Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Presentation of Microsoft Live@edu on 26 Nov 2008

The following platforms/applications were shared during the presentation: Live@edu, SkyDrive, Roundtable, SilverLight, Virtual Earth, Photosynth, PopFly


(i) Live@edu - is a Learning Management System which offers what many others do. For example, organisation of learning content (created by teachers or students), email alerts, calendars, Blogs, etc. (
  • "Share your Desktop" using ShareView (up to 15 people at the same time) is a unique feature. So far, aware that only Heulab campus comes with similar feature. Nevertheless, heard that Mac could do similar thing!
  • Another attractive feature - OfficeLive Workspace - ie. the MS Office suite is available online - similar to GoogleDocs. It does not require purchase and installation of the client-based software. Cost saving!! Just wondering if the formating remains intact after being up/downloaded - this is an issue with GoogleDocs.
  • One could also compare each others' schedule to arrange for meetings, etc
  • More info on Live@edu can be found in

(ii) SkyDrive (
  • The Google equivalent can be found in GoogleDoc and possibly Picasa (for images).
  • It functions like a virtual drive.
  • Files of any filetype can be uploaded into this space and share selected files to others (with different access rights assigned to it). Moreover, files could be viewed either as public or required sign-in.

(iii) Microsoft Roundtable (
  • It's a 360 degree video-conferencing kit
  • This reminded me of the "Halo" that we saw at HP...
  • Yet see direct application value to Teaching & Learning at this point of time... possibly collaboration... but it would require both parties to have common equipment to 'talk'


(iv) Silverlight (

  • One example showcased was
  • It's a montage made up of many many photos...
  • It's like of ppt that some of us viewed before... the zoom out effect created by plenty of related images!
  • At this moment, could not think of any value for teaching and learning.
(v) Virtual Earth (
  • It's Google equivalent would be GoogleEarth.
  • One interesting feature is, it could provide directions from the "starting" location to the destination.
  • Currently, it seems that the 2D version is available for most places, whereas 3D version is only available for locations in US.
  • For 2D version, it provides 2 different views: aerial and road:

For Teaching & Learning: Thinking aloud... some possible examples...
  • The use of Virtual Earth or GoogleEarth adds authenticity to the subject learning and application.
  • Subjects like Geography and Sciences would find this platform/tool useful.
  • For Maths, for topics like measuration, distance-speed; symmetry (where we could draw patterns from some places!)
  • Rich resources and ideas can found in

(vi) Photosynth (
I am impressed with the intelligence of the application software and its end-product! Can view lots of samples from the homepage.
  • It identifies common "edges" among photos & stitch them together - if could offer not only panoramic view, but also zoom-in-zoom-out view, all depends on how the photos are taken.
  • This reminds me of the good old days when taking a few photos of a scene and patiently trimming and piecing the prints together for a wide-angle view.
  • The website also offers tips how to take photos in order to generate the desired effect:
Dunearn Secondary has gone its virtual tour done using photosynth and it could be viewed at its homepage:

One limitation - to view the end-product, the hardware and the internet browser must be able to support its execution.
  • Despite the fact that my 4-year-old tablet could install the application and I could create the synth very smoothly, I got the following error message when viewing the end-product... (sigh... have to troubleshoot further)

  • One consideration: The intended audience should have their hardware and browser meeting the minimum requirement before they could enjoy the fruits of labour!
Before creating a synth...
  • At its homepage, select Create your Synth > click at Create a synth button.
  • Login using the Windows Live ID. If we do not have one, simply select Get a Windows Live ID and proceed to register.
  • One thing I like: I can register to use my gmail account to login to photosynth! I saves me from creating and having to remember a new userID or password!
  • Next, it will prompt to download and install the application - just follow the instructions and installation will be completed in less than 5 minutes. And we are ready for the fun!
Here are my creations... note that the more photos we feed into the system, the longer time it takes to process... once done, it's online and I could embed it in websites...

1st masterpiece... (with 26 photos): Kwan Yin Temple @ Bugis, Singapore

2nd masterpiece... (with 6 photos): The Stonehenge, England

For Teaching & Learning: Thinking aloud some possible examples...
  • Modeling and representations of perspectives (eg. Art or D&T): Students could present their products from various perspectives - macro & micro views can come in.
  • Writings (aided by visuals) - tapping on the macro and micro views for descriptive writings
  • Visual presentation of a study of the environment (eg. Science & Geography): In the garden, groups of students are assigned to examine living organisms at different locations of the garden. There, they picked out things that they want to examine further, etc... It could be a study of environment (zoom-out) and the living organisms that survive under certain conditions.

(vii) PopFly (
  • This is a game creator... from the demo, it seems easy.
  • No time to explore the game creation.Click HERE to play the familiar Minesweeper game created by other users.
  • We can also create mashup and webpages.
  • It's easy to create a webpage using popfly. Completed a very simple one that took me less than 15 minutes in my first attempt (

Last but not least... we enjoyed some excellent views from Level 22... of course, also not forgetting to capture some things that are desirable but often absent from the usual school setting ^.^

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