The following is a guest post by Gerald Haigh.
We’ve been following interesting developments at Queen Mary University of London, where Microsoft technologies are being creatively used in a continuing drive to improve the teaching and learning experience for students and staff. Two innovations in particular have caught our attention. One is the roll-out of Office 365 to 20,000 students and 5,000 staff – a textbook example of the way that the Pro Plus Benefit licensing agreement can transform the university experience for staff and students. At QMUL this is considerably enhanced by the fact that the university has embarked a major deployment of new PCs, starting with 1500 Dell touchscreen ‘all-in-one’ devices for the use of students.
Even more significant is the increased use of Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager which enables responsive and flexible management of the whole hardware and software estate within the university. The QMUL technical team are, we understand, constantly looking to exploit the possibilities of SCCM, thinking ahead beyond the basic management functions.
Taken as a whole, and adding in some other ingredients, including it’s pretty clear that as we dig deeper into the QMUL developments we’re going to discover an exciting story around the creative use of technology.
Right now, we are intent on gathering the information which will enable us to tell the QMUL story in much greater detail. It’s going to be a good one in its own right, and, more importantly, it will encourage and point the way forward for other institutions intent on using technology to support learning efficiently and cost effectively.