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August, 2011 - Education - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

August, 2011

  • Education

    How important is ICT to academic success - the majority of US parents say ‘Very’

    • 1 Comments

    Phi Delta Kappa - a US teachers professional association - use Gallup to carry out a poll of 1,000 Americans about their attitudes to education, teachers and related areas in the public schools system. There’s some interesting statistics in there (which made me wonder whether Australia is similar, or very unlike the US education system), as well as some hot political issues that are current in Australia too. For example, there’s a question about whether standardised test scores should be published for individual teachers (parents marginally in favour). You can read a summary of the survey here, and the full report here

    There is a specific section about ICT in education, which makes interesting reading. Here’s a couple of interesting things I found:

    ICT is very important to learning, but less so for ‘academic success’

    70% thought that is was very important ‘that all students have access to computer technology’, but only 52% thought that access to computer technology was very important ‘for ensuring student academic success’.
    They don’t explore the reasons for this - I wonder if it is a reflection of the disjoint between learning (often using technology) and the exam process (often pen and paper based)?
    See page 15, Table 17

    Which is better - a more effective teacher online, or a less effective teacher in the classroom?

    This was the question that the survey asked:

    “Suppose a school wants to offer a new class and is considering whether the class should be taught online or in person. Would it be best for the school to hire a more effective teacher who was only available to teach over the Internet or would it be better to use a less effective teacher who could teach the class in person?”

    I was really surprised by the result - almost evenly split:

    • More effective teacher online - 46%
    • Less effective teacher in person - 50%

    I feel there could be hours of debate about why parents answered this question in particular ways. But if you were considering talking about the use of video conferencing and online learning to support a wider curriculum, you’d know from this that half the room may not like the idea, whilst the other half would be focusing on the quality of the teacher on the other end of the video link or system.
    See page 16, Table 22

    Learn MoreFind out more, and download the full reports, here

  • Education

    The Education Sessions at Australia Partner Conference - Part Four

    • 0 Comments

    This is part four of a series, covering the Education sessions at the Microsoft Australia Partner Conference.
    Start at part one (The Microsoft Australia Education Team) here

    What are the top concerns of University CIOs

    APC Slide - CIO Top Issues

    At the conference I only briefly covered the top three issues for university CIOs:

    • Mobility and personal devices
    • Cloud computing issues
    • Funding & Resourcing

    It’s interesting that the first two aren’t about restraints - things that limit what can be done - but are opportunities - things that can be done differently in order to expand the ICT service being offered to faculty and students, or reduce the cost of running current systems.

    The full University CIO Top Ten concerns

    CAUDIT (the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology) published the list of the key issues for University CIOs and IT Directors within Australia - or, as they describe it, those issues which were keeping them awake at night:

    They are:

    1. Mobility & Personal devices
    2. Cloud Computing Issues
    3. Funding & Resourcing
    4. Data Storage & Management
    5. Business Continuity
    6. IT staff – Re-skilling for the future
    7. Governance & Strategy
    8. Constant Change
    9. Research Support
    10. IT staff – Recruitment & Retention

    A summary, including the trends for the last 3 years can be downloaded from their site

    Learn MorePart Five - How many Decision Makers?

  • Education

    How do you approach Cloud security?

    • 0 Comments

    Jean-Phillippe Courtois, the President of Microsoft International, has written a guest post about Cloud security on the Viewpoints blog. You should read it if you’re at all interested in the framework for security and compliance of Cloud services - it delves into the Microsoft Cloud offerings, and the security framework we have had to build over the last 17 years.

    There were a couple of highlight points that I took away:

    There is no global standard for security of cloud services

     

    As there is no global standard for security of cloud services or security of cloud infrastructure, GFS’s approach is based on the widely used and understood ISO27001 and ISO27002 information security management standards. Microsoft added an additional 141 controls to the initial 150 in ISO27001. These arise from the unique challenges of cloud infrastructure and are based on our experience of mitigating the risks that arise in this environment.

     

    My reaction: What? There is no global international standard for cloud security! We’ve had to add141 controls to the existing 150 in an ISO standard in order to get to something that’s secure enough. So perhaps there is no wonder that as well as national differences, we’re seeing differences emerging in the ways that Cloud services are being approached between each State government in Australia.

    Our Cloud security commitments

    Jean-Phillippe sets out a summary of the commitments detailed in our Online Services Trust Centre which details our Cloud security model - and critically how we secure your data in our Cloud datacentres:

     
    • Data Use Limits: We use your data only to provide the services you want.
    • Administrative Access: We enable you to find out whether someone has accessed your non-public data.
    • Geographic Boundaries: We will share information about data location.
    • Security, Audits, and Certifications: We obtain third party audits and certifications so you can trust our services are designed and operated with stringent safeguards.
    • Regulatory Compliance: We are committed to transparency to help you comply with your regulatory needs.
     

