Tag Archives: ideas

Innovation leaders must learn to ‘co-create’ the future

Conventional ideas about leadership no longer hold when business success depends on continual innovation, said Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School and co-author of the book Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation.

She cited as an example how her mentors, John Potter and Warren Bennis, scholars who helped pioneer the contemporary field of leadership studies, defined leadership. For them, leadership is largely about the ability to come up with a vision, communicate that vision and then get people to fulfill that vision. While that sort of top-down approach is effective for leading change, leading innovation is different, argued Hill, who has spent the last decade studying leaders of innovation around the globe.

“Innovation leaders see their primary role not as the visionary, but as the creator of a context in which others are willing and able to innovate,” said Hill during a keynote session at the recent LiveWorx event in Boston in which she offered up advice to IT professionals on leading innovation.

In other words, as a leader of innovation, you’re not necessarily the person who’s out in front telling everybody “this is where we’re going,” Hill said. Instead, you’re the “stage setter” — giving the players a shared purpose and letting them go from there.

“If you want to innovate and if you want to get at something new, you have to unleash the talents and the passions of individuals,” Hill said.

However, if innovation leaders want those individual sparks of innovation to be useful, they have to figure out how to harness all the diverse ideas, talents and passions of their teams to do something that actually meets the needs of the collective good. That’s one of the many tests leaders face: whether they can unleash and harness, Hill said.

Give them space

When it comes to unleashing innovation, a gentle push in the right direction is better than a forceful shove, according to Hill.

You cannot tell people to innovate. Formal authority has nothing to do with whether they’ll innovate.
Linda Hillprofessor of business administration, Harvard Business School

“You cannot tell people to innovate,” Hill said. “Formal authority has nothing to do with whether they’ll innovate. You have to get people to volunteer and want to do what is really emotionally and intellectually taxing work.”

A piece of that puzzle is understanding that these people “don’t want to follow you to the future, they want to co-create that future with you,” Hill said. Innovation leaders need to create the space where that co-creation can happen — where a leader’s vision serves as a starting point rather than an ending point.

Steve Jobs understood that innovation comes from collective genius, not solo genius,” Hill said. “Innovation is a team sport. [Successful innovation leaders like Jobs] really think you need to be a part of a community if you’re going to be able to innovate.”

Hill also relayed some interesting advice from her friend and study subject Bill Coughran, former senior vice president of engineering at Google. Coughran’s advice to innovation leaders when people come to them looking for guidance: “Keep it fuzzy.”

“They’re going to get nervous, depressed and frustrated and they’re going to come to you and want you to tell them what to do,” Hill said. “But the first time you tell them, that’s it. They’ll rely on you too much, they’ll delegate back to you and they won’t do the collaborative work that needs to be done.”

Hill said it’s the innovation leader’s job to coach everyone in the organization, no matter their position, how to be not only a “value creator,” but also a “game-changer.” A value creator is someone who knows how to identify and close the performance gap — the gap between where the organization is now and where it should be. A game-changer is someone who knows how to identify and close the “opportunity gap” — a gap between where the organization is now and where it could be.

In fact, if innovation leaders want to hold onto talent, they need to give the talent the chance to work on opportunity gaps, Hill said. That usually means letting the talent work on cutting-edge projects. If innovation leaders don’t do that, the talent is more likely to defect because they’re not going learn the expertise required to make new things happen and therefore they’re not going to be as marketable.

Innovation leaders, it seems, can’t be without vision themselves. To create an environment where new things happen — and where the talent is excited to innovate — leaders need to have a clear “point of view” on technology and innovation, as Hill put it. “If you don’t have a point of view, they don’t want to play with you,” she said.

What’s New in EDU: Live from ISTE 2018 |

Educators from across the globe are bringing their passions, experiences and big-change ideas together again for the 2018 ISTE Conference and Expo, kicking off this week in Chicago, Illinois. And if forward-thinking teachers and time-saving tech advancements are going to be there, that means What’s New in EDU is going to be there too.

