March, 2012 - Microsoft UK Faculty Connection - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

March, 2012


  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Students to Business



    Microsoft Students to Business (S2B) is a Microsoft community initiative designed to connect academic institutions to our partners, with qualified university students to fill entry-level and internship positions.

    Today I spent the day with Tara McLaughlin Acting Head of Service, Careers Service at Lancaster University and her team, helping Lancaster students with the Lancaster award.

    Every college and university in the UK has hundreds of bright, eager graduate students who are trained and competent on the latest technology which Microsoft Partner ecosystems work with. We want to make more students, institutions and partners aware of the opportunity of S2B program.

    By students, institutions and partners utilising S2B they have the chance to work with knowledgeable students from universities across the globe who also participate in Imagine Cup, IT Academy, and Microsoft Student Partners, just to name a few. The talent pool is rich, with more than 500,000 students representing 100 countries are already registered. S2B connects your company with universities teaching Microsoft technologies and with students who are interested in a career working with Microsoft technologies.

    The upshot is that everyone benefits. S2B will help you to meet the innovation and delivery needs of your customers through the latest Microsoft technology worldwide. And, you’ll help shape the future: Institutions help by sharing your knowledge and providing relevant work experience to students studying your course on potentially innovative projects. Partners can utilise the skills of graduates to enhance the next generation’s experience and value in the job market for the benefit of the global IT industry.

    I want to encourage you all, to register your students, institution and partner organisation, simply post your available graduate and intern roles to S2B. Together we can help more students access the program and prepare for the future of technology together!

    This week we are very excited to announce that S2B has been honoured as a Laureate of the 2012 Computerworld Honours Program.

    This is a wonderful achievement for a stellar program that helps prepare talented students to enter the workforce. The Computerworld Honours Program recognizes organisations and individuals who have used information technology to promote and advance public welfare, benefit society, and change the world for the better. The S2B nomination documented use of Microsoft technologies in the S2B Program, including .NET, Windows Azure, and Windows Phone 7, and outlined the social impact the program has on youth employment and the technology ecosystem. The nomination showcases S2B for encouraging the next generation of students to learn our latest technologies and drive greater business value for our mutual customers.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    TechEd Europe 26th - 29th June– Join us in Amsterdam



    Session and Speakers

    TechEd Europe has a wide range of education opportunities and the 12 tracks will help navigate the sessions. You will learn shortcuts, glean real-world guidance and get product roadmap details from Microsoft and industry experts.

    This Years Special Events

    Delegates will get access to the technologies and opportunities to meet one-on-one with Microsoft product experts and fellow professionals at our ancillary activities. Here's just a sampling of some of the special events planned for TechEd 2012:

    clip_image011 Special Screen Filming

    Monday: Sit back and relax with some movie snacks and beverages as we roll CTRL+ALT+COMPETE, a look at the competitive startup and emerging business scene through five founders and their teams.

    clip_image012Welcome Reception

    Tuesday: Check out solutions and services from Microsoft partners and meet with the Microsoft product groups in the TechExpo Hall.

    clip_image013 Delegate Party

    Wednesday: Mingle with your fellow attendees and countrymen and take in the Amsterdam experience along with some fun activities.

    clip_image014Ask the Experts

    Thursday: Meet one-on-one with Microsoft technology experts and peers to exchange feedback on technology trends and how to leverage these effectively in your business.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Kinect in teaching with curriculum materials



    Creative uses for Kinect in teaching with curriculum materials

    The Kinect sensor, the "Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Gadget in History," adds a new dimension to Xbox 360 gameplay through its ability to read its environment and track the body movement of players.

    It is also a creative device that can be a great teaching tool. Rob Miles from University of Hull (UK) has created a set of curriculum materials that show how you can harness this creativity and get students enjoying themselves while writing programs that make use of the unique abilities of this sensor and Kinect for Windows software.

