Following on from yesterday’s student demo video featuring Mike and Mustafa, in this video Hailey talks about how she personalises her Windows 8 Start Screen and also how she takes notes in class and uses her mobile phone to access important documents.
Great video from the team at University of West London talking about their 2012 UCISA-Eduserv Award for Excellence winning Office 365 Education project. The University set out to harness the powerful collaboration capabilities within Office 365 Education to create a personalised, interactive and social platform to support the institution’s mission to raise aspiration through the pursuit of excellence. They were also passionate, as part of the project, to allow students to combine social learning with academic study.
The following video gives a comprehensive overview of the project, combined with feedback from the students, themselves.
Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft Education series of blogs.
In 2004, Barnsley’s Council Leader Steve Houghton CBE said to me, in the course of an interview for an article I was preparing on Barnsley schools,
‘We can’t be a former mining town for ever.’
It stuck with me as the right kind of aspirational attitude for any community living with a challenging post-industrial legacy and Barnsley schools have taken it fully on board (We’ve blogged already on the innovative work at Barnsley Academy with Windows 8 phones).
If there’s one single place, though, that can act as the final backstop, providing hope for young people and lifting both aspirations and expectations, it’s Barnsley College, which takes in 8000 full and part time students, eight out of ten of the town’s school leavers.
It doesn’t fail them either. In 2010, Ofsted rated the College ‘Outstanding’ on 20 out of 22 categories (the remaining two were ‘Good’). The report says,
‘The college provides an inspirational resource for the Barnsley community and a transformational one for many learners.’
That same Ofsted report frequently mentions the effective use of learning technology, so it came as no surprise to discover that the IT journey continues. Technology is now used even more extensively and creatively. So much so that when Microsoft Business Manager for Further Education, Mike Morris, talked to me about the College, he used the term ‘eco-system’ to describe the way that Microsoft technologies, and associated devices are being used to provide a joined-up service for students and staff.
I followed up with a call to Mark Kendrick, IT Director at the College, and sure enough within a very short time Mark had mentioned Windows 8, SharePoint, Office 365 Education and Lync 2013, as well as a number of brands of Windows 8 tablet (including Surface). All of it – and here’s the point – is working in harmony, like the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, whose home is almost within earshot of the college.
The starting point is a SharePoint environment, first developed for staff, soon to be extended to students with a ‘MyDay’ front end (a Collabco product) with single sign on to resources including their timetable, library account, and the ‘Moodle’ VLE.
At the same time, students have ‘Live@Edu’ – moving soon to ‘Office 365 Education’ – with free email, storage on SkyDrive, access to office web apps.
‘Office 365 gives a level of service that we couldn’t manage any other way,’ says Mark Kendrick. ‘And it prepares them for the real world – something useful for life not just for their time in College.’
And that’s not all. Also in the picture is the coming rollout of Lync 2013 which will replace the existing PBX telephone system and go on to do much more ‘The idea is to deliver remote lessons and to share good practice with less traditional classroom teaching ,’ says Mark.
But of course all of this is about much more than technology. The underlying aim is to make a difference to the way that students learn, which is why all of the software innovations are planned to go along with the extensive use of Windows 8 tablets – Samsung Series 7, Asus ‘Vivo’, and Microsoft Surface of course.
They are on trial in various departments including Catering, and Early Years. As well as the new devices, Mark and his team have successfully upgraded and given a new lease of life to an existing set of inexpensive ‘Zoostorm’ touch screen tablets to Windows 8. Now equipped them with 3G dongles, they’re for use by students out on work placement.
The whole package of innovations – ‘A big game changer for us’ in Mark’s words -- will make it possible for the College to move towards a more flexible approach to teaching and learning.
‘We run something called “Self-Organised Learning” says Mark. ‘They can pick up a Windows 8 tablet and organise your own learning environment within the building. So not everything’s done in the classroom. The emphasis starts to be more on guided learning than on direct teaching.’‘
Immediately, the connected nature of the whole enterprise becomes clear – SharePoint ‘MyDay’ portal (from Collabco), Lync, Office 365 Education, Windows 8 devices – all working to create a personalised learning environment that Mark calls,
‘Learning without barriers’.
At the same time, by continuing to provide quality learning with fewer, face-to-face teaching hours, and by fully exploiting existing Microsoft licensing agreements it turns out to be clear demonstration of how to bring about a change of learning culture through efficient and responsible use of resources.
‘What you have to remember is that it’s public money,’ says Mark, ‘So we have to be seen to be cost-effective in delivering our services.’
It all really only works if the tablets in use are Windows 8 devices, because they effectively become integrated into the College’s Microsoft ‘eco-system’.
‘Other devices – Apple and Android – are hard to control in terms of safeguarding and so on, and keeping in touch with what the students are doing,’ he says.
This realisation – I think of it as ‘the penny dropping’ – of the implications which arise from seeing the up-down, sideways, outward and inward connectivity and manageability of Windows 8 tablets, is already well advanced in the educational IT community. The coin’s a bit slower to hit the ground among professional educators. But that’s bound to change as users discover that they can sit in the staffroom, or the student coffee bar, or at home and have seamless access to everything they need to move their work on.
