We have made a quick video guide for students and parents about using Microsoft Teams from home during this time of remote learning. We hope you find it useful!
Guest post by Courtney Farrow with video by Tony Phillips
With 98% of classrooms now using computers, laptops and tablets, it’s safe to say that digital learning is here to stay.
However, many teachers still find themselves chained to their desktop computers, whiteboards and paper notebooks, unable to invest time and energy into making lessons more engaging, diverse and dynamic.
Does this sound familiar?
If so, Digital Ink in Microsoft’s Class Notebook could transform the way you teach.
Combining the traditional hand-written word with the power of digital technology, Digital Ink has improved the quality of the curriculum for 90% of teachers who have used it.
On top of this, schools say that Digital Ink saves time, increases engagement and class management, creates more personalised learning environments where students can get authentic, timely feedback from their teachers.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the proven benefits of Digital Ink in the classroom.
One of the main advantages of Digital Ink is that it saves time, which will probably be music to every teacher’s ears.
In fact, 67% of teachers who used the product said that it saved them precious time when preparing lessons, allowing them to access pre-prepared resources quickly, without having to redraw or re-write everything the class needs to see on a whiteboard.
One teacher explained:
“When I taught geometry and got to the question that nobody in the class understood, I had to stop the lesson and draw on the whiteboard. It took five minutes, and then I had to add labels. Only after all this, could I finally start talking about how to solve it.”
With Digital Ink, any lesson resources can be prepared in advance and reused over and over again, without having to erase and recreate it the next time you cover the topic.
Meanwhile, half of teachers have found that it saves time marking and grading pupils’ work. There will be more detail on student feedback with Digital Ink later in this blog post.
Improve the quality of lessons by unchaining the teacher from their desk
Most teachers who have used Digital Ink have said that it allows them to be anywhere in the classroom – without being tied to the front desk – enabling them to manage the class and engage the students in the work that’s appearing on the smartboard.
Thanks to the connectivity between student and teacher devices, children can be interacting with what is being displayed on the smartboard within seconds.
A more personalised learning environment.
Real-time collaboration between students and their teachers allows learning to continue outside of the classroom.
Around 50% of teachers have said that the technology increases the quality of communications with students.
Authentic and timely student feedback
Because of increased communication in and outside of the classroom, digital ink has transformed the way teachers give feedback to pupils.
You can quickly and easily annotate a piece of work, feeding back to students instantly and supporting them when they need it, rather than days after they need it.
As with all Microsoft Office 365 products, everything is saved automatically and in one place. One key benefit several teachers have pointed out is that Digital Ink lets teachers give feedback during the school day, or even during the actual lesson, rather than waiting until they get home.
In the video below, Cloud Design Box Founder Tony Phillips walks you through some critical uses of Digital Ink in the classroom, including student feedback and annotations, ink-to-text capability and solutions and steps for Math equations.
*All statistics and research mentioned in this blog post was taken from Digital Ink in the Classroom – Authentic, Efficient Student Engagement, an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Microsoft. IDC conducted a research study with 685 teachers who are using computers in the classroom to understand their classroom technology usage, and specifically how they are using Digital Inking devices.
Microsoft Teams has had a makeover with some new UI and feature changes this summer. In the video below, we go through these changes and what it means for teachers and students using Teams in the classroom.
A new tiled interface helps you to visualise your classes in a more friendly view. Don’t worry if you like the list view, you can always switch back to it at any time.
Moving Class Notebook Content
You can now take your Class Notebook content library and teacher only sections with you. When creating your new Class Notebook, you will have the option to import from previous Class Notebooks.
Assignments are easier to view with the new grouped view. Late assignments are marked red.
There are more updates coming soon too. You can check these out on the Teams Education blog.
SharePoint, Class Notebook and Teams forms the foundation for curriculum delivery at The Cornerstone Academy Trust.
Hearing stories about how other schools and academies are thriving with Office 365 and SharePoint is a great way to feel inspired.
Our new podcast series focuses on real-life user adoption cases and aims to encourage a community resource for those who are interested in how Microsoft can help you, and your pupils, achieve more.
