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  • Cloud Services and the Data Protection Act

    The Department for Education has issued advice for schools on cloud software services and the Data Protection Act.

    The advice “outlines how schools need to consider data security when moving services and sensitive information to the internet-based facilities of cloud computing”, the DfE said.

  • Files on Demand

    Overview

    You need to be running the Windows 10 Fall Creators update (v 1709) in order to have this feature.

    OneDrive Files On-Demand helps you access all your files in OneDrive without having to download all of them and use storage space on your device.

    The OneDrive sync client has always allowed you to synchronise files stored in Office 365 OneDrive to your local computer. This makes them easy to find via file explorer, like using a local drive. More recent versions of the OneDrive sync client (since December 2015 and called the Next Generation Sync Client) allowed you to also sync your personal OneDrive and any SharePoint Document libraries.

    However, the catch was that you has to actually download copies of the files to your local computer. These copies were then kept in sync by the client. The benefit of this was that you could always access your files, even when you were offline. The drawback was that it could lead to lots of network traffic, especially when users were performing initial synchronisations. And if you had many users synchronising a SharePoint library, that could lead to multiple copies of a single shared file being spread across many devices. Lots of unnecessary traffic and an increased chance of some sort of synchronisation conflict.

    Files on Demand solves these problems. When you turn on the feature, and choose to sync files from OneDrive or SharePoint, rather than actually downloading files, file explorer will just show the files that you have stored in those locations in Office 365. Not until you actually come to use a file will it bother to download it. If you are already using the sync client to synchronise your OneDrive, and for which you have lots of files downloaded already, these files will remain downloaded locally when you turn on files on demand. But you will now have the choice to 'free up space' by turning these into 'online' files; the local copy will be deleted and you will just be left with the indication that the file is available in OneDrive and SharePoint and can be accessed when required, just by double-clicking it.

    The video below explains how to use Files on deamnd from a user's perspective. It is taken from the Microsoft article Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand. This article is particularly good for users to help them understand how to use Files on Demand. Links to some other useful articles are also given below

     

     

    What's the difference between Locally Availbale Files and Always Available Files?

    Microsoft explain about the different statuses fairly well in their Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand article, but you might appreciate a little extra clarification of the difference between locally available files and always available files.

    Your files will have these statuses in File Explorer:

    Conceptual image of an online only file

    Online-only files

    Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

    Conceptual image of a locally available file

    Locally available files

    When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access.

    That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low. Unless you have a computer that is particularly short of disk space, or you intend to sync a huge amount of files in the future, it is likely these files will remain always available offline for you. However, if you want to be certain the file will always be available offline, you can right click on the file and choose Always keep on this device from the drop-down menu.

    If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”

    Conceptual image of an always available file

    Always available files

    Only files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline. This is similar to Locally Available Files, but you are guaranteed these files will always be available offline and won't be removed if disk space is low, or for any other reason.

    You should mark files that you know you definitely want to be available always, online or offline, as Always keep on this device.

    If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”

     

     If you still require further information, the following articles may prove useful:

    How to turn on Files on Demand Manually. Shows how users can turn on Files on Demand manually for themselves.
    How to Sync SharePoint Libraries with Files on Demand Shows how users can sync a SharePoint library to their computer.
    Transferring files to OneDrive or SharePoint Shows how users can transfer files that they may have stored on their local computer, or on a mapped network drive, into OneDrive or SharePoint.
    Windows 10 OneDrive Documentation in SharePoint Explains more about Windows 10 OneDrive and Files on Demand, including how to manage it with Group Policy. You'll need to login with your Schools ICT Office365 account to access this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Get Office 365 for Free

    Does your school have a Microsoft Volume Licence Agreement, such as an Enrolment for Education Solutions (EES) Agreement?

     If so, your staff and students can get free access to Microsoft Office 365 for personal use.

