Microsoft to move further into cloud computing

Sorry to all the Microsoft fans out there, but if MS is getting into cloud computing (as they have by announcing MS Office and Windows 7 will feature cloud-connectivity), then you know that its probably already a happening thing. This article picked up by the automated tech news blog techmeme indicates that MS will shortly unveil a further cloud computing initiative for Windows Mobile devices that will compete with Apple’s MobileMe and the Google cloud-services built into the Android mobile OS. So How many Educators are tapping into such services? How many students are being taught about them? Read more about MS plans here:

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Look out, Microsoft Surface – the iTable might just trump you in every way

Seems like the natural digital interface possibilites of multi-touch, first championed for mass-consumption by the iPhone, and more recently touted as a feature of Windows 7, is spreading to other manufacturers as well. Here’s an example from the recent CES tech conference: (via crunchgear)

Who would have thought that one of the coolest things we’ve seen at CES would be hidden in a 10×10 booth at the very back of the South Hall? Like a diamond in the rough, there sat the PQ Labs iTablet.

They’ve essentially taken the idea behind the Microsoft Surface and have done it better in every way. It’s cheaper, it’s gorgeous, and perhaps most notably, it’s not a hulking monster.

Two of the most notable features of the Surface are its multitouch capabilities and the availability of a development SDK, both of which PQ Labs has matched (or, in the case of the SDK, plan to match soon). The number of fingers detected by the multitouch sensor is limited only by the individual software designer’s desire – the hardware itself supports as many simultaneous prods as you can throw at it.



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Student tests face hi-tech overhaul


Most modern educator probably realise by now assessment needs an overhaul to meet the needs of a
ubiquitous computing future just as much as learning does. So see this article for some hope:



Justine Ferrari | January 14, 2009

NATIONAL Curriculum Board head Barry McGaw will spearhead an international project to devise a new method for assessing school students, measuring the skills they possess rather than their ability to memorise facts.

The multi-million-dollar project was launched in London yesterday by three of the world’s leading technology companies — Cisco, Intel and Microsoft. They said the aim was to resolve the gap between what was taught in schools and the skills required in the workplace. 

The project aims to develop a computer-based assessment system that could be adopted around the world and would test students’ knowledge in cross-disciplinary problems, spelling the end of closed-book exams testing students’ memory. 

In a policy paper released at the Learning and Technology World Forum in London, the companies argue that reforming student assessment is the key to transforming education to bring it into the 21st century. 

“Businesses, entire economies and society generally have made dramatic changes over the past decades, much of it enabled by the widespread use of ICT (information and communications technology),” the paper says. 

“Yet most educational systems operate much as they did at the beginning of the 20th century. 

READ THE REST HERE:,,24911114-5013040,00.html

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