Another busy week in the Microsoft Education Department, here’s a recap of all of this week’s Further Education blog posts.
Have a great weekend.
Installing enterprise metro apps without using Microsoft Store
Tablets for Schools Conference
An Interview with Professor Steve Molyneux.
Whether you want to be a Doctor or a Rockstar…Coding is for you
Bringing the cloud to researchers around the world and online
The Flipped Classroom, Is it really a new idea?
How to get your free tools!
Office 365 Education: 6 great reasons to sign up
Excerpt from our Office 365 Education supplement developed in association with PC Pro Magazine.
#1 You’ll never lose homework again
Each staff and student account comes with 50GB of free storage for emails, documents, presentations and associated photos and media. That’s more than enough to last any student throughout their life at school. What’s more, this space is a repository for all their vital files, always available, always online. Saving to the cloud is just as easy as saving to a local hard disk. As the account is accessible from laptops and PCs at home and school – not to mention tablets and smartphones on the move – both staff and students can work wherever and on whatever they like. Students can start a document from school and finish it at home, or vice versa, and the latest version is always within easy reach. There’s no reason to mess around with USB memory sticks or emailed attachments, and no excuse for not bringing homework into class. Frankly, you don’t even have to think about it.
#2 Worry-free IT to suit your school
Office 365 Education is incredibly flexible, and how your school uses it is up to you. If you simply want free email with a 50GB inbox, then that’s fine. If you want to make SharePoint Online the platform for a new all-signing, all-dancing Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), then that’s great too. If you want all your data in the cloud, then Office 365 is safe, secure and reliable. If you feel more comfortable with local email and storage systems, then Office 365 Education supports a hybrid approach, synchronising local and cloud-based data and giving you the best of both worlds. Office 365 Education is simple enough to manage within the school, but if you want worry-free IT you can outsource setup, management and support to a Microsoft partner. Office 365 doesn’t force you to use one specific piece of hardware, operating system, browser or application (although some requirements naturally apply). The choice is always yours.
#3 Collaboration within and without the school
Collaboration is part and parcel of Office 365.Education. Using just the Office Web Apps, teams of students can work on a single version of an online Word, Excel or PowerPoint document, viewing and making edits simultaneously with all changes synchronised. Teachers and students can also work on the same document at the same time, enabling new styles of teaching and learning. SharePoint Online, meanwhile, provides an ideal platform for group activities and larger projects. Yet Office 365 Education takes collaboration even further. With Lync Online, it’s easy to set up real-time video chats, instant messaging and screen-sharing with students across classrooms, schools and even around the world. Teachers can use it to foster relationships between different schools and communities, or call in experts without needing to physically bring them into school. Office 365 Education helps staff and students work together – and bring in the wider world.
#4 Office 365 Education works on anything
Office 365 Education is the perfect fit for Windows, whether you’re running Windows 8 or Windows 7, and whether you’re using PCs, laptops or tablets. Yet it’s not in any way limited to Microsoft technology. Office 365 Education’s email will work perfectly well with Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones and tablets. The Office Web Apps will run in a browser on Mac OSX, Linux and Chrome OS PCs and laptops, and you can view and edit documents on a wide variety of devices, either using native apps like those for iOS and Android, or in the browser. Even when schools want to centralise on Windows as an OS across all devices, Office 365 Education is ready to embrace a diverse ecosystem, covering just about every computer and device staff and students come into contact with, whether at home or at school. It doesn’t shut anyone out.
#5 It can inspire new ways of learning
With the power of the cloud behind you, you can investigate new approaches to teaching and learning. Create team sites for staff and students. Manage cross-class projects with SharePoint Online and get everyone involved. Use video chat and instant messaging to let ideas develop and thoughts run wild. Harness Office Web Apps for collaborative activities that might involve teachers and teams of students. Plus, because Office 365 Education works just about everywhere and on almost everything, you can use it to engage students at school, at home and anywhere in-between. Carry learning outside of the classroom, and take full advantage of mobile technology, whether it belongs to the school or to your students. With a little imagination, Office 365 Education might just transform the way you teach.