  • How to Sync SharePoint Libraries with Files on Demand

     

    Now that you have configured Files on Demand and setup SharePoint to allow Document libraries to work with the OneDrive sync client, you can finally sync your SharePoint libraries.

    For more information about actually using Files on demand with SharePoint libraries once it is all configured please see this video

    Further information on working with Files on demand in general can be found in the article Files on Demand 

    Login to Office 365 and go to the SharePoint Library that you want to sync

    Click on the Sync button on the menu bar for your chosen Document library

    sharepoint library sync
     Click on Sync now sharepoint library syncnow
    You will be prompted to Open Microsoft OneDrive

    You may well want to tick the box to remember your choice for Microsoft OneDrive links.

    Click Open Microsoft OneDrive

     onedrive links prompt

    If you are already signed into OneDrive, you should just see a pop-up telling you that your documents are being synced to the PC.

    If you were not signed in you may be prompted to sign in. Do so and the sync will then begin.

     sharepoint onedrive sync confirmation

    You will now find another link in your file explorer that represents your organisation - it will display Your Organisation's Name

    Underneath that will be a sub-folder for each library that you have chosen to sync.

    You will notice that the status for each file and folder is "Online Only" (cloud symbol). This is because with Files on Demand sync means "Show you what you have in OneDrive and SharePoint, but only download files when you use them"

     sharepoint library link file explorer
    When you double click on a file to use it,  it will be downloaded there and then, and locally cached for future use. It will only turn back into an 'online only' file, if disk space becomes low, and some space needs clearing to allow for other filers to be downloaded.  sharepoint files in file explorer
    If you want to make sure a file or folder is always available offline, right click the file and select  Always keep on this device  always keep on device

    You will now see that the Status has changed to a solid green circle indicating "Always keep on this device". You will also see that there is a tick beside 'Always keep on this device' on the context menu. If you click Always keep on this device again it will clear that tick and the status will change to a clear green circle containing a green tick, meaning the file is 'locally available'. That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low.

    If you want to make a file 'online only' again, click on Clear space. The status symbol will change to a blue outline of a cloud

     clear space

     

     

  • How to Turn on Files on Demand Manually

    Files On-Demand works with all the apps you use today, including Windows desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store. Furthermore, Files On-Demand works with all your personal and work files from OneDrive and SharePoint Online team sites.

    Make sure you’re signed in to OneDrive on your device.

    If you are already using OneDrive, and are able to access your OneDrive files via File Explorer, as shown here, then you're signed in to OneDrive.

    If not, then either follow the Microsoft link above, or see the Schools ICT instructions Connect One Drive Client to Office 365

    onedrive in file explorer

    Right-click the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and select Settings.

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow ^ next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Select Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.)

    onedrive right click menu

    On the Settings tab, select the Save space and download files as you use them box.

    Click OK

    You have now turned on Files on Demand. To learn more about using the feature please see Files on Demand 

    If this box is greyed out, then Files on Demand is being managed by your network administrator using Group Policy. You will need to speak to that person if you need to change the setting.

     

     

    NOTE: Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure you turn it on for each device where you want to use it. Why don’t I see the Files On-Demand options in OneDrive settings?

    onedrive settings tab

     

  • Immersive Reader

    What is Immersive Reader?

    Immersive Reader is a free tool that implements proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people, regardless of their age or ability. Immersive Reader can improve reading comprehension and increase fluency for English language learners. It can help build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels, and offer text decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia.

    It is available in OneNote, Word, and the web version of Outlook. It is also available in Office Lens for iOS.

     

    Tell Me a Bit More. Why Should I Use Immersive Reader?

    immersive reader example

    Immersive Reader lets you: 

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background colour.
  • Split up words into syllables.
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives and sub-clauses.
  • Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading.
  • Read out text aloud, and change the speed of reading.
  •  

    Immersive reader can even work with pictures scanned from books, not just text typed directly into OneNote. The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) built into OneNote can actually decipher text within a picture, and then make that available in the Immersive Reader.

    Check out these videos below to discover more.