We’re debuting brand new episodes of What’s New in EDU, our round-up of the latest efforts and products from Microsoft Education, throughout the week of ISTE. You can tune in to each episode live, even if you’re #notatISTE, so keep an eye on the schedule below:

What’s New in EDU: Live from ISTE on Monday: 5:00 PM CDT on Facebook Live

What’s New in EDU: Live from ISTE on Tuesday: 5:00 PM CDT on Facebook Live

What’s New in EDU: Live from ISTE on Wednesday: 5:00 PM CDT on Facebook Live

There’s a lot of exciting news to cover this week, including our announcement of Minecraft: Education Edition’s Update Aquatic and our partnership with BBC Learning on new, cost-effective STEM lesson plans. We also have an update on free workshops coming to Microsoft Store locations that help educators attain Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) certification.

If you’re an educator:

Office 365 Education helps create engaging learning experiences for today’s classrooms. Using the products you already know and love like Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint, reach students with features that help you create personalized learning experiences.

  • Dictation: This simple yet transformative tool helps students write freely and conquer the blank page using their voice. Dictation is now available for Word and PowerPoint on Win32 as well as OneNote for Windows 10.

New OneNote Sticker Packs: Have you ever been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest canyon in the world? Did you know that an octopus can collect shells to make armor to fight off sharks? We’ve created four new sticker packs that explore the ocean and the marine life that call it home! We take a look at coral reefs, tide pools, the deepest parts of the ocean, and those larger species that need a little more space in the open ocean.

Learning Tools:  13,000,000 people round the globe regularly use Learning Tools to help them achieve more in school and at home. As part of Learning Tools, Immersive Reader implements proven techniques to improve reading for learners regardless of their age or ability.

  • Parts of Speech symbols: Teachers and students have the option to enable symbols for nouns, verbs, and adjectives over the highlighted part of speech. This is especially useful for readers who are color blind.
  • Adverbs: The Immersive Reader has had the ability to highlight important parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, and adjectives. We listened to valuable feedback from teachers that adverbs are also an important part of speech that should be highlighted and now adverbs are available in over 10 languages.

 

Microsoft Teams is the digital hub that brings conversations, content, assignments, and apps together in one place. Educators can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff – all from a single experience in Office 365 Education.

This month, Teams celebrates its first-year anniversary! Read more about the news, including new educator stories – and discover free teacher training materials.

  • Rubrics Grading: Utilize rubric grading and skills-based grading of your assignments making it easier to deliver feedback to your students. Students will also be able to see how they’ll be assessed upfront, before they start working on the assignment. Teachers can save a lot of time with a grading tool that’s easily applied to multiple assignments at once.

  • Forms in Assignments: In Assignments, you’ll be able to add a Form to a new assignment for your students to fill out and return. Leverage features of Forms reporting functionality, like auto-grading, feedback, and scores, directly in the Assignments grade book and keep track of scores across many Forms-powered quizzes.

  • Join Codes: Create a simple code for members to join your Class, PLC, or Staff team. This makes it easy for many people to join your team all at once. Display the code in ‘projector mode’ so that everyone in the classroom can see it and join the team.
  • Reusing a team as a template: Teachers can reuse an existing team as a template when creating a new team, then customize what they want to copy over: channels, team setting, apps, and even users.
  • Mute all students: There’s a time for conversation, and there’s a time for focus. You can now pause students from posting in the conversation tab.
  • Page locking in OneNote assignments – For teachers creating OneNote assignments, the pages of the student will now automatically “lock” as read only when the due date/time passes. The teacher can still edit and annotate these OneNote assignment pages with feedback.
  • Archive teams: Safely store your Class, PLC, or Staff team content in read-only mode. Easily reference archived teams while you are setting up your Teams experience for the next school year.

Open Up Resources:  Open Up Resources is a nonprofit working to develop the highest quality full-course Open Educational Resources (OER) curricula, standards-aligned, and provided for free to promote instructional equity. This curriculum was developed by Illustrative Mathematics, and currently covers 6th – 8th Grade Math. Recently, EdReports gave this curriculum their highest rating ever.

 OneNote empowers teachers and students to capture information and stay organized in their digital notebook.  OneNote allows students to organize their notes, ideate with others, and sync their notes seamlessly via the cloud.

  • Math Assistant Understanding the steps of a complex math problem is key to finding a solution. Math Assistant in OneNote Online helps this process by showing solution steps, as well as providing a graph for easier visualization. Read more about Math Assistant in OneNote online here.