#6 It has the power of Microsoft Office behind it
Some cloud-based services make you work with unfamiliar apps and tools. Not Office 365 Education. The Office Web Apps, covering Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Excel, have the familiar look and feel of their desktop versions and many of the same features. Accessible on almost any laptop or PC with almost any browser, they enable students and staff to work anywhere, even if they don’t have an Office license or Office installed. Yet if you need more power, Office 365 Education works hand-in- hand with the desktop Office applications. Staff and students can start projects using Office Web Apps then polish them in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Teachers can set up documents in the desktop Office applications before handing them off to students to continue the work in the Web Apps. OneNote has become an invaluable tool for gathering ideas and information, and with Office 365 Education it works across PCs, tablets and smartphones, while Outlook remains the most efficient way of handling emails, calendars and contacts. With Office 365 Education, there’s no need to compromise on less familiar or less functional apps.
The full Office 365 Education Supplement can be viewed/downloaded for free below.
One for the Students – Originally posted by Phil Cross on the UK Student Blog.
Did you know that as a student you can get all Microsoft Developer Tools free of charge? In one word its “DreamSpark”.
The latest version of our Professional Suite - Visual Studio 2013 is NOW available for you to download. As there are many thousands of pounds worth of software on the site we do need to verify you are a student and there are several ways of doing this, you can use your uni/college/ school email address, an ISIC Card or a code we can supply.
Alternatively, some university STEM departments and colleges subscribe to DreamSpark Premium which gives you even more software including Windows 8.1 for dev work. Schools and non STEM depts. can use DreamSpark Standard to get the tools and you can quickly check if your uni/college/school is eligible by searching here. I know it says school but it also applies to colleges and uni depts as well.
If your uni dept, college or school doesn’t have it – we can always help by giving you a code you can use to persuade the department to subscribe free of charge. It also means the software can be deployed on Lab machines, educators PC and obviously your own personal machine, To get hold of that just connect with us via email@example.com and well take it from there.
Go ahead, download, its free after all, and please tell your friends, colleagues and educators. Also, when you do something amazing, or different or simply cool with it, tell us and we’ll see if we can tell the world!
You can connect with us via Facebook or use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you.
Thanks again checking out DreamSpark and reading to the end ! We’d really like to hear about your successful projects and apps and I you are brave enough some of your “disasters” as well – we all have them at times.
Just to wet your appetite – here are 2 student stories who used DreamSpark to get going….
Guest Post by Education Writer Gerald Haigh
‘Flipped Learning’, or ‘Flipped Classroom’ is a teaching method that involves giving students the content of a future lesson for homework, then consolidating the learning in class. It started, so far as I can tell, in American colleges, with academics posting their lectures online in advance and then using teaching time to lead discussion and reinforce understanding.
In UK schools, though, it’s quite new. Or is it?
Here’s a memory from my own school days. Our much-respected young history teacher, Paul Slater, whom I was to meet again many years later when he was a Coventry head, is setting our homework.
‘I want you to read the next chapter, about the Treaty of Unkiar Skelessi, and figure out why the British government was so worried about a pact between two faraway states.
Make notes, discuss it among yourselves, and we’ll talk about it next lesson.’
So, there you go! You say
‘We’ve been doing it for years!’
And up to a point, that’s true, which is important because some critics of flipped learning seem to regard it as a fad sprung from nowhere.
21st Century Flipping with Office365
The key differences, though, are that today’s lesson flipping is more clearly defined as a pedagogic device, and, crucially, it assumes the extensive use of technology. Teachers in schools, though, certainly in the UK, want to be go beyond that static model of ‘watch the lecture, then talk about it next day’. That means they need technology that’s responsive, flexible, allows interactivity and collaboration, is easy to use and, of course, affordable. And that is a reasonable definition of Microsoft Office365, as used, for example, to support flipped learning at Shireland Collegiate Academy.
Office365 in action at Shireland
Kirsty Tonks, Shireland’s E-Learning Director says,
“It’s a matter of what flipped learning means for us. We haven’t looked too much at the American way. We wanted to use quality activities that can accelerate learning for our students.”