In our third episode, Tony Phillips, Cloud Design Box Founder and Darren Hemming, our Operations Manager, spoke with Jonathan Bishop, CEO of The Cornerstone Academy Trust.
The headteacher – who has been teaching for the past 25 years – offers some real insight into the way Office 365 and SharePoint can be embraced in and outside of the classroom.
“Office 365, SharePoint and – in particular – Class Notebook, has had a huge impact on our Trust. OneNote totally underpins our lesson planning, teaching and student engagement – before, during and after lessons,” Jonathan enthuses.
“It’s the one fundamental tool in Office 365 that supports our whole curriculum delivery.”
The Cornerstone Academy Trust is a multi-academy trust that currently covers Broadclyst Community Primary School, Westclyst Community Primary School and The Cornerstone Teaching School.
Supporting children from the age of two through to 11, the Trust places technology firmly at the helm of the school ethos.
“We have invested in a number of Surface Pro tablets so that our students can access learning resources from wherever they are in the school or at home,” he tells us.
Jonathan describes one typical use of OneNote in the classroom:
“Teachers write on the whiteboard in digital ink, and this immediately syncs to the pupils’ tablets. This content is then used during smaller, targeted group sessions. And, when they get home, students seamlessly pick up what they were doing during the day, further strengthening their learning.”
All learning resources are available at the child’s fingertips, while teachers can work together and prepare valuable learning materials for students.
“We’ve worked with Cloud Design Box to configure each Class Notebook into different zones: one for teacher content, a collaborative zone for on-going projects and a personal area for each child.”
Permissions and roles can be set with ease for each resource. For example, teacher content is read-only and cannot be edited by pupils, while personal pupil areas can only be accessed by the individual and their teacher.
“Parents can also view the content to see what their children are up to in school, whether this is tracking progress or watching a video of their nursery-aged child learn about butterflies.”
More recently, Cloud Design Box has worked with the Trust to integrate Class Notebook with the communications tool Microsoft Teams.
“Teams has built on the strong system we already had in place. It’s added an extra layer of support to our teaching and learning,” Jonathan reveals.
“The ability to chat about work in targeted groups enhances the learner experience and combines the structure of individual assignments with a collaborative team-driven approach – similar to how adults would in the office.”
In fact, Jonathan is very passionate about how digital tools like SharePoint and Office 365 equip pupils with the skills needed for future employment.
Currently, there is a debate about whether or not we are losing traditional skills, such as handwriting and literacy, but Jonathan argues that tablets and technology are complementing education.
“We don’t think of technology as replacing traditional skills, we think of it as allowing a pupil to gain new, 21st century skills that they’ll use in the workplace.”
Some final takeaways from Jonathan:
- Digital is enhancing the classroom.
- SharePoint is a solid foundation for curriculum delivery.
- Collaboration tools empower students to develop skills for their futures.
Microsoft Forms are a great way to quickly gather survey results or produce quizzes. It could be testing employees on health and safety in OneNote or it could be setting students a topic quiz in Class Notebook.
In this post, I’m going to go through the steps on how to add a quiz to OneNote.
First, create a new page and call it “Quiz”.
Go to the insert tab in the ribbon and select “Forms”.
Here you will see a list of any forms and quizzes that you previously created in addition to the new options.
Click “New Quiz”.
Microsoft Forms will open in a new tab, give the quiz a title and description.
Click “Add question” and select “Choice”.
Enter a question and all the options, you can press “Add option” to add more answer options.
Next to each answer option, you can provide some feedback for users who select this option using the speech bubble icon (see highlighted below).
Mark the correct answer by selecting the tick icon (see highlighted below).
At the bottom of the question, you can assign points for the correct answer, allow multiple answers and make it a required question.
By pressing the menu (…), you can bring up more options such as shuffling the answers or writing math equations.
You can add more questions by clicking “Add question”. The form will save automatically as you edit it (no save button).
When you have finished creating your quiz, switch the browser tab back to the OneNote file, you will see that the quiz has now appeared in the “My forms” list.
Press the “Insert” button.
Our quiz is now embedded on the page!
