Category Archives: Learning Analytics

Disruptive Technologies – What’s Now and Next for Education at EduTech Australia 2017

Just a few minutes ago, I finished speaking at the EduTech Conference in Sydney about the impact of disruptive technologies on education. Months ago, I’d agreed to talk in a phone call with a colleague, and because I was overseas travelling at the time, they had provided the conference organisers with a synopsis that was fairly brief and seemed to cover every emerging technology you could imagine:

Disruptive Technologies – What’s Now and Next for Education at EduTech Australia 2017

“With the advent of powerful cloud computing and changing environments, how will emerging and future technologies impact on school based IT, teaching, learning and even buildings and learning spaces?

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Driving decisions through data in Australia’s Higher Education sector

Students in 2017 - 2 of these are likely to leave by 2018

Did you know the current university attrition rate sees one-in-five students leave their course in the first year – resulting in $3.5 billion of lost student lifetime value across the student lifecycle? And that one-in-three university students fail to complete the course they enrolled in within six years of beginning it?

Both trends are impacting Australia’s current higher education sector, and have the potential to adversely impact our country’s future economic prosperity considering fewer skilled graduates are entering the workforce.… Visit the author's original post

Getting started with Power BI–a free e-book from Microsoft Press

If you’re a follower of this blog, or you’ve met me or seen me present in the last year, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Power BI – the very clever and powerful service that makes Self-Service BI a sudden reality. When I show people Power BI I see their eyes light up, as they imagine the way it could help them unlock information from all of the data held in their organisation. In my experience, schools, TAFEs and universities in Australia have massive amounts of data – and staff are often frustrated because they can’t take advantage of it.… Visit the author's original post

Learning Data Science through a free online course

Last year I shared information on the Machine Learning course I took on edX, which taught me how to implement Azure Machine Learning services, and allowed me to build predictive data models. I’ve subsequently spoken with people who took the course on my recommendation, and have built interesting predictive models for student behaviour. One person created a model that used the data in their Student Information System to predict which students would fail a course – and which is 90% accurate!… Visit the author's original post

Analysing NAPLAN is only the beginning of improving learning with data

imageI recently met up with Mark Stanley, the Managing Director of Sydney-based Literatu, whose NAPLAN Explorer enables teachers to deep dive into analysing NAPLAN assessment data and to identify trends in learning. It’s one thing to make sense of NAPLAN reports, but another journey altogether to improve learning with data.

Mark’s a ’Big Data in Education’ explorer — he thinks non-stop about how schools can get the most out of linking together all of their data, to help students improve.… Visit the author's original post

Adelaide workshop: Using Power BI for Education Analytics – a free primer workshop

Look, this might be a bit awkward – I’m hosting an event in Adelaide next week, and that’s why the invite below talks about me in the third-person. If you can get over that, and you’re in Adelaide, then I’d love to see you in person!

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Microsoft offices, Adelaide, Thursday 24th March, 11AM

We’re seeing a rapid growth in the amount of data that’s available to schools to use for improving the teaching and learning journey. As we move from historical analysis to predictive analysis, leaders and teachers expect to become more empowered to look at their own data, and data on their students, and connect it to published internal and external data sources.… Visit the author's original post

Where to get free and paid Power BI training in Australia

Over the last month, I think I’ve answered the same question about half a dozen times: “Where can I get Power BI training”. Normally, if I get asked the same question just twice it’s enough of a hint for me to write a blog post, and point people towards it, but as you’ll have noticed, I’ve not had much of a chance to blog for a while…because I’ve been answering questions…which means I haven’t been able to write blog posts with answers…okay, let me stop the infinite loop.… Visit the author's original post

Free Power BI training sources

I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might want to spend a little time learning about what’s possible. So here’s my list of go-to places for free Power BI training!… Visit the author's original post

Free Power BI training sources

I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might want to spend a little time learning about what’s possible. So here’s my list of go-to places for free Power BI training!… Visit the author's original post

How to buy academic Power BI licences – a step-by-step guide

There are a number of ways of buying Academic Power BI licences, so I thought I’d write a quick summary to help people, as I have had the question a few times recently from customers and partners. We make it easy to buy Power BI licences for commercial customers straight from the Power BI website, but for education customers, there’s a different route that gets you the special discounted license. (BTW I’m not a licensing expert, so there may be other ways of buying academic Power BI licences that I’ve not covered, so feel free to add more info via comments on this blog post!)

