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.
The full guide can be viewed/downloaded below:
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:
The first in a week long series of blog posts to share a range of Windows 8 for education deployment guides. Covering everything from PC, App and Windows To Go deployment, this series of eBooks offers a practical set of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Windows 8, and more.
Our first guide, Windows 8 Deployment Planning: A Guide for Education, is designed for IT pros, school administrators, and other faculty members who are responsible for the deployment of devices running Windows 8 in educational institutions. This guide covers the key considerations and questions that should be answered as a part of a typical Windows 8 deployment.
The full guide can be viewed/downloaded below via our SlideShare profile.
Any questions? Please do not hesitate to drop us a note via the comments below or via Twitter.
Also, don't forget to come back tomorrow to check out our BYOD: Guide for Education eBook.
Originally posted on the OneNote Blog.
As a college student, Liz Scoble loved using OneNote to keep all of her class notes organized and stay on top of her daily to-do's. She recently joined the OneNote team after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. Here, Liz shares her favourite OneNote features for staying productive in school.
Keeping my life organized in college was not an easy feat. Between classes, extracurricular activities, and the work associated with each, I struggled to stay on top of everything that I needed to do. Thankfully, once I began to use OneNote to keep track of everything, I felt much more organized and productive. Here are some of the ways I used OneNote in college and features that I relied on to keep my life organized.
With a busy schedule and lots of classes to keep track of, I found that the best method of organizing my schedule was making detailed daily task lists. I constantly checked, edited, and updated these lists, so I also colour-coded them so I could see at a glance the type of work I had to do. Black was for classes, red was for due dates or exams, blue was for meetings, and green was for individual work. I loved using the to-do tag in OneNote (which you can add with CTRL+1), because it made it easy for me to see when I'd completed a task.
The wiki-linking feature can also be very helpful for keeping track of your notes associated with items on your task list. To add a link to a different page in your notebook, simply type your page title with double brackets on either end (example: [[To Do List]] ) and it will automatically become a link to that page, marked by a dotted underline. This feature helped me organize notes and make my task lists more useful.
One of the features that makes OneNote so useful for keeping all of your class notes is that you can search through them, even if they are handwritten. I loved that I could write down due dates and assignments right in my class notes, and then easily find them when it was time to complete the assignment. When I took notes with pencil and paper, I would have to open my class notebook, find the lecture notes, and scan the pages for where I had jotted down the assignment. With OneNote, all you have to do is type a keyword into the search bar, and all of the pages that contain the keyword immediately show up.
I received tons of handouts for each of my classes and often struggled to keep them organized. I would usually print files that were emailed to the class or uploaded to the class website so that I could keep track of the content on the printouts and take any necessary notes. As you can probably imagine, my folders quickly filled up, my printing credit dwindled, and my backpack got progressively heavier. Once I started using OneNote to organize my class notes, a solution to this problem quickly became apparent. Using the Send to OneNote tool, I kept all of my handouts organized in their respective section of my OneNote notebook. Not only did this save me time (and paper), but it also allowed me to annotate handouts and quickly search through my growing collection of class content.
The Send to OneNote tool also helped me take more organized notes in class. If a professor lectured from a PowerPoint presentation in class, I would upload the presentation to OneNote. Instead of taking separate notes and trying to match them up with the presentation after class, I took notes directly on the slides. Drawing arrows to points of the slide that I wanted to associate notes with, underlining key content, and taking notes in the margins of the slide made it so much easier for me when it came time to study for exams.
One of my favourite things about OneNote is that I can access my notes anywhere. When I was waiting in line for coffee or at a bus stop, it was easy to access my daily task list using OneNote on my phone. If I wanted to work in a computer lab, I could access my notes on SkyDrive. I love that I never have to worry about forgetting my notes somewhere, because they are with me wherever I go!
Are there any features in OneNote that you love to use? Comment to let us know!
