Office 2013 No Longer Available for Installation for Office 365 Subscribers

As of February 28, 2017, Office 365 subscribers can no longer download or install Office 2013 from the Office 365 My Account web portal, Microsoft released on their Support blog last week.

Customer support and troubleshooting came to end, too, for the following products:

  • Office 365 ProPlus (2013)
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium (2013)
  • Office 365 Business (2013)
  • Project for Office 365 (2013)
  • Visio Pro for Office 365 (2013)

Looking for more information on Office 2016 before you upgrade? Check out our guide, and let us know if you find it helpful!

Microsoft Delays February Patch Release

Microsoft announced today that they are postponing their February 2017 security update for Windows and other products, which was slated to release today.

The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted the following to their blog this afternoon:

Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.

So far, there’s no word on when the updates will release. We will continue to keep you post here on the blog, and on Twitter and Facebook!

Does Academia Know What Technology Employers are Looking For?

It started two years ago. I stopped using my laptop or tablet at home, and only used my phone to Google, shop, scroll through Instagram, or check email as I’d wind down at night. Now, I still use my phone, but I mostly rely on Siri to do my Googling for me.

Now, with Google Assistant, Cortana, and Alexa, the talk-to-tech trend is taking off – it’s easier and faster than finding your phone, unlocking it, opening an App, or tapping any keys.

Now that Amazon allows programmers to connect existing services to Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers the Echo, every-day programmers can build entirely new voice-powered experiences, called Skills, with “just a few lines of code,” for free. Voila! Alexa now opens and uses Apps for us!

Alexa is taking over home appliances, too.  Appliance makers LG, Whirlpool, GE, and Samsung introduced products, like a vacuum, that starts by issuing a command to an Echo. LG’s forthcoming Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator will connect to Alexa, so users can ask her to pull up recipes on a touchscreen, or order food.

It’s still the early days with voice command services, but what does this mean for education? I think it means Computer Science & Programming education is more important than ever. STEM job growth will surpass all other jobs at 18.7% between 2010 and 2020, leading to 1.1 million computing jobs by 2024.

Does the academic community know what technology employers are looking for? Last week’s post discussed the relevancy of the computer lab in today’s schools – Cengage author Mark Frydenberg shared his Sandbox mission – should more schools get onboard?

Are Computer Labs Necessary in Today’s Schools?

Are computer labs necessary in today’s schools?

According to Cengage author Mark Frydenberg, the answer is yes, but not in the traditional way.

As BizEd Magazine reports, in 2017, “students have their own laptops, so they no longer need a place to connect to the internet or write papers. Instead they need spaces where they can experiment with new technologies.

That’s why, in 2011, Frydenberg spearheaded the development of Bentley University’s Learning & Technology Sandbox, also known as “CIS Sandbox,” for the computer information systems department.

He tells BizEd, “When I was asked to take over the lab in 2010, I was reluctant because it wasn’t a place where I wanted to spend my time. But then I started thinking about what the future of computer learning could be.”

The Sandbox replaced the old computer lab, a traditional space with 40 computer stations, gray carpeting, gray furniture, and no windows, as described by BizEd. With the help of University funding, the space underwent a complete renovation, “replacing the computer stations with six U-shaped tables with monitors for group work, wall-mounted display monitors, and soft chairs for lounging.”

How is the CIS Sandbox used? Frydenberg says it provides IT tutoring, exposes students to new tech, and hosts speakers, workshops and other programming, and gives students a place to study and socialize.

It’s popular, too. The article notes that more than 3,000 students spend time at the Sandbox each semester, and the admissions office, who once said “every school as a computer lab, so no one’s going to come to Bentley because of that space,” has now put the Sandbox on the tour for prospective students.

“Our mission at the Sandbox is to create a space where students can explore technology in a social way,” Frydenberg tells EdBiz. “Giving them the ability to play with the next up-and-coming technological tools or program an app—it’s a pretty powerful thing.”

Tell us what you think – Is a Sandbox the computer lab of the future?

New Office 365 Creativity Updates

Just in from the Microsoft Windows 10 Event in New York City: Office 365 is getting its own updates for the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, which Microsoft says will arrive in “early 2017.”

With Microsoft’s updates, Windows 10 and Office 365 can be regularly updated with fixes, and new features, too. So what’s the Creators Update? Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, explained that the Creators Update features will include 3D and mixed reality, 4K gaming, and in-game broadcasting.

How does this affect Office? The features within the Creators Update will enhance the digital pen user-experience, offering new ways to interact with your documents and expands options for creating rich, interactive content – this is called Inking.

