This week’s roundup of posts -
Get started using OneNote
How to add a video to a PowerPoint presentation
Microsoft UK Education upcoming live webcasts
Kodu student activity: editing your world
Controlling access on your child’s Windows Phone
Supporting numeracy with Kinect Sports
Evidence that students do better with a PC at home
Virtualisation in your school: Installation
Originally posted on Windows Blog
If you’re a student, it’s the same routine every day. You gather everything you need—your notebook for class, binder full of handouts, readings or homework assignments, textbooks, laptop, smartphone and maybe even your tablet. And of course your power adapters. Then you stuff it all into your backpack—everything you think you might need throughout the day—because you may not be back home until it’s time for bed.
Surely, there must be a better way to have everything you might need without hauling it around with you everywhere you go.
Well, there is. With SkyDrive, you get a “cloud backpack” where you can store, create and access all of your documents, notes, photos or files from anywhere. Our new SkyDrive at School page shows how anyone can get started with a cloud backpack, but we wanted to share a few extra tips to help you go “all in.”
OneNote 2010 is a powerful note-taking application that’s great for school. With OneNote, you can organize your notes by your classes, instantly search through them, draw graphs or diagrams, and even record your lectures. If you’re not using OneNote yet, check out these tips on the OneNote Blog to get started.
To make OneNote even more useful for you, connect it to SkyDrive and try these suggestions:
By saving your notebook on SkyDrive, you can access it from any computer (even a Mac!) using the OneNote Web App. You can also study on-the-go since OneNote is also available on pretty much every mobile device.
To save your OneNote notebook to SkyDrive, just click File and then Share to save it on the web.
Whether for class or a research project, you can send printouts, screenshots or web clippings right to OneNote to stay organized.
Find a helpful website for your research paper? Just highlight what you want from Internet Explorer and right click Send to OneNote 2010 to insert it into your notebook. You can send a whole webpage, a paragraph or image. OneNote will even show where you copied the content from so you can easily cite and reference it later.
Have a PDF or some other file from your professor? You can Print directly to your OneNote notebook and save it next to your notes from the same lecture.
To take a snapshot of anything on your screen, press Windows + S on your keyboard. You can also drop and drag an entire file into OneNote from your desktop.
By default, OneNote always asks where you want new notes to go. You can set a default preference by clicking File, Options, and then Send to OneNote. If you select a notebook that’s synced to SkyDrive, you can rest assured that anything you send to OneNote will be available anywhere, automatically.
With all of your notes in the cloud, you can easily share them with your friends and classmates. From SkyDrive.com, just right click your notebook and select Share.
If you want, you can even give them access to your notebook so that they can add their own notes. Now everyone can work together in the same notebook, and studying for finals just got a little easier.
Odds are, you’re either working on an important project right now or will be shortly. Well, SkyDrive can help keep you more organized and make sure that you’re never without the files that you need.
When you install SkyDrive for Windows or Mac, you get a SkyDrive folder on your computer. Everything you save or copy there is automatically synced to your SkyDrive. So move your spreadsheets, downloaded articles, and everything else you’ve gathered. No matter what happens to your computer, you can easily get to your stuff from any web browser.
SkyDrive does more than store your files. It also works with free Office Web Apps so you can view, edit and print from any web browser.
If you’re working on a Word document on your laptop at the library and your battery dies, you can easily pick up right where you left off just by logging into SkyDrive.com at the computer lab. If you get inspired on the bus ride back home, you can update your document using the Office Hub on your Windows Phone. You can rest assured that your formatting remains intact.
Any changes you make will be waiting to sync when you plug in your computer back at your dorm room.
What’s more, SkyDrive also keeps track of the various versions of your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. So don’t worry about renaming your files V1, V2… V14a. Just work in the documents saved in your SkyDrive folder and SkyDrive will take care of the rest.
