The Microsoft Partner Campus is an outward expression of the strong practical and creative two-way bond which exists between Microsoft and their partners, who are regarded as contributors to development as well as the ‘sharp end’ deliverers of solutions.
This year 21 partners, summarised below, have stands in the Campus, and in addition, a number of partners will contribute as speakers in the Campus Theatre.
For visitors, the Campus offers a very convenient hub within which to explore a range of digital solutions to common school-based problems. In a relatively compact space, it becomes possible to compare systems for handling and analysing data for example, or to find and talk to suppliers of a range of Office365- based learning management products, all developed with Microsoft and, of course, including Microsoft’s own Microsoft Classroom.
In short, time spent in the Microsoft Campus is likely to be interesting, instructive and rewarding, and this comprehensive introduction in intended to help with planning your visit.
Microsoft Partner Campus - BETT 2017
Well known for their work on integrating management system data with Microsoft applications, SalamanderSoft have made great strides during 2016 with Office 365. Managing Director Richard Willis explains,
‘SalamanderSoft has automated provisioning of OneNote Class Notebooks and Microsoft Classroom/School Data Sync (SDS) for numerous early adopter schools, customising experiences and memberships to support each school’s specific curriculum. One of the most discussed features of Office 365 recently has been Office 365 Groups, which SalamanderSoft fully support for provisioning. Our aim is that everyone can access the resources they need as soon as they need to start learning or teaching, whether that’s Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Class Notebook, Microsoft Classroom, Microsoft SharePoint, or simply logging on to their desktop.’
Further information about SalamanderSoft on their own page, and the BETT 2017 website.
The management and analysis of data is an urgent issue for schools. New products from EduBoard, EduBoard and EduSync, developed in association with Microsoft Classroom, and built on Microsoft Power BI, with Microsoft’s Azure enterprise cloud, are intended to make data more manageable, transparent and usable. Marketing Director Brendan Nel explains,
‘We’re launching two awesome products, including EduBoard - a data-driven app that helps teachers identify low-performing, at-risk students much earlier, taking appropriate measures to improve learning outcomes and impact. With clear, bespoke dashboards It becomes easy for teachers, school leaders – and parents - to see and track student engagement and performance and to take appropriate action. A partnership with GCSEPod – a leading education publisher – provides access to a wealth of revision content through EduBoard or mobile app.’
A 3 month trial will be offered for EduBoard for 100 schools. It will be launched following successful pilots with our school partners
A second product EduSync, will be launched to at BETT 2017 to coincide with latest Microsoft Classroom developments. Available free to all UK schools EduSync will provide an automated sync between a school MIS and its Microsoft Classroom app.
Already well known as a means of connecting the Capita SIMS management system with Office 365, BETT 2017 sees Ruler bringing new announcements, as Director Phil Smith explains:
"Ruler will be launching its new cross-platform mobile app, Ruler Mobile, which uses Office 365 authentication and MIS automation, to allow students, teachers and parents to securely access key information including homework, attendance, behaviour, attainment and student reports. Ruler will also be demonstrating its Office 365 automation tool, Ruler Connect, which is School Data Sync ready, its Office 365 homework tool, Ruler Classroom and its Office 365 based parent portal, Ruler Parent."
Another trend at BETT and beyond is seen in the development of products and services aimed at multi-academy trusts, where the challenge is to manage and administer schools which may have a range of systems. To that end, the Stone Group, a long-established trusted supplier of computer equipment to education, has developed ‘Stone Unity’. Marketing Executive Jenna Aston explains;
"Stone Unity has been designed specifically for MATs to migrate inconsistent and disparate school systems to a centralised and seamless service to encourage collaboration between schools. The solution combines Microsoft technologies with targeted on premise appliances to create a hybrid environment so that wherever a user is, they will always have reliable access to their systems and applications. What makes this different to other approaches is that MAT leaders are in control of the pace of change at every point in the process, enabling their schools to realise the benefits of existing access before transitioning to the central system."
