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Originally posted on the Microsoft UK Faculty Connection Blog.
First in a series of guest posts from Adrian Edgar, Independent Education Consultant. Director of ICT and SMT at Culford School for 7 Years.
Last week I was lucky enough to be part of the Microsoft Education team at BETT 2012. I spoke on the subject of using OneNote 2010 and SharePoint 2010 MySites. In this blog post, I’d like to recap some of the key points and show some of the great ways we have developed use of the software.
OneNote addresses the three core aspects that underpin effective learning. Pupils can capture their thoughts quickly and record their work. This could be typed notes, pictures, drawings or indeed, written notes. As long as pupils get in to the habit of using their OneNote notebook as their central portfolio, collecting and organising work becomes second nature. Rarely can you say that a piece of software aids organisation in such an effective manner.
Finally, and the most important aspect is the ability to simply share work and collaborate. This could be two or more pupils discussing work, but it is just as likely to involve the other key players in the process. Teachers and Parents can be given rights to read or contribute to the notebook and if you link this to a SharePoint library or SkyDrive share, the opportunities are endless.
Rather than focus on the core aspects of OneNote I’d like to discuss the fantastic way we can integrate the use of SharePoint Libraries, Outlook scheduling and tasks in order to help pupils plan and organise their time.
The first part of the process is to share the notebook and then grant contribute rights. In this example, I’m going to use SharePoint 2010 My Sites.
First step is to create a new document library under the students My Site pages
1. Start by making sure you are in the My Content section before you begin the process
2. From My Sites, click on Site Actions and Select New Document Library
3. Follow the instructions to complete each section as shown below
4. Click on Create to complete the process. You should see the new library created on the left hand tool bar. The new document library should open and display the library toolbar ribbon
5. It’s at this stage you can assign the correct permissions to the library
Now that we have our new homework library, I’m going to make sure the correct people have permission.
Once you have created your new library it should open with the Library Tools ribbon as shown. If not, simply look for the ribbon tab on the left next to Site Actions and click on Library.
1. Look for the Library Permissions icon on the far right. Click on this icon.
2. More than likely, this library will inherit permissions from the level above. Simply click on the Stop Inheriting Permissions button and agree to the dialogue box.
3. Now you can remove all the permissions you don’t need and add your own.
Be careful when you do this. Make sure you keep your permissions to the library. The example below uses a fake student called Lucy Jones.
4. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to remove and then click on Remove User Permissions.
5. Now you can add permissions for the teacher to contribute to the library. This will assign permissions to any document uploaded to that library.
The final stage of this section is to assign collaboration rights to the teacher. For this example we are going to use the name, Mrs T Green.
1. With the same Library Permissions ribbon open, confirm that you can see the indicator stating that the library has individual permissions. If not follow step 2 above.
2. Click on Grant Permissions on the Permission Tools ribbon. The dialogue box below will open.
3. In this example I have allocated Contribute permissions to Mrs Teresa Green. I could have also used any of my Active Directory groups and assigned permissions to all staff.
4. Scrolling down the page, I have the opportunity to personalise a message explaining the permission I have granted.
5. Click OK to complete the process. The SharePoint server will email your welcome message.
In the next part of this post I will show you how to go one stage further now and set up a sharing collaboration process between teacher and pupil.
In the meantime, the slides from the OneNote session at BETT 2012 can be viewed/downloaded below.
One of our (many) friends over at EduGeek has recently done some work with Marine Academy Plymouth taking over their systems in May 2011. We have now a series which charts the process of systems modernisation from analysis, to planning, then implementation before finally evaluation. This first article will deal with a summary of that analysis; and the ones which follow will cover Stuart Wilkie’s (IT Manager) decisions and how he put them into practice.
