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

September, 2011

  • Education

    The Consumerisation of IT, and education - presentation slides

    • 2 Comments

    Icons_light_blueI’ve been speaking at some events run by Acer and Fujitsu recently, and had the opportunity to look at the issues surrounding the consumerisation of IT - and what it means for schools when you’ve got a broad range of devices arriving on your campus - and they may not all be owned and managed by your IT team. Although the event was focused on schools, in reality this is impacting every sector of education today.

    Although I haven’t got a recording of the session, you can download the slides here, which will hopefully be useful to people that were there, as well as some of those who weren’t (although, without the words, some slides will make absolutely no sense!)

    What I’ll do going forward is let you know which events I’ll be speaking at, and give you details of how you can register if applicable. And if it’s local to you, it would also be a great opportunity to catch up before or after for a coffee and a chat!


        Learn MoreDownload the 'Consumerisation of IT - and it's impact on Education' slides

      • Education

        Alan’s Paperless School project

        • 2 Comments

        Icons_light_blueAlan Richards, the Information Systems Manager at West Hatch High School near London, has been running a ‘Paperless School’ project for the last 18 months. He’s been using the school’s SharePoint in order to reduce the amount of paper being used in the school or being sent home to parents. I wrote about his project last October (see ‘Schools spend more money on printer paper than on ICT’) and the initial results - cutting out 10,000 sheets of paper from their academic review process.

        Alan ran a webinar in the UK, where he talked about the project and gave a live demonstration of what they were doing now - with SharePoint and InfoPath - to reduce the amount of internal paperwork (as well as improving the communication process within the school). For example, by moving the Absence Request form online they’ve streamlined the process, made it easier for staff and administrators, and reduced the potential for lost forms to cause chaos.

        The recording of the webinar is now available on YouTube (or below):

        If you’ve got a truck arriving at school every month with your new supply of paper, then it’s worth investing half an hour watching Alan’s webinar recording, and then downloading the slides from Alan’s Edutech Now blog.

      • Education

        Are education leaders more optimistic about online education than the public?

        • 1 Comments

        Pew Social and Demographic Trends

        The Pew Research Centre are a respected American organisation that shares research on issues, attitudes and trends shaping modern life. Although they tend to be US-centric, much of their research is unique and provides a helpful indicator to issues elsewhere in the world. (I like their description of themselves as a “fact tank” as opposed to the normal politicised “think tanks”)

        They have just published their report ‘The Digital Revolution and Higher Education’, which contains some great insights highlighted by some great questions. The report is based on a large USA sample of over 2,000 members of the general public, and 1,000 college and university presidents. So although we can’t assume the data stands true for Australia, it’s still though provoking.

        Is online learning as effective as classroom teaching?

        According to the report, the majority of college/university presidents think online learning has the same value as classroom learning. But the majority of the ‘public’ disagreed.

          • 51% of presidents agreed that online courses offer an equal educational value compared with courses taken in the classroom.
          • 29% of the public agreed.

        Although it’s 5 out of 10, versus 3 out of 10, there’s still a perception gap between people running the education system, and people using it. One in four graduates have taken a course online.

        Interesting to note that of the public who’d done an online course, 6 out of 10 who’d experienced it thought it wasn’t as effective as classroom teaching

        Half of college/university presidents believe that in 10 years’ time, most of their students will take classes online (up from 15% today), and 62% expect half of all textbooks to go digital in the same decade.

        What types of colleges and universities offer online courses?

        77% of college/university presidents reported that their institution offered online courses. There’s some interesting self-selection in here too. Nearly 90% of public institutions offer online courses, whilst it’s only 60% for private ones. And the more selective the institution is in their student intake, the less they are likely to offer online courses (51% for the most selective, versus 86% for the least selective)

        Students want more ‘blended learning’

        One small critique of the Pew Research is that it promoted the idea that there are only two options - online or classroom - for learning. Whereas I think that blended learning is likely to lead the way going forward. You may recall research from earlier this year that 8 out of 10 students wanted to see more blended learning in the future.

