I’m currently in East London for the BETT Show on behalf of Microsoft. I’m there to talk about Microsoft Surface, Office 365 for education, Windows 8, and present in our theater on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in education.
On my travels around The ExCeL center I thought I’d take a video of what it’s like to wander around BETT, and a brief tour of our stand.
If you’re coming to BETT this year pop by and say hello!
I recorded this video in 1080p on my Nokia Lumia 920 held in my hand as I walked around; there’s no post-processing, this video is exactly as it comes off the phone – the image stabilization is impressive.
A colleague and friend, Ray Fleming, recently wrote a piece on his blog about the fact that you can’t simply “parachute” technology into the classroom and expect positive results automatically. Without wishing to spark too much of a debate about whether 1:1 devices are a bad thing or not (for the record, I think they’re a great thing), here’s Anthony Salcito’s TEDx talk about tomorrow’s education, see what you think!
Yesterday I wrote about my first week with my Surface RT but one thing I didn’t cover was some of the apps I’ve come to love in my first week so here’s a run-down of my top 5 (in no particular order!):
I work at Microsoft, and I conduct all of my real-time communication using Microsoft Lync. Voice calls, instant messaging, sharing content, running webcasts, it’s all done through Lync. When I’m not at my PC my mobile phone will happily keep me connected using the Lync client for Windows Phone, but the modern app that is available in the Microsoft Store means I can be connected on my Surface, too! I can take full advantage of the snap feature to keep a Lync conversation or call open while taking notes and I can use the front and rear-facing cameras if I need to use video in my meetings.
I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for almost a year now and I LOVE using it on my Xbox 360, laptop and Windows Phone so I was really excited to see what the app for Windows RT was going to be like and I wasn’t disappointed. I can sign in with my Netflix account and pick up watching programs where I’d left them on other devices. The experience is smooth and is really easy to pick up. The speakers on the Surface RT are ok for most things, but I hook up to my Jambox if I want it a bit louder! (I guess I could also use headphones…)
I’m a really casual gamer. I can’t remember the last time I sat and played a game from end to end. Instead I like to dip in and out of things depending on the mood I’m in. On my Xbox 360 this usually means that I have about 10 games on the go but on the phone I like playing Wordament. On Windows RT it has the same look and feel and is, in my opinion, even better on the bigger and brighter screen. I’m still never going to be number 1 but at least I can see how badly I did in 16:9!
In the same category as Lync, I use OneNote to make notes on my customers, projects and even my Christmas list! I use SkyDrive for my personal notes, and SkyDrive Pro for my work ones and both can be synchronised with both the included OneNote 2013 desktop app, and the OneNote modern app. Now it doesn’t matter whether I am on my phone, Surface or laptop – I can access my notes from anywhere. It also frees me up from dragging my laptop around to meetings – I can just grab my Surface and go. I can’t wait to get my Touch Cover for Christmas as I think note-taking will be taken to the next level by the physical keyboard.
I almost didn’t include this in my Top 5 as it is similar to Lync, but for keeping in touch with my friends and family. The app is fantastic. Really quick and responsive as well as pretty and easy to use. Video conversations using either the front or rear facing cameras are easy to set up and, like Lync, I can snap a conversation to the side of the screen whilst working. I’ve been using Skype for years but have never really thought of it as being central to keeping in touch with people, instead favouring MSN Messenger
Windows Live Messenger Messenger, Facebook and email but that is quickly changing.
So there you have it, my top 5 apps so far. A special mention should go to the Office 2013 client that is bundled with Windows as the Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint apps are really useful but if you buy a Surface you’ll have them already!
Which apps have you found useful?