    My reaction:  It’s the detail behind these five commitments that makes the interesting reading, and would be helpful in understanding the ways that different cloud services could collect and use information - and potentially help you to build your own list of acceptable Cloud practices within your organisations

    Learn MoreRead the original blog post 'A pragmatic approach to security in the Cloud'

  • Education

    Building a more efficient research datacentre

    • 0 Comments

    The Microsoft team that run our internal IT systems have to manage a complex and very fluid IT environment - just like you. And the It team are often at the leading/bleeding edge of technology (especially if you consider our habit of ‘eating our own dog food’). So they have some hard-won lessons on technology implementation.

    Icons_gears_blueThe latest addition to the IT Showcase, a huge library of published case studies on their work, is a technical case study on how they developed a Private Cloud infrastructure. I’m sure there are universities across Australia who have exactly the same kind of challenge today, and will find their case study useful.

    Developing a Private Cloud infrastructure for research

    Microsoft IT wanted to reduce lab space server sprawl and introduce a new level of management and support efficiency. The facility needed to be both efficient and flexible enough to support the research and development needs of the different product groups. The solution was to build an energy-efficient, flexible, high-density facility that meets the needs of the research and development community at Microsoft and is able to host private clouds that provide Infrastructure as a Service.

    It meant changing the research culture, as well as the IT infrastructure, and replacing a 180,000 square feet facility with something nearly 80% smaller. And designing a local datacentre that could run with a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.3 or lower.

    What that meant was:

    • Reduced the footprint of on-campus lab space
    • Efficiencies in scale and facility design provide power-consumption savings
    • Virtualisation reduced the number of required physical systems and the amount of resources required to manage them
    • Offering Infrastructure as a Service through the private cloud shortened the time it takes to deploy systems and reduced variations in the deployment of systems

    The full case study talks through details such as designing the network fabric and the process of picking the host requirements (eg memory, storage and processors)

    Learn MoreYou can read the full case study online (and download a Word version)

  • Education

    What is your online learning management system called?

    • 0 Comments

    Do you have a system that your staff and students use to manage learning online? Whilst there are common brand names - Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn etc - there doesn’t seem to be a common term to describe the system. Is it a Learning Management System? Or a Virtual Learning Environment? Or something completely different.

    If you’re from an Australian education institution, what is it you call your system thingy?

    Click below to vote (and to see how others have voted)

  • Education

    Weekly technical webcasts - 10-12 August 2011

    • 0 Comments

    Webinar iconThis year we’re offering a series of live webcasts, led by a Microsoft subject matter expert, on a range of core Microsoft products. They are not specifically designed to focus on education - and attendees will be from a wide range of industries - but I wanted to highlight the opportunity for you to take part to get up to speed with leading edge technology changes.

    By running them as webcasts, our aim is to allow you to get the latest news, without travel costs, or event fees. And with all of the advantages of being able to watch an online webcast whilst also being able to do other things if necessary.

    All of the free webcasts are two-hour long sessions, and combine technical presentations and live demonstrations. The level of the content is suitable for IT teams in schools, TAFEs and universities, as well as for pre-sales consultants and technical consultants working within Microsoft’s education partners. There are some which are much more specifically tailored for developers, and I’ll highlight those below.

    You’ll need to register in advance, and you’ll then receive a Calendar note as well as info on how to join the Live Meeting online. All of the webcasts are scheduled for 2-4PM AEST (Australia East Coast time)

    Each week I’ll highlight the webcasts coming up soon, and provide a more detailed overview, and give a list of future sessions that you can book into your diary.

    This week’s webcasts

    Building Business Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch

    Visual Studio LightSwitch is the simplest way to build business applications for the desktop and cloud. LightSwitch simplifies the development process by letting you concentrate on the business logic, while LightSwitch handles the common tasks for you. In this demo-heavy session, see end-to-end how to build and deploy a data-centric business application using LightSwitch. Finally, see how to take advantage of the underlying LightSwitch application architecture to implement your application’s custom business logic. This webinar is mainly focused on software developers.

    10th August - Find out more, and register 

    Introducing the Windows Azure Platform

    Cloud computing looks like the biggest change to hit our industry in many years. But taking advantage of the shift requires understanding this new approach and how to exploit it. In this presentation, we at the Windows Azure platform and what it means for organizations that create, use or sell software. The topics he covers include an overview of the Windows Azure platform, covering both technology and business model, and typical application scenarios for using it. The goal is to provide a foundation for thinking about the Windows Azure platform, then offer guidance on how to make good decisions for using it.