        My reaction to the report is that there’s some interesting points raised that highlight a gap between what institutions want, and what their customers want. As we move into a more consumer- and market-led higher education marketplace, it’s going to create some tension whilst the two move together! Australia may be in a different place to the US, so we may have more time to be prepared for it.

        Learn MoreRead 'The Digital Revolution and Higher Education' from the Pew Research Centre

      • Education

        This week’s webcasts - 12-13 September 2011

        • 1 Comments

        Webinar iconOnly two webcasts to know about this week - and they are both education-specific ones. There’s the Microsoft Mondays webinar on Lync, and the Tech Tuesday one for school IT managers and elearning leaders, about the work that Janison have been doing in online assessment.

        All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
        See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

        This week’s webcasts

        Microsoft Monday - How to 'Lync-up' with Colleagues and Students

        Using Lync as the enterprise equivalent of Skype, Kirsten Gilbertson will walk through the benefits of instant messenger as a productivity tool.
        Monday 12 Sep 2-3PM AEST
        For: University and TAFE lecturers and support staff

        Monday 12th September 2-3PM AEST - Register here

        Tech Tuesday - Microsoft Partner story - Janison

        Janison won the Microsoft Australia Education Partner of the Year Award 2011, for their online examination project for the NSW Online Science Assessment.
        For: School IT teams and eLearning leaders

        Tuesday 13th September 11AM AEST - Register here


        Future webcasts

        Date
        Title
        Register Here

        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 this week are one hour sessions, and combine presentations and live demonstrations.

        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 timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

      • Education

        Australia School holiday dates - 2011-2012

        • 0 Comments

        Icons_teacher_blueA quick guide, if you are planning events or marketing activities with schools, on the remaining school holidays in Australia 2011 - state by state.

        State Spring Holiday Summer Holiday  
        NSW 26 Sep - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 26 Jan Link
        VIC 26 Sep - 7 Oct 23 Dec - 31 Jan Link
        QLD 19 Sep - 30 Sep 12 Dec - 20 Jan Link
        WA 3 Oct - 14 Oct 19 Dec - 31 Jan Link
        NT 3 Oct - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 27 Jan Link
        SA 3 Oct - 7 Oct 19 Dec - 27 Jan Link
        ACT 3 Oct - 14 Oct 22 Dec - 2 Feb Link
        TAS 5 Sep - 16 Sep 22 Dec - 14 Feb Link

        So, if you're planning any activities with schools, then the blackout period this month is effectively from 16 September to 14 October, and then for the summer holidays, you’ll need to get any activities completed before Friday 16 December.

        The list is in completely random order, mainly because of my poor searching skills!

      • Education

        This week’s webcasts - 19-23 September 2011

        • 0 Comments

        Webinar iconFour webcasts to know about this week - one education-specific one (the Tech Tuesday) and three general technical ones.

        All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
        See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

        This week’s webcasts

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

        In this session we walk you through the steps to deploy a high availability solution using AlwaysOn. This is a demo-heavy presentation and the experts from the product development team walk you through a high availability solution architecture and deployment, explain key architectural concepts and recommend best practices that will help you achieve the required level of availability for your mission critical applications. It is highly recommended that you attend the first part of this series since the new concepts are introduced in that session.

        Tuesday 20th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

        Microsoft Lync 2010: In the Cloud

        Lync Online is Microsoft’s cloud communications service and a key component of Microsoft Office 365. Come to this session to understand which Lync capabilities will be available in the cloud. The session covers IM, conferencing and voice in the cloud, as well as a comprehensive overview of hybrid cloud and on-premises deployment options for Lync and Office 365.

        Tuesday 20th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

        Understanding How Microsoft Virtualization Compares to VMware

        This is a must-see session for anyone who is comparing VMware with Microsoft's virtualization offerings. We will review Microsoft's technology compared to VMware, focusing on what differentiates the two technologies. The session will also cover effective strategies for integrating Microsoft virtualization into datacenter environments, and review one company's experience with implementing Microsoft virtualization. If you need to know how the Microsoft virtualization stack compares to VMware's, this is the session for you!

