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Students ‘will use tech to embrace seamless learning’

The next decade will see a shift in how children are taught in schools, with technology helping young people and teachers place a greater emphasis on learning outside the classroom.

That’s the view of Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Education at Microsoft, who delivered a keynote speech at the annual Bett educational technology conference in London on Wednesday.

Salcito said that students today were increasingly keen to start having an impact the world, and are using technology to develop their own ways of learning that fit in with their personal lives. Rather than using tech for the sake of it, more young people were using it to learn new skills and collaborate. That will see teachers and their pupils working more closely together to extend education from hour-long, classroom-based lessons into any place, at any time, on any device.

“I think a big theme of the next decade is technology that enables schools to act as a learning hub, a central place for education, but the focus is on the rest of a student’s learning pathway, not just what happens in the classroom,” Salcito said.

“When you think about the three big investments that schools make, they’re constantly thinking about what’s happening with instruction in the classroom, what’s happening with the operations of their school, and also learning beyond the classroom. Over the past few decades, the focus has been heavily weighted on the classroom experience. I think we will see a shift, where schools will create a foundation of inclusive, flexible, data-driven buildings and spaces that will enable students to learn beyond those walls.”

Anthony Salcito speaks on stage at BETT
Anthony Salcito delivers his keynote at Bett

Salcito’s keynote at Bett, an event attended by 850 companies and nearly 35,000 people, was interspersed with talks from Barbara Holzapfel, General Manager of Education Marketing at Microsoft, and Daniel McDuff, a Principal Researcher at the company.

Holzapfel pointed to upcoming research Microsoft has conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit. It showed teachers understood the value of social and emotional learning. Technology could “help students and teachers connect”, she said.

Salcito pointed to two Microsoft tools that are already helping teachers and their students work better together – and apart.

PowerPoint Live is allowing young people to remotely log into an interactive presentation delivered by an educator. That can be automatically translated into more than 60 languages with a transcript that can be studied after the lesson has finished.

Meanwhile, Teams is helping entire classes collaborate while they are at home and in the classroom, allowing them to personalise their learning and get what they need, when they need it.

Barbara Holzapfel, General Manager of Education Marketing at Microsoft, speaks on stage at BETT
Barbara Holzapfel spoke about Microsoft’s latest education research

Rather than feel under threat from technology, teachers will be crucial in this new world of always-on learning, both Salcito and Holzapfel stated.

“Technology is changing the world,” he said. “The way in which we work and the jobs we will need are becoming far more dynamic; new careers are being invented and created, while existing careers are changing. We, as people, have got to be nimble and constantly adjust, too.

“That’s why educators are so important and why we need innovative teachers. The need for schools to get students ready to fundamentally change the world is in progress. What we want educators to do is not be bound by the structure of a 40-minute lecture, classroom dynamic or assessment that’s connected to a curriculum, but recognise their goal and mission to expand upon every student’s potential.

“The best innovation that inspires most young people is the teacher.”

Teachers across the world are facing increased workloads and pressure. The UK government recently announced an increase in starting salaries for those joining the profession in England in a bid to attract more graduates into classrooms. In Microsoft’s upcoming research, nearly 70 percent of teachers cited time constraints as their biggest hurdle to providing more personalized content to their students. It revealed technology can help clear away those obstacles by freeing up as much as 30 percent of teachers’ time, so they can spend more time responding to individual and group needs.

Microsoft stand at BETT
Microsoft is a worldwide partner of Bett

Salcito said those in charge of schools and education systems need to shift their focus from tests and grades to helping young people learn in a way that will help them build the right skills for the future. All jobs will use technology in some way, he added, whether it’s a lawyer using artificial intelligence to scan through large amounts of text, or a painter selling their artwork online.

“We need to recognise that every student learns differently and has different aspirations and accessibility needs,” he said. “Personalised learning can unleash an individual to be their best, to connect their passions, energy, talents, interests, their special needs, to make their learning journey unique and untethered by the bounds of classrooms, schedules and the curriculum.

“We’ve got to shift our focus away from supporting and progressing the system, to elevating the potential of all our children. That’s what technology is able to do. I think we’ve got to celebrate that shift, and remember that leaders need to shift their thinking and ask different questions about what’s possible.”

Salcito’s speech came on the first day of Bett, which runs for four days at the ExCeL. Microsoft is a worldwide partner of the event, with a large stand showcasing its work in digital skills and coding, as well as Surface, third-party devices designed for the classroom, and Minecraft: Education Edition.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Wanted – MacBook 12inch

Hi all,

I will be in the market for MacBook 12 inch next month.
Cheap as possible please not fuss about condition as long as it works
Anyone thinking about selling soon ?
Happy to collected within reason as well.