You’ve been there before. You’re at the computer lab ready to print out your paper and you forgot your USB drive. Or you’re away from your computer and you realize you didn’t email your TA your homework assignment. Or maybe you’ve just met someone at a company you’d like to work for and you want to send them your résumé, but you won’t be home for hours.
These aren’t a problem anymore. Even if you forget to put something in your SkyDrive folder—or never thought you’d need it there—you can still access it from any computer. SkyDrive for Windows lets you fetch any file on your personal computer (as long as it’s online) from SkyDrive.com.
Once you find that paper to print, you can click Copy to SkyDrive and use Word Web App to view, print and share.
From handouts to class readings, old notes or recent assignments, you have so much paper to carry around and keep organized. Why not scan and upload everything to SkyDrive?
Use a smartphone app like Handyscan for Windows Phone (shown below) or Docscan for iPhone to create PDF versions of all of your handouts, homework, or even lecture notes from your friends. You can save the files directly to SkyDrive and they’ll be synced across your devices.
If you want to do more – like add comments or keep scans alongside class notes, you can import PDFs and other files into OneNote.
USB drives are easily left behind. Emailing yourself documents makes it easy to lose track of the latest version or crowds your inbox.
With SkyDrive, you can access everything, all around campus, from any web browser. You can also use the SkyDrive app for Windows Phone, iPhone and iPad, or Android apps—no matter where you are.
While we hope these tips are helpful, we know it will take some time before everyone upgrades to a “cloud backpack”. Here are a few ways you can help:
If you are a teacher, share class materials or class notes directly using SkyDrive. You can also provide feedback on assignments and papers through shared documents.
If you are a developer, use our APIs to integrate SkyDrive into applications that students use and love.
And if you are a student, what tips did we miss? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter how you’re using a cloud backpack today. We can help spread the word!
By Joe Belfiore
Three years ago I was lucky to join the Windows Phone team at a time when we were “resetting” our approach to mobile operating system software. We made big changes to our design, our approach to partners, and our platform. The result was Windows Phone 7.
Now it’s time to start telling you about the next exciting chapter of our story: Windows Phone 8. Officially announced this morning in San Francisco, it’s the most advanced mobile OS Microsoft has ever made and will arrive on new phones later this year.
Many of Windows Phone 8’s new capabilities come from a surprising source: Windows, the most successful and powerful operating system on the planet, and one used by more than a billion people. Yes, you read that right: Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that power Windows 8. As a result, Windows Phone 8 will unleash a new wave of features for consumers, developers, and businesses.
Today I’ll give you a high-level sneak peek at the Windows Phone 8 platform and tell you just some of what it’s going to make possible. I’ll also share some exciting news about apps and updates for current Windows Phone customers. This isn’t a full disclosure of everything in Windows Phone 8—look for a more complete tour of new features later.
If you’ve seen Windows 8, Microsoft’s groundbreaking new release for PCs and tablets, you’ve probably noticed it bears more than a passing resemblance to the look of Windows Phone. Here’s how the Windows 8 Start screen looks in the latest preview release.
With Windows Phone 8, the similarity is more than skin deep. We’ve based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8. It means Windows Phone and its bigger sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.
This new shared core—along with all the extra work we’ve done on top of it—opens up a new world of capabilities, which you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate. Here’s a taste:
We’re putting the finishing touches on Windows Phone 8 as I write this. It has a ton of great new consumer features that I can’t wait to tell you about in the months ahead. Today, however, I’m going to show off just one: the beautiful, flexible new Start screen.
As you can see, we’re making Windows Phone 8 even more personal, with a new palette of theme colors and three sizes of Live Tiles, all of which are under your control. We know Live Tiles are one of the things current owners really love about their Windows Phones, and we wanted to make them even more flexible and unique. This short video shows the new Start screen in action.
The new Start screen is so useful and emblematic of what Windows Phone is about that we want everybody to enjoy it. So we’ll be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released. Let me repeat: If you currently own a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, Microsoft is planning to release an update with the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen. We’re calling it “Windows Phone 7.8.”
