Could Microsoft’s LinkedIn revolutionize competency-based learning?

Higher education consultants say the Microsoft and LinkedIn pairing may change the competency game.

LinkedIn has the user data and focus on competency-based employment skills and career advancement. Microsoft has the computational ability to turn CBE into an HR goldmine. So will the Microsoft and LinkedIn pairing yield the innovation and validation needed to propel competency-based learning to its full revolutionary potential?

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Office Mix now works with Moodle open source LMS

Embedding audio, video, or virtual simulations is easier with integration

integration-MoodleMicrosoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech) recently announced a partnership with Remote-Learner to integrate Office 365 and the Moodle learning management system (LMS).

The LMS Moodle is now integrated with OneNote, OneDrive for Business, the Office 365 Outlook Calendar, and Office Mix.

Instructors can easily embed interactive online lessons created in PowerPoint with Office Mix. Lessons may contain audio, video, digital ink, interactive simulations or assessments.…Read More

edX and Microsoft Office Mix join to enhance online learning

A new partnership between edX and Office Mix aims to help faculty easily create, edit, and share courses with a host of interactive features for students.

edx-microsoft-onlineAlthough most online higher education courses today are presented as mere PowerPoint lectures, Microsoft has joined forces with edX in the hopes that their Office Mix service can revolutionize online learning on the platform.

“Our belief is that democratization of online and blended learning is a really important goal that will enhance learning and the technology of online courses,” said Anoop Gupta, a Microsoft Distinguished Scientist who worked extensively on the partnership. “We want to empower educators across the world to create excellent courses.”

Above all, the partnership between edX and Office Mix is aimed around making blended and online courses more interactive for students while still being very easy for faculty to create and edit.…Read More

Will faculty be interested in this Microsoft tech?

Only time will tell how the ripple effects of the wave of Microsoft’s Surface 3 cost will settle on higher education campuses

microsoft-surfaceWith the announcement of the Surface Pro 3, one can argue that Microsoft has effectively left the tablet market to the Apple iPad and Android devices, and seeks to create a market as a lightweight laptop replacement.

When Microsoft launched the Surface, it was promoted as a tablet device WITH a keyboard, implying that was an advantage over the iPad. Now that they have seemingly lost that battle to the nemesis from Cupertino, they are marketing the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop WITHOUT a keyboard. What once was an attachable feature is now a detachable one.

The second area where Microsoft has made a shift is in the area of price. The initial price of the Microsoft Surface RT was in the ballpark of the cost of the Apple iPad which was between $400 and $500. This was in line with its declaration of being an “iPad-killer.”…Read More

Bill Gates: MOOC providers should take a lesson from for-profit college sector

MOOCs have sported completion rates around 10 percent.

Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates said universities that provide massive open online courses (MOOCs) should engage in more “hand holding” with students as a way to stem the sky-high dropout rate in the online educational settings.

Gates, while answering audience questions July 15 at Microsoft Research’s Faculty Summit, suggested ways MOOCs could better serve traditional and nontraditional students, including taking a page from the often-maligned for-profit college industry.

Read more about MOOCs in higher education…
For-profit college entreprenuer shifts to MOOCs
Top 10 reasons for low MOOC completion rates…Read More

Microsoft plans large volume production of surface

Microsoft Corp. seems to be serious about its foray into the tablet market – the software giant is planning large volume production of its first tablet computer, Surface, in the fourth quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to component suppliers in Asia, Microsoft has placed orders to produce 3 million to 5 million of these tablets in the fourth quarter. That is similar to the orders that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets and Google’s Nexus 7 tablets, these suppliers say. Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of a smaller tablet for the Cupertino, Calif. company in the fourth quarter. Mass production of the Surface tablets began earlier this month, according to two people familiar with the situation…

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Microsoft Surface to officially surface on October 26th

Just in time for Halloween (and the launch of Windows 8), Microsoft (MSFT) has revealed that it plans on releasing its first Surface tablets on October 26th, BGR reports. Microsoft buried the Surface release date in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, where it told the SEC that “on October 26th… we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”

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All Windows 8 apps will offer a try-it-before-you-buy-it feature

There’s nothing worse than shelling out a couple bucks on an app, only to find out that it’s absolutely terrible, right? Well, Microsoft has a plan to eliminate “app regret” — when you’re considering an app from the upcoming Windows 8 Store, you’ll be able to try it for free for seven days before you have to shell out cash for it, Tecca reports. The free trial program may be a necessary tool for Microsoft to overcome the challenges posed by their house minimum: All Windows 8 apps will have a price tag of $1.49 or higher (up to $999.99). That’s significantly higher than the Apple App Store’s 99-cent minimum. Microsoft no doubt hopes higher sales prices will mean more revenue — after all, the company just posted their first ever net loss last quarter. While you’re able to return Android apps for a refund within 15 minutes of purchase, Microsoft is truly offering a real try-it-before-you-buy-it option…

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Microsoft unveils Office 2013, announces free consumer preview

Microsoft is touting the social, connected and tactile features of the next version of its desktop publishing software, Microsoft Office 2013, RelaxNews reports. The new Office is designed to work on desktop PCs as well as on tablets running the company’s Windows 8 operating system. The software has been enhanced with social and cloud features and supports touch (but not as well as it should says Ars Technica), stylus, mouse and keyboard input.

“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference in San Francisco on July 16. “The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”

Office 2013 has been redesigned to incorporate elements of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro design aesthetic — OneNote and Lync are the first two apps to get the full “touch-first” Windows 8 Metro-look experience — and automatically saves documents in the cloud with SkyDrive……Read More

Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ tablet aims for productivity

Microsoft has made software for tablets since 2002.

Microsoft has unveiled a new tablet computer, Surface, that attempts to take advantage of one of the few criticisms of Apple’s iPad, particularly among educators—that it is better for consuming content than creating it.

The software maker said June 18 that its device will attach to a removable rubberized keyboard that also acts like a book cover.

CEO Steve Ballmer said Surface will be an entertainment and media consumption device “without compromising the productivity that PCs are uniquely known for.”…Read More