So Shireland teachers use their class sites on the school’s SharePoint 2013 learning gateway to provide students with material to work on at home, from the school’s extensive resource bank, or from an external source such as YouTube. Along with the resources are questions and invitations for students to respond on line both individually and in collaboration with others.
‘They’re not just passive recipients,’ says Kirsty. ‘They have to internalise and act upon what they see. The teacher then looks at their responses so that they can meet their needs. What we’re talking about here is personalised learning really working.”
“That said, it’s really important to understand, adds Kirsty, that Shireland teachers and students are well used to using their class sites, working collaboratively in a seamless way between home and school. Since we set up our own SharePoint learning platform in 2004, teachers have been used to delivering work out of school hours using our class sites. Now, of course, the advent of SharePoint 2013 and Office365 have added new features to make the whole process easier and quicker.
Sir Mark Grundy, Shireland’s Executive Principal underlined Kirsty’s point by describing to me his observation of a Religious Education lesson which was at the ‘flip’ side of the equation – students had previously been given, on their SharePoint class site, an exam question and a model answer, and asked for their comments. By the time of the lesson, says Sir Mark,
‘On the screen were about twenty lines of dialogue from the student’s online discussion at home – different responses which all fed off each other.’
Voice of the teacher – Office365 supporting learning
Kirsty then offered to gather impressions from teachers of their use of flipped learning with Office365. She sent me two, from teachers Kerry Shoebridge (PE) and Dave Green (Maths). Bearing in mind that these accounts come directly from the classroom, and describe Office365 working to support learning, I decided to reproduce them in full as they were offered.
So Kerry writes.
‘Flipped learning and the use of class sites have become fundamental to progress and succeed within Physical Education. The areas provide students with extra information and collate all relevant resources to support their learning prior to or following a lesson. My GCSE students have been able to access exemplar work for their Physical Exercise Plans, view sporting videos to support their practical assessment, view mock examinations and be a part of somewhat heated class discussions on relevant sporting topics, linking with social media. One student commented on her use of the class site’
"It helps me find my own answers rather than relying on my teacher".
And Dave Green writes,
‘In Mathematics, students use Office365 class sites to access a range of information about their work, from basics such as details of homework deadlines through to lesson activities and detailed feedback on their work. Use of the class sites within lessons, coupled with the facility for students to access their work outside of lessons, helps students to understand and view their learning as a seamless process that takes place both inside and outside the classroom. The students receive more effective feedback on their work through the calendar function on their Office365 class site. Upon accessing the calendar item, students can read general feedback that is applicable to the whole class (common incorrect spellings and misconceptions, for example). Following this, students use a link to a document library where they can access an Excel document; this contains links to a range of feedback videos which students are individually directed to, based on their needs.
These videos contain examples and follow-up questions for students. Students can record any difficulties with these questions on a discussion forum, which can then be checked before the subsequent lesson by the class teacher, ensuring that lesson time is finely tuned to focus on addressing students' misconceptions. Being able to use Office365 in this way has transformed the way that students receive and more importantly understand and act on the feedback I give. When I surveyed my students on the Class Site there was an overwhelming majority that preferred it and found it more helpful."
The point here is that the whole process – the SharePoint learning platform, the class sites, the facility for storing and sharing resources, the seamless home-school working and collaboration are all made possible and accessible through the Office365 working environment.
Originally posted on Microsoft Research Connections Blog
These have been impressive days for European research, highlighted by last year’s discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN and this year’s publication of the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Both are stunning examples of thousands of researchers collaborating to push the boundaries of data-intensive science. But whether you’re part of a team in one of the world’s biggest research facilities or an individual working alone in a university lab, today’s research challenge remains largely the same: more data, more analysis, less time.