  • Managed Document Solutions

    MDS - Managed Document Solutions

    Key Benefits

    • Reduced staff workload
    • Inproved data comliance
    • Access 24/7 from any device or location
    • Kept up to date with current practices
    • Rolling program of updates and improvements
    • Active Directory sync to allow easier login
    • Schools ICT supported solution

    Annual - £240

    Our annual 'base' package is a support framework which the below modules sit on. Its requirement to have this annual service to keep your modules working correctly, however not everything in the package as background framework, you also get:

    • Active Directory Sync - Your domain login can be used on Office365
    • Staff Structure Groups - Easily send emails out to groups of staff without knowing everyone's email address
    • Calendar Sharing - View your colleagues calendar and book meetings from Office365
    • Branding - Office365 will be branded to match your school colour scheme and include your logo
    • Account Creation - Contact us any time to creare new user accounts or groups
    • Schools ICT Support - Available 5 days a week, 8.00am - 5.00pm (4.30 on a Friday)

    Modules

    We've created multiple modules designed to target key areas of your school data management. Based on standard practices in schools these modules keep management of the data to a minimum by reducing the workload on teaching and admin staff. Modules are being constantly developed to keep in line with current practises and technology. Requests can be made for changes which will be dealt with by our experienced team. We will also be releasing more modules to widen the range that MDS can help your school.

    A full break down of what’s included with each module and the costs can be found below.

    Staff Site - £100
    • Staff home page with key information
    • Staff news & calendar
    • Staff links to key areas or external websites
    Staff Planning - £240
    • Long, medium and short term plan templates
    • Group by subject
    • Tracks; Periods, Staff, Student Groups;
    • Sort and filter by all the above
    • Subject guidance documentation storage
    School Policies - £240
    • Four policy states; Adopted, Under Review, Due For Review, Pending Adoption
    • Tracks; Periods, Staff Assigned, Review Dates, Due Date (Auto)
    • Built in policy template produced to schools design
    • Automatic email with 'Due to review' warning to staff assigned & policy staff
    • Approval process for governors including automatic emails and taks (Governors module required)
    • Electronic governor signature with document protection (Governors module required)
    Governors - £240
    • Individual governor email accounts under your domain name
    • Governor home page with key information
    • News & calendar
    • Meeting agenda's & meeting with automatic calendar entry
    • Visit recording sheets with automatic calendar entry
    • Automatic approval process for meeting agendas & minutes
    • Built in templates for governor meetings, agendas and visits
    • Electronic governor signature with document protection
    Governors & School Policies Combined - £400
  • Microsoft Forms

    What Is Microsoft Forms?

    Create surveys, polls and custom tests. Send out the web link to the test in a variety of ways: in an e-mail; as a link in a shared OneNote document; or embed in a webpage or in OneNote Online. People can respond to it using any web browser, even on mobile devices. You can provide automatic feedback based on the answers chosen, and automatically mark the test if it is all multiple choice questions. You can also review all the tests submitted back to you and provide further feedback if required. Form data, such as test results, can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading.

     

    Tell Me A bit More. Why Should I Use Microsoft Forms?

    Microsoft Forms was developed for the education market, and provides an easy way to asses pupils progress on a regular basis. Some of the things that you can do with Microsoft Forms are:

    • Create multiple choice tests that mark themselves, and can even give feedback to pupils as they complete them.
    • Include mathematical symbols in your questions e.g. x, y2 , <, ≥, √, ÷ etc.
    • Add a picture or video to a question.
    • Create tests that require longer text answers, and that you can then assess and provide feedback on.
    • Easily distribute tests via links, QR codes, e-mail or embed them in web pages.
    • Integrate with other Office 365 products, for example embed a test in OneNote or Sway.
    • Collaborate with other teachers on the creation of a test by sharing with each other.
    • Easily access real-time summary information about your test, such as number of responses, average score, and test's current status.
    • Drill down into that summary information for further analysis, or export to excel.
    • Share your test with other teachers and collaborate on its creation.
    • Use branching to create more elaborate tests.
    • Use Forms for surveys and feedback questionnaries as well, including anonymous responses; for example a survey to parents.
  • Office 365 - So Much More than E-mail

