Faculty Connection is an online set of real-world resources and shared peer knowledge, the goal of the Faculty Connection site is to put relevant and applicable tools and information at the fingertips of technology educators.
The UK Academic Team is responsible for offering IT students and faculty members free access to software, for enhancing knowledge and skills by providing curriculum materials and other learning opportunities, for helping students achieve their dreams by organizing an international competition, and finally for assisting last year students through career resources and job opportunities at our customers and partners.
With this blog we want to inform you on our latest initiatives.
Enjoy reading and stay tuned!
The Generation App website, from the Windows Phone team, is a really well structured guide to developing apps for the Windows Phone. And ‘well structured’ means that it talks you through a 30-day plan to design, build, test, distribute and monetize applications for Windows Phone – and connects to all of the resources you will need in the form of training, documentation, tools etc.
Don't forget as Educators, Academics and Students you get access to DreamSpark so you get Visual Studio 2010, Windows Phone and Azure tools for FREE and also a FREE Apphub Account to upload your finished apps to the marketplace.
For students, it’s almost like a ready-made summer school course, and where you’ve got students who are already programming, but want to move onto advanced projects, this seems like just the perfect resource.
Remember, we have lots more FREE academic resources available at Microsoft Faculty Connection resources including a full academic curricula for Windows Phone see http://www.Microsoft.com/faculty
Many of you are now using Moodle, as your Virtual Learning Environment and have access to Microsoft's SkyDrive via Live@edu.
Were pleased to announce that the Moodle community has developed and released a plugin for Moodle 2.3 which allows students to save their files into SkyDrive, directly in the cloud, from Moodle.
You can find out more, and download the SkyDrive plugin from the Moodle website
Note, this plugin doesn't come from Microsoft, but from the Moodle open-source community.
Social applications (games, sharing, and location-based applications and services) are very quickly becoming the most prominent types of applications. These social applications have the potential to grow from a few users to millions of users in an incredibly short period of time, and as such, they need a robust, scalable, and dependable platform on which to run to meet the growing demands of the users.
If we take the founding principles of Windows Azure (on-demand scalable computing resources, storage, and geographic delivery) and apply them to the needs of social games, we can quickly see how Windows Azure and Social Gaming is a perfect match. Companies like Sneaky Games (the developers of the Facebook fantasy game Fantasy Kingdoms) and Playdom (the makers of Bola Social Soccer, a Facebook, Sonico, and Orkut game with over 5 million users) are already using Windows Azure as their backend platform.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games
To make it even easier to develop social games with Windows Azure, there is the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games. The toolkit allows you to quickly get started building new social games with Windows Azure. It includes accelerators, libraries, developer tools, and samples. It also has specific services and code to handle capabilities unique to games, such as storing user profiles, maintaining leader boards, in-app purchasing, and so forth.
As a starting point, the toolkit also includes the source code for a game called Tankster, created by Grant Skinner and his team at gskinner.com. The game is built with HTML5 and comes complete with reusable service-side code and documentation. It also supports a variety of social interactions including messaging, wall posts, and comments while player achievements and game stats are presented on a live leaderboard so gamers can interact with each other.
Try your skills at a round of Tankster >>
So what’s next?
Download the toolkit >>
Then have a look at the samples and Tankster.
Deep dive into the architecture behind Tankster - Part 1 >> Part 2 >>
If you’ve previously developed a game, see how you can overlay the functionality provided by the toolkit onto your game. If the toolkit doesn’t fit with your game, no worries. Think about your game’s architecture and where you can leverage Windows Azure’s on-demand compute, storage, and geographic delivery services to get your game in the Cloud. Either way, take this opportunity to see how you, too, can leverage the benefits of Windows Azure.
Need access to the Cloud?
Learn how Windows Azure can be used in curricula, support research endeavours, and enable student projects. Institution administrators can explore how to use Windows Azure for infrastructural and application need via Azure for Education Grants.
