Monday, January 23, 2017

Office 365. What are you waiting for?

Teachers and students alike, in the Georgetown County School District, have access to the Office 365 tools…compliments of our I.T. Department, our District Administration and ultimately, our Board of Education.  The Microsoft suite bundles many of the commonly used tools, along with some new ones, to enhance the teaching and learning experiences in our schools.

“But doesn’t it take a lot of time to teach the students how to use all of them?”  It doesn’t have to…many of the tools are intuitive…but an introduction including initial access is the best way to get started on the right foot.

There is a Terabyte of storage offered for students inside the Office 365 One Drive…that’s equal to 1,000 GB of space. Storage there is easy and smooth.  Students can store Word documents, PDF documents, Excel spreadsheets, Power Point presentations, pictures and more.  Students can also do this on the drives or storage areas at school that they have access to such as the G Drive (school-wide storage) and the H Drive (student’s personal storage).  Both of the aforementioned are good alternatives, but they both have their drawbacks.  The G Drive, or the general drive is a whole school storage place.  That means that anyone at the school that is logged on as himself or herself (and not a generic login) can access anything else on there.  Hardy a secure place to put anything.  The H Drive on the other hand, while offering the security of just the one student to be able to access their storage, it is only accessible while at school on a school district device.

The One Drive is accessible anywhere you can get to the Internet from your device, at home, at the public library, at a friend’s house, at a grandparent’s house, in another state or even another country.  Student will have this Terabyte of storage all the way through until they graduate, as long as the District has a subscription for the Office 365.  Usually after the third month from graduation, those graduates’ accounts will be cleaned off and passed back to the newest students in Kindergarten.  But until then, the account goes with the student from school to school, as long as he or she is in a subscribing district.

Briefly, here are a few of the student uses and features:
  • ·         1,000 GB of storage
  • ·         Drag and Drop storage capabilities
  • ·         Ability to download the Office Suite on a home computer if needed
  • ·         Use of Online Word
  • ·         Use of Online Excel
  • ·         Use of Online Power Point
  • ·         Collaboration Space Yammer
  • ·         One Note – note taking digital notebooks
  • ·         Forms for creating/filling out surveys
  • ·         Calendar
  • ·         Event Planner
  • ·         Use of Office 365 email
  • ·         Creation of Student folders
  • ·         Creation of Teacher folders and share work by dropping in the folder.  That’s it!
  • ·         Ability to share folders and projects “live” with other students and teachers
  • ·         Ability to have several people working on the same project online at the same time from different locations
  • ·         Ability to share outside the walls of the classroom for a more global outreach

The Tech Coaches highly recommend that you invite them into your classroom to have them introduce Office 365 to your students.  Many teachers already have, and their students are reaching new heights in technology and the skill set they will need for the future.  What are you waiting for…book your Tech Coach today!

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