Are you an Educator, Head of IT or IT Administrator
This review of DreamSpark Premium will assist Microsoft in understanding your institutional use of applications, while also assessing the effectiveness and impact it is having on developing student skills and attainment. Most importantly, we would like to understand how effective access to DreamSpark has been in supporting coursework and test results of your students. You also have a chance to let us know about any particularly positive or negative experiences you have witnessed so we can ensure that in the future we are delivering an even better service.
Just click here (http://dreamspark-edu.questionpro.com) to complete the online questionnaire.
Are you at school, college or University? Help Microsoft understand and support your use of DreamSpark
We need to know that you value DreamSpark to be able to win the battle to continue to deliver it for free – help us help the next generation of students.
We are inviting students to complete a short survey to help us better understand how the DreamSpark programme is supporting your skills development, learning outcomes and career potential. We would like to understand what range of applications and tools have been of use to you, how often you use them and how effective they have been in supporting your skills development. Most importantly, we would like to understand how effective access to DreamSpark has been in supporting your coursework and test results. You also have a chance to let us know about any particularly positive or negative experiences you have had so we can ensure that in the future we are delivering an even better service.
Win a XBOX ONE
We are only looking for a few minutes of your time and all responses remain anonymous. Just to give you a little more of an incentive to help us gather this data we are offering one lucky student an Xbox One. Just click here (http://dreamspark2014.questionpro.com) to complete the online questionnaire.
Public customer service email: DreamSparkSupport-EM@eu.subservices.com
All EMEA Service Center details: https://www.dreamspark.com/Support/RSC.aspx#Europe
For further information on Microsoft DreamSpark, please visit our website:
The Windows 8.1 operating system builds on the feature and capabilities in Windows 8. One prominent feature is the Windows Store apps. Educational institutions can purchase or create apps for Windows 8.1 that use the new Windows user interface (UI).
But Windows Store apps can raise certain questions:
• What is the best way to deploy Windows Store apps in an educational environment? • Do all the apps need to come from the Windows Store? • Can you use existing deployment technologies and processes to deploy them? • What role does the Windows Store play in the app deployment process?
This guide offers several examples of app deployment strategies and considerations when selecting among them. It is written for IT pros, school administrators, teachers, and other faculty who are responsible for deploying Windows Store apps on institution-owned or personally owned devices.
The full guide can be viewed/downloaded below:
Blog Repost, Originally Posted on Ray Fleming’s Education Blog
We announced recently that Yammer for education customers will be free of charge from 1st April 2014, through your Office 365 for Education subscription (which is also free). Which means that educational institutions are able to have a communication system (through Office 365’s email and Lync service), collaboration and document storage (through Office 365’s SharePoint and OneDrive), and secure social networking and collaboration (through Yammer) – all of which is free.
The beauty of Yammer is that it can be fully integrated into your user database – so you create a private place for just your users to collaborate and mingle, and can enable and disable users easily. And then within Yammer you can create public and private groups – so staff can have private planning and discussion areas that others can’t access. Or groups of students can be placed into individual communities, for classes, subjects, sports and social groups etc. It also has a range of apps for mobile devices, so your users can access it on the go from their iPhone, Windows Phone, Android phones etc
There has always been a basic free version of Yammer that users can sign up to individually, and create communities and groups, and some education users in Australia have already been using that for some time (some of them with hundreds or thousands of users). But when you want to have organisational control over your users, then in the past you would have had to paid for the full Yammer Enterprise version. But from 1st April, that’s the version that education customers can get free.
The major difference between Yammer and other social networking systems is that your Yammer network is private, and controlled by you. You don’t have individual teachers uploading lists of students to third-party websites, and managing them outside of your existing systems. Instead, your IT team have full control over your users in the same way that they do for other systems in your school, TAFE or university. Adding and deleting/disabling users is all done centrally. And you have control and visibility of the content and conversations that are happening.
Some of the key features of Yammer that are relevant for education customers are:
Once Yammer Enterprise is available, Office 365 Education tenant administrators will receive an activation link in their Office 365 admin portal. You then visit the Office 365 Admin Portal to begin the self-guided provisioning process. There’s a complete Yammer Activation Guide here. There are also additional resources on activation and provisioning from Yammer.
Learn more about Yammer
To assist educators, students and parents find resources to take them beyond the Hour of Code, the Code.org UK website features some amazing resources, tutorials and lesson plans that can be used to inspire the next generation of developers.
