Each month the TechNet and MSDN teams over in the US host a wide range of webcasts on technical subjects. And, of course, next week’s half-term holiday might give you a chance to catch up on some professional development.

As they are held on Pacific Coast time, they first one of the day is normally timed perfectly for the school day – at 4pm, after the stamping of tiny feet has left the corridors.There are others, later on in the evening, which are also good, but I know that you’re going to need a burning interest in something to turn up for a 9pm webcast.

You can find this month’s webcasts on this page (all UK times), and also look at the future ones.

Key February Webcasts

Here’s the ones I think might be useful for network managers in UK schools. Unfortunately the appropriate February ones all look like 7pm ones. Mind you, maybe you need an excuse to skip out of Corrie.

Office and Outlook – helping you delegate effectively
Wednesday 17th, 7pm Microsoft Office System Webcast: Effective Delegation (Level 100)
This one’s all about managers delegating tasks to their teams. Probably should watch this before your head teacher does!

SharePoint 2010 and social networking
Thursday 18th, 7pm Momentum Webcast: Social Computing with SharePoint 2010 (Level 100)
Ideal to understand how the new social networking features of SharePoint work, to help you plan for their use within your school.

Exchange 2010 scalability
Thursday 18th, 7pm TechNet Webcast: Getting the Most Out of Exchange Server 2010: Performance and Scalability (Level 300)
This looks at the product team’s guidelines on scalability and performance, and what tools are there to help in Exchange 2010.

Windows 7 deployment
Monday 22nd, 7pm TechNet Webcast: Everything You Wanted to Know About Windows 7 Deployment in 90 Minutes (Level 200)
Described as a “whirlwind tour of the tools and methods used to deploy Windows 7”, from manual, to automated light-touch and zero-touch installations.

What does Level 100/200/300 mean?

I can’t find an ‘official’ definition, so here’s my scale:

  • Level 100: If you can logon to a webcast, then the content won’t go over your head
  • Level 200: There’ll be some technical content, but the majority will be in plain English
  • Level 300: Propeller-Heads only. Personally, I only get about 30% of the Level 300 session
  • Level 400: As Steve Ballmer would say, “Developers, Developers, Developers”