Tag Archives: Microsoft

3 Ways for Students to Create with Devices in the Classroom

Devices have become omnipresent in our classrooms. Often, these tools are used as expensive, electronic content delivery systems. However, the real power in technology in schools is that it empowers students to become content creators. Smartphones and tablets, even more so, have allowed them to become mobile and agile ones. Most educators know that individuals learn far more about a topic when they must explain it to someone else. Additionally, by employing multiple learning modalities through the creative process (tactile, kinesthetic, visible, etc), students process material more thoroughly. As you think about your lesson plans in the future, consider empowering students to create rather than just consume. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Create a Video

I am a fan of giving students guiding questions and parameters, then having them make an educational video. In my documentaries project, students must answer address a specific topic (e.g. “Where did George Washington get his reputation for honesty?” or “Was Benedict Arnold solely a villain of the Revolutionary War?”). We talk about creating

content in an engaging way, incorporating images and videos effectively (and ethically), pacing content, and selecting what to include or leave out. Videos are not exclusive to the humanities. I have seen math teachers effectively use them by having students demonstrate how to solve complex problems and science teachers as a recording and reflection for labs. I also encourage students to post their videos publicly (when age appropriate) or to the class via a closed portal (for younger students). By posting their videos publicly and sharing with the class, they are presenting to an authentic audience. Making a video is easy and can by done with a smartphone, tablet, and/or computer. Free software options include iMovie (MacOS & iOS), Movie Maker (Windows), and FilmoraGo (iOS & Android).

Create a Podcast

Podcasts are become ever more popular. There are podcasts to cover news, popular entertainment, hobbies, sports, cultural phenomena, and more. Task your class with

creating a podcast on a topic relevant to your course. If you are a Social Studies teacher, perhaps a weekly podcast on current events. If you teach science, a weekly science report relevant to the topic. Math? Try incorporating an update on a complex topic students are tackling that week. Podcasting can help students work on their public speaking skills as well as how to effectively present to an audience. Again, by sharing the podcast with the public at large or just the class and/or school, students learn what it is to engage with a broader audience. Podcasting can be done easily with a smartphone, tablet, and/or computer paired with a simple microphone to drown out ambient sound (the microphone on headphones can work in a pinch or you can invest in something a little more substantive). My favorite free apps for podcasting include: Garageband (MacOS & iOS) and Audacity (MacOS & Windows).

Websites

My students complete a year long research project that they post on a comprehensive website. Through creating an online portal, they learn how to write effectively for a broad audience, how to cite material so that it is accessible online, how to create and incorporate various types of media, and how to effectively organize and lay-out content. What I especially like about website creation is that it allows students to combine skills that they have learned throughout the year (e.g. video and podcasting). We have all seen “good” and “bad” websites. When it’s published online, students want theirs to look good. As such, it also serves as a basic primer in basic graphic design. There are numerous free website tools out there. If your school is a G-Suite for Education school, then I highly recommend using the new Google Sites. Not only is it easy to use, but it readily allows for collaboration. You can also check out weebly or wix.

If you’re in a school where students have access to devices, I strongly encourage having them turn those devices into content creators. You will find that it empowers them as learners and makes their learning more applicable and deep.

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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.

PowerPoint Myths: Busted!

I learn something new from Jonathan every day! Numbers 4, 5, and 6 were news to me!!

Jonathan Wylie

powerpoint myths

PowerPoint gets a bad name, but in my opinion it is often just misrepresented. Are their a wealth of PowerPoint alternatives available for little or no cost? Indeed there are, but do you really know all that PowerPoint is capable of? Here’s a rundown of some common PowerPoint myths and the reasons that PowerPoint is still a worthy tool…in the right hands.

Myth #1: PowerPoints are boring

Let’s get this one out the way from the beginning. We have all sat through some terrible presentations at one point or another. We were bored, tired, and spent more time watching the clock than watching the slides. Death by PowerPoint, right? The real truth, as you probably know, is that it was not PowerPoint that made you bored, it was the presenter. Their performance, and maybe their slide design, were not good enough to keep you interested. Thankfully, performance skills can be…

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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

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

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Office365-Excel-3

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 orOffice 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 toOffice.com (if you have a free Microsoft account or Office 365 account) or go to login.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 yourOneDrive, 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

Office 365 on the Web & On Your Chromebook!

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius. A special thanks to Jonathan Wylie and his Office 365 and Office Online expertise! I strongly encourage you to check out his blog here for helpful hints, tricks, and ideas on how to integrate technology in your classroom or school.

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 of Office Online and Office 365, it is possible navigate to the full Office suite using a Chromebook – or any other device! Office Online and Office 365 offer ais the new, web-based version of Microsoft toolsOffice and allows users to create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more using only your browser. Another great feature of these toolsOffice 365 is that theyit 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 OneDrive account in the cloud, so no need to worry about saving it on your machine!

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 have access to 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 person 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, much like with Google Apps, 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 any Chromebook 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 Online and Office 365 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 in Office 365 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 or editing 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.

COME COLLABORATE THIS SUMMER!

ETTsummer1

  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • The iPad Classroom
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

Reflections on ISTE 2014 Atlanta

Last night I came back from ISTE 2014 in Atlanta. As ISTE always is, it’s empowering, inspiring, overwhelming, and exhausting. This year, I had the privilege of becoming a board member of the ISTE Independent School Educators Network  (new twitter hashtag #isteisen) and Co-Chair of Professional Development with Kelsey Vrooman. If you want to join us for our first Professional Development event, we will be discussing Danah Boyd’s book “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” (available at book retailers in print and eBook form and as a free download here) with the author on October 7 at 3:30 EST. This event is free and open for all via this link.

It would be impossible for me to discuss everything I took away from this conference – there was just too much! However, I can highlight a few things. Google, as we have seen at ISTE’s past, has really raised the bar with free professional development and resources for educators and schools. You can learn more about Google Apps for Education (GAFE) here. Google expanded on its release of Classroom, that will hopefully be available this fall. The Google Playground also presented several cool features. One of my favorites is fusion tables, Moss Pike of Harvard Westlake School demonstrated how you can use this in conjunction with Google Forms to delve deeper into your data (e.g. using a school survey and then analyzing collected data by age, grade level, department, etc).

Courtesy of Deviant Art

Courtesy of Deviant Art

Gamification was a big theme at the conference as well. Numerous educators and students held poster sessions and talks demonstrating the power of Minecraft in their classrooms. Douglas Kiang of Punahou discussed the power of games in his presentation “From Minecraft to Angry Birds: What Games Teach us about Learning.”

Vinnie Vrotny, the new Director of Technology at the Kinkaid School, organized and hosted the Maker Playground. The Maker Movement has become a key theme in education and the role it can play in children being innovative, inventive, and invested in their own education.

Overall my take away from ISTE is that technology is quickly revolutionizing education and encouraging discussions and change.