        Friday 23rd September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

        Tech Tuesday - Business Intelligence in Education

        A look at how to get the most from your school data. We’ll start this session by taking a look at how data is being used in a number of international examples, and then focus down on some ideas of work that’s being done today in Australia. This session isn’t designed to provide all of the answers, but to provide a starting point for your own exploration!

        Tuesday 20th September 11-12AM AEST - Register here


        Future webcasts

        Date
        Title
        Register Here

        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 this week are one hour sessions, and combine presentations and live demonstrations.

        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 timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

      • Education

        This week’s webcasts - 26-30 September 2011

        • 0 Comments

        As most Australian schools are on holiday this week, we’re not running the education-specific Tech Tuesday this week or next. So for a fortnight, the only webinars to note are general technical ones - although they are not specifically focused on education ICT, the subjects they cover will be of interest to IT managers across education.

        All of the timings for the webcasts are AEST (Australia East Coast time).
        See ** below for more details on how the webcasts work

        This week’s webcasts

        Microsoft Visual Studio Tips and Tricks

        Learn how to become a Visual Studio coding guru! In this fast-paced session, learn to write code faster than a speeding bullet, leap around large projects in a single bound, and become more powerful than a locomotive with the debugger. We take a wild ride through C# and Visual Basic IDE features in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and indispensible out-of-the-box solutions that will help you get your job done better and faster.
        This webinar is mainly for software developers!

        Tuesday 27th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

        Ten Must-Have Tools for Windows Azure

        Any platform, by its own nature, creates an ecosystem for third-party tools and helpers. Windows Azure is no different. In this session we look at a variety of the third-party tools available in the Windows Azure ecosystem. Included are tools for both developers and IT professionals. We look at tools that will help manage storage and resources, migration, scaling, diagnostics and software components that will help you build cloud applications.
        This webinar is suitable for both IT managers and developers.

        Tuesday 27th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here

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

        Configuration Manager 2012 is now in Beta 2! A strong engineering investment has been made in optimizing the site and hierarchy architecture for the Configuration Manager 2012 release. This session examines those changes and provides guidance on how best to design and deploy an optimized Configuration Manager 2012 infrastructure. This session covers topics such as site server roles, boundary management, Role Based Administration, Discovery, Inventory, content deployment and changes to Collections.

        Friday 30th September 2-4PM AEST - Register here


        Future webcasts

        Date
        Title
        Register Here

        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 this week are one hour sessions, and combine presentations and live demonstrations.

        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 timings given are for Australia East Coast time.

      • Education

        The Education Sessions at Australia Partner Conference - Part nine of nine!

        • 0 Comments

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

        We’re at the end of the write-up of the Education session from the Australia Partner Conference. At the conference, we packed all of these last nine blog posts into a 45 minute session, and yet this series has already run to 7,000 words - boy, we must have spoken quickly at APC Smile

        Anyway, on with the final section, expanding on the story we shared at APC. Now it’s looking back and forward at the Microsoft product and service opportunities that exist in the education marketplace in Australia.

        Key successes of the last year

        Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen a number of key opportunities for our partners. The slide summarises them, but here’s some more commentary for each of the bullets:

        • imageThe Cloud: Education customers continue to adopt the Microsoft Cloud services with enthusiasm, including the shift to the Live@edu email service and new adoptions of the Windows Azure cloud service for building more flexible ICT services within schools and universities.
        • Windows 7 & Office 2010 deployments: These also continue across all sectors. Customers who have made the switch are discovering the increased manageability of their systems, and the cost-savings possible through reduced helpdesk support and reduced power usage. As part of the switch, many customers are exploring how to use better virtualisation - either of applications, or of the complete desktop - in order to reduce ICT management costs, and increase flexibility and mobility for users.
        • SQL Server: Another of the things we’ve seen in the last year is customers running projects to move key databases onto their Windows SQL Servers, from other platforms. In the case of Oracle databases, this has often been driven by the aim of reducing cost, whilst maintaining their service levels. And for critical workloads, there are examples of institutions moving their student management systems and learning management systems across to their SQL servers.

