Join thousands of student developers and start building Windows Phone apps with resources available on the Go Underground website.
Have you downloaded any of these apps built by students? If so, which one(s) have you downloaded and what do you think?
Posted on Microsoft Student
In this lesson, students work alone or in groups to research the history of science and the experimental method in science by investigating the most significant scientific experiments conducted from ancient times to the present.
We take it for granted that knowledge comes from experience through the senses and that science flourishes through observation and experiment. Francis Bacon (1561–1626) is credited with being the first person to articulate the idea that science can flourish through observations and experiments. He wrote in his famous work Novum Organum (The New Organon), "Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything." But scientists through the ages have been using the experimental method to better understand the natural world. For example, the Iraqi Muslim physicist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) used experimentation to support his intromission theory of vision, which argued that rays of light are emitted from objects rather than from the eyes (1021 C.E.).
Though the way in which experiments are conducted, or the experimental method, has evolved over the centuries, the basic definition of an experiment remains the same. The word "experiment" comes from the Latin ex-periri, which means "to try out." In scientific inquiry, an experiment is defined as any method of investigating less-known fields, solving practical problems, proving theoretical assumptions, or confirming or disconfirming hypotheses.
Scientific experiments can lead to discoveries that add to our existing knowledge or revolutionize our understanding of what we know about the world. For example, in 2009, researchers created a robot scientist. The robot scientist recently conducted experiments that led to the discovery of simple but new knowledge about the genomics of the baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ordinary baker's yeast is an organism that scientists often use as a model for understanding more complex life systems, so this was a significant discovery. (This was also the first machine to discover new scientific knowledge.) For an example of how the knowledge discovered in an experiment can revolutionize our way of thinking about the world, consider Copernicus’ mathematical presentation of and Galileo’s observation of heliocentrism.
In this activity, we are going to research famous scientific experiments from ancient times to the present and record the information in a Microsoft Excel timeline.
Note: Students can work alone or in groups to create the timeline. After the timeline is created, students can individually write a report outlining the steps of the scientific method taken by the scientist.
Preview the following websites, and add them and any others you may find useful to your Favorites list in Internet Explorer so that students can access them later.
Consult the following two websites for comprehensive, annotated lists of Internet resources on the history of science, including links to biographies, general histories of science, bibliographies, primary sources, Nobel Prize scientists, the Galileo Project, Islamic scientists, the complete works of Darwin, and much more. Students can use these sites as a starting point for more detailed research about particular scientists and experiments.
In this activity, you will research famous scientific experiments from ancient times to the present and record the information in a Microsoft Office Excel timeline.
Follow the steps below to guide your students through this lesson plan. See student handout links at the bottom of this post.
Have individual students select one scientist and his or her experiment from the timeline they created, investigate it in depth, and write a report that describes the scientist in his or her historical context (and what might be different today). For example, Galileo living in a geocentric world. Ask students to describe the experiment and outline the steps of the experimental method that were used in the particular experiment.
Ask students to create a second timeline that presents the history of experiments during the same time period from another perspective, using a different principle of selection. For example, they may choose to create a timeline of famous scientific experiments that were conducted by women, minorities, or scientists of a particular country or region.
Evaluate each timeline for accuracy, thoroughness, attractiveness, and creativity.
If students created their timelines in groups, have each group of students present its timeline to the class and discuss the differences among them. Why did some choose to include certain 20th century experiments and others did not? What reasoning did they use to decide which experiments to include and which to leave out? How does our historical perspective affect what we consider to be significant? How long will it take before we know which of the many significant 20th century experiments are the key or revolutionary ones? If students created their timelines individually, ask them to meet in small groups to compare timelines and have a discussion about them.
Software and materials needed:
Timeline student handout A
Timeline student handout B
Timeline of scientific experiments websites
Create a timeline using Microsoft Office Excel
We are excited to announce the launch of a new Courseware Marketplace for both IT Academies and Microsoft Learning Partners on July 31st 2012.
The new Webshop will make available the ability to customise and order digital content to IT Academies for the first time.
