For Windows 8, the Task Manager got a major overhaul that includes a lot of great new features. The video below walks you through some of these new features and enhancements, and also touches on some of the lesser-known tips and tricks.
Regardless of whether you are an educator, network manager or IT director, the Task Manager in Windows 8 offers an easy to use tool where you can manage running apps and services, and also monitor high-level performance stats.
Further to our recent blog post on the GetOnline@Home initiative, Go ON UK looked further into the deal to see what the scheme offers.
Originally posted on the Go On UK website.
Following the launch of the amazing new initiative from Get Online @ Home, we got Go ON UK's resident tech expert, Aaron Donnell, to see what all the fuss was about.
The cost of buying and connecting a PC can be a huge barrier for many of the 16 million Brits without Basic Online Skills.
That’s why this June, Get Online @ Home’s offering a £24 refurbished PC or £74 refurbished laptop with broadband from £2.99 per month for those on certain benefits. Aimed at those with low or no digital skills, it’s designed to help more people get online with cheap but high quality refurbished computers and broadband.
Prices are low, but what hardware do you get and how good is it for beginners? Here's Aaron's verdict:
The laptop I’ve reviewed is a refurbished Dell Latitude D630 with a 14 inch screen. They won’t all be the same, but will have a minimum of 2GHz CPU, a 60GB HDD, a CD drive and a 14” screen. Plus they’ll be Wi-Fi enabled for wireless web access, have a webcam and a 12 month warranty.
Out of the box
The laptop comes nicely boxed up, with power brick, webcam and setup and licensing guides. A reassuringly hand filled and signed quality check sheet is also included alongside guides. It’s very clean and in as-new condition. It’s also light and the screen’s clear and crisp – it has a high 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. This is fine for most uses such as viewing photos, browsing, video chat and viewing videos (as long as you don’t require full HD).
The laptop is powerful enough for all but highly intensive use, with a 2 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM memory. A 75 GB hard drive could be on the small side for those that save large files such as videos or music, but capacity could easily and cheaply be expanded by adding external memory to one of the 4 USB ports. Alternatively, old files can be transferred to DVD via the built-in DVD Rewritable drive. Wi-Fi is built in for wireless access to the Internet.
As the laptop comes with genuine Microsoft software licensing, Windows 7 requires initial setup. The included step by step guide will help inexperienced users through the process.
What’s it like for basic online activities?
Once set up is complete, the first window that appears is to set-up the Anti-Virus software, Microsoft Security Essentials. This gives a layer of protection from malicious software right from the start, helping new users stay safe online. Internet Explorer 9 is installed to access the Internet and use search engines. Plus users can easily connect to Outlook for e-mail and calendars (all you need is an e-mail address and password). A fully licenced version of Microsoft Office Basic 2007 (Excel, Outlook, Word) is included.
This laptop is superb value, especially considering full licences are provided for both Windows 7 and Office 2007 Basic. It’s quiet, portable and powerful enough for everyday tasks such as creating and saving documents, e-mailing and web access; great for beginners and people looking to boost their Basic Online Skills.
*Both deals must include broadband signup, which is not reviewed here.
This fantastic starter manual, written by SharePoint MVP Alex Pearce, will give you a step by step guide to implementing Office 365 Education for your school, college or university. The guide covers the subscription process, how to register your first domain to some simple Exchange, Lync and SharePoint housekeeping.
The full starter manual can be viewed/downloaded below. If you have a question about the guide, please do not hesitate to leave an update in the comments below or reach out directly to Alex.
Microsoft Lync helps you communicate with ease, and gives you the ability to adapt your workflow allowing you to get more work done - whether in the office, at home, or on the go.
Lync 2013 has some great new features, not to mention the fact that it’s modern, quick and personalised! Below are just a few of the fantastic new features which make 2013 that much better:
If you want to see Lync in action, the Microsoft UC user group are hitting the road with a number of events across June. Find out more about what they’ll be doing here.
Check out when they’re coming to you: http://mucuguk.eventbrite.com/
Guest post by Eylan Ezekiel.
We have all been to inspiring conferences, and seen awesome presentations from those leading the change in the way education can be. To turn those ideas into action we need a space to work with others to make them happen. Finally, someone has created an event that combines those threads: Inspire / Provoke / Create
#creat_ED is a new event, bringing technology, education and the creative industries together, on the 21st of June at The Barbican.
Born from the ashes of the much loved LWF13, #creat_ED has been built by the community created by that event. It is an unconference (much like a Barcamp/Teachmeet), focussed on doing.
There are will be inspiring and provocative speakers, including the amazing Stevyn Colgan, an ex-Cop who helped to found Scotland Yard's Police Problem Solving Unit and is now a QI elf and writer. He'll be speaking about challenging orthodoxy, making unpredictable connections and problem-solving. Watch a video of him in action here.
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, founder of the Good Night Lamp and designswarm will be speaking about how the 'internet of things' will change the way we learn.
The rest of the day will be dedicated to making your ideas happen, and expert catalysts will be supporting workshops to help you be the change.