    10th August - Find out more, and register

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    In this session we look at the core Hybrid Cloud topologies capable with Windows Azure and Windows Server Private Cloud Architecture. We showcase bridging the two environments together and how you can leverage private and public cloud to scale your enterprise needs.

    12th August - Find out more, and register


    Future webcasts

    Date
    Title
    Register Here

    16 August

    Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" AlwaysOn Series, Part 1: Introducing the Next Generation High Availability Solution

    Find out more, and register

    16 August

    Microsoft SharePoint Online Overview

    Find out more, and register

    19 August

    Sneak Peek at Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2012 Concepts

    Find out more, and register

    2 September

    Best Practices for Private Cloud Implementation

    Find out more, and register

    6 September

    Microsoft Exchange Online: Unified Messaging in Microsoft Office 365

    Find out more, and register

    7 September

    Inside Windows Azure, the Cloud Operating System

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" AlwaysOn Series, Part 2: Building a Mission-Critical High Availability Solution Using AlwaysOn

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft Lync 2010: In the Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    23 September

    Understanding How Microsoft Virtualization Compares to VMware

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    30 September

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview

    Find out more, and register

    4 October

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Setup, Deployment, Upgrade and Coexistence Scenarios

    Find out more, and register

    14 October

    Virtualization: State of the Union

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    What's New in Manageability for Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali"

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365: How to Set Up a Hybrid Deployment

    Find out more, and register

    21 October

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012: Overview

    Find out more, and register

    25 October

    An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    28 October

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    Find out more, and register

    1 November

    Microsoft Office 365: Deployment Overview

    Find out more, and register

    8 November

    Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Code-Named "Denali": A Comprehensive Look

    Find out more, and register

    11 November

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: What’s in It, and How It Enables the Building of Private Clouds and Federation to the Public Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    15 November

    Taking Office to the Cloud: Integrating Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Managing Windows Azure Applications

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    Find out more, and register

    25 November

    Integrating the Microsoft System Center Stack for Process Compliance and Automation

    Find out more, and register

    29 November

    What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Integration Services

    Find out more, and register

    6 December

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Audio, Video and Web Conferencing Architecture and Experience

    Find out more, and register

  • Education

    Weekly technical webcasts - 29 Aug-2 Sep 2011

    • 0 Comments

    Webinar iconThis year we’re offering a series of live webcasts, led by a Microsoft subject matter expert, on a range of core Microsoft products. They are not specifically designed to focus on education - and attendees will be from a wide range of industries - but I wanted to highlight the opportunity for you to take part to get up to speed with leading edge technology changes.

    Each week I’ll highlight the webcasts coming up soon, and provide a more detailed overview, and give a list of future sessions that you can book into your diary. All of the webcasts are scheduled for 2-4PM AEST (Australia East Coast time). See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

    This week’s webcast

    Best Practices for Private Cloud Implementation

    Want to build out a Microsoft Private Cloud solution? Want to learn the best practices for implementing, managing and growing your Private cloud topology? Come to this session to ramp up on the various private cloud best practices and lessons learned during industry and internal implementations of Microsoft's Private Cloud solution. This session helps you to get the most out of your Microsoft Private Cloud implementation.

    2nd September - Find out more, and register 


    Future webcasts

    Date
    Title
    Register Here

    6 September

    Microsoft Exchange Online: Unified Messaging in Microsoft Office 365

    Find out more, and register

    7 September

    Inside Windows Azure, the Cloud Operating System

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali" AlwaysOn Series, Part 2: Building a Mission-Critical High Availability Solution Using AlwaysOn

    Find out more, and register

    20 September

    Microsoft Lync 2010: In the Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    23 September

    Understanding How Microsoft Virtualization Compares to VMware

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

    Find out more, and register

    27 September

    Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    30 September

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012: Deployment and Infrastructure Technical Overview

    Find out more, and register

    4 October

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Setup, Deployment, Upgrade and Coexistence Scenarios

    Find out more, and register

    14 October

    Virtualization: State of the Union

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    What's New in Manageability for Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named "Denali"

    Find out more, and register

    18 October

    Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office 365: How to Set Up a Hybrid Deployment

    Find out more, and register

    21 October

    Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012: Overview

    Find out more, and register

    25 October

    An IT Pro View of Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    28 October

    What Are the Bridges between Private and Public Cloud?

