What if you could click something else into your Surface? In early September, the Surface team visited the Art Centre College of Design and posed this questions to a group of 11 students. The code name for these attachments is blades. Here is what they came up with…
We would love to hear your thoughts on some unique blades for education. What else could you come up with?
Share your ideas in the comments below!
Being a student, I am passionate about promoting the fantastic, yet often hidden opportunities that exist for students to gild their skill sets with essential IT skills, much demanded by employers in IT.
In the short time I have been an intern in the Education team in Microsoft, I have been blown away by the learning tools and certifications the IT Academy offers for students, from certification in Microsoft Office Exams to programming and coding for app development. Having recently experienced the stress and furious competition of attaining a year's placement, it pains me to think that students all over the UK could be missing out on invaluable opportunities, which certainly would gild their value propositions when applying for placements or graduate schemes. A sobering number of my peers from varying universities could not find placements this year. It is therefore, my great pleasure to announce the Certified Career Day which returns by popular demand on October 29, 2013.
The Career Day will provide educators with the opportunity to hear from IT experts on the latest trends in technology training and certification for students, the skills needed for students to succeed in today’s market, and how new technologies like cloud computing are redefining job opportunities.
Why are IT skills important?
With companies and partners looking for skills and talent for future cloud infrastructure and app developers, the skills gap between what IT employees demand and the skills young adults possess is increasingly widening. I am therefore passionate about promoting the fantastic opportunities that academic institutions can provide their students through the IT Academy, which the Career Day will expand upon. I truly believe that if academic institutions promote opportunities for all students to enhance their employability through attaining demanded IT skills and qualifications, students will be empowered to take more ownership of their futures! My peers certainly would.
The Student Perspective
Intrigued to hear from students, I sought the opinion of a top grade student in her 3rd year at university, studying Festival and Events Management in Edinburgh. Emily has just landed a 6 month work placement overseas in a top Events firm and shares her thoughts on certification and IT skills:
"There is so much competition here in the UK that I decided to search for a placement in Australia, as there are more opportunities there. If my friends and myself were offered the learning tools to skill and certify ourselves in IT, we would jump at the opportunity. As my degree is in events, having skills and certifications in IT would add an extra dimension to what I can offer and make me more employable to more sectors than the events industry.”
On hearing Emily's response, I asked her how she and her peers would feel if her university were to stage a HTML 5 course basic level with certification, including boot camps and food. With some thought, Emily replied:
"I think if students were told the graduate benefits, that with HTML 5 certification they would have a better chance at being employed by some of the top IT companies, then they would get involved. Timing is also important. Boot camps would have to be at a suitable time, preferably not early in the morning."
Emily, 3rd Year Festival and Events Student, Edinburgh
The IT Academy offerings will not only cater for academic courses but additionally be available to those students wishing to pursue routes off the academic track, such as apprenticeships. This provides colleges with the benefits of running rich apprenticeships, offering both industrial experience and valuable IT skills and qualifications, opening the door for apprentices to the technology industry.
In the academic arena, the IT Academy will simultaneously help students realise the opportunities in the IT technology industry, and offer universities and colleges a fantastic opportunity to update and enrich the curriculum they are teaching around IT through embedding information from the IT Academy such as certification on the cloud, into courses. As prospective students are increasingly looking for courses that are tailored to business demands, even in classical universities will be able to provide attractive propositions.
Stay tuned to the IT Academy blog, as well as our Twitter and Facebook channels, for details.
In Education, the IT landscape is rapidly changing. Schools, colleges and universities need to provide IT more efficiently; supporting applications and services on-premise and in the Cloud, using modern devices. But what does it take to embrace modern IT and exploit its many benefits?
Join Oxford Computer Group and other HE organisations, for a free summit. You’ll hear how to support modern IT in education and learn how to develop your roadmap. With high profile speakers from Microsoft and a case study from Middlesex University, Oxford Computer Group’s eighth annual summit will be a highly valuable and informative event.
October 23 and 24, Microsoft Campus, Reading, UK Learn More and Register
With a strong focus on Microsoft identity and directory technologies, day one will consider how to achieve a comprehensive identity service with Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2 , AD, Windows Azure Active Directory and AD FS 2.0. Day two focuses on Microsoft solutions for Cloud (such as Office 365), service automation and systems management including System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012.
Register today. It’s free to attend.
Originally posted by Lee Stott on the Microsoft UK Faculty Connection
In 2012 the Computing in Schools project looked at the current provision of education in Computing in UK schools, the Royal Society report was informed by evidence gathered from individuals and organisations with an interest in computing.
