Tag Archives: microsoft office

You can now use Microsoft Office 365 on Chromebooks. Here’s how.

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Chromebooks have quickly become an incredibly popular tool in schools. However, this has previously limited users to only Google’s productivity tools. One of the most common complaints that I hear about Google Apps for Education tools (Gmail, Docs, Slides, etc), is that they are not as robust as those you find in the Microsoft Office Suite. Now, with the recent upgrades to Office Online andOffice 365, it is possible navigate to the full Office suite using a Chromebook – or any other device! Office Online and Office 365 offer new, web-based version of Microsoft tools and allows users to create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more using only your browser. Another great feature of these tools is that it allow you to collaborate with others (even if they don’t have a subscription). All of your Office 365 creations will be saved in your OneDriveaccount in the cloud, so no need to worry about saving it on your machine!

http://videoplayercdn.osi.office.net/hub/?csid=ux-cms-en-us-msoffice&uuid=e5b8ab5f-6543-4715-942a-589428a53653&AutoPlayVideo=false&height=415&width=740

In order to use these new office tools, you will need to have either an Office 365 subscription ($99/year for a home and family edition) or sign up for a free Microsoft account at Office.com (note that if you have a hotmail account, those credentials will also work).

An Office 365 subscription allows you to download the latest version of the software to your device as well as to use Mobile Apps for free. Recently, Microsoft extended its traditional educational license to include a subscription to Office 365 for Education. So if you have Office on your school computer, then you have the ability to create an Office 365 account and access more robust features in the Office 365 suite; speak to your IT manager to see what options may be available.

To access the Office Suite online, go to: login.microsoftonline.com and login with your personal or school credentials (again, check with your IT manager). Once you are logged in, you will see the option to access all of your available Office tools and then select the tool that you want to use. If you are using an Office 365 Education account, your administrator can determine which tools will be made available and which may not be turned on.

As an example, in my domain, I cannot access Mail or Calendar because we use a different system and Sites and Tasks have been turned off completely. However, here are a few highlights of what is possible with Office 365 on anyChromebook or Computer.

Office 365 Start

Mail

Not only can you now easily access your email via the web, there’s even aChrome app. Like Gmail, Outlook now threads conversations, keeping all messages and replies together. From the web, it is possible to read and reply to messages as well as to organize emails into folders. A particularly handy feature is the green “replied to” indicator to show when exactly you responded to a specific message.

Calendars

Much like with Google Calendars, through Office 365 and Office Online you can now also access any personal or shared calendars. Students can subscribe to class calendars and even create shared calendars for specific courses or groups. A really nice feature is the ability to view different calendars as tabs. This way, you can view everything or only the events on specific calendars. If your school uses a lot of shared calendars, then this could be extremely helpful for scheduling purposes.

Collaborating with Office Online and Office 365

A great, new feature of the Office Online tools is the ability to add collaborators to any Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file! Simply click the Share icon in the top right corner. A new window will pop up giving you the option to share with view orediting privileges. You can share by email or via a link (no need for a subscription)!

Once the document is shared, you can collaborate in real time, from any device (including your Chromebook)! All of the Office tools have robust online features and sharing capabilities. You can even collaborate on a PowerPoint Presentation, include the fancy transitions, and even present directly from the cloud!

Expanding Office beyond a hard drive and into the cloud gives Chromebook users greater options, more collaborative abilities, and access to a more robust suite of tools to expand their learning environment. Look for more information about these tools in coming posts.

How to create and collaborate (yes, really) online with Microsoft Excel

Office365-Excel-1, EdTechTeacher

Until recently, in the world of online collaboration, Microsoft has been decidedly lacking. However, they have made impressive strides in online and cloud computing tools over the past year. For example, you can now easily create, edit, and collaborate on Excel spreadsheets and workbooks.

This can be accomplished using the new Office Online or Office 365. It’s important to note that while Office Online is free, Office 365 is a paid resource ($99/year home and $69/year personal annual subscription; K-12 institutions have their own pricing tiers) and will give you greater access to resources, including free full-use of Mobile and Computer apps.

Microsoft recently extended its educational Microsoft Office license to include its online 365 service for free to schools. This means that if your school has a Microsoft license, you already have access to this tool. Just check with your IT administrative team to learn how to log on and access it.

Office365-Excel-1, EdTechTeacher

Navigating Office Online is a little different than the local tools on your computer. However, they are quick to figure out. To log in, go to Office.com(if you have a free Microsoft account or Office 365 account) or go tologin.live.com to create an account. Today, we’re going to explore Excel, so click on the Excel icon to get started.

