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General EduGeek News/Announcements Thread, EduGeek@Microsoft 24th Feb 2011 in EduGeek Stuff; Yeah the Primary Breakout was quite good. Although there were some differences in opinion about whther the EES will be ...
  1. #166
    superfletch's Avatar
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    Yeah the Primary Breakout was quite good. Although there were some differences in opinion about whther the EES will be good or not for smaller schools, I guess the honest answer will depend on the school.

    Someone made an excellent point about loads of the products on offer (not just MS ones) addressing issues at the wrong ends of the education market.

    The point made was that why does a secondary, HE or FE student need an ID service to seamlessly move and authenticate them from one web application or domain to another when those kids can actually remember their passwords. It's the children at the younger end and in the special schools who genuinely need this sort of product yet the schools catering for these kids are prioced out of those markets.

    We talked about MultiPoint Server and it's various different applications in different scenarios.

    There were also some really cool tools demonstrated that I hadn't seen before one was Auto Collage, which as the name suggests creates nice looking collages, automatically.

    As Witch says we discussed how MS gets info out to schools and tried to offer some idea of how communication can be improved as things don't seem to be working with the current aggregated model in use (LA's and RBC's).

    It would have been even better if some snot nosed looking lad hadn't referred to it as being "Brownies" on the way out. It's all right though, I think I saw his mum telling him off when she picked him up.
    Last edited by superfletch; 26th February 2011 at 08:54 PM.

  2. #167

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superfletch View Post
    It would have been even better if some snot nosed looking lad hadn't referred to it as being "Brownies" on the way out. It's all right though, I think I saw his mum telling him off when she picked him up.
    That was actually a friend of mine and he'll be well chuffed to be referred to as 'lad' as he's in his mid-30s! He was only taking the mick out of me, not anyone else, as we used to work together at my last school (a secondary).

    I asked them to pass on a request for more step-by-step noddy instructions like the App-V Trial Guide that gives you the bog-standard install of a product that you can then play with, without having to wade through 3 chapters of deployment planning like most MS documentation.

    Also mentioned that the only case studies we ever see are full the all-singing all-dancing implementation of something when there's value in showing off the basics to schools with limited resources (i.e. we hear all about managed, clustered, automatic failover Hyper-V when just having the servers virtualised onto one box is worth it on its own).

  3. #168

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    Oh, and while we're at it, here's the MST I mentioned that I use to ensure that the AutoCollage MSI doesn't hang when deployed through GPO Software Installation (on XP it tries to do a WGA check that requires the user to click next on a dialog that doesn't exist during GPO installation).

    As usual, test before deploying! You never know, they may have fixed the installer so it doesn't do it any more.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #169
    superfletch's Avatar
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    Fair enough - I didn't realise it was a friendly comment in quite that way - sincerest apologies. It did feel like more of a p155 take since it came just as we were leaving the room!

    As regard the age thing maybe I got the faces mixed up of who said it (or maybe not if it keeps your mate happy). I just clocked a very young looking lad as I heard the comment and maybe that is why I felt so annoyed by it.

    On the aggregation thing and getting messages across, I reckon MS could release an education podcast every so often with the latest info in it. Perhaps get a couple of edugeekers on board?


    Once again as others have said, thanks so much to everyone involved in organising this event.
    Last edited by superfletch; 26th February 2011 at 11:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superfletch View Post
    Fair enough - I didn't realise it was a friendly comment in quite that way - sincerest apologies. It did feel like more of a p155 take since it came just as we were leaving the room!

    As regard the age thing maybe I got the faces mixed up of who said it (or maybe not if it keeps your mate happy). I just clocked a very young looking lad as I heard the comment and maybe that is why I felt so annoyed by it.

    On the aggregation thing and getting messages across, I reckon MS could release an education podcast every so often with the latest info in it. Perhaps get a couple of edugeekers on board?


    Once again as others have said, thanks so much to everyone involved in organising this event.
    This is being worked on as we speak

  6. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by superfletch View Post
    As regard the age thing maybe I got the faces mixed up of who said it (or maybe not if it keeps your mate happy). I just clocked a very young looking lad as I heard the comment and maybe that is why I felt so annoyed by it.
    Can't visualise "the lad" but The AT looks only about 21! Scary how well some of our members are wearing sompared to others! As we found out on the Wednesday night in the bar when one member revealed his age :O that was scary how well some of you are wearing!