Key points of the report include:
Over the past year I have been working with a number of inspirational teachers and had the pleasure of keynoting at the Computing in Schools annual conference. One of the key drivers for me with the children at school is simply getting them inspired and looking at ways of making Computer Science in lessons, exciting interesting and more importantly thought provoking at the impact technology has on everyone lives.
Over the last year I have worked with a number of inspiring teacher from the Microsoft Partners in Learning programme.
One of these teacher is Ray Chambers. Ray has successfully included programming into his curricula using tools such as Kodu, but as they progressed, he didn't want them to be simply complacent or lose interest so he decided to step it up a notch and get his students understanding functions.
He also wanted to start introducing arrays and if statements into their vocabulary. This you may think would be a huge challenge but during BETT last year, I introduced Ray to a great friend and fellow Partner in Learning Teacher David Renton and David simply evangelised Ray to the power of the Touch Develop platform.
I am pleased to announce that Ray has now successfully developed an entire Scheme of works for Touchdevelop for the GCSE CS curricula.
The following is a guest Blog by Ray Chambers ICT teacher / Lead Practitioner at Uppingham Community College
To see how each of the lessons map into the new national curriculum, you can follow the links on the images.
Each of the links will take you to the video you need. Alternatively, you can click on the links below in order to go through the scheme of work lesson by lesson.
TouchDevelop is a programming environment that runs on your mobile devices. You write scripts by tapping on the screen. You do not need a separate PC or keyboard or even a PC as Touchdevelop works on any device with a web browser.
Scripts can perform various tasks similar to regular apps. Any TouchDevelop user can install, run, edit, and publish scripts. You can share your scripts with other people by publishing them to the TouchDevelop script bazaar, or by submitting them as an app to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store.
Ray has developed the scheme of work which will allow students to break in slowly and progress, learn and be inspired at each step.
The first lesson starts off by introducing them to variables, backgrounds and sprites. They will be able to add a character into their game and they will be able to use variables to change the height and width of characters. Ray has attached some PDF’s to support and the videos on this page will support the learning. The materials are free to download and let me know if they have been useful.
Lesson 1 PowerPoint Lesson 1 Background Lesson 1 Sprites
Lesson 1 – This lesson introduces the basics and shows the environment to students. This lesson should get students creating a background and a character using variables.
Click on the resource above for a walk through on creating and setting up the background on program.
Click on the resource above for a walk through on creating your own characters / sprites within a game or application.
Lesson 2 PowerPoint Lesson 2 Using Game Loops Lesson 2 Text Lesson 2 Starter Kit
Lesson 2 – This lesson introduces the game loop event. This tests for interactions over and over to see what is happening. Lessons are taught about IF statements and how to update text.
Learn how to add the game loop event. This tests for what is happening (all the time). Think of this as a traffic light sensor which is always looking for what is happening next.
Learn how to create text as part of your game. You also learn how to set the text on the text.
This activity will allow your students to put things in the correct order in the correct table. Cut out the tiles and mix them up. Your students should be able to re-arrange this into the correct order.
Lesson 3 PowerPoint Lesson 3 Procedures Lesson 3 Functions Lesson 3 Using Functions
Lesson 3 – This lesson introduces the basics of functions and procedures and shows students how they can update their existing code to be a procedure.
Learn how to use some of your existing code and how to change to insert procedures.
Learn how to set up a function which uses input and output perimeters.
Learn how to use the function you set up in the previous walk through.
Lesson 4 PowerPoint Lesson 4 Pop Quiz Lesson 4 Moving Sprites
Lesson 4 - How to move characters across the screens without input from the user.
Here is a quick pop quiz to test what your students have marked so far. Most of the questions ask them to explain the knowledge they’ve gained so that you can judge their answers.
Here is a quick guide to changing the X and Y variables of sprites so that they can move on their own. You might like flying objects in a game and this introduces it to students.
Lesson 5 Powerpoint Lesson 5 Game Proposal Lesson 5 Requirements
Lesson 5 – Users plan and develop a program which will benefit their school. They must design screen shots of their game and talk about how they plan on meeting the requirements.
Attached is a proposal which was made for an Appathon competition by me. You can see some of the screen designs. Students can do this task in PowerPoint or on paper. It is something they can use as an idea.
Requirements sheet. Students must write out how they plan on meeting the client needs in order to achieve marks for planning. The next lesson will focus on pseudo code.
Lesson 6 PowerPoint Lesson 6 Activity1 Lesson 6 Activity2
Lesson 6 – Users plan and develop a program which will benefit their school. They’re required to use Pseudo code during this lesson. They need to think about the code and understand the importance of writing a structure of code before making it.