I’ll start by assuming you know what Power BI is, or you’ve been working with the free version available at powerbi.microsoft.com.

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How to buy academic Power BI licences – a step-by-step guide

There are a number of ways of buying Academic Power BI licences, so I thought I’d write a quick summary to help people, as I have had the question a few times recently from customers and partners. We make it easy to buy Power BI licences for commercial customers straight from the Power BI website, but for education customers, there’s a different route that gets you the special discounted license. (BTW I’m not a licensing expert, so there may be other ways of buying academic Power BI licences that I’ve not covered, so feel free to add more info via comments on this blog post!)

I’ll start by assuming you know what Power BI is, or you’ve been working with the free version available at powerbi.microsoft.com.

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Using Power BI for Education Analytics in schools

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I’m often asked to talk about Education Analytics or Learning Analytics, and I use the picture above for the first part of the story every time. Not because I’m lazy, but because I think that we need to talk about the true purpose of analytics projects. We’re trying to answer questions from people inside our organisation, but often we get diverted into a conversation about ‘reports’ - what will the report you want look like? What are the fields you want on it?… Visit the author's original post

Free edX Power BI course – starts next week

imageThere’s a brand new free edX course starting next week - “Analysing and Visualising Data with Power BI”, taught by Will Thompson. It is the perfect opportunity to learn how you can start to build an education analytics system for your schoolTAFEuniversity. I am a massive fan of using Power BI in education, because of the potential it offers to unlock institutional data and put the power  of analysis into the hands of users (rather than conventional BI systems that have concentrated on putting ‘reports’ into users hands).… Visit the author's original post

Australian Education Case Studies Update – November 2015

Education Case Studies iconOne question that I’m asked frequently about new projects is:

Who else is doing this?

In some cases, what people (partners/customers) are looking for is confirmation that they’re going to be at the innovative edge - and that what they are doing hasn’t been done before. But most of the time, they are looking for reassurance that somebody else has taken the journey before them!

So I collate a list of public education case studies and examples from within Australia, which will help answer the question.… Visit the author's original post

Partner Training – Building a Learning Analytics business

One of the key things that I’ve been focusing on over the last few months has been helping Microsoft’s partners to develop solutions that help education customers use data better - whether that’s for learning analytics, or looking at their management data in new ways. There are two key focus areas - one is making it more accessible to more people using better and simpler visualisation with Power BI; and the other is the power of the cloud to perform advanced analytics easily - for example, to deal with high volumes of data and provide easily interpreted answers to critical questions.… Visit the author's original post

Learn Data Science and Machine Learning Essentials on edX

At one stage in my career, working for fifteen years in marketing, I realised that it wasn't just enough to understand what the data told me about my customers, but to also understand how to extract stories from the data. And to do that, I had to understand the techniques for analysing data - not just look at reports that other people gave me. I’m definitely not a data scientist, and my knowledge of statistical techniques is wafer-thin. But I knew enough to be able to understand the meaning of the data.… Visit the author's original post

Free Azure Machine Learning in education – trials and credits

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a couple of articles about using Azure Machine Learning in education. Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education and Making machine learning in education easier for every day users. It covered scenarios like using Azure Machine Learning for education problems like student retention models, as well as things like face recognition to catch exam cheats, or text analysis of documents and research.

But I should also have covered one get thing - that for education customers there are some ways to use Azure Machine Learning that aren’t available to everybody else Smile

Azure Machine Learning Banner

There are three easy ways you can get started with Azure ML for education:

  • There is a free tier that includes 10GB of Azure storage for our datasets, and the ability to build Azure ML experiments for an hour with up to 100 modules.
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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

Power BI in education – telling stories with data

Power BI in Education

Last year, I recorded an example of using the Power BI in education, and specifically the Q&A service, to turn data into information on Australian universities (you can see it here on YouTube). Recently, I’ve been creating an example with school data, to show another way of using Power BI in education. This latest example is a walk-through of the Q&A side of Power BI, which provides the ability for users to ask questions about data using a simple search box.… Visit the author's original post

Event Invitation: Keep Students. Save Millions

One of our specialist partners, S1 Consulting, work with universities and TAFE institutes across the country to help improve the value of student management systems, and the use ability for individual institutions to manage the student lifecycle and student experience.

Recently, they have been working closely with Microsoft, and international specialists in big data to apply the latest cloud analytics to the challenge of student retention and attrition management, and next month they are going to be launching their new Student Retention system at an event at our offices in Brisbane on 10th August.… 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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