When users complete the quiz, they will see their points after pressing submit (with feedback on each question).
The author of the quiz can go back into “Microsoft Forms” via the app launcher (see highlighted below).
They can then see a detailed breakdown of the results with the option to export to Excel.
Microsoft Forms can also be added to SharePoint pages, so you can enhance your intranet with surveys and quizzes!
Microsoft Forms is a great tool in the Office 365 package. By using this tool in your organisation, you could really improve engagement with users.
At Cloud Design Box, our solutions help schools and companies get the best out of SharePoint, Teams and OneNote.
I’m going to be at Bett 2018 next week with the Cloud Design Box team, really excited to have some stand space this year with our MIS integration partners SalamanderSoft. Cloud Design Box will be showcasing the best of SharePoint, Class Notebook and Teams integration.
Our stand number is C210, opposite Google on the main corridor leading to the Bett Arena. We even have a seating area and coffee machine if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bett for a while.
Please feel free to pop by and hello to myself, Darren and Lloyd. If you can’t make it, you can sign-up to a webinar so that you don’t miss out on all the exciting Office 365 news and the latest developments.
We will be launching our new SharePoint intranet packages containing features such as:
- Class Dashboard (find all your class data across SharePoint, OneNote and Teams in one easy to access place)
- Modern SharePoint UI Branding (Our slick new branding and navigation interface for the new look SharePoint)
- Team Provisioning and Extensions (We create Teams from MIS data and extend the functionality even further with student folders and class pages)
- SharePoint site automation and templates
- Workflows, training, support and much more!
You can find out more about Cloud Design Box’s products here.
Our partners SalamanderSoft will be showcasing:
- A new free utility ‘Salamander for Apple School Manager’ for uploading data to Apple School Manager directly from your MIS
- Monitor tool for Salamander Active Directory
- Microsoft Teams and School Data Sync including our free utility for uploading data
- Office 365 user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables and more.
- OneNote Class Notebook provisioning and use.
- G-Suite user and group creation and maintenance, licenses, photos, timetables, sites, drive, cloud print and more.
- Google Classroom including guardian and calendar support
- Active Directory user and group creation, maintenance and more.
- Write back of usernames, email addresses and user defined fields into your MIS (where supported by the MIS). Also creation of SIMs system users.
- Support for the above for all UK MISs including Capita SIMS, RM Integris, Progresso, Facility CMIS, iSAMS, WCBS Pass & 3 Sys, Bromcom, Arbor and many overseas ones
You can find out more about Salamander’s products here.
OneNote Class Notebook is free for education users as part of Office 365, it has some additional functionality which isn’t available in standard OneNote files. In this blog post, I want to focus on the additional learning tools available in this version. There is also a video guide for this post below.
How do I get Class Notebooks?
Class Notebooks can be created in a many ways (depending on how your school decides to use Office 365). Class Notebooks can be created from the Class Notebook App, Microsoft Teams or inside SharePoint or OneDrive.
Creating a “Class” in Microsoft Teams will automatically create a Class Notebook for the group.
How are Class Notebooks different to OneNote Notebooks?
Class Notebooks have a section for each student. Each student can see their own section, the teacher resources and the collaboration area. They can’t see other student sections. Logged in as a teacher, you have access to all the student sections.
How do I send distribute an assignment to the students?
Assignments, worksheets or any other hand-outs can be copied into each student’s own section. To distribute a page, the teacher must:
- 1. Create a new page
- 2. Populate the page with what you would like to be sent out to the student (e.g. write an essay on…..)
- 3. In the “Class Notebook” option in the ribbon, select “Distribute Section”
- 4. Select where you would like the page to be sent
How do I review student work?
Class Notebook has a great tool to make it simple to find student work. In the ribbon select “Review Student Work” from the Class Notebook.
From here, you can select a page and switch between students for quick access to their work.
This option is available under the “View” tab.
The immersive reader provides the student with a tool to clearly show text on the page without other distractions (images, formatting, etc). In addition to sharpening the student focus on the text, the tool provides some options to:
- Emphasise syllables, nouns, verbs and adjectives.