    These resources are now available via Microsoft Faculty Connection Resources

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Share your curriculum materials with your peers



    Whether you’re using existing curriculum materials you found on Faculty Connection or created your own lectures, labs, or tutorials, we'd like you to please take a few minutes to contribute to our global repository so that others can leverage your insights in their own teaching.

    Registered Faculty Connection users are especially interested in lecture materials that teach students to use Visual Studio to build applications using Windows Phone, Windows Azure or Windows 8, including suggested class projects and labs.

    Additional guidance for students ready to build commercial applications for the Windows Store or Windows Phone Marketplace, and training aids for students preparing for the Imagine Cup are among the regularly requested materials. All contributions are welcome in any language.

    We are continuing to improve our rating system and build features such as a new curriculum alert to help authors track related materials and stay up to date.

    Additionally we have improved the search which now uses the new Silverlight powered Visual Search to quickly find new contributions from faculty around the world.

    So please do get in touch which any questions or suggestions and help to contribute to our global repository of teaching, learning materials which are provided by academics for academics.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Imagine Cup 2012: Don't miss out!


    This year's Imagine Cup is already underway with teams preparing to compete for a chance to travel to Australia with their mentor for the worldwide finals in July.

    The last date for competitors to register and submit the software design preliminary summary is March 13. The last date to submit entries for Windows Phone Challenge and Windows Azure Challenge is also March 13.

    Local country/regional competitions and online finals begin March 22.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Developing Windows 8 applications for education



    If you’ve installed and started playing with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. You will be aware there is lot of interest in new applications which run in the Windows 8 Metro interface. Microsoft UK is organising a series of Windows 8 Developer Camps. The events are all free and run by developers for developers. The events will teach and demonstrate the technologies, tools and skills for developing Metro style apps, and you can put theses skills into practice on the day. So all you need to bring is your laptop, with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview installed.

    You have to register to get a place the first batch of events are already filling up with  and  if your already a Windows Phone developer you should consider migrating your Windows Phone app to Windows 8.

    These events aren’t specifically about developing Windows 8 applications for education, but everything which is taught and demonstrated will be relevant to developing specific applications for teaching, learning and research.

    When and where we’re running the Windows 8 Developer Camps

    (London, Manchester and Edinburgh) This tour focuses on creating broad awareness and excitement around the Windows 8 opportunities for developers.

    These are 1 day events which are delivered by our Windows 8 Champs with the goal of providing accelerated learning to Windows 8 application development.

    You can register for all of these events on the UK Tech.Days home page.

    London, Friday, 30th March 2012 – Register

    Manchester, Friday, 27th April 2012 – Register

    Edinburgh, Tuesday, 1st May 2012 – Register

    Windows 8 Camp – By UK Tech.Days

    Registration for these camps will be going live in late March at UK Tech.Days home page.

    London, Wednesday 8th May 2012, Thursday 10th May 2012 & Thursday 17th May 2012 – Coming Soon

    Birmingham, Monday 21st May 2012 – Coming Soon

    Manchester, Wednesday 23 May 2012 – Coming Soon

    Edinburgh, Friday 25th May 2012 – Coming Soon

    Why you should be developing Windows 8 applications for education

    If you’ve read this far, you might be wondering why you, or your colleagues, might want to spend a day learning about developing Windows 8 applications for education. Here’s my list of 3 key reasons:


    • The earlier you have an application in the Windows 8 marketplace, the more exposure you are going to get. Today the marketplace has a limited number of applications, so new ones are getting a high profile.
    • We are looking for a number of Academic and Student showcase applications so if you or your students are working on exciting/interested Windows 8 application let us know at
    • Our Education account teams are currently installing Windows 8 onto their laptops and starting to demonstrate it to their customers. If you create an education specific app, then its a good chance that the UK education team will be demonstrating your software to a lot of our early adopter customers in the next few months.
    • You’re demonstrating your innovation, to innovative customers (the people installing Windows 8 right now are the leading edge innovators)

    Even if you can't get to the workshops, do you know about the MSDN Windows 8 Metro App Development Centre?

