• 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 onenote reader tile

    o365 forms tiles

    o365 sway tile

    o365 officemix tile

    Learning Tools - Immersive Reader for OneNote, 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 for OneNote - 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!
    • Office Mix - 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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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



  • 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?

    Still not sure why OneDrive is such a great tool?

    You have just finished writing a newsletter, but you need to get 3 other teachers to add some content specific to their classes, and you want the head teacher to do an overall editorial check. How do you currently achieve this?

    Most likely you e-mail each of your colleagues with a copy of the newsletter, and ask them to check and add content as required. Each of them downloads and saves a copy of that newsletter somewhere on the schools network, then reads it and either updates that new copy and sends it back to you, or just notes down the information and changes they want to make you aware of and e-mails them back separately.

    You then get 4 e-mails back and have to sort through all the information they contain before copying and pasting the appropriate information back into your master copy, hoping you don't make any mistakes as you do it. And with that done your newsletter is ready to go.

    You might delete the e-mails you got back from each or your colleagues or you might leave them cluttering up your inbox. It is unlikely anyone will delete the multiple copies of the newsletter that were created on the school network as part of that process.


    How can OneDrive help?

    You finish writing the original draft of your newsletter and save it in OneDrive. You select the file and click share. You select the four colleagues you want to contribute, type a quick message telling them what to do and click send.

    They each get an e-mail with a link to the newsletter shared in OneDrive. They click the link, the newsletter opens and they edit it directly - even at the same time as each other!

    When finished they let you know, and you just publish that single original, but now updated, newsletter. No cutting and pasting. No chance of new mistakes. And only ever just the single master document. Quicker. Easier. Better.


    Not Forgetting...

    So long as you have an internet connection, all of this could have been done from any device, any place, any time. That's what makes Office 365 so great. And OneDrive is a really good place to start to learn that you can do so much more with Office 365 than just send e-mail.


    Learn More About OneDrive

    If you want to learn how you might make better use of OneDrive, then please take a look at this Microsoft provided One Drive Quick Start tutorial. This will cover all the basics.

    Then, if you would like to learn more and discover how you can really get the most out of OneDrive, please check out the links below to access further training videos and articles provided by Microsoft. Just remember, as Office 365 is being constantly updated, the interfaces and exact methods for performing certain tasks can sometimes change over time.


  • 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 use OneNote?

    Dougs video.

     All things to all people. Neat and Tidy - then you can keep organised. Search if not.

    Microsoft summarize OneNote in 3 words: Capture, Organise and Share. For such a wide ranging, do everything application, that is actually quite a good way of beginning to understand why it is so useful, and why you will want to use it.


    OneNote is all about making it as easy as possible to capture all your ideas and information, and in whatever way best suits you. Sit down at your PC and type out neat lists.  Scribble down random thoughts, either with a stylus or your finger, on your tablet. Take a photo or record some audio directly into OneNote with your phone. Use Office Lens to capture a page of text directly into OneNote, and have it converted to editable text. Use OneNote WebClipper to capture whole webpages, selected sections or just a bookmark link.The point is that the technology doesn't get in the way of capturing an idea, but just lets you get it into OneNote as quickly and easily as possible. You can then find and organise it later.


    OneNote has a canny knack of being all things to all people. Are you the sort of person who like to have everything neatly sorted and colour coded? Is your desk always neat and tidy? Then you'll love OneNote. You can have separate notebooks for different parts of your life; for example school and home. Within an individual notebook you can then have different sections; for example different topics at school. And within each section you can have different pages. Tidy and Neat, as yu might say.

    Or are you the sort of person who has a messy desk, paper scattered everywhere? But you always know where to find everything. You'll love OneNote too. Just bung down your ideas and thoughts wherever suits you. No need to organise. And when you need to find them again, just click on search, type in a key word or phrase, and OneNote will pull up all the places where it finds that search term. So you find that article you wrote a year ago, without ever having to worry about where you might have filed it.

    But don't take my word for it. See what Doug has to say.


    You get the most out of OneNote when you use it conjunction with OneDrive and SharePoint as part of Office 365. This means that your OneNote notebooks will be available wherever you are and on all your different devices. It also means that it is really easy to share information with work colleagues and collaborate on projects together. Once a notebook is shared you can all access it and add in your own thoughts, ideas and content - even working in the same notebook at the same time. Any changes that someone else adds will be highlighted with their initials.For example, take the minutes for a meeting in a shared notebook, and those minutes are immediately available to everyone who was in the meeting. No need to type them up and e-mail them around the group. And at the next meeting, somebody else takes the next set of minutes in that same notebook. Work and results shared instantly.

    And because OneNote is part of the Office suite, it integrates with other Office 365 apps. Flag an item as a task in OneNote, and it will appear in your list of tasks in Outlook. Received and e-mail from a customer about a project you are working on? Save that e-mail into OneNote to easily share with colleagues and access later in the context of other relevant information. Have you created some instructions in OneNote that you would now like to e-mail to some people. Send a page as an e-mail directly from within OneNote.

    Learn More About OneNote

    As you might have gathered, we think OneNote is brilliant. So if you'd like to find out more and learn how to use it, then why not check out this Microsoft training. It will take you through installing from Office 365*, setting up a notebook in OneDrive and getting started with the all the basics. You won't look back once you've started.





    * You can download and install OneNote 2016 from Office 365 if you're subscription includes it, or if your school has an EES agreement. But don't worry if you can't install OneNote 2016. You can also install the OneNote app from the Windows store, the Apple store or the Google Play store. This has nearly as much fuctionality as the full blown Office 2016 desktop product, so you won't be missing out on much. And don't forget you can use OneNote online from within your Office 365 subscription as well.

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