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  • Blog Post: Microsoft Technologies at Barnsley College

    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...
  • Blog Post: Creating a leading edge ICT platform to support teaching and learning

    Charteris Microsoft technologies case study The Edinburgh Academy may be nearly 200 years old, but its use of technology is completely up-to-date. With support from Charteris, this prestigious independent school for boys and girls has implemented the latest Microsoft desktop and server operating systems...
  • Blog Post: Office 365 for Education case study video

    Great for academic institutions that are ready to take advantage of the cloud. Office 365 offers free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing. We’ve got a great video that shows how Office 365 for education has enabled the University of Massachusetts...
  • Blog Post: Open University Makes Major Saving over Five Years with Unified Communications

    The Open University (OU)—which specialises in distance learning—is the biggest university in the United Kingdom (U.K.). It needed to reduce costs and improve communication among its 5,000 office-based academic and administrative staff, giving them access to features such as instant messaging and presence...
  • Blog Post: The Open University makes significant cost and efficiency savings through the use of Microsoft Lync 2010

    Contribution from freelance writer, Gerald Haigh.   Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft UK Education blogs.   I graduated from the Open University , I’m proud to say, as a member of the very first intake – the “Class of ‘71”. Earlier this Summer we were royally treated to a celebration...
  • Blog Post: Halving the cost of servers at Leicester College with virtualisation

    As we talk about cost saving we keep coming back to server virtualisation. I don’t feel the need to make any excuse for that, because as so many colleges have discovered not only does it provide substantial cost savings – and we all know how important that is – but it can also provide a better and more...
  • Blog Post: How Microsoft uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 features to enhance our own security

    The Microsoft IT team publish case studies of how we've used our own products within our own infrastructure - sharing their real-life experiences. This month there's a case study about the way that we've implemented the security features in Windows Server 2008 R2, along with Windows 7 on the desktop...
  • Blog Post: Kingston University starts virtualising the desktop experience for 25,000 students and staff

    I’ve just been reading a press release from Quest , about Kingston University’s project to to give staff and students virtual access to their university desktop and learning resources from any location, on a wide range of devices, at any time. With 23,000 students, and 2,000 full-time staff to serve...
  • Blog Post: Saving money - how to get started with server virtualisation

    I’ve been writing quite a bit about examples of education establisments virtualising their servers, especially as it is one way to significantly reduce your college IT and energy spend. We published a case study on Leicester College on their virtualisation project earlier this year. As Paul Chapman,...
  • Blog Post: Building Clouds - how to make a data centre more energy efficient

    We have a team, called Microsoft Global Foundation Services , who have the job of building clouds. Or at least, building ‘the Cloud’ – they design, build, run and support our global data centres which are at the hub of all of our cloud services. In Europe, we have one in Ireland and one in Holland. I...
  • Blog Post: What is our CIO thinking about?

    If you are responsible for IT in a large organisation, then one of the biggest challenges you face is the huge pressure from internal and external forces for constant change – and also to reduce your budgets. The Microsoft Chief Information Officer Tony Scott is no different. I recommend taking ten minutes...
  • Blog Post: Maintaining High Availability for Microsoft.com

    There’s an interesting TechNet article all about how our IT team keep Microsoft.com up and running . Alongside the article, there’s also a webcast available, so that you can explore the story in more detail. As learning becomes more reliant on technology generally, and the web specifically, then there...
  • Blog Post: South East Essex College and DMS do Windows 7

    Certainly the first in the UK and Europe, South East Essex College went for a complete roll-out of Windows 7 for the start of term in September, making it the biggest educational user of Windows 7 at the start of term. They moved everything together – all of their workstations moved from Windows XP and...
  • Blog Post: Business Intelligence in education - turning data into information

    With increasing governance and fiscal demands, Northumbria University needed a way for their managers to quickly and easily track critical financial and student data.  After implementing the Business Intelligence solution, their stakeholders now have access to near real-time, streaming reports to...
  • Blog Post: Timetabling at Sussex Downs College

    Tribal's ebs , a web-based student record and management system, is capable of managing the entire student lifecycle, from course marketing to examinations and timetables. And it’s currently used by more than 150 learning providers. You might be familiar with ebs, and some of the other systems that are...
  • Blog Post: Darwinian Databases on video

    The Windows Server launch team have made available the video of the Cambridge University team, who are using modern database technologies to solve a centuries-old data analysis problem. If you're into databases, and their uses, then this is a good video to watch now. But if you're like me, and the mysteries...
  • Blog Post: Unlocking the Secrets of Darwinian Research at Cambridge University

    It's always pleasing when the work of education establishments is held up as a shining example of best practice use of technology. And it was pleasing last month, at the Windows Server 2008 launch event, that there was a fascinating insight into the way that one of the research teams at Cambridge University...
  • Blog Post: Brockenhurst College: Reducing a carbon footprint

    Brockenhurst College, in the New Forest, has a well-earned reputation for technological innovation. Their Beacon Technology Centre , opened in 2006, is a visual treat. They have been updating their IT infrastructure across the college, as part of a drive to reduce their carbon footprint. That's included...
  • Blog Post: Coventry's web-based voting with SharePoint

    You're probably already familiar with SharePoint, and some of its capabilities to support communication and collaboration for both students and staff. But what never ceases to amaze me are the other uses that people find for it in education. Coventry University has 17,000 students, and has recently moved...
  • Blog Post: Partners in Learning 2007 Progress Report

    The Partners in Learning (PiL) programme from Microsoft has been running for 5 years now (and 3 years in the UK), and has supported a wide range of educational projects in conjunction with government and educational agencies worldwide. In the UK, we've been working with organisations including the TDA...
  • Blog Post: Salford Software and Live @ Edu

    Salford Software is hosting an event on 2 nd April at the Microsoft offices in Reading to explore Microsoft Live @ edu (one of the services that's part of Collaborative Campus) The agenda presents an information packed half-day, offering you the opportunity to hear more about Microsoft Live @ edu, and...
  • Blog Post: Collaboration - do we need fresh ideas?

    At today's College Principals' Meeting, I came across a new word "ideation" - which a colleague used on one of his slides. I'm not sure if it's a 'real' world, or one that sounded good when it went on a slide. It reminded me of my first few months when I joined Microsoft - there were all kinds of acronyms...
  • Blog Post: IT Forum: Neil Williams, University of Derby

    (Although this article is university focused, and therefore would normally only be on our Higher Education blog , I thought it was worth sharing on the FE blog too, as it has relevance to colleges who are facing some of the same issues Neil & I discussed below) At IT Forum last week, I ran into an...
  • Blog Post: Live Meeting for Virtual Classes?

    We've had a few questions about the use of Live Meeting and whether we have examples in the UK. The short answer is no, not at the moment. However, we do have a case study from the US which looks intertesting and worth a look. http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000000738...
  • Blog Post: Thin Client, Rich Client or hybrid?

    My colleague Michael Royster, in Microsoft Consulting Services, has just finished a briefing document on the approaches available to implementation, addressing the questions about thin client versus rich client, and provides excellent advice and insight into how you can plan for the most appropriate...
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