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Moodle 2.0/2.2 OpenSource Solution for Azure



    The Microsoft CodePlex site is host to a wide range of open source projects and were pleased to announce the first beta release to allow hosting of Moodle 2.0 or Moodle 2.2 on the Windows Azure cloud service.

    As the project notes says, The MoodleBuild toolchain patches and packages a Moodle source code directory into a Windows Azure Package using the Azure SDK directly, instead of relying on third-party tools. This allows an easier way to update and customize Moodle, components and the Windows Azure SDK without the hassle of using outdated and incompatible versions.

    The advatages of using Azure is that it means you can avoid the hassle of having to deploy in-house servers and complex infrastructure, and instead deploy Moodle in the cloud. This is ideal for agile projects, or where you expect the demand for the system to be variable, as a huge benefit of the Azure platform is that ability to scale it up and down as you want, rather than having to build a system.

    Download the Moodle 2.0 resources for Windows Azure from CodePlex

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    UK Student’s – Develop portfolio’s demonstrate your skills and competences



    From our Windows Phone Camps we know a lot of students like writing Apps for mobile devices. Microsoft UK have put together a competition to help students demonstrate skills to potential employers. The Win a Windows Phone reward is only available to students aged 16 or over in the UK, we want to encourage students to produce real portfolio of work demonstrating skills, experiences and competences and building Mobile Apps which is potential used by 1000’s of users is a great way of doing this.

    We want students to design, develop, build and submit Windows Phones applications using the FREE Windows Phone development tools available on DreamSpark and learning materials on Faculty Connection.

    Students then simply need to upload their apps via App Hub into the Marketplace. For more details see the following Web Site (including T&Cs)

    For more information about Microsoft UK Student offers and services see

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS)


    There has been tremendous excitement with Microsoft Kinect within the robotics space signalling the potential opportunities that exist in transforming robots to low-cost mainstream consumer devices. RDS 4, with support from the Kinect sensor, aims to make it easier for developers to build applications, including those directed at personal robotics and consumer scenarios, both in hardware and in simulation.


    • With RDS 4 simulation tools, you don’t need physical hardware to develop a Kinect-based robot!
    • For hardware design, Microsoft has published the Robotics Developer Studio: Reference Platform Design specification for a standardized Kinect-based robot, to work with RDS 4. Parallax, Inc has manufactured a hardware kit based on the reference platform design specification which is available now.
    • RDS 4 also adds support for Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0, XNA 4.0, and Silverlight 4.0.
    • Developers can use the tool to build commercial products based on the RDS 4 platform.

    Watch the following video for examples of what can be done with RDS 4:


    As before, it remains completely free, and it's also now compatible with the release version of the Kinect for Windows SDK so simply Download Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4)

    Product Information

    To understand more about the benefits that Robotics Developer Studio 4 (RDS 4) can offer to the robotic application developer, start here with background about the product.

    Learn More

    Whether you're using RDS 4 as a hobbyist, in education, as a professional roboticist, or within a research context; this section can help guide you through content that will help you get up to speed faster.


    Looking for product support options? Looking for knowledge from your peers? The Support section can help get you connected with the support you need.

    Get Started

    Looking for more information about prerequisites, installation, simulation, robot hardware and code packages? Getting started with RDS is easy with these step-by-step tips.

  • Microsoft UK Faculty Connection

    Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcut keys combinations



    Last week I  attend a number of events, which involved discussions in relation to using Windows 8 with a Keyboard and mouse. I mentioned the fact that Microsoft had introduced a suite of keyboard shortcuts to help you manage its classic and metro interfaces.

    So here is the list of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

    For more details on Windows 8 see.

    Developing Apps for Windows 8

    Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

    Building Windows 8 Blog

    Windows Store Blog

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