You can download the Second Preview (PDF only) here (13.5 MB).
And you can download the Second Preview’s companion content here (64.9 MB).
The full original version of the eBook can be viewed below.
Originally posted on the Microsoft Press Blog.
Writing a book like this has always been a journey of exploration for myself, and I’m truly grateful that I also have the opportunity to share the results with you. The process has involved many discussions with the Windows engineering team who created the platform, often taking me into far-off corners of the galaxy, so to speak. I’ve also been doing my best to follow app-building discussions both within Microsoft, on the MSDN forums, and StackOverflow so that I can try to anticipate and answer questions that will likely arise in your own mind. And with this over-abundance of information and experience, my goal has been to pull together a narrative story from start to finish, blazing a single trail through what can seem at times like a thick jungle. I would love to hear from you how successful I’ve been at this endeavor.
As the release date for Windows 8 has been set for October 26th, we’re now on the home stretch toward the final release of this full ebook, which we plan to have ready in time for the Build conference in Redmond (October 30- November 2). I hope to see many of you there! And for those who cannot attend in person, keep an eye on http://buildwindows.com because the conference will also be presented online.
Happy reading, and coding!
(We’ll release the final version of this free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats.)
Guest post from Microsoft UK Schools Blog reader, Jasmine Hall, from Online Colleges.
Overview of the top 20 best blogs that cover gamification/game-based learning.
Learn all about how games revolutionize more than just education through the extremely useful, insightful Gamification blog. Not only does it deeply explore how teachers and parents can utilize gaming platforms and developments in the interest of getting kids (and adults!) to hone their academic and practical skills alike, the site also goes into how they assist law enforcement and other initiatives.
Read SeriousGameBlog.com in English or French when seeking all the latest news about game-based learning and other serious applications of digital gaming. Anyone interested in the market especially will find plenty of interesting reading here, and Succubus International’s decade of experience in serious gaming lends it considerable credence.
Although this resource’s update schedule crawls when compared to some of its contemporaries, it certainly merits visiting when looking to find out what sort of conferences and other relevant game-based learning events are taking place. In addition, it also follows through on the title and posts information about the latest studies into the most and not-so-most educational games strategies.
Anything and everything involving both game-based learning and serious gaming gets covered here, regardless of structure or application, making it a wonderfully thorough read. It’s especially interesting to catch up on how gaming can prove a valuable educational tool outside the classroom.
One of the most comprehensive blogs about GBL boasts perspectives from several different writers and delves into all sorts of different and exciting corners of the concept. The eponymous company specializes in delivering learning sims and other gaming technologies at the most affordable possible cost.
GALA stands for Games and Learning Alliance, which should probably clue readers in on what they’re all about (PROTIP: It ain’t the Hokey Pokey). Multiple representatives from multiple serious gaming companies open up about their latest developments and approaches to the nascent industry.
Serious gaming expert Pamela M. Kato travels around the world to promote and discover the latest and greatest movements within game-based learning. She only recently took to blogging her experiences, readings, and research, but has nothing but interesting and highly informative things to share so far.
This popular edtech resource focuses mainly on the role gaming might very well play in a classroom setting, but looks into other digital venues from time to time for a broader glimpse at what all tech-savvy teachers have at their disposal. David Renton especially adores the Kinect’s educational applications, so anyone looking to harness its potential will likely find plenty to love and appreciate here.
Like David Renton, Ray Chambers stands as a devoted acolyte of the Kinect, though his blog definitely covers other game-based learning strategies, though not nearly as often. Stop by here when looking for some of the best games and ideas connected to the device he adores — or even share something new and exciting from your own experiences!
Of interest to parents and teachers of preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school students, the official blog of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop covers gaming and other digital media’s potential to get kids learning. Follow their progress in developing some great methods for harnessing the newest technological developments and participate in discussions about GBL’s possible futures.
Hit up MyGamification.com for updated information regarding the latest gamification news, which impacts GBL in the classroom and boardroom alike. BigDoor Inc., which provides such services to Dell, MLB.com, Nickelodeon, and more, knows a few things about harnessing gaming for both promotional and educational ends.
Microsoft’s UK Education Team illustrates how the company’s technology can be harnessed in order to provide students of all ages with engaging educational tools. While not exclusively about gaming, the ubiquitous corporation certainly provides plenty of excellent expert information on the subject.
This edtech enthusiast frequently covers gaming’s role in getting both kids and adults learning, though he doesn’t shy away from writing about other new media phenomena, either. Read through his posts for some fabulous insight into how all these developments fit together for a uniquely 21st century educational experience.
Both the blog and its accompanying podcast focus on Sealund’s serious gaming innovations and developments, which they hope provide maximum learning and engagement in its user base. Despite its somewhat erratic updating schedule, it really does offer up a great, detailed look at how educational games are created, developed, marketed, and utilized in the classroom.
