blog has moved

Check out http://blogs.technet.com/b/educloud/archive/2011/08/29/welcome-to-microsoft-education-in-the-cloud.aspx

See you there!

Jonny

Custom filtering, using transport rules on Outlook Live

Live@EDU (Outlook Live) has a number of well published and documented security and compliance features, a few of them I have listed below (as well a reference for more information about each topic) –

1. Spam Filtering – http://help.outlook.com/en-US/140/dd251294.aspx

2. Cross Mailbox searches – http://help.outlook.com/en-US/140/cc511392.aspx

3. Anti-Bully Policy – http://help.outlook.com/en-US/140/Ee524078.aspx

4. Bad Word filter – http://help.outlook.com/en-US/140/Ee524079.aspx

5. As well as other items mentioned here – http://help.outlook.com/en-US/140/cc836952.aspx

But since Live@EDU (Outlook Live)’s email platform is based on Exchange 2010, we can also take advantage of numerous other transport rules and use them to protect your end users, whether they are faculty, staff or students.  One such transport rule is the Regular Expressions Transport Rule (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997187.aspx), so what does this rule do?  You can use regular expressions in Exchange Server 2010 transport rule predicates to match text patterns in different parts of a message (such as message headers, sender, recipients, message subject, and body). Predicates are used by conditions and exceptions to determine whether a configured action should be applied to an e-mail message.

These rules provide a way for you to prevent students from sending out personally identifiable information through email.  If for example you didn’t want your students or your faculty and staff for that matter sending out their SSN via email, you can create a rule to block these emails, and customize the Non-Delivery Report (NDR), so the end-user knows why the email was blocked. 

The Regular Expressions Transport Rule works in both Live@EDU (Outlook Live) as well as Exchange Online, as mentioned this feature, all the of the ones listed above as well as many others are built into the solution, the cost of layer an additional security platform on top of your free email solution is not required.

Enjoy!

Pittsford School District goes Live@edu!

imagePittsford Central School District, in NY State has just rolled out Live@edu to their 6000 students.  Prior to this deployment, Pittsford had been struggling with inefficient communications between their teachers and students.  After a pilot of the service, and in partnership with CGS, Pittsford went into production, and have realized the following benefits:

  • Helps teachers maintain focus on academics
  • Saves U.S.$40,000 yearly on storage and backup
  • Provides new opportunities for academic innovation
    They also had some GREAT quotes to share…

“Based on the enthusiasm of staff members who participated in the pilot and of students whom we recently polled, we anticipate a 90 percent adoption rate by our third year of having implemented Live@edu, and following it, Office 365.” Charles Profitt Systems Administrator, Pittsford Central School District,

“File incompatibility, versioning conflicts, work left on the home computer or a misplaced Flash drive—Live@edu will put out all those fires.” Jeff Cimmerer Director of Technology, Pittsford Central School District

“Thanks to Live@edu, I’ll worry a lot less about the logistics of email communications with my students, and focus a lot more on the content of those communications.”  Karen Smith  Instructor of Environmental Sciences, Mendon High School, Pittsford Central School District

If you qualify, you too can enroll in Live@edu.

Jonny

Support for Accessibility

The topic of accessibility has come up in discussion with a number of Live@edu customers in the US recently, who want to understand support for it in Microsoft software.

At Microsoft we’re committed to accessibility and have been investing for more than 20 years, making a tremendous impact on the lives of people with a wide array of difficulties and impairments.   We believe that all students – regardless of physical ability – deserve access to technology that enables them to realize their potential.

Back in October 2009 we posted about accessibility support in the Live@edu service.   Since then, we’ve made significant further accessibility investments in our software, whether cloud service-based like Live@edu, or on-premise software like Office 2010 or Windows 7.

Live@edu users may be interested to read more about accessibility support in the Live@edu service:

  • With Outlook Web App, users with visual impairment can turn on the blind and low vision setting to access e-mail, calendar and contacts.  Alternatively, use the accessibility features in popular rich client programs like Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2011 for Mac.
  • Office Web Apps provide WAI-ARIA support for assistive technologies, such as a screen reader or speech recognition software.
  • Many users of Live@edu take advantage of the integration of SkyDrive with Office 2010.  The Accessibility Checker allows anyone creating content in the Office 2010 applications Word, Excel or PowerPoint to fix potential problems that might keep someone with a disability from accessing the content.  It works in a similar way to a spell checker.

Last week we announced two new accessibility add-ins for Office 2010. The new PowerPoint add-in makes it easy to add captions to video and audio files in presentations.  And, you can use the Save as DAISY add-in for Word to convert files to an accessible format.

We actively communicate about the accessibility of our products. The following resources may be helpful:

Derek

Portland Public Schools – largest school district in Oregon–goes…

Live@edu for all of their Faculty and Staff, and their High School Students.  PPS is the largest school district in Oregon and, in fact the northwest of the US.  Together with other schools, about a third of the state is now on our services…others include Ashland Public Schools, Columbia Gorge, Coos Bay School District, Phoenix Talent School District, McMinnville School District, Redmond School District, St. Cecilia School and Sisters School District.

This announcement was made this week at Microsoft’s Public Sector CIO Forum.

It has been a pleasure working with PPS, and others in Oregon… we look forward to many more announcements like this!

Jonny

Lake Washington School District shows off OneNote

imageLake Washington School District has always been very progressive in their use of IT in the classroom, and as a mechanism for collaboration between teachers and staff members.  Recently, Sonja Delafosse, an LWSD Technology Integration Specialist, gave an overview of how she uses Microsoft OneNote for her own personal productivity and multi-person collaboration.  She also talks about how she leverages our SkyDrive service to enable this collaboration.

The recording of this overview is worth a watch.

Jonny

Vanderbilt CIO demos Windows Live Mesh 2011

Vanderbilt CIO, Matthew Jett Hall, has recently posted a video covering how he uses our popular Windows Live Mesh cloud offering to ensure he ALWAYS has access to his files, wherever he happens to be. Vanderbilt recently started offering Live@edu to their users, and that means that anyone now with a Vanderbilt branded LiveID can also avail of this great service.

If you have a couple of minutes, take a look at what Matthew had to say:

 

Jonny

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