Marine Academy Plymouth is the UK’s first Marine Academy. It’s a state-funded specialist secondary school with three sponsors - University of Plymouth , Cornwall College and Plymouth City Council
The Marine theme is not just about Marine Science. One of the common questions (and EduGeek had a few at a recent open evening), is why “Marine Academy”? You immediately think, do I need to grow fins, have a boat, swim even…? Well actually it’s none of those things. All the careers that we currently pursue from a land-based concept can feasibly be accessed in association with the sea and marine. Careers in areas such as engineering, tourism, medicine, catering, building and agriculture – just to start with!
Marine Academy Plymouth’s focus is to help to prepare and develop the students’ career opportunities, for today’s traditional jobs and for those that we don’t yet know about, we will achieve this through a commitment to high standards and to sustainability.
“A modern, reliable, environmentally friendly computer system is key to the Academy in so many ways. Everything we do here has to embody our ethos and beliefs and ultimately empower the learners of tomorrow.”
“A modern, reliable, environmentally friendly computer system is key to the Academy in so many ways. Everything we do here has to embody our ethos and beliefs and ultimately empower the learners of tomorrow.”
Standardisation and a stable platform are the key to the success and development of any system – at least that’s what the experience of time tells me.
The systems at Marine Academy were a bit of a mix at the start with a wide variety of hardware manufacturers as well as specification. Dealing with the inequality of accessibility would be key to ensuring the consistency of the learning experience.
The system itself consisted of surprising few servers for the scale of the clients – all 600+ of them! The server platform was powered by two DCs, Exchange, Capita SIMS (Student Management System) and ISA all of which relatively new. There were also a selection of older servers performing legacy file sharing and testing roles such as WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) and the free imaging and management platform “FOG”. The problem was the DCs were also the DFS, directly connected to the SAN , contained all the User Data (everything from Home folders to Profiles and the traditional Staff and Student shared folders) and the legacy servers were exactly that – legacy. There was no redundancy within the system, and the ability to perform any maintenance, or failure, would render parts of the network inoperable.
The majority of the teaching staff had been issued with laptops, a throwback to the Government “Laptop for Teachers” scheme. There was a wide variety of sizes and specifications. A quick glance at these, and their age/condition presented an issue. Consistency of delivery for one, and secondly, Devon and Plymouth as Local Authorities were insisting on implementation of encryption of all mobile devices which left school and college sites.
Largely, the desktop fleet was in a good way. Marine Academy has 6 main ICT Suites plus clusters for Technology, Science and Arts. ICT Suites had largely been refreshed the previous year with high not being realised due to downgrading to the older Windows XP Operating System. The administrative and support workstations had also received the same refresh which was slight overkill based on their use. The remainder of the machines comprised of large fleets of either “custom build” dual core machines, older Celeron small form IBMs or RM All in Ones. The majority of classrooms had a single workstation installed to be used with the Interactive Whiteboard and AV facilities available which fell into one of the latter two ranges.
Returning to the headline intentions, consistency of learning experience, reliability, stability and core to the Academy ethos, sustainability, the question lies, how could it be done?
Key development intentions:
Coming up in the second article in the series, there will be details of how we designed the new server system, what choices we made and why plus the start of the implementation process… so stay tuned!
Stuart’s “alter-ego” is TheScarfedOne and as well as being the IT Manager at Marine Academy Plymouth, he fits in being part of the staff team at Edugeek.net, with whom Microsoft have a close relationship. Edugeek.net is the community for ICT Support and Development in Schools, with a worldwide following. His blog can be found at here
Guest post from freelance writer, Gerald Haigh. Gerald writes regularly for the Microsoft Education blogs.
On the final Saturday of BETT 2012, I found myself among old friends on the Capita stand. Having followed the SIMS story since the earliest days, I thought I’d kept up with most of what they’ve been doing over the years. I have to say, though, that I hadn’t taken enough notice of their cloud-hosted SharePoint powered management learning environment, ‘Openhive’, which was added to Capita’s portfolio when they acquired Synetrix in 2009.
This year, though, my attention was grabbed by the fact that ‘OpenHive’ was moved to the main Capita stand, and it was made possible to see its possibilities aligned with all the developments emerging in the SIMS management information system.
