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January, 2013

  • FE blog

    Bett 2013 Arena - In Partnership with Microsoft


    New for Bett 2013 is the Bett Arena, a 700 seat amphitheatre located in the heart of the show floor, offering Bett visitors free access to a varied collection of value add content from around the globe.

    As Knowledge Partner for the Arena, we have been working closely with the team at i2i to curate an exciting line-up of speakers that will share their knowledge and insight with Arena guests.


    The full Arena schedule is still TBC, but there is already a wide number of great sessions confirmed and more soon to follow.

    Full details regarding the Arena and the specific schedule can be found on the Bett 2013 website, but some of the stand-out sessions from our perspective include the following.





    We are thrilled to be supporting the Bett Arena for 2013 and will definitely be first in line to check out some of the sessions ourselves ;)

    Keep an eye out on the blog for more information about our support of the Bett Arena and hope to see you at the Arena for the opening ceremony. We can't wait!


  • FE blog

    Microsoft Learn Live Theatre


    If you missed our Microsoft at Bett 2013 post yesterday, the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre is going to be a core element of our presence at the show. With content built around the core theme for this year's show, 'A New Era for Digital Learning', a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft staff will be sharing insight, personal stories and best practice to help you use technology within your institution more effectively. clip_image001

    Touching on a diverse range of topics, such as Windows 8, Office 365 for education, BYOD and Apps, the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre offers a series of short punchy sessions packed full of actionable takeaways that you can bring back to your institution and make a real difference.

    Content in the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre is repeated twice per day, with the exception of our Partners in Learning Slot, to offer you the flexibility to fit the sessions that appeal most around your visit to the show.

    A full overview of our schedule, as it currently stands, is shown below.

    We look forward to welcoming you at our Learn Live Theatre at Bett 2013! In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the sessions, please do not hesitate to drop me a note via Twitter - @tbush


  • FE blog

    Microsoft @ Bett 2013


    Wow - I can't believe Bett 2013 is nearly upon us. It only seems like yesterday that we were packing up our stand at Olympia after a fun and rewarding 4 days at the show. In this case, time definitely does fly!

    So, with a fairly wide remit at Bett 2012 that was built around the theme of 'Anytime, Anywhere Learning… for all', what's on the cards for Microsoft @ Bett for 2013?

    Well, with the move to Excel, we are all definitely going to need to find a new café for that much needed bacon sandwich in the morning (Franks Sandwich bar, you will be missed). On a more serious note, though, we are super excited about many of the new opportunities that the new venue, and the fresh new approach by the Bett organisers for the 2013 show, provides to help us add greater value to our community.

    More specifically, the theme for Bett 2013 is going to be a 'New Era for Digital Learning'. With a number of sub-themes that align to this umbrella theme, such as Windows 8, Office 365 for education, 1:1 Computing and tablets in education, we will be discussing how technology can help create more engaging and emotional connections with learning that is steeped in real world problem solving.

    Furthermore, in response to the tremendous amount of innovation in the technology available in classrooms, we will also be extending our focus on supporting teachers in the resulting shifts in pedagogy, practice and management needed for us to deliver on the promise of a new era of digital learning through Partners in Learning (PiL) and our Windows in the Classroom seminar programme.

    Microsoft @ Bett 2013: So what about the detail…

    New for Bett 2013 is the Bett Arena, and we are proud to be sponsoring its inaugural year. We have been busy working closely with the folks at Bett to curate an amazing line-up of insightful, entertaining and informative speakers that will add a new dimension to visitors experience at the show. With a mix of household names and passionate in-sector speakers, visiting the Bett Arena is going to be an essential part of your day at the show.


    Our very own VP for Education, Anthony Salcito, will be presenting in the Arena on the opening day of the show and we are also running a computer science in the curriculum panel discussion. More details on both of these will be available via the blog at a later date.

    Moving beyond the Bett Arena, Microsoft's presence is very much focused around sharing best practice and solving your problems. With the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre, we are delivering a wide range of keynotes across all 4 days of the show that address the sub themes associated with the show.

    These include:

    • Windows 8
    • Office 365 for education
    • Cloud: Public and Private
    • 1:1 Computing
    • Apps
    • Community and teaching & learning - Windows in the Classroom and Partners in Learning
    • Devices inc Surface RT
    • BYOD

    As with previous BETT events, Learn Live Theatre sessions will be delivered by a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft Staff. We feel privileged to work with some amazing teachers and I highly recommend taking the time to visit the theatre to learn more about how the likes of Charlotte Beckhurst, David Rogers, Janet Hayward and Kristian Still are using technology to raise attainment and help their students realise their full potential.