Reliable and effective supply teachers can be difficult to find, and working with agencies can be expensive, time-consuming and not always satisfactory. If that rings a bell with you, make sure you visit ‘TeacherIn’, newly launched in UK, CEO Peter Carpenter describes ‘TeacherIn’ as;
‘The app (not an agency), which puts schools in direct control of who they feel is the most effective supply teacher and saves thousands on agency fees. In addition, TeacherIn allows supply teachers and schools to connect directly, and gives supply teachers access to CPD training and teacher pension schemes. We can't wait for the show and the opportunity to work alongside our colleagues at Microsoft.’
Classter aims to put the teacher, leader or administrator more efficient control of their responsibilities by bringing together school management, student information, learning and classroom management. It comes in four editions, the first one is free, the others are ‘Pro’, ‘Plus’ and ‘Enterprise’,
Marketing Manager Maria Kazana adds,
‘Add value with unique features that include the management of students, teachers, parents and all stakeholders. Administer your courses and classes and create timetable, schedules, duties and grading structures. Carry out assessments, add absences, assign tasks, manage financials and more with Classter. Check out Classter integrations with Office 365 (OneNote, SharePoint, MS Classroom, OneDrive etc.) and Moodle LMS and lead innovation within your school community. This year, we are really glad that we will be in the Microsoft Partner Campus, as our product strategy is aligned to Microsoft’s and our solution is fully integrated with Office 365 add-ins. What’s new this year is the Free Cloud (Microsoft Azure) solution and our integration with MS Classroom which still in Beta version from Microsoft too, as well as OneNote Class Notebook.’
You can find Classter at BETT 2017 in the Microsoft Partner Campus, and for more about the role of Classter within education please visit www.classter.com.
Skooler helps Office 365 users by providing them with straightforward dashboards that will take them straight to the applications they need. The dashboards are role-based, and can be tailored for students and teachers. Skooler is currently in 600 schools, including South Norwood Academy, which joined this year. For Headteacher Stephen Schwartz the choice of Skooler was made,
'…because we are seeking an O365 solution that is managed, simple and effective. A solution that will deliver flexible working opportunities for pupils and teachers. A solution that works seamlessly on a range of digital devices.'
Well known and long established as a supplier of world class computer hardware to all sectors, including education, Toshiba have taken the logical step of becoming a provider of tailored, holistic technology solutions. So their presence in the Partner Campus will be interesting not only for their range of devices, but for a new and comprehensive service for schools. As Sector Marketing Manager Carla Griffin explains:
‘Visit our stand to see our new solution Transform, created to help you get the most out of your school's IT. Our tailor-made solutions reinvigorate the way you set up and use your cloud-base systems. Designed to save you time and money, Transform empowers IT managers and teachers alike to make your school work smarter.’
For more information on Toshiba's education specific offerings, please visit Toshiba UK Education, or stop by their stand at the BETT 2017 Microsoft Partner Campus.
School leaders face ever-increasing responsibilities in the area of finance. Transparency, together with public and legal accountability are all high on the agenda. The answer, for 43% of all Academies and 57% of all Multi-Academy Trusts, is to work with PS Financials, who are experienced in Accounting, Purchasing, Budgeting and Reporting Software within the Education sector. The PSF system integrates with all leading MIS, Payroll, HR and Payment systems to form a central hub for finance management and intelligence, serving the education sector for over 15 years.
At BETT 2017, says Head of Marketing Kathryn Boast,
‘PS Financials will be showcasing PS Analytics, a Business Intelligence solution which combines related data from multiple sources to form a single, meaningful analysis model – helping senior leaders to easily gain a deeper understanding of their entire school or group of schools.'
Pearson VUE/Prodigy Learning
Prodigy Learning is responsible for managing the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) training and certification programmes, and also for the globally popular MOS World Championship.
Andrew Flood (CEO, Prodigy Learning) says,
‘The importance of digital skills in today's and tomorrow's job market, is indisputable. Independent research consistently ranks skills in Microsoft Office among the top five attributes that employers look for in prospective candidates. Visit us At BETT 2017, and learn how Microsoft certification can help develop and validate digital skills for your students.'