Thanks to the magic and wonder that is the Internet, schools now compete in international competitions testing students’ math and spelling acumen – even if thousands of miles and cultural boundaries galore separate them. All the events associated with the World Education Games, which partners with UNICEF, stand as excellent examples of serious gaming’s highly effective, incredibly enjoyable potential.
Despite Gamasutra’s status as a general resource for game developers and similar professionals, it pays more than lip service to the game-based learning community, offering up an entire section devoted solely to serious gaming. Give it a look when wanting to absorb all the most recent goings-on in getting kids learning and audiences enthralled using new media formats.
More tech-oriented teachers might want to try creating their very own educational games using Unity 3D, which simplifies the process and allows them to concentrate more on content than style. At their official blog, anyone curious about the platform can pick up further information about getting the most out of the product and how to utilize it for various useful purposes.
Step up those GBL practices by learning a few things about the theory and practice of video games themselves, from a man who has studied the ways in which it has and might very well revolutionize politics, education, and more. Giving both Ian Bogost’s blog and website a look makes it easier to understand how all the intricate little components of technology and serious gaming fit together.
With a title like that, it’s not too difficult to glean exactly what this blog hopes to share, but — for all those out there whose reading comprehension skills aren’t so hot — it’s about the future of game-based learning. Developers, educators, and others fascinated by the topic gather here to exchange ideas and information about what works, what doesn’t, what’s available, and (obviously) what’s to come.
Even visitors not adhering to the DIY and/or edupunk movements these days could still easily pick up some great pointers about using games and augmented reality for educational ends from the Center4Edupunx blog. Its content centers around getting the most out of GBL without compromising “creativity, whimsy … and a very limited budget,” making it great for the cash-strapped home or mainstream classroom.
With Windows 8 now at RTM and General Availability for our new operating system scheduled for October 26th, now is a great time to become better acquainted with the Windows 8 Release Review.
To help guide you through some of the new features of Windows 8, and the Release Preview in particular, we have produced an overview document that you might find useful.
The full document can be viewed/downloaded below:
Originally posted on the the Windows Blog.
Earlier this month, we announced that Windows 8 reached the RTM milestone. Windows 8 Enterprise is now available to Software Assurance customers via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
For those customers who are interested in trying out the key features in Windows 8 Enterprise, you can also now obtain Windows 8 Enterprise through your TechNet Professional Subscription or MSDN Subscription. For those IT professionals that don’t have access through these other sources, a 90-day evaluation version is now available for download through the TechNet Evaluation Center. For more information about this evaluation version, please see the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation FAQ.
For customers who will be deploying Windows 8 Enterprise, be assured that the KMS and MAK volume activation methods that were available with Windows 7 Enterprise are still there and work as they did before. But there is also a new Active Directory-based Activation method, offering a way to leverage your existing Active Directory infrastructure to simplify the activation process.
In order to use KMS or MAK activation, you will need to obtain new keys from the VLSC. If you are using a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer as your KMS host, you will also need to install a hotfix to enable Windows 8 Enterprise activation. For more information about volume activation, please see the Volume Activation Overview on TechNet.
To help with the planning, image engineering, and deployment processes for Windows 8 Enterprise, some key free tools are also now available for downloading:
To find additional resources to help you plan for Windows 8 in your organization, bookmark the Springboard Series for Windows 8 and check out our step-by-step Plan for Windows 8 guide.
Thanks for your interest in Windows 8 Enterprise. Start your testing and evaluation today!
SharePoint MVP and Microsoft partner, Alex Pearce from BFC Networks, has created a very useful starter manual for Office 365 for education.
This starter manual will give you a step by step guide to implementing Office 365 for education for your school or college. It will include the subscription process, how to register your first domain to some simple Exchange, Lync and SharePoint housekeeping.
The guide can be downloaded directly from BFC Networks. Alternatively, you can view/download the full eBook below.
Interesting White Paper from IDC titled ‘Mitigating Risk: Why sticking with Windows XP is a bad idea’. The full paper can be viewed/downloaded below.
Originally posted on the Windows blog.
During the past few months, we’ve been talking about how Windows 8 enterprise ready by design. But what does that really mean for organizations? For one of our early adopters, Seton Hall University, it means they’ll be able to give their students the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a PC. They’ll be able to connect and collaborate across devices – on a desktop, smart phone, laptop or tablet. It means they can give their students and faculty the experiences they want while also having the enterprise capabilities their IT department needs.
Based in New Jersey, Seton Hall University is working hard to create new and dynamic learning environments and wants all of their students to have access to the latest technology to prepare them well for the workforce when they graduate. In 1998, the university began providing full-time incoming freshmen with laptops as part of their tuition and fees. This award-winning initiative, called the Mobile Computing Program, has evolved during over the last 14 years, right along with the definition of what “mobile” means to our society. In less than two decades, the way people – and students – work and use technology has drastically changed.