All these resources are fun, engaging and intuitive and are well suited for those students just taking their first steps. There is also a great selection of resources for those who have a little more experience under their belts.
A selection of the resources include the following (click on the images to access):
I am definitely going to be giving some of these a whirl over the weekend! Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Friday, 14th March 2014 12:00pm, Online // Lync
Does your organisation struggle to: •Attract and retain more prospective students? •Manage the student life-cycle from lead through to alumni? •Effectively manage business engagement?
If so, join us for this 45 minute live webinar where Peter Cutts – CRM Business Solutions Specialist at TouchstoneCRM will showcase the direct benefits a CRM system can provide to a Higher Education institution.
With a tailored demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and a Q&A session with Peter and Simon Ibbitt – Higher Education Business Manager at Microsoft, this webinar will ultimately help you.
To Register, follow this link.
Excerpt from ‘Using 1:1 to Unlock Learning’
This is the most important but often the most over looked aspect of any 1:1 initiative or technology deployment designed to change culture and teaching methodology. By creating a policy related to continuous teacher professional development and writing it into your roll-out plan you will formalise the need for training within your staff team.
Professional development should include both technical and pedagogical training. It should also include a blend of face-to-face (expert and/ or peer led) and on-line learning. Staff should be given as many opportunities as possible to share ideas and learn from each other’s practice.
Microsoft Partners in Learning (PiL) is a 10-year, 500+ million dollar global initiative aimed at improving teaching and learning. Since 2003, it has led the way in partnering with education professionals, helping nearly 8 million educators and reaching more than 190 million students in 114 countries. At the heart of PiL is the Partners in Learning Network, an online professional development community that helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create and share so that students can realise their greatest potential. For more information of PiL join the online discussion today at www.pil-network.com.
The focus on Learning and Teaching is really important to ensure the success and impact of any 1:1 project and this is discussed in more detail within our ‘Using 1:1 to Unlock Learning’ eBook.
The full eBook can be viewed/downloaded below.
We would like to bring to your attention a new Higher Education Showcase program that will be tested over the next few months. This is your chance to showcase exciting things that your Students, Lecturer’s and Staff are doing with Microsoft Technology, Devices and Apps.
The program has been designed so that we can work with University’s to help capture exciting stories that can be showcased on our Microsoft Higher Education blog and with other customers.
To produce a video or illustrated blog to show what students, lecturers and staff are doing with Microsoft technology in your college: this can be development of Windows apps, or usage of devices or software! No story is too small.
We want to showcase the great stuff that your Staff and Students are doing.
The story does not have to be long and should not take much time to do, it can be submitted as a short video, a blog write up with a few paragraphs and pictures, or even a quick chat with one of our bloggers so they can write the story for you. Check out the current blog stories to get some ideas!
Here’s one Simon Ibbitt made earlier (blue peter style!) with his Lumia 925 video camera uploaded to Skydrive - http://1drv.ms/1f67knr
Faced with a situation where funding is declining but demands for excellence are always on the increase, Universities need to pull together to share best practice wherever they can. We would like to help facilitate this activity by creating a platform for you to share ideas and good experiences. Please throw whatever you have at us and we will help by engaging our social-communication engines for the benefit of all.
Please send all videos/content to email@example.com
We will try to post as many as possible. Good luck and we look forward to receiving them!
Your school should already have a policy on ICT acceptable and responsible use. However, with the introduction of 1:1 it is very likely that you will need to up-date or adapt your policy. You need to be very clear about what is and what is not acceptable on a schools network and behaviour that is expected of young people, along with any sanctions that you will action if the rules are broken.
As well as formal procedures it is also useful to work directly with young people so that they can create their own rules around device use (and this should also include the use of social media).
Schools that have worked with students to co-create acceptable use policies have found that they are more likely to be adhered to in the long run. Co-created acceptable use policies help give young people ownership over the 1:1 project and create a sense of collective responsibility.
One important thing to remember about any acceptable use policy is that there is absolutely no right or wrong way to write one. Your policy needs to reflect your organisation, who you wish to communicate with and what you feel comfortable doing. It is also important that it is reviewed regularly – the best acceptable use policies are regularly ‘hacked’ by users using a wiki or collaborative document to ensure it is constantly up-to-date.
Also as well as including specific references to 1:1 in your institute’s ICT policy you should also make sure that it is included in your Learning and Teaching Policy – after all, why are we doing this in the first place if it is not to improve learning and teaching?
