Nice overview of the Britannica app for Windows 8 at Bett 2013. We are big fans for the work these guys have done with the app and especially love the Link Map feature that allows learners to make better connections with relevant research. Very cool!
The Free Encyclopaedia Britannica App gives users the full contents of the 100 "Top Articles" and the first 100 words of all 80,000 articles as well as all images in all articles. Subscribers have access to the full content of the entire database.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica App also gives users the ability to find information and explore subjects without compromise.
You can learn more about the app on the Windows 8 in education microsite.
Originally posted on the Microsoft in Education Blog.
It was a great week at the Global Education Partner Summit surrounded by several hundred of our top education partners. This event is a great opportunity to announce the Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 (WMS) is now available generally. I see WMS as a powerful tool in Microsoft’s suite of solutions to enable 21st century skill-building. As digital devices become more ubiquitous in our classrooms and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is accepted more and more, the diversity of devices can become an issue for teachers and administrators alike. Teachers want to deliver a consistent learning experience, but are spending more and more time trying to manage varied technologies instead of teaching. School ICT departments are responsible for what students have access to, but many times with very little -- if any -- control over those devices. But WMS offers an innovative solution. By using Remote Desktop connections to MultiPoint Server, students’ devices (including the ultra-low cost MultiPoint stations) deliver one consistent Windows 8 learning experience, complemented by simple teacher tools. And if the students have Windows 7 or Windows 8 laptops the experience gets even better.
WMS 2012 is a perfect complement to our flagship products, like Windows 8 and Office 365, in two ways:
As I’ve mentioned previously I find it incredibly inspiring that this technology is valued not only in the technically sophisticated school district next to Microsoft’s campus, but also in distant refugee camps and disaster recovery efforts.
We have made enhancements for 2012. Here’s a quick summary:
1. A new MultiPoint Dashboard: One of the largest changes from 2011 to 2012 is the addition of the MultiPoint Dashboard. It effectively separates the system administration tasks from the real-time classroom tasks. With the Dashboard comes a new, WMS-specific user group: “The Dashboard User group.” Standard user accounts added to this group gain specific privileges which allows access to the MultiPoint Dashboard without needing administrator-level permissions. A Dashboard User will be able to monitor stations, block users, limit web access and projects to all users. Teachers and administrators will also be able to open local chat sessions with users and take control of a user’s keyboard and mouse to provide hands-on demonstrations. The MultiPoint Manager will continue to be used for setup and management of servers and users.
2. The Windows 8 desktop experience: MultiPoint stations get the latest look, feel and touch of Windows 8. This includes the new start page, great per-station USB device support, and multi-touch input on direct-video connect stations.
3. Hands-off recovery with Disk Protection: WMS 2012 provides a disk protection feature that, when enabled, discards all changes and returns the system volume to the right state on every boot. This feature is ideal for administrators who do not want to allow their users to modify the system volume or user profiles in any way, such as in a public library or a kiosk. 4. Monitoring Windows 8 (and 7) clients: MultiPoint Server 2012 includes the ability to monitor computers that are already running Windows 7 or 8. This allows for orchestrating a mixed environment of MultiPoint stations and PC clients. A system administrator is able to install the new MultiPoint Connector on the PCs and then add the PCs to the MultiPoint Dashboard. Once a PC is added, features such as “block station,” “enlarge thumbnail,” and “launch / close application” can be performed across all the PCs and MultiPoint Stations in the lab. 5. Virtualized Windows 8 or 7 Desktops: The Premium version of Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 allows you to enable the Hyper-V role and create Windows 7 or 8 client virtual machines to map to MultiPoint stations. Because the VMs and the MultiPoint stations are all running on the same computer, administrators are able to significantly simplify deployment of the virtual machine-based desktops. MultiPoint Manager will walk you step-by-step through creating, customizing and deploying Windows 8 or 7 virtual desktop stations. This is a great option for addressing application and device compatibility issues.
Millions of students already have access to technology and information by using WMS 2010 and 2011. WMS 2012 takes that experience to an entirely new level. I am confident you will love this product as part of your overall technology strategy for education.
