As part of the Curriculum pod on our stand at BETT 2012, in addition to Learning Suite, Partners in Learning Network, Skype in the Classroom and the IT Academy, we will be showcasing Microsoft DreamSpark.
If you are not familiar with this offering, DreamSpark is essentially a free suite of development and design software from Microsoft and is available for all UK Students, of all ages.
DreamSpark is simple, it's about giving all students access to Microsoft professional-level developer and design 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!
You can also sign up your whole school for DreamSpark for FREE. More information is available via the FAQ section.
If you have any questions about Dreamspark, visit our stand at BETT 2012 (D30 & D40).
Originally posted on Anthony Salcito’s Education Insights Blog.
Will the year 2012 prove to be a turning point for education? There’s certainly an ever-increasing spotlight on the quality of education and an interest to help improve it from all corners of society. As I travel around the world, I see many technology companies increasing their focus and investment in education. And I think it’s time for the industry to pull together to think not just about winning and losing, but how we can do what’s right for students and make learning better.
I’m inspired everyday by the work of teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and business leaders who have made improving education worldwide a facet of their lives. As part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative, we work with more than 9 million teachers in 115 countries, and it’s amazing to me that regardless of local economics or other challenges in their unique learning environments, teachers find a way to make a difference in students’ lives.
With the ever-changing economic climate, the next year is sure to be filled with both challenges and opportunities. Here are some trends and themes I think we’ll continue to hear more about in 2012.
1. A tighter focus and prioritization on workforce readiness and jobs. This is going to be everywhere. Traditional universities are thinking much more about preparing students for the workforce, immersing students with job skills training earlier. Traditional community colleges, technical and vocational schools will continue to see a rise in popularity and student interest. And even in the K-12 space, schools are doing more to introduce skill-based learning outside of the core subject areas of math, science and reading that students are tested on. This is true globally where the unemployment rate is also at record lows. In countries like Spain and Korea, entrepreneurship is rising in importance and kids are looking to discover and create new industries. Through our Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) project, we know skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity are vital for students as they prepare to enter the workforce. So much so, that The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – a worldwide, three-yearly evaluation in OECD member countries of school pupils’ performance – will be including Collaborative Problem Solving as a mandatory component of the 2015 study.
2. A support for innovative teacher methodologies is critical. There’s a lot of debate whether technology can replace or diminish the role of a teacher in the classroom. At Microsoft, we believe investing in teaching and professional development of teachers is one of the most important investments we can make in education. One teacher can reach thousands over the course of a career, and literally catalyze the future of a community. Between our Innovative Teaching and Learning Research and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there is a lot of research on teacher effectiveness and its impact on student learning. We know the more education a child obtains, the higher their income earning potential is…and now there is a new study out of Harvard and Columbia that shows how just even one great teacher can impact a student’s future earnings. The Partners in Learning Network is a free community resource with networking, educator resources, lesson plans, and invaluable learning content from the world’s best teachers.
3. 2012 is when the cloud moves from a curiosity to a necessity. While more than 22 million students, faculty and staff are using Microsoft’s cloud services today in education, there is going to be huge growth. Schools will recognize the cloud is a key component to their digital content platform strategy to storage options as it relates to security, identity, back-up, etc., It’s also a way to cost-effectively deliver more technology to more people quickly and so that they can focus their IT resources on projects that really drive improvements to learning.
4. Real data-driven learning. Another big trend I think you will start to see is more examples of data-driven learning and education taken to the next level. Historically, data-driven education has been a chart taking activity where we get data and display information, but then reaction to the data has been inconsistent. The data collection of students’ progress hasn’t been driving a real opportunity for proactive support. This is where business intelligence (BI) can enable a much richer dialogue with regards helping teachers personalize learning and being able to create individualized lessons for students at different places in their learning.
5. Gaming and the emergence of Kinect as a PC factor. Yes, I am a gamer…and I blog a lot about how gaming and the mechanics of gaming can and should be brought into education to help drive expectations of students higher. At CES, I had an opportunity to see Kinect applied in very interesting ways. There were vendors showing how Kinect can work with digital whiteboards and classroom navigation, lecture capture, and how voice control can be integrated in very simple and elegant ways. We are starting to see a grassroots effort and more teachers include Kinect as a component of classroom design and a way to motivate students. It’s also a way for schools to save money yet still acquire innovative technology to create rich, interactive experiences. The marketplace for more education solutions will continue to grow after the Kinect for Windows SDK and Kinect for Windows Sensor is released publicly on February 1st.