- High contrast themes
- Focus on lines or sections of the text
- Read out the text
This is a learning tool that has some good research behind it which suggests that it can be used to improve reading and writing comprehension.
What about formal assignments and homework?
OneNote Class Notebook is a great tool for non-formal work hand-outs. With Microsoft Teams, it can be enhanced to provide formal assignments which can be handed out to students, collected in and graded. We will look at that in the next blog/video post.
Need help setting up Microsoft Teams?
I work for Cloud Design Box and we provide teacher training workshops, support, MIS integration, apps and many other services for Office 365. You can contact us via the website or by email. I hope you have found this blog and video post useful!
Class teams are now available inside Microsoft Teams. These are created automatically using School Data Sync (SDS) or can be created manually in the Teams interface.
Teams is a great collaboration interface that pulls together instant messaging, videos calls, SharePoint, OneNote and assignments into one place. It can also be extended with custom tabs.
I’ve created a quick video review below.
There are some similarities to Microsoft Classroom, however some functionality is different. A few issues with Class Notebooks in Teams:
- Student sections menu not visible
- Missing the Class Notebook tab to distribute pages and sections
- Immersive reader option missing from view tab
You can get around these issues by opening the Team’s SharePoint site and clicking “Notebook” inside SharePoint. Hopefully Microsoft will be quick to resolve these issues.
Microsoft Classroom had a mobile app for Android and iOS which gave students notifications when new assignments were posted or graded. It also allowed students to set reminders for homework. The Teams mobile app does not include the assignment section at all so no notifications for students or teachers. The assignments are not visible on mobile devices. Again, this is early days and I expect Microsoft to release this functionality in the not too far future.
Over the last few months, we have received lots of positive feedback about the new Microsoft Classroom Preview product. Today Microsoft announced in the Office 365 message centre that this would be replaced at the end of July 2017 with Microsoft Teams for Education.
No need to panic, MS Classroom functionality will still exist but in the Microsoft Teams app (from what we can see from the screenshots). You can still set assignments, create class notebooks, discuss, share files and quizzes but it will all be accessed through the Microsoft Teams interface rather than through the MS Classroom App. There is no news on the Microsoft Classroom mobile app for iOS and Android but hopefully this will be replaced so that students can still get notifications for new assignments and grades.
You may have seen the following message in the Office 365 message centre, notifying you of the change.
On July 31, 2017, we’ll discontinue support for the Microsoft Classroom Preview, as we work to unify our classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education. Since the Microsoft Classroom Preview released, we’ve been very thankful for schools’ feedback from around the world; which has helped us improve benefits and features of the service. Ultimately, we learned to keep it simple and put classroom resources all in one place. We listened and we’re bringing the best of the classroom features (e.g., Assignments and OneNote Class Notebook) to Microsoft Teams in Office 365 for Education.
How does this affect me?
– Microsoft Classroom Preview will continue with current functionality until July 31, 2017. – Teachers will not be able to create new notebooks or assignments after the July 31, 2017. – Current classes and associated content will continue to be available as Office 365 Groups. Teachers can access assignment resources, files, calendars, and conversations, through tools such as Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint Online. If necessary, they can copy Class Notebook content to their personal workspace (e.g. OneDrive for Business). – When the new class experiences become available in Teams, School Data Sync will start creating the new classes for Microsoft Teams. SDS will continue to sync existing Microsoft Classroom Preview classes through July 31, 2017.
What do I need to do to prepare for this change?
We apologise for any inconvenience resulting from this transition. We encourage you to try out Microsoft Teams, and get yourself familiar with the Teams experience. Please click Additional Information to learn more.
I would like to thank everyone who took part in today’s webinar on Microsoft Classroom by Cloud Design Box.
In the session, we covered:
- How to get Microsoft Classroom
- How to create a new class
- Using OneNote Class Notebook to enhance teaching and learning
- Setting assignments
- Marking and returning student work
- Using the mobile apps
- How to access School Data Sync (SDS)
The session was recorded for all those who missed the session.
I hope everyone found the session useful. We will be putting on additional webinars and live events later this year. Please follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.