Thanks

Location
Chichester

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Wanted – MacBook 12inch

Hi all,

I will be in the market for MacBook 12 inch next month.
Cheap as possible please not fuss about condition as long as it works
Anyone thinking about selling soon ?
Happy to collected within reason as well.

Thanks

Location
Chichester

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Tableau 2020.1 unveiled for beta testing

Though a couple of weeks still remain in 2019, Tableau is turning its attention to next year, and on Wednesday rolled out Tableau 2020.1 for beta testing.

Though not yet available to the general public, the beta version of Tableau 2020.1 includes 21 features.

Among them are an update to Explain Data, an augmented intelligence product built directly in Tableau that uses statistical algorithms to analyze data and then explain what is driving specific data points. The update aims to improve the performance of Explain Data — first unveiled in Tableau 2019.3 — for wide data sets, and includes refined models to help customers derive deeper insight from their data.

In addition, Tableau 2020.1 includes Dynamic Parameters, which saves users the cumbersome task of republishing a workbook with parameters every time the underlying data changes by performing automatic updates. It also includes enhanced map building prowess, an add-on to Tableau Data Management that will speed up the process of getting to the right data and improved connectors to Salesforce and Snowflake.

Despite the array of updates and new offerings, the 21 features included in the beta version of Tableau 2020.1 are modest improvements rather than major new capabilities, analysts said.

“It’s all organic growth, incremental improvements,” said Boris Evelson, principal analyst at Forrester. “[Tools like] Explain Data have been a core feature of leading enterprise BI platforms for a while now.”

Similarly, Wayne Eckerson, founder and principal consultant of Eckerson Group, noted that the platform contains upgrades but he said they are not innovative new features that will force other vendors to react.

Tableau's latest platform update, now in beta testing, includes an update to Explain Data.
Tableau 2020.1, just released for beta testing, includes an update to Explain Data, an AI tool from the vendor that attempts to explain the reasons behind data points.

“There are a lot of incremental improvements,” he said, “and there’s more movement to Tableau Server and [Tableau Online] to achieve parity with Tableau Desktop.”

There are a lot of incremental improvements, and there’s more movement to Tableau Server and [Tableau Online] to achieve parity with Tableau Desktop.
Wayne EckersonFounder and principal consultant, Eckerson Group

One feature not included in Tableau 2020.1 is a low-code data modeling tool.

Tableau, which is based in Seattle, revealed on its website that it plans to provide new data modeling capabilities that will allow customers to analyze data without having to learn advanced database concepts or write custom SQL code.

The capability, however, is only in the alpha testing stage at this point.

“That could be interesting,” Eckerson. “I suspect it’s a semantic layer, which Tableau has never really had. That would be big news. They need that to keep up with Power BI, which is one of its key differences with Tableau.”

Though not a specific feature, something else not evident in Tableau 2020.1 — at least not in any obvious way — is influence of Tableau’s acquisition by Salesforce.

Tableau 2020.1 marks Tableau’s second platform update since Nov. 5, when Salesforce and Tableau finally received regulatory approval to proceed with their merger and were finally allowed to begin working together. But the first update, Tableau 2019.4, came just a day after the companies were freed from their regulatory holdup and they never had a chance to join forces.

Five weeks have passed since the lifting of regulatory restrictions and the beta release of Tableau 2020.1, but that’s still not enough time for Salesforce and Tableau to significantly collaborate on technology.

The only mention of Salesforce among the 21 features in Tableau 2020.1 is the improved connector.

“I’ve seen no indications of Tableau and Salesforce doing any integrations as of yet,” Evelson said, “so this is all business as usual for Tableau.”

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For Sale – AORUS X5V7CF3. i7-7820hk, 1070 8gb, 32gb ddr4, 512gb m2, 1tb 7200, 4K gsync.

Hey all. I played 20 minutes of Doom in 4K on this laptop. Then over the next year I only turned it on 10 times or so to use Excel. Im selling simply because I don’t use it. With such little use everything is still in great condition as can be seen from the pictures. There is one tiny mark on the top of the laptop about 1mm in size, beyond that there isn’t another mark or blemish to be seen.

Im including my Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse for whoever buys this laptop. I bought the…

AORUS X5V7CF3. i7-7820hk, 1070 8gb, 32gb ddr4, 512gb m2, 1tb 7200, 4K gsync.