Pseudo Code activity sheet 1 – Get students to write some structured English to help them understand coding.
Pseudo Code activity sheet 2 – Get students to underline variables which might be used within Pseudo code.
Lesson 7 – This lesson allows the students to start building their application. The video tutorials are embedded and it is a large file. Alternatively you can watch the video from the tutorials attached.
Lesson 8 – This lesson introduces the final stages of development to students and talks to them about the importance of testing. There are examples of test plans in the slides for you to try with students.
Here are a few Bonus Lessons to support different aspects of the new national curriculum.
Lesson on Algorithms
Resource which show you how to make a cup of tea using algorithms
Instructions for Resource 1 on making a cup of tea.
Students are required to make their own algorithm using this task.
Lesson on Data Types
Lesson on Logic and Logic Gates
Logic Gates work sheet to support task.
Logic Gates work sheet answers for previous task.
Publishing your App to Windows 8
If you follow these steps, you can publish your own students apps to the Windows store.
2. Once you have clicked on the publish button, you will need to make sure that you export it to a windows 8 device. Click on the script for it’s properties and then you click on windows 8.
3. Once you have done this, you will get a menu pop up with some settings. It is important to fill out the privacy statement. If you do not fill this out correctly, then your application is likely to be rejected. Even if you are using the internet for images, make sure you say so.My privacy statements tell my clients : Although your personal data will not be required for this application, a network connection is established. This is for the use of images and multimedia, no personal information is used.
4. Once you have filled out this application, you will be able to download the file ready for adjustments within windows 8. Once you have your files, you will need to follow the next set of instructions carefully.
5. Make sure that you have the latest copy of visual studio express 2012, you will need to have it installed on windows 8. I noticed that I couldn’t get any of my apps working correctly when running windows 7. Download it here.
6. Once you have downloaded and installed Visual Studio Express 2012 for windows 8. You can go into the images folder of your application you compiled and you can updated the images and logo’s for the running of your application.
7. When running your application, you will need to run your application in simulator mode. You select simulator from the drop down menu and then you press CTRL+F5 to run it. You can press the camera button to take multiple pictures of your application running. You need them later for getting your app certified later.
8. You will then need to register as a develop. Your students can go to this link here. They will be able to register for free. You will need to go here if you’re not a student to start the registration process.
9. The next thing you are required to do is to create an app package. You will need to click on the store menu and select. Create app package. Follow the menu and it will test your application and create the file for you.
10. You then click on the upload app packages link. This will get you to log into the store. Select the application name and click on next. If you haven’t got an application name yet, tap on ‘reserve name’ to get one. This will reserve the name for you. Once created it will be in the folder of your app you downloaded originally under the name ‘AppPackages’. This is the file you will submit to the windows store.
11. That’s it, Your app is packaged and ready to be submitted to the windows store. You will need to log on here. You will then go to your reserved app and fill out a series of simple questions which help you get your application certified. It is really easy for ‘free’ applications. If you’re looking at being paid for your applications, you will need to sort out your tax forms which is a whole different ball game. Fill out the form and submit your app and hope for the best!
This guide was developed as a starter guide for anyone who is working with touch develop and their students.
If you would like more help about Touchdevelop and how Ray is using it in his curricula you can contact him via Microsoft Partners in Learning or his blog at http://raychambers.wordpress.com/
If your a UK teacher, lecturer or researcher and interested in becoming joining the Microsoft Partners in Learning UK team please see http://www.pil-network.com/
If your interested in Touchdevelop please see http://www.touchdevelop.com
Microsoft have partnered with world-renowned publisher Arvato to create our new Windows 8 Skillpipe App for our digital Microsoft official courseware reader, which has now been released as a free download on the Windows store.
Our Learning Partners and Academic institutions can now support their students on apprenticeships and in higher and further education pursuing Microsoft Technical courses learning the latest technology skills, in the cloud on a Windows 8 device.
Read, Annotate, Collaborate
The Skillpipe app will give students anywhere access to their courseware and the freedom to simultaneously read and annotate content and make notes on it from Windows 8 Surfaces, tablets or PCs, both online and offline! The beauty of the reader app is the power it provides for students and tutors to collaborate and learn together by sharing. Students can share their notes with tutors or their peers, who can subsequently add their notes and share again with the class, essentially creating a supportive network for learning.
Who does the Skillpipe app benefit?
Students pursuing apprenticeships spend much of their time working on site, and little time in the classroom. They can now access their reading any time on a Windows 8 device, and can receive support from their class mates thanks to the collaborative nature of the app and its cloud interface.