6. Change the conversation from the device to learning. I think we’ll see a movement where schools will move beyond 1:1 computing and really focus on digital learning. It will transform from a device conversation to a learning conversation. There will be trends like “bring your own device” (BYOD) that support it, and the proliferation of multiple device types (laptops, slates, tablets, phones) that support the technology environment schools want and need. But then the conversation needs to turn to connecting the devices to curriculum and pedagogy and the assessment models. And all the content needs to be accessible on multiple devices and be available anytime and anywhere.
7. The rise of digital curriculum and reading. The rise of digital reading is certainly a reality in the consumer space, but textbook providers are just starting to build out next-generation content experiences. I think we’ll finally start to see the transition and some schools like this one in Turkey as early adopters. While many schools will use the opportunity to save money on traditional textbooks to fund devices, schools have to think about this holistically and not just buy a device to replace a textbook. Digitizing textbooks in and of itself is not transformative, but by focusing on the entire learning continuum and how digital curriculum and content created by students and teachers can be connected to back-end systems that can link the student outcomes to assessments, personalized learning and increased student achievement…now that’s transformative change.
Microsoft is working with more than 150 publishers worldwide, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Cornelsen, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Santillana to publish and distribute digital textbooks in the cloud. These textbooks and new content will be able to be consumed by students on a variety of devices, from Windows 7 notebooks to tablets and slates, Windows Phone, Xbox, Kinect and Office 365, reflecting the diversity and personalization required as part of the learning experience.
I think it will be a very exciting year.
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.
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.
Monkseaton High School have very recently made a film that they could use for to show students, parents, prospective parents and students examples of how technology is used in a 21st century school, in particular Kodu and Mouse Mischief in the classroom.
This example will show just how easy technology can be integrated into every day learning from both the perspective of teachers and students at Monkseaton.
Windows Intune is an elegant management solution for academic institutions of all sizes. Whether you look after a single school or college, or manage a large group of schools, Windows Intune allows institutions to remotely perform PC management and security tasks in the cloud.
From a single console, you can see at a glance the status of your organisations PCs and easily establish whether the latest software updates are applied or the anti-virus definitions are up to date.
Furthermore, Windows Intune gives you central control to define policies, deploy software and even run anti virus scans, all from a secure web based console.
Windows Intune works on a subscription model so there are no upfront costs for a management infrastructure.
Watch the recent webcast recording to understand more. Alternatively, come and visit us on Stand D30 & D40 at BETT 2012.
Post written by Mark Reynolds, Schools Business Manager (South)
Microsoft does a lot of good things for its staff, which is probably why in 2011 we were named as the best multinational company to work for in the “Great Place To Work” survey (beating McDonalds, Google and Coca Cola, to name but a few). Of all the things Microsoft does well, my favourite is the volunteering days. Every year, we get 3 full days volunteering time, to spend on projects in our local communities. Sometimes things are organised by the company (I built chicken coups last year for a local charity!) but you are also free to do things which are more personal to you, and that’s how I ended up mentoring a Student-Led Company at Larkmead School in Abingdon.
I went to Larkmead from 89’ to 94’ and as you can see from the picture below, sported some pretty fantastic hairstyles during that time (this one was called “curtains”). Years later I met Chris Harris, the current Head Teacher, at BETT, and we have kept in touch ever since. When I found out about the volunteering days I suggested to him that I do something at Larkmead, and after talking through a few options we agreed that I’d mentor a group of students to start their own company. Soon I found myself speaking at their whole-school assembly to a thousand kids and all the teaching staff (teachers I can handle, students were a terrifying audience) and appealing for students to register their interest in coming to job interviews.
During the speech, I explained that I didn’t have all the answers, and didn’t know exactly what the company would do – but that it should combine the creative skills and resources already in the school (they’re a performing arts college) with my knowledge of the IT market. We left it open to any age group, and asked students to send a one line email to register their interest and explain why they should be considered. The application emails in themselves were fascinating and inspiring. Here are a few of my favourites:
“I would like to be part of the company because I have got a loud voice.” “I haven’t been very good at sports before and my friends don’t believe I can do things but this is my chance to prove them wrong and I think I can do this and I am determined to create something new.” “I am legend!”
