October, 2011


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Curriculum on Game Development using XNA



    This exciting and engaging computer science semester course enables students to apply a basic foundation in programming to create games using C# and Microsoft XNA Game Studio.


    Don't forget simply login to DreamSpark.com for your FREE XNA software and developer tools.

    The course guides you through the development of Games using Visual Studio 2010 C# combined with the Microsoft XNA framework which creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for PC, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone.

    Students will

    • Address social causes and real-world problems
    • Explore game and simulation development as communication and art
    • Apply knowledge of variables, conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures to game creation.

    The free curriculum package includes

    • Teacher Roadmap
    • Daily lesson plans
    • Demonstration projects
    • 14 video tutorials
    • 22 lab assignments and solutions
    • Student activities
    • Assessment tools with keys and exemplars


    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Teacher Roadmap

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 1 Basics

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 2 Games for All

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Appendix

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    clip_image001 Win7PhoneNew

    Project Hawaii: Cloud-Enabled Mobile Computing

    Project Hawaii offers university students the opportunity to explore how the cloud can enhance mobile devices, especially the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone.

    Find samples of student-created applications that range from assisting people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their locations and contact other people to enabling individuals with smart phones to contribute to a variety of science research projects by gathering useful information using the sensors on their phones.

    For more details see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/hawaii/applications/

    Project Hawaii SDK: Create Mobile Applications—Watch the Video

    Find out how you can create cloud-enabled mobile applications with the tools and services that are included in the Project Hawaii software development kit (SDK). Arjmand Samuel, research program manager from Microsoft Research Connections, talks about what the SDK contains and how it can be used to develop Windows Phone applications.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012


    IC    IC2012

    “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.”

    The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. It provides an opportunity for students to use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to help solve global challenges and make a difference in the world. While competing for cash and prizes, students gain real-life experiences, make new friends, and change the world.

    Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registered for the Imagine Cup 2011 Competition. The Imagine Cup is one way Microsoft encourages the brightest young minds to join together and use technology to take on the toughest problems facing our world today, whether it is combatting diseases, improving education or creating disaster communication systems.


    How is Microsoft UK supporting Imagine Cup 2012?

    This year we have changed our approach to the Imagine Cup competition in the UK.

    Universities have the opportunity to hold local finals for the Software Design competition, to find the best team and project to represent their institution. The winning team of each institution that runs a local final is guaranteed a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup, judged by a panel of the industry’s brightest and most influential business minds. Teams that do not win their local final can enter online for the chance to win a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.

    Students who do not enter the Software Design competition through their institution are still eligible to submit projects into the Online Competition, judged by Microsoft, for a place in the UK final of the Imagine Cup.

    Institution Competition


    To qualify for the Institution Competition:

    1. The institution must commit to have a minimum of three teams entering the Imagine Cup 2012 Software Design competition. Two or more institutions can choose to run a joint competition, but only one winning team will be guaranteed a place in the UK final.

    2. Each team must have one faculty mentor.

    3. All competitors are bound by the Rules and Regulations of the worldwide Imagine Cup 2012 competition.

    4. The Institution Competition must be clearly promoted as being part of the Imagine Cup.

    5. The Institution must notify Microsoft of their interest in running a local Imagine Cup competition by sending an e-mail to ukfac@microsoft.com no later than 17:00 on Wednesday 30th November 2011.


    The benefits of holding an Institution Competition include:

    · The winning team from the Institution Competition is automatically through to the UK Imagine Cup Software Design final.

    · Employees from Microsoft will be available to sit on the judging panel of the local final.

    · Microsoft will endeavour to identify local technology companies that can offer industry mentors to the student teams.

    · Microsoft will offer prizes to winners and runner-ups of local finals.

    · Microsoft will provide Imagine Cup marketing materials to the Institution

    · Microsoft will highlight the Institution Competition in blogs, on our web site and other channels.

    · Teams from the Institution Competition that do not win their local final can enter the online competition for a place in the Imagine Cup UK final.

    Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.

