The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Congratulations, you made it through to Christmas. But it’s Christmas Eve. Shouldn’t you be putting your feet up? Relaxing? Getting ready for tomorrow’s festivities? Well, I know that in many schools, Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays mean “IT project time”. ICT has become so critical to the success of the school, that you’re not…

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Photo Story 3 – The 11th Day of Christmas

I was reviewing some of my colleagues notes from the World Innovative Teachers Forum in Helsinki, an event that we host annually for teachers and government attendees from all around the world, and saw a note that many teachers there were using Photo Story in their lessons, and were surprised that Microsoft didn’t do more…

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Free Search – The 10th Day of Christmas

A few weeks ago, we introduced the new Search Server 2008 (this is software based, not another box for the server room), which allows you to make it easier for people within your school or local authority to find information published on your network – and places you select in external information sources, for example…

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More Free things – the 6th-7th-8th-9th Days of Christmas

I’m sorry – for the last three days I have been the victim of a virus doing the rounds here in North Oxfordshire. So instead of sitting behind a keyboard, and giving your more Christmas gifts, I have been behind a duvet, trying to recover (and not infect the family). I don’t know what the…

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SharePoint Training – the fifth day of Christmas

Today’s gift is free online SharePoint training resources. I used these for the first time last week (even though I’ve been using SharePoint for 15 months). I have already customised my MySite, to add a wiki for my colleagues, and to put it directly on my home page. And I’ve linked my SharePoint document library…

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Accessibility – Fourth Day of Christmas

Continuing the 12 gifts theme, I wanted to share some useful information and resources for accessibility. I read in PC Pro that Microsoft is one of the founding members of the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance (AIA), which also includes Adobe, Oracle, HP and Novell in its membership. One of the aims is to create a development…

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Robotics – Third day of Christmas

My colleague, Paul Foster, works in the part of our business that talks to developers – both the commercial variety and student developers. One of the things they are constantly trying to do is to find new ways to engage students with the idea that programming is cool and valuable (remember the days when every…

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What are 21st Century Skills?

A colleague and I were engaged in a debate recently, in a team meeting, when we were discussing plans for BETT 2008. For the show we’ve added three themes to Microsoft’s “Realising Potential” message. Those three themes are: Raising Standards Personalising Learning 21st Century Skills The first two didn’t lead us into debate, but the…

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Windows Live SkyDrive – Second day of Christmas

Continuing my run of 12 Days of Christmas, here’s my gift for today. 1GB of free online storage This year, USB memory sticks have been a recurring theme – I’ve given them away at events, I’ve distributed files on them, and in talking with students, it seems that it’s become the standard way to transfer…

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ICT Funding Grants 2008-2011

At the end of last month, Becta added some information on its website about the Harnessing Technology grant for ICT, being allocated to English local authorities and schools from April 2008. It answers some questions you may have, but leaves out one big question – “How much will I get?”. Let’s see if I can…

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