Category Archives: Announcements

Spotlight on Wales: Cracking the Code with Minecraft, and #MIEExperts at NDLE

Microsoft is proud to be supporting the Welsh government's recently unveiled programme to boost coding and computing skills among young learners in Wales. Last week, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced Cracking the Code - an initiative to support the teaching of coding skills both in and outside of the classroom in local areas across Wales. As part of the initiative, Microsoft will be helping the Welsh government by launching a Minecraft Education pilot programme, to support the development of young people’s digital skills through the use of Minecraft: Education Edition Code Builder.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft’s Docs.com service to be discontinued – what actions do you need to take?

Microsoft is retiring the Docs.com service on Friday, December 15, 2017 and we are hereby advising all users to move their existing Docs.com content to other file storage and sharing platforms as soon as possible, as Docs.com will no longer be available after this date. Microsoft is retiring the Docs.com service on Friday, December 15, 2017 and we are hereby advising all users to move their existing Docs.com content to other file storage and sharing platforms as soon as possible, as Docs.com will no longer be available after this date.… Visit the author's original post

Surface Laptop, Windows 10 S, Minecraft Code Builder, and all the news from yesterday’s live #MicrosoftEDU event

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Those of you who tuned in to yesterday’s #MicrosoftEDU live stream from New York or caught up later on will have learned all about the latest product, platform and partner news and announcements from Microsoft in Education. There was plenty of ground covered including the first look at Windows 10 S, an exploration of Microsoft Teams for Education, exciting developments with the Minecraft: Education Edition Code Builder, partner news on 3D and mixed reality devices and of course the unveiling of our own brand new hardware in the Surface Laptop.… Visit the author's original post

BETT 2017 Announcements: School Data Sync, Intune for Education and Windows 10 Devices

Once again we find ourselves in BETT week, and it just wouldn’t be the same without some exciting announcements, specifically for our education customers!

Earlier this week it was announced that School Data Sync (SDS), our online classroom automation solution, is moving from preview to general availability, and today we are pleased to share information about Intune for Education, as well as new lost cost Windows PCs for schools.

Please find us on Stand E310 all week at BETT 2017 to talk to us about anything in this post, or read the full announcements linked below.

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Ian Fordham announced as new Director of Education for Microsoft UK

We are pleased to share the news of the appointment of our new Director of Education, Ian Fordham. The press release below originally appeared on Microsoft News Centre UK.


Microsoft hires top edtech leader Ian Fordham to lead UK education team

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Microsoft has hired one of the UK’s top education technology leaders to lead its work in the sector.

Ian Fordham, currently CEO of Edtech UK and a Mayor of London Tech Ambassador, will join the company in January as Director of Education.

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Micrsoft Surface Studio and Windows 10 Creators Update announced

It’s been an exciting week at Microsoft, with the announcement of the Surface Studio taking the headlines at Wednesday’s Microsoft Windows 10 Event in New York. But it wasn’t just the Surface Studio that was unveiled, as a number of other announcements were made, many of which will have a great impact within education.

You can find further details of all the main announcements on this post from the Windows Blog, but to give you a broad overview, here’s what is covered in the post:


  • Surface Studio turns your desk into a creative studio
  • Surface Dial – a new spin on creativity
  • The most powerful Surface Book yet
  • The Windows 10 Creators Update
  • 3D for everyone
  • Office apps to support 3D models and add new inking features
  • Bringing mixed reality to people everywhere
  • Every gamer becomes and in-game broadcaster
  • A faster way to connect and share with people who matter most

The importance of creativity within education is not to be underestimated, and providing an environment in which teachers and student can follow their instincts and easily turn their thoughts and inspiration into tangible outputs is one the key drivers of progress, certainly within the context of the impact technology can have to teaching and learning.

