Category Archives: Education

Haberdasher Aske ́s Federation: A Venerable Foundation Relies on Parallels Mac Management

“Thanks to Parallels Mac Management, the IT teams can always monitor our entire Mac hardware and software inventory, as well as the current user logins. We can attach existing and new Mac devices to the network using a fully automated procedure.” Ian North, System Administrator at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation In this blog post, we will explain […]

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Parallels Desktop for Mac Enables Australian Community College to Equip Learners with IT Literacy Skills

Guest blog author Kevin Greely, General Manager Parallels Asia Pacific Nepean Community College (NCC) is an adult education institution that focuses on equipping minorities, the disadvantaged, and the disabled with the IT literacy skills necessary to successfully navigate today’s digital world. NCC was looking for a flexible, responsive, and cost-effective device management strategy to keep […]

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Student Discount on Parallels Desktop for Mac

As a student – we are up to our ears in financial costs associated with finishing school. Are you a student who owns a Mac but needs to run a Microsoft Windows program? Reduce your hardware costs with Parallels Desktop® for Mac. We have personalized the learning experience with a unique cost-saving alternative. Running Windows […]

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AWS unveils programme to train, attract students to cloud

Amazon has launched a programme to help attract students to its cloud services

Amazon has launched a programme to help attract students to its cloud services

Amazon has launched the AWS Educate in a bid to help educators and student cultivate cloud-centric development and operations skills, and attract the next generation of users to its cloud services ecosystem.

The company plans to offer students and educators credits for AWS cloud services and make available cloud-related educational content for teachers to use as course materials. Amazon said the move is intended to help train up students on cloud, which it said it becoming the default environment for developing and deploying greenfield applications.

“For years, the AWS educational grants program has put cloud technology in the hands of educators and students, giving them the ability to put big ideas into action. We’ve seen students develop assistive computer vision technology in collaboration with the National Federation of the Blind, and aspiring entrepreneurs take a web startup from conception to launch within 60 hours,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president, worldwide public sector, AWS.

“Based on the feedback and success of our grant recipients and the global need for cloud-skilled workers, we developed AWS Educate to help even more students learn cloud technology firsthand in the classroom. We’re pleased to offer AWS Educate to educators, students and educational institutions around the world,” Carlson said.

Students and educators at any educational institution can join the programme and can apply to redeem AWS credits for a range of its services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon CloudFront, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Glacier.

Programme participants will also get access to online training materials and app testing labs, collaboration forums and materials uploaded from other educators.

How 360° Student Relationship Management Could Benefit Your Educational Institution

If you run a higher educational institution, your student is your customer. Surprising as it may sound, consider this: the focus of most initiatives in your institute needs to be the student. Starting from attracting them to join your institute, to the way their association with you is managed, you could achieve desired results if you plan your strategy keeping the student in the spotlight.

IT can play an essential role in helping you manage student relations. A Student Relationship Management (SRM) framework can help you forge a better connection with your students, keep you aware of any reasons that could cause dissatisfaction or churning and provides mechanisms to address such situations at the earliest.

Challenges to be addressed by an SRM Solution

Some of the challenges faced by higher educational institutions are:

  • Improving student enrolment and retention

  • Encouraging a lifelong learning process, including alumni engagement

  • Bringing about pricing optimization for education companies to make higher education affordable for the student yet profitable for the provider

  • Motivating the creation of educational products and services

  • Building and maintaining the brand image across all channels of publicity

  • Engaging and retaining staff

Other than the students, it is the faculty who play a very important role in establishing the reputation of an institution, which, in turn, attracts the required students. An efficient 360° SRM system would consider the goals of all the stakeholders and incorporate them in a student-centric manner.

SRM Systems Incorporate Changing Roles and Experiences

All the stakeholders, including students, faculty and administrative personnel go through a range of experiences in association with the institution.Beginning from when they enter the institute as strangers to the sense of belonging them cultivate over time; they would need to be treated differently according to their changing role. A seasoned vendor such as HCL Tech would ensure that these changing roles and functions are also a part of the provided system. This means that any situations that require intervention, such as a dissatisfied student who may be thinking of leaving the institution, would definitely have an addressing mechanism. If the design accounts for all such cases, hardly any scenario would remain truly “unexpected”.

