At this year’s PiL Global Forum, over 700 of the most innovative global educators from over 75 countries came together in Washington D.C to share and and celebrate creativity in education.
One element of the Forum is to recognize teachers excellence and how by using technology in their teaching and how this then impacts student learning.
UK teacher, Gareth Ritter from Willows High School in Cardiff won a Partners in Learning Global Forum award for his music project made by students for students.
The reason I love this story so much is because Gareth gave his students the opportunity to take control of their own learning using technology and make it relevant to them. Take a look at this interview with Gareth as he explains how by using Microsoft technology, the students in his class went from creating a soundtrack for themselves, sharing their project on YouTube to receiving over 27,000 hits .
We also have a couple of other videos you can check out.
Dr David Christian on his impressions from partners In Learning Global Forum.
Educator Ken-Wei Hsu of Taiwan on his innovative use of Microsoft Photosynth to capture 3D imagery of plants.
You can read more great stories about the award winners via the Partners in Learning Blog
With more app centric sharing, particularly for Office docs, updates to file management, and the inclusion of HTML5 uploads, the SkyDrive upgrade that is currently being rolled adds to the impressive range of user centric updates that the service has already seen over recent months.
The video below demonstrate some of these updates, and many more.
As someone that used SkyDrive extensively while studying for my most recent marketing qualification, I will definitely be following the SkyDrive teams Twitter updates for more news on additional features that are planned for the service!
The education team are busy working on a number of new eBooks that will be launched on this blog over the next couple of months. Keep an eye on our Twitter account (Microsoft_ed_uk) to be one of the first to know when they are available.
In the meantime, though, we thought you might find one of our earlier eBooks ‘Baby steps into the Cloud’ interesting. The document can be viewed below, or downloaded via our Slideshare account.
Originally posted on the Microsoft UK Faculty Connection Blog.
Learn to programme in C# over the course of 24 episodes, our friend, Bob Tabor from www.LearnVisualStudio.net, will teach you the fundamentals of C# programming.
Learn the skills and concepts applicable to video games, mobile environments, and client applications.
The following tutorials and videos walk you through getting the tools, writing code, debugging features, customizations and much more! Each concept is broken into its own video so you can search for and focus on the information you need.
Download the entire series' source code
Watch all 24 Episodes
Originally posted on the UK Student Blog.
We're going to turn over the blog for another guest blog post - this time we asked people to give us their AppHub success stories, and George rose to the challenge. You can read his post below - and don't forget to submit your apps to the marketplace so that you can earn money, too! Over to you...
Hey there! I'm George Miller, and I am a proud Microsoft Student Partner and Windows Phone developer.
A few days ago I received my first pay out from App Hub from my second app on the market, Bro to Go! An app based on the hit American sitcom, How I Met Your Mother on the CBS network. This is the second app I developed for the Windows Phone 7 platform and the first app I charged for on the marketplace. I chose the platform because I felt it was far more open than my alternative, which was the iPhone App Store, I found coding in Objective C really over complicated than coding in C#, and as a beginner to coding mobile applications it really mattered how easily I could pick up coding for the platform. Being a Mac and PC owner, I had access to both XCode and Visual Studio 2010 and exploring both; Visual Studio was the choice for me, especially when I can use Microsoft Expression Blend for designing my GUI for the app which integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio.
This app was the first app I chose to charge for; having an app already on the market with over a thousand downloads at this point, I decided that I could make some money from developing apps, I knew that charging for an app would lower the download rate considerably so I ‘d have to increase the quality to compensate. I charged the base price for an app, £0.79, thinking I probably wouldn’t reach the pay-out sum but I should try and reach for it. I started the development much like I did for my first app, designed it in Expression Blend and moved across to Visual Studio for the coding. The amount of work a developer puts in to his app and the functionality of the app itself should be related to the price and for my first priced app, I think I chose the correct price band.
A few months later, after only monitoring my first app on the marketplace, it reached over 3,500 downloads I got an email from Microsoft saying I am eligible for my first pay out on my second app. I was amazed, I felt amazing! People liked my work enough that even with a trial version they still want to pay for my app for long term use? It confirmed for me, that this is an amazing platform backed by great people. It was beyond anything I could expect from being a mobile app developer, and even though it’s not the billions you hear about on the news from other famous developers, I felt like I was up there alongside everyone else, contributing to Windows Phone 7.
My advice to anyone else tempted to code for the platform? Play around in Expression Blend and Visual Studio 2010 as much as possible, get a feel for the environment and make anything you like. No matter how trivial, just to learn how. The best thing you can do when trying to make an app you want to publish? Think about something you personally want your phone to do, because if you want it, I can guarantee over a hundred other people want the same thing from their own phone. For me, it wasn’t about the money, it was about the downloads. When I log into AppHub and see thousands of people have downloaded my app, it makes me feel proud of my work. The best thing about it, it is free to do, login to DreamSpark and download all the tools you need; sign into AppHub and you can develop as many apps as you want!
P.S: My cumulative downloads stand at over 4,000 now. Seriously try it out!
Get access to all the apps referenced in this post via DreamSpark!
