March, 2011

  

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Free Microsoft Certification Exam Vouchers for Students

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    UK Students Get a FREE Microsoft Certification Exam from DreamSpark


    The job market can be a tough ride, but it doesn’t have to be.  Boost your CV and your job prospects by getting Microsoft Certified.

    Right now, you can get a FREE Microsoft Certification Exam Voucher to help you get started.  Recuritment managers look for Microsoft Certification on CVs and 75% of them believe that certification is important to overall team performance.

    This offer is for select Microsoft Certification exams (with 072 prefix).  Offer will expire when supply is depleted. Students must take exams by June 30,2011.

    For more information on why to become certified

    Like new jobs, these are in limited supply so don’t wait! Visit www.dreamspark.com

     

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Bing Search in Academia

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    Microsoft Bing is more than an internet search engine

    As a academic your day is filled with non-stop time commitments, class preparation and on-going research. Microsoft Office can help you handle the writing, presenting, organizing and communicating it takes to keep moving at the speed of the academic calendar.

    • Better organization. Discover the ways OneNote - the digital notebook – helps organize lectures, Web articles, videos and other rich content in one convenient program.
    • Be more expressive. Learn about the improved designs, slicker transitions, quality graphics and other ways to better engage your audience with PowerPoint.
    • Collaborate freely. Microsoft Web Apps are online companions to Microsoft Office, and are available for free. Access, edit and share Microsoft Office documents virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

     For more info on how Bing can help click here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Introduce a subject or topic with the emotional power of a movie - Windows Live Movie Maker

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    Bring subjects to life. Windows Live™ Movie Maker is the fast, easy way to turn photos and video clips into great-looking movies and slide shows you can share with students, other faculty, or on the Web. And it’s free.

    Learn more about the power of Movie Maker click here

    Quick Step by Step guide to using Movie Maker click here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Discover Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010

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    Learn new ways to easily create, express and share your ideas.

    Now faculty and students can view, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

    Microsoft Office can help you handle the writing, presenting, organizing and communicating it takes to keep moving at the speed of the academic calendar.

    • Better organization. Discover the ways OneNote - the digital notebook – helps organize lectures, Web articles, videos and other rich content in one convenient program.
    • Be more expressive. Learn about the improved designs, slicker transitions, quality graphics and other ways to better engage your audience with PowerPoint.
    • Collaborate freely. Microsoft Web Apps are online companions to Microsoft Office, and are available for free. Access, edit and share Microsoft Office documents virtually anywhere with an Internet connection.

    OneNote 2010 Getting Started guide  click here

    OneNote 2010 Step-by-step guide click here

    Office 2007 & 2010 Step-by-step guide click here

    Office 2007 & 2010 Getting Started guide click here

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    What is the STEM cirriculum?

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    STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

    Aims and objectives of Microsoft:

    • To support Academics in delivery of the STEM curriculum.
    • To support industry in reducing the STEM skills gap and understanding of modern software skills.
    • To raise the profile of Science, Technology,  Engineering and Maths within the Academic Community.
    • To provide STEM students with access to the lastest skills and sofware.

    We ensure that primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and HE in the UK have access to high-quality STEM curriculum enhancement and software tools.

    These activities produce successful STEM learners by offering engaging and achievable challenges, whilst building student confidence. They support students' development into responsible citizens through placing the STEM learning in relevant life contexts.

    For more information on STEM visit STEMNET

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The Power of Kinect SDK

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    So UK Student's and Academic's are you doing anything as cool or interesting as this?

    We would really love to hear about how your using Microsoft Technology and software in your curricula or research.

     Tell us and and share your outcomes and experiences at the Faculty Connection UK Linkedin Group

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Windows 7 & Office 2010 - Windows Slate device support

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    Over the past few days I have had a number of questions, regarding the oppurtuity of institutions providing IT equipement as part of the overall student experience.

    In particular I have had lots of questions regarding Windows Tablets or the new Slate form factor.  I personnal use a Windows 7 ThinkPad x201 with a multitouch enabled screen which I simply take everywhere as its my office, phone and connection back to the corporate network, however what is really neat is that this is now also my note pad and my whiteboard during these meeting. This piece of kit has raised a number questions over the past few weeks from ITPro's, Academic and students during my institution vists.

    So what are the questions. The number one statement is woo! thanks cool! the number one question is simply who can the new range of Windows Tablets and Slate devices support students learning as there lots of debate at present in the slate market simply because the price of device is becoming more attractive. The key question in my response to this is simply what is your software portfolio and how do you manage this? The Windows 7 Slate has a major advantage for most Institutions as it natively fully supports Windows applications such as Office.

    To help answer the simple question or what are like to use?  What can you do with these in regards to software applications? and how easy are they to use?