    Online Competition

    The Online Competition will be for student teams who haven’t entered through their institutions or who have not won their Institution Competition for Software Design. Software Design teams entering through the Online Competition have the option to submit partially complete projects prior to the final deadline for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft.

    All entrants of the Game Design and IT Challenge competitions must also enter online.

    Get your students to register for Imagine Cup 2012.

    Key Dates

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 - 17:00

    Deadline for notifying Microsoft UK of the intention to run a local Institution Competition for the Imagine Cup 2012.

    Sunday 4th March 2012 - 23:59

    Deadline for submission of partially complete projects for review by, and feedback from, Microsoft. Feedback will be provided by Friday 16th March 5:30 pm.

    Tuesday 13th March 2012

    Deadline for preliminary summary of project submission online at www.imaginecup.com.

    Sunday 15th April 2012 - 23:59

    Project submission deadline online (both online entries and institution final winner entries).

    Tuesday 17th April 2012

    Announcement of shortlisted online Software Design entries.

    Thursday 19th April 2012

    Judging of finalists in London with external judging panel.

    Wednesday 25th April 2012

    Live broadcast of Imagine Cup UK final results and feedback.

    July 2012

    Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia.

    For any questions or more information please email ukfac@microsoft.com

    See last year’s Imagine Cup winner Team Hermes from Ireland

    See Team Note-Taker from the USA’s entry here.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Partners in Learning Forum 24/11/2011


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    The 8th Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Forum is a one-day conference, free of charge to all teachers and educators who wish to attend. The workshops and keynotes this year have a STEM ‘flavour’ and address the theme of ‘Teach more, learn more, inspire more.’

    This year the Forum is being held at the Microsoft Headquarters, Thames Valley Park in Reading on the 24th Nov 2011.


    We have a rich agenda that includes as Keynote speakers, the world renowned Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President of Eidos , Alex Bellos, the author of the popular science book Alex's Adventures in Numberland and Ollie Bray, the National Adviser for Emerging Technologies at Education Scotland

    In addition, delegates will be able to choose from a range of workshops. I would suggest that you sign up as soon as possible as places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

    · Bringing classrooms together with Skype


    In this interactive workshop, Jacqueline Botterill, head of social good for Skype, will explain and demonstrate how over 17,500 educators from over 170 countries are already using the free online community to connect with each other.

    Using the Kinect SDK/Kodu in the classroom

    clip_image005Classroom Teachers Ray Chambers from Lodge Park Technology College & Nicki Maddams from Hartsdown College, give hands-on practical guidance on how to programme and create games in the classroom

    Everyone is a Maths genius, can computer science/technology prove it?

    Dr Chris Imafidon is one of the “World’s foremost scholars on leveraging informatics for learning and exceptional achievement. This workshop will discuss how computer science/technology exposed the myths of natural Intelligence, genes, gender, IQ, age, background, post-code.

    Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything?

    clip_image008Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), looks at the big question: How are we developing and encouraging the next generation of technology innovators in the UK?

    Be a Maker: learn to build gadgets with .NET Gadgeteer

    Dr Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche from Microsoft Research.Do you like computer gadgets? Would you like to learn how to build and program gadgets to your own design? Then this workshop is for you!

    Medicines and innovation – the missing link

    clip_image010Kandarp Thakkar - STEM Ambassador Programme - This workshop will introduce the STEM programme and give some ‘real-life’ case studies of successful use of this programme in delivering high quality university admissions.

    Guerrilla Teaching & Learning

    Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla educator, co-founder of The Geography Collective and creative director of Mission:Explore. Join this workshop to receive initial training in how to be a guerrilla teacher and learner.

    Who’s afraid of the big bad ‘network’

    clip_image012Dan Roberts from saltash.net community school, presents light-hearted perspective and interactive & engaging discussion which considers the challenges & issues of schools using social networking, how these can be overcome?

    Also, find out who are the recipients of this year’s Microsoft UK Partners in Learning Teacher Awards.The awards will be presented to Teachers who have submitted projects that illustrate the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Not only will they receive award recognition, but have the chance to be invited to the next Partners in Learning Forum and win a Xbox 360 and Kinect package for their school. These projects will be on display at the event.

