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October, 2011 - 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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October, 2011

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Productivity Future Vision Video


    The future of technology in education means many things to many different people. eBooks, natural user interfaces, touch screens, gaming in education and the consumerisation of IT are all themes that are voiced when the topic comes up for debate. A hot topic, for sure!

    Gaming in education and the consumerisation of IT in education, in particular, are topics that we are going to cover on the blog over the coming months. BETT 2012 will definitely be an area where we will be expanding on this further. Keep an eye out for our special BETT themed series of blog posts.

    While not dedicated specifically to education, our latest Productivity Future Vision video presents an exciting and inspiring glimpse into the technologies of the future. Many of which have a direct correlation with the trends that are developing around the future of technology in education.

    Check out the video below:

    My Christmas list would be pretty long if some of these technologies were available now. The translation glasses and transparent fridge are my personal favourites!


  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Kinect outside of gaming


    In the space of a year, Kinect for XBOX 360 has come a long way. Quickly becoming the fastest selling consumer electronics device of all time and recently crowned T3 gadget of the year, the innovative device is now used for a wide range of non-gaming applications.

    The recent release of the Kinect SDK has seen the creation of some inspiring education applications and we are also seeing some amazing uses of the technology within the health care, research and science sectors.

    With regard to education in particular, we will be focusing on how the Kinect is playing a key role in the gaming in education trend that is currently building momentum across the sector.  A dedicated series of posts on this topic will be featured on the blog leading up to BETT 2012.

    In the meantime, though, we thought we would share the following video that showcases some of the exciting ways that the Kinect is being used outside of the gaming arena. Powerful stuff!

    I have lost count of the number of times I have watched this during my lunch break and nicely presents how technologies such as natural user interfaces are going to play a part in shaping the future of technology in education moving forward.

    We would love to hear what you think of the video and the concepts presented. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Embracing Consumerisation of IT in Education


    With many industry experts stating that the future of technology in education lies with the user, Consumerisation of IT (COIT) is now firmly on the radars on both suppliers, such as Microsoft, and the institutions we passionately serve.

    COIT is not without its challenges, though, and the definitive answer to making COIT palatable for both users and the providers of IT within schools, colleges and universities is not a clear cut one.

    While students, especially those within FE and HE, want to bring their own devices on campus and use them to connect to their institutions network and systems, there is still a need to offer physical machines on campus. This hybrid approach will no doubt be a reality for some time yet.

    Despite this, there is clearly a requirement from the users of technology to have more flexibility in when and how they use a mix of personal and institutional devices to carry out their studies, and it’s the industry and IT professionals responsibility, working together, to make this a reality.

    Locking down systems and preventing access is no longer realistic, particularly at a time when HE students, in particular, are demanding more from their learning experience.

    Furthermore, with the budget cuts being realised across the sector, COIT offers potential cost saving benefits that educations leaders will find hard to ignore.

    It is, therefore, all of our responsibilities to embrace more of a can do attitude towards COIT and discover and embrace solutions that students so passionately require, while also maintaining the security of the institutions core networks and systems.

    The ultimate answer is going to require a mix of cultural change and technology solutions, of which the vast majority is already available.

    The cloud, combined with client based software, offer flexibility and choice regardless of the platform used by the institutions learners. Furthermore, with the enhancements in virtualisation technologies, such as App-V, it is now possible to easily recreate institutional environments across Windows, Apple, Linux and mobile platforms, such as IOS and Android.

    Furthermore, a pure-play web solution, using HTML5, also offers a highly elegant option for IT professionals to offer apps to their wide range of users in a highly feature rich and secure environment.

    Ultimately, the technology is available now to make COIT a practical reality for all institutions. Cultural change is, however, needed to make this truly possible. Only with these two elements in place, are we going to see the COIT available to all.

    To help further address the topic of Consumerisation of IT in Education, we have produced paper that offers some advice on how institutions can embrace COIT. The document is available on our SlideShare account. The document is also embedded below.

    Let us know what you think in the comments below. Alternatively, join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #coit.


  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Your invitation to the Quest, HP & Microsoft Education Roadshow, November 2011


    Real world experience is key with the current rapid change in client computing, These roundtable workshops focus on the goals, solutions and results from the use of desktop virtualisation in HE, delivered by those involved in facing and dealing with these challenges. Each session features a specific HE case study delivered by a project lead giving their own views on dealing with issues such as:

    · IT as a competitive differentiator for students and staff

    · new devices and bring your own technology (BYOT) policies

    · new demands for access

    · new ways to deliver applications

    · cost savings and how to redirect budget to your project

    Down to earth and realistic discussion – from practitioners and vendors - of the realities of planning, justifying, deploying and managing these solutions specifically within HE leads to a roundtable discussion of the lessons learned and realistic ways forward. This is NOT a technical event – it is aimed at decision makers who need to understand the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.


    · 15th NovemberHP London: Key speaker: Dan Bolton, Kingston University 

    · 24th NovemberYork University: Key speaker: Adrian Young, York University 


    · For further details and to register – click here


    09:30 – Welcome, introductions (HP)
    09:45 – Future of IT in HE: creating a more flexible workplace (Microsoft)
    10:30 – Desktop virtualisation in HE: current customer experience (Quest and HP)
    11:15 – Coffee
    11:30 – Customer case study – guest speaker
    12:30 - Roundtable / panel discussion (All)
    13:00 – Lunch and networking
    14:00 – Close

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Free Live@edu webcasts–join up today!