    I suggest you watch the following video, the video gives you a quick overview of the power of Windows 7 and Office 2010 when used on the slate device form factor.

    From my perspective the Window 7 slate device is a very attractive proposition for both students and institutions wanting to deliever and support software and hardware.

     

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure supports open source PHP/Eclipse and Drupal

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    Learn more about Windows Azure and Windows Azure Interoperability with PHP with these great new and updated tutorials below.

    Updated Windows Azure Tools for PHP (Compatible with the Windows Azure 1.3 SDK):

    Windows Azure with Drupal 7

    Four new generic modules developed by Schakra and MindTree that allow Drupal administrators/developers to provide users with new features:

    • Tutorial - Bing Maps Drupal Module Installation: enable easy & flexible embedding of Bing Map in Drupal content types (like articles for example)
    • Silverlight Pivot viewer Module: enable easy & flexible embedding of Silverlight Pivot in Drupal content types, using a set of preconfigured data sources (OData, a, b, c).
    • Windows Live ID Module: allow Drupal user to associate their Drupal account to their Windows Live ID, and then to login on Drupal with their Windows Live ID
    • Tutorial - Bing Maps Drupal Module Installation: allow data sources based on OData to be included in Drupal content types (such as articles). The generic module includes a basic OData query builder and renders data in a simple HTML Table. The package includes a sample module base on an Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) OData source, showing how to build advanced rendering (with Bing Maps)
  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    The challenges ahead, Kinect SDK in UK HE

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    This month has been a very exciting time for Microsoft, the Guinness World Records has added the Kinect for being the fastest-selling electronic device in history. Kinetc has sold an average of 133,333 units per day, giving it a total of eight million units in its first 60 days on sale from 4 November 2010 to 3 January this year.

    "The sales figures here speak for themselves," says Gaz Deaves, editor of Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition. "We can confirm that no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector." The new record will be included in the next Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition.

    A further two million Kinect devices have been sold since the beginning of January - 10 million units in all additionally Microsoft's has also sold over eight million Kinect games. As a result this means that a large number of children are aware of have used the kinect device.

    Take a look at this video of how young children are simply using Kinect without any thought or guidance.


    There has also been a number of new features for the Xbox this spring, including Kinect-enabled applications allowing users to use hand gestures and their voice to control films on Xbox Live. Also coming this year is Avatar Kinect, allowing players to control their avatar's movements and expressions by smiling, frowning, nodding or speaking. Players can get together with up to seven friends in a range of themed environments.

     What is really exicting from a Academic perspective is that Microsoft has announced that it will release a Kinect for Windows SDK "starter kit" this spring "to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces" using the motion-sensing device.

    "Microsoft's investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us," said Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie when announcing the non-commercial SDK. The non-commercial SDK will "give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor." With the release of the SDK we're going to see lots of new ideas and a number of challenges in relation to how technology supports teaching and learning in a more immersive and innovative ways, additionally if you consider the video above of the young children the experience of using this technology will make their lecture standing in front of an Blackboard or interactive whiteboard look very old school.

    The following videos are examples of how researchers and developers have integrated a number of applications using Natural User Interfaces and the Kinect devices.

     

     

     

     

    The challenge for you now is how can you use the Kinect SDK in your teaching and learning or research?

    So if your interested in the challenge, or have ideas that you would like to share and discuss please do get in contact.

     

     

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7

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    Microsoft is very pleased to announce the release and general availability of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7.

    This toolkit is designed to make it easier for phone developers to leverage cloud services running in Windows Azure. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.

    Get the bits on CodePlex here: http://watoolkitwp7.codeplex.com/.

    For a great article on how to get started, please take a look at this wiki: http://watoolkitwp7.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Getting%20Started&referringTitle=Documentation.

    The toolkit contains the following resources:

    • Binaries – These are libraries we’ve written that you can use in your Windows Phone 7 applications to make it easier to work with Windows Azure (e.g. a full storage client library for blobs and tables). You can literally add these libraries to your existing Windows Phone 7 applications and immediate start leveraging services such as Windows Azure storage.
    •  Docs – We’ve provided documentation that covers setup and configuration, a review of the toolkit content, getting started, and some troubleshooting tips.
    • Dependency Checker – As you’ve come to expect and love, we provide a full dependency checker to ensure that you have all the bits required in order to successfully use the toolkit.
    • Project Templates – We have built VSIX (which is the unit of deployment for a Visual Studio 2010 Extension) files that create project templates that make it easy for you to build brand new applications.
    • Samples – We have a sample application that fully leverages the toolkit, both available in C# and VB.NET. The sample application is also built into one of the two project templates created by the toolkit.

    For more information & coverage, please take a look at these resources:

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