To learn more, start by visiting the MultiPoint website, or download the Evaluation version today.
Originally posted on the Daily Edventures Blog
Ray Chambers is a relatively young teacher – he’s been teaching ICT only since 2008. About two years ago, Chambers noticed his students were becoming bored in his ICT classes – they could only be inspired by learning to create a spreadsheet or learn Word for so long. So he decided it was time to try something new. “I was introduced to the Partners in Learning Network by another inspiring person, Guy Shearer,” says Chambers. “He introduced me to the innovative things that were happening. I had an idea for using the Kinect in the classroom and I couldn’t find any information on it. He persuaded me to keep looking.”
Not only did Chambers keep looking, he created his own program using the Kinect, and created tutorials and shared this on his blog, to help other teachers do the same. “I taught myself to develop Kinect Applications using the Kinect SDK,” says Chambers. “At this point, many teachers were using the Xbox but none had used the Kinect as a standalone device. I wanted to engage students and I wanted them to enjoy their lessons.” Chambers’ project has grown since and with the help of colleague Stuart Ball, they have created a group of teachers from the UK called the K-Team. “We’re all using the Kinect or Kodu to develop education,” notes Chambers. His project, “Kinect Olympics,” took him to the 2011 finals of UK Partners in Learning Forum, and then on to the European Partners in Learning Forum in Lisbon.
“At the European Forum I was impressed to see that many teachers all over Europe were already using the tutorials from my blog to make their own applications,” says Chambers. “There were teachers from Bulgaria editing the code to build quizzes for their classrooms. Friends who have visited the Global Forum have told me about the impact it’s made. There were at least three more countries at the Global Forum using the technology and the applications I had developed.”
Chambers’ accomplishments have led to him presenting at many events, including BETT in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This year, Chambers and fellow K-Team member David Renton talked about the use of Kinect Applications, Kinect Games and Kodu, and the impact that it has had in their students’ grades. “It was a great opportunity to establish connections,” says Chambers. “As a result of all of this, my teaching practice has changed. The recognition I have had from the students and the enjoyment from them has only made me more determined to be even more innovative. I’m currently looking at ways of using TouchDevelop within the curriculum at our school. I am now trying to make future projects have a whole school impact rather than just in my own classroom. I’m looking at getting students to develop apps for other teachers so that the whole school can make use of this innovation.”
I’m happy to share today’s Daily Edventure with Ray Chambers.
What drew you to the field of education? Why is it important to you?
Originally, I wasn’t drawn to the field of education. I had been doing my degree at DeMontfort University and was very much into computer science. I had to do a work placement, which ended up at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby, Northamptonshire. Once I had finished my work placement, I went back to university to do the final year of the course. I went back to Lodge Park Technology College to tell them the news and tell friends about getting a “First” in my degree. It was at this point I was offered a teaching post.
I had no experience in teaching and I was petrified at the thought of teaching teenagers. I was still very young and some of the students were only three to four years younger than me. After a few months of looking for work, I decided to take the position up.
Since teaching, I have established so many relationships with other educators all over the world. My students respect me and I feel that I make a difference to them. My whole outlook on education has changed and I really respect everything teachers do. Education is important to me now because of the impact it makes. I bump into students on so many occasions and that feeling that you have done something for them is a huge buzz. It makes me feel better as a person and it also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Can you tell us about a favorite teacher, or someone who made a difference in your education?
Mr. Perkins, my design technology teacher at Prince William School in Oundle. I believe he is still teaching today. I enjoyed education and got on well with most of my teachers. I wanted to do computing in secondary school but it wasn’t an option for me. The next closest thing for me was Design Technology. I was able to use the computer to build mock designs and use the CAD tools available. Mr. Perkins was a teacher I could count on. He inspired me to go and think outside the box. He would give me extra work to push me to my limits and would always give me the opportunity to make adjustments to my work. He listened to my ideas and told me that anything is possible. Some of my design ideas were quite wacky but he always pushed me in the right direction in order for me to achieve my goals. Design Technology was my only A grade in school and my designs became a strong point in my degree work.