Microsoft provides grants for educators wanting to use Windows Azure platform in their curricula. These grants are facilitated through Windows Azure academic passes, which provide the following resources for a period of 5 months from the date of redemption: More info
Need access to Windows Azure outside the classroom? Working on a project on cloud computing? Or maybe your master thesis? As a student you can take advantage of the free Windows Azure trial offer and run a Small Windows Azure instance with a 1GB SQL Azure database for 90 days* More info
The Windows Azure Research Engagement project aims to boost scholarly and scientific research by extending computing to the cloud. We provide a cloud computing platform and work with researchers on projects that push the frontiers of client and cloud computing. More info
Microsoft IT Academy provides students with the future ready technology skills they need to be successful in college and a career.
The spring 2012 release of Windows Azure has many great new features and capabilities including new services focused on helping customers build or bring their applications to the cloud in their own unique way. These new services include: Windows Azure Web Sites, Virtual Machines, and Media Services.
These new services, along with several other enhancements, pricing updates, and availability in new countries went live on June 7th. for more details see the following presentation from Scott Guthrie and special academic trials and pricing at http://www.windowsazure.com/education
Go download the Windows 8 Release Preview now!
DreamSpark Premium subscribers can go to the subscriptions page for additional downloads and BUILD 2011 attendees can go to the BUILD attendee Connect site for additional downloads.
For more details see http://www.buildwindows.com/
The Microsoft IT Academy Program can provide benefits to all parts of a school or college. Here are a few of the core functions and the potential benefits that will be most relevant.
Here is a set of current questions which the UK Academic and Education teams have received..
The Head of School
· I need to present my school as being an attractive selection for parents and to make a significant contribution to the wider community
· I have seen the Microsoft IT Academy advertised but I can’t see how it would benefit our school
· We aren’t really delivering many IT subjects, so how would it help us?
· The budget is very tight so can we afford it?
A member of The Governing Body
· Our school should be seen as progressive and modern
· We must be able to meet budgets
· We have a wider brief in the community
· We have a responsibility to students and parents
· I expect my children’s school to be progressive and aligned to industry and the labour market
· Can the school help to develop my IT skills?
· Will my children have a clearly defined progression route if they choose IT as a subject
· Is it a quality controlled progam and will it lead to sound industry work skills
· I expect my school to be progressive and linked to real life employment skills
· I want more from IT than just hardware – perhaps some excitement with new technologies
· Are there creative programs that might help me be employed?
· Could I explore a wide range of technologies?
The Curriculum Manager
· Is the supply of materials cost effective?
· I need a comprehensive solution to reduce the overhead for the teaching staff
· Are there programs of learning and certifications at all levels
· Will the curriculum be just for the IT tutor or can we use it throughout the school?
The IT Tutor
· We teach user and technical skills
· Can we deliver globally recognized certifications?
· Will the curriculum save me time and money?
· Can I get qualified myself?
The Science (or any other) Tutor
· We use spreadsheets to record information, so will it help my students?
· I need to know what IT skills my students have at the moment
· I could possibly improve my class room delivery if I used the newer features of presentation software
· I need to understand new technologies to develop learning solutions with my students
The IT Manager
· We are upgrading our technology and I need to refresh the IT skills of our team
· Could I become a Microsoft Certified Trainer?
· Could we develop cost reductions through the use of new technologies?
· We must keep current!
A Teaching Assistant
· I need to maintain and improve my skills to develop my career
· Can I reach a basic level of IT literacy so that I can build on these skills?
· I now have to use e-mail
· It would be good to achieve academic or vocational qualifications
The School administration office
· I have been asked to produce marketing material to promote our IT capability
· We mainly use Microsoft Office programs and we need to understand about databases
· How can we check the IT Skills of new entrants?
· It would be good if there was a clear progression route in IT skills
The Facilities Manager
· If all my team used e-mail we could share calendars
· I came in to this role for my service skills, but now I find I need to multi-task and be fully IT literate
· I have already completed a vocational course, perhaps there are IT certifications or similar qualifications
· I have been asked to look at the cabling, so it would be good to understand networking!
