Few weeks back, Microsoft announced a new feature to find free online courses and books on Bing. When you search Bing for subjects such as trigonometry or history, Bing will now showcase a list of popular, free online courses available on the Khan Academy site to the right of search results page. They also added a new book finding feature that showcases whether a given title is available online for free or for reservation at your local library. Today they are expanding the features focused on education by showcasing school ratings, rankings and academic indicators directly in Snapshot. Now when you search for a given school- from elementary to high school to higher ed – Bing will showcase (where available) how they fare nationally, within the state and what their STEM rating might be.  They also display how the community surrounding the schools rate. Check out New Port High School results page ...

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Edmodo is a “social learning platform” website for teachers, students, and parents. It is marketed as the Facebook for schools. The official Edmodo app is now available for Windows 8/RT devices in Windows Store. Description: Edmodo takes learning beyond the classroom by providing a free, safe place for teachers and students to connect and collaborate—anytime, anywhere. Specifically designed for Windows 8.1, this app includes the full suite of features found on the Edmodo website as well as integrations with core Windows 8.1 tablet functionality, such as live tiles, split screen, and charms. Join the world’s largest K-12 social learning network. Features: Create secure groups that take learning beyond the classroom Connect and collaborate with students and fellow teachers Foster and continue discussions outside of school hours Post and turn in assignments, quizzes, polls, and more Gauge student progress on grades 3-12 Math and ELA Common Core with Snapshot, a micro-assessment ...

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Bill Gates is a big supporter of Common Core education system in the US and his foundation spent millions in making the system accepted by lots of states after many years. In fact, this idea of Common Core came from Gene Wilhoit, director of a national group of state school chiefs, and David Coleman, an emerging evangelist for the standards movement. Washington Post journalist in an interview to Bill Gates accused him that his support for Common Core system is because of his business interests. Like any other technology company, Microsoft has signed a deal with Pearson for making Common Core education content on Microsoft platforms. I’m pretty sure, even if Bill Gates was not backing Common Core, Microsoft Education team would have done the same. Also, I think accusing people like Bill Gates who have pledged their wealth for public welfare is really cheap. Here is the excerpt from the interview, Layton: ...

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Last year, Microsoft announced that they will be offering Yammer Enterprise to all Office 365 Enterprise plans customers. Today they announced that Yammer Enterprise has been added to all Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans. This addition should further increase the value which Office 365 brings to its customers. As part of this update, all existing Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plan customers will receive licenses for Yammer Enterprise. See Yammer Plans & Pricing for additional information. In addition, Midsize Business and Education customers are no longer required to purchase Yammer Enterprise licenses for external users within their external networks. This also applies to Enterprise customers, as we announced last November. This simple licensing change significantly reduces the friction in cross-organization collaboration and will enable your users to work with customers, partners, and parents and students without having to worry about additional costs. Source: Office blogs ...

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Microsoft today posted a video showing how St. Thomas School in the US has adopted. Surface tablets for their students and teachers. Students are using these devices to take notes, learn new things from various content, and more. This digital transition is not just happening in the U.S., but also in schools around the world where technology is empowering students. Watch more about it from the video above. A recognized leader in early childhood through eighth grade education, St. Thomas School has adopted both Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro tablets as their 1:1 student computing device in their 2nd and 3rd grade classes. “The one-to-one program has given the school more than we ever anticipated,” says Kimberly Mecham, Director of Information and Communication Technology at St. Thomas School. “It’s really allowed us to personalize learning in second grade through innovative and differentiated ways, and to enhance project-learning in third grade ...

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Microsoft today posted a video about Selinsgrove Area School District in the US which has recently selected Surface Pro 3 as their device for students and staff over traditional laptops and Surface Pro 3. There are obvious advantages like the thin and light form factor, stylus support, all day battery life and more. Find the video above to know more about it. In 2013, Selinsgrove Area School District applied for and received a “Keystones to Opportunity” literacy education grant from the US Department of Education. Selinsgrove used its literacy grant funding to supply students and teachers in the fourth through twelfth grades with Microsoft Surface tablets. The district chose the Surface tablet over a traditional laptop and the Kindle Fire HD e-book reader due to its battery life, two-in-one form factor, and versatility. District leaders and Educators have already seen increased interactivity in the classroom, support for creative learning, and improved study skills due ...

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Microsoft today posted a new video on how OneNote in being used in the education. They highlighted Cary Academy’s teachers using OneNote in the classroom.  Take a look at how the teachers at Cary Academy in Cary, North Carolina, seamlessly integrate OneNote into their classrooms to elevate the education of students through presentation, organization, and real-time collaboration with both students and other educators. Microsoft OneNote is your digital notebook for keeping track of what’s important in your life. Jot down your ideas, keep track of classroom and meeting notes, clip from the web, make a to-do list as well as draw and sketch your ideas.  OneNote is your one place to capture and organize everything. Whether you’re at home, in the office or on the go, your notes travel with you. They are automatically saved and synced in the cloud, so you always have the latest on all your devices. Share notes with friends and ...