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Wi-Fi Certified 6 launches new era for wireless connectivity

The next generation of Wi-Fi, originally known as 802.11ax, but now branded as Wi-Fi Certified 6, is ready for broad deployment.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has made public the availability of the Wi-Fi Certified 6 certification program that aims to qualify and help ensure that devices are compliant and interoperable with the new Wi-Fi standard. Among the numerous benefits that Wi-Fi 6 promises are boosted capacity and bandwidth speeds as well as improved energy efficiency over previous Wi-Fi standards.

“Wi-Fi 6 is most definitely a game-changer technology,” said Abel Nevarez, an analyst at IHS Markit Technology. “Not only will it increase capacity, interoperability and efficiency, but it’ll also make Wi-Fi access more secure, which will allow for new and innovative monetization schemes.”

Nevarez added that the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Sept. 16 rollout of the certification program is a big milestone for getting Wi-Fi Certified 6 handsets and routers into the hands of data-hungry consumers.

Why Wi-Fi Certified 6 matters

The certification itself is important because it helps guarantee that there will be a certain base level of interoperability among devices and infrastructures, said Anshel Sag, an analyst with Moor Insights and Strategy.

The IEEE 802.11ax standard that Wi-Fi Certified 6 is based on has many features, but not everyone will implement them all, Sag noted. The result could be interoperability problems, so by creating a minimum spec and certain set of interoperability expectations, the Wi-Fi Alliance has created a certification that helps both consumers and businesses.

Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing for the Wi-Fi Alliance, noted that his organization had been working for many years on the certification effort leading up the formal rollout on Sept. 16.

Wi-Fi 6 is most definitely a game-changer technology.
Abel NevarezAnalyst, IHS Markit Technology

Robinson noted that Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs supporting new generations of Wi-Fi, are generally announced every five to seven years. The last was Wi-Fi Certified ac in 2013, which supported the IEEE 802.11ac standard.

He said that certification typically serves as an inflection point for industry adoption of a technology.

“We expect service providers, both fixed and mobile, to deploy the technology and expect users will very soon begin seeing the benefits of the technology, which includes 4x capacity and speeds of Wi-Fi 5,” Robinson said.

Wi-Fi Certified 6 in the enterprise

Meanwhile, one of the main advantages of Wi-Fi 6 is the improved efficiency of the Wi-Fi medium — that’s the reason why the standard uses the term High Efficiency, or HE, according to Anil Gupta, co-founder and CTO of Wi-Fi assurance vendor Wyebot, based in Marlborough, Mass.

Places that would benefit from Wi-Fi 6 are high-density areas like a cafeterias, stadiums and auditoriums. Other workspaces within an enterprise may not necessarily have the density of people or enough people or Wi-Fi devices to justify a full rip-and-replace upgrade to access points with Wi-Fi 6 technology.

“The most common applications within enterprises and different verticals that may require high-speed performance are video and web-conferencing,” Gupta said. “However, the speeds offered by 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) are more than enough to support such applications.”

In the view of Abhijit Sunil, a Forrester analyst, Wi-Fi Certified 6 will open up many use cases that can benefit from more reliable and faster connections, especially in closed spaces that were attributed or similar to those touted for 5G — such as office collaboration spaces and smart homes.

“Wi-Fi 6 will in no way replace 5G, but this milestone enables many use cases to be tested and when 5G matures in the near future, to complement high-speed connectivity to the internet,” Sunil said.

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Analyzing data from space – the ultimate intelligent edge scenario – The Official Microsoft Blog

Space represents the next frontier for cloud computing, and Microsoft’s unique approach to partnerships with pioneering companies in the space industry means together we can build platforms and tools that foster significant leaps forward, helping us gain deeper insights from the data gleaned from space.

One of the primary challenges for this industry is the sheer amount of data available from satellites and the infrastructure required to bring this data to ground, analyze the data and then transport it to where it’s needed. With almost 3,000 new satellites forecast to launch by 20261 and a threefold increase in the number of small satellite launches per year, the magnitude of this challenge is growing rapidly.

Essentially, this is the ultimate intelligent edge scenario – where massive amounts of data must be processed at the edge – whether that edge is in space or on the ground. Then the data can be directed to where it’s needed for further analytics or combined with other data sources to make connections that simply weren’t possible before.

DIU chooses Microsoft and Ball Aerospace for space analytics

To help with these challenges, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) just selected Microsoft and Ball Aerospace to build a solution demonstrating agile cloud processing capabilities in support of the U.S. Air Force’s Commercially Augmented Space Inter Networked Operations (CASINO) project.

