Building a MOOC in the cloud, using Microsoft Azure

It would be fair to call MOOCs a phenomenon (Phenomenon: Something notable: something that is out of the ordinary and excites people’s interest and curiosity). They have created an enormous amount of interest and curiosity – and jumped up to the top of the agenda for ‘EdTech futurists’ and any reports that look at what’s…


Webinar on cloud privacy and data sovereignty

The benefits of cloud computing for public sector organisations run right across the public sector, including education.  But as executives explore the opportunities, they often become concerned about data security and the privacy risks associated with online services – and justifiably so. We’re running a webinar tomorrow (12 March) at 2PM AEDT, where we’ll tackle…


Identity management in the cloud (or how to avoid the need to login every two minutes)

Many education institutions in Australia are using Active Directory for their identity management. Typically, when a new student or staff member starts, they have an account created in the Active Directory (in many cases, this is done automatically by their student management system). That then allows them to logon to their computer and the network,…


Windows Azure Australian datacentres–the impact of last week’s announcement

Did you catch the announcement last week that we are planning to significantly expand our cloud services in Australia, by the creation of a new Windows Azure ‘major region’ for Australia? Which means that when complete we’ll be delivering Azure services locally from Windows Azure Australian datacentres:   The new Windows Azure major region in…


Is there academic pricing for Windows Azure? No, but there's something better…free Azure

For many of our products and services, there’s special education pricing – these typically give education customers up to an 80% discount on normal prices, or even go so far as providing some services (like Office 365) free for education customers. It doesn’t apply to Windows Azure, as there isn’t a specific Windows Azure Academic…


Full agenda for the 2013 Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summit

Last week I announced the date for the 2013 Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summit – on Monday 25th March in Sydney, and the fact that we’ve got Anthony Salcito kicking off the event with his characteristically engaging story telling on the future of education, and our role in supporting the process of teaching and learning….


University of Washington - Moving business intelligence to the cloud

International case studies are always good to review, because sometimes you see things that aren’t being done in Australia, and give useful ideas for solving problems for Australian education institutions. Of course, many international education organisations run in a very different way to Australian ones, but the underlying business problems can be very similar. Sometimes…


The Technology behind NORAD tracks Santa

Yesterday I told you about NORAD Tracks Santa – a website and group of apps where parents and children can track the progress of Santa on Christmas Eve as he travels around the world delivering presents to all the children who have been good this year. Although these days children think that tracking Santa online…


Using the cloud as a supercomputer: How to analyse 63 billion genetic data points in three days

In the good old days (you know, like five years ago) you needed a supercomputer to do massive data analysis jobs. University research departments either had to build their own, or buy precious schedule time on somebody else’s supercomputer. You had to be pretty sure that your research was important, and going to deliver a…


Today's online ESSA Science test in New South Wales

It’s on again, the annual online science assessment (the ESSA test) that brings all year 8 students, in all Government, Catholic and Private Schools in NSW, together on one day to do an online science assessment. And it’s happening right now, with help from Microsoft’s cloud services. Each year this assessment happens online through a…