    You might just know Office 365 as an e-mail system. But, believe me, it is so much more than that. Are you interested in being able to work easily from home, having the same access to all your documents as you do at school? Would you like to be able to easily share lots of information with staff, for example ensuring they always had the latest guidance to hand. Have you ever wished you could create professional looking presentations that are easy to share and can be viewed on any device? Are you worried about how you will meet GDPR compliance? Well, Office 365 might just be the answer you are looking for. Below is a quick summary of what you get with Office 365. And don't forget it is all FREE for schools!

       

    o365 onedrive tile

    OneDrive - Have you ever needed to work on a school document when you were at home? Are you fed up with copying files to and from memory sticks? Do you often collaborate with several colleagues on a report? Well, OneDrive is the answer. It is online file storage and sharing for each user, with unlimited storage. With OneDrive, your files are secure and available everywhere: home, school or on the move. Edit and co-author whether using a web browser, mobile apps, or desktop apps. Easily share files with colleagues, making collaboration a breeze. Even access files when offline using the OneDrive sync client.

    o365 onenote tile

    OneNote - If you're not using OneNote already, then you're missing out. This is probably the greatest program in the whole Microsoft Office suite. Organise everything; typed notes, handwritten notes, pictures, videos, files, audio recording and more all in one place. Add extra notebooks, sections and pages to keep everything just as you like it. And you don't even have to worry about saving work as you go along - it all happens automatically. A OneNote app is available for all devices and you can also work online directly via a web browser. And if you are using an app, then you can work in OneNote while you are offline, and everything will sync once you connect to the web again. Trust me, it's great. Try it.

    o365 immersive reader

    o365 forms tiles

    o365 sway tile

    o365 powerpoint tile

    Learning Tools - Immersive Reader, Forms, Sway, and Office Mix - There are a whole bunch of apps and tools available within Office 365 which can be used both to help with learning, and to just generally create more engaging and accessible content that you can then easily share with others.

    • Immersive Reader - Change font size, text spacing, background colour. Split up words into syllables. Highlight verbs, nouns adjectives and sub-clauses. Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading. Read out text aloud. Change speed of reading.
      immersive reader example
    • Forms - Create surveys, polls and custom quizzes. Easily share via e-mail, a web link, or embed in a web page. Then sit back and wait for the response to come in.
    • Sway - Create interactive, digital presentations that can easily be shared on the web. Add text, pictures, videos, audio and more. View on your computer, phone or tablet. It is proper web content and so looks great on all devices!
    • PowerPoint Recording - Turn your PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons and share them with your students and colleagues. Add audio and video narration, real-time digital inking, and screen recordings that show actions you take on your computer.

    o365 mail tile

    o365 calendar tile

    E-mail and Calendars - OK, so you are already using this, but did you know:

    • Automatically filter out low priority e-mails using Clutter. As you move e-mails you rarely read into the clutter folder and the system will learn and start to do this automatically for you.
    • No excuses for missing emails. Use @Mentions to get noticed. @mention someone in an e-mail and they will automatically be added to the list of recipients. The person receiving the e-mail will see the @ symbol in their inbox.
    • Access e-mail and calendars via web browser, desktop or mobile apps. So you can stay in touch wherever you are and across all devices.

    o365 skype tile

    Skype for Business - Have you ever wanted to invite a subject expert to talk to your class, but they live too far away? Do you want to cut down on travel costs and time between different school sites for meetings? Then it might be time to give Skype for Business a whirl. Skype can give you instant messaging, video conferencing and screen sharing. See your colleagues status (presence information), so you know at a glance if they are available for a chat or quick meeting. Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption. The Skype for Business app is available for mobile, tablet, PC and Mac.