OneNote Class Notebooks helps teachers capture and organize class content, create and deliver interactive lessons, provide feedback, and collaborate. Teachers can create a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities. This school year, 25,000,000 student notebooks have been created!

  • Page Locking: Page locking allows teachers to prevent unwanted editing by students. Teachers can lock pages as read-only after giving feedback to the student but can still edit the locked pages themselves. Read more about Page locking in OneNote Class Notebooks here.
  • Teacher Transfer: This highly requested tool allows school IT professional to help transfer Class Notebooks from one teacher to another or to different schools when teachers change positions, saving valuable time and information.

Page Locking in OneNote for Windows 10

Microsoft Forms helps teachers quickly create polls, quizzes, and assessments, and see results as they come in. Microsoft Forms is simple to use, works on any browser and device, and lets you assign points for automatic grading.

  • Math Quiz: With additional tools to create math questions and worksheets, teachers can broaden the type of questions they ask in Forms to better assess Math skills. Read more about Math Quiz in Microsoft Forms here.

Microsoft Sway helps teachers and students easily create immersive, interactive presentations with images, text, videos, and other multimedia.

  • Refreshed iOS app: Updates to the iOS app include new commands that make it a breeze to add and organize content on-the-go.  Students and teachers will be able to easily incorporate their mobile captures, use drag-and-drop, tap to resize content, and instantly work together by using Sways Near Me.  Read more about the updates in our latest blog post.

Microsoft MakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels. MakeCode takes a unique approach to Computing Education by combining the magic of Making with the power of Code as a way to make learning about computers and technology more accessible, and interesting to a wider audience of students.

  • MakeCode for LEGO MINDSTORMS: Microsoft MakeCode provides a very easy on-ramp into robotics with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 by providing students with both a block-based, and text-based coding environment.  And because it’s browser-based, schools can use MakeCode for MINDSTORMS on any computer. For more details view this blog post.

 

 The Microsoft Photos app features a built-in video editor, making it easy for you and your students to create movies using photos, video clips, music, 3D models, and Hollywood-style special effects. Whether it’s a group history project, a lab report, or a music video just for fun, you can quickly sequence your project, add titles, drop in music, and enhance your story with special effects.

  • Timeline scrollbar: The new timeline scrollbar makes it easy to jump to a specific month or year to see the photos and videos you captured on a that date. The scrollbar is tailored to your collection, showing you at a glance where your biggest capture sessions have been and how your photos and videos are distributed over time.

Change the date on a photo or video: Have you ever taken pictures on a camera that didn’t have the date and time set correctly? Now it’s easy to get that media showing up correctly in your collection. Just right-click on an image or video to change the date.

Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. are offering free MIE workshops:

You might already be familiar with the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program, which teaches educators of all levels how to integrate technology and Microsoft tools into the classroom to improve their students’ learning experience. This program was previously only offered online, but now for the first time ever, Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. are offering free MIE workshops for educators who prefer an in-person learning experience.

Workshops are taught by associates who are certified MIE Experts, and just like the online MIE training programs, educators earn credit to become a certified MIE. To learn more, educators are invited to stop in anytime at their local Microsoft Store and speak with the Community Development Specialist.

If you focus on IT:

Intune for Education makes it easy to set up and manage Windows 10 devices in just a few steps, including deploying apps or settings to users, and managing shared devices.

  • User and Device Details Pages: At a basic level, administrators want to be sure that everything is working as expected so that the in-classroom experience is focused on learning. The basic question we hear from these admins is: “When student ‘X’ signed in to device ‘Y’, what should have been applied and what was actually applied?”  To help resolve this requirement, we have added a key feature for admins: Once they find the user/device in the management console, they can now see which settings and apps should be applied plus the deployment status for a user/device.

School Data Sync (SDS) simplifies class creation and management in Office 365. SDS reads from your Student Information Systems (SIS) and creates classes and groups for Microsoft Teams, OneNote Class Notebooks, Intune for Education, and third-party applications. Best of all, it’s free!