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Minecraft: Education Edition given November release date

Games Based Learning is a fantastic way for teachers to engage with students on their own terms, providing an incredibly versatile and flexible environment and medium that allows for new concepts to be introduced and a huge variety of subjects to be covered. Earlier this year at January’s BETT 2016 we were fortunate enough to have Stephen Reid of Immersive Minds – an education consultancy specialising in the use of technology and games-based learning – speaking on our stand all about the innovative ways he has been helping schools to use Minecraft in the classroom.Visit the author's original post

3P Learning win Microsoft Worldwide Education Partner of the Year

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It’s a pretty exciting day for the team at 3P Learning, who have just been given the award for Microsoft Worldwide Education Partner of the Year 2016! And they made Finalist in the Technology for Good category too, which is a double success. I’m particularly pleased that they’ve been recognised for the great work that they have done in supporting millions of students around the world through the World Education Games, a free competition for students from 20,000 schools around the world, where they were challenged to compete against students from 166 countries to become the world champion for literacy, maths and science.… Visit the author's original post

Azure egress fee waiver for the academic community

This announcement first appeared on the Microsoft Azure blog.


Based on Microsoft’s extensive experience engaging and working with the academic community, we strongly believe educational institutions of all types and sizes can benefit from cloud services, for research as well as for teaching and learning environments. Microsoft also understands the need for academia to better manage costs when transitioning from traditional licensing to a consumption-based model, and we are always looking for ways to make the transition to the cloud easier for the community.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft and the Department for Education agree new Education Cloud Transition Agreement for UK schools

Microsoft and the DfE have entered into an Education Cloud Transition Agreement enabling existing school customers who have Subscription Agreements (EES, OVS-ES, School Agreements) to transition under special terms to a new agreement, upon expiry of their existing one.

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Western Sydney University gives 5,000 Surface 3’s to new students

This education news from the Microsoft News Centre was good to see:

Western Sydney University will provide 5,000 Microsoft Surface 3 devices to commencing students this year, as it continues to provide innovative and highly engaging learning opportunities and cements its reputation as one of Australia’s most progressive educational institutions.

imageOn Wednesday, students who received an early offer from the University received a Surface 3 device as part of the University’s ‘Connect and Collect Day’ held at the Parramatta campus. Students receiving the Surface 3 device are studying a range of courses from across the School of Science and Health, Social Sciences and Psychology, and School of Nursing and Midwifery.

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Western Sydney University gives 5,000 Surface 3’s to new students

This education news from the Microsoft News Centre was good to see:

Western Sydney University will provide 5,000 Microsoft Surface 3 devices to commencing students this year, as it continues to provide innovative and highly engaging learning opportunities and cements its reputation as one of Australia’s most progressive educational institutions.

imageOn Wednesday, students who received an early offer from the University received a Surface 3 device as part of the University’s ‘Connect and Collect Day’ held at the Parramatta campus. Students receiving the Surface 3 device are studying a range of courses from across the School of Science and Health, Social Sciences and Psychology, and School of Nursing and Midwifery.

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Hosting Moodle in Azure – TAFE South Australia moves online

I’ve written before about the work that our technical teams have done to make it simpler to run Moodle on Azure, and the way that you can integrate Office 365 with Moodle to make life easier for teaching staff and students (as well as easing the manage of a potentially-complex IT system).

imageThis week, TAFE South Australia have announced they have moved their Moodle LMS to Microsoft Azure in the cloud, in order to improve the level of service delivered to their students.… Visit the author's original post

The first university-wide roll out of Windows 10 in the world has started, and it’s in Australia!

Consumers are often the first to start using new releases of Windows, and large organisations tend to follow more cautiously, taking the time to carefully balance the new features some users want alongside the cry from others to not change anything. But in the case of Windows 10 there are features in it that mean that users on earlier versions of Windows can move to the latest version without major retraining, and can also start to use new developments within the operating system.Visit the author's original post

Dynamics CRM Online certification to Australian government security requirements

Six months ago we announced the important news confirming the Certification of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) via Australian Government’s Independent Registered Assessors Program (IRAP).

Australian government certification for Microsoft cloud services

This certification is for the handling of unclassified but sensitive data, known as Unclassified (DLM) within Australian government. This includes the majority of state and federal government data including private and personally identifiable information.

ASD established a Certified Cloud Services List and published a revised Information Security Manual (ISM) that provides a streamlined and effective way to verify the security of cloud services.

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Introducing: Microsoft Office 365 for Moodlerooms

Moodlerooms, from Blackboard, is now integrated to Office 365, so that studentsstaff can use Office 365 identity for a smooth single sign on experience, sync info to their Outlook calendars, store files on OneDrive for Business, and submit assignments and feedback through OneNote.