Steve Houghton, the Council Leader I met in 2004 went on to speak feelingly of the need to do radical things in the cause of improving the life chances of young people, ‘Because if you just do more of the same, you end up with more of what you had before.’
Everything about Barnsley College says that they’re entirely signed up to that -- and that they have the IT team, and the technology, that’s well able to support the vision.
Part one of 3 blog posts featuring students talking about their favourite features of Windows 8. This post features Mike and Mustafa who are taking about how Windows 8, SkyDrive and the cloud helps them collaborate more easily and get things done.
Originally posted on the IE Blog.
We have updated Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT to enable Flash content to run by default. On Windows 8, all Flash content continues to be enabled for IE on the desktop.
As we have seen through testing over the past several months, the vast majority of sites with Flash content are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life. With this update, the curated Compatibility View (CV) list blocks Flash content in the small number of sites that are still incompatible with the Windows experience for touch or that depend on other plug-ins.
We believe having more sites “just work” in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers. As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience.
This updates the immersive IE experience on Windows 8, and both the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT. The update will be made available to customers with Windows Update. The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT since the most common reason to block Flash is that the site relies on other plug-ins that are not available on Windows RT.
Our approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, we worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life. Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals. We shipped this optimized Flash component as part of Windows 8, and we service it through Windows Update. IE10 with Flash on Windows 8 enables people to see more of the Web working with high quality, especially compared with the experience in other touch-first or tablet browsers and devices.
When we released Windows 8 and Windows RT we used the IE Compatibility View (CV) list to enable sites to run Flash content compatible with the Windows 8 experience, including touch responsiveness, performance, and battery life. In Windows 8, IE on the desktop runs all Flash content, like it does on Windows 7.
Looking at our engineering experience with Flash and Windows 8 and RT, as developers improve their Flash content, the vast majority of sites with Flash content that we have tested are now compatible with the Windows experience goals. Of the thousands of domains tested for Flash compatibility to date, we have found fewer than 4% are still incompatible, in the most part because the core site experience requires other ActiveX controls in addition to Flash. With Windows 8 in the hands of customers and developers, we listened to feedback around the experience of Web sites with Flash.
For developers building sites with Flash content, this document posted on MSDN goes into more technical detail about the criteria used to place sites on the Flash CV block list, as well as steps that developers can take to test their content in immersive IE and submit their sites to be removed from the block list. The documentation also includes a best practices guide to help developers, designers, and content publishers create experiences with Flash that play well in IE for touch, responsiveness, and battery life. These best practices complement existing recommendations and tools like modern.IE for authoring touch-friendly HTML5 sites. Also, starting tomorrow, modern.IE enables testing whether or not your site is on the curated Flash CV block list.
For the development community, platform continuity and technology choice are important. Flash in IE10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT provides a bridge for existing sites to transition to HTML5 technologies where it makes sense and at a pace that is right for the experiences they want to deliver to their customers. With today’s update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, consumers can experience more of the Web by default.
-- Rob Mauceri, Group Program Manager, Internet Explorer
Great Windows 8 roundtable discussion featuring a range of deployment experts from across the IT community.
Get valuable tips for deploying Windows 8 in the enterprise and take a walk through the latest Windows 8 devices. The insight from Paul Fisher from Seton Hall University around how Windows 8 is helping them to realise their 1:1 computing goals is particularly compelling.
The challenge for today's IT professional is figuring out how to provide the flexible access to corporate resources that users need without sacrificing security, data integrity, or performance. This roundtable discusses how Windows 8, and unique features such as Windows To Go, can help institutions more easily achieve these goals.
Do you want to create an environment where everyone is Microsoft qualified? Where your IT staff are upskilled? Where your teachers are qualified in the services they are using to educate your students? Where your students have industry recognised qualifications?
By becoming a Microsoft IT Academy member, you move a step closer to achieving the above, your institution will be able to utilise courses that they can start to use toward curriculum and learning and training. You are able to receiving academic discounts on Microsoft Certifications.
Did you know you can add Microsoft Certifications to your existing Volume License Agreement? Want to know more about how Microsoft Certifications can impact your institution?
Then please join our “Microsoft Certification Roadmap Webinar” Thursday 28th March, 12-1pm
Microsoft Certifications can be used to support deployment of services and is a successful way to provide training for staff/students on the latest services and technologies.
How to join the webinar
Just click on the link below or join by phone on the 28th March from 12.00-12:45pm. To download the Lync Client, please click here.
Join Lync Meeting
Join by phone
Conference ID: 75586122
Jumpstart your Windows Phone 8 Developer skills
Originally posted by Sarah Lamb
Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. Like its predecessor, it features the interface known as Metro (or Modern UI) and in addition it also uses the Windows NT kernel found on many Windows 8 components. The result is that building powerful Windows Phone apps has never been easier.
QA has worked closely with Microsoft, and is now able to offer a 3 day “Windows Phone 8 Jumpstart Training Workshop” to help developers begin creating C#+XAML applications for Windows Phone 8.
