Microsoft @ NAACE Conference 2012

With the NAACE 2012 Conference fast approaching, we wanted to give you a quick insight into some of the areas we are going to be showcasing at the conference. Time flies and it still only seems like yesterday that we were wrapping up BETT 2012!

This years conference is titled '3rd Millennium Learning - The Compelling Case for ICT' and with this in mind we really wanted to focus on some of the new innovations we are working on within Microsoft that we feel will have a significant impact on teaching and learning for both current learners, but also generations to come.

A core element of this bold remit is gaming in education. We believe that the fundamental elements of gaming such as reward, challenge, progression and personalisation will stimulate successful learning environments and provide motivational contexts for learning. Additionally, we also believe that computer games design can also be used to get children and young people introduced and excited about programming as well as the creation of content.

With this in mind, we will be showcasing and discussing both the use of Kinect in the classroom and also a range of our programming development tools, such as Kodu. More specifically, if you want to see how Kodu, a games based development tool, can help young learners out on their path to developing the next Facebook or Twitter, pop by our stand for a hands on demo.

To further support the theme of gaming in education at the NAACE 2012 Conference , Ollie Bray has kindly offered to deliver a session during the breakout sessions at the conference. His session titled 'Kinect and Kodu in the Classroom' will discuss some of the core themes of gaming in education and will build on the great sessions he delivered on the Microsoft stand at BETT 2012. If you missed his presentation at BETT 2012, you can check out his slides below.

We will also be launching a new gaming in education eBook, written by Ollie, over the next few days. Keep an eye out on the blogs and Twitter to be one of the first to check it out. Its an essential read!

In addition to the gaming in education stories, we are going to be discussing how institutions can embrace the consumerisation of IT in education/BYOD trend. Rather than being a threat for institutions, we believe, when managed correctly, that the BYOD movement can have real benefits for institutions. BYOD has huge cost saving potential for institutions and can also help support a more flexible and personalised learning experience for learners. Flexible device types, the cloud and centralised management resources can all help IT departments offer a safe and secure foundation for ensuring the success of any planned BYOD projects. Pop by our stand to discuss how we can enhance your BYOD strategy.

For more information on our thoughts around the consumerisation of IT in education, view/download our eBook on this topic below. We also have a short blog post coming out on this topic soon. Watch this space…

The third area we are going to focus on at NAACE 2012 are skills for the workforce. Our IT Academy certifications are giving young people the relevant skills they need to succeed in the workforce and find jobs post graduation. With some interesting new initiatives round Mobile and gaming, in particular, the ITA programme can unlock some exciting opportunities for young learners to achieve success in the digital economy and beyond.

To learn more about any of these areas, stop by our stand at the conference for a chat. We may even the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available for you to get your hands on. Should be a great conference!

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