Last week at EDUCAUSE, Blackboard announced the integration of the Microsoft Office 365 plugins with Moodlerooms.

 

General consumers today have high expectations on the web. They want simplicity, elegance, and engagement. And learners are no different – they expect their learning experience to be delightful, with tools that they are used to and that help them achieve their goals.

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Learn how to do Single Sign On with Office 365, and more: Office DevCamps in Australia

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Developers: We've got a series of (free!) DevCamps coming up in the next few weeks, for software developers who want to develop apps that integrate to Office 365 (for web, Windows, iOS or Android) and/or that want to integrate to the Office 365 identity using Azure Active Directory. This course is relevant for both commercial developers, working for ISVs, as well as developers within schools, TAFEs and universities, who are developing services for their users.

If you're developing apps or web services for education then there are three critical reasons why you should sign up:

  • By adding the 'Sign in with Office 365' to your service, you create a really simple Single-Sign-On experience for students and staff that connects with their existing identity through the school/TAFE/university’s Azure Active Directory (not just for Australian students - there are over 140m users of Office 365 Education globally)
  • Integrating to OneDrive allows users to work with their own documents easily, whilst saving you money through having user documentsvideosphotos etc stored on OneDrive, not your servers
  • You can get your app listed in the global Office Store, as well as the Educational App catalogue, opening a much wider market for you
 

Build Productivity Apps

Learn how to build apps using standard web technologies that extend the familiar Office and Office 365 experience and potentially sell them to over 1 billion Office users in 147 international markets. 

At this DevCamp, you will learn the concepts of the new Office 365 API model and go deep into building out an end-to-end example on the Office 365 environment.

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OneNote for Learning

During the last week of July Microsoft employees around the world participated in our //oneweek Hackathon, where teams create projects with technology to solve small and big problems. Some of the ideas are just fun things that go nowhere, and others end up being built into products that you then end up using. It’s volunteering at it’s best because people get to forget their day job for a week, and do something they are truly passionate about. And many of the teams go all out - working for weeks in advance of the Hackathon, and then virtually living with their Hackathon team for the week whilst they code, test, sleep and eat pizza.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summits – September 2015

We have just announced dates and venues for our 2015 Education Partner Summits in September, in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. As usual, the invitations are open for Microsoft Education Authorised Resellers and our other partners who deal with education customers.

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This year’s education ICT buying season is almost underway, and we have lots of new product and service announcements - including specific versions of Windows 10 and Office 365 for education - that are key for our partners and education customers.… Visit the author's original post

Login to Mathletics with Office 365 Single Sign On

Yesterday I wrote about the way to make Single Sign On easier for staff and students by using their Office 365 Education login on third-party websites. This week one of the most popular student learning websites in Australia (and elsewhere) has been added to the list, as your students and staff can now sign into Mathletics with their Office 365 Education identity.

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Here’s the news straight from the Mathletics team:

 

Mathletics has evolved… to integrate with Office365! The multi award-winning e-learning platform now has integration with Office365 Active Directory, so you can sign into Mathletics using your Office365 account!

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Uses for Hololens in education

Less than 100 days ago, we revealed Hololens during the Windows 10 announcement, and since then we’ve all been waiting for a second chance to see it…

Hololens in Education

Well, last night, that finally happened at the \Build conference as the team revealed what they have been working on, and especially focused on Hololens in education, with teaching and learning scenarios.

imageThey started with Prof Mark Griswold from Case Western Reserve University, talking about, and demonstrating live, the way that Hololens could be used to study anatomy, something traditionally done with a combination of textbooks, models and cadavers.… Visit the author's original post

5.5m students in Australia can get Office 365 ProPlus free

In 2013 we announced that students can download Office 365 ProPlus free (that’s the suite of Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher etc) onto their personal devices – Windows PCs, Macs, phones, tablets etc. We called this programme “Student Advantage”, and it applied to every education institution which had licensed Office for their staff. But because each customer had to enable the service for their students, and order the free licences from us, it meant that some students who qualified couldn’t get it, and every school/TAFE/university had a different sign-up page for students.… Visit the author's original post

Love Your Library Month

 

Who says February in Seattle is cold, rainy, and dreary. Not in our library!

