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July, 2008 - The UK Higher Education Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The HE Blog
News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team
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July, 2008

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Identity Assurance, Kim Cameron in the UK


    Unfortunately I missed Kim Cameron during his most recent visit to the UK but thankfully Jerry Fishenden has published this on his blog  with a link to an article Jerry wrote,with Kim's help in a Computer Weekly article.

    Jerry's article discusses how technology can help to solve identity issues right across society whilst respecting the need to adhere to the security and public services needs of government and the privacy concerns of the citizen.

    Anyway, minimal disclosure is the key so I'll say no more and let you get on with the real article.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Event: The future of technology in education


    One of Microsoft's education partners in the UK, Waterstons, is hosting an event with Durham Business School and Microsoft in Durham on the 6 August 2008 at image12:00.

    The Agenda will be based on the following:

    Registration and refreshments - 12:00pm
    Seminar starts at 12:30pm

    • Introduction
    • IT Strategy: Durham Business School
      • Colin Ashurst , Senior Teaching Fellow in MIS at Durham Business School talks about the institute’s strategy for using technology to improve the student experience.
    • Virtual Learning Environment
      • Waterstons’ Chris Fenly and Daniel Halliday discuss the benefi ts of using MOSS 2007 as the platform for a comprehensive Virtual Learning Environment for full time, part time & distance learning students.
    • Efficient Administration
      • Lesley Renteurs and David Challenor from Waterstons discuss the use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for admissions and programme management and the use of business intelligence tools in education.
    • Effective Marketing
      • Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide high quality service for prospective students and MOSS 2007 as a web authoring tool.
    • Virtualisation in Education
      • Simon Birbeck from Waterstons will discuss the use of the latest technologies for creating a secure and resilient IT infratructure
    • Buffet & Demonstrations


    For further details and to register, please contact Michael King at Waterstons on 0845 094 094 5

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Campus Agreement – eLearning benefit


    Something that has come up several times recently, especially since a recent UCISA event in Oxford is what education/learning material customers entitled to under the Campus Agreement.  The good news is, quite a lot actually and there is no bad news.

    There are two areas to explore:

    1. E-Learning as part of Software Assurance through the Campus Agreement
    2. Microsoft IT Academy Programme


    (I hope your reader shows this table, I’m experimenting)


    For every Microsoft Office System program license covered under Software Assurance through your Campus Agreement, you are entitled to one license for Information Worker Software Assurance E-Learning.

    For every Windows client license covered under Software Assurance through your Campus Agreement, you are entitled to one license for Client Software Assurance E-Learning.

    For every server license covered with Software Assurance through your Campus Agreement, you are entitled to one license for Server Software Assurance E-Learning.

    In order to find out what eLearning courses your institution is entitled to you should view the Benefit Summary. It always depends on what products and how many copies you have purchased and therefore might include desktop and server products.

    · Sign on to MVLS ( and click on to the "Software Assurance Benefits" link in the grey menu bar on the left side of the page.

    · This will lead to the Benefit Summary. Click on to the eLearning benefit and follow the instructions given.

    · Once you have activated the benefit, there will be a link displayed on this site called "Product download". There they can select to download SA eLearnng IW/Systems/servers.

    · SA E-Learning (client) benefit includes learning courses on Microsoft operating systems.

    · SA E-learning (IW) benefit includes learning courses on Microsoft application software.

    · SA E-Learning (Server) benefit includes learning courses on Microsoft server products.

    More information here

    Microsoft IT Academy Programme

    As we all know, Education establishments face numerous challenges: they have to identify worthwhile IT courses that will equip their students with the skills they need to attract employers, while training their staff intelligently to give them both the knowledge and confidence they need to deliver against exacting standards. Additionally, many are also providing IT courses that cater for adult learners.