    Full details regarding the schedule for the Learn Live Theatre sessions will be made available in a future blog post.

    In addition to the Learn Live Theatre, we are also hosting a Windows 8 stand for 2013. This space will complement the Learn Live Theatre by giving a more direct focus on Windows 8, devices (including Surface RT) and apps.

    The Windows 8 stand will include representatives from a selection of our OEM community - Acer, Toshiba and Asus- and the partners behind our Top Apps in Education. Our Surface RT device will also be available to trial on the stand. I personally can't get over the build quality of this device and can't wait to make it available for you to test on the stand. It really is a thing of beauty!

    The Windows 8 stand will also feature an intimate theatre where we will be showcasing short presentations around the core focus of the stand - Windows 8, Devices, Apps, WMS and Windows Phone 8.

    But what about the demos?

    Across both the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre and Windows 8 Stand, we will be signposting to our partner community who are exhibiting at the show to help demonstrate how our technologies, in conjunction with the experience and expertise of our partners, can help make a difference within your institution.

    We will be making a handy flyer available on our stands that list all of our partners, combined with their area of expertise and stand number, so you can easily find someone to answer your questions or offer a demo. Additionally, we will be signposting to relevant partners at the end of each Learn Live Theatre presentation. Our Microsoft @ Bett Microsite (available soon) will also feature a list of the partners at the show if you want to plan your visit ahead of time.

    Microsoft staff will be available on both stands if you have a question or need guidance on which partner to speak with. Just shout and we will be happy to help!

    Treasure Trail

    More details on our theatre agenda and overall presence at Bett 2013 will be shared via the blog over the coming weeks, but just wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about our Treasure Trail. The Treasure Trail will be run in conjunction with participating partners and will offer visitors to the show the ability to win some amazing prizes that range from a Surface RT Device, Xbox 360 and a PC.

    Entry cards can the collected from the Microsoft Stand. Visit each participating partner stand, answer the question, and you will receive a stamp. When completed, the card should then be dropped off at the Microsoft Stand. We will be carrying out 2 draws per day at 4pm on the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre (Wednesday – Friday).

    Pop by the Microsoft stand for the entry card or if you have any questions about the competition.

    Stand Number

    Other than to say keep an eye out on the blog for more information about all the latest news regarding our presence at Bett 2013, I just wanted to share the stand numbers for our stands at the show.

    • Microsoft Learn Live Theatre - Stand # D270
    • Windows 8 Stand - Stand # E270

    More news to follow and if you have any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via Twitter - @tbush

    Look forward to seeing you at Bett 2013!


  • FE blog

    SCEnAT on Cloud Event at The University of Sheffield, 23rd January 2013


    A technical innovation powered by Microsoft Windows Azure platform led by The University of Sheffield


    The advancement in cloud services now offers Universities and research groups access to an unparalleled level of technological power.  The University of Sheffield will play host this event to demonstrate the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT), an innovative application powered by Windows Azure. The event will also celebrate the launch of the Microsoft and Janet document pack. 

    This event is being supported by the University of Sheffield, Microsoft, Janet and Shaping Cloud. 

    Register now at: http://scenat.eventbrite.com


    Wednesday 23rd January 2013
    Location: Alfred Denny Building, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN.

    09.45 – 10.15              Registration (Tea / Coffee)

    10.15 – 10.20              Welcome

    10.20 – 10.40              Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool - Prof. Lenny Koh Founder of the LSCM Research Centre, University of Sheffield

    10.40 – 11.00              Why Cloud Was The Perfect Fit For SCEnAT - Carlos Oliveira Managing Director, Shaping Cloud

    11.10 – 11.30              Microsoft Cloud Services For Education - Mark McManus Cloud Services Business Manager, Microsoft

    11.30 – 11.50              Janet’s document pack - Tony Lewis Principle Advisor, JANET

    11.50 – 12.20              Panel Discussion

    12.20 – 13.20              Close, Lunch & Networking


    Professor Lenny Koh Director of The University of Sheffield Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre will speak about SCEnAT and its benefits to users.

    Carlos Oliveira, Managing Director of Shaping Cloud will discuss the development of the tool and benefits of utilising the technology. 

    Mark McManus, Cloud Services Business Manager at Microsoft will talk about the Windows Azure platform and discuss the benefits to Universities and research groups. 

    Tony Lewis of Janet will conclude the event by discussing the exclusive contractual amendments and due diligence available to research and education institutions in the form of the Janet document pack.

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