    We’re running a free webcast series between now and Christmas that we’d like you to be a part of! Over three sessions we’ll be talking about what Microsoft Live@edu is, how you can deploy and migrate to it, and how you can promote it at your institution. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and get advice from the UK team directly, as well as watching again on-demand, any time.

    Did you know there are over 5 million students and teachers in the UK on Live@edu? Now is the perfect time to join them.

    Session 1 – Introducing Live@Edu

    Microsoft Live@edu gives each user:


         A 10 GB email account powered by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1


         25 GB of online storage through Windows Live SkyDrive


         Online versions of some of our most popular Microsoft Office software: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote


         Instant messaging, voice, and video via Windows Live Messenger

    All for free!

    With many deployment options and no minimum or maximum users, Live@edu is the ideal way to give students the software skills that employers demand.
    Join the webcast and learn about the services, case studies, and deployment options all from Microsoft product experts.
    You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions, and we'll provide resources and contact information for you and your colleagues.

    Tuesday 1st November 4pm-5pm Register Now!

    Tuesday 3rd November 12pm-1pm Register Now!

    Session 2 - Session 2: Live@edu Deployment & Migration

    With many deployment options and no minimum or maximum users, Live@edu is the ideal way to give students the software skills that employers demand.
    Join the webcast and learn about the services, case studies, and deployment options all from Microsoft product experts.
    You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions, and we'll provide resources and contact information for you and your colleagues.

    Register to hear aboutimage

      • Various deployment scenarios
      • How to avoid common deployment mistakes
      • Ways you can integrate with your local infrastructure

    Tuesday 22nd November 4pm-5pm Register Now!

    Thursday 24th November 12pm-1pm Register Now!


    Session 3 – Live@edu End User Training and Marketing

    With all your users getting to grips with their new Live@edu service now is an excellent time to promote the service and help make the experience great for everyone at your institution.
    You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions, and we'll provide resources and contact information for you and your colleagues.

    Before the webcast, why not check out the UK Live@edu team blog, where you can find all sorts of great information, videos, and customer stories. You can also follow the team on Twitter, @ukliveatedu.

    Register to hear aboutimage

      • Demoing the service and training users
      • Marketing materials and resources
      • Best practice and customer stories of successful implementations

    Thursday 8th December 12pm-1pm Register Now!

    Tuesday 13th December 4pm-5pm Register Now!

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Gaming in Education: Microsoft Kinect Session from FOTE 11


    Gaming in education is a growing trend across the whole sector and is something that we are going to be exploring more closely over the coming weeks and months.

    On the subject of gaming in education, or the gamification of learning as it is sometimes referred, Lee Stott from the DPE team here at Microsoft delivered an interesting session at the Future of Technology in Education Conference last week on some of the latest development with the Kinect SDK.

    The session even included an exclusive!

    Check out the full session in the video below.

  • The UK Higher Education Blog

    Education Webinar Series: New Dates Announced


    As part of our ongoing commitment to help inform and inspire the education community about how our products and services can help save money and make your institution more effective, we are excited to announce the next in the series of our free webinars.

    Hosted by Richard Lane, we will be sharing the virtual stage with our customers who will be offering an insight into the decision making behind embracing technologies such as Hyper-V and Lync.

    The full range of webinars are as follows and registration is now open. We look forward to you joining us!

    Migrate your virtualisation solution from VMware to Hyper-V and save money

    Tuesday November 8th  11am-12pm

    With Microsoft now being considered a virtualisation leader (Gartner  2011) isn't it time  you considered switching to Hyper-V and saving your organisation money?  Carmel College have done just that, and will discuss the rationale behind their migration from VSphere and the benefits they have realised.  We will explore the Microsoft Hyper-V Private Cloud Solution and you will be able to get answers to all your burning questions.

    Microsoft Lync - Transforming Communications and Collaboration in Education and reducing cost

    Tuesday November 29th 11am-12pm

    Microsoft Lync can transform the communications within your education institution and remove huge cost.  Attend this Microsoft webcast  presented with Stratford College as they discuss their Lync project.    We will hear how Stratford went through from initial business case through planning and implementation to benefits realisation.

    Manage your IT Infrastructure from the Cloud with Windows Intune

    Tuesday December 13th  11am-12pm

    Windows Intune is a comprehensive cloud based PC management and security solution that enables you to manage your schools remotely with no on-premise servers.  In addition to remote control, policy management, malware protection and software updates the latest release now includes application deployment.  Join this webcast to get an overview of the latest release and see a demo of the solution.

    The Microsoft Education Desktop

    Tuesday January 17th  11am-12pm

    Join this webcast to understand what makes a modern education desktop from Microsoft

    We will look at how technologies such as Windows 7, Office 2010  and the Microsoft Learning Suite can really enhance the teaching and learning experience.  We also explain how you can remove cost from the management of your IT infrastructure and improve security through technologies including  MDOP 2011 (Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack) and the CAL Suites.

    Free Software for Schools - Introducing the Microsoft Learning Suite

    Tuesday January 24th 11am-12:30pm

    Did you know that Microsoft have a wide range of software and resources that support teaching and learning?  Join this webcast for some fast paced demos which should be both fun and informative.  The solution, collectively known as the Microsoft Learning Suite is also able to be installed and deployed with ease.  Join this webcast to find out more.

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