To those of you who are IT Academy members, the following may not come as a surprise. Word is spreading about IT Academy’s ability to engage faculty and students in successful technology training, and our reach is growing. To date, there are more than 15,000 IT Academies in dozens of countries around the world. Tens of thousands of Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certificates have been awarded, sending students off to higher education and the workplace better equipped.
The global scope of IT Academy’s benefits is one measure of its strengths. Another is the specific accomplishments of individual programs and their students. Let’s take a look at Queensland, Australia. In 2004, the state’s Department of Education, Training and Employment launched a program called “Smart Classrooms,” aiming to use IT to transform education at every level. The initiative set out to automate record keeping, streamline instructional materials, improve teacher technology use, and provide virtual learning environments for anytime student access and collaboration.
Nine years later, Smart Classrooms is soaring. Among other dramatic improvements to its infrastructure, the program has implemented IT Academies for all of its secondary schools. Students get access to the Microsoft IT Academy online courseware, and both teachers and students have the opportunity to develop skills recognized on a global scale.
Within this paradigm is a specific victory I’d like to shine a light on: a student named “Aidan” who goes to Springfield Central State High School in Queensland. Aidan recently won the state title at the 2013 Microsoft Office Specialist Worldwide Championships. Like other students in his state, through IT Academy, Aidan receives not only the chance to get certified but the opportunity to receive Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) credit toward graduation.
Watch this video to hear what Aidan and his business teacher have to say about the program.
Congratulations, Aidan and Springfield Central State High School! We look forward to hearing about your continued success.
Keith Loeber is the Director of the Microsoft IT Academy program for Microsoft, overseeing strategy, benefits, operations and policies. An 18-year Microsoft veteran, Keith has spent the last several years in education with the majority of his career focused on training and certification on Microsoft technologies.
We are excited to share with you the opportunity to take part in a series of webinars designed for educators over the next few weeks, which will equip you with knowledge on the best deployment of technology in education.
At Microsoft IT Academy, we know your work as an administrator or educator is ever-changing—especially in today's dynamic technology environment. So this year we’ve designed a webinar series that mirrors the excitement and leverage you get from technology in your everyday work. Each topic and speaker has been chosen to provide what we consider the most useful and timely information—from top-ten classroom enhancements to keeping up on the technology curve.
Our first webinar, September 12th, is “Training with Technology: Using technology within the classroom to engage and motivate students.” This topic reflects a growing interest we’re seeing in ways to boost student performance and teacher productivity by using new technologies like tablets. Recent research from the Pew Research Center shows a vast majority of instructors view technology as a valuable tool for improving collaboration, creativity and writing. And while many instructors already use interactive whiteboards, wikis, websites, blogs, and word processing programs to reinforce their teaching, it’s clear from the numbers there’s plenty of room to expand usage of these and other technologies.
During the webinar, we'll showcase some findings, opportunities and insights from guest speakers to help you plot your next steps and decide how best to use technology in your classroom.
Guest speakers will include Peter Sigmund, CIO of LaSalle College High School in Pennsylvania, who will share how the school is using Surface devices to improve student performance; and Scott Thompson from Microsoft Education, who will cover training resources for educators teaching technology in the classroom.
View the monthly webinar agenda to get more details and sign up. Be sure to tell your colleagues—other teachers, faculty and administrators—to tune-in live or watch the webinars on-demand. We believe your institution will gain hugely from getting up to speed and inspired.
We look forward to an informative and invigorating discussion. See you there!
Keith Loeber is the Director of the IT Academy Program for Microsoft Learning Experience. He and his team oversee the strategy, benefits, operations, and policies for the program. An 18-year Microsoft veteran, Keith has spent the last several years in education with the majority of his career focusing on training and certification.
Originally posted on the Microsoft Press Blog.
We’re very excited to announce another free eBook offering from Microsoft Press. Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release (ISBN 9780735682931), by Mitch Tulloch with the Windows Server Team, introduces new features and capabilities, with scenario-based advice on how the platform can meet the needs of your school, college or university. Get the high-level overview you need to begin preparing your deployment now. This book is based on the Preview release and will be updated to cover Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM.