How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?
I have used technology in a number of ways to support my work in both my own classroom and other people’s. I think that it is important that children enjoy their education and I think it’s really important to get them immersed in their learning. The main tool I have used to engage my learners is the Kinect. Students are able to answer questions on their learning using a Kinect Quiz I developed using the Kinect SDK. All I do is edit the questions and they can have a set of different questions in each lesson. Students are able to come up and wave their hands over the answer they are guessing. Even though it is not necessarily a game, the students are used to the technology at home and this engages them with something they already know. I make sure to make tutorials on programming the Kinect and I’ve given away all of the applications I make through the Partners in Learning network or on http://www.raychambers.wordpress.com.
I have also made use of the Xbox 360 and a number of different games to enhance the subjects they’re being taught. In my Kinect Olympics project, the students played sports games and then we used Microsoft Access to analyze their scores. This made them critical thinkers. They had to find out the answers themselves and rather than giving students a dull scenario, the students were able to have fun with their learning. I know that some people do not see games as a way of learning but if you give students applications which are boring, then they won’t use the technology. We need to make sure that they still want to use it and this is what I am doing with some of the applications I’ve developed.
Right now I’m currently starting to develop schemes of work using the new TouchDevelop platform in the hope of getting some of my students to develop applications to help other teachers around the college. It is an exciting new chapter for me.
In your view, what is the most exciting innovation happening in education today?
The most exciting innovation for me at the moment is “BYOD” – Bring Your Own Device. A few schools in the UK have been piloting a scheme which allows students to bring their own devices into schools. Students already know how to use their own mobile phones and their own tablets. Teachers would not need to train them to use them. They simply plan their lessons around the technology.
An example might be for students to work collaboratively. Students can use Live Messenger on Windows phones or other platforms to discuss work or share files. They might be able to Skype from classroom to classroom to talk about their learning for the day. At the same time, this would save colleges money. The only thing teachers would need to work on is their approach and the planning towards the scheme. They would need to make sure that every student benefits.
Is there a 21st century skill (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, or creativity and innovation) that you are most passionate about? Why?
I’m very passionate about critical thinking and problem solving. I have changed my approach to teaching recently and have started to encourage problem solving. Many students around the world need that inspiration and that push. I think it is easy to say “I don’t understand it,” but the people who don’t understand and work on something until they find the answer. These people have the biggest reward. It gives them a sense of accomplishment.
My students are becoming more independent. If they can’t do something they will use whatever resources they can to find the answer. They will test their programs more rigorously. With the implementation of computer science in the UK education this is going to be a very important skill within my subject.
If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?
If I could give one educational tool to every child in the world it would be an Internet connection as well as a mobile phone device. I think it is important that students have access to communicate with each other. There is so much information available to us and not all children can access this. There are children in third-world countries that are being trained to fend for themselves. If they had access to a communication device and the Internet, they would be able to find video tutorials for making fire and more. It would not be a case of having a visitor train them once. If they forgot how to do something then they can revisit it. Some of these children do not have access to education. What if they could teach themselves by having access to the online world of resources?
What is your country doing well currently to support education?
The UK is in a major change at the moment. There are a lot of politics involved. Some people might agree that there are positive changes and some might agree that there are negative impacts. It is very political. We’re moving away from our current method of assessing student attainment. Many people aren’t happy with this change and feel that it may disadvantage some children.
The positive thing about this change is that the UK is going to recognize computer science as a science in schools. It is currently taught as ICT and many children are getting bored by lessons where they’re taught to build the same presentation. They might be taught how to word process. Although these are good skills to become digital literate, computer science will improve our countries economy by providing businesses with a new lease of life in the programming sector. Many businesses aren’t able to employ programmers at the moment because they just don’t have the skills they need. Training students from an early age will make them more competent when arriving at universities and then universities can have more time getting down into the higher level programming.
How must education change in your country to ensure that students are equipped to thrive in the 21st century?
I believe the education system needs to be more flexible for children. We currently have a system where students are rated on whether or not they get their C in certain subjects. This is difficult for some students and I believe pressure is put on schools getting students a grade rather than making sure that the student has life skills.
You might be able to help get that student their pass, but can they apply it in real life? I believe the country needs to support more “real-life” practice with students to make sure that they will float, rather than sink at the end of their school career.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?
The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome to ensure that students receive a quality education is the fear of trying new things. Since being at my new school, I worried whether students would have the same response to my wacky way of teaching. I was worried about them having the same reaction to the use of technology. I have since got back into the swing of things and continue to use the same technology within my lessons. I am very lucky to have a supportive team at Uppingham Community College and the school is very open-minded to trying new things. It is very much a case of trying it and if it fails, evaluate.
How can teachers or school leaders facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through your work?
I believe that teachers and school leaders facing similar changes should just bite the bullet. If they think that they have a good idea, try it! If it isn’t working, you’ll know and you can make changes to try it again. I have four year-seven classes and eventually I’ll try something new. If something isn’t as engaging as I thought it would be with one class, I have other classes to improve on the idea. This is what makes a good teacher. Someone that is willing to change. I also believe that teachers need to try out the technology before saying, “I don’t do computers.” A good platform for me was the Partners in Learning Network. The number of teachers sharing good practice is amazing! If you have fear of trying something, check out the results and the impact from Partners in Learning. There are a huge number of resources available for any teacher or school leader who may have doubts.
About Ray Chambers @Lanky_boi_ray
Guest post from David Ventrs-Field from the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition.
Microsoft are an official supporter of the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition - an exciting, national event on the 8th and 9th March at Manchester Central which focuses on integrating technology into learning.
Uniquely, Education Innovation offers education professionals, network managers and those responsible for IT in education in the north of the UK to come along to a national event without having to make the trip to London, working alongside supporters such as Microsoft, EduGeek and Computing At School.
In 2012, Computing At School (CAS) launched the Network of Excellence (NoE). Nearly 600 schools have signed up to this, and over 40 universities. The network is forging links between university computer science and education departments and their local schools to provide CPD opportunities, support and training.
Simon Humphreys from CAS will be taking part in the “Future of ICT in Education” debate with Stuart Ball (Microsoft), Emma Mulqueeny and Brian Lightman (ASCL) as part of an incredible line up of keynote speakers that include David Brown (head of ICT inspection at OFSTED), Vanessa Pittard, (Department for Education), Saul Nasse (Controller of BBC Learning) Spencer Kelly (BBC Click), Dr Alice Roberts and Professor Tanya Byron.
The event will also have a fantastic range of education speakers including Gareth Ritter (Willows High School), David Mitchell, Bob Harrison, Jodie Collins, Simon Rawlings and many, many more.
Education Innovation is completely free to attend and is designed to provide a superb range of free CPD training sessions, debates, workshops as well as an exhibition of over 70 expert solution providers.
EduGeek will be running a helpdesk on stand E3 at the exhibition designed to offer advice, solutions and suggestions for free to education professionals.
Schools, colleges, universities and training providers can also put forward a nomination for our Education Innovation Awards to recognise some of the excellent work being done to harness technology.
Click here now to register for the show and be entered automatically into a prize draw to win £500 of technology vouchers for you or your educational establishment.
Places on the sessions are booking up fast, so secure your space now.
Follow the show on twitter and join in the debate #EICE
Have a look at the website for further details.
Yesterday we posted slide decks from two of our Bett Learn Live Theatre sessions, The Power of Teacher Communities in Education and Time to upgrade to Office 2013 and Office 365.
Today you can view the slides below for two more sessions we delivered at Bett 2013; Windows 8 at Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School and Using Devices to empower students.
Windows 8 at Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School
How Windows 8 helped create one of those true ‘Alleluia’ moments in a Primary classroom. Teachers and students on a journey of discovery! Great for Primary Teachers and IT Coordinators.