    The Microsoft IT Academy Programme supports education establishments by providing them with the tools and resources needed to deliver quality IT training.  Many universities in the UK are already signed up for this and here are some sites with examples of how they are rolling it out:

    Sheffield Hallam University

    Derby University

    University of Sunderland

    Sorry for all those numerous one that are not on this list such as York, the Open University, Nottingham Trent University etc…

    To find out how to get your institution involved with the IT academy programme then drop us a line.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    University of Northampton and live@edu


    It’s been a pleasure to work with the folk at the University of Northampton over the last year whilst they evaluate, implement, test, pilot and deploy live@edu to their Live@edu graphicstudents.  So, I’m really pleased to see that this has been a success in the university and Pauline Jewell (Head of MIS) sent me a link to an on-line copy of BiblioTech, which is the university’s Information Services Newsletter.  In the article, Through the Digital Window on page 3, Pauline talks about the university’s previous “creaky” email service, Mailman, which has now been overtaken by other systems and it only had basic functionality with an ‘old-fashioned’ interface.  The article goes on to talk about the decision process the university undertook when looking to Mailman’s successor and mentions considerations such as:

    • Cost
    • Availability and resilience
    • ‘State of the art’ functionality
    • Storage
    • Support
    • Scale

    Northampton was impressed by the fact it could set up accounts at the first point of contact a prospective student has with the university.  They can then enable this identity and its connected services as they manage the life-cycle of the student’s relationship with the university all with one ID.  The University has also taken advantage of this new service to look at the naming convention for email, instead of the previous numeric system a more favourable “” will now be used for each student on Live.

    Northampton expects Live to improve the student experience from day one and will see its students use the mail service, messenger, spaces and calendars all with online support from Microsoft and all with one recognised, respected and Northampton branded ID.  Pauline comments “Live is here and it feels like another milestone in how digital technology helps us to support our students”.  For the full article please visit here.

    For more information on Microsoft’s hosted student services please visit

  • The UK Higher Education Blog



    Not sure if I can get away with such a corny title but, hey, I’m trying to unleash my creativity for the summer holidays

    OneNote I’m a fan of OneNote, but I know that it’s relatively undiscovered by teachers and students. It is included in the version of Office Home & Student that’s sold through retailers, and the version that we promoted to university students through “The Ultimate Steal” and also in the Office Enterprise version that many universities use. It’s a good organisational tool for students, because it allows them to drop their thinking onto a page, without having to think about structure or fitting into a pre-conceived idea of whether a spreadsheet, word processor or presentation tool is the right thing to start with.

    As well as allowing handwriting, it is also good to drop text, photos etc into. And if you want to clip a bit of info from a website, it also makes a note of the URL it came from – which means that a month later, when you want to find the source of the pretty chart/clever quote, you can find your way back easily. Which makes it especially useful for students as they go through a year taking notes and assembling information.

    The only problem I find with OneNote is that it is difficult to get started with, because you start with a blank piece of lined paper, and can start typing/drawing/pasting anywhere on the page (which for me, brought up in the word processor generation, is a bit odd – I like things to start in the top left-hand corner!).

    So it was relief to come across Mike Tholfsen’s blog – he’s one of the Test Managers on the OneNote team, and has an infectious enthusiasm for everything OneNotey.

    The OneNote and Education blog has some really useful pointers – to sample student notebooks, the teacher toolkits and training videos. Mike’s got an infectious style, and spends a lot of time with searching out OneNote stories from education around the world, including IslayIan from the UK.

    And if you wanted an incentive to see how OneNote could be used, then take a look at the video below, from the OneNote Tips page on

    Video: Collaboration using OneNote
  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Microsoft’s Information Security Symposium Event


    The steam roller of Information Security continues to run down the hill towards education. Becta’s in the driving seat, and they haven’t really started the engine. By the time the new term begins, there will be new guidance on what you should be doing (read my previous posts on the Schools Blog). So it is absolutely timely to think about half a day aside to attend the free Microsoft Security Symposium for the Public Sector on Tuesday September 16th at our main London offices, near Victoria Station.

    If you’ve not heard about new Government guidelines for Information Security, then sit down before you read this website and the specific Mandatory Mininimum Measures (and yes, it does apply to universities)


    Effective use of information is absolutely central to the challenges facing Government today – whether in improving health, tackling child poverty or protecting the public from crime and terrorism.  Those in public service need to keep that information secure in order to build public confidence.  This is essential to underpin greater data sharing to deliver personalised services and make us more effective.”

    Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary
    Foreword to Cabinet Office Report – Data Handling Procedures in Government, June 2008

    Managing information risk today means looking even further into the future. Increasingly, mobile and distributed technologies require new forms of monitoring and data protection.  Internet-based applications and services that store and process valuable information need new levels of responsibility on the part of management and users.  Regulations against leakage will only be met through unprecedented levels of security awareness and information expertise on the part of users.

    Recent reviews by the Cabinet Office (Data Handling Procedures in Government - June 2008) and the Information Commissioner (Data Sharing Review – July 2008) are a clear indication of how seriously Government takes the challenges of information security. 

    The Microsoft Security Symposium for the Public Sector on Tuesday September 16th at the Microsoft Campus in Reading will focus on the unique challenges that all Public Sector organisations need to address to protect citizen data and sensitive information more effectively.  Our Security Symposium takes a holistic view of information governance and security by examining the people, process AND technology components of effective organisational security.

    You’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of security experts including:

    • Roger Styles, Head, Central Sponsor for Information Assurance (CSIA), Cabinet Office
    • CESG (they're the approval agency for technology that meets Government’s security requirements)
    • Jacques Erasmus, Director of Malware Research, Prevx
    • Ed Gibson, Microsoft UK’s Chief Security Advisor
    • Tony Neate, Managing Director, Get Safe Online
    • The event is open to all IT, security and information governance and compliance in education.

    You can review the full agenda, which runs from 9.30-1.15, and reserve your place here:


    PHONE: 0870 166 6680 (Event reference: 3169)

  • The UK Higher Education Blog



    Mesh Well, it’s getting closer and for anyone not able to get access to Live Mesh yet then this should be good news.  My view is that Mesh would be just great for students by providing multi-point/device access to data.  Perhaps universities will introduce it as part of their live@edu deployment when the time is ready?  Well, for the time being, I know many are watching Live Mesh with anticipation.

    I’ve just received this email to my Hotmail:

    FirstquotesThe Live Mesh team is pleased to announce the release of our next update, available later today. We are making Live Mesh available to more people and we've greatly streamlined the sign-up process. We've also made a number of general performance improvements. See below for the details, and thank you for using Live Mesh.

    Version numbers

    · Live Mesh software: 0.9.3103.9

    · Live Desktop: 0.9.3103.9


    • Raised the limit on the total number of customers we'll allow to access the Live Mesh Tech Preview.
    • Expanded availability: you can sign up directly, with no waiting list, if your country/region is the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand.
    • Removed the limit on the number of Live Mesh invitations you have. Invite new friends and family members to the Live Mesh Tech Preview.
    • For our customers in countries/regions other than those above, we've greatly simplified the waiting list process. You no longer need to sign up through Microsoft Connect. You can sign in with your Windows Live ID on, click Sign Up, and you'll automatically be notified once Live Mesh is available in your country/region.
    • Improved the performance of peer-to-peer synchronization.
    • General performance improvements.

    User Account Control (UAC) notice

    If you're running Windows Vista and recently turned off UAC, you may have to turn on UAC to install this update. Please see the Live Mesh forums for further information.

    Did you know?

    You can install Live Mesh on multiple devices-then Live Mesh can keep all the folders in your mesh synchronized for you. To add a computer to your mesh, visit from the computer you wish to add, sign in, and click Add Device on the Devices page.

    To get even more from Live Mesh, share folders with friends and family. Simply open a folder you've added to Live Mesh, click Members in the mesh bar, and then click Add.* Your friends will be able to access your folder as well as install Live Mesh on their devices.

    * You can enter any e-mail address to invite others to a folder; it doesn't have to be a Windows Live ID. However, they will need to use a Windows Live ID to sign in to and use Live Mesh.


    Thanks for being one of the first to use Live Mesh. We're working hard to create the best experience and appreciate any feedback you have. Please send us feedback using our online form. You can also submit (and view others') feedback and bugs here on the Microsoft Connect website.

    Thank you,
    The Live Mesh team Endquotes


    So get meshing and then think what your students could do with it.

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