Some of the new features will include:
· One stop shop – for all printed and digital content, including digital discounts
· Customisation – ability to modularise and customise specific courseware from our entire catalogue
· Collaboration – share and highlight amongst classes and for yourself
· E-Reader – access content online and offline including your course notes
· New Technology – Metro Windows 8 App at Windows 8 launch
To find out more about the new features and how they can help you save costs and time as well as deliver great new technology courses and experiences for your students, sign up to one of our free webinars below.
Gerald Haigh is a freelance journalist who writes regularly for the Microsoft Education Blogs.
Towards the end of April I went to Birmingham, to one of the nine Technical Seminars which RM ran in venues around the country this Spring.
They were primarily dealing with technical challenges schools face and how their ICT management product ‘Community Connect 4’, can help network managers solve them.
RM have been holding these seminars for twenty years now, covering successive generations of RM schools networks. At first they were small affairs, held in informal venues (yes, it’s true that some pubs were involved). Now they’re major events for over a hundred people at a time, and are often oversubscribed. So, you’d guess, they’re probably getting something right.
That’s certainly the opinion of the people I met in Birmingham, many of whom attend the seminars regularly.
(‘They’re not just about knowledge, I find them inspiring, ‘was the verdict of one network manager who’s been attending for ten years.)
Gill Rhodes, who manages the networks for three neighbouring primary schools in Oxfordshire puts it like this.
‘In effect they give cut down versions of their courses – the kind of brief overview which is what you often need. They bring you up to date, and add some of the latest tips. I always pick something up – and then there’s meeting people of course, and speaking to experts face to face.’
They’re also, it must be said, very friendly gatherings. As they’ve developed over the years, RM organisers and presenters have done a quite remarkable job of hitting and keeping just the right balance of information, informality and expertise.
Unsurprisingly, the people I met were all convinced of the advantage of using RM’s Community Connect to manage their networks. Ian Wilson, Assistant Head at Manor High School in Leicester says,
‘We know that a plain vanilla Microsoft network will deliver a lot of what’s required, but in my view Community Connect adds a set of education-specific tools which allow the network team to concentrate on high value education activities and not so much on lower value network activities.’
The case becomes even clearer when the network team is small and overstretched.
‘If you have a small network team, Community Connect makes life much easier,’ says David Greengrass, Network Manager at Uppingham Community College.
Gill Rhodes agrees.
‘I do a lot of my work remotely when I’m in one school and another has a problem. I couldn’t do what I do without Community Connect.’
The partnership with RM is also worth a great deal – everyone spoke well of the quality and promptness of their support.
The optional seminar sessions themselves – nine in all – covered a range of issues. Some, like the one on ‘Troubleshooting: Drivers’ were no-nonsense technical sessions obviously responding to specific needs. By no means all were like that, though. ‘Developing an Effective AV and Classroom Technology Strategy’ was very much about senior leaders and network teams picking their way through the forest of available technologies towards a position where effective classroom AV is at the core of teaching and learning. And in ‘Negotiation Techniques’, Gethin Nichols dealt with what can sometimes be an elephant in the room – the importance of building an effective relationship between the network team and the leaders of learning in a school.
I was particularly interested in two sessions that dealt particularly with CC4. One, ‘CC4 Management Tasks’, run by Matt Edwards, might have been a bit technical for me in parts, but I thought it a very clear statement of what Community Connect, and particularly CC4, is all about, which is making the network team’s life easier.
Matt started by listing eighteen basic network management tasks, common to virtually all schools, ranging from ‘checking backups have worked, through ‘resetting passwords’ and ‘fault diagnosing computers’ to ‘creating and supporting package installation’.
He then set about methodically looking at teach task to see how, with CC4, it can be made easier, or automated, or are effectively administration tasks that someone else could be doing. Talk to any seasoned CC4 enthusiast and they’ll soon tell you that the ease with which they can manage routine tasks is in fact one of the main attractions. At BETT this year, I shot a short video clip showing Darren Williams, of the Abbey School, Reading, making exactly that point. In the clip, Darren, who has his own school’s Management Console open on his laptop as he speaks, uses the same phrase that was the main theme of Matt’s presentation.
‘It’s made my life much easier’.
(You can see the video on Merlin Johns ‘Agent4Change’ site at http://www.agent4change.net/people/five-things/1339-gerald-haighs-five-things-to-think-about-1.html
The other CC4 session I was interested in was ‘CC4 The Future’, also run by Matt Edwards. Here, Matt was keen to emphasise the ‘future-proofed’ nature of CC4,
‘The focus of CC4 is very much in line with what’s going on in the industry,’ he said. -- To support BYOD (bring your own devices). To support remote access to services. To support use of new software and hardware technologies.’