Pearson VUE and Prodigy Learning are at BETT 2017 to talk about how their partnership with Microsoft enables delivery of authorized Microsoft training and certification programmes. These globally recognized IT certifications deliver job-ready skills, improving employability and productivity for students. Find out more at www.prodigylearning.com or on the BETT 2017 website.
Microsoft Training Academies
BETT 2017 sees the launch of Microsoft’s Training Academy (MTA) Programme. A direct and natural evolution from the existing family of Microsoft Showcase Schools, this new development works by identifying a group of schools – five in the first instance -- demonstrating excellence in teaching and learning with technology, then supporting them as they share their expertise with schools that are climbing the learning curve.
Microsoft representatives and leadership team members from the five MTA schools will be available in the Microsoft Partner Campus. Interested schools will be able to sign up as Microsoft Schools and learn more about the Microsoft School/Showcase School/MTA journey.
Learning Possibilities is possibly the largest supplier of learning management systems in the UK, and also has a presence in 20 countries, Since 2012, they have provided the All Wales National Digital Learning Platform, known as Hwb+. In December 2015 they formed a global alliance with Microsoft focussed on the Office 365-based LP+365. Based on vast experience of LP+ in action, together with Microsoft expertise and the power of Microsoft’s Azure enterprise cloud, LP+365 offers schools safe, user-friendly, easy access to the multiple features of Office 365.
3P Learning was founded by people who believe it possible and necessary to develop, in children, a love of learning. See the degree of enthusiasm their products have generated globally and that belief is surely vindicated. The blend of creativity, technology-supported pedagogy and the link to the best values of sport is well worth close attention by teachers.
Richard Stoneman, Head of Marketing, Europe and Middle East says,
‘At BETT we will be showcasing our multi award winning digital resources for maths and literacy. Mathletics is proven to improve results and increase student engagement in maths. Spellodrome helps develop spelling, writing & communication skills and Reading Eggs helps teach children learn to read and to develop a lifelong love of reading.’
Civica is a well established Microsoft partner, delivering a wide range of IT solutions to all sectors of education, Probably the main interest for schools lies in their ‘CloudBase learning environment which makes Microsoft Office 365 accessible and intelligible to students and teachers with a minimum of training. CloudBase is the highlight of Civica’s presence in the Microsoft Partner Campus, says Marketing Executive Caroline Young.
‘We will be demonstrating CloudBase live at BETT and Brendan Murphy from Civica will be hosting a session entitled A day in the Cloud in the Microsoft collaboration space, which shows how communication and collaboration within a school can be enabled through use of the cloud and technology.'
tute provides a range of cloud-based online courses to support students in need of alternative or tailored learning programmes, enrichment, extension, revision or catch-up. Used in hundreds of schools, and approved by local authorities, Tute is run by professional educators.
At BETT 2017 Tute will be launching a new cloud service – tute Campus – to help MATs and school clusters to aggregate teachers and classes to improve efficiency and outcomes. Founder and CEO Sean Gardner explains:
‘The new service will be linked to Microsoft Office365 so that it can be seamlessly integrated into the existing services suite. Leadership teams adopting Campus will be able to deliver online classes anytime, anywhere and also support CPD and best practice sharing.’
At the Microsoft Dynamics stand in the Partner Campus, you can learn how to mpower your classroom with the latest intelligent business applications across Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) from Microsoft.
Senior Program Manager Jane Birkegaard Thomsen explains;
‘The Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) works with higher education institutions worldwide, helping them use Microsoft Dynamics in their curriculum to give their students a competitive advantage in the job market. Your free DynAA membership will give you access to Microsoft Dynamics licenses, support, resources, and community-building opportunities.
Integrating Microsoft Dynamics into your curriculum can demonstrate thought leadership, relevance, and innovation, allowing you to differentiate your institution when working with prospective students, current students, and potential employers interested in hiring new graduates.'
Visit the DynAA team in the Partner Campus to learn how you can take your curriculum to the next level with intelligent business applications from Microsoft.