    o365 sharepoint tile

    SharePoint - Does your school have to share certain information and documents with all staff? Do you need to control who has access? Do you need to let some people update information, while letting others only read it? If the answer to those questions is yes, then SharePoint is for you. You might like to think of SharePoint as being a shared staff folder, but on the web. Actually it is much more. With SharePoint show important visuals, news, and updates with a team or communication site. Discover, follow, and search for sites, files, and people across your company. And not forgetting that you can sync and store your files in the cloud so anyone can securely work with you. SharePoint integrates with the Microsoft Office apps allowing you to work and collaborate on documents from PC, Mac or mobile device.

    sharepoint example

    o365 compliance tile

    Security and Compliance - Are you worried about GDPR compliance? Would you like to let your staff use their mobile phones to access e-mail, but you are worried about data security? Then you'll just love the Security and Compliance features that are built into Office 365. Just take a butcher's at these features:

    • Threat management - protect e-mail messages from malicious software.
    • Mobile device management (MDM) - unleash those phones.
    • Data loss prevention (DLP) - help to stop sensitive data leaving the organisation.
    • Data governance - Document labelling and retention policies.
    • Search and investigation including eDiscovery.
    • Service Assurance - Information about how Microsoft protects your data.
    • Office 356 Secure Score - Learn how secure your Office 365 is, and how you can imrpove.

    0365 delve tile

    Delve - Have you ever wanted to find all the documents around a particular subject? Or is there a member of staff you are about to have a meeting with, and you need to get up to speed on what have been working on recently? Delve can help. It intelligently discovers and organises information from across your whole school's Office 365, and then displays it to you making everything easy to find and understand. Find work by particular people or search on a keyword or subject. And you'll only ever see the content you have access to. Finding content has never been so easy.delve example

    o365 office online tile

    Office Online - Create and edit Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from a browser. And if you have a school EES agreement you get all the desktop and mobile apps as well, which you can download and install on up to 5 different devices per user. So you can start a document in on your computer at school, then finish editing and reviewing it on your iPad at home that evening.

    o365 stream tile

    Stream - Do you have lots of videos that would like to share securely with the rest of the school? Then you'll like Stream. Easily manage and share videos across your school. Group videos of similar content together in channels. Embed individual videos or channels into other Office 365 services such as SharePoint or Teams. Control who can see which videos, and feel safe in the knowledge that only people with a login for your school's Office 365 will be able to see the videos.

    o365 planner tile

    Planner - Take the chaos out of teamwork and get more done! Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Each plan has its own board, where you can organize tasks into buckets. You can categorize tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.

    planner example

    o365 teams tile Teams - Do you feel a little overwhelmed by everything that Office 365 has to offer? Would you like to have just one application from which to work online and have access to everything you need to get your job done right there, in that one place. Then it's Teams to the rescue. Microsoft Teams is a chat-centred workspace in Office 365. It brings people, conversations, files, and tools into one place, so everyone has instant access to everything they need. Enjoy built-in access to SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business.
    • Work on documents directly within Teams using the familiar office apps.
    • The persistent chat-based nature of the Teams means that everyone stays up to date with what is happening, even if they have been away for a few days.
    • Use Teams to create online classrooms. Hand out assignments or homework online. Children can complete and return them without ever going near a printer or a piece of paper.
    • Combine with Class Notebook for a truly any time, any place learning experience.
    • Teams is available via a web browser, PC and Mac, and mobile apps.
    o365 class notebook tile Class Notebook - If you have ever used OneNote, then you'll know what a great app it is for organising all your information, keeping all your notes in one easy to use place. Well, Class Notebook takes all that goodness and tailors it to the classroom. OneNote Class Notebooks have a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities.
    • Organize your lesson plans and course content in your own digital notebook.
    • Students can go to the content library to get their assignments. No more printed handouts for the class.
    • The collaboration space encourages students to work together as the teacher provides real-time feedback and coaching.
    • Provide individualized support by typing or writing directly in each student's private notebook.class notebook example
    o365 staffhub

    StaffHub - Do you have first line workers who don't spend their whole day sat in front of a computer? Do you need an easy and reliable way to manage their work schedules and get other important information to them? Would you like those workers to be able to easily stay in touch and communicate with each other? StaffHub is the answer, allowing you to digitally transform your first line workforce.