    Find out more, and register

    1 November

    Microsoft Office 365: Deployment Overview

    Find out more, and register

    8 November

    Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Code-Named "Denali": A Comprehensive Look

    Find out more, and register

    11 November

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: What’s in It, and How It Enables the Building of Private Clouds and Federation to the Public Cloud

    Find out more, and register

    15 November

    Taking Office to the Cloud: Integrating Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows Azure

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Managing Windows Azure Applications

    Find out more, and register

    22 November

    Integrating Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

    Find out more, and register

    25 November

    Integrating the Microsoft System Center Stack for Process Compliance and Automation

    Find out more, and register

    29 November

    What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Integration Services

    Find out more, and register

    6 December

    Microsoft Lync 2010: Audio, Video and Web Conferencing Architecture and Experience

    Find out more, and register

    ** By running them as webcasts, our aim is to allow you to get the latest news, without travel costs, or event fees. And with all of the advantages of being able to watch an online webcast whilst also being able to do other things if necessary.

    All of the free webcasts are two-hour long sessions, and combine technical presentations and live demonstrations. The level of the content is suitable for IT teams in schools, TAFEs and universities, as well as for pre-sales consultants and technical consultants working within Microsoft’s education partners. There are some which are much more specifically tailored for developers, and I’ll highlight those below.

    You’ll need to register in advance, and you’ll then receive a Calendar note as well as info on how to join the Live Meeting online. All of the webcasts are scheduled for 2-4PM AEST (Australia East Coast time)

  • Education

    Windows 7 to reach four out of 10 computers by end of year

    • 1 Comments

    Last month, I wrote that two-thirds of PCs are still running Windows XP, and wrote about some of the things that hadn’t been created when Windows XP was launched (Feeling nostalgic? Your students may not be). It surprised me to hear that there are so many out of date PCs (as Windows XP is a decade old now).

    However, I’ve just read on ZDNet, reporting on a Gartner analysis, where they are predicting that by the end of the year, 42% of PCs worldwide will be running Windows 7. Which means there’s a massive wave of upgrades and deployments going on right now…

    Learn MoreRead the full story on ZD Net - 42% of PCs will be running Windows 7 by year-end

  • Education

    Queensland Department of Education and Training - Partners in Technology Briefing

    • 0 Comments

    I’ve just received an email from DEEDI (the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation) about an upcoming government briefing on the ICT strategy and procurement for the Queensland Department of Education and Training. If you’re doing business in Queensland education, then this might be of interest:


    Friday, 2 September 2011 – Partners in Technology Briefing –  Department of Education and Training

    The Information Industries Bureau has arranged for Department of Education and Training to deliver a presentation of their proposed ICT procurement schedules. This is an opportunity for ICT firms to hear first hand about the future use of ICT in these organisations.

    Participants will discover:

      • The organisations structure and purchasing procedures
      • Key agency personnel
      • Details of proposed ICT contracts and expected timeframes.

    DATE: Friday, 2 September 2011

    TIME: 8.30am to 9.30am

    COST: Free

    VENUE: Ground Floor, Rooms 1 & 2, 80 George Street, Brisbane

    Please click on this link to register your interest


    Has anybody any experiences of these briefings before? Do they represent a good investment of time?

  • Education

    Have you seen the Live@edu blog

    • 0 Comments

    Icons_monitor_blueMy colleague, James Marshall, writes the UK Live@edu blog. There isn’t an Australian equivalent, but almost everything that he writes is relevant to Australia too. If you’re a Live@edu user in Australia, or you’re interested in learning more about the service (which is the Microsoft free hosted email and collaboration service for schools, TAFEs and universities), then it’s worth keeping an eye on it, or adding it to your RSS feeds.

    Some of the recent posts that have caught my eye include:

    • Live@edu deployment webcasts
      Download links for his two recent Live@edu deployment webcasts, covering domain ownership; user provisioning in Live@edu; migrating data and automating Live@edu management
    • Configuring regional settings and setting UK English dictionaries in Live@edu
      Contains the answer to the golden question: “How do I set the dictionary for all of my Live@edu mail users”
    • Why and how to delete and de-provision users in Live@edu
      After explaining why you may or may not want to delete users once they’ve left your institution (ease user management, remove the risk of abuse of your email domain versus continuing contact with alumni and giving students a continuing email address they can use for university/employment applications), James then lets you know how you can delete mailboxes and still keep the Live ID going (so that students don’t lose their SkyDrive, Xbox ID etc)

    There are lots of other good blog posts there too, so keep an eye on it.

    Learn MoreRead the UK Live@edu blog

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