Part of this approach, he explained, is to offer a subscription model for users, whereby licenses are paid for annually rather than up front.
As well as reducing the up-front expenditure, Community Connect Subscription customers will be entitled to future product enhancements, new server and client operating systems when available, CC4 updates, maintenance fixes and future Community Connect versions. They will also be able to add clients or
servers to their network without having to increase their subscription.’
(Quite like Microsoft’s own subscription licensing models in fact, was the thought that crossed my mind as Matt spoke.)
For me, though, what was most exciting about Matt’s look into the immediate future was the prospect of CC4 working with Windows 8. Matt has clearly made himself very familiar with Windows 8 and spent some time showing its features to his audience. Developments are still going on in this area at RM, but there’s a clear determination to make sure that all of the innovative features of Windows 8 including the Start Screen, Metro Apps, ‘Swipe, Slide and Zoom’, are exploited to the full. And just to comfort those in the audience whose brows were furrowing by the second, he said,
‘The key to using Windows 8 in my opinion is to get your head around the concept that the Start screen (Metro look) has simply replaced your old fashioned Start button.’
As Matt went on with his description of Windows 8, a question was forming in my mind, and just as I’d decided to tackle him with later, he answered it like this.
‘Although I do not currently have a great deal of detail on how the new Start screen will work with CC4 policies and security, I can reveal at least one little Windows 8 CC4 secret - we are currently developing CC4 specific Metro apps that can give you fast, direct access to management areas of your CC4 network.’
In other words, as network manager you’ll find specific CC4 functions accessible via individually labelled CC4 apps on the start screen.
He was able to show one example – an app called ‘RM Users’ which will come up on the Start Screen and allow direct access, without going to the management console, to all CC4 user groups.
As you’d expect, there was quite a buzz about this afterwards, and some network managers were clearly worried about what they saw as a big change from the Windows environments that they’d lived in harmony with for so long.
But thus has it ever been.
I guess the very fact that these questioners take the trouble to attend RM Seminars in order to keep up with trends and provide the best possible service to their learners shows that they’ll be quickly won over.
I have no doubt that there’ll be much more on Windows 8 in the Autumn Technical Seminars.
Frankly, I can’t wait.
With the release of SkyDrive, backing up files to the cloud has become easier than ever. SkyDrive offers 7GB free storage (25 GB free upgrade for loyal users.
As we all know, SkyDrive is available for Windows. If you have already installed and are using SkyDrive, you probably have noticed that one can easily drag-and-drop a file to a SkyDrive folder to sync file to the account.
But if you want to backup a large number of files by transferring files to your account, dragging and dropping files may take quite a while. So, what’s the best way to easily send large number of files to a SkyDrive folder?
The best way is to add a SkyDrive shortcut to the Send to menu. By adding a SkyDrive shortcut to the Send to menu, you will be able to send files in a jiffy.
Step 1: Navigate to C:\Users\UserName directory (“C” is your Windows installation drive letter and “UserName” is your user account name). Right-click on SkyDrive and select Create Shortcut.
Step 2: Open Run dialog box. To do this, simultaneously press Windows + R keys. In the dialog, type shell:sendto and hit enter key to open SendTo folder.
The only catch is that when you use the Send to menu to send a file to SkyDrive, the file will be stored in the root folder. In other words, if you want to send a file to the subfolder of SkyDrive, you will need to manually drag-and-drop the file.
Users who don’t mind adding multiple shortcuts to the Send to menu can add shortcuts of Documents and Public folders to the the menu.
Originally posted on Into Windows
Following the release of Office 365 for education, we are sharing a recent webinar we held held which shows how students see Office 365 and how they can utilize each part of it.
The webinar was attended by over 50 colleges thanks to JISC, and it demonstrates how teachers and faculty can get the most out of Office 365 for education. It also gives some ideas for teaching plans.
The webinar shows how IT administrators can go from nothing to setting up their establishment as well as how to maximise the use of Office, SharePoint and Lync. The webinar shows how Office 365 for education gives anytime learning to everyone.
