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January, 2013

  • FE blog

    SCEnAT on Cloud Event at The University of Sheffield, 23rd January 2013


    A technical innovation powered by Microsoft Windows Azure platform led by The University of Sheffield


    The advancement in cloud services now offers Universities and research groups access to an unparalleled level of technological power.  The University of Sheffield will play host this event to demonstrate the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT), an innovative application powered by Windows Azure. The event will also celebrate the launch of the Microsoft and Janet document pack. 

    This event is being supported by the University of Sheffield, Microsoft, Janet and Shaping Cloud. 

    Register now at: http://scenat.eventbrite.com


    Wednesday 23rd January 2013
    Location: Alfred Denny Building, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN.

    09.45 – 10.15              Registration (Tea / Coffee)

    10.15 – 10.20              Welcome

    10.20 – 10.40              Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool - Prof. Lenny Koh Founder of the LSCM Research Centre, University of Sheffield

    10.40 – 11.00              Why Cloud Was The Perfect Fit For SCEnAT - Carlos Oliveira Managing Director, Shaping Cloud

    11.10 – 11.30              Microsoft Cloud Services For Education - Mark McManus Cloud Services Business Manager, Microsoft

    11.30 – 11.50              Janet’s document pack - Tony Lewis Principle Advisor, JANET

    11.50 – 12.20              Panel Discussion

    12.20 – 13.20              Close, Lunch & Networking


    Professor Lenny Koh Director of The University of Sheffield Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre will speak about SCEnAT and its benefits to users.

    Carlos Oliveira, Managing Director of Shaping Cloud will discuss the development of the tool and benefits of utilising the technology. 

    Mark McManus, Cloud Services Business Manager at Microsoft will talk about the Windows Azure platform and discuss the benefits to Universities and research groups. 

    Tony Lewis of Janet will conclude the event by discussing the exclusive contractual amendments and due diligence available to research and education institutions in the form of the Janet document pack.

  • FE blog

    RM at Bett 2013


    Guest post by RM, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners

    Right next to the Bett 2013 arena is where you’ll find RM Education at Bett 2013 and the leading school technology partner will be showcasing a range of exciting new products – many of which are free of charge.


    The Bett things in life from RM Education are FREE

    • RM Unify – single sign-on launch pad to the cloud – free
    • RM Books – the first ebook system specifically designed for schools – free
    • Bring Your Own Device– advice on how to make BYOD happen - free
    • Classroom 2020 – immersive experience looking at the future teaching and learning – free

    RM Unify

    The internet presents limitless learning opportunities but also significant challenges for schools. How do you find the best applications, how do you set up and manage the user accounts in those applications, and how do your users access them easily without having to remember tens of usernames and passwords?

    RM Unify is the Launch Pad to the Cloud that solves these challenges; it allows any school to access all their internet based services and applications they use through a simple single sign-on process, meaning users only ever have to remember one username and password. RM Unify also enables you to access those applications on any device you choose, as long as you have an Internet connection. This means whether it is the laptop at school, the iPad at home or the PC in the local library, users will get access to the same resources in exactly the same way.

    RM Books

    RM Books is the first ebook solution specifically designed for schools. Free to use, RM Books includes hundreds of curriculum literature books provided free of charge and gives access to high quality curriculum textbook titles from leading education publishers. Using a unique pricing model RM Books is designed to be compatible with school budgets. The online system enables schools to rent, buy and manage ebooks which can be viewed on, or downloaded to, virtually any internet enabled device (iOS, Windows, Mac, Android). The simple and intuitive user interface makes management and allocation of books easy. Teachers can choose and allocate the books they need while finance staff keep control of budgets.