EXCEL: MORE THAN A BASIC SPREADSHEET

A new window will open and, just like the desktop version, you will be given the option to access your recent workbooks or to create a new one using one of Excel’s workbook or spreadsheet templates. If you select a workbook that you have recently been working on, then you will need to click on Edit workbook → Edit in Excel Online (for collaborative features) or Edit in Excel (to open on your desktop for more advanced functionality).

Once you do this, you will have access to many of Excel’s robust tools. You can can format spreadsheets and columns, include complex functions, create charts and graphs, and more! With a school or paid-for subscription to Office 365, you even have unlimited storage for working with Excel online.

OOffice365-Excel-1, EdTechTeacherne of the best features of Office Online and Office 365, however, is something that you won’t find on the traditional Microsoft desktop tools (at least not yet): the ability to collaborate in real time with others! No more emailing a file back and forth, you can simply click the “share” icon and either share via email address with view or edit privileges or share with a link (again view or edit privileges).

If you share via a link with editing privileges, the other user does not even need an Office Online or Office 365 account! This is a great way to collaborate with others who don’t have access to Microsoft products.

All of your changes are saved automatically in the cloud, so it’s perfect for a Mobile environment where you’re always on the go. The workbook will be stored in your OneDrive, so you can access it anywhere (online, app on your tablet or smartphone, or any computer)! The new Office Online tools extend Microsoft’s robust document editing tool to the web and is accessible from any device

COME COLLABORATE THIS SUMMER!

  • Workshop for That, EdTechTeacher Summer WorkshopsGoogle & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • The iPad Classroom
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

Featured image by Apollo Zeus via Flickr cc

10 Things Every Teacher Should be able to do on Google Docs

Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool that many schools have adopted. As it’s similar to Microsoft Word and other word processing tools, most of its features are intuitive to use. However, in addition to completing many of the functions of a traditional word processor, Google Docs provides even more capabilities that can be invaluable to educators. Here are ten tricks that can make your life easier with Google Docs:

Share & Collaborate with Google Docs

One of the most powerful features of Google Docs is that you can share and collaborate on documents with others. Think about all the times where you work on something at home and then email it to yourself at school or put it on a thumb drive. How about the challenge of students who “forgot their essays” or couldn’t print their homework? Not only does Drive solve this, but it also opens up possibilities for real time collaboration and feedback.

Sharing with individuals is relatively easy. Click the blue “Share” button in the top right corner and input the email addresses for those you want to collaborate with (add a message if you would like), select if you want them to be able to “edit,” “comment,” or “view” and click send! If you give someone editing privileges, then you can collaborate with them on a document in real time (up to 50 people can edit a document at once)! Another unique feature about Google Docs is that users do not need an account to see what you are sharing. There are two ways to share, first by sharing with a gmail account and second with a link. Either way collaborators will have the ability to edit, comment, and/or view.

google docs

Comments And Suggested Edits

Sometimes, you don’t want to make changes on a document. When I am providing feedback on a writing assignment, for example, I want students to craft their project in their own words. I use “comments” instead of making changes directly to their paper. To add a comment, highlight the word or section you would like to change and press the “comment” button. This will open a comment window where you can type and leave directions or feedback.

google docs

Others can reply to your comments when they make changes or ask for clarification. This actually creates a conversation directly in a document. It could also be used for student reflection as they write about why they make their changes. Another great tool is “suggested edits.” By using “suggested edits” you can make changes to the document that others can either “accept” or “decline.” It’s a great way to keep one another up to date with edits especially if you are building a collaborative document.

Revision History

One of my favorite tools in Google Docs is “Revision History.” If you are collaboratingon a text with another, you can use this feature to see what changes they have made and restore an earlier version of the document if necessary. I like to use it with my students so that I can observe the evolution of their writing. This feature has become the most valuable tool in my teaching arsenal. Revision history also can show a teacher whether or not the student is actually making changes to their work. Additionally, it can be reaffirming for a student to witness the progress of their work so that they can see how far they have come over the course of a project.

google docs

Add-Ons

Recently, Google released a suite of “Add-ons.” These Google Doc specific extensions have allowed educators to unleash more powerful features within Google Docs and Sheets. To find and apply Add-ons, simply open a document and select “Add-ons” from the menu. You can then browse the suite of available tools and apply those that you want. Some of my favorite Add-ons are EasyBib (for creating bibliographies), Google Translate, and Kaizena (for leaving Voice Comments). You can also find third party apps such as Lucid Charts to create diagrams and mind-maps that you then directly drop into your document. More Add-ons are added daily.