SRM Solutions Harness Social Media

The management bodies of educational institutions would definitely be aware of the reach of social media among students. You can now harness the might of this medium in a positive manner. A service provider like HCL Tech could help you with using a popular platform like Facebook or Twitter to actively engage with an existing and prospective student population. For example, a Facebook page could be a medium used by the institution for such interaction. Social media apps used along with pattern recognition mechanisms may also be used.

Choosing HCL Tech to implement your 360° Student Relationship Management System is an important step, as it ensures that you receive a comprehensive, modern and efficient solution. All the building blocks including the data layer, CRM services, data analytics and social ecosystem, including mobile apps, would beput in place for you. All you need to do is to build on them further and operate them efficiently to ensure the success of your institution’s student relations strategy.

To know more about the topic please read the whitepaper presented by HCL Technologies.

Cloud Computing is Dead. Long Live Quantum Cloud Computing

Qcloud “…aims to provide resources for anybody interested in quantum technologies, in particular those who want to have some practical experience of using and manipulating information using quantum computers.”

We don’t even pretend to understand quantum computing. Now it’s in the cloud?!?

The Bloch sphere is a representation of a qubit, the fundamental building block of quantum computers (source: Wikipedia).

Amazon Goes Beyond AWS Training with AWS Certification

You can now go beyond AWS training and take tests to earn AWS Certification. Meant to provide a way for Solution Architects, System Administrators, and Developers to formally certify knowledge of AWS.

The AWS Certifications are credentials that you (as an individual) can earn to certify your expertise (skills and technical knowledge) in the planning, deployment, and management of projects and systems that use AWS. Once you complete the certification requirements, you will receive an AWS Certified logo badge that you can use on your business cards and other professional collateral. This will help you to gain recognition and visibility for your AWS expertise.

The first certification, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level, is available now. Additional certifications for System Administrators and Developers are planned for 2013.

Certification Exams are delivered by Kryterion, in more than 100 countries at over 750 testing locations worldwide. You can register online to take the exam through Kryterion.

Kaplan Launches Education Startup Accelerator

Kaplan, Inc., the education services subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, announced today the launch of the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, powered by TechStars, an intensive three-month mentoring and business development program for 10 startup companies, in collaboration with TechStars, a nationally recognized startup accelerator.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator will select startups using technology to create products and services across the broad spectrum of education including K-12, higher education, professional education, lifelong learning, and other areas. TechStars will invest $20,000 in each company accepted into the program.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator is the first corporate sponsored accelerator focused exclusively on the education sector, using TechStars’ mentor-driven, deep immersion model. TechStars has completed 15 accelerator programs and its selected companies have attracted more than $285 million in funding in the past six years.

The Kaplan EdTech Accelerator will host the startups, to be chosen by application, at its offices in New York City’s West Village neighborhood from June to September 2013. They will be mentored by industry leaders, such as Kaplan, Inc. Chairman and CEO Andy Rosen, TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen, Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Don Graham, noted venture capitalist and Foundry Group Managing Director Brad Feld, and many notable founders of ed-tech companies, including Jose Ferreira of Knewton and Eren Bali of Udemy.

Additionally, Kaplan will provide the startups with office space and facilities, and other resources as they work to build their companies and products. This support includes access to Kaplan’s proprietary “Kaplan Way for Learning” program, which harnesses the latest learnings from the fields of science, instructional design, and technology to support the development of highly effective, evidence-based learning products. Kaplan also has tremendous reach in education with more than one million students enrolled annually, taught by 10,000-plus instructors globally, relationships with 300-plus U.S. school districts, more than 20 university partners worldwide, and thousands of corporate customers.