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Cincinnati Country Day School in the US has chosen Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as the device of choice for their students. Even though there are other organizations committed to buying Surface Pro 3, CCDS will be the first school to adopt Surface Pro 3 as their 1:1 student computing device. Their IT director said the following when asked about why he chose the Surface Pro 3 for CCDS, he told me that it was the first no-compromise device that met all 3 of his  following criteria: Reading & Writing – “With the 3:2 aspect ratio and the big beautiful screen, the Surface Pro 3 is the first tablet PC that has a useable portrait mode for students to read and annotate naturally like they would a textbook or a piece of paper.” He also added, that he’s tried many different digital inking solutions across different devices and that the Surface Pro 3 has one of ...

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  At Scripps National Spelling Bee competition yesterday, Microsoft made finalist kids scream in joy. Senior Director of U.S. Education for Microsoft Lydia Smyers took stage to talk about Microsoft’s collaboration with National Spelling Bee competition. She also showed a video of Microsoft Surface which students can use for collaborating and having fun with their friends. Later, Microsoft revealed to the students that they all will be getting a Surface RT from Microsoft. Communications and Public Relations Manager Chris Kemper told the kids they were in for a surprise. “This has never been done in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee!” Kemper exclaimed as he invited spellers to come forward and take a gift bag. “Do not look in the bag, do not shake the bag, do not open the bag, and for Pete’s sake do not taste the bag,” Kemper instructed. All 281 spellers gathered onstage with ...

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Today, Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) announced a large scale cloud education partnership with Microsoft. As part of this partnership, they are going to provide 8 million students and 400,000 teachers throughout the country with free access to the Microsoft Office 365 for Education. This initiative will allow students and teachers throughout Thailand to create, connect and collaborate on a safe and secure platform. Microsoft claims that this is the largest cloud education initiative ever, and one that promises to foster sustainable growth and raise Thailand’s overall standard of living for generations to come. The Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) and Microsoft (Thailand) Limited on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding that will provide 8 million students and 400,000 teachers across Thailand with free access to Microsoft Office 365 for education. The agreement, which also includes the extension of the highly successful Partners in Learning ...

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Last week, we reported that Microsoft will be investing over billion dollars in providing latest Windows devices to students in the US. Today, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) announced that they will be distributing about 150,000 Windows 8.1 devices to students over next few years that will have impact in their education, and also also takes transformational learning methods. Today is a milestone day for Baltimore, as Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance visits a number of classrooms to start the distribution of some of the devices that will be a part of the District’s journey toward 1:1 classroom scenarios. We’re working with Dr. Dance and his team of educators and staff to execute on the district’s Students & Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (S.T.A.T.) initiative aimed to fundamentally shift teaching and learning. Together with Hewlett Packard and Daly Computers Inc. we’re helping the district rollout 150,000 HP Elitebook 810 Revolve Windows 8.1 devices to all students and teachers ...

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Last year, Microsoft introduced the Bing for Schools program where schools participating in the search program will receive ad-free Bing search, strict filtering to help block adult content, and augmented privacy protections. Today, Microsoft renamed the project to Bing in the Classroom program, and is increasing the broad availability of ad-free, safer, more private search to all eligible K-12 public and private schools in the US. Along with providing educational enhancements, Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing.com searches done through the school’s network, making Bing the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom. As of today, any qualified school district or private school can go to bing.com/classroom and register for the completely free service, which is already being used by over 4.5 million students, including those in the five largest districts in ...

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Microsoft India has partnered with Acer, MBD Group and Tata Teleservices for offering special bundled tablets for private schools (K6-12). They will be offering Acer W4 8-inch Windows tablet for Rs.24,999 for all these schools. It has got the standard hardware spec and it comes with Office Home and Student as well as Office 365. Microsoft has also included the Office 365 Education A2 and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification for students. Read the full press release below. New Delhi – 6th February, 2014: Microsoft India today announced the availability of special bundled tablets for private schools (K6-12) in partnership with Acer, MBD Group & Tata Teleservices. This consortium envisions a future of education where content, technology and connectivity come together seamlessly to make learning more immersive. Priced at Rs. 24,999 per device, the bundle is available to all private schools (K6-12) in India. The specially created bundle comprises a ...

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Microsoft has written a white paper for governments warning them of the ‘hidden costs’ in using android tablets.  In this time of economic downturn, a dwindling tax base, austerity measures and a the paradox of deficit spending governments are looking to save money where they can and it is understandable how appealing a cheap Chinese android tablet may be.  Consider the following: a cheap hooker and an expensive escort ultimately achieve the same goal, but you get what you pay for. A recent white paper from Microsoft compares Android vs Windows devices and shows that Windows devices are a superior choice, offering better security, a more productive experience for users AND an improved ability for IT to manage mobile devices WITHIN the boundaries of existing PC cost structure and technical infrastructure. The paper looks at four areas critical to public sector and education – Ease of Use, Security, Productivity and ...

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Microsoft is offering students with a valid .edu email address a 10% discount on the purchase of a Surface, software, and/or accessories.  This could be a savings of over a $100 with the purchase of a 128GB Surface. Head over to the Microsoft Store and enter your email address to get a unique code for the savings. ...

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