With the aim of making satellite data more actionable more quickly, Ball Aerospace and Microsoft teamed up to answer the question: “what would it take to completely transform what a ground station looks like, and downlink that data directly to the cloud?”

The solution involves placing electronically steered flat panel antennas on the roof of a Microsoft datacenter. These phased array antennas don’t require much power and need only a couple of square meters of roof space. This innovation can connect multiple low earth orbit (LEO) satellites with a single antenna aperture, significantly accelerating the delivery rate of data from satellite to end user with data piped directly into Microsoft Azure from the rooftop array.

Analytics for a massive confluence of data

Azure provides the foundational engine for Ball Aerospace algorithms in this project, processing worldwide data streams from up to 20 satellites. With the data now in Azure, customers can direct that data to where it best serves the mission need, whether that’s moving it to Azure Government to meet compliance requirements such as ITAR or combining it with data from other sources, such as weather and radar maps, to gain more meaningful insights.

In working with Microsoft, Steve Smith, Vice President and General Manager, Systems Engineering Solutions at Ball Aerospace called this type of data processing system, which leverages Ball phased array technology and imagery exploitation algorithms in Azure, “flexible and scalable – designed to support additional satellites and processing capabilities. This type of data processing in the cloud provides actionable, relevant information quickly and more cost-effectively to the end user.”

With Azure, customers gain its advanced analytics capabilities such as Azure Machine Learning and Azure AI. This enables end users to build models and make predictions based on a confluence of data coming from multiple sources, including multiple concurrent satellite feeds. Customers can also harness Microsoft’s global fiber network to rapidly deliver the data to where it’s needed using services such as ExpressRoute and ExpressRoute Global Reach. In addition, ExpressRoute now enables customers to ingest satellite data from several new connectivity partners to address the challenges of operating in remote locations.

For tactical units in the field, this technology can be replicated to bring information to where it’s needed, even in disconnected scenarios. As an example, phased array antennas mounted to a mobile unit can pipe data directly into a tactical datacenter or Data Box Edge appliance, delivering unprecedented situational awareness in remote locations.

A similar approach can be used for commercial applications, including geological exploration and environmental monitoring in disconnected or intermittently connected scenarios. Ball Aerospace specializes in weather satellites, and now customers can more quickly get that data down and combine it with locally sourced data in Azure, whether for agricultural, ecological, or disaster response scenarios.

This partnership with Ball Aerospace enables us to bring satellite data to ground and cloud faster than ever, leapfrogging other solutions on the market. Our joint innovation in direct satellite-to-cloud communication and accelerated data processing provides the Department of Defense, including the Air Force, with entirely new capabilities to explore as they continue to advance their mission.

  1. https://www.satellitetoday.com/innovation/2017/10/12/satellite-launches-increase-threefold-next-decade/

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Showcasing new business opportunities with the Microsoft Automotive Accelerator – Dynamics 365 Blog

Starting next week at IAA – New Mobility World, Microsoft will join 1000+ exhibitors and 250,000 visitors from approximately 39 countries to exhibit and explore immersive technologies, visionary concepts like electromobility, and many industry disruptors in Frankfurt. This year at IAA – New Mobility World asks the questions: “How are society, business, indeed our whole way of life changing and how does this affect our mobility? What can new technologies offer us?”

Shaping the transformation of the automotive industry

Today, Microsoft partners with automotive companies to revolutionize mobility with digital technology—building differentiated experiences, accelerating automotive innovation, monetizing data and services, and redefining transportation for a cleaner, safer world. Learn more about Microsoft’s perspective on navigating the future of autonomous vehicles.

With Microsoft Business Applications, our automotive partners, suppliers, and retailers can develop new customer insights and create omnichannel customer experiences with the Microsoft Automotive Accelerator.

Creating omnichannel customer experiences

Microsoft Industry Accelerators are a packaged and prepopulated common data model (CDM) using industry standards, built on Microsoft 365, Azure, and Dynamics 365. Industry accelerators enable customers and ISVs to build industry solutions on Microsoft technology by enabling specific industry business processes or scenarios for partners to develop industry solutions.

The Microsoft Automotive Accelerator allows users to schedule appointments and automotive services, facilitated through proactive communications. Microsoft partners gain access to a wide range of industry-standard entities and data relationships, allowing for rapid development of new automotive solutions. Working with our partners and industry leaders, the accelerator was developed to help auto makers, dealerships, and service providers quickly add more value for their customers.

