Microsoft Planner – if you have not already heard of it, you should get on board! Microsoft Planner is the new way to organise teamwork. The Office 365 Planner provides a hub for you to create plans, organise and assign tasks to users and you can then check updates within a dashboard. Along with all this, there is also a centralised section where you can share files between the whole team.
You begin with creating a plan, this could be for each department that you are a team of. Within these plans, you create buckets which could be particular projects. You then can set tasks within these and assign them out to individual team members.
From a shared dashboard, team members within a group can see which tasks are completed in that plan, or are overdue or just getting started. This means that team members always know who is working on what. You can also attach files to assist the person who is working on the task. There is even an option to leave comments and have conversations without switching apps.
Microsoft Planner is now a part of the Office 365 suite of products. This means that Microsoft Planner is cloud based and it cannot be downloaded onto your mobile or desktop. You will find Microsoft Planner alongside your online OneNote or Word tiles within your Office 365 account.
Tomorrow morning sees the exciting online event called ‘Hack the Classroom’. Microsoft are bringing together inspiring educators and thought leaders to share their very own secrets with you. This had been designed to inspire teachers and enable you to incorporate the new ideas and tools that you learn from this online event, into your classroom.
By attending this online event you will be able to gain access to professional development resources and tools in order to get your hackathon started! You will be able to take a glimpse into teachers who have already taken this on board and see how these small changes do really make a big impact. You will also be able to engage, interact and pose questions to the speakers and educators.
Lets take a brief look at the agenda for the day…
Jordan Shapiro, an education thought leader called, will be taking you on a tour of the live make space.
MIE Expert and elementary special education teacher Laura Pittman, takes a look at the learning tools within OneNote to show how her students reading and writing skills have been dramatically increased.
John Kao shares with us his ideas on how to build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for students.
Patricia Romero will show you her journey of using Minecraft in her lesson, to then spreading this across her school and schools across Latin America.
Skype Master Teacher and MIE Expert, Dyane Smokorowski has used Skype to open the walls of her classroom and she will be taking you on a Virtual field trip.
Listen to how other teachers from the Marker Space share what it was like ‘making’ for the first time. Get to see how they connect this to their curriculum.
So if you want to join #HackTheClassroom it takes place on September the 24th 2016 at 08:00AM – 10:00AM PST. That’s tomorrow! So go and register now and don’t miss out on a very innovative live event that will take your classroom to the next level!
Previously this year, an add in for OneNote was announced called ‘Learning Tools for OneNote’. It has now been moved out of preview and is generally available. This has been designed specifically to help people with learning differences, focusing on improving their reading and writing. Learning notes has greatly helped within special education by enabling students to increase their reading speeds as seen by a Special Education teacher. Since its initial release, there has been a great response from both students and teachers but the great thing about this add-in is that it could benefit nearly anyone. Forbes magazine even described it is “One Of The Most Disruptive Education Technologies Yet” (Forbes OneNote review).
Features of Learning Tools includes the Immersive Reader where text can be highlighted and read out with voice over text which helps to sustain attention. You can alter the speed of speech and the size of the text.
Learning Tools appears as a new tab on your menu bar.
Here you can see a real live example of Immersive Reader. Each word is highlighted when spoken. To the right is a panel with options to later colour/size and more.
Other features include enhanced dictation which improves authoring text, front spacing and short lines, syllabification and comprehension mode. Which the general release of Learning Tools come some additional features; colour themes, switching languages, multiple language support, speech controls and easy download. Students can become independent learners with this excellent add on for OneNote.
Download Learning Tools for OneNote and find out for yourself why it is getting so many accolades! If you don’t currently have OneNote you can download Office 2016 and get the latest version there. You then just need to download this Learning Tools add on.
Windows 10 is the newest operating system to come from Microsoft. Windows 10 has been rolled out as a free download and is available to all those who currently use Windows 7, 8.0 and 8.1. To learn more about Windows 10 and its newest features take a look here.
Today, we want to look at how to utilise Windows 10 to its fullest advantage through the very best Windows 10 apps. Here are some of Windows 10 very best free apps.
This app has been optimised for touch devices within the update of windows 10. With Dropbox, you can take your videos, photos and documents anywhere you would like on any device. With Dropbox you have 2GB of free space on registration. Download Dropbox for Windows 10. Also, find out how to sync DropBox in Windows 10.
Fresh Paint is a free app that enables you to create high quality paintings. A multitude of tools are available on the app such as pencils, pens, paints etc. You can even blend and mix different coloured paints in order to create your desired colour. This app is ideal for a touch screen device with a stylus. You can choose a quick dry option and the paint will be dried quickly and be ready to upload and share. Download Fresh paint for Windows 10.
OneNote is your digital notebook. You can create notes, ideas, lesson plans and more. You can use One Note as your personal organiser. OneNote can also be used for teamwork as you are able to share your notebooks with colleagues/friends/family. You can edit notes together. All noted are automatically saved. Download One Note for Windows 10.
With Adobe Photoshop Express, you can have on-the-go editing. Download this app on your windows tablets and phones. You have access to basic editing tools such as remove red eye, flip image, crop, colour management etc. Additional editing packs are available if you sign in with an Adobe ID. Download Adobe Photoshop Express on Windows 10 and take your images to the next level.