You can view the webinar below.
Whether you live in Poland or Spain, Russia or Belgium, or pretty much anywhere in-between, you will now be able to explore your local shopping mall through Bing maps - helping you locate the stores you are looking for, find the closest services and facilities like restrooms and cash machines, and even browse their directories.
Through Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, Bing Maps just boosted its Venue Map coverage in the US and internationally expanding the experience to more than 2,700 Venue Maps across the world. This update is primarily focused on shopping malls across North America, Europe, and Asia.
All new Venue Maps are now available through www.bing.com/maps and, in the US and UK, are also available on Windows Phone Maps (7.5), m.bing.com/maps, and the Bing app for iPhone.
Simply zoom in over your favourite mall to enter the experience. You can also browse all the available Venue Maps and countries at www.bing.com/maps/venues.
Here are a few examples:
Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Belgium
Centro Commerciale Fiordaliso Italy
Europe Mall, Russia
Eurovea Galleria, Slovakia
Factory Getafe, Spain
We hope you enjoy the update! Let us know what you think.
By Chris Pendleton
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer has unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office, available at office.com/preview. The next release features an intuitive design that works beautifully with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. The new Office is social and unlocks modern scenarios in reading, note-taking, meetings and communications and will be delivered to subscribers through a cloud service that is always up to date.
“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco. “The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”
Office at Its Best on Windows 8
Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.
Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.
Office Is in the Cloud
SkyDrive. Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.
Roaming. Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.
Office on Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.
New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.
Office Is Social
Yammer. Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.
Stay connected. Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.
People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.
Office Unlocks New Scenarios
Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.
Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.
Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.
Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays. Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.
While the full lineup of offerings and pricing plans will be announced in the fall, Ballmer discussed three new Office 365 subscription services. When available, each new subscription offer will include the new 2013 editions of the Office applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. In addition, subscribers will receive future rights to version upgrades as well as per-use rights across up to five PCs or Macs and mobile devices. The three new editions will be the following:
Office 365 Home Premium — designed for families and consumers. This service also includes an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.
Office 365 Small Business Premium — designed for small businesses. This service also includes business-grade email, shared calendars, website tools and HD webconferencing.
Office 365 ProPlus — designed for enterprise customers who want advanced business capabilities and the flexibility to deploy and manage in the cloud.
The customer preview is available at office.com/preview.
Happy New Year! Now before you make a beeline for the comments to say that I am clearly losing it and that its actually been 7 months since the New Year’s Eve hangover wore off, for us folks at Microsoft it is a new year of sorts: the start of a new financial year.
Like most of us in January, with our bold claims to lose weight and finally run that marathon, the start of a new year, albeit a financial one, offers us an opportunity to reflect on the past year and plan for success for the coming 12 months. My list for FY13 is pretty long, but one of the key areas I have promised myself is to find the time to get out and visit more schools. Whenever I visit a school, I always leave feeling inspired and proud at what heads, teachers and pupils are achieving using our technology and the difference this is making across the board.
So with good intentions for the year ahead in place, I jumped at the chance to join Mark Reynolds on a visit to meet the lovely team at Havant Academy.
For those with good memories of BETT 12, Richard Markey, Assistant Principal at Havant Academy, delivered a fantastic session on the work they were doing with Hyper-V and I was looking forward to getting an update and learning more about their exciting school redevelopment plans.
Havant Academy, located on the south coast, is in a relatively disadvantaged area with high unemployment, particularly with young people. With these social challenges in mind, it is even more inspiring to see what the staff at Havant has achieved within the school, particularly from a cultural and values perspective.
When walking around the school, there is a real sense of respect and maturity from the kids and it is apparent that they all feel empowered to take a leadership role in the management of their own learning and development. Something that is very special, in my opinion. It would be easy, due to the socio-economic conditions of the area, for the school and the leadership team to hide behind a tower of excuses about why the school cannot be successful. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and the whole school is proactively embracing every opportunity available to them to create their own success.
From an ambitious 1-2-1 device scheme that is due to launch in September to an exciting campus redevelopment programme, Havant Academy are building an environment and culture for learning that is both innovative and inspiring. I look forward to following their success closely.
Pedagogy Change & Culture
With a comprehensive redevelopment programme, Havant are taking advantage of the buildings they all ready have, combined with some new additions to the campus, to create a new learning environment that is fit for the digital age we are operating in.