Tickets are only £40, and there is a discount available for those using the promotional code MicrosoftPIL .
Register your ticket for #creat_ED today!
Eylan Ezekiel is the co-founder of #creat_ED. Eylan is currently a consultant for The Innovation Unit, and was previously Head of BrainPOP UK.
Except from our ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook.
Any technology entering the boundaries of the school gates, whether cyber or physical, must be properly secured. Locking down systems and granting only restricted access, while perhaps easier to manage, would prevent students from realising the benefits of collaboration technology. Security needs must be balanced with the requirement of pupils, teachers and parents to ensure information and content is easily accessed. Managing access to websites at a granular level, setting usage policies and the provision of weekly reports on activities are all built into Windows 8.
Security is of particular concern when it comes to adopting a BYOD or BYOB policy – the opportunity for data breaches, virus or malware attacks is front of mind for the ICT team; attempting to secure multiple devices and the network represents a huge challenge.
A global study from the Ponemon Institute (2012) on mobility risks said schools should consider elements such as device level encryption, endpoint security and identity management. Windows 8 can help alleviate some of the security headaches with in-built security, such as Windows Defender and SmartScreen which help to manage the connectivity options and protect devices from viruses and malware.
Our full ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook can be viewed/downloaded below for free.
Our friends at Acer are running a great free Windows 8 evaluation kit offer on their Veriton and Travelmate devices, that we wanted to give readers of the blog a heads up about.
Built specifically for the education marketing and with a focus on extending the enriching the learning experience beyond the classroom, these powerful Windows 8 devices offer an affordable and reliable solution for institutions across the sector.
To learn more about the evaluation, and the range of devices on offer, view/download the full PDF below. Alternatively, call 0208 283 311 to request your free evaluation kit.
School, like work, has become more than just somewhere to go. Teachers now expect pupils to take a certain amount of control over their own education, particularly when it comes to the latter years and home study. Even at a young age, pupils and parents need access to a variety of content outside of school hours. Timetables, teacher’s reports, lesson plans and homework should all be available for access whenever a pupil needs them. Windows 8 empowers pupils to take control of their own learning though accessing and sharing content. Using sharing technology, such as OneNote, Office 365 Education and SkyDrive enable pupils to access securely and easily information about their classes, additional content and material when outside the school gates.
OneNote for example, enables pupils to continue study groups while outside of lessons and collaborate with other pupils in order to complete joint tasks. Teachers can upload lesson notes online with the confidence of knowing classes can refer back to the notes whenever they need to, particularly at exam time to help with revision, for example. And, vitally, with OneNote, notes can travel with the pupils, regardless of device; students access OneNote at school and save content, they can access that content once home in order to complete the day’s work. Windows 8 can empower pupils to set their own pace of learning outside of the classroom and gain deeper knowledge regardless of location.
Collaboration and creativity are core attributes of a 21st century education system and sharing technology that pupils can use every day. SkyDrive is a cloud-based central repository for content and could be used to store all of the lesson materials on a particular topic, for example.
Our full ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook can be viewed/downloaded below for free:
Students with a valid academic email address can now save 10% when they purchase any Surface RT device through Microsoft Store!
The offer is available for students, faculty and staff, and requires verification of eligibility using an .ac.uk email address.
The discount is only valid until 31st October 2013, so get in quick to be sure you don’t miss out!
For full details of the deal, head over to the Surface website.
Excerpt from our ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook
The importance of access to technology, particularly 1:1 (ie one pupil having personal access to a computing device) cannot be underestimated. The Sutton Trust, an organisation aimed at helping social mobility through education, has recently stated that 1:1 computing can help children from disadvantaged backgrounds keep pace with their more affluent peers. By having 1:1 access to a PC or browser device, pupils can be empowered to offer feed-back, conduct peer-assisted learning strategies, complete homework and learn ICT skills. This, in turn, will help them be more prepared for the 21st century workplace. Learning technology skills is becoming increasingly imperative for school children; in the near future it is estimated almost 90% of jobs to require knowledge of ICT, therefore equipping pupils on a 1:1 basis with technology becomes even more essential.
One possible method for schools to equip pupils without incurring major hardware costs is to mirror the business community with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme. Enabling pupils to bring their own technology alleviates schools from the cost of having to supply the hardware, while simultaneously saving time and costs of any training for the pupils because they are already familiar with the device. And research shows that schools already adopting this policy; Research from RM shows that 62 percent of secondary schools have already adopted a BYOD approach or intend to within the next 12 months.
However, there are complicated elements for schools to also consider, such as technical restrictions, cyber security and management as well as how teachers can manage and assist with learning if the student devices are all different. One way around this could be that all devices must be internet ready – a scheme Bournemouth University runs and calls BYOB – Bring your own Browser. In this model the emphasis is not on the device, but on the device’s ability to access and browse the internet. All content creation and consumption can then be done through the browser in a uniform manner.
Our full ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook can be viewed/downloaded below for free.