    Don’t miss out, register today – Registration now open

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Workshop 2011 in Europe


    Microsoft DynamicsThe Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance Workshop 2011 is a 1 1/2 day event to be held at Avans Hogeschool, University of Applied Science in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, November 28-29, 2011.

    Professors and educators will come together to enhance their knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics and the use of technology in the classroom. This event offers an opportunity to collaborate with educators and learn more about the world of Microsoft Dynamics, and provides an important forum for the exchange of ideas and information for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance members.

    There is no cost for this workshop, but registration is required. Please visit the Workshop 2011 event page on Faculty Connection for more information about this event and how to attend.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    New Curriculum Resources for Windows Phone Development


    The Faculty Connection Resource Center is a multi-language collection including course outlines, textbooks, tests, labs, source code, and other materials developed by Microsoft or contributed by faculty worldwide. Highlighted below are some of the newest resources added this past month:

    Building Applications for Windows Phone 7.5
    Mango Jump StartThis introductory content covers how to create Windows Phone "Mango" solutions, edit program source files, add and manage program resources, and then build and run the solution. Once you are done with the basics, continue on with additional Jump Start sessions that examine Silverlight, building interfaces with Expression, app data storage, using Bing Maps, developing with XNA, and even selling apps. This material is designed for 1st and 2nd year university students.

    Windows Phone 7.5 Tutorials
    The newly released tutorials on .toolbox illustrate how Silverlight and Expression Blend can help you build stellar apps on Windows Phone using the new "Mango" features and capabilities. The .toolbox site is a fun online learning environment, where you will learn basic design concepts and how to apply them, as well as the fundamentals of creating Silverlight applications using the Expression Studio tools.

    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1
    Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 is an exciting CS course in game and simulation development using C# and the XNA framework. Video tutorials and extensive labs enable students to apply foundational programming skills to learn advanced skills. This material is designed for high school or introductory classes.

    What's New in Windows Phone 7.5
    The latest release of Windows Phone has hundreds of improvements and new features. Explore these features plus learn how to get Windows Phone 7.5 on your current phone. If you are teaching your students about mobile applications, consider trying Windows Phone 7 curriculum resources.

    Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone
    The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone is designed to make it easier to build mobile applications that leverage cloud services. The toolkit includes Visual Studio project templates for Windows Phone and Windows Azure, class libraries optimized for use on the phone, sample applications, and documentation.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program


    Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Program
    Microsoft Research is inviting nominations for its Faculty Fellowship program. The objective is to stimulate and support the research of promising individuals who have the potential to make a profound impact on the state-of-the-art in their research disciplines and to become future thought leaders.

    Don't delay: The nominations and application deadline is October 31, 2011.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Preview of Windows 8 now available under MSDNAA


    Windows 8Preview Windows 8
    Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, recently unveiled the touch-first user interface of Windows 8, along with a whole host of other new features. Be the first in your department to explore Windows 8 using the New Windows Dev Center. There you will find the Windows Developer Preview guide, code samples, forums, docs, and other resources. To provide Microsoft Windows 8 free to your students, check whether your institution is already a member of MSDN Academic Alliance.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Build Scalable Mobile Applications for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.


    Did you know that you can build your next mobile app on Windows Azure?

    The process of building mobile apps is now easier than ever with the Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices. With support for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, these toolkits let you easily build apps that use Windows Azure cloud services.


    Cloud services and phone applications are a powerful combination. You can now use the Windows Azure platform as a backend for your next phone application. Windows Azure provides you scalability so you can focus on your application as opposed to the infrastructure.

    The process of building mobile applications using Windows Azure is now easier than ever with the Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices. With support for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, the Windows Azure Toolkit for Devices lets you easily build mobile applications that use Windows Azure cloud services.