And I’m excited to share with you that the entering Class of 2016 at Seton Hall recently received a Samsung tablet or Ultrabook running Windows 8, a Windows Phone (Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia 900) and access to Office 365 for education. That means more than 1,200 students at the university have access to the same technology and resources to pursue their education, with another more than 1,200 junior students obtaining access to the same technology later in August.
The immediate benefits to both students and faculty are obvious: enhanced communication and collaboration across the university. And our colleagues with Microsoft Education and Microsoft Office have posted specifics on how students and faculty are leveraging this technology for academic success.
But for the purposes of this blog, I want to focus on the Seton Hall’s business rationale for standardizing the school across Windows 8 and other Microsoft platforms.
“From an IT perspective, Windows 8 provides us with the ability to manage thousands of devices on our campus network that other solutions are not able to provide,” said Dr. Stephen Landry, CIO of Seton Hall University. “From the student’s perspective, other offerings were great devices for consuming information, but students found it very difficult to create content on them.”
The university sees devices like phones and tablets as companion technology. Previous technology only a few years ago made it difficult to streamline support these university-managed devices because students naturally have large amounts of data stored on them. In an environment that supports both tablets and mobile devices, students’ data – and the user experience – now lives in the cloud, making it easier for the Seton Hall’s IT department to support and troubleshoot issues.
But it’s not just device support that makes Windows 8 a wise choice for organizations that manage thousands of users and devices.
Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, had a chance to hear Landry speak at the 2012 TechEd North America in June. “Devices – whether they are notebooks or tablets – running Windows 8 are appealing to organizations because the operating system brings a strong security, management and integration element to IT departments that other offers cannot provide.”
And Landry agrees. “As a CIO, you have to provide a secure and manageable environment for all of the devices that you’re supporting for faculty and administrators. Windows 8 comes with all the tools I need to make sure that I’m providing a secure and safe environment.”
Windows 8 in education provides students with a technology ecosystem that not only provides access to digital content, but also offers a fully functional tool that allows for productivity and collaboration. Seton Hall is on the cutting edge of building the future workforce and by using Microsoft technologies, students will have the skills they need to be successful in the workforce. And as some of the heaviest power users of technology out there, students have no problem sharing their feedback and ideas to both us and Seton Hall for how this technology can be used.
Want to learn more about Seton Hall’s implementation of Windows 8 and other Microsoft offerings? Check out the Customer Spotlight press release, and this video that shares the CIO’s perspective – but also looks at student and faculty’s initial thoughts on their new technology.
And as we continue to see more early adoption of Windows 8 with our customers, I’ll be sharing stories – like Seton Hall University’s – that clearly articulate the value of Windows 8 for businesses and its many benefits for people and the IT departments that support them.
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Guest post from Kristian Still, Assistant Vice Principal, Hamble Community Sports College.
I would like to think that my colleagues would describe me as a passionate teacher, excited about my subject and my craft. I would like to think that my students wholeheartedly believe that their achievements are the result of their own hard work and that they are both challenged and inspired in our classroom. I would like to think that my effective use of technology gives me more time to focus on being a better educator. It is this passion for using education technology that led me to question my own productivity, as a leader, learner, as a teacher and facilitator and an education maven. What I search for is the ability to move freely between devices (operating systems) and locations with but a moment’s pause.
2.1 Triad or Quad?
‘To freely move between devices….’ between desktops, laptops, touchscreens, mobile phones and games console. The question of triad or quad simple explores whether or not you consider a game console a viable education tool for teaching. It is most certainly a learning platform.
3.1 Dot to dot
All the dots are there for everyone to see. You will know from experience that connecting the dots takes effort and determination (and often a wrong turn), but at some point before you complete the puzzle, you see the answer. I have been reading and listening to the media response to Window 8, Surface, Window Phone 7.8/8 and Xbox and staring (thinking) at these technology dots. Thinking strategy, thinking how could this improve my impact as a practitioner.
I am confident Microsoft planned and placed these dots thoughtfully, purposefully and deliberately in front of us, so that as we started connecting them together, we will see that the answer was indeed an integrated, connected Microsoft platform. An environment where one could ‘move freely between devices (operating systems) and locations with but a moment’s pause.’
What if we brought those dots closer together? What if we made those connections easier to make and brought forward that ‘eureka’ moment. How would that impact upon our willingness to change the way we interacted with and taught with technology? What if we were able to encourage education / teachers to move from being, all too often the early (or even late) majority, towards being the early adopters? Why not the innovators even? With that in mind, it is also worth noting that for the early majority to move, someone else has to have tried first. (Law of Diffusion of Innovation)
Find the ‘someone’s.’ Find the someone’s from with the Partners in Learning Network or other group that are passionate about technology and ask them to build and share a ‘Why, How and What’ report. A report generated from an agreed series of professional diary reflections.
4.0 Conclusion The future will come soon enough and when it does, I would like to be ready to make the most of it. I am not quite sure why I got stuck on this issue, however, I am glad I did.