Download the PDF version of this title here (108 pages, 5 MB). UPDATE: The EPUB format is here and the MOBI format is here.
Watch for the lengthier RTM edition of this ebook later this year!
If you prefer a hard copy of the book, you can order it here from our official distributor, O’Reilly Media, for $9.99.
Guest post from Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft Education series of blogs.
One of the first things I did when I decided to learn more about the capabilities of Office 365 Education was to have a meeting with Alex Pearce of BFC Networks.
Alex is always good value – generous with his time and knowledge. He’s also the kind of person who doesn’t raise his eyebrows and sigh when you ask the question that reveals you haven’t understood what he’s just told you. Believe me, I need people like that in my life.
Alex took me expertly up the Office 365 Education learning curve, and the first thing he reminded me of is that Office 365 Education comes free of charge to schools.
We all know that, don’t we? But it’s astonishing how many have apparently missed the good news. At BETT 2013, and at conferences since then, I’ve heard, first hand, visitor after visitor being surprised to hear that Office 365 Education really is free, gratis and for nowt. Everyone needs to be reminded all the time, or the ‘too good to be true’ factor kicks in.
That bit over, Alex went on to describe the various components of Office 365 Education – Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, and Office web-apps -- sketching out some scenarios of its day-today use in schools.
There will, in fact, be Office 365 Education scenarios and examples from various sources in these blogs as the school year goes on. For now, allow me to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned from Alex and friends within Microsoft.
Looking back over my time both working in schools and observing them. I can see no end of ‘if only’ moments – ‘If only we’d had Lync, we’d have been able to do classroom-to-classroom joint projects with our partner schools’. Or, ‘If only we’d had SharePoint we could have improved home-school collaboration.’
I have no doubt I’ll be writing about projects like that in the coming school year.
Ultimately, though, what I’m hoping for are examples where the combined resources of Office 365 Education have caused school leaders and teachers to tear up the rule book and think in a different way about the organisation of teaching and learning. That’s because, like all good software, each of the component parts of Office 365 Education starts by helping you to do familiar tasks, but will then go on, if you’re ready to grasp the opportunity, to completely change the way you work. The mission statement for my task, I suggest is, ‘From help to transformation.’
I have in mind the kind of thing I found at Barnsley College last year. There, Office 365 Education, with SharePoint and Lync, and other Microsoft technologies form a whole ‘eco-system’ whereby students can use Windows 8 devices to create their own personalised learning environments – ‘learning without barriers’, the College calls it.
Of course, not everyone needs or wants to copy what Barnsley College is doing. Everyone, though, can think like them, and go beyond, ‘How can technology help us to do what we’ve always done?’ and move on to, ‘How can we help students to learn more effectively now that we have this technology in place.’
It seems to me that with a comprehensive and free cloud environment like Office 365 Education, the transformation of learning ceases to be a problem of technology, and becomes a matter of will, imagination and leadership. The technology is ready and waiting.
Feet on the ground
It was at the apogee of this flight of fancy, zooming from ‘Help’ to ‘Transformation’, that I decided to call Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator Charlotte Beckhurst of Harstbrook E-ACT Free School in Tottenham. Hartsbrook has all of its IT provided as a Microsoft cloud-based service, and Charlotte uses Office 365 Education with her Year One class.
One of her most intriguing projects puts Microsoft OneNote to work on what is effectively a whole-class, live, interactive ‘portfolio’ which also provides each child with a personal area. Charlotte describes it, significantly, with the same words -- ‘Learning environment’ -- that I heard at Barnsley College. It’s a term that shows how she, too, is thinking well ahead. At the same time, ever practical, she points out that it’s necessary to make haste slowly, taking colleagues along, moving a step at a time. She’s certainly walking the talk on that, helping teachers in other schools as well as hers to see how Office 365 Education can help them with their work.
Her ‘OneNote’ project, for example, is something that any individual teacher can do with their own class, and we shall certainly return to it as a scenario that will set out what’s possible.
‘That’s what people are interested in,’ she says. ‘Teaching is hard enough, and people want to know how to make it easier.’
