I've pinched this from my colleague Mark A'Bear, some of it's perhaps more focused on schools but it shows a sample of how some of the web work Microsoft is doing can be relevant to education. Mark has summarised some of our education links below with a very brief description of each technology. They might not all seem like obvious areas of technology and education but with some imagination we are already seeing some fabulous teaching resources being built around this. The one thing you will need in most cases is a Windows Live ID. If you haven’t got one already …. why not?
I'm starting with my current favourite, Worldwide Telescope – this community resource is another example of applications in the cloud that could be made available as part of a curriculum. The guided tours and ability to explore planets and astrological features are well worth the investment of a few minutes if you haven't tried it yet, please do.
Auto Collage – as the name suggests this product takes a collection of images and blends them together into an attractive collage. The user can specify the number of images, save thye collection, email to a colleague, etc
Films for Learning – think of this as U-Tube for Education, offering a range of ‘lessons’ prepared and submitted for teachers.
Homework Helper – this small tool uses drop-down boxes – key stage, subject, topic - to create a granular search for particular information. Try GCSE, Geography, Volcanoes and then search for Etna. The results are educationally relevant as opposed to random.
Live Mesh – this cool technology automatically synchronises information across different devices. PCs are currently supported with Mac and Mobile support imminent. Members can be invited to join a Mesh so this technology is perfect for collaboration and group learning scenarios.
Photosynth – this great tool stitches together a series of related pictures into a panoramic 3D view that users can zoom in and out of to see the detail. The site contains a wealth of examples to explore whilst the technology itself is perfect for presenting to a group, submitting as course work or just providing an innovative presentation of homework.
Popfly – try a mashup for yourself, or look at the examples at: http://dev.live.com/mashups/default.aspx. This is where users can merge multiple applications together such as images from Flickr and Virtual Earth to see the geographic location of those images. THis is just the tip of the iceberg though.
Silverlight – more and more application providers are developing in sliverlight. It is a great way of creating rich and engaging content as well as streaming video content. The site has some great examples and you can install Silverlight yourself. The Showcase has a number of great examples such as the Hard Rock Cafe: http://silverlight.net/showcase/
Surface – this we think is the ‘next generation’ whiteboard. Take a look at the videos and imagine how this technology could be used in education to support Special Education Needs, Group working, class teaching, parents’ evenings, etc, etc. We now have a device in the offices at TVP so we’ll try and make one available first hand at the next partner event.
Worldwide Telescope – this community resource is another example of applications in the cloud that could be made available as part of a curriculum. The guided tours and ability to explore planets and astrological features are well worth the investment of a few minutes.