Similarly, more and more universities provide long distance courses with very little contact time. The Skillpipe app enables the latest IT skills to be taught long distance on Windows 8 devices, while providing the tools for students to share work together and with tutors and maintain a sense of community.
All students enrolled in Microsoft Technology courses, using a Windows 8 device will be able to benefit from the Skillpipe app. IT Academy members will also be pleased to hear that they are eligible to access the Skillpipe app for their students.
Check out the following video link to learn more about Skillpipe for Windows 8.
Here are some of the app’s features:
To find out more information and download the app, please send your students to this link.
Windows To Go is a feature of the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system that enables the operating system to run from a USB drive. Using Windows To Go in an education environment provides numerous benefits to faculty and students alike. It enables faculty and students to use a personalized copy of Windows 8 on virtually any PC, at almost any location.
This guide provides an overview of Windows To Go deployment for schools. It is for IT pros and discusses the benefits, limitations, and processes involved in deploying Windows To Go.
The full guide can be viewed/downloaded below:
Today, we are excited to share with you a brand new Education app freshly released on the Windows Store, designed by our very own Stuart Ball from the Microsoft UK Education team.
With many excellent education resources in our archives, Stuart designed the Microsoft UK Education Free Resources App with the purpose of centralising our tools and resources into one hub to provide educators with the ease and flexibility of accessing resources at any time, for free!
Stuart shares his inspiration for creating the app, along with his short (three week) journey from 'coding-beginner' to 'app designer'.
So what compelled Stuart to create the app?
During the summer break, I set my self the challenge of learning to be a Developer. My starting point was to find a coding package to learn. That was easy, there are so many free resources available, so I chose Touchdevelop . Next , I needed some help. On the Touchdevelop site, I found a series of helpful tutorials and courses and also stumbled across a couple of names I recognised from the Partners in Learning Network, David Renton and Ray Chambers. A few tweets later and I was ready to go. Or so I thought. Ray asked me ‘What did I want to make?’. That sort of stumped me for a while, but I suspect it may be a wall many app designers also stumble into. ‘What shall I make?’ A game seemed the obvious choice, but I have Kodu for that. Then Ray offered me a piece of advice. He asked me whether there was something that I seemed to do repeatedly, that an app could replace. This gentle suggestion set my thoughts into motion, and quickly directed them to the following: Until today, I regularly spent time emailing educators lists of links to free Microsoft Education resources, and this could be replaced by an App.
So during my holiday instead of reading, I coded! On my Surface RT I might add. As I worked through my plan , I discovered different techniques, some of which you will probably see in the App. I have purposely left it ‘hobbyist’, hoping that it will inspire people that learning to code is not the difficult task they might perceive it to be and that they too can get an App in the Windows Store after three weeks of learning. I can’t lie to you, I feel quite proud of myself.
What does the app do?
The App is a simple menu interface that links the many free resources that not just Partners in Learning have, but have been produced by the whole Microsoft UK Education Team.
The app is effectively a ‘one stop shop’ for the following resources:
You can download the App for free at the Windows Store
Stuart would welcome any comments and feedback on his App which he will be updating it regularly. Now what will he try next?
Deploying the Windows 8 operating system in an educational environment can be an easy process when properly planned. Educational institutions have requirements (such as classroom and computer labs) that make them unique, but you can deploy Windows 8 in multiple ways, depending on the needs of the environment.
This guide provides an overview of Windows 8 deployment to PCs in an educational environment. The guide is written for IT pros and looks at the various means by which they can deploy Windows 8, including the processes and tools involved along with their benefits, requirements, and limitations.
The Windows 8 operating system includes many new features and capabilities, but one prominent feature is the Windows Store apps. Educational institutions can purchase or create apps for Windows 8 that use the new user interface (UI).
But Windows Store apps can raise certain questions:
This guide offers several examples of app deployment strategies and considerations when selecting among them. It is written for school district IT pros, school administrators, teachers, and other faculty who are responsible for deploying Windows Store apps on institution-owned or personally owned devices.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models are becoming increasingly popular in schools. The strategy enables students to use their own computers or other devices as part of the educational experience to perform research, complete homework, and involve themselves in classroom activities. The tightening of school budgets and the consumerisation of technology make the BYOD model attractive: With tools such as SkyDrive and Microsoft Office 365, BYOD becomes even easier.
This guide provides information about BYOD for education, including device types, BYOD deployment models, and infrastructure-related considerations for BYOD deployments.
Download/view the full guide below: