With the plethora of device types now available, the power to work and study where you choose is now a reality. Want to revise in the park sipping a latte, or update a presentation on the bus, there is now an app and device perfectly suited to your needs.
This trend, commonly known as the Consumerisation of IT in Education or BYOD, is driving the demand for flexible working and studying often using more consumer orientated devices. Within an academic institution, this is not without its challenges, though, and IT professionals within schools, colleges and universities need to consider the impact and management of BYOD from a more holistic perspective to ensure the needs of both the user and enterprise are met.
Lets consider the needs of the students for a second. Gen-Y, who are predominately active users of social media and mobile technology, expect to also use these technologies as a core element of their learning experiences. Is this is often a reality within institutions, though?
Furthermore, with Forrester research reporting that 35% of workers in the US already use a personal device at work, and I am sure the UK numbers are not far off this, the BYOD trend in the enterprise is rapidly gaining momentum. With people becoming more tech savvy, how are institutions also embracing the opportunities of consumerisation of IT in education/BYOD with faculty and admin staff within institutions? Are institutions working to meet the needs of their users?
Via my conversations with network managers and teachers at institutions across the UK, I get a mixed set of responses to these questions. Some institutions are openly embracing BYOD, while others are passionately against these trends.
Ultimately, I don’t see these trends as a threat to an institutions IT strategy, but does require IT managers within institutions to work in a new way and to think differently.
People power, or BYOD, is not without its challenges but requires a balance between freedom, risk and cost to ensure a practical and workable solution for IT users within an institution. IT Managers want to enable anytime, anywhere learning/working for all, I am sure, but also have a responsibility to keep systems and data safe.
To make this a reality, a solution needs to provide anytime, anywhere access to data and apps, consider the most suitable device type to meet the needs of users and, as mentioned previously, mitigate cost and risks.
The consumerisation of IT video below discusses this in more detail.
So, how do IT managers within academic institutions make this a reality?
From a device perspective, multi purpose devices should be front and centre of BYOD strategies. With the pace of change in devices types, it is now possible to get devices that are light weight, have a great battery life and are well suited for both content creation and consumption. These multi-purpose devices can also be managed within a standard IT management environment with increases the security of the device and reduces the overall cost of ownership.
UltraBooks, for example, offer much of the flexibility of slate devices but, in the case of Windows 7 devices, can be managed and secured electronically.
iPads, for example, are fantastic content consumption devices, but offer challenges when it comes to content creation and security/central management. This often leads to the need to have multiple device types to cater for both sets of needs. This adds to the overall cost of the device estate and, particularly in the case of education, adds significant cost to an overall IT budget.
The video below showcasing some of the latest PC's, for example, gives a good feel for how powerful multi-purpose devices are becoming.
With the advances in the cloud, access to data and apps via the browser irrespective of platform is also becoming commonplace. App virtualisation, via VDI and remote desktop, can also help provide flexible and secure access to core apps and act as a fundamental element of an institutions BYOD strategy.
When these 3 elements, device type, the cloud and unified management comes together, institutions have the perfect recipe for BYOD success.
Food for thought, for sure. What do you think about this topic? How are you meeting the needs of your users in the age of BYOD? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Anthony Salcito’s session from the recent Learning Without Frontiers 2012 Conference has now been made available online.
For some inspiring thoughts on the future of teaching and learning, the session is well worth taking 20 minutes out of your day to check out.
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
We are thrilled to announce the availability of our latest eBook, titled ‘Playful Learning: Computer Games in Education’.
Written by leading light in this field, Ollie Bray, this eBook combines thoughts, observations, tools and practical tips to help you understand more about using and making computer games in the classroom. In short, it is a guide to get children excited and re-energised about learning.
View/download the full eBook on Gaming in Education below:
If you are keen to learn more about the use of computer games in education, Ollie will be speaking on this topic at the Microsoft sponsored breakout session at the NAACE 2012 Conference. Hope to see you there!
We would like to give you the opportunity to invite you to register and attend the Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2012 in May in Manchester, Reading and London respectively. These will be our official System Centre 2012 launch events in the UK.
· 8th May, Manchester (Hilton Deansgate)
· 8th May, Manchester (Hilton Deansgate)
· 10th May, Reading (Thames Valley Park)
· 10th May, Reading (Thames Valley Park)
· 17th May, London (Cardinal Place)
· 17th May, London (Cardinal Place)
Alternatively, if you have difficulty with T&E, you can attend by registering to one of our System Center 2012 – Virtual Launch Events on 22nd March and 21st June
We have a wave of new product launches and announcements for the Microsoft Private Cloud in 2012 starting with the release of System Center 2012, which allows you to manage your virtual, physical, and cloud environments from a single console, using common and consistent management experiences that provide full control across your existing datacentre investments.