    • Easily create and manage schedules on the go, and stay informed when changes are made. Quickly assign and complete tasks to address customer and business needs in the moment.
    • Create spaces for meaningful conversation where workers can share ideas, learn from one another, and gain insight into larger, organizational initiatives.
    • Deliver employee resources and training content that workers need to gain the skills and confidence they need to do their best work.

    staffhub schedule example

     

     

  • Office 365 SPAM information

    Junk email, also known as spam, is unsolicited email, usually commercial. It can strain networks, clog email servers, and fill mailboxes with unwanted and possibly offensive messages and images. Most of it is annoying, but harmless. Most junk email will be blocked by the email server that hosts your account.
     
    Every message, inbound and outbound, is assigned a spam confidence level (SCL) based on the likelihood that the message is spam. Depending on the SCL, an inbound message may be relayed directly to the user’s Junk Email folder. All content-filtered messages are relayed to the user’s Junk Email folder by default. 
     
  • OneDrive

    OneDrive gives you one place to store, share, and sync your work or school files. As part of your organization's Office 365 subscription, you can save your files in OneDrive and then work with them from almost any device. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account, so you can:

    • Upload files from your PC or Mac.
    • Share files with others.
    • Give others permission to edit files and work on them at the same time.
    • Get to your files from anywhere, on your computer, tablet, or phone.
    • Sync OneDrive to your PC or Mac, so you can access your files even when you're offline.

     

    Why Use OneDrive?

  • OneNote

    What is OneNote?

    OneNote is your very own digital notebook. You might even describe it as an extension of your brain.

    • Jot down that idea before you forget it.
    • Make a check list of tasks to do the next time you are in the office.
    • Sketch out a concept and add some photos that will help get the point across in that next meeting.
    • Organise all your lesson plans so you can easily find them each term.

    Do this on any device - PC, Mac, phone or tablet; and wherever you happen to be. OneNote works offline and saves all your content automatically. Yes, say goodbye to remembering to click save every few minutes.

    And the next time you connect to the internet? Well, all that content is synchronised across all your devices. So the notes you made with your phone, on the bus, on the way home will appear on your PC when you log in that evening. And when you need those notes in a meeting the next morning, there they are in OneNote on your tablet. It's like magic. Which is probably the best way to describe OneNote. It kind of does everything. Which is kind of magic!

    Tell me a bit more. Why should I use OneNote?

  • Recording In PowerPoint

    What is Recording In PowerPoint?

    Turn a slide presentation into a video recording that has narration. You record the presentation in PowerPoint 2016 and then share it with your audience, who can watch it as a PowerPoint Show or as a video. Some educators use recorded lessons as part of a 'flipped classroom'. 

    powerpoint2016 recording screen

    The Recording tab in PowerPoint 2016 gives you this ability and goes even further with more interactive elements—like quizzes—to include in a presentation. Your interactive video can contain:

    • Audio narration
    • Video narration (Office 365 subscribers only)
    • Screen recordings that show actions you take on your computer
    • Quizzes and polls
    • Simulations, videos, and live web pages
    • Real-time digital inking (Office 365 subscribers only)

    These features are embedded into the recorded presentation. As the author, you can preview your recording by using Slide Show, which is the same way that viewers will experience the presentation.

     N.B. This feature has previously been in preview under the name of Office Mix. That preview has now ended, and all the features are now included in PowerPoint 2016 as standard. So don't worry if you see a lot of references to Office Mix; that is now Recording in PowerPoint 2016. To learn how to turn on the feature see How to Enable the Recording Tab in the Learn More About Recording in PowerPoint section below. 