    Get started now:

    Step 1: Download the Toolkit

    iOS Toolkit Download the iOS Toolkit

    Android Toolkit Download the Android Toolkit

    WP Toolkit Download the WP Toolkit

    Step 2: Download the SDK

    (Skip this step if you have the SDK)

    Step 3: Get the Windows Azure Free Trial

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Some nice tips on Mobile Application Design and layouts


    1012_1a_Mango_Start_Phone_English_Red_061011_jpg         HTC 

    When your developing a mobile application how much time and effort do you spend on application design and user interface?

    Mobile development has been growing since the day Apple introduced iPhone. Mobile browser has never been so robust and to make your application stand out you need to make the additional effort on the User Interface experience and its design. 

    To help you start up your mobile development, here are some useful insights into the design aspect required to create awesome appealing apps.

    Type Face


    On way-finding graphics


    On mobile audio


    On light & space in architecture


    The Windows Phone Experience

    Useful Resources and tips for building windows phone applications

    Using SketchFlow Part 1: Discovering Basic Principles of UX Design for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    Using SketchFlow Part 1: Discovering Basic Principles of UX Design for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    In this lesson you discover the process of conceptualizing an application, such as gaining an understanding of the user’s needs and goals. You also find out how to start your prototype using Expression Blend and the SketchFlow for Windows Phone template.

    Using SketchFlow Part 2: Adding References and Sample Data to your Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango" Project

    Using SketchFlow Part 2: Adding References and Sample Data to your Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango" Project

    In this module you will add sample data, and then edit both the ItemsPanel and the ItemTemplate of a ListBox to create a professional look for your data.

    Using SketchFlow Part 3: Creating a Customized WrapPanel for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    Using SketchFlow Part 3: Creating a Customized WrapPanel for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    In this module, users discover how to custom edit their data templates for their phone app by importing images and adding motion.

    Using SketchFlow Part 4: Customizing Existing Controls to Create the UI for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    Using SketchFlowPart 4: Customizing Existing Controls to Create the UI for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    In this module, viewers discover how to drop in Native Adobe Illustrator artwork and turn it into working controls. They also find out how to edit the button template, take advantage of states, transitions and behaviors.

    Using SketchFlow Part 5: Adding Behaviors to Your ListBoxItems for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    Using SketchFlow Part 5: Adding Behaviors to Your ListBoxItems for Windows Phone Codenamed "Mango"

    In this section, you discover how to use the sample data, along with some behaviors and state changes to replicate selection choices in a ListBox.

    Metro Design Language of Windows Phone 7

    Metro Design Language of Windows Phone 7

    Metro is the name of the new design language created for the Windows Phone 7 interface. When given the chance for a fresh start, the Windows Phone design team drew from many sources of inspiration to determine the guiding principles for the next generation phone interface.

    Windows Phone 7: Starting to Design an Application

    Windows Phone 7: Starting to Design an Application

    Microsoft Expression Blend offers a feature rich environment for designing highly interactive experiences on Windows Phone 7.

    Design Tips and Tricks for Windows Phone 7

    Design Tips and Tricks for Windows Phone 7

    The following list of tips and tricks will help you design and develop Windows Phone 7 applications.

    Layout Tips and Tricks of Windows Phone 7

    Layout Tips and Tricks of Windows Phone 7

    One of the more powerful features that Silverlight offers you is an array of container controls providing a simple way to accomplish the layout of your dynamic applications.

    Taking Advantage of Photoshop Templates

    Taking Advantage of Photoshop Templates

    In this tutorial, you discover how to use Photoshop Windows Phone 7 template files to create pixel-perfect application layouts for your Windows Phone 7 application.

    FXG Import and Workflow

    FXG Import and Workflow

    FXG is an acronym for Flash XML Graphics File, and it describes an XML-based graphics interchange format created by Adobe for the Flash Platform, and is supported by Microsoft Expression Blend.

    Designing for Gestures on Windows Phone 7

    Designing for Gestures on Windows Phone 7

    No longer do smart phones of today depend only on hardware keyboards or the stylus of the past. Windows Phone 7 devices come equipped with a capacitive touch screen that offers a smooth, accurate, multi-touch enabled experience for the user.

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