We have also introduced a new edition line-up and simplified licensing for System Center 2012 to address both your server and client management needs including Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Service Manager, Orchestrator, Endpoint Protection and App Controller.
Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2012
This 1-day event will provide you with the best possible opportunity to learn about what’s new in System Center 2012 and our next step forward in the Microsoft Private Cloud vision, strategy and roadmap with deep dive sessions on infrastructure management, service delivery & automation, application management, desktop & device management.
Microsoft’s Private Cloud: Built For The Future, Ready Now
What’s New in System Center 2012
Infrastructure & Fabric Management
Service Delivery & Automation
Desktop & Device Management
NETWORKING & CLOSE
Behind the Screen is the working title of e-skills UK, a new project to create a computing GCSE. Working with teachers, students, universities and employees, this GCSE has been designed to equip students and young people with a wide range of skills from programming to game design.
With more IT employers looking for wider skill sets, the current school IT curriculum is not providing the skills needed to work productively in IT hence the decline in the number of students deciding against an IT-related education of future career and IT related GCSE’s has fallen by 57% since 2005.
Behind the Screen has a goal to create a new computing CGSE to cover systemic thinking, software development and an understanding of how technology is created and works in real life challenges.
To find out more or get involved, you can find out more via the Behind the Screen website
Information is one of the most important assets of public sector organisations. Unlocking the value of information and making it available for citizens, regulators and management whilst avoiding any data privacy issues is a constant challenge.
Microsoft and The Register have recently commissioned an independent study conducted by Freeform Dynamics on the challenges relating to Business Intelligence in the Public Sector.
At our webinar, hosted by Jon Collins of the Register, you can find out more about this illuminating research and hear directly from:
Webinar: Unlock the business value of your information
When: Tuesday March 13th 2012, 11:00-12:00
Register: Online here
The webinar will address a number of key issues identified by the research and explore real-world solutions that may help you to make more effective use of your current investment in business intelligence tools:
You can find out more and register online here to take part in the Microsoft and The Register interactive webinar on how to ‘unlock the business value of information’ in your organisation.
All participants at the webinar will also receive a FREE copy of the report on ‘Unlocking the business value of information’ prepared by Freeform Dynamics on behalf of Microsoft and The Register
There are many ways to learn technology around the world. We realise that sometimes the way students can master professional tools is on their own time with their friends.
Microsoft goal is to support them with the access to tools, training and a platform to connect.
Student Tech Clubs are communities of students, problem solvers, challenge seekers, people who love to discover everything they can do with the latest technology.
The program is there to help students to start and run a Student Tech Club at their institution or to help support existing student computer societies.
Tools like surveys, member administration, newsletters, invitations to events, event calendar, support materials created by Microsoft Product Groups, access to speakers and resources are some of the features they can take advantage today using this initiative.
If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Student Tech Clubs at your school or campus, please see the following presentation which contains all the information and advice.
Originally posted on the UK Microsoft Faculty Connection Blog.
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
Originally posted on the UK Faculty Connection Blog
What does the modern education desktop from Microsoft look like today? This webcast talks about how Windows 7, Office 2010 and Learning Suite, to name a few, come together to provide more engaging learning experiences for learners, while also saving costs.
Furthermore, if you are responsible for managing the desktops within your institution, this webcast shares some insight into MDOP with adds significant value and removes cost from the process of managing the desktop environment.
Finally, while not specifically a licensing orientated session, an overview will also be given on the CAL Suites.
If you have any questions about the Modern Education Desktop from Microsoft, please leave your questions in the comments below.
Thanks for taking the time to view the webcast and if you have any ideas for future topics, we would love to hear them. Again, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
We’re conditioned to assume, especially in education, that a cost-saving measure will threaten the quality of what we’re able to offer. That being so, the news is more than welcome that in many schools, colleges and universities, information technology professionals are turning that assumption on its head. They have found a proven way not only of saving significant sums of money for their institutions, but of doing so while delivering better and more effective ICT for staff and students.
Already the questions are forming. How is that done? Can any school do it? Exactly what cost savings are in the offing? Is the end product really good enough for us?
Our latest eBook, titled ‘Virtualisation with Hyper-V’, attempts to provide you, a decision-maker in a school, college or university, with the information you need to make informed decisions about how to save money within your institution. One of the solutions, and the key focus of this eBook, lies in server virtualisation using Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V.
Within this eBook, we’ll tell you what Hyper-V is already doing for real UK schools, and arguably more importantly, in broad terms what it could do for your school.
The content covered within this eBook is structured in two parts. Part 1 provides a non-technical introduction to the concept of server virtualisation. Part 2 presents a more technical guide to help you implement a virtualised environment.
This eBook has been co-authored by Alan Richards, West Hatch High School, and Gerald Haigh. The full eBook can be viewed and/or downloaded below.