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Classes, homework, and exams can be stressful, but SkyDrive makes it easy for you and your classmates to be productive from anywhere. Right now, you carry around your class notebooks, binders full of handouts and homework, heavy textbooks, and your laptop, tablet, smartphone and everything else that you think you’ll need.
There’s a better way. Let SkyDrive be your cloud backpack instead.
You can keep all of your stuff for class in the cloud—and access it from any of your devices or from the library or computer lab. What’s even better is that the cloud never forgets and leaves something at home.
After you install SkyDrive for Windows or Mac, create folders for each of your classes in your SkyDrive folder. Save all of your handouts, homework assignments, and papers or project files there. That way, everything will always be accessible from your smartphone or tablet, with SkyDrive for Windows Phone, iPhone, or iPad .
You can also access your stuff at SkyDrive.com from any browser. Not only can you open, edit, or print the latest versions of your documents using free Office Web Apps, but you can also fetch any file that is saved on your PC back home, so you never have to worry about forgetting something.
Flashcards is a Silverlight web application where you can create, share, and study online flashcards. Find a deck in the community, or create your own. Decks can have up to 300 cards, and each card can have any combination of text, image, and sound on the front and the back. Start with Review mode if you don’t know the content at all. Otherwise, skip ahead to Study or Type It In modes. Study mode is based on the honor system, and Type It In checks the correct answer with what you typed in. Want a challenge? Try swapping fronts and backs then studying again.
Flashcards provides a unique experience for each learner. We keep track of how long it’s been since you’ve seen each card, and whether or not you knew it. Then we use our memory optimization algorithm to determine which card to show you next. You’ll see the cards in a different order than your friend, since the order is optimized for you. And it’s all stored on the server, so if you start studying from another computer, you’ll pick up where you left off. Want to learn more about how the algorithm works? Read our whitepaper (on the right).
If teachers, tutors, or parents want to track a student’s progress, have the student print a report of their progress in a specific study session. If you want to see how you’re doing across sessions, take a look at the timeline on the bottom of the Study screen. Cards on the left side are ones you need to study, or you haven’t seen yet. Cards on the right side are the ones you know best. Watch the cards move toward the right side of the timeline as you play and learn them better. Over time, cards slowly move back to the left (since we all forget things as time goes on). If it’s been a long time since you’ve seen a card and you get it right again, it gets bumped even further, since you haven’t forgotten it.
18 projects, and the teachers behind them, were awarded special recognition at the Partners in Learning Global Forum on November 10, 2011 in Washington, D.C. This year’s winners were selected from more than 115 projects, narrowed from more than 200,000 applicants, who competed at national and regional events over the course of the year.
When Microsoft launched Kinect for Xbox 360 one year ago this week, our initial focus was controller-free games and entertainment. Once only the stuff of science fiction, Kinect became a phenomenon across the globe.
Within the first 60 days, Kinect sold more than 8 million sensors, setting the Guinness Book World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device. It extended the realm of what’s possible for a traditional gaming console and changed the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, bringing new categories of consumers to Xbox 360.
We knew we had a hit in gaming and entertainment on our hands. After all, we’d been testing it and playing games ourselves for a while, so we knew what magic felt like. We also knew that we were delivering a platform, one that was bigger than the living room, and bound only by the imagination and ingenuity of the world… which is to say, the sky was the limit.
Almost immediately following the launch of Kinect, hobbyists and academics from around the world embraced Kinect possibilities in ways that surprised and delighted. And with the launch of a non-commercial software development kit, we saw even more exciting and creative applications in the areas of healthcare, rehab, education and so much more. As we watched these stories unfold, the term “The Kinect Effect” emerged in hallway conversations at Microsoft as a way to describe the amazing and creative ways Kinect was being used.
“Kinect Effect” stories began pouring in with personal accounts and YouTube videos from around the world showing how Kinect was helping transform and improve the way people work, create, and perform daily activities. We saw Kinect being used by therapists and physicians as part of a rehabilitation program for stroke victims, as a skill-building technique for children with autism, and as an application for hospitals in Spain enabling surgeons to scroll through medical images in the operating room with gestures so they could avoid the need to rescrub. Incredible stuff.
So, what’s next? To further fuel innovation and imagination, we will offer a Kinect for Windows commercial program early next year. We recognize the intense commercial interest in harnessing the capabilities of Kinect, and are working with a wide range of companies and developers to create a great set of tools and APIs. In fact, our commercial pilot program has already received more than 200 applications from top companies in more than 20 countries spanning 25 unique industries, eager to explore the possibilities of Kinect beyond Xbox 360!
This belief that our ideas PLUS the ideas and ingenuity of others is more powerful than either alone is central to Microsoft. The Kinect Effect is the latest in a long list!
Bill Gates once said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years, and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” Last year was an incredible year for the Kinect Effect, and with so many fantastic ideas made real in just the one year, I can’t wait to look back in nine!