The Vocational Tutor
· My students need to be work ready – some will need advanced technology or IT user skills
· Is there mapping between Microsoft certifications and vocational Units?
· It’s the fundamental skills that the students need before they enter the workplace or the next steps in education
· It would be good if there was a basics course and perhaps some understanding of everyday technologies
The Community Team
· We can make best use of our resources by spreading our skills in to the community and adding value to the school from those contacts
· Our charter expects us to make the campus available for all
· We have excellent contact with parents and relatives, many who need basic IT literacy skills so that they can use our web site/portal/e-mail
· Are there opportunities to generate revenue and goodwill?
Here the solutions/answers to some of these questions
Within UK Academia, there are large areas of crossover, and opportunities which exist for innovative use of the ITA membership.
This list just represents a starting point and helps address the concerns and question raised by the stakeholders listed above!
Head of School
· Global brand associated with technology
· Gain access to resources that will help you save time and money.
· Sector and industry alignment
· Opportunities for networking
· Vendor certification opportunities
· Increase your students’ employability with relevant technology courses that help them get jobs
· complimentary enrollment in the Microsoft Certified Trainer program
· A 60 percent discount on the Full Microsoft E-Reference Library
· Academic pricing on Microsoft Certification exams.
· Complimentary subscription to Microsoft DreamSpark Premium
· Up to 100 free lab licenses
· Complimentary Microsoft TechNet Subscription
· Marketing resources to help you promote your IT Academy
· Marketing resources to help you promote your IT Academy
· Essential computer skills training with Microsoft Digital Literacy
· Increase your employability with relevant technology courses that help get jobs
· Increase of students’ employability with relevant technology courses that help them get jobs
IT curriculum tutors
· Unlimited access to E-Learning portfolio courses
· The ability to administer content and manage your students’ progress
· Offer educators and other staff members the opportunity to enhance their own professional development.
· Educator resources such as downloadable and customizable lesson plans
· Academic pricing on Microsoft Official Academic Courses (MOAC)
· Academic pricing on Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC).
· One complimentary subscription to Microsoft DreamSpark Premium
· Complimentary enrollment in the Microsoft Certified Trainer program
Non-IT curriculum tutors
IT Support staff
· Up to 100 lab licenses
· Marketing resources to help you promote your IT Academy Vendor certification opportunities
· A 60 percent discount on the Full E-Reference Library
· Five complimentary annual subscriptions to the Full E-Reference Library
· Increase your students’ employability with relevant technology courses that help them get jobs
Mapping Professional Curricula and certification to course and awards
Please see the following QCF Mapping of Microsoft Certification/Courses to Related Awarding Body and Qualifications
Get Help Implementing a Microsoft Certification Program
Now is the time to implement a Microsoft Certification program to help your students validate what they’ve learned. Your local Microsoft Academy Service Partner (MASP) can help.
Your local Microsoft Academy Service Partner (MASP) can help you establish a Microsoft Certification program that’s right for your institution. Whether you want to become a testing center to help students get certified on campus or promote the benefits of Microsoft Certification and refer students to another testing location, your local MASP can help you turn your plans into reality for more details contact our Education MASP Mike Evans, Director – ITSkillsman, www.itskillsman.co.uk
The Windows Phone Camps are events which will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone related topics. If you are new to Windows Phone, this is the ideal event for you as you will have the opportunity to understand the general approach and capabilities of Windows Phone development.
The Windows Phone Camps will cover an introductory design session as well as a range of short tutorial sessions. Short tutorial sessions will include topics such as Introduction to Windows Phone Development, Controls & Control Toolkit, Execution Model, Storing Data, Launchers & Choosers, Accessing Cloud Services, Marketplace & Submission. There will also be informal Mango tutorial sessions on offer covering topics such as Multi-tasking, Debugging & Profiling, Motion API, Advertising SDK and Sockets.