        Looking ahead to next year

        If those are the things we look back on, we also talked about the things we’ll expect to look back on in a year’s time with you - a forecast of the successes of 2012. Obviously, a bit trickier to do, but we thought it would be valuable to try and put some ideas down on a slide… Many of them are linked to cost saving opportunities for customers, as well as continuing to move their ICT infrastructure forward.

        • imageOffice 365: Continuing the move to the cloud, the next wave will be implementation and advice about Office 365 for education - helping customers to understand where it fits within their infrastructure and how to use it to reduce their on-premise ICT costs.
        • Voice: As ageing PBXs come up for replacement, there are more and more customers who have realised that using Lync for their voice system, instead of a conventional PBX, helps save money as well as improving collaboration between staff across campus - as well allowing new models of teaching and learning.
        • Windows 7 and Office 2010 deployments: This will continue to be something that customers will value the support of partners for, as they continue to migrate their installed base of computers, as well as extend out their use of System Center and Forefront to replace other software. And as customers realise that one of the best ways to prepare for the next version of Windows is to complete the deployment of Windows 7, this will continue to accelerate.
        • Private Cloud: If ‘Cloud’ was the buzzword of last year, then ‘Private Cloud’ and ‘Public Cloud’ will be the next year’s two buzzwords. We expect to see plenty of partners asked to support migration to Hyper-V, either to virtualise existing physical servers, or to reduce the cost of virtualisation compared to other virtualisation solutions.
        • CRM: Despite the fact that education has one of the most complex customer-relationship maps of any industry sector, it has been one of the slower sectors to adopting the use of CRM systems. However, what we’re now seeing is that that’s turning around fast (accelerated by changes in the marketplace, like the Bradley Report). The ideas that are popping up aren’t just confined to conventional CRM (like student recruitment) but also for managing some of the internal processes and events that institutions run.

        Will this really be the list that we look back on next year, and say “Yes, these are the successes of 2011/12”? Well, although we don’t know, you can at least hold us to account by asking us to put the slide back and up and reviewing it!

      • Education

        Business Intelligence in Education - visualising learning data - part 2

        • 0 Comments

        Yesterday, I ran a '”Business Intelligence (BI) in Education” webinar - which included a number of examples of system-wide dashboards around the world. But the highlight (once we’d managed to sort out his microphone) was hearing from Rod Colledge of StrataDB - and ideas of how data could be made more useful by clever visualisations for teachers and school leaders. He was able to share some of the story of what he’s been developing, and how the different Microsoft technologies are going to help them to make a more powerful system for BI in education.

        Yesterday afternoon Rod sat down with his software one more time, and recorded a demonstration of it in real-time, which he’s put onto YouTube. It’s a ten minute video, and worth watching right to the end.

        • About a minute in there’s a great example of a school dashboard in SharePoint (good for a snapshot in time)
        • At 4 1/2 minutes you get a demo of the ability to animate charts over time in the next version of our SQL server (really useful for longitudinal data)
        • And around 7 minutes in, you’ll see how StrataDB have used PivotViewer to present data visually that will immediately make sense to every classroom teacher and school leader

        StrataDB logoFor more about the work that StrataDB have been doing in Brisbane Catholic Education, take a look at my previous “BI in Education” blog post, or email Rod directly (I know he’d be really happy to answer questions, or arrange to show you more of StrataDB’s work)

        Learn MoreThere's plenty more on this blog about "BI in Education" - click here to find all related info

      • Education

        What are the PISA tests?

        • 0 Comments

        Every now and then you’ll read that Australia has done well/badly/averagely in the “PISA tests” - and there’s often an assumption about what that means (Variously: schools are doing well/badly/averagely; teachers need more help/money/inspiration; learners can/can’t read/write enough etc etc).

        So I like this YouTube video produced by the team who created the PISA tests - and in very simple language sets out the answer to your question of “What are the PISA tests?”. So I’m not going to tell you anything more about them - just hit play:

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