“I would like to be part of the company because I have got a loud voice.”
“I haven’t been very good at sports before and my friends don’t believe I can do things but this is my chance to prove them wrong and I think I can do this and I am determined to create something new.”
“I am legend!”
We got 65 applicants and ran two group interviews. The group task was to come up with an idea for a smart-phone app. The first group had to make theirs for the 2012 Olympics and the second group got a Christmas theme. I knew they’d talk in the playground and didn’t want the second group having a head start! After the group task, they all got a 3 minute individual interview so we could learn a bit more about them and ask which department they wanted to go for. We used the same system as the Microsoft graduate scheme and divided the company into three sections: Marketing, Sales and Technical.
After the interviews we shortlisted a group of 30 students, split roughly with a third in each department. All of the students were sent a letter, either with a job offer, or with a letter thanking them for taking part. Saying no to some of them was a really tough part for me, because they all did well, but hopefully even the students who were not successful have learnt something from the process.
Our first meeting of “the company” was just before Christmas. We don’t have a name yet, or a bank account, or a full list of products and services. So now the fun starts, as we begin to work out all of those things. Once we’re up and running, teams of students from the sales team will be going out to visit local businesses to sell our products or services – either for money, or traded for the products or services that the local company provide. I like to imagine negotiations like “we’ll build you a Facebook page if you mend the sports hall roof” – but already we’ve had questions about whether students will get paid, so it may be that they would rather charge real money. Again, I don’t have all the answers and how the company makes/spends money will be totally up to them.
The first meeting pointed to them wanting to form becoming a digital-marketing company, doing anything from business cards or company websites, to using social media to plan and deliver marketing campaigns. The students have some real skills in things like social media, which many small business owners do not. Part of my mentoring has been to convince them that not all adults know how to do this stuff themselves, and explain that there is a real market among local small businesses for their knowledge and skills. So far, they’re really responding well and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I will keep you posted in a future post, once the company has been named. If your school wants to set up a Student-Led company, or if you like the idea of mentoring one, have a look at the Teenbiz website. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to talk to ask questions or get in touch with the Larkmead staff or students about their project.
Have some questions about our licensing and, in particular, EES? We can help!
Visit our stand at BETT 2012 and let one of our licencing specialists walk you through the best options for you and your institution. Get answers to the following questions, and more:
Find us on stand D30 & D40. In addition to finding out the answers to your licensing related queries, we have a packed schedule of presentations that address everything from gaming in education to School in a Box. We hope you can join us!
In the meantime, the deck below walks you through a top level overview of the different types of education licensing that is currently available.
As mentioned earlier this week, a core focus for us at BETT 2012 is gaming in education. With a dedicated showcase area staffed by the K-Team and inspiring daily presentations by the always motivating Ollie Bray, our stand at BETT 2012 promises to be an essential pit stop for those interested in learning more about how gaming can help engage learners of all ages!
More specifically, the gaming in education showcase area will be featuring real examples of how applications developed using the Kinect SDK are improving the attainment of students. Visit the stand to see how the creators of the applications personally demonstrate how they have embraced the SDK to create learning experiences that challenge the status quo.
Additionally, if you are planning your visit to BETT 2012, Ollie Bray’s presentation titled ‘Gaming in Education: Playful Learning’ is scheduled for 10.30am and will then be repeated at 3pm. If you haven’t seem Ollie present before, I highly recommend a visit to the stand to see his session!
Additionally, if you are keen to learn more about how games are being effectively used in the classroom, our Kinect Adventures in the Classroom eBook has some thought provoking content that you can implement within your institution today. The eBook can viewed below or downloaded via our SlideShare account.
We look forward to welcoming you on stand D40 & D30 at BETT 2012.
Playful Learning – Ben Nunney, Academic Developer Evangelist
‘’Games aren’t just the thing you do once you’ve done your homework – they’re proven to enhance the classroom experience, drive home learning objectives, and can serve as an engaging and inspiring plenary. Microsoft had done amazing things over the past 12 months with Kinect which, using an array of sensors, makes you the controller. By connecting the Kinect up to your PC you can bring the Kinect Effect to your classroom. At BETT 2012 this year, we’ll have a whole bunch of demos for you to play with, and see what a touch of gaming can do for your school!’’