    Now imagine if every teacher and pupil had their own device to use these tools on…

    Bring Your Own Device

    Learn how ‘BYOD’ could support you in delivering 1:1 access to technology and see how can you make a 1:1 pupil to device ration possible in your school. Shape the Future is a global Microsoft initiative, aiming to give learners 1:1 access to their own computer and a host educationally focused software, enabling them to benefit from the many opportunities technology has to offer. All you have to do is choose the devices, and there’s plenty of choice under the scheme including RM and 3rd party notebooks, mini devices and a revolutionary tablet!

    Classroom 2020
    Be inspired by what the future of teaching and learning could look like and find out how to start moving towards that vision today; let’s visualise and create a progressive future together.

    Come and visit us on stands C160 and C170, next to the Bett Arena, to see why RM is the first choice for Education.

  • FE blog

    Microsoft @ Bett 2013


    Wow - I can't believe Bett 2013 is nearly upon us. It only seems like yesterday that we were packing up our stand at Olympia after a fun and rewarding 4 days at the show. In this case, time definitely does fly!

    So, with a fairly wide remit at Bett 2012 that was built around the theme of 'Anytime, Anywhere Learning… for all', what's on the cards for Microsoft @ Bett for 2013?

    Well, with the move to Excel, we are all definitely going to need to find a new café for that much needed bacon sandwich in the morning (Franks Sandwich bar, you will be missed). On a more serious note, though, we are super excited about many of the new opportunities that the new venue, and the fresh new approach by the Bett organisers for the 2013 show, provides to help us add greater value to our community.

    More specifically, the theme for Bett 2013 is going to be a 'New Era for Digital Learning'. With a number of sub-themes that align to this umbrella theme, such as Windows 8, Office 365 for education, 1:1 Computing and tablets in education, we will be discussing how technology can help create more engaging and emotional connections with learning that is steeped in real world problem solving.

    Furthermore, in response to the tremendous amount of innovation in the technology available in classrooms, we will also be extending our focus on supporting teachers in the resulting shifts in pedagogy, practice and management needed for us to deliver on the promise of a new era of digital learning through Partners in Learning (PiL) and our Windows in the Classroom seminar programme.

    Microsoft @ Bett 2013: So what about the detail…

    New for Bett 2013 is the Bett Arena, and we are proud to be sponsoring its inaugural year. We have been busy working closely with the folks at Bett to curate an amazing line-up of insightful, entertaining and informative speakers that will add a new dimension to visitors experience at the show. With a mix of household names and passionate in-sector speakers, visiting the Bett Arena is going to be an essential part of your day at the show.


    Our very own VP for Education, Anthony Salcito, will be presenting in the Arena on the opening day of the show and we are also running a computer science in the curriculum panel discussion. More details on both of these will be available via the blog at a later date.

    Moving beyond the Bett Arena, Microsoft's presence is very much focused around sharing best practice and solving your problems. With the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre, we are delivering a wide range of keynotes across all 4 days of the show that address the sub themes associated with the show.

    These include:

    • Windows 8
    • Office 365 for education
    • Cloud: Public and Private
    • 1:1 Computing
    • Apps
    • Community and teaching & learning - Windows in the Classroom and Partners in Learning
    • Devices inc Surface RT
    • BYOD

    As with previous BETT events, Learn Live Theatre sessions will be delivered by a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft Staff. We feel privileged to work with some amazing teachers and I highly recommend taking the time to visit the theatre to learn more about how the likes of Charlotte Beckhurst, David Rogers, Janet Hayward and Kristian Still are using technology to raise attainment and help their students realise their full potential.

    Full details regarding the schedule for the Learn Live Theatre sessions will be made available in a future blog post.

    In addition to the Learn Live Theatre, we are also hosting a Windows 8 stand for 2013. This space will complement the Learn Live Theatre by giving a more direct focus on Windows 8, devices (including Surface RT) and apps.

    The Windows 8 stand will include representatives from a selection of our OEM community - Acer, Toshiba and Asus- and the partners behind our Top Apps in Education. Our Surface RT device will also be available to trial on the stand. I personally can't get over the build quality of this device and can't wait to make it available for you to test on the stand. It really is a thing of beauty!

