With the recent announcement of the Kinect SDK there will, I am sure, be some great examples of interesting uses of Kinect within education appearing over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I thought I would share the following videos of the Kinect in action. Impressive stuff!
Have you come across any interesting examples of the Kinect in action? It would be great if you could share what you have found in the comments below.
Also, how do you think Kinect can be best used for teaching and learning?
Furthermore, if you work in HE and are interested in the Kinect SDK, why not sign up to our launch event (21st June) to learn more.
Originally posted by Leighton Searle on the Microsoft UK Government Blog
All local authorities hold significant volumes of data, from information about population to the location of parking spaces, for example. The challenge is knowing how best to use the data that is available in useful ways to improve citizen satisfaction with public services . Westminster City Council and Microsoft have teamed up to run a competition for anyone who works, lives or studies in Westminster to come up with ideas for smartphone apps or websites that use publicly available data from Westminster Council, and other sources, to innovate and contribute to improving life for residents, businesses and visitors.
Check if you are eligible to enter, then all you have to do is simply tell us:
The closing date for entries is Monday 18th July. All applications will be considered by a judging panel from Westminster City Council and Microsoft.
In addition to the kudos of potentially seeing your idea put into development, the winner will receive an Xbox 360 and Kinect and the Runner-up will receive an Arc keyboard and mouse.
All entries will be winners in the respect that your contributions will help us to understand the types of data that you would find useful if it were published. The competition is part of our transparency agenda to publish information on council spending and other data that is of interest to residents, businesses and visitors.
Full details of the Westminster City Council and Microsoft ‘Smart Data’ challenge can be found here.
We encourage you to get your creative heads on and come up with your ideas before the competition closing date of July 18th.
The Microsoft academic team are delighted to confirm the focus of our “Special Applied Research on Windows” Academic event on the 21st June is the Kinect for Windows SDK Beta
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a programming toolkit for application developers. It enables the academic and enthusiast communities’ easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system.
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta, includes drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and natural user interfaces, installation documents, and resource materials. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.
This is a UK Academic Event only! Please ensure you register with a valid .ac.uk email address to ensure your place is confirmed!
The event will take place at the Microsoft UK Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1WG.
21 June 2011 Kinect for Windows SDK Agenda
· 09:30 Arrivals – Registration
· 10:00 Welcome – introductions, Geoff Hughes, Developer Platform Evangelism
· 10:10 Highlights from Kinect SDK launch
· 10:30 The Science of Kinect, Andrew Fitzgibbon, PhD, Microsoft Research Cambridge
· 11:15 BREAK
· 11:40 Collaborating with Microsoft Research, Kenji Takeda , PhD, Microsoft Research
· 11:50 Overview of Kinect SDK, Dave Brown, PhD, Microsoft Technology Centre
· 12:30 Q&A / Next Steps
· 12:45 Networking and Lunch
· 13:30 Close
If appropriate, we ask each academic visitor to bring a graduate student to the event who works on applied research topics.
To apply for a place
Register via the web here: URL: Invite Code: F58492
This post originally featured on the Microsoft UK Faculty Connection Blog
We all, I am sure, come across interesting links as we surf the internet during the week. With this in mind, we thought it might be useful to share a selection of some of the content we stumble across on a weekly basis on this blog.
While we all love those videos of piano playing cats etc, the links we share here will be focused on technology in education from both a teaching and learning and traditional IT perspective.
To kick start this weekly series of posts, here are 5 links that caught my eye over the last week.
Have you come across anything interesting online over the last week? If so, it would be great if you could share it in the comments below. I will then update the post with a selection of those shared.
Have a great weekend!
On Friday I attended ULCC's Round Table session focussed on outsourcing in HE. A formal summary document is going to be released within the next couple of weeks by the folks at ULCC, so I will hold off presenting a full overview of the key discussion points. Much like the Intellect Education Group event I attended last week, though, I thought it would still be useful to share a quick synopsis of morning.
The round table was made up of approximately 12 members of the HE IT community, which included the IT Directors from LSE, Imperial College, Kings College London and UCL.
Brilliantly facilitated by Andy Maggs from Vadis, the session kicked off with a request for a general show of hands to illustrate who has had their budgets cut for the coming year. With an expectation prior to the event that most institutions would have their budgets cuts, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all delegates around the table had actually had a budget increase for IT related projects.
The types of investments that IT departments within those institutions represented are focusing on, though, is changing from recent years. This is particularly impacting the general attitude towards outsourcing.
With the introduction of the Browne Report, the student experience is now, more than ever, a core focus for the IT function within institutions. With this in mind, IT service delivery is now an institutional priority from a commercial perspective and can now be a real USP for those institutions that fully embrace the opportunities around putting the student at the heart of all IT investments.
So with increased IT budgets and a need to put the student experience front and centre of all future IT investments, outsourcing and cloud based technologies, in particular, are becoming an integral component of the IT strategy moving forward.
So how many of those in attendance have already, or are planning, to outsource key services?
In contrast to the FE perspective that was presented during the Intellect Education event I attended recently, all of those institutions represented are already outsourcing and plan to continue outsourcing IT services. Furthermore, while cost is a driving factor, resiliency and other efficiencies are also significant in terms of influencing this decision.
Reducing the amount of long term commitments, managed inline with the finance strategy, is also a major driver.
So with outsourcing becoming commonplace within the HE community, what impact does this have on the future of the IT professional?
The consensus across the table during the session was that the future of the IT pro in HE is going to be more about vendor management and understanding the wider business challenges facing the institution, rather than just managing servers and networks.
Furthermore, making vendors essentially an extension of the IT department is important, which again supports the need for effective vendor and SLA management to make this a reality.
With this in mind, one suggestion from the group with regard to this was could the new brokerage service proposed by JANET(UK) help assist institutions to better manage their vendor relations?
This desire to work more collaboratively with vendors fully supports the desires of the FE community, as expressed during the Intellect Education Group meeting.
Key challenges/trends for the future
Bring your own IT, whereby both students and staff are encouraged to bring their own devices on campus is only around the corner and services that help deliver IT anywhere and at anytime, such as Live@EDU/Office 365, will play an important role in achieving this goal. The mobile piece is obviously a significant consideration here.
This session, the second in a series of ULCC round table events, challenged some of my preconceived ideas about the evolution of the sector from an IT perspective and look forward to the next gathering.
In the meantime, I will keep a close eye out for the formal summary document that should be released within the next couple of weeks.
What are your experiences of both budgets and outsourcing to date? Do your experiences match those of the round table panel? It would be great to hear your thoughts below.
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