We are celebrating Love Your Library Month with a little fun!

love library

Go on a Blind Date with a Book – Everyday I put out 5-8 Blind Date books for students to check out. Each book is wrapped and has hints on the outside. Inside, there is a rating sheet where students can read the book and then rate their reading date. They make comments on the cover and how they liked or didn’t like the book.

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Supporting BYOD in education– Outlook everywhere for students and staff

There’s no doubt that the trend towards BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in education for students is gathering pace. According to The Australian yesterday, 30% of schools have moved to BYOD, and for universities we’re pretty much at 100% already. And it’s happening rapidly for staff too – even if it’s not always BYOD, it’s certainly CYOD (Choose Your Own Device from a pre-approved list).

But that comes with challenges for IT departments in schools, TAFEs and universities across Australia.… Visit the author's original post

Free – Teacher Dashboard for Office 365 Education

Teacher Dashboard header graphic (shows teacher at whiteboard)

Teacher Dashboard is an app for Office 365 Education that lets you easily share files and assignments with your students, and then allows you to grade them and provide feedback. It’s a web-based classroom manager tool for Office 365 that customises your school’s system to support the teaching and learning process, and gives your teachers tools for the most common processes they need to do.

Teacher Dasboard logo

It’s designed to allow your teaching staff to:

  • Share a homework assignment to an unlimited number of students with one click.
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Moodle integration with Office 365–how to get it

Last month, when I wrote that new Moodle integrations with Microsoft technology were on the way, I didn’t have an exact date, but forecast ‘late January’. And how time flies – because they’ve just arrived!

Microsoft Open Technologies logoOvernight, the work from our Microsoft Open Technologies team and the Remote Learner team (a Moodle partner), was released as open source Moodle plugins - enabling close integration between Moodle and Office 365. This is key news for education institutions, because there’s a huge overlap between the 50,000+ Moodle installations and the millions of Office 365 Education users.… Visit the author's original post

Get support from Microsoft for accessibility questions via the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

Click the visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

The Microsoft Support team run the “Microsoft Disability Answer Desk” service, and have just announced that it’s now available for Australian customers, to allow you to get telephone support from Microsoft for accessibility questions. This service allows you to call a toll-free number and speak with an expert who can provide support for accessibility questions and assistive technology.

This is in addition to the general support available for all customers from the main Answer Desk page.

The Disability Answer Desk supplements the huge set of resources already published on our Microsoft Accessibility website, which provides detailed sections on accessibility in Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 365, Office 2013 and Office 2010.… Visit the author's original post

Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australian datacentres

This morning we made an announcement that will be especially interesting to Australian education customers. The news is that we’re going to be running Dynamics CRM and Office 365 in Australia datacentres by March.

This follows our launch two months ago of the two Microsoft Azure datacentre services, which provide datacentre servers from NSW and Victoria, and the ability for customers to ensure that they can provide full geo-redundancy between two datacentres over 600km apart, but within the same country.

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edX and Microsoft partnership for teachers

imageedX is an online learning environment which is extensively used for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), founded as a non-profit partnership between Harvard and MIT. They’ve just announced a partnership with Microsoft to help online course creators to develop content with Office Mix.

Many faculty currently use PowerPoint slides as the basis of their lectures on edX. But creating videos, updating and revising them, and adding interactive elements to lectures can be time-consuming. With Office Mix, educators can easily produce videos and online lectures that deliver an engaging experience to students, with support for audio and video recordings, screen captures, hyperlinks, and digital ink.… Visit the author's original post

Update on running Moodle in the cloud on Microsoft Azure

There’s been quite a bit of news around integration work for Moodle on the Microsoft Azure cloud recently, so I have gathered together some update info. This post is about running Moodle in the cloud. Next week, I’ll pull some bits together on integration with other Microsoft technologies.

Fully supported Moodle cloud service for Microsoft Azure cloud

Two of the largest official Moodle partners (Remote-Learner and NivelSiete) have teamed together to provide fully supported and maintained Microsoft Azure Certified Moodle installations in the Azure Cloud.… Visit the author's original post