Well, it has been an unbelievably busy start to the New Year, both personally and from a Microsoft perspective. As you may (or may not) know I am responsible for for both the Microsoft PiLs Programmes in NI as well as the Education Business Account Management (i.e.-revenue).
Withe regards to Microsoft PiLs, I had the opportunity to attend BETT last week in London. To say that Microsoft knows how to keep your days busy would be a major understatement. Right from the start on Monday there was an amazing array of events on. Microsoft Corp with it’s partners hosted the Education World Forum. The forum’s global remit offers unparalleled opportunity for ministerial teams from all participating countries to address economic and educational challenges, share experiences and establish a cooperative, future-proof approach to education.
I attended an all-day Michael Fullan workshop for the Microsoft Innovative Schools with over 100 Principals and Head Teachers in attendance. That was followed-up on Tuesday with a journey down to Cornwallis Academy in Kent to see their take on the School of the Future. Over 300 educators joined us for that!! On Wednesday we hosted the Education Leaders Briefing at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair. This was a gathering of Senior Educators from Government and Educational bodies from over 70 countries.
The major announcement on Wednesday, was the launch of the NEW AND IMPROVED Partners in Learning Network. This will be a totally new experience for those Teachers who joined the previous version and should offer a much greater experience in both Resources, sharing, collaboration certifications and so on. You will need to re-join (register) on the new site even if you are already registered on the old site.
This an exciting new direction for the Partners in Learning Network that should bring real value to Teachers across the world. If you had joined the previous network (on my urgings ) please take a few minutes to re-register and start using this new amazing resource. Why not “Like” PiLs on Facebook and follow PiLs on Twitter when you have the time?
On Thursday there was a terrific Schools Solution workshop for school ICT leads on our Educational architecture stack led by Mike Lloyd and others. Friday the WE team offered a session on “Playful Learning” for teachers to familiarise themselves with our software for Education and how to use it in the classroom to deliver 21st Century Skills.
On the business side of things, I’m happy to say that Classroom 2000 (C2k) has named their preferred vendor for the managed service for the next 5 years. After a long an well fought battle Northgate Managed Services won out over their competitors Fujitsu and HP. This service deliver the complete ICT package (desktop, infrastructure, data centre, and connectivity) to all 1230 schools (Primary and Post Primary) in Northern Ireland. There will be more updates in the coming weeks and months to give more details on what role Microsoft will be playing in that winning bid but be assured we are there!!
There is also a whole lot more going on in both the PiLs/Programmes space and the Business space, but I don’t want to bore you all with the details See you soon and bookmark/RSS this site for future updates