There’s a lot going for ‘Openhive’. It’s modular, which means it can be tailored to a school’s needs and budget, and it uses ‘Silverlight’ to produce an attractive and easy user interface. The result is a resource that’s highly flexible.
One school might choose simply to use the Openhive Portal, providing a customised and school branded single sign on front end for all the school’s ICT services. Another, though, might go for a complete ISP service, with mail, parental reporting, video and instant messaging. Or, of course, any step in between (The interplay between ‘Openhive’ and the mass of data held by SIMS, is of obvious importance here).
This flexibility is important. So often, teachers and school leaders have been thrown off-balance by the arrival of a complicated VLE, sometimes imposed from above. As a result, it’s often suggested that schools should consider retreating to a simple starting point, looking to using bespoke web tools as and when they were needed. At the same time, though, the enormous potential of SharePoint for collaboration, communication and content handling has been obvious, particularly to that intrepid band of teachers and network managers who have succeeded in harnessing SharePoint to the needs of their schools.
Not everyone wants to do that, though, or has the necessary skills. That’s why the development of commercial SharePoint based environments such as Learning Possibilities’ LP+4, Civica’s ‘CloudBase” and Capita’s “Openhive” itself, are so important, each developed with the emphasis on how students, teachers, leaders and parents engage with school work.
They do, though, need to be carefully approached and adopted. That’s why James Cross, eLearning Consultant with ‘Civica’, describing how they introduce ‘CloudBase’ to schools says,
“We go into school, really get to know the staff, and essentially become an extra member of staff.”
The “Openhive” approach is the same. Keith Jones, Capita’s Openhive Programme Manager, describing the level of support that’s provided for adopters, says,
“We say to schools, ‘You can’t buy a VLE in June and expect it to be in action by September. It takes a while to understand it and all staff and others, including governors, have to be involved.”
The point he makes, and it’s a crucial one for all school ICT projects, is that the adoption process should consist of making the product work for the school, and not be about changing school processes and policies to fit the product.
There’s so much going on now as partner businesses and developers pick up Microsoft software, such as SQL Server, SharePoint 2010, Live@edu and Office 365, and tailor them to the needs of learners. At the same time there’s the rapid advance of Cloud technology and the ‘School in a Box’ concept. It all makes for plenty to watch out for and report on in the coming year.
A selection of pictures documenting our presence at BETT 2012 have now been added to the Microsoft @ BETT 2012 Flickr Group.
If you took any pictures of our stand at BETT, it would be great if you could add them to the group. Its a public group and Flickr makes it really simple for you to add your pictures with only a couple of clicks. Look forward to seeing your shots!
Some of my favourite pictures from the show are definitely when Prince Andrew, Duke of York, visited our stand and the cool Photosynth that Lee Stott from the DPE team put together!
Thanks again to all those who visited our stand at BETT 2012. If you have any ideas about how we can make our involvement at the 2013 event even more relevant and valuable, leave me your thoughts in comments below.
Reflecting on a great BETT, thanks to everyone who stopped by our stand, one of the most popular sessions within our Theatre Stand was the School in a Box presentation delivered by our Schools Business Managers, Sean O’Shea and Mark Reynolds.
Delivered in their unique and entertaining way, both Sean and Mark did an amazing job at presenting a new concept for ICT delivery within schools that supports the idea that there is an empowering alternative for school leaders in how they use IT, and the cloud in particular, to deliver next generation learning experiences.
If you missed their session, or want a copy of their slides to share with colleagues, the full deck can be viewed/downloaded below.
A copy of the eBook that stimulated the School in a Box movement can also be downloaded below.
If you would like to learn more about School in a Box, Nviron, in conjunction with Microsoft, are running an a free half day seminar in Cheshire (J11, M56) on 6th February focusing on Cloud computing in Education. With a focus on Office 365, Live@edu and Microsoft Hyper-V™ & System Center, this event offers a unique opportunity to build on the content shared via the presentation and eBook above and learn how School in a Box can help transform how you think about the delivery and consumption of ICT in your school.