Some of you have been wondering, “Will we also get Windows Phone 8 as an update?” The answer, unfortunately, is no.
Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware. BUT we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we’re providing the new Start screen in this new update.
Today we announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace officially hit 100,000 apps and games—a milestone we reached faster than Android, and a testament to the thousands of talented developers around the world who’ve supported us since launch. Together they deliver more than 200 new titles, on average, each day.
On behalf of everybody at Windows Phone, THANK YOU! We appreciate your effort and creativity and the value you bring to Windows Phone users.
To mark the milestone, today we’re announcing a new batch of marquee titles. The official Audible app for audiobooks arrives in Marketplace today. Official apps from Chase and PayPal are in the works. Gameloft has Windows Phone versions of Asphalt 7: Heat and N.O.V.A. 3 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance on the way.
And Nokia is helping deliver the much-requested Zynga games Words with Friends and Draw Something to Windows Phone later this year. Check out Nokia Conversations today for more details about this and other new Windows Phone-related announcements today. (And don’t miss the fun new “100,000 Apps and Counting” mugs and other goodies in the official Windows Phone Gear Store!)
Since we’re talking about apps, I want to tell developers a little bit about what they can expect in Windows Phone 8. Some of the exciting changes on the way include:
This is just a taste. Later this summer, we’ll have much more for developers on the Windows Phone 8 Software Development Kit (SDK) and the new Visual Studio 11-based development tools. So stay tuned.
In Windows Phone 8, we’re also moving into the workplace in a big way, introducing a number of features and capabilities that companies and their IT departments demand. This is just one more benefit of sharing a common core with Windows 8. Some of the new business-friendly features include:
I get a lot of tweets asking, “When will my phone get Arabic? Farsi? Turkish?” They’re also the top feature requests on the Windows Phone Suggestion Box site.
I’m happy to tell you these languages are coming! In fact, Windows Phone 8 will support a total of 50 languages, or double the current geographic coverage. We’re also expanding Marketplace, our store for apps and games, to support app downloads in over 180 countries—nearly triple its current footprint.
Another area I know many of you care deeply about is Windows Phone software updates and how they’re delivered—something we’ve gotten a lot of feedback on over the last year. Today I’m excited to tell you that we’ve been working closely with our many partners to improve the update process for Windows Phone 8, and help get you our latest software more quickly and easily.
How? First, Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered wirelessly over-the-air, so you don’t have to bother plugging your phone into your PC to update anymore. Second, we will support devices with updates for at least 18 months from device launch.
Finally, we’re working to create a program that gives registered enthusiasts early access to updates prior to broad availability—a little gift to our biggest fans and supporters. We think these three initiatives will help keep your phone fresher than ever before.
I know that’s a lot to digest—and look forward to. And I didn’t even mention actual phones yet!
We’re really excited about the strong line-up of hardware partners who are putting their support behind Windows Phone 8. The first wave of devices for Windows Phone 8 will come from Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC, all built on next-generation chips from Qualcomm.
If you’d like some step by step guidance on how to set up System Centre Configuration Manager 2012, you need look no further than this helpful eBook by Neil Hodgkinson.
Neil is a Network Administrator at Twynham School has been hard at work over the last few months writing the eBook. It is now available at no cost on his blog Technodge.
On Neil’s blog you will also find the start of his next series of eBooks, which is around the subject of application virtualisation using Microsoft App-V5.
You can download the eBooks at http://www.technodge.co.uk/nodge/technodge-ebooks/
Welcome to Office Tip Classics - a series of one-minute videos where you'll get to see clips of film classics and learn a tip about Office 2010. In this episode, school tough-guy Marty has a hard time keeping his cool after losing the class presentation contest.
His teacher tries to cheer him up, explaining how to add a video to his PowerPoint presentation. Maybe he won't be such a sore loser next time.
Originally posted on the Microsoft PowerPoint blog
Originally posted by Born to Learn
We came across two great videos made by Microsoft Certified Trainers, in which they both share their take on the new MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) and explain what the changes mean to MCITP. We (Microsoft Learning) made the announcement, but it takes Microsoft Certified Trainers to really break it down for you. Watch and listen to both as they're two very different styles but equally informative.
Thank you to Doug Bassett and Michael Murphy for the videos and messages, and hat tip to Chris Avis (we found Michael's video via Chris' blog).
You can see view the videos on the Born to Learn blog here
So, in the earlier parts of this blog series we covered off your “traditional” ICT suite machine and how virtualisation has the power to improve your server system. We also touched on how you can also virtualise applications using the App-V framework to add further flexibility to your desktop deployment.
Thinking right back to the first article, where we were planning what to do the decision was made to deploy new laptops (kindly provided by Stone), to negate the need for classroom “teacher computers”. This did help in one way as it gave us a good quantity of legacy equipment. The problem was that now, although we had some “good specification” legacy, it was still legacy and the last thing we wanted was to have a split Windows XP/Windows 7 estate; after all, XP is coming to the end of its supported life.
“Consistency was one of the big changes I wanted to make – to unify the experience users had, no matter where on the system they were”.
“Consistency was one of the big changes I wanted to make – to unify the experience users had, no matter where on the system they were”.
The answer came from discussions though the TechNet Membership held by the Academy, and earlier “Beta” work that had been done. Because of these links with Microsoft, a test program for a new product called Windows Thin PC was accessible. This was previously known as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, when it was essentially a cut down version of Windows XP. The new version was based on Windows 7, ideal as it maintained the same look and feel and also contained all the same core features. These included, crucially; support for domain joining and group policy. It is cut down and limited in its capabilities so you cant use it as a true standalone operating system. Instead, it is designed to “connect” to something else, such as Citrix or Terminal Services.
Terminal Services, now called “Remote Desktop Services” (RDS) is not new technology. In fact, neither is Thin Client! Use of both of these in schools for anything other than Server Administration by techies is though. RDS has been a part of the Windows Server system since the NT days, when it was an extra install. Now, it is just a “role” that you can choose which has been the case since 2003. The Server 2008 R2 version though adds a whole heap of extra functionality, and changes the playing field in terms of deployment and scalability.
RDS is designed to be split out into its component parts and spread across a number of servers. Teamed with the virtualisation power of Hyper-V (see earlier article) you have something truly scalable. You split out the hosting (where all the programs run), from the web accessibility (yes, you can do that too, but more on that later) and the “brokering” (who connects where). Licensing is also handled as a separate role feature. In a typical deployment (this looks as shown) which is not too far from what we did. Leveraging Hyper-V for hosting the Remote Desktop Session Hosts (well in fact, pretty much all of the system) has two significant benefits. One of these is the snapshotting feature built into Hyper-V, which is an obvious backup route. The second is the way you can let Hyper-V manage the memory usage. Dynamic Memory Allocation is a killer feature, allowing the hosted OS to “claim” more RAM as it needs it, and release it when it doesn’t. This is ideal for a varying workload such as RDS.
Now we’ve done a quick overview, lets deep dive into some of the setup. The basic Windows Thin PC and Session Host bit is obvious from earlier posts. You can just let SCCM (System Centre Configuration Manager) deal with that. It will do the OS install and drop our basic application set on as well. Even the App-V “bubble” installations work on Remote Desktop Servers. There is a special App-V installation pack on the Microsoft Download Centre. When it comes to the power of App-V, this is even more attractive when on RDS,where your OS is 64 bit only. Of course you are separating the application from the OS, so compatibility and stability is much improved with frequently troublesome education applications!
The Session Host bit itself is essentially a desktop which will get provided to the user through the Remote Desktop Client on whatever hardware the user is connecting from. More than that, it can also do some clever things in the new version called Remote App. We will come back to that another time though, in the next instalment of this series of blogs.