  7. #172

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    I can't really add much to what was said by the others. I hope we managed to point out that, by pricing primaries and small independents out of the market, they were losing business from a considerable number of schools - there are are five times the number of primary schools to secondary schools. Hopefully the thought of losing such a huge amount of business will focus M$s attention a bit better.

    Assumptions were being made by M$ about pyramids and clusters that don't actually happen and with more and more academies on the scene, fewer schools will be under LA control. The 'independent' half of the room was also able to explain that nothing happens in our schools without the goodwill of the Bursar, so the ISBA might be a good starting point for getting to us.

  8. #173

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    The pyramids and clusters are meant to happen even more under the academy / free school agenda, as individual schools are able to decide who to work with rather than only able to do it with those schools the LA tell them to.

    I know MS are having some discussions about this already (as many LAs hold select agreements on behalf of schools) so I should be able to shed some light about how it will affect Northants at least ... though other LAs might try to take a 'more controlling' approach.

    If people are finding that the move to academies is not stopping people working in groups for aggregated purchase then it should be raised with OGC ... and Bursars / Business Managers associations will indeed be the key

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Can't visualise "the lad" but The AT looks only about 21!
    And they say 'Just for Men' doesn't work.

  10. #175

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    Actually, I think M$ were pretty brave... would you want to be shut in a small room with me, witch, angrytechnician, etc explaining our points of view...? They did come out alive!

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    I sat in the Primary breakout and mainly just listened to what the rest of you had to say, it was interesting to hear what others thought of EES. When it was first announced, and figures were being floated around in terms of savings etc, I thought great and went and spoke to the school bursar about it. We are very lucky to be in the position to be on the schools agreement presently (trying to remove the capital expense and ensure we are keeping our pupils up to date) and pretty happy with it, but in the cost savings culture we are in, I saw it as a bit of a lifeline to be able to able to afford to do some blue sky advancement.
    My fear now is that Schools agreement will disappear and will between EES and select. Hopefully Microsoft will have a heads together and realise they are giving us a rough deal.

    Microsoft education comms would be fantastic. Its by chance I've clicked on the sidebar on the edugeek and got the front page of their schools blog. Being a bit of an apple freak, I frequently go to their website and go to the education section in that where it has more realistic case studies, but also tailors the site to different audiences, breaking it into school admins, teachers, IT pros with the information section it provides. Microsoft need to realise how aweful some LAs are and take matters into their own hands in terms of talking to schools.

  12. #177

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The pyramids and clusters are meant to happen even more under the academy / free school agenda, as individual schools are able to decide who to work with rather than only able to do it with those schools the LA tell them to.
    One of the problems that was mentioned was that there are strict rules concerning affiliation. For instance there is no 'affiliation' between an academy and its primary feeder schools as the feeder schools are LA controlled and the academy is a third-party trust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    One of the problems that was mentioned was that there are strict rules concerning affiliation. For instance there is no 'affiliation' between an academy and its primary feeder schools as the feeder schools are LA controlled and the academy is a third-party trust.
    Very much agree this is an area of issue, they are expecting very formal, maybe even going as far as contractually agreed, working together rather than just schools doing it. We have a group with our feeder schools but its all good will and agreed with heads in the main to work together, but from what I understood this wouldn't be good enough for me to pool the groups EES purchases They would expect a formal partnership approved with the LA for this to go ahead.

    Also goes kind of against what some LAs are doing which is encouraging the schools themselves to work together as a group and solve things, for example in my county we are looking at as a group of secondary's county wide, working with a supplier off the OGC framework to potentially procure the "summer refresh" set of PCs and try and gain a better price by trying to pool all our orders ourselves and working out the required specifications etc.... This is completely informal and wouldn't as far as I understood give anything about EES which is a shame but this method is what I suspect is more common in schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesmay View Post
    My fear now is that Schools agreement will disappear and will between EES and select. Hopefully Microsoft will have a heads together and realise they are giving us a rough deal.
    From speaking to them after - my understanding is that SA is going nowhere

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Can't visualise "the lad" but The AT looks only about 21! Scary how well some of our members are wearing sompared to others! As we found out on the Wednesday night in the bar when one member revealed his age :O that was scary how well some of you are wearing!
    And which member be that?? So much of that evening (and the following one) got very blurred...



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