  • Education Security Groups: SDS creates new Education Security Groups by default. The new groups will include the All Teachers, All Students, Teachers of School, and Students of School. These groups can be used for Intune for Education device policy, Group Based Licensing, Conditional Access Policy, and several other O365 security management features.
  • Expired Class Management: SDS provides options to rename expired classes, remove student access from expired classes. This new experience simplifies class management for term transition and back-to-school cycles.

To learn more about Microsoft Education and our tools and technology that help foster inclusion and support personalizing learning for every student, click here.

The Napkin Disrupted: Meet Ink to Code, a Microsoft Garage Project – Microsoft Garage

Urban legend has it that some of the greatest ideas in history started with a napkin. The Gettysburg Address, the poem that gave way to the U.S. National Anthem, and the premise of the Harry Potter series—each were reportedly born into the world through the medium of sketches on scrap paper—and when app creators put pen to paper for their ideas, this is often a canvas of choice. While rapid prototyping with the napkin and the whiteboard holds its charms, less charming is the prospect of translating quick sketches into working code.

Last summer, a group of Garage interns tackled this problem by creating a prototype of their own: meet Ink to Code, a Microsoft Garage project, now available in the United States and Canada. Ink to Code is a Windows app that enables developers to draw wire frame sketches and export them into Visual Studio, expediting the process of prototyping Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Android user interfaces.

The Garage Internship takes a unique, entrepreneurial spin on the traditional big tech model; rather than embedding with a full-time organization, students work in groups of 5-6 as a distinct team, building their own, standalone project. Microsoft product groups vie for intern teams to work on proposed projects by pitching opportunities to interns at the start of the internship. This summer at the Microsoft New England Research and Development facility (fondly known as NERD) located in Cambridge, MA, 6 interns found their passion in the pitch for Ink to Code and signed up to work with the Xamarin team sponsoring the idea. 5 more interns studying at MIT joined the Garage team to continue working on the project.

Building a Better Napkin

Ink to Code Guide Feature Screenshot
Ink to Code captures sketches of basic visual elements and translates them into the beginnings of an app in Visual Studio

The sponsoring team and interns were both motivated by a desire to modernize the brainstorming and prototyping process from using napkin and white board sketches, to an experience that is more automated and cohesive with the Visual Studio suite. “We’ve all been in that situation as developers,” notes Alex Corrado, a Senior Software Engineer on the Xamarin Designer team, and one of the originators of the project. “Getting your ideas for a new app or feature onto paper is one of the fastest, most natural parts of the brainstorming. But then, you ultimately need to turn that sketch into code and sooner than you know it, 10, 20, 30 iterations of a sketch really add up.” The team turned to the Smart Ink built into UWP to preserve the natural desire to sketch, while bridging the gap between analog and digital with a companion app for Visual Studio. In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Smart Ink improves ink recognition with AI. The Ink to Code team leveraged this machine learning technology to save months on development time.

Ink to Code translates common design symbols into the beginnings of an app in Visual Studio. The first version supports basic app visual elements including labels, text fields, text paragraphs, images, and buttons. While Ink to Code can’t bring a full app vision to life, it significantly cuts down on creating the basic foundation of the app with the power of automation. Perhaps even more valuable is the way it enables developers and designers to collaborate differently. Ink to Code can be used as a more productive canvas in brainstorm meetings, or even more significantly, as a tool that can bridge the gap between collaborators with different levels of design or technical knowledge.

A Prototype for Prototypes

A core part of the Garage intern experience is conducting customer development and research, and the Ink to Code team worked with internal developers and designers to get feedback on their prototype. Today, the sponsoring Xamarin team releases the app to drastically expand the pool of feedback. Alex also shares, “Our goal is to hear from a wide variety of app creators, so we know what people like most and what we should add.”

“Developers are crazy diverse, and no experience could serve them 100% on day 1, but their feedback can help us get closer, faster,” adds George Matthews a Senior Program Manager in the Garage as well as a key originator of Ink to Code. The gut reaction of any app creator is to make sure your project is polished and perfect before shipping it, especially when releasing to an audience of your developer peers. The Ink to Code team is embracing the mindset of getting feedback early, and developing with the customer and for the customers.  George continues, “The feedback from our first customers will really help us stack rank our backlog.”

To check out Ink to Code and feed into the future direction of the project, download it at the Microsoft Store and share your thoughts via in-app feedback or UserVoice. Ink to Code is best with Visual Studio 2017.