Location and registration details are available via the Nviron website.
Originally posted on the Faculty Connection Blog.
We recently made some exciting changes and improvements to DreamSpark, with the launch of a new site and rebranding of MSDNAA to Microsoft DreamSpark Premium.
DreamSpark is the first step for educators to make learning more motivating, relevant, and engaging for today’s students by providing no cost access to professional-level development, design, and gaming software.
DreamSpark offers a unique opportunity for both students and educators to use the latest professional development, design and gaming software at no charge and provides a chance to learn new technologies to excite students in classrooms.
Furthermore, DreamSpark offers access to software and curriculum resources to help develop courses that will enable students to achieve their career goals after graduation.
The programme also offers opportunities to help educators expand their personal and professional portfolios and enhance classroom objectives.
DreamSpark is simple; it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools at no charge so they can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on their career. Microsoft believes that students can do amazing things if they only have the right tools.
DreamSpark is about giving educators no cost access to Microsoft professional-level developer, designer and gaming software so they can reach, motivate, and ensure their students achieve their greatest potential. DreamSpark gives teachers access to the software and resources to ensure their classroom always has the latest technologies to keep students engaged in new ways.
Learning must be relevant, exciting, and engaging. DreamSpark is aligned with universities, associations, and employers to ensure that educators are able to discover, create, and deliver courses to students that lead to increased technical proficiency, employability and of course creates the next generation of technical leaders.
DreamSpark Pricing Model and Usage
NB. Licensing does not allow for the products to be used in class, and FREE licensing does not cover educators
Changes to licensing and costs
DreamSpark for Schools, College and Universities subscription is now available and priced at $99 FREE for EES customers – This change allows all DreamSpark software to be installed for teaching and learning on Institutional Lab machines (also it now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and is available for all taught discipline, previously this only covered students usage and not licensed for intuitional equipment)
DreamSpark Premium – Previously MSDNAA so includes more products including Visio, OneNote and Project and is aimed at STEM FE and HE institutions and all IT Academy Subscribers. The cost has been reduced to $499 from £1000+ and it’s a campus license as per EES so you only need to purchase 1 license and not 1 per school or faculty (also it now covers educators and students for personal non-commercial usage and all lab installations)
Microsoft was started when many of the founders were still students so we know that anything is possible. To make this happen, we are aligning with universities, associations, and other communities around the world to make sure that DreamSpark reaches everyone as fast as possible.
Following Michael Gove's recent announcement about changes to the ICT Curriculum, Tyne Tees Television filmed a Year 9 ICT lesson using Kodu and Mouse Mischief and spoke to the students and their teacher about their learning in ICT at Monkseaton.
The work they are doing with Kodu, in particular, is fantastic!
Watch the video in full below:
For assistance in helping teachers and students prepare for the curriculum changes and to better equip themselves for a digital future, our recent blog post highlighting both the IT Academy and DreamSpark might be useful reading.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
With the dust now settling after a great BETT 2012, we thought it might be useful to post all the slides from our presentations at the show to our blog. If you attended one of our sessions, wish you had done or maybe didn’t make to Kensington for the final BETT at Olympia, all the slides can be viewed/downloaded below.
Hope you find these useful and if you have any questions about any of the sessions please leave a comment below and I will get straight back to you.
I will be posting additional content linked to our presence at BETT 2012 on the blog over the coming week but, in the meantime, thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand. We really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you on our stand at the first BETT at the Excel centre in January 2013.
On our stand at BETT 2012, we have some great content available. Ebooks, fact sheets, whitepapers and more are available via a selection of QR Codes/MS Tags featured across the stand. Visit us on stand D30/D40 to download them to your phone today!
Alternatively, you can view and/or download a selection of the content available on the stand below: