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News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team

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  • Blog Post: Saving money with paper saving. Twynham School have.

    Shortly, the updated Microsoft eBook on cost saving will be released in which Gerald Haigh, independent writer to Microsoft, has contributed to. As part of the content creation, Gerald spoke to Mike Herrity, Assistant Head at Twynham School in Dorset on the familiar theme of cost saving through paper...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint 2010 and Parental Engagement at Blatchington Mill School

    Gerald Haigh, independent writer to Microsoft took a visit to Blatchington Mill School, down in Hove to see their work on SharePoint and parental engagement. Here in his own words details his trip. I took the opportunity recently to visit Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College , a very large...
  • Blog Post: Free Webinar- Using SharePoint 2010 to create a highly developed Learning Gateway for education.

    Many of you will have heard bits of the story of Twynham School and their creation of a well-established learning platform using SharePoint. Through various case studies and presentations at conferences around the world over the last 5 years Twynham have been very fortunate to be able to show  work...
  • Blog Post: Shireland Collegiate Academy - bringing lessons’ together

      A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick, West Midlands and explore how their Learning Gateway is used in a number of ways to assist teachers, parents and students alike. This is something that has now been in place over a number of years...
  • Blog Post: See Stephen Heppell using the Learning Gateway at Parklands Primary School, 8th March 2011

    Educational guru and LP+ Chairman Stephen Heppell will be presenting at Parklands Primary School , Northamptonshire on 8th March 2011 to demonstrate the future of online learning and how ICT and VLE’s can transform learning and parental engagement. School leaders, teachers and students will talk about...
  • Blog Post: Primary school students learning through video conferencing

    Office Communications Server (OCS) is finding new friends across the educational spectrum – aka Microsoft Lync. We’re hearing good things about it from the University of Plymouth , for example, where it’s used by academics to keep in touch with students away on work placements across the UK and beyond...
  • Blog Post: Schools spend more money on printer paper than on ICT

    How much does your school spend on reprographics - paper, toner, printers, photocopiers, and the staff to run them and keep them running? I'm sure that the average secondary school is spending more on reprographics than they do on their whole ICT budget. Mike Herrity, at Twynham School, found out his...
  • Blog Post: Parental Engagement–bringing parents on to the Learning Gateway

    Last week I wrote about schools using Learning Gateway to connect with parents and followed that with looking at the practical issue of making sure your data is up-to-date . The targets for schools to provide online parental reporting are DCSF & Becta guidelines, not legislation – and as such there...
  • Blog Post: Parental Engagement–from vision to practicalities

    Last year we worked with the DCSF and a group of schools to record their stories of parental engagement, and what they were doing to build a stronger relationship with parents in their school community. As well as the written case studies on three secondary schools ( Blatchington Mill School , Monkseaton...
  • Blog Post: What does SIMS Learning Gateway mean to parents?

    I was at Capita’s SIMS Annual Conference in Nottingham in June, talking about the future of technology, and how it will impact the workplace over the next decade. I’ve been invited to give this presentation at a wide range of conferences this summer, partly because it is one way of thinking about the...
  • Blog Post: Twynham School and SharePoint 2010

    Twynham School, in Christchurch in Dorset, are a school which tends to be at the leading edge of technology – they are often one of the first schools in the UK to implement a school-wide deployment of new Microsoft releases, and the ICT team in the school always seem to be champing at the bit to take...
  • Blog Post: Can you describe what SharePoint does in one sentence?

      Possibly the most difficult job I get asked to do is to describe SharePoint succinctly. It’s not because I don’t know what SharePoint is, and what it does – in fact, I use it extensively myself for lots of different purposes, and I see it in regular use in schools, colleges and universities. But...
  • Blog Post: Learning Gateway Conference 2010–14th July

    Alex Pearce has dropped me a note to remind me that it’s exactly one month until the Learning Gateway Conference 2010 , on 14th July. Last year it was at The Belfry, this time it’s moved to Church House, in Westminster. Last year’s conference was well attended, and everybody I met during the day was...
  • Blog Post: Things I learned this week #1

    Last weekend, Doug Belshaw’s “ Things I learned this week #17 ” mentioned this blog ( although with some fake reluctance ), and the post that contained the What’s new in PowerPoint 2010 for teachers video. I often read Doug’s blog , as well as listening to the EdTechRoundUp podcast , which Doug takes...
  • Blog Post: Twynham School and the Learning Gateway – free e-book and web part

    Twynham School has increasingly developed a reputation for their use of SharePoint to create a Learning Gateway for their students, parents and staff. They have been using SharePoint since 2007 and in early 2008 the systems team at Twynham School wrote a guide to the work they were doing with their Learning...
  • Blog Post: School Closures, Snow Days and Learning Platforms.

    Over the last few weeks, the papers have been full of stories about school closures across the UK – naturally so, as half of all schools were shut down for at least a day by snow and ice. And it’s given impetus to the important issue of how a school that has to close can keep its children working, in...
  • Blog Post: Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips – 7 – Stop printing so much

    Part seven of the series of Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips for schools , based on my BETT 2010 presentation. Late last year, I was chatting with a group of senior leaders in schools about the amount of paper that is used in a typical school (it had been partially prompted by me, when I realised that...
  • Blog Post: Planning your days at BETT 2010 – the Microsoft Theatre schedule

    Nothing like taking things right up to the wire – and this year we’ve excelled ourselves in making last minute changes to our BETT stand, in order to find a way to fit in all of the latest news onto our stand and into our theatre. But as the fitters start building the stand down at Olympia, we’ve realised...
  • Blog Post: Steve Beswick’s keynote from the Learning Gateway conference

    At last week’s Learning Gateway Conference, organised by Alex Pearce and Richard Willis, Steve Beswick, gave the opening keynote where he talked about a general overview of the Microsoft UK Education business, and some of the strategies for our engagement with education, and considerations for the future...
  • Blog Post: Common reasons why Learning Platforms fail – Mike Herrity's view

    At the Learning Gateway Conference today, I listened to Mike Herrity talking about the Twynham School’s Learning Gateway, and specifically about how they got people in their school community using it. On one of his first slides, there was a statistic that proved they have been doing things right...
  • Blog Post: Licensing parents for SharePoint – what’s free and what isn’t

    I got a question from Mike Herrity yesterday, asking me about the ways that parents can be given access to SharePoint/Learning Gateway, and explicitly whether they needed their own SharePoint licences. As an aside: Mike Herrity is a deputy head at Twynham School down in Dorset, and is a great SharePoint...
  • Blog Post: Are you going to the Learning Gateway conference in July?

    For those who are going: I’m now writing my presentation on Information Security (where, if I mention losing USB memory sticks, I’ll be very clear to make sure I say Leicester City instead of Leicestershire, unlike this week at the SIMS Conference), and so if you’re going to be there, add a comment,...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint in Welsh – SharePoint ar gael in Gymraeg

    During half-term week, we joined the Welsh Assembly Government at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay, to launch Welsh language support for SharePoint. Steve Beswick, of Microsoft, and Meri Huws, of the Welsh Language Board, officially launched the pack with Jane Hutt, the Welsh Assembly Minister for...
  • Blog Post: Learning Gateway Conference on 15th July in Birmingham

    Alex Pearce, from Great Barr School in Birmingham, is the UK’s only Microsoft MVP for education (MVP= Most Valued Professional), which means he has access to early product information, and worldwide communities of SharePoint specialists. A lot of what Alex does is related to his school’s Learning Gateway...
  • Blog Post: Two blogs you should read regularly

    I don’t use the phrase “you should” lightly – it smacks of a My Mum ( especially when it came to giving me advice about bring up our children. You know the kind of thing “You should put them to bed at 6pm” and “You should keep them quiet” ). But in this case it’s a no-brainer to say “you should” because...
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