    The Windows 8 stand will also feature an intimate theatre where we will be showcasing short presentations around the core focus of the stand - Windows 8, Devices, Apps, WMS and Windows Phone 8.

    But what about the demos?

    Across both the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre and Windows 8 Stand, we will be signposting to our partner community who are exhibiting at the show to help demonstrate how our technologies, in conjunction with the experience and expertise of our partners, can help make a difference within your institution.

    We will be making a handy flyer available on our stands that list all of our partners, combined with their area of expertise and stand number, so you can easily find someone to answer your questions or offer a demo. Additionally, we will be signposting to relevant partners at the end of each Learn Live Theatre presentation. Our Microsoft @ Bett Microsite (available soon) will also feature a list of the partners at the show if you want to plan your visit ahead of time.

    Microsoft staff will be available on both stands if you have a question or need guidance on which partner to speak with. Just shout and we will be happy to help!

    Treasure Trail

    More details on our theatre agenda and overall presence at Bett 2013 will be shared via the blog over the coming weeks, but just wanted to take this opportunity to share some information about our Treasure Trail. The Treasure Trail will be run in conjunction with participating partners and will offer visitors to the show the ability to win some amazing prizes that range from a Surface RT Device, Xbox 360 and a PC.

    Entry cards can the collected from the Microsoft Stand. Visit each participating partner stand, answer the question, and you will receive a stamp. When completed, the card should then be dropped off at the Microsoft Stand. We will be carrying out 2 draws per day at 4pm on the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre (Wednesday – Friday).

    Pop by the Microsoft stand for the entry card or if you have any questions about the competition.

    Stand Number

    Other than to say keep an eye out on the blog for more information about all the latest news regarding our presence at Bett 2013, I just wanted to share the stand numbers for our stands at the show.

    • Microsoft Learn Live Theatre - Stand # D270
    • Windows 8 Stand - Stand # E270

    More news to follow and if you have any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via Twitter - @tbush

    Look forward to seeing you at Bett 2013!


  • FE blog

    Microsoft Learn Live Theatre


    If you missed our Microsoft at Bett 2013 post yesterday, the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre is going to be a core element of our presence at the show. With content built around the core theme for this year's show, 'A New Era for Digital Learning', a mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft staff will be sharing insight, personal stories and best practice to help you use technology within your institution more effectively. clip_image001

    Touching on a diverse range of topics, such as Windows 8, Office 365 for education, BYOD and Apps, the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre offers a series of short punchy sessions packed full of actionable takeaways that you can bring back to your institution and make a real difference.

    Content in the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre is repeated twice per day, with the exception of our Partners in Learning Slot, to offer you the flexibility to fit the sessions that appeal most around your visit to the show.

    A full overview of our schedule, as it currently stands, is shown below.

    We look forward to welcoming you at our Learn Live Theatre at Bett 2013! In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the sessions, please do not hesitate to drop me a note via Twitter - @tbush


  • FE blog

    Bett 2013 Arena - In Partnership with Microsoft


    New for Bett 2013 is the Bett Arena, a 700 seat amphitheatre located in the heart of the show floor, offering Bett visitors free access to a varied collection of value add content from around the globe.

    As Knowledge Partner for the Arena, we have been working closely with the team at i2i to curate an exciting line-up of speakers that will share their knowledge and insight with Arena guests.


    The full Arena schedule is still TBC, but there is already a wide number of great sessions confirmed and more soon to follow.

    Full details regarding the Arena and the specific schedule can be found on the Bett 2013 website, but some of the stand-out sessions from our perspective include the following.





    We are thrilled to be supporting the Bett Arena for 2013 and will definitely be first in line to check out some of the sessions ourselves ;)

    Keep an eye out on the blog for more information about our support of the Bett Arena and hope to see you at the Arena for the opening ceremony. We can't wait!


