is an essential tool for all institutions.
Microsoft is supporting student technologists by creating technology platforms that are easy to develop for, and funding programs that encourage students to put their ideas into action in ways that give them professional experience and financial opportunity. Student technologists are becoming an increasingly important developer base for Microsoft’s platforms especially because of their rapid adoption of new technologies. We are investing in young developers because it gives them a leg up, while also helping us foster innovation on our platforms.
Microsoft is giving a progression of support to students by offering free access to software through DreamSpark for technology development, opportunities to refine and present their technology through Imagine Cup, and then supporting their efforts to launch their ideas into businesses through BizSpark and the Imagine Cup Grants program.
If your interested in taking part in our research
Please provide your feedback
Microsoft is making a long term investment in student developers and is committed to helping them become successful technology entrepreneurs.
So what is Microsoft DreamSpark
Direct offering http://www.dreamspark.com (DreamSpark – for Students): Provides students the ability to directly download all of Microsoft’s development and design tools for free
Subscription offering (DreamSpark – for Institutions): Provides institutions to purchase an inexpensive subscription licensing them to give all of their students and educators development and design tools for free
What are the benefits
Economical Investment: Stay on the leading edge of technology with institution wide and department specific memberships
Reduced licensing cost and complexity: Deploy Microsoft’s products across labs, and give to students and educators all with a single subscription
Enhanced Teaching and learning capabilities: Engaged Students, Empowered Educators
What are the Subscription options
“DreamSpark”: Institutional wide offering – matches the direct offering available to students.
“DreamSpark Premium”: STEM-D departmental only offering. Contains all Microsoft products, minus Office Suite. Only available for qualified STEM departments
Every year, Imagine Cup teams compete in countries around the world in events known as National Finals.
So are you interested in competing for the 2014 Imagine Cup.
The major competition categories for 2014 are Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. You’ll find additional information on this page in the months ahead, so be sure you visit www.imaginecup.com.
Register here to enter your team in one of the above categories. You can find more detailed instructions on our Get Started page – how to create your account, register your team, sign up for the contests and more.
Before 21st March 2014 Teams register their members and an optional mentor at www.imaginecup.com. Teams submit entry/ies as per the rules defined on www.imaginecup.com for each competition. Teams will be automatically entered to compete in online UK Competition Qualifier which will be judged by a panel of Microsoft staff, industry experts and academics.
Also, UK’s top teams will be travelling to Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Washington for the Imagine Cup World Finals, to compete for the coveted Imagine Cup trophy and $50,000 grand prize! Last year, Exeter University Team Colinked and their product Soundsynk an interactive music app. Team Colinked with Soundsynk advanced to the Finals of the Competition, where they won the world wide final and $50,000. After the Imagine Cup the team accepted a place at the Microsoft Venture UK Accelerator.
1st April 2014 Microsoft announces the 12 teams that have qualified for the Finals of the UK Competition.
29th April 2014 A panel of academics and industry experts judge the UK Competition Finals at a live event at UCL in London.
30th April 2014 Microsoft Publicly announces the winners (First, Second and Third places) of the UK Competition Finals REQUIREMENTS
Each category will require teams to submit:
Date/Time: Wed Feb 26, 2014, 8:00 AM, USA Pacific
Duration: 1 Hour Online FREE Course
Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used tools for researchers to manage, analyse and visualize their data. Learn about new data discovery and analysis features in Excel with the collaboration capabilities in the new Power BI for Office 365 online service, and how it can be used with Windows Azure. Find out more on the Excel Power BI, Windows Azure for Research and Windows Azure for Education websites.
Areas covered in the session:
Kenji Takeda, Microsoft Research Jeff Zhang, Microsoft
Register at https://www.eventbuilder.com/microsoft/event_registration.asp?z=z9m4o3&eventid=o63j131h
How to qualify:
If you have existing games published on other mobile platforms (iOS, Android), make sure you list your top titles in the application. Existing games need to have received a minimum 3 star rating, with a significant number of downloads.
Microsoft encourages Unity developers with a great mobile project in the pipeline to apply. Each developer application will be evaluated on its own merits, and your project may even qualify for the AppCampus offer. Note however that evaluation of new projects will take more time.
We have just released a new Training & Certification Guide app into the Windows 8 store
The app is a great tool for student, educators and professionals for evaluating which technical courses and certifications should be completed to gain Microsoft Professional Certifications.
The Training and Certification Guide features an interactive chart of our technical certifications mapped by courseware and exam. Clicking on the ‘subway map’ takes a user to more information on the different portfolios—details about the training, certifications, etc. Clicking further will then take users to /learning. A breakdown of keyword guidance is also included to map keywords to our certifications.
The app also includes a ‘view as PDF’ option should users need to print pages.
Wishing you a happy professional certification journey.