Inking in Office 365

  • Ink Editor – Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it, and automatically snap highlighter ink to text.
  • Ink Replay control with Surface Dial – Set the pace at which you review instructions, reveal lesson ideas, and more with the new integration of Surface Dial and Windows 10.
  • Digital Ruler – Draw straight lines and align objects with the help of a built-in digital ruler in PowerPoint.
  • Segment Eraser in PowerPoint – Use this new eraser to remove excess ink for more precise in shapes.

Read more about the Creators Update for Office, and Inking here.

New Microsoft Office Updates for iOS

THIS JUST IN: Good news for iPhone and iPad users, Microsoft is working to deliver new updates for Office on iOS.

As part of their September updates, Office for iOS will get support for Edmodo and Tencent, which means iPhones and iPads will now be allowed to store and access documents through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is getting Smart Lookup which will allow users the ability to look up a word instantly. By simply pressing and holding on a word or phrase, users can search image information, word definitions, and more without leaving the document.

PowerPoint is also getting an update in the iOS platform. IPhone users can now use their smartphones as laser pointers by simply pressing and holding in the notes section while in presenter mode.

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The Mac platform of the office suite will be updated as well. PowerPoint Designer will be getting a bit of a face-lift and will have improved color guides as well as new audio and video trim options.  Additionally, Office 365 subscribers will get access to a new “focus mode,” which is designed to “remove distractions and improve concentration at work.” There isn’t a concrete release date for this update, but it should go live early September.

For additional information on Microsoft updates for iOS, visit their website.

Computing Student Advisory Team: We Want YOU

Teachers! Do you have highly motivated Introductory Computing students who might like to get involved with Cengage?

Students! Would you like to get involved with Cengage?

We have an exciting opportunity for students to partner with our Computing group as part of a student advisory team!

We are looking for students who are self-motivated with proven leadership, analytical, and communication skills, and are passionate about making a difference and helping others learn!

We’ll PAY students to…

  • Participate fully from August 2016 through May 2017
  • Develop real-world work experience (which looks great on a resume!)
  • Collaborate with students all across the U.S. in a team environment
  • Directly impact education products

Teachers – Recommend any of your students today! Please send us…

  • Student name
  • Student email
  • Why you think this student would be a valuable contributor to the Computing Student Advisory Team

Please send all recommendations to us by Monday, 8/15:

reed.curry@cengage.com

sarah.marks@cengage.com

amy.savino@cengage.com

Students – Email reed.curry@cengage.com, sarah.marks@cengage.com, and amy.savino@cengage.com for an application!

We’re excited to hear from you!

Cengage Named as Finalist at the Technology Council Leadership Awards

Mass Technology Leadership Council

Cengage has been selected as a finalist in the Mass Technology Leadership Council’s 19th annual Technology Council Leadership Awards for our MindTap platform! MindTap is a digital learning solution that helps instructors engage today’s students and transform them into critical thinkers using the power of personalization, cutting edge content, progress tracking ability, and student empowering tools. Intro Computing instructors and students can also utilize the power of the SAM app delivered within the MindTap platform. MassTLC Technology Leadership Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 14 at the MassTLC Leadership Awards Gala.

SAM June Release is Now Live

We are excited to announce that the SAM June release went live on June 26!

With this release, we now have a lot of great content available for SAM 2016 including:

  • Over 800 Office 2016 exam and training tasks, including tasks for Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and new applications such as OneNote and Windows 10
  • 161 Office 2016 SAM Projects for Illustrated, New Perspectives, Shelly Cashman, CMPTR, and Emerge
  • 39 Office 2016 Textbook Projects for Illustrated, New Perspectives, and Shelly Cashman
  • 29 Office 2016 MindTap Readers (eBooks)

We are also happy to announce new Keyboarding in SAM content and features including:

  • Keying drills for Lessons 1-25, including Timed Writings and Skill Building
  • Warmup, Timed Writing, and Practice Keying drills for Lessons 26-110
  • Word Drill Simulations for Lessons 26-28
  • Keyboarding Preferences at the Section level
  • MindTap Readers (eBooks) for Lessons 1-25 and Lessons 1-55

If you have any questions about this release or getting access to SAM 2016 content, please contact your Cengage Learning Consultant.

Intro Computing Summer Training Series

Introductory Computing Summer Training Series

Join Cengage’s Faculty Partners to get up to speed on SAM and MindTap before the start of your Fall classes. In this webinar series, fellow instructors will show you how to create a course, navigate the platform, create and schedule assignments, and more. Register for one of the sessions today!

SAM:
Thursday, June 30
Thursday, July 14
Monday, July 18
Thursday, August 11

MindTap (with integrated SAM assignments!):
Wednesday, June 29
Thursday, July 21
Thursday, August 11
Wednesday, August 17
Tuesday, August 23