Underpinned by a 1-2-1 device scheme that will see each and every student being armed with a personal device (the amazing Lenovo 220) in September, the new campus will support a revised vision for learning within the school that promotes collaboration, flexible working and a symbiotic relationship with technology.
Large open and flexible learning spaces dominate throughout the school and an atrium, utilising a reclaimed courtyard that was once only a home to old crisp packets, will now act as a focal point for the school where both staff and students come together to learn, work and share. This space will also house student lockers that contain charging stations to ensure that their shiny new Lenovo's are kept topped up and ready to go.
To help further cultivate and develop the culture around the new campus, a student management team has been established that mirrors the actual SMT within Havant. This is both bold and different and is something that the Principal for the school, Julie Taylor, passionately believes in. We met the student principal and assistant principal while on the tour and both kids were clearly proud of making it onto the management team. With formal interviews required for the roles, it is a great way to prepare kids for entering the job market and would definitely recommend other schools to introduce similar concepts.
To add to an already enlightening visit, and totally by chance from our perspective, active members of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning community, Willows High School, were also visiting Havant Academy that day and we were offered a great opportunity to catch-up with Gareth Ritter and his colleagues from the school during a tour of the campus. There is some exciting news about both Willows High School and Havant Academy to be announced soon and it was great to discuss this in more detail in person. Keep an eye out on the blog for information on this!
Havant Academy is definitely a special school that through great leadership and values is taking full advantage of the opportunities they have to provide an environment for teaching and learning excellence for their students.
With the tech geek in me, though, a highlight of the visit was definitely the next gen AV set-up in the main hall. The short video below says it all!
All in all, a great day on the south coast!
Yammer, the enterprise social network and one of Microsoft’s most recent acquisitions, allows you to collaborate, communicate and share your thoughts within your network, be it a school or business. Think ‘The Social Network’ and Facebook’s origins, where students at Harvard University could communicate with one another via a private social network. Yammer creates a newsfeed based on updates from your co-workers, all of whom are responding to the simple question: “What are you working on?”
However, when you start to look a little deeper, the features also echo those of Twitter. With hashtags, mentions and followers, as well as the ability to update your Yammer from Twitter using #yam, it would seem that the founder, David O. Sacks, has taken all of the best features from our known and loved social networks. He’s then combined them to create the one site which allows you to communicate with your colleagues easily and securely.
So now you know some background, you’re probably wondering how it would help in a school environment. The exchange of short, frequent answers to that one key question allows teachers to learn about other departments, get tips and tricks from other staff members and gain insight into the overall operations and activities within the school. The instant feedback which is received creates a more productive workforce, increases collaboration and engagement, and, most importantly, reduces the amount of needless emails for you to check throughout the day. The infographic below shows Yammer’s effect upon its users.
In my opinion, Yammer could create a whole load of new opportunities, not only in relation to staff communication, but also for students. Here are some ways I think Yammer could improve the teaching and learning in schools.
In addition to letting pupils chat about group projects, they can also post questions about their studies via their updates, which either teachers or other students can reply to. This is invaluable around exam time, and allows students to get a more instant response to their queries. This means that they are able to continue their studies without being stuck waiting for a response from busy teachers.
The numerous applications, question and poll facilities and fast feedback means that teachers can share files, news and activities with one another, creating a more unified workforce. The newsfeed also allows for interesting content to be shared amongst staff regarding new technologies and systems in education, which may otherwise be sent out by mass email. With Yammer, your email inbox can be saved only for those important emails. And if you’re worried that having yet another webpage open is just too much, you can update your status, post to groups and send private messages through your email. Learn how here.
The praise application, found in the ‘More’ drop down menu of the update bar, allows you to praise someone within your network for anything you want. Everyone loves being praised, especially publicly for all their co-workers and peers to see, and it is essential to the learning process for students. Teachers can therefore praise their students for doing well in a lesson, completing a project to a high standard, or simply exceeding everyone’s expectations. Similarly, students can praise staff for an interesting lesson, extra help with an exam or just being really great. This interaction which may not occur face to face will lift morale and motivate both students and staff to perform to their very best.
If you would like to know any more information about Yammer and Microsoft, check out our press release.
By Katie Hook.