Private Cloud – Andrew Fryer, IT Pro Evangelist
‘’What on earth is a Private Cloud and why does it matter to schools at all? The idea is actually very simple; it’s the adoption of the techniques that are used to deliver the online services we all use like Hotmail, Amazon etc but inside your own school or network of schools. The key to this approach is extreme automation and standardisation to provide services as and when schools need them. You could be forgiven for thinking is all about saving money, but the real benefit is agility, allowing schools to innovate and adapt as they need to.’’
Public Cloud – James Marshall, Live@edu Specialist
“Come and see where it’s really happening, over on the public cloud pod! We’ll be showing off the latest and greatest technology Microsoft has to offer including Microsoft Office 365 for education, Live@edu, Windows Intune, and more! Find out how you can harness the power of “the cloud” to provide the most awesome and up to date technology to your students and staff and save your institution money at the same time!
So, spare a few minutes and prepare to have your negative nephological notions nuked by our team of experts!”
Get Online @ Home - Clare Riley, Group Manager, Education Relations
‘’If you have students in your class, or your school, who don’t have access to a PC at home, then THIS is the pod for you. Prices start below £100 for a Windows 7 PC. Come and see the Get Online @ Home refurbished desktop and laptop computers which come with Windows 7; Security Essentials; and a starter version of Microsoft Office. This is a great offer to share with parents and with the management team in your school. You can help families access this offer themselves , or you can encourage your school to use Pupil Premium funding to provide computers for disadvantaged students.’’
Productivity - Andy Downs, Schools Internal Business Manager
‘’Seamlessly communicate more effectively and efficiently than ever before within your Institution (and beyond) from a single user interface. Today’s world demands the ability to work real-time wherever and whenever with no boundaries…
An integrated Windows based platform (Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and Office) enables such abilities as: Instantly scaling from an email or an Instant Message to a complete Audio/Video Conference; Working collaboratively on shared documents in a central area and even driving towards a paperless environment.
Immediate savings in time and money are easily recognisable, but there are many other compelling benefits for your Institution - including positive impact on your Green Agenda!’’
Windows Phone – Simon Ibbitt, Further Education Business Manager
‘’Think you know about Smart Phones!?! Think again! This year at BETT Microsoft will be showcasing the latest Windows Mango Smart Phones, buy HTC Nokia and Samsung.
Microsoft really are ‘putting people first ‘. The Smart Phone is now part of the class room for both teachers and students alike. We can show you the power of Skydrive, the One Note and Lync integration and Office 365 for your phone. Or, perhaps you would like to see one of the hundreds of Apps, specially designed for education?’’
So come find us at BETT and see how Microsoft really gives you ‘'anytime, anywhere learning for all'.
Curriculum – Stuart Ball, Partner in Learning Manager
‘’The UK Partners in Learning Network connects teachers and educators across the globe, and unlike many other ‘teacher networks’, it actively contributes to teacher’s professional development through events and resources. At BETT 2012 this year @innovativeteach and @chickensaltash will present in their inimitable style and demonstrate some fantastic new resources such the Microsoft Learning Suite, Partners in Learning School Research and the new Partners in Learning Network site. This along with examples of how being part of the Partners in Learning Network has changed the way teachers think and have improved the learning opportunities for students, makes this session one of the most impactful you could attend.’’
MultiPoint Server – Steven Goddard, Senior Programme Manager
Windows MultiPoint Server is a simple, cost-effective way for more students and teachers to gain access to the latest technology, improving learning and helping students prepare to compete in a global economy. With Windows MultiPoint Server, a single computer supports multiple users at the same time, each working independently using their own monitor, keyboard and mouse and with a familiar Windows computing experience. Schools can provide more students with access to the latest technology, even with limited budgets.
Many of these demo’s are also going to be presented in much more detail from both Microsoft staff and teachers already using some of these products in their classroom that will be shown throughout the 4 days on our theatre stand. So, if you would like to come have play on the Kinect, experience a new innovative way of communication via Lync or just pop by and say hello, we look forward to seeing you next week on stand D30 and D40!