     

    Tell Me A Bit More. Why Should I Use Recording In PowerPoint?

    You might already use PowerPoint in the your classroom. But how do you… 

    • Make yourself available when students need to listen to your lessons more than once?
    • Accommodate students who learn at different rates?
    • Check the comprehension of each student in the class, not just the most vocal ones?
    • Create video-based lessons without a lot of knowledge about video production and technology?

     

    With Recording in PowerPoint, creating a lesson is as easy as adding a handful of interactive elements to your PowerPoint presentation and saving it as a PowerPoint Show or a Video. Then just share in Office 365 as you might any other file; for example as a file in SharePoint or a video in Stream. You can create interactive lessons that:

    • Can be watched one time or as many times as a student needs to.
    • Can be watched sped up or slowed down, from the beginning or from any slide.
    • Contain quizzes that check student comprehension.
    • Contain audio and video using your webcam and built-in microphone or any other audio-visual peripherals attached to your PC
    • Show you speaking directly to students.
    • Show ink being drawn on key parts of your slide to focus your students' attention.
    • Include screen recordings of other applications running on Windows.

    But don't take my word for it. Have a look at these great examples of what you can do with Recording in PowerPoint

     

    Learn More About Recording in PowerPoint 

    How to create and record presentations in PowerPoint 2016

    How to share your recorded PowerPoint presentations

    Discover how teachers can make use of recording presentations in PowerPoint 2016 (formerly OfficeMix)

    Recording in PowerPoint for Education (formerly OfficeMix)

    How to Enable the Recording Tab in PowerPoint 2016

    The Recording tab gives you an easy way to insert any of these features from one place. But the tab isn't automatically turned on. Turn it on as illustrated here:

    powerpoint2016 customize ribbon powerpoint2016 enable recording powerpoint2016 recording tab image
     1. File > Options > Customize Ribbon  2. Main Tabs > select Recording > click OK  3. The Recording tab looks like this.

     

     

  • Skype for Business

    What is Skype for Business?

    Have you ever wanted to invite a subject expert to talk to your class, but they live too far away? Do you want to cut down on travel costs and time between different school sites for meetings? Then it might be time to give Skype for Business a whirl. Skype for Business can give you:

    • Instant messaging (IM)
    • Voice calls
    • Video conferencing
    • Screen sharing.
    • Presence information - At a glance, see if your colleagues are busy or available.
    • Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption.
    • The Skype for Business app is available for mobile, tablet, PC and Mac.

    Skype for Business is the version of Skype that is included with Office 365. In terms of the core features such as IM, voice or video calls and screen sharing, it is basically the same as the free version of Skype that anyone can download. However, it has greater integration with other office products such as Outlook, enterprise grade security and more extensive conferencing, meeting and phone features.

    If you're just looking for some information on how to install the Skype for Business client and start using it, then please see the Learn More About Skype for Business section below.

     

    Tell me a bit more. Why should I use Skype for Business?

    There are lots of reasons you might use Skype, from better communication within the school between staff and / or students, to transformative learning experiences with schools and children around the world. The best way to get a flavour of what is possible is to watch the videos below.

    This first video provides a walkthrough of Skype for Business, from the very basics of understanding presence information and instant messaging (IM) to making video calls and scheduling Skype meetings. It's about 15 minutes long, but it does provide a great overview. Why not watch the first 5 minutes during a tea break just to find out how to get started?

     

     

    If you are more interested in finding out how Skype for Business can be used in the classroom, then the two videos below might provide some inspiration.

     Hear from these students how sharing with each other through video-calling has created transformative learning experiences.  Fabien Cousteau talks with classrooms around the world via Skype as part of the historic Mission 31 expedition

     

    Learn More About Skype for Business

    The following two links will provide basic training in how to get started using Skype for Business. You will be able to view videos that demonstrate how to use key features of Skype for Business, along with step by step instructions.

