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  • Blog Post: System Center for education - webinar recordings from end of November

    At the end of November, Rich Lane the resident techie of the education team ran a couple of webinars. If you want to have a listen in, you can view the recordings below. Secrets of successful desktop virtualisation: The Optimised Desktop VDI is a hot topic at the moment but what actually is it? When...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Education White Paper - Baby steps into the Cloud

    Gerald Haigh, an education writer and journalist, has close contacts within many education establishments. It was because of this that we asked him to interview a wide group of people about the use of Cloud services in education, which meant understanding what's going on today, as well as what the future...
  • Blog Post: Free Microsoft ebooks - feed the geek inside you

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the free Virtualisation ebook . I'm still working my way through it on my Kindle - I've got to page 156 of 480, and am currently in the detail of desktop virtualisation. It's been really useful to help me understand some of the technical things I'd never understood about...
  • Blog Post: Start the term with new Office academic templates

    Am I the only one who gets bored with a document format after a few months, and then wants a completely different design? That PowerPoint that looked so smart last year looks a bit clichéd this term. A document which looked professional when you first published it, doesn’t look quite so good when it...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 deployment advice for college IT managers

    Sometimes we publish so much information on a subject, in so many different places, that it’s tricky to find the wood from the trees – and that problem is as big for me as it is for people outside of Microsoft. So I’m always happy to find a resource where somebody applies an editorial approach – making...
  • Blog Post: How to manage the risk of Internet Explorer 6

    If you’re still running Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) within your campus, instead of being on a later version, then you’re probably doing it for a very good reason – especially as many websites are reducing or removing support for IE6 (for example Google and YouTube both dropped IE6 support this year). And...
  • Blog Post: WebMatrix - making it easier to deploy Moodle, Joomla! and WordPress

    I noticed last week that Scott Guthrie announced the release of the beta of WebMatrix . Basically, it’s an easy and free way to get started building Web sites on Windows. WebMatrix is a tool for building, customising and deploying your Web sites in one common, straightforward way. The idea is that WebMatrix...
  • Blog Post: Deploying Windows 7 - Best practice deployment methods

    Last week we ran a pair of Windows 7 Live Meetings " Deploying Windows 7 – Best Practice Deployment Methods to Save You Time and Money ". Over 200 people attended, but I’m guessing that there will be others who would have liked to attend and couldn’t make the time. So the Live Meeting is now...
  • Blog Post: Live@edu Implementation Guide

    Ben Nunney, who writes the UK Live@edu blog , has just finished updating the Live@edu Implementation Guide . It covers a wide range of advice and guidance that is helpful as you plan to move your email services to the free Live@edu service, based in our cloud datacentres in Dublin. ( This link will tell...
  • Blog Post: What’s new in the Office 2010 applications

    I’ve indexed all of the different product guides for the new Office 2010 applications. There are two separate documents for most of the products – the Overview version is a short two-page summary, and then there’s a detailed Product Guide which goes into much more detail. The Overview document is...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 and Vista Explained - A guide for blind and partially sighted users from the RNIB

    The RNIB have announced that their Windows 7 and Vista Explained books for blind and partially sighted users are now available to pre-order, and will be shipped by the end of May. It's a step-by-step guide to Windows 7 and Vista from a non-visual perspective,and is specifically written to empower blind...
  • Blog Post: More Moodle advice – The Moodle on SharePoint white paper

    The team over at the Microsoft Education Labs have been busy over the last few weeks. If you’re new to it, Education Labs was created by the Microsoft Education Products Group to build and release new product prototypes and useful add-ons, specifically for education use. Following on from the Office...
  • Blog Post: FE Principal’s discussion group

    We held a meeting today, with 18 college Principal’s and IT Directors, which was both a briefing session, and an opportunity for discussion about the changes going on in the FE sector currently. It was a much more informal, and interactive, meeting than last week’s full FE Briefing , and had a mix of...
  • Blog Post: First Look at Office 2010 – free e-book

    Every day is a day closer to the Office 2010 release (due on 12th May for volume licence customers , and June for consumers ). And I know of quite a few UK education institutions that are widely using the free Office 2010 beta in teaching already. If you’re preparing for a rapid roll out of Office 2010...
  • Blog Post: All the slides from the Microsoft Further Education Briefing 2010

    Today was the date for our Further Education Briefing 2010, and around 90 colleges came to our London headquarters to get an update on latest news from us, as well as hearing from other UK colleges on their projects and plans. I’ve put a brief note on each of the individual presentations below, so...
  • Blog Post: Free anti-virus protection for home computers – good news for staff and students

    I was suprised to discover I hadn’t blogged this before. So if you’ve renewed an anti-virus subscription for your home computer since last October, when this was launched, then I’m sorry! We have launched a free anti-virus programme, Microsoft Security Essentials , which is for Windows XP, Windows Vista...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 in Welsh

    We’ve just released the Language Interface Pack for Windows 7 in Welsh. It’s free as a result of the collaboration between Microsoft and Welsh Language Board. As the press release makes clear, we pay for the work, and the Welsh Language Board provide the translators through the Cymen translation company...
  • Blog Post: Eduserv’s report into the use of SharePoint by Higher Education Institutions

    I know, I know, this is an FE blog. BUT every now and again there’s something published in the HE community that is going to be useful for you. And some of the detail in these reports is really handy for reviewing your own ICT strategy in college. The final report from the University of Northumbria,...
  • Blog Post: Ribbon Hero – combining games and learning

    It seems that one of the trendy topics discussed at education conferences these days is the combination of gaming and learning. Most of the time, it’s discussed in the context of the classroom or of students, but I’ve just learnt that we’ve now applied it to product training, in one of our experimental...
  • Blog Post: A plain English Guide to Data Protection

    I keep an eye on the Information Commissioner’s Office press releases on their website ( in the hope that we’re not going to see schools appearing too often ), where I suspect they have a busy Press Officer producing a constant stream of news (last 2 weeks : Recruitment firms fined; mobile phone customers...
  • Blog Post: Office 2010 Beta Available

    Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 have all reached the Beta milestone and are now available for download . Remember how sometimes you felt smug when you were running Windows 7 Beta at least 6 months before your colleagues and friends? Well, you can feel it once again! What’s new...
  • Blog Post: Online learning is better than face-to-face learning?

    The US Department of Education sponsored the Center for Technology in Learning to look into the effectiveness of online learning – and to specifically compare the effectiveness of using online learning compared to face to face learning. The results, published in May, are on the www.ed.gov website, for...
  • Blog Post: The Good Blogging Guide - PDF version now available

    After a little bit of prompting, and a few requests, I’ve pulled the chapters of the “ Good Blogging Guide ” into a complete PDF booklet. You can now download the whole thing as a PDF and read it at your leisure, and share with colleagues. Chapter One – Writing for your audience Chapter Two – Have an...
  • Blog Post: Free Windows 7 Release Candidate download will end shortly

    This isn’t specific to FE, but as it hasn’t got much coverage worldwide, I thought it worth a mention. If you’re thinking of experimenting with Windows 7 in the summer holidays – eg testing some of your old educational software using the XP compatibility mode – then you may want to know that the free...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 networking enhancements for education

    I’ve just finished reading the whitepaper about networking enhancements that are included within Windows 7, which are especially powerful when combined with Windows Server 2008 R2. Although I’m not the most technical person in the team, it made sense to me, and a couple of key features jumped out at...
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