Hapara is a cloud-based learning management system that enables schools to make best use of the power and range of Office 365. Director of Marketing Robin Poncia says,
‘Hapara is very excited to be partnering with Microsoft as it brings the power of its learning management tools to Office 365. With Hapara Dashboard for Office 365, teachers have greater access and visibility into learners’ work across O365 Apps, including OneNote Class Notebooks, OneDrive files and student Outlook Emails. Come meet the team and learn more about how Hapara simplifies teaching and learning in the cloud in the Microsoft Partner Campus at BETT 2017.'
Learn more on the Hapara BETT 2017 listing.
Minecraft is hugely popular at the BETT Show. Right from its first appearance, creative teachers and students were putting it to use as a popular classroom learning resource, Now, with Minecraft Education Edition the educational possibililties have been brought to the fore. As spokesperson Elena Johnson explains,
‘Minecraft: Education Edition immerses students in a virtual landscape that fosters collaboration, stimulates problem solving, and inspires creativity while exploring subjects from art to math, history to science. Drop by the Microsoft Partner Campus for our photo experience and discover how Minecraft is transforming classroom learning.’
Elena is particularly keen to encourage visitors to take advantage of one-to-one demos, and to investigate available photo experiences in their booth.
Click her to learn more about Minecraft: Education Edition.
Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync
Microsoft Classroom is a single experience for managing all classes and assignment workflow for teachers and students. Teachers can use the Office documents and class materials they already have, or create new ones using familiar Office applications like Word and PowerPoint. Classroom lets teachers create a Class Notebook for all the students in their class quickly. Assignments in Classroom can reference materials from the Class Notebook, Office documents, and links to Internet content. Teachers can create assignments for multiple classes at the same time, easily grade submissions, and give private feedback.
School Data Sync is a natural companion to Microsoft Classroom in that it automates the process of importing and integrating student data from any Student Information System, populating Office 365 apps, One Note Class notebooks and all other applications within Microsoft Classroom.
Visit the Partner Campus or main Microsoft Stand (E310) to learn more about Microsoft Classroom and School Data Sync.
Vivi is a wireless presentation and screen mirroring tool built exclusively for the education sector. It enables teachers and students to display, capture, annotate and save content in real time.
Many teachers are interested in screen-mirroring, as an aid to instruction and sharing work, and they’d certainly do well to visit Vivi, not least because of its ‘any device, anywhere’ working principle,.
As Marketing Manager Helen Walker explains,
‘Vivi makes learning more personalised and interactive than ever before. Vivi is a smart solution that allows you to wirelessly present any device to the main display in the room - effortlessly. Vivi are an Australian company and are partnering with Microsoft for their UK launch at BETT 2017. Come say G’Day and see Vivi live in action!’
Learn more about Vivi by stopping by the Microsoft Partner Campus at BETT 2017, or visiting http://www.viviaustralia.com.au/.
ITWORX EDUCATION is a Microsoft Strategic Education Partner delivering a wide range of customised software solutions across 1400 schools globally.
This is yet another priority visit for teachers and school leaders looking to find products which both break the mould and make sophisticated software accessible and supportive of learning and teaching.
Hatem Sallam, ITWORX EDUCATION CEO, says,
‘As a leading education services provider, we continuously strive to provide disruptive e-learning solutions that break traditional teaching methods and improve the overall learning process. Our ongoing partnership with Microsoft offers great opportunities and supports our principal vision: to enable every student around the world to access and receive sustainable, quality education, be it in formal schools, remote areas or even refugee camps. Our cooperation will ultimately help us deliver better education for learners and more value for instructors and organizations.'
Click here to learn more about the global impact of ITWORX EDUCATION, and visit their BETT 2017 exhibitor page to find out more about their presence at this year's show.
Hopefully this roundup of who's who in the Microsoft Partner Campus has given you lots to think about, and will help you get the most out of your visit to BETT 2017 as you seek to find the right partner(s) for the next steps in your journey of digital transformation
We look forward to seeing you next week!