If you are a developer looking to take advantage of cloud computing, but you haven’t yet taken the plunge, this free day of training is the quickest way to get up-to-speed with Microsoft’s offering; Windows Azure. We’ll take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having written some code, deployed it to the cloud service and made a simple application available on the public Internet. You’ll get all the information you need to get up to speed with Windows Azure in a packaged and compressed form, ready for your consumption, without having to trawl through books, blogs and articles on your own. There will be experienced people available to guide you through each exercise. Once you have the basics in place, you’ll be off and running.
If this would be of interest to you, you can register your place here
For those of you who were not able to attend the Microsoft Education Webcast on Hyper-V last week, as promised, here are the links to all the slides and presentations.
Migrate your virtualisation solution from VMware to Hyper-V and save money
The slides are now available here
- Mark Doyle' Infrastructure Engineer at Carmel College Blog
- The Microsoft Privat Cloud Whitepaper
If you have any questions or require any information please don’t hesitate to contact Richard Lane
When you think about what Cloud computing can offer within education, the possibilities are really exciting.
However, I appreciate that at this point Cloud won't be right for everyone and can even seem daunting or not relevant for some schools. How do schools relate this new world of Cloud to the everyday challenges that they face in ensuring that their ICT provides the things that their teachers and learners need?
Let's start with what Cloud means, as there are many hugely varying perceptions associated with it and, in some cases, they can just be plain misleading and confusing. I like to think about the way things are heading as "ICT as a service" in that it is really about having parts of your ICT hosted, delivered and maintained by someone else. Just like any other service, you could pick and choose the bits that were right for you - "I'd like backup, storage and email delivered as a service but I'll keep my learning environment on site as that will enable me to do what I need to, most effectively for now". That for me is the essence of what Cloud will mean for schools; let someone else do the donkey work and just enjoy the benefits of the services you have chosen.
Now, it might sound clichéd or a bit "X Factor" but moving to the Cloud will be a journey. There are a number of steps for schools to take, each with tangible benefits so they can take it at their own pace, on their own terms. Go as far along the journey as you need to, to realise the benefits that you're looking for
So what are the main benefits of Cloud? To my mind, it is mainly about three things:
We've identified a number of steps on the journey and we'll be talking more about this at BETT but here’s a flavour:
Much of what I've mentioned above is available now; a hosted Learning Platform, hosted MIS system, Cloud backup being used by customers, and we're working on proof of concept systems for other Cloud services. These are helping us to understand where the real value will be for education and our thinking is evolving as we learn more. What remains as a guiding principle throughout this process though, is that the answer must be based on the benefits delivered to schools, rather than being driven purely by the technology. The benefits are there and my goal is that everyone who speaks to us at BETT about Cloud and their school will leave having clearly mapped the benefits that they want to achieve onto what technology and solutions they need to implement. Cloud demystified, now that would be a silver lining!
If you would like to find out more about Cloud and how it can work for you, you can visit both the Microsoft stand (D30 and D40) and the RM stand (C60 and D60) at BETT
Microsoft has offered Session virtualisation (aka presentation virtualisation) for many years. Initially, through Terminal Services and more recently with RDS (Remote Desktop Services). RDS Remote App allows for a centrally managed and server hosted application to be presented to remote users via a simple RDP client. RDP Clients are widely available across a range of platforms and devices, thus removing the need for clients to be using a specific OS version.
An alternative to session virtualisation is application virtualisation which Microsoft provides through App-V. The key difference being that session virtualisation is server hosted, while App-V applications run on the client device (although they are not installed in the traditional sense). App-V has all the benefits of centrally managed software combined with the benefits of removing any application conflicts on the clients. App-V is part of MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack). App-V applications can also be extended to non-windows devices through partner tools such as Citrix XenApp.
Desktops can be presented to users via both session virtualisation and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). They are quite similar technologies, the key difference is that instead of presenting the user with a shared computing session from a server, VDI users are presented with a full desktop from a virtual machine. This provides users with a fully customisable and personal computing experience. A VDI server typically supports fewer users than an RDS environment. Storing numerous large VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) Images can also take up valuable disk space, although some VDI solutions make use of sophisticated differencing technologies to save space. VDI desktops are also presented to users via an RDP client. Presenting a full desktop experience to users via RDP is a good way of providing a school standard desktop and applications regardless of user device type or location, distance learners for example.
For more information on our thoughts around the concept of Consumerisation of IT in Education, download our paper on the topic via our SlideShare account. Alternatively, the full paper can be viewed below.
The education team are big fans of Kinect for XBOX 360, not just for gaming, but for its innovative uses across the education and health sectors, also.
Building on the amazing Kinect Effect video that we showcased earlier this week on the blog, our colleagues in the XBOX team have just released an interesting infographic that charts the phenomenal growth that the Kinect has seen since its launch only a year ago.
We are obviously really proud of the Guinness World Record , but its the sparking innovation globally section I find particularly impressive. I can’t wait to see what the community can come up with in another year with this technology!
Are you using Kinect within your institution? If so, we would love to hear your stories in the comments below.