Cloud computing can really help researchers resolve the issue of big data and focus on accelerating research breakthroughs and insights. That’s why we’re excited to announce the free, three-part Windows Azure for Research webinar series we are offering starting 20 November. These one-hour, interactive online sessions will bring cloud computing to life, explaining what it is, why it is so useful, and how to use it for your research in practical ways. We’re looking forward to answering your questions live during the sessions, so please join me online to explore:
· Accelerating Your Research with Windows Azure 20 November 2013
· Virtual Machines for Research on Windows Azure 4 December 2013
· Environmental Science on the Cloud with Windows Azure 17 December 2013
Also, we’re bringing our Windows Azure for Research program to Europe and Africa. This week (11–15 November), around 100 researchers will converge on ETH Zurich and the Microsoft Research-INRIA Joint Research Centre near Paris for hands-on training on how to use Windows Azure—Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform—to simplify their data-intensive work. These two-day courses (11–12 November at ETH Zurich; 14–15 November at the Joint Centre) cover everything from Linux virtual machines, IPython, scaling out R and MATLAB calculations, cloud storage, sensor data processing, and, of course, big data processing. We’re delighted to offer several more courses across Europe and Africa over the next few weeks. Sign up now to secure your place and get hands-on experience developing and deploying your research applications in the cloud:
· Cape Town, South Africa, 9–10 December 2013
· Oxford, UK, 20–21 January 2014
· Amsterdam, Netherlands, late March 2014
In addition to the trainings, we’re offering substantial allocations of Windows Azure storage and compute resources for selected proposals through the Windows Azure Research Awards Program. (Learn more about the awards.) We’re currently working with dozens of research teams across the world who responded to the first RFP, including European researchers from the British Library, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Politecnico di Milano, Freiburg University, University College London, Newcastle University, INRIA, Vavilov Institute of General Genetics Russian Academy of Science, and the University of St Andrews. We’re excited to have a range of projects, from bioinformatics and environmental science to image processing and Science 2.0.
We can’t wait to meet you, in person or online, so we can work together to help you take advantage of the cloud to make your research easier, faster, and more scalable. Please join the discussion on our Windows Azure for Research LinkedIn Group and on Twitter via @azure4research and we encourage you to use #azureresearch for all postings.
—Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager, Microsoft Research Connections EMEA
· Windows Azure for Research
· Windows Azure for Research webinar series
· Join our LinkedIn Group
· Join us on Twitter: @azure4research
· Windows Azure for Research Training
· Windows Azure Research Award Program
· Windows Azure home page
· Windows Azure Marketplace
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to you when I tell you that here at the Microsoft Education Department we are head over heels, crazy passionate about the future of coding and the impact that it has and will have on young people. We are a technology company, so it’s almost obvious we would be an advocate for this once specialised skill to be taught throughout the curriculum and with intent of supporting a wide range of industries and job roles in the future. And of course there are those globally recognised tech innovators; Gates, Zuckerberg, Dorsey who also champion the cause of technology skills advancement. But what about people like Will.I.Am, Ashton Kutcher, Snoop Dog or Enrique Iglesias? Whether you know who these mainstream celebrities are or not, I guarantee your students will know who they are.
It seems the word on the relevance of coding across all spheres of life, is out. Here’s what musician and entrepreneur Will.I.Am had to say:
“Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code” – (source code.org website)
He makes a good point, we all use the technology of which coding is the main component and yet the majority of us don’t really know ‘how things work’ just that they work. With this in mind, should we be completely re-evaluating what children are being taught across the entire curriculum, less theory and more practical skills? It seems there are plenty of skills based jobs but only a small proportion of today’s young adults in comparison who could actually fill them.
As you can see, Will.I.Am is not the only one. There is an ever increasing list of mainstream public figures that are standing up and speaking out to support the teaching and learning of coding in our schools. This particular U.S based campaign, Hour of code is run by not for profit organisation Code.Org, who are dedicated to increasing the awareness and interest in coding with both students and teachers by providing opportunities to learn computer programming. One of their key goals includes harnessing the collective power of the tech community to celebrate and grow computer science education worldwide as well as encouraging more women to take an interest in programming.
You may have also heard of Kodu, A visual programming tool to enhance computer science learning. Primarily designed for KS1 – KS3 school children, the engaging software encourages young learners to grasp the basics of software engineering through a hand-held, step by step pathway that is approachable, fun and unintimidating.