  • FE blog

    Bett 2013 - Windows 8 Stand


    To compliment our focus on content across both the Bett Arena and our Learn Live Theatre and helping you to use technology more effectively within your institution, we are super excited about the addition of the Windows 8 stand to our presence at Bett 2013.


    Showcasing the Surface RT and a range of great devices from our OEM partners - Asus, Acer and Toshiba - the Windows 8 stand will demonstrate how a combination of Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows 8 Apps, WMS and Devices can help raise attainment and create more emotional connections with learning.

    The Windows 8 stand is split into 2 distinct areas - the Windows 8 theatre and 4 device pods.

    The Windows 8 Theatre offers bite size chunks of content throughout the day, across all 4 days of the show, to help inspire and inform teachers and IT professionals, alike. These sessions will be delivered by Microsoft staff, Top App partners and our OEM friends. Sessions are pretty informal, so feel free to drop in when you can, either before or after any of the sessions being delivered in the Learn Live Theatre.

    In addition to the Windows 8 Theatre, the Windows 8 stand will also feature 4 devices pods - one per OEM partner (Acer, Toshiba and Asus) and a 4th where we will be showcasing the Surface RT.

    In addition to giving an in-depth overview of the Surface device through an edu lens, staff on the Surface pod will also be available to answer any of your questions regarding other products in our portfolio, such as Office 365 for education, Shape the Future and Windows in the Classroom. Just pop by and say hi and they will be happy to help.

    More information about both the content and the partners featured on our Windows 8 Stand will be made available in future blog posts. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to drop me a note via Twitter - @tbush.


  • FE blog

    Civica at Bett 2013


    Guest post by Civica, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners

    Why should visitors attend the Civica Stand at Bett 2013?


    Because we’re experts in using SharePoint for education


    Through its team of E Learning Consultants, Civica has built one of the most experienced SharePoint in Education services and is ideally placed to support schools and academies with their learning platform.

    Civica has a great wealth of experience in supporting schools to use SharePoint technologies to enable effective and engaging learning to take place and also to underpin the administration and management of schools; for example room booking systems, the recording and tracking of lesson observations or the automation of the options process for staff, students and parents.

    Come and talk to us about what you want to do in your school with your SharePoint platform and see some inspiring examples of how we’ve used SharePoint for connecting people, systems and technologies to enhance learning and teaching. And find out about our SharePoint service, packed full of ideas, free web tools, webinars and online resources to ensure that your Learning Platform gets fully embedded into the life of your school.

    Because we can support your school with Microsoft’s Office 365 for education


    Office 365 for education provides

    > secure, anywhere access to email and calendars

    > Office Web Apps

    > instant messaging

    > conferencing

    > collaboration and file sharing

    > a school web site

    All schools that migrate to, or sign up for, the new Office 365 for education service (the replacement for Live@Edu) will get access to many new features, in particular the power of built- in SharePoint, giving fantastic opportunities for collaboration and sharing.

    We’ll have E learning advisers on hand to discuss how you can use these tools – you may want a free public facing website for instance or discuss how you could use conferencing to deliver lessons online.

    All of the features in Office 365 are free with Education licensing and we’ll show you how to make the most of them in your context.

    To see a demo of CloudBase


    Civica has now also fully embedded Office 365 into CloudBase, its own SharePoint Learning Platform, and we can provide you with a site that is fully aligned to your school priorities, facilitates parental engagement and delivers the ideal platform to bring learning to life for your students.

    Our E learning team will show you how we’ve used CloudBase. They all have recent classroom experience covering a variety of subjects and educational areas of interest. All are currently engaged in helping schools and teachers to make the most of whatever technology is available to them, and their work is underpinned by a genuine drive to help transform learning for students.

    You’ll see examples of custom- designed lesson observation tools, of sites designed by students and for students, of virtual staffrooms that give you all you need when you log on at the beginning of the school day to inform and prepare you for the day ahead.

    To stand back and think strategically


    Come and see us first before you sign up to anything or spend any money at Bett 2013.