Long-form content finds a home at Microsoft’s Story Labs | Special Edition Ragan’s PR Daily Awards

Website

Crew of content creators found stories, people and ideas to share.

Winner: Microsoft News Center

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Microsoft Story Labs epitomizes what a content-driven site can be. For that, it’s won first place in the “Website” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Content Marketing Awards.

Story Labs is all about long-form storytelling that doesn’t rub Microsoft in the reader’s face; rather, Microsoft’s technologies play a role in the stories but take a backseat to the stories themselves. 

Story Labs is a “boutique internal agency and creative SWAT team within the company’s communications/marketing division,” composed of journalists, designers, producers, animators, artists and photographers devoted to “finding the most interesting stories, people, and ideas from across the company and sharing them with the world through best-in-class storytelling.” 

Meandering through the site produces delightful surprises, such as an animated guide to blockchain, a look inside Microsoft’s Building 87 (which houses three futuristic hardware labs), a story on a Detroit wallpaper organization(which doesn’t mention Microsoft or any of its products, but shows one of the designers using a Microsoft computer in an image) and a visit with artist Hugh MacLeod (showcasing his illustrated guide to life at Microsoft). 

Anybody looking for a model content portal should check out this website.

Congratulations to Steve Wiens, Thomas Kohnstamm, Michael Wann and Doug Dawson. 

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Introducing Cortana in Skype—Microsoft’s intelligent assistant comes to your chat window | Skype Blogs

Conversation is central in our everyday lives. We chat to stay in touch, to share news and ideas that excite us, and to make plans for getting together with family and friends. But we often find ourselves in need of information—a fact to share, a place to meet, a movie time, or the perfect restaurant. Looking for information often requires interrupting the conversation, even if briefly, and switching apps to find what we’re looking for and bring it back into the conversation. But shouldn’t technology make our lives easier and truly bring the answers we need to our fingertips? At Skype we are certain about it, and it’s with this goal in mind, that we are bringing Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent assistant, into Skype to help you in your everyday conversations.

With Cortana’s in-context assistance, it’s easier to keep your conversations going by having Cortana suggest useful information based on your chat, like restaurant options or movie reviews. And if you’re in a time crunch? Cortana also suggests smart replies, allowing you to respond to any message quickly and easily—without typing a thing.

Cortana can also help you organize your day—no need to leave your conversations. Cortana can detect when you’re talking about scheduling events or things you have to do and will recommend setting up a reminder, which you will receive on all your devices that have Cortana enabled. So, whether you’re talking about weekend plans or an important work appointment, nothing will slip through the cracks.

In addition to being your ‘behind-the-scenes’ assistant, Cortana is also a contact in Skype. So now, you can have natural conversations in one-on-one chats with Cortana—just like you would with your friends, family, and coworkers. Get answers to your burning questions, like the name of the lead actor in your favorite movie or what the weather outlook is for the weekend. You can also ask Cortana to check your flight status, give you a stock quote, or suggest the best restaurants in your area. With Cortana at your disposal, every day can be a bit more productive—and a lot more fun.

At Skype, we’re committed to making your Skype experience even better. With Cortana, we’ve added a powerful, intelligent assistant to help you with your everyday tasks right where you are and save you time.

Cortana in Skype will be gradually rolled out, starting today, to our Android and iOS customers in the United States. Your feedback is key to continue improving Cortana, so please visit our community page and let us know what you think or send us your recommendations. To learn more about how to start using Cortana and find other quick answers, please visit the FAQs.

Wanted – cheapish fanless(or at least quiet)laptop

Hi all,

Not totally sure what I am looking for so open to ideas, basically something I can code on my lap with, must be fanless with a decent spec, minimum requirements are:

8gb ram min (big json files in node.js)
backlit keyboard
ideally a 1080 screen

Location: Bovey Tracey, UK

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – cheapish fanless laptop

Hi all,

Not totally sure what I am looking for so open to ideas, basically something I can code on my lap with, must be fanless with a decent spec, minimum requirements are:

8gb ram min (big json files in node.js)
backlit keyboard
ideally a 1080 screen

Location: Bovey Tracey, UK

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.