It also provides a charming and accessible introduction to older children, young adults and grown-ups who are taking their first steps in gaining the technical skills required for our digital society.
And then there’s the Kodu Kup which is open to anyone from UK schools aged between seven and fourteen. Children are encouraged to enter as part of a team to work together and advance their ideas. Teachers can enter pupils’ work through the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network where teachers can access resources and continuous support.
So it seems that coding is also making waves in the UK. In the first 3 months we saw Kodu downloaded 70,000 times and with this level of demand we held Kodathon training events up and down the country.
We are also pleased to announce that Kodu has been nominated as for the Free digital content/Open educational resources award at the BETT Awards 2014.
Tablet Academy CEO, Steve Molyneux understands what’s involved with integrating devices into a classroom setting. For educational institutions a lot rides on the success of the transition and so having a well thought out plan that makes for a simple and fun adoption is paramount. Not least, building technical ability and confidence with the educators is at the forefront of their organisation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the work Steve and his team have done with schools and educators across the UK, I encourage you to watch our video interview with him as he also demonstrates the ease and workability of a Windows 8 device.
Here is another great opportunity to find out more about the use of Tablet Technology in Schools.
We would like to invite you to the first Tablets for Schools Conference.
This will be held on Monday 9th December at the QEII Centre, Westminster, London. (REGISTER HERE)
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP (former Secretary of State for Education), will be delivering a keynote on ‘The Future of Learning’ to over 400 head teachers, senior leaders and decision makers.
The conference will be hosted by Andrew Percy MP (Conservative), who is a former teacher with a passionate interest in the future of education and the way in which technology can improve this.
The conference is the largest conference of its kind, by schools, for schools. The following secondary schools have already successfully embedded 1:1 tablet schemes and will be delivering practical workshops on using tablets to support teaching and learning:
Hove Park School St. Michael’s CE High School Longfield Academy The Westminster School Chiswick School Writhlington School Honywood School Lion Academy Trust Greenford High School Cramlington Learning Village.
This conference will provide over 400 head teachers, senior leaders and decision makers with practical experience of tablet use in schools through interactive workshops and seminars, held by some of the schools involved in our research. Key themes include pedagogy, curriculum design, training, IT infrastructure and finance.
More information on the agenda and workshops can be found here.
The conference is the largest independent networking event of its type for school leaders looking to use tablets within the curriculum.
Hosted by... Conservative MP, Andrew Percy - an ex-teacher with a passionate interest in the future of education and how technology can drive improve this.
Delegates… will receive a concierge service who to provide support in answering questions relating to the workshops, themes of the day and exhibitors.
There are only 400 tickets available and you can get your tickets here. All proceeds from the conference will be reinvested into the next stages of research.
Microsoft Education will be supporting the conference, and we look forward to seeing you there.
Book your place now www.tabletsforschools.org.uk
Originally posted by Lee Stott on Microsoft UK Faculty Connection Blog on 3rd April 2012
Over the past few days I have had a few questions re how does a University go about installing Enterprise apps onto Windows 8 machines without having to setup Microsoft Live IDs on each of the machines,
As your all aware from the Consumer preview, applications are installed via the Microsoft Store, authentication to the store is based upon your Microsoft LiveID. As a consumer you simply click on the store icon and use the Windows 8 Store to get an application onto Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
However if you are an Enterprise looking to get Metro applications onto your employees/students or lab Windows 8 desktops then you will likely want to do it more directly.
Which is where “sideloading” fits in.
Microsoft Technet has detailed documentation on Windows 8 Sideloading to add and remove line-of-business (LOB) Metro style apps
At which point installing an app is as simple as
Additionally you can also remove apps via this process
More details on the Windows Store can be found here
And Building Windows 8 blog
Check out the links below for a recap of all of this weeks blog posts.
DreamSpark Student Review: Alex Furnell, University Student
Are Tablets the biggest transformation in education since the internet?
Windows 8 Apps to enhance student productivity in the classroom
UTC Reading students are first in the UK to get professional Microsoft qualifications and become IT Academy
Flipping the Classroom
Importance of Computer Science in the Curriculum Conference, sponsored by ASCL and Microsoft