Speaker: Charlotte Beckhurst, Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School
Using Devices to empower students
Devices, culture and the cloud come to together to create the perfect storm to drive better engagement and improved learning outcomes. David is a pioneering Geography teacher and innovator in outdoor education.
Speaker: David Rogers, Priory School
Yesterday we posted slide decks from two of our Bett Learn Live Theatre sessions, BYOD in education (Bring Your Own Device) and A New Era of Digital Learning.
Today you can view the slides below for two more sessions we delivered at Bett 2013; The Power of Teacher Communities in Education and Time to upgrade to Office 2013 and Office 365.
The Power of Teacher Communities in Education
Get valuable teaching resources—including free software, teacher guides, and tutorials—to help you better engage students and inspire classroom learning. The Partners in Learning Network is free to join. Join us and learn how to get started.
Speakers: Ben Rowe, Saltash.net & Stuart Ball, Microsoft
Time to upgrade to Office 2013 and Office 365
Curious about the next generation of Microsoft Office? Thinking of upgrading to Office 365 for Education? This session, packed full of demos, tips and technical advice, gave a fun and insightful journey into the future of productivity by leaders in their field.
Speakers: Alex Pearce, SharePoint MVP & Alan Richards, SharePoint MVP
We will be posting the slide decks from the other sessions we delivered in our Learn Live Theatre over the next few days.
Recently we posted slide decks from two of our Bett Learn Live Theatre sessions, Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground and Top 10 tips to embracing the cloud.
Today you can view the slides below for two more sessions we delivered at Bett 2013; BYOD in education (Bring Your Own Device) and A New Era of Digital Learning
BYOD in education (Bring Your Own Device)
Are you wondering what BYOD can do for your school? Want to understand the challenges but also the positive impact on children’s attainment? This thought-provoking session is everything you need to start your BYOD project, from the culture to the technology.
Speakers: Kristian Still, Wellington Academy & James Marshall, Microsoft
A New Era of Digital Learning
Packed full of demos and practical advice from educators, this session showed how Windows 8, Office 2013 and some great new Windows 8 apps help bring learning to life and empower students with the 21st century skills they need to ensure success in the workplace of the future.
Speaker: Mandeep Atwal, Microsoft
We will be posting the slide decks from the other sessions we delivered in our Bett Learn Live Theatre over the next week or so.
Guest post by Kristian Still. Kristian is from Wellington Academy and delivered a great BYOD session in the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre at Bett 2013.
This post was started on day 2 of BETT and finished on the train on the way home from BETT. I wanted a little time for my thoughts to ’brew,’ to see if I held the same view a day of two later, and I do. Here is why.
Presenting as part of the Microsoft Education team is clearly going to be very different to experiencing a trade show as a delegate. First the day is longer, starting with geek chat over breakfast, the 9am debrief and wrapping up with the 6pm meeting. Second, it’s given me an insight into how ‘business and enterprise’ approach the education sector and the breadth / depth of Microsoft's interests, partnerships (OEM) and investments in education; hardware, cloud, coding (Kodu, Touch Develop), communications, teaching support (PiL) political dialogue and influence. Not to mention – all the meetings held behind the scenes, that we were not involved with or privy to.
I am not for one-minute professing to understand the Microsoft business in just three and a half associated days, far from it, but what I do recognise and respect is, the commitment and the expertise of the Microsoft education team. This was best evidenced in how specialist staff responded to delegate questions and queries; carefully filtered or redirected to expert Microsoft staff (and remember we are only discussing just one division of Microsoft here).
In two days working along side the team, listening to their conversations with customers, I would urge school leaders to take advantage of their passion for their products and expertise. I was left with little doubt that Microsoft Education could have a positive impact on almost any school in the country given the opportunity - stretching the reducing budget, reducing IT staff workload, enlivening the curriculum (particularly Computer Science), developing teacher skills, extending the schools licensing agreements into the students homes. As good a place to start as any is the UK Schools Blog.
One of the most talked about new features of Windows 8 Enterprise during the Bett 2013 was Windows To Go, which gives users new possibilities in mobile productivity.