This workshop will enable developers to begin creating C#+XAML applications for Windows Phone 8. It is based on the Windows Phone 8 Jumpstart Training materials, and assumes no prior knowledge of Windows Phone development. However delegates must have prior experience working with C# and Visual Studio.
Module 1: Introducing Windows Phone 8 Development In this module, we introduce the new app platform in Windows Phone 8, and provide a guide to getting started with Windows Phone 8 development and the Windows Phone Developer Tools. This covers application development models, the Windows Phone 8 version of WinRT, an overview of the new features of Windows Phone 8, and Windows Phone 7x compatibility
Module 2: Designing Windows Phone 8 Apps
This module introduces the Windows Phone design language and how to start designing an app; delegates will go through application structure and navigation models, getting started with XAML, understanding themes and built-in control styles. In addition there will be an introduction to MVVM and databinding, ListBox and LongListSelector and designing list item layout templates.
Module 3: Building Windows Phone 8 Apps
In this module, we cover the key components required to build a Windows Phone 8 App, including page navigation, the application bar, building UI for multiple screen resolutions and portrait/landscape orientations, implementing page transition animations with the Windows Phone toolkit and localization.
Module 4: Files and Storage on Windows Phone 8
This module covers accessing the Installation folder or the Local folder using the Windows Phone Runtime Windows.Storage APIs. Additionally, we cover background file transfers and Special Folders (Shared/Media, Shared/ShellContent, Shared/Transfers).
Module 5: Windows Phone 8 Application Lifecycle
This module covers program lifecycle (Launching and Closing, Deactivating and Activating, Dormant and Tombstoned applications and the Simulation Dashboard), Idle Detection on Windows Phone and Detecting Obscured events, Fast Application Resume, Lifecycle design, Page Navigation and the Back Stack. Module 6: Background Agents
We introduce Windows Phone task management, multi-tasking with background agents, updating tiles from a background agent, creating tasks in Visual Studio, File transfer tasks, and Background notifications.
Module 7: Tiles and Lock Screen Notifications
This module covers the Local Tiles API, updating Tiles, Lock screen notifications, and Lock screen background.
Module 8: Push Notifications
In this module, we introduce the Push Notifications Infrastructure.
Module 9: Using Phone Resources in Windows Phone 8
In this module, we begin working with Launchers and Choosers, using Contacts and Calendars, taking still images and manipulating video streams, and working with the Windows Phone Microphone and Sensors.
Module 10: App to App Communication in Windows Phone 8
This module covers auto-launching with File and Protocol associations, launching apps to handle particular File Types, and launching one app from another.
Module 11: Network Communication in Windows Phone 8
This module covers WebClient, HttpWebRequest, Listener Sockets, Web Services, OData, and other topics around network communication.
Module 12: Maps and Location in Windows Phone 8
We cover the Runtime Location API, acquiring and tracking the phone's current location, the New Map Control, specifying Map center and zoom, and animating Map Display using Map Views.
Module 13: Purchasing and the Windows Phone Store
In this module, we briefly introduce the purchasing lifecycle and API, and talk about getting your app into the Windows Phone store.
Please note, that this is a chargeable workshop.
See www.qa.com/MSQAWP8JS or contact QA on 0845 757 3888 for more course details and to book.
Originally posted by James B Marshall on the UK Education Cloud Blog.
It’s time for our final post in the top user tips series, and today it’s all about blogging in SharePoint Online. You might also want to check out top tip #2 about social networking, and top tip #7 about following content in SharePoint Online as well.
As a teacher or a student, blogging can help document achievements, showcase exemplar work and also share knowledge and best practice. The beauty of doing this via SharePoint Online is that it can be made private, is searchable across the institution and accessed with your Office 365 ID. Blogging in SharePoint Online also takes advantage of the new social networking features of the new Office 365 Education, meaning you can like, follow, mention and tag people and content with ease.
Here’s an example of a simple blog (click to enlarge!):
Setting up a blog site in SharePoint Online couldn’t be easier. Here’s a video that explains, in about a minute, how to do it.
In the eighth installment of our top user tips we looked at Excel Surveys using the Excel Web App, and today we’re going to look at the co-authoring features that can help you analyse that data, brainstorm ideas, and work collaboratively with your classmates and colleagues in real time, via the browser.
Document collaboration is a critical element to working effectively in the classroom. The combination of SharePoint Online and Office offers a spectrum of document collaboration methods, whether it is co-authoring a spreadsheet or routing a school field trip plan through a workflow. Understanding the ways you can collaborate on documents is vital to making the best choice for your needs and improving your productivity as a student or educator.
Here are two examples of the Excel, and Word Web Apps being used by two people to edit the same work (click on them to enlarge!):
Without having to download and open the document in the full Office client students and teachers can work together in real-time; and the beauty is that the Web Apps work across a variety of devices, here’s the same spreadsheet from above on an iPad:
Getting started is really simple – check out our fourth top tips post all about SkyDrive Pro to see how you can easily upload your content into Office 365 and in minutes you can be working with others!