Wow! What a day it was here yesterday on the Microsoft Education stand at Future Decoded! We were overwhelmed by the positivity and curiosity shown by all visitors, and it was great to hear everyone's views on how we can continue to make a positive impact within education, working with our partners and customers.
On the stand we have a range of devices suitable for all levels of education, including the full range of Surface devices - even the recently announced Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book! Throughout the day we’re also running a variety of Office 2016 demos in our mini stand theatre, as well as demoing a range of other applications and productivity tools on all the devices on the stand.
Many of you will be familiar with #TheFeed, a new monthly magazine available online and in print, featuring stories written by and for those working in the classroom, with contributions from our MIEExperts and Showcase Schools. We have plenty of copies of the November issue of #TheFeed on the stand, so please feel free to pick one up!
STEM is a strong theme for Microsoft in Education, and we have a dedicated section of the stand where people can get hands on experience with a range of computing resources, including Kodu, Minecraft, TouchDevelop and the new BBC micro:bit. Away from the stand, Jessica Cecil spoke further about the BBC's #MakeItDigital campaign, and in particular Microsoft's involvement with the BBC micro:bit. Continuing that theme, Eastlea school had some very special visitors yesterday, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and BBC Director-General Tony Hall met pupils who were among the first to spend time learning to code with their BBC micro:bits.
Satya also announced plans for Microsoft's new UK data centre region, which will house cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online. You can read more about our plans for UK data centres, as well as the Eastlea visit and Microsoft's partnership with the BBC micro:bit on the Microsoft News Centre UK.
Also speaking in the Purple Theatre was Nima Mojgani, who looked at the ways we can redefine productivity within education through the collaborative power of Office 365. Looking ahead to what the growth sectors are in industry and what jobs are going to be sought after in years to come, the challenge is to understand how best to equip today's students with that skills that are going to be useful for employers.
Office 365 is available within education at no cost. Students and staff can check their eligibility at office.com/getoffice365.
Later in the day it was time for Anthony Salcito's keynote session on education, during which he placed emphasis on how educators and technology can empower students to expect more, do more and BE MORE. As well as addressing some of the broader issues within education and examining the ways in which school leaders can judiciously use technology to assist both inside and outside the classroom, the keynote session saw a live demonstration of the BBC micro:bit by student Ross Lowe, who used TouchDevelop to create a game of rock, paper, scissors, making use of the accelerometer within the micro:bit.
There is plenty more to discover and explore on the Microsoft Education stand today, both in the area of STEM, and education as a whole. We look forward to seeing you!