If you have not yet read any of the previous posts from Stuart or would just like a recap, here they are -
Building School Networks for the Future - System Centre and Hyper-V
Building School Networks for the Future – Server Infrastructure ‘’System for the Future’’
Building School Networks for the Future – Deployment of Microsoft Windows 7
Just a few hours ago Office 365 for education launched around the world so we thought it might be a good time to give you a quick tour of what you can expect to find. So, sit back and relax as my colleague Damon introduces you to Office 365!
Don’t forget that you can sign up for the 30-day trial absolutely free which will give you the chance to experience this first hand. Just head over to the new website at http://education.office365.com to get started.
Back in March at Internet Explorer's Badger Palooza event at the 2012 SXSW Interactive festival Microsoft unveiled an arcade machine running Internet Explorer 9 featuring an HTML5 game based on the popular animated short film “Marshmallow People” from FilmCow. It was so popular, we’ve made the game, developed by Bradley and Montgomery, available for everyone – be sure to check out Marshmallow People: Bored to Death
Pottermore, the official Harry Potter website, was recently launched and attracted billions of page views in its first two weeks. The site is built on Windows Azure, an open cloud platform that lets users quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
Harry Potter is one of the largest entertainment phenomenas of all time, so fans of all ages couldn't wait to experience the world-famous stories and social and interactive experiences that the site offered. Eagerly awaiting the launch of Pottermore, the website based on the popular Harry Potter stories, Brittany Talbot and her sister, Priscilla, raced to sign up when the site went live. "I like being able to go up there and do potions and spells and walk around where Harry was," Talbot said. "I read the first book in the first week because I was so excited."
The Pottermore website demonstrates the powerful platform that Windows Azure offers for even the most challenging development projects. The site currently features activities and text based on the storyline of the first "Harry Potter" novel, additional material from Rowling, and highly interactive elements such as the ability to make comments, earn house points, learn spells, mix potions, and duel with other fans.
A factor in favour of Windows Azure, is that it provided a platform as a service (PaaS), which means that Pottermore could simply move its application onto the Windows Azure platform without the burden of managing and maintaining virtual machines. Windows Azure provided a cloud-based testing environment that enabled Pottermore to test whether the site could scale up to meet massive demand. "Elasticity was critical," said Julian Thomas, chief technology officer at Pottermore. "We knew there were between 2 million and 20 million Harry Potter fans who were waiting to get on the site, and we had to be ready."
Working hand-in-hand with Microsoft, Pottermore had its new site up and running in just three months. On April 14, Pottermore launched the new site with just a single tweet @pottermore "we're opening to everyone."
"Literally within minutes, the traffic started to flood in," Thomas said. "The demand was just enormous, but the site continued to work properly, running on Windows Azure."
Visual Studio Achievements for student Windows Azure developers
There are many talented students working with Windows Azure, and we hope the Pottermore website will provide further inspiration for developers. As additional motivation for students and to bring some game to their code, Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements. The achievements of students talents and learning are recognised as they perform various coding feats. This unlocks achievements and earn badges which can be shared and displayed on social network profiles and web sites.
We recently announced an update to Visual Studio Achievements, adding 15 new achievements, all focused on Windows Azure development. The Visual Studio Achievements Extension includes fifteen new achievements, all focused on exercising features of Windows Azure. Using the extension, various achievements are unlocked based on your activity. When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up. In addition, your Channel 9 profile is updated with any achievements you earn. So, head over to Channel9, sign up for an account and download the plugin.
There are 15 Azure achievements, such as publishing to Windows Azure from Visual Studio (Heading into the Cloud), using page blobs (Attack of the Blob), using SQL Azure (Database Darling) and configuring start up tasks (It’s My Party). Two of the achievements – Phone in the Cloud and Game in the Cloud – require use of Windows Azure toolkits.