The program will culminate in Demo Day, when the startups’ founders will present for an elite group of angel and venture investors and education industry influencers, with the goal of securing funding to grow their companies.

“We’re thrilled about partnering with TechStars to launch the Kaplan EdTech Accelerator,” said Andy Rosen, Kaplan, Inc. chairman and CEO. “Kaplan’s mission is to provide students around the world with the best, most efficient means to achieving their educational goals. Ongoing cultivation of new innovations from all across the sector—in ways like this accelerator program—is embedded in our company’s history.”

From its start, Kaplan has pioneered notable education innovations. It has, for example, launched the first wholly online law school in the U.S.; built its online university into one of the country’s largest higher education institutions; and, more recently, created mobile delivery systems for its test prep and professional education customers, a new prior learning assessment service for adult learners, and an innovative, large-scale online instructional platform, KAPx. Kaplan will be making available as mentors several of those Kaplan professionals who have driven many of these innovations.

The application deadline is April 14, 2013. Selected companies will be contacted in late April, and the program will begin in June. Further details and the application for the program are available at

Instructure Releases Canvas for Android

Instructure has released a new Canvas Android app, which enables mobile access to the Canvas learning platform from Android devices. Faculty and students can download the app for free from the Google Play store.

“The Canvas for Android app is designed to make it easy for faculty and students to stay connected to their courses, including courses from their institution or the Canvas Network,” said Brian Whitmer , co-founder and chief product officer at Instructure. “We’ve always pushed information to Android devices through our email and text messaging notification feature, but now users can participate in their courses through a native app designed specifically for learning.”

Canvas for Android provides an elegant way for students to access their Canvas To-Do list, Assignments, Calendar, Grades and more. It also enables them to read and compose messages using Canvas Conversations, a secure, built-in messaging system that connects participants in a course.

Since the initial launch of Canvas, Instructure has demonstrated its commitment to native apps for mobile devices. In 2011, the company released SpeedGrader for iPad, a powerful mobile grading app, and Canvas for iOS, an iPhone and iPad app with course functionality for students and instructors. With the release of Canvas for Android, Instructure is taking the first of many steps to bring a native Canvas experience to Android users.

“We recognize that the modern learner is mobile, and we believe a native mobile experience is critical to the learning experience,” said Devlin Daley , co-founder and chief technology officer at Instructure. “We didn’t decide after the fact to build mobile apps because it was a hip thing to do. We made an intentional decision to include mobile apps from the start – at no extra charge.”

Speed Awareness Month Highlights Why Split Seconds Count on the Web

A consortium of web-performance industry companies today launched SpeedAwareness Month, a web-based educational program designed to help site owners learn about the importance of improving their website download speeds.

Speed Awareness month will run through the month of August 2012.

Research shows that many consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than two seconds to load.  Similarly, slow website speeds can impact search engine rankings, can increase pay-per-click advertising costs, reduce sales conversions and, in the end, decrease revenues.

Maximizing the performance of a website is as essential to site operators as having the right content and marketing program. On the Speed Awareness Month website, site owners can find regular blog posts, best practice recommendations, tutorials and free or trial services and tools they can use to boost website speed.

Speed Awareness Month is a collaborative effort organized by the following industry leading firms: Dyn Inc., MaxCDN, and More companies are expected to join the effort through the month.

Best practice and thought leadership content will come from the sponsors and more than 20 other industry thought leaders.

“I am very excited to see how many companies and experts are participating in Speed Awareness Month. We hope to reach as many website owners as possible and make them aware of the importance of website performance for their business,” said David Henzel, Speed Awareness Month organizer and vice president of marketing for NetDNA/MaxCDN. “The tips and free tools offered during this month will be a huge help for web masters to find out where the bottlenecks of their sites are and how to remove them.”

Speed Awareness Month is designed for all developers, system administrators, eCommerce shop owners and everyone that has a passion for website development and improvement.

The event is open to content from any experts who want to participate and have a passion or spread knowledge about web performance optimization.  To contribute, contact David Henzel at