For auto makers, the accelerator offers a vehicle and equipment management focus which allows device details and specifications within our data model to allow for the management and tracking of vehicles and devices. For dealerships and service providers, the accelerator includes a service and post-sales focus helping create connected customer experiences with a holistic view of customers, from service appointments to contracts and warranties.

Building new solutions with partners

This year at IAA – New Mobility World, Annata will showcase how their Annata 365 solutions, built on Microsoft technology with the Automotive Accelerator, help automotive and equipment businesses meet business challenges while taking advantages of new opportunities in the market.

The new Annata 365 for Sales solution adds industry-specific functionality to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, and is targeted specifically at driving a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales processes within the ever-evolving automotive industry. Annata 365 and the Microsoft Power Platform provide built-in analytics and intelligence, task-based apps, and omnichannel capabilities to drive digital transformation and innovation in any automotive organization.

We will also highlight our partnership with Adobe at IAA. Adobe and Microsoft’s strategic partnership and integrations allow an end-to-end customer experience management solution for experience creation, marketing, advertising, analytics, and commerce. This allows companies to deliver consistent and compelling experiences at each touch point with a customer, accelerating business growth throughout the customer journey.

Get the full story at IAA

These are just a few of the ways we’re partnering with organizations like Annata and Adobe to transform the automotive industry with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. If you are attending IAA, visit our booth at the Frankfurt Exhibition Hall 5, Stand C21, to experience our full suite of technologies and chat with customers and partners.

For more information about our location and sessions at this event, please see our event site.

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It’s back to school and back to innovation with free tools for student developers – The Official Microsoft Blog

It sneaks up on me every year. One minute, my family is fully ensconced in summer break, the next we’re deep into school supply lists and pre-work to prep for the first day back.

This year, as I’ve helped my own students get ready to go back to school, I’ve been thinking about all the cool (and free!) offerings Microsoft provides to bridge the technology gap for student developers. We’re committed to empowering the next generation of creators with access to technology and training – after all, our future is in their hands! – and we have a little healthy competition thrown in for good measure. Here are a few of the offers that students can take advantage of today and throughout their educations:

One of the newest additions to our lineup, developer hub GitHub offers their Student Developer Pack, which provides access to the best real-world developer tools and training. Students who join the Pack receive GitHub Pro at no charge while in school, plus exclusive offers from GitHub Education partners, including Microsoft.

Microsoft Azure for Students offers a free annual renewal subscription to our top cloud services, plus access to dozens of other Azure and artificial intelligence (AI) tools and training. Students can build skills in trending tech including data science, AI, machine learning and other areas with access to professional developer tools like Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft Education has a plethora of resources available for students and educators, who can get Office 365 free as well, which includes powerful tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams and a lot more. This isn’t a trial – it’s a full-featured product that is free while the student is in school and offered at a big discount after graduation. Educators also have a wealth of resources available to them to help students engage with STEM, from customized training opportunities to unique Minecraft editions to access to special guest speakers.

For college and university students, the annual Imagine Cup competition is now open for entry. I’m continually impressed by the impactful ideas that come out of Imagine Cup – many of which go on to become full-fledged products. But big ideas that make a difference aren’t born in a vacuum, and they can’t be achieved alone. I think that’s one of the things that makes Imagine Cup so special. Students learn how to work together, be resourceful, meet deadlines and a select few receive funding to help take their ideas to the next level.

This year’s Imagine Cup theme is AI for Good. Driven by inspiration and a growing sense of purpose, we’ve seen student competitors create applications tackling some of the world’s biggest social, environmental and health challenges – one user at a time – and that’s what Imagine Cup is all about! So, it only makes sense that there is a stronger focus on AI this year. It’s one of the most promising ways technology can help us be more inclusive, effective and productive. I encourage students with a dream of a better future and an idea to sign up and get to work.  I’m excited to see where the competitors take the challenge this year – and where the competition takes them.

Students who want to be a force for good and make a difference in their communities – while learning and sharing Microsoft technologies with their peers – can apply to be a Microsoft Student Partner, a program that lets student leaders gain experiences, access exclusive resources and gather real-world technical and career skills.

Finally, LinkedIn offers a wide variety of networking and educational opportunities to support students when it comes time to look for a job, learn a new skill or connect with classmates. A current and accurate LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways to build and maintain a career network.

Our goal is for all students to have access to the technology and support they need to make their dreams come true. Please share these offerings with the students in your life, and if you are a student, I hope you’ll take advantage of one or more of them to take your ideas to the next level this year.

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