Leave Voice Comments

Sometimes written comments are not enough. Fortunately, Google allows you to leave voice comments with third-party applications. One of my favorite is Kaizena. With this free tool, you can leave voice comments throughout a document just like you can with traditional text comments. To see Kaizena in action, check out their brief tutorial here.

Research Tools

google docsGoogle will allow you to do research right within the document! With the Research window pane, you can perform a basic Google search, search images, access Google Scholar, find quotes, and look up words in the dictionary. You can even search by usage rights (key when teaching students about copyright and licensing). When you put content from the research pane into your document, it will even include the citation with a footnote at the bottom of your page in the format that you choose (MLA, Chicago, etc). It is a great tool for academics.

Image Editing

With its latest update, Google Docs now allows you to edit images within a document. If you want to include an image in your Google Doc, you can position it by dragging and dropping, wrap text, resize, crop, and change the border. It’s a great time saver when you are creating a document with diagrams and images.

Insert Special Characters

google docsGoogle Docs has a robust library of special characters, accented letters, and different alphabets. You can use the “Insert Special Characters” feature while you type. Simply go to “Insert” and then “Special Characters” (right next to the Ω symbol). You can browse symbols by alphabet, purpose (math, technical, copyright), and more. Their library is vast, and they are updating it constantly. If you need to insert a mathematical formula, check out Insert → Equation to access easy tools for creating sophisticated mathematical formulas.

Download As

If you want to save your Google Doc in another format (such as a Word document), the “download as” feature is your friend! This will allow you to access and edit content on different machines or to send it to others. I often download my Google Docs as PDFs to post on my class website or as memos to distribute on email lists.

Email as Attachment

If you want to share your Google Doc with someone who doesn’t have a Google account, then you can do this with the “email as attachment” feature. Go to File → Email as Attachment. This will bring up a window that will allow you to select the format in which you would like to send your document (PDF, Word, etc) as well as a space for you to write a message. The document will come from your email address jus tas if you sent it from GMail or Outlook.

More Than a Word Processor

Beyond using Google Docs as a word processor, these features allow it to become an editing platform, collaboration tool, research aid, and much more. After exploring many of these features, I’m sure that you will find even more uses on your own!

To learn more about using Google Docs and Google Apps in the classroom, EdTechTeacher will be offering a number of hands-on sessions during the July 28 Pre-Conference Workshop day as well as during the July 29-30 EdTechTeacher Summit in Chicago.

My Favorite Ed Tech YouTube Channels

YouTube is an excellent resource, especially for educators. I subscribe to various channels that focus on educational technology. Here is just a small sample of those available.

Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for organizing your life and can be transformative in the realm of education. Their YouTube channel hosts how-to’s for all levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced) and covers a myriad of topics. They have material directed at various industries (education, business, cooking, etc) and their videos are readily accessible and useful. If you’re an Evernote user or want to become one, peruse their content here.

MacMost – I’m a heavy Apple user… no doubt about that. MacMost focuses entirely on instructional videos relevant to Apple Users. It has dozens of videos on a myriad of apple topics (software, hardware, news, etc). If you’re a Mac User, it’s a must! Check out their channel here.

Edutopia – Edutopia is one of the most prominent Educational Technology blogs for American Educators. Their YouTube Channel hosts webinars, Ted Talks, pedagogy, and application. What makes it especially helpful is that they subscribe to and post resources from applicable sources around the world. It’s a rich resource for all educators. View their YouTube Channel.

Microsoft Office – Office is still the most prolific office suite today. We all have to use it at some point. The Office YouTube Channel can answer every question you ever had (and a few you never imagined) about Microsoft Office. Learn how to create stunning PowerPoint presentations, build templates for Word, explore One Note, and see where the suite is going in the future.

MindMeister – MindMeister is my favorite online Mind Mapping service. I use it in my classroom and for my own brain storming sessions. Their YouTube Channel shows you how to do amazing things with this simple yet innovative program (with free and paid tiers)!

Anson Alexander – Anson Alexander is a tech guru of all realms… all of them! If you want to know about current trends in technology, how to use the new features of google drive, how to troubleshoot your iPhone, Anson has answers for you. Check out the various feeds on his YouTube channel.

Google – It’s hard to go a day without using google (be it their mapping system, email, even YouTube videos). If you want to harness the power of Google Apps, then check out the highlighted features of their YouTube Channel.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, but it is a great starting part for anyone interested in further understanding technology. I hope that you find these useful and please be sure to share your own!