1:1 and other projects that improve the access to computing in classrooms is also likely to lead to increased use of Social Media in your school or institution. As a result a specific mention of social media is also worth including this in your emerging policy. For reference, one country that is very progressive in the development of Social Media Policies in schools is Australia, in particular Victoria. They have provided some good social media guidance on their website: (justice.vic.gov.au/socialmedia7).
This chapter was taken from our ‘Using 1:1 to Unlock Learning’ eBook written is association with Ollie Bray. The full eBook can be viewed/downloaded below.
Microsoft believes in the power of technology to transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and economic growth for everyone. Microsoft DreamSpark is just another way of helping this next generation of young leaders seize the opportunity to harness the transformative magic of software. By offering DreamSpark with a VL subscription agreement, we provide you with a cost-effective way to get all of Microsoft’s productivity, collaboration, and developer tools under a single agreement.
How does this benefit your students?
With a DreamSpark Membership, your students get the professional-level developer and designer tools they would use to build real sites, apps, and games for Xbox Live®/360®, Kinect™, Microsoft Windows® Phone, Windows and more. Students get a head start on a career, or do better in class. Tomorrow’s tech superstars can be found in dorm rooms and in Microsoft tech clubs on campuses around the world. They will create thousands of next-gen apps, tools, and games. That’s why we’re giving students and institutions the top development and design tools, including Visual Studio Professional, to be used for instructional use at no charge.
For further reading, why not take a look at our DreamSpark FAQ.
Excerpt from ‘Using 1:1 to Unlock Learning’
It might surprise you to find out that actually it is not the best ratio all of the time. But, 1:1 will be the best ratio some of the time.
In terms of the question, “What is the best ratio?”, there is no easy answer to this. It really depends on what it is you are trying to achieve. But it is important to remember that sometimes 1:many (one device for many learners) is fine and that there is also absolutely nothing wrong with a lecture style presentation.
Of course an advantage of all learners having their own device in a lecture environment means that they can provide feedback and ask questions during the presentation (sometime referred to back channelling). Devices can also be used to follow up links that the presenter has mentioned – these can be bookmarked for exploration at a later date or quickly shared with others across social networking spaces.
One important consideration during this type of environment is that this type of interaction, although powerful, does not come naturally to young people – it is a skill that is required to be taught and practiced if it is going to have any real impact.
As well as 1:many, there are also lots of examples when 1:3/4/5 (one device for three, four or five learners) might be appropriate. These are all good ratios to support collaborative learning and group work.
The use of a tablet or hybrid device can be useful if there is going to be more than two learners to a device on a collaborative activity. A laptop screen can sometime become a barrier to learning and prevent others in the group from seeing what is going on.
Research from Professor Sugata Mitra (University of Newcastle) and others has also proved time-and-time again that 1:2 (one device for two learners) is also another great ratio for learning (particularly for younger children). It’s small enough to allow opportunities for children to get time on the computer without arguing who should be in the driving seat, BUT it also allows dialogue and conversation between children as they work to solve real world problems and consolidate their learning task.
Of course the nice thing about having 1:1 (one device for each learner) is that all of the above can be achieved but children can also work with their own device where appropriate.
Schools who have been making use of 1:1 for a while now are also noticing that in reality many students use at least two devices to help them with their learning. Their main device is normally a laptop or a tablet but increasingly a companion device, such as a smartphone, is also being used.
What we have observed over the past few years is that students tend to use the main device for the bulk of their work. But the companion device is used as a communication tool (to ask questions on social networks etc.) and for its other more portable functionality (for example to take pictures, or to carry out quick web searches). It is important for educators to remember that this is the way that many young people work at home (many adults work in this way as well). Our challenge is allowing young people to work in this way in a school environment.
Does 1:1 improve standards?
There is no evidence that 1:1 (or any technology for that matter) in isolation improves attainment standards. A weak teacher with great technology will still not deliver the results that our children deserve. However, there is growing evidence that good teachers with great technology can really raise the bar of expectation amongst young people and deliver improved experience and results.
However, I truly believe that a good or excellent teacher, who is committed to professional learning and who is supported by great technology has the potential to transform lives. It is also important to remember that technology is only part of any model for educational transformation.
This chapter was taken from our ‘Using 1:1 to Unlock Learning’ eBook written by Ollie Bray. The full eBook can be viewed/downloaded below.