There are a basic set of things you should prepare before attending the camp. This includes bringing your own suitable laptop with the Windows Phone Developer tools installed (these are free) preferably these are the latest version of the tools.
Lastly, please let us know as soon as you can if you cannot make the camp as there will be many developers who are keen to take your spot. Please let us know (via written email) at least 2 days in advance if you are unable to attend the camp or a £20 administration fee will be charged. Please respect the trainers and your fellow delegates by turning up if you have registered and committed.
The Windows Phone Camp will kick off at 9am and finish at 9pm. Spaces are limited, so register your place in the Windows Phone Camp today!
Click here to register now.
LIVE Coverage of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, July 16–17, 2012
For the first time, we'll be broadcasting the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit live. We will stream the keynotes from the Faculty Summit plus entertaining interviews with scientific and academic visionaries who will discuss how they're tackling some of today's top research and computer science challenges.
Join us for the live broadcast of the Faculty Summit on July 16 and 17, 9:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. Pacific Time.
· See what’s in store and view the Faculty Summit broadcast live.
· Join the conversation through Twitter hashtag #FacSumm.
Visit Microsoft Research website: Microsoft Research Connections
As your aware from my previous posts, I attended Microsoft TechEd Europe, the premier IT Conference with a number of the UK IT Pro team and spent the week in Amsterdam, talking to, Academics Developers and IT Pros from the academic sector, whilst supporting Microsoft TechNet and Microsoft Virtual Academy programs at the Geek Lounge and learning more about this new wave of products that are on the horizon.
During this week there will have been 350 sessions for IT Pros and Developers, there were nearly 600 UK IT Pros and Developers in attendance:
Keynote Day 1 - from Brad Anderson, Jason Zander & Scott Guthrie
It was clear from the demos that Microsoft is the only company to deliver the cloud OS. We have the knowledge, the people and the ability: Our Azure service now provides the equivalent of all the worlds computing power from 1999! We serve half a billion Live IDs a day! The key note was full of amazing demos and the power of Hyper V was clearly demonstrated with the hypervisor technology "Hyper-V" demonstrating a maximum throughput of 1 million operations per second in a VM. That's three times faster than VMware.
There were some great press reviews see http://www.itworld.com/software/282465/7-key-takeaways-teched-europe-day-1 so please do watch the keynote http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY01
Keynote Day 2 – Day 2 moved onto Windows 8 for the Enterprise.
Antoine Leblond talked to the benefits of Window 8 for business. His demo of Windows-to-go received a round of applause. He talked about the shift from desktop to mobile and that next year he expected to see more tablets sold than desktop PCs. There were also demos showing that Windows 8 is still going to be a great experience on desktop machines. Again the keynote was full of excellent demos so please watch the keynote here http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/KEY02
The rest of the week has been spent attending sessions, discussing technologies and changes to the future of Windows along with the opportunities of Azure within education.
I would encourage you to ask your teams who attend the event about their experiences and get them to share the buzz and insight to the weeks learning which they received, if you weren't fortunate enough to attend the sessions then feel free to watch the presentation at http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/
THE WORLDWIDE FINALS ARE UNDERWAY
Follow the action from Australia July 6 - 10 on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the Imagine Cup blog.
Microsoft Student Partners, acting as roving reporters, are covering Imagine Cup and broadcasting live! Sit back, relax, and join in the fun.
There’s still time to choose your favourite team and help them win the People’s Choice Award. Vote for your favourite videos by July 9 and the winning team will go home with $10,000!
The Imagine Cup yearbook lists the project descriptions and introduces you to the teams competing in Sydney. Read about their inspiring apps, and wish them luck! .
We are going to live stream the following Imagine Cup events, here http://icsocialmediateam.com/live-stream/
Best of luck to Team EyeWork @teameyeworks from Newcastle College and Northumbria University representing the UK.