    Skype for Business Training - provides an introduction to Skype for Business, including how to install the client, sign in and configure audio and video.

    Communicate Your Way - provides further training on such topics as using Skype from within Outlook, and sharing your desktop.

     

    If you want to find out more about how Skype can be used in the classroom, then please take a look at the Skype in the Classroom section of the Microsoft Education Website. However, please be aware that this website is talking about the free version of Skype, available for anyone to download, rather than the Office 365 Skype for Business product. However, they are very similar products that basically do the same thing. So whether you choose to use Skype for Business, or just download and use the free version of Skype, hopefully the results will be just as rewarding.

    Skype in the Classroom

  • So You Want To Work From Home...Or From The Beach, Or The Train, or Anywhere.

    Modern technology means that you are no longer tied to the office when it comes to doing your work. That is assuming your work involves sitting at a computer, writing documents, updating databases, sending e-mails and the like. If you're a lion tamer then, well, maybe not so much use. But let’s assume you fall into the former category, and you'd like to know what you can do at your school to be able to work remotely; from home, from the beach, the train or anywhere. 

  • Sway

    What is Sway?

    Sway allows you to create interactive, digital presentations that can easily be shared and viewed on the web, on any device.

    • Add text, pictures, videos, audio and more.
    • The QuickStarter feature allows you to enter a topic, and Sway will automatically find content that you may want to include.
    • Share with the world, just your friends via social media, or just send the link to a select group of people.
    • View on your computer, phone or tablet. It is proper web content and so looks great on all devices.

    To get started with Sway, visit sway.com in any browser and then click Sign in on the top menu bar.


  • Transferring files to OneDrive or SharePoint

    Locate the files that you want to transfer. These might be in your My Documents folder, your home folder on a server (e.g. H: drive) or just files on the C: drive of your computer.

    Copy (or cut) the files you want to move.

    copy file from local drive
    Paste the files or folders into your OneDrive folder (top picture), or the SharePoint library that you are syncing (bottom picture).

    paste file onedrive

     

    paste file sharepoint

    You'll see the files or folders appear in your OneDrive folder. To begin with they will have a 'two arrows in a circle' symbol indicating that they are synchronising - uploading to OneDrive in Office 365. file synchronising symbol

    Once complete you will see a Status symbol of a 'green circle with a green tick'. which means the file is 'locally available'. That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low. Unless you have a computer that is particularly short of disk space, or you intend to sync a huge amount of files in the future it is likely these files will remain always available offline for you.

    However, you can make them always available offline - see below

     If you see any files with a red cross, this means they cannot synchronise. This may be due to the file type. Each error will need investigating to determine why the file won't synchronise, but be aware there may be some files that you can't upload to Office 365.

    file available offline symbol
    If you want to make sure a file or folder is always available offline, right click the file and select Always keep on this device always keep on device

    You will now see that the Status has changed to a solid green circle indicating "Always keep on this device". You will also see that there is a tick beside 'Always keep on this device' on the context menu. If you click Always keep on this device again it will clear that tick and the status will change to a clear green circle containing a green tick, meaning the file is 'locally available'. That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low.

    If you want to make a file 'online only' again, click on Clear space. The status symbol will change to a blue outline of a cloud

    clear space

     

  • Windows 10 - Should I Upgrade?

    Windows 10 has been out for over a year now, and during that time has settled down to become a very reliable operating system. Many organisations are still reluctant to move on from Windows 7 but, unless you have a critical piece of software that will only run on that particular operating system, there is really no reason not to move on to Windows 10 now.

    • SIMS is now fully supported on Windows 10.
    • RM Finance will run on Windows 10.
    • Windows 10 is designed to work with Office 365.
    • Microsoft Edge now supports extensions (Anniversary Update required).
    • Windows 10 starts up more quickly and shows better performance generally.
    • Windows 10 is more secure, and has BitLocker encryption built in.

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