A quick refresher: Windows To Go is a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 OS image provisioned on a certified bootable USB drive that allows faculty and staff to work from anywhere. To use Windows To Go, you simply insert the provisioned USB drive into a compatible PC and boot into your personalized Windows 8 image, all while maintaining access to key security and management features of the operating system, as well as other key programs included within the corporate image, such as: Group Policy, BitLocker, BranchCache, App-V, UE-V and DirectAccess. Further, unlike many other mobility solutions, Windows To Go users are able to have their personalized Windows environment on their certified USB with or without network connectivity, which means they may be fully productive from any location they choose to work.
So, what exactly is a certified bootable Windows To Go USB drive?
In order to provide a seamless mobile Windows 8 experience, Microsoft only supports certified Windows To Go drives. To become certified, a USB drive must pass a battery of certification tests, as well as undergo self-hosting across a variety of PCs to test-drive for high performance compatibility with Windows 8 and Windows To Go. Additionally, certified drives must:
We are excited to announce that five vendors currently offer USB drives that meet or exceed the Windows To Go certification tests and requirements. Each of the manufacturers listed below have rigorously tested their products, and have worked with Microsoft to create high quality Windows To Go optimized drives. Combined, these vendors provide drives meeting a wide range of requirements, from small to large storage sizes (32GB to 500GB), a variety of form factors, and added security functionality.
For more information, check out the videos below which offer a great overview of both the unique features of Windows To Go combined with how this can be used within an academic institution.
The Bett show, and its ability for us to meet and learn from inspiring teachers, network managers and head teachers, is a highlight of the year for the whole Microsoft education team and I personally think that this year's show, with the addition of the Bett Arena, was one of the best yet.
With a central theme of 'A New Era of Digital Learning', we discussed how devices, services and a rich collection of applications can come together to create more immersive and engaging learning experiences that help build essential 21st century skills for learners.
Our stand, E270, was split across two key areas - the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre and the Windows 8 Stand.
Our Learn Live Theatre sessions were jammed packed with tips, tricks and valuable advice delivered by a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft staff and addressed a wide range of topics from Windows 8 to the power of communities in education. The first batch of slides from our Learn Live Theatre were posted to the blog yesterday, and we will continue to share this content over the next week. Check back at the blog to download the slides from your favourite session!
It was literally standing room only for the majority of our Learn Live Theatre sessions, and all the speakers did an amazing job at discussing how our technologies and programs can help to enhance teaching and learning. Thanks again to all involved!!
Additionally, with the Windows 8 Stand, we offered a more focused overview on devices, services and apps and how these are coming together to help educators to create more emotional connections with learning. With a great range of devices on the stand, including Microsoft Surface, and a smaller theatre offering bite sized chunks of content, the Windows 8 stand was a perfect complement to the Learn Live Theatre sessions that ran throughout the day.
Furthermore, with the full range of the Windows 8 UK 'featured apps' available on all the devices on the stand, visitors had a great opportunity to experience the apps first hand that have been featured on our Windows 8 in education microsite. If you visited our Windows 8 stand, what was your favourite app? We would love to hear in the comments below!
Beyond our main stand, we also joined i2i (the Bett organisers) as 'Knowledge Partner' for the Bett Arena. As Knowledge Partner, we worked closely with the folks at i2i to curate an amazing line-up of insightful, entertaining and informative speakers that added a new dimension to visitors experience at the show. With a mix of household names, such Brian Cox, and passionate in-sector speakers, the Bett Arena was definitely a focal point for the organisers and it was a privilege to be involved during its inaugural year.
Anthony Salcito kicked things off in style in the Arena on the opening day of the show and we also ran a computer science in the curriculum panel discussion on the Thursday of the show. Thanks to all that attended
Anthony also shared some personal thoughts on Bett in the video below.
So with the dust now fully settled on Excel London for this years show, it time to start planning Bett 14
Keep your eyes peeled for the Bett Arena videos on the Bett Show website, and if there is anything you would like us to focus on for next years show, just share your thoughts in the comments.