    Civica’s DigiPlan is a systematic approach to ICT planning and development. It helps you to deliver your whole school vision and achieve your goals, providing an effective approach to ICT project management.

    It will provide you with

    · A full analysis of staff skills and CPD requirements

    · An understanding of stakeholders experiences of using ICT

    · A detailed report and Action Plan providing clear direction for the Academic year ahead

    · A completed NAACE Self Review Framework

    · A clear strategy for on-going developments

  • FE blog

    ELearning Force at Bett 2013


    Guest post by ELearningforce, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners

    During Bett 2013 ElearningForce International will be running presentations 4 times a day on SharePointLMS, Parent Access Portal, Office 365 Integration and our mobile solutions for Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The presentations are held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    During the demonstrations ElearningForce will show the benefits running a Virtual Learning Environment based on the Microsoft stack and using SharePoint and SharePointLMS to create a true Learning Environment for their pupils and staff.

    After each of the presentations ElearningForce International will be giving away a perpetual SharePointLMS License for up to 200 pupils including a month free support to get you started. Over the course of Bett 2013 ElearningForce International will be giving away a total of over £75,000 in software licenses!


    SharePointLMS is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that incorporates all the best features available to e-Learning today with a pedagogic user interface supported by the scalability of the Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server. SharePointLMS is the fundamental building block for your Learning Environment which extends way past the VLE element alone. Using SharePoint as your platform of choice you can create Intranet Portals for your pupils, their parents as well as staff. You can extend this further by adding your Public website creating a single solution, single logon and a fantastic user experience for all. No longer will your pupils, staff and parents need to go and logon to separate solution.

    So what is SharePointLMS? SharePointLMS is a tool that makes learning simple and affordable.

    As a teacher you can easily:

    · organise your materials

    · create tests and assignments

    · create and track lesson progress

    · coordinate, collaborate and much more

    With SharePointLMS you get new possibilities to structure your classes and deliver learning materials to your pupils and at the same time you have access to tracking and reporting tools for effortless evaluation of the individual pupils.

    Our new K12 Template will provide even the youngest of pupils with a simple and easy to use interface with only the necessary items show. As a teacher you can create your own lessons, add videos, quizzes as well as complete lesson packages provided by many of the current publishers using the SCORM standard. All results are recorded in the Gradebook.

    Through our Parent Access Portal parents can see how their children are performing as individuals and compared to the class average, they can see what homework assignments they need to complete and when, what school announcements and events are made and in general anything the school would like to share with the parents.

    image      image

  • FE blog

    Microsoft at Bett 2013: Microsoft IT Academy Certification Roadmap


    Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) Program provides students with the technology skills they need to be successful in education and a career. With Microsoft Certification, students can validate those skills and pursue a career path in business or technology. A full overview of the IT Academy Certification can be seen below. The roadmap can also be downloaded via our SlideShare account.

    If you have any questions about IT Academy, pop over to our stand at Bett 2013 (D270 & E270) and say hi.

  • FE blog

    Get On invite you to An Afternoon at Microsoft


    On the 8th of February Get On are running an event where F.E. Students can find out what life is like in Microsoft.

    Ever wondered what life is like at Microsoft?

    Well here is your opportunity to spend an afternoon at our Reading offices, see for yourself what goes on behind closed doors.

    So what can you expect from the day?

    • An afternoon run by Microsoft interns, you will hear about their experiences of job hunting and finding work.
    • An introduction to Microsoft and working in the IT industry.
    • Tips on what employers, such as Microsoft, look for in CV's, interviews, and once you're an employee at the company.

    There will be plenty of opportunities for you to pose your questions to the interns and other Microsoft employee's, be it how they got their job or what life in general is like at Microsoft.

    This event is for 16-24 year olds and you will need to register to attend the event. 

    We look forward to seeing you on the 8th February! 

    To register, go to: http://geton_uk.eventbrite.co.uk/?ebtv=C

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