Network Speed Test measures your network connectivity, network delay, download speed and upload speed. This app will also tell you which activities you may be able to once it knows how strong your connectivity is. These activities include things such as streaming videos or video calls. You also can see any of your performance history. To start analysing your Network Speed connectivity download Network Speed Test for Windows 10.
Wunderlist is the ideas to-do list app. You can make notes and lists on anything from a planned holiday to a grocery list. You can access this app from any of your devices. You can share your lists with your colleagues, family and friends. Other features include being able to attach PDFs and presentations along with setting reminders and categorising lists into folders. Organise your workload by downloading Wunderlist for free on Windows 10.
VLC is a media player that will play most multimedia files as well as network streaming protocols, discs and devices. VLC also supports subtitles, multi-track audio and speed control. VLC is capabale of being used without having to install any addictions codecs. Stream your favourite films by downloading VLC for Windows 10.
Tuesday 23rd February 2016 saw our first joint event with Microsoft. The day revolved around ‘Office 365 in Education’, and what a day it was!
The day began with an Introduction to Office 365 from a guest speaker at Microsoft called Richard Green. He explained what Office 365 and how you can sign up to it.
Following on from this, Stuart Ball held a very impressive talk on ‘the cool things you can do with Office 365’. We particularly focused in on PowerPoint. Stuart showed that there is so much to PowerPoint than you could ever imagine. Features include active text boxes, impressive graphic editing and annotation. One feature that really impressed the students was being able to program the buttons on an Xbox controller or guitar hero to write/draw on and control the slide. He also did an interactive display of how an electrical current running through the students holding hands, can power the PowerPoint.
The next part of the day saw the students and teachers split. The students were given the task to create a PowerPoint presentation about Office 365 and were given strict criteria to aim towards. This included a total of 5 slides, an image and a word beginning with ‘S’ to describe Office 365 on each slide. The teachers on the other hand stayed in the auditorium with Stuart to learn about the advantages of Office 365 from a teaching perspective and how they can use it better within the classroom.
Steve Oke from Coretek assisting the student with their presentations!
Lunch was the next part of the day. After lunch, everyone was treated to a tour around Microsoft Headquarters. The student’s were very excited to say the least! We were shown the Microsoft Xbox centre, which was a particular favourite for the students! Other key features were the Microsoft Experience room and the state of the art Gym supported by Nuffield Health.
Some of the children enjoying the tour!
The Microsoft Xbox room!
The next part of the day saw the children finishing their presentations in preparation to present them to everyone later in the day. At this time, the teachers and the students were split once again. This time one of Coretek’s team, James Bell, held a session for the teachers on signing up to Office 365. Within his presentation James showed the teachers the Office 365 portal. This included where to access the different Office 365 programmes as well as where to download the latest software which is available as part of the subscription.
To finish the day, we saw the group of students from each school present their PowerPoint presentations which they had created. Each school received certificates at the end of the day.
The event was a complete success as the very first Microsoft and Coretek integrated event.
Microsoft and Coretek’s main mission was to empower these students and all students on the planet to achieve more. Teachers are the key goal and we are committed to providing teachers the tools and training needed to redefine learning.
The new Microsoft Educator Community has a wealth of resources to support training and professional development. This allows educators to stay current with the right mix of student-focused technology, experiential learning, and virtual collaboration to help students learn and grow. Find out more from one of the expert educators here.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our social media channels.
Microsoft Office is one of Microsoft’s flagship titles. It’s been around for over 20 years and is used throughout the world by everyone from primary school children to company directors.
Most users have heard of the more established applications in the office suite such as: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. But what about the lesser known titles? Today, I am going to focus on OneNote which is a superb note-taking and planning piece of software.
So what exactly is OneNote? In a nutshell, it is a central place to organise your notes and keep a variety of documents all grouped together. It can be used for a number of different tasks: from project management, brainstorming to planning your day.
If you would like to see One Note in action, here is a useful video on how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQS-b-xFFU
To really get to grips with OneNote, the best way is to dive in and start using it for yourself. The General tab in OneNote has a brief summary on the different features available.
If you are not convinced yet, here are 5 reasons why you should give OneNote a try:
1. Access your Notes from anywhere – OneNote is not only available on your PC but also on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Mobile. Access your Notebooks from any PC via your Windows Live or Hotmail account. If you are out of the office and need to take a quick note, now you can.
2. Auto-save – Your Notebooks are being constantly saved so there is no risk of closing OneNote and losing any data.
3. Collaborate with colleagues at the same time, on the same Notebook – You and your colleagues can work on a notebook simultaneously, with each user’s initials next to their contribution. Ideal for situations when a team of people are working together on a project. Try doing that in Word.
4. Take pictures with your smartphone straight into your Notebook – Using the OneNote app, you can take a photo with your smartphone and this will go straight into your Notebook.
5. Integrate with Office – OneNote integrates seamlessly with the other Office products. You can assign Outlook tasks, insert Word or Excel documents directly into your Notebook or print directly into OneNote from the print menu.
Thanks to OneNote, I have managed to rid myself of all ‘to-do’ lists and my desk is a post-it free zone! Plus, this is only a small selection of the features it has to offer. It’s is an invaluable part of my daily workflow and couldn’t be without it. I strongly recommend giving it a try.