‘That’s what people are interested in,’ she says. ‘Teaching is hard enough, and people want to know how to make it easier.’
Charlotte’s right of course. So what we need to do in these blogs, I guess, is focus first on the ways that Office 365 Education can help teachers and school leaders to do their jobs. As we tell those stories, the possibilities for deeper transformation will emerge.
Originally posted on UK Education Cloud Blog by James Marshall
For me, Office 365 Education just keeps getting better and better. SkyDrive Pro, part of Office 365 Education Plan A21, is cloud storage for education, and is the place where students and teachers can store, sync, and share their files across multiple devices with ease and security. To date SkyDrive Pro has offered institutions 7GB of cloud storage per user but yesterday Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta, senior product managers in the SharePoint team, announced that the SkyDrive pro storage increases making it even better for storing and sharing class work.
1Plan A2 is free for students, faculty and staff and includes Exchange Online Plan 1, Lync Online Plan 2, SharePoint Online Plan 1 and the Office Web Apps. You can sign up for free online!
Let’s look at the headlines:
I think this is a great improvement for schools, colleges and universities who are using Office 365 Education as it means their students and teachers can keep more files in the cloud, accessible from everywhere, and the fact that an administrator can increase that quota up to 100GB for individuals means that even the most demanding users should still have enough storage to keep them happy for a long time.
Don’t forget that there are applications for SkyDrive Pro on a variety of platforms including Windows 8 and iOS that make it easier to access your files on the go.
The advancement of technology within teaching and learning has always been subject to conflicting opinions. Wherever, as an educator you sit on the ‘mobiles in the classroom’ debate, it borders on impossible to avoid the subject and deny its resourcefulness. Students, irrespective of age are turning to mobile technology to perform simple lesson assisted actions such as taking pictures of historic buildings and artwork on field trips or using language apps to learn new words without even realising they are doing it.
Our students now have access to some of the fastest and most engaging technology the world has to offer and not only that, it fits into the palm of their hands. With change comes opportunity, and what we have here is the opportunity to access and utilise an incomprehensible amount of resources. Within seconds a student can begin a conversation with another student on the other side of the world, they can virtually visit landmarks and countries that otherwise they may never see. Do you think as educators we should be evangelising the authentic advantages to mobile assisted learning?
Like with anything new, there are obvious positives and then subjects up for discussion. We shouldn’t however be put off by debate and the challenges surrounding change, as subjects such as cyber bullying, online safety, effective use of time and independent learning as well as theft and affordability are all areas that should be discussed openly with students.
One particular concern many educators and parents have had with BYOD (bring your own device) methods of utilising technology, falls around affordability to students and their families. It is true that not all students will own high end devices, but still a smart phone is a pretty smart piece of technology, regardless of the grading it’s been given. Teachers will quickly be able to grasp what can be done with even the most basic of smart mobile technologies and that combined with online services such as SkyDrive, students will have access to GB’s of storage via the cloud.
Microsoft offer a wide range of smartphones and the Nokia Lumia 520 is an offering to certainly challenge claims that less expensive smartphones aren’t in the same league as some of the premium models. Powered by Windows Phone 8, this phone has the same appearance of others in the range with familiar apps and Office productivity functionality.
The Lumia certainly stands out from the crowd with its brightly coloured changeable shells giving a refresh option. It also has a generous 4 inch sensitive screen, so sensitive in fact it works perfectly (Those of you who have tried to access your emails whilst waiting in the cold will know what I’m talking about.) Coming with a range of great features only found on a Nokia phone, the 520 includes built-in digital camera lenses like Cinemagraph, Smart Shoot and Panorama, as well as other great apps like HERE Maps, free voice-guided navigation and free streaming music through Nokia Mix Radio.
This phone has loads of great assets, and if you find yourself in a phone store I encourage you to check it out for yourself, and with prices starting at £99.00 or on a £10.00 monthly plan, its modest price tag is also very welcomed.
To see the full range head to the Windows Phone Website.