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Showing posts from March, 2015

Yammer : 5 reasons to explore a new space

Continuing on the Microsoft Expert Educator suggestion to make 5-tips-articles here's one on Yammer.

Yammer is part of Office365 and is free to schools, faculty and students as part of their free Office365 subscriptions.  On first glance, and in general discussion with faculty and students, its best approximation is a social networking conversation space like Facebook.

So why not just use Facebook?  For Facebook there is the explicit danger of using a personal space for professional work between & amongst students and teachers, Instead, Yammer is built in to the Office365 structure (so security and consistency of passwords).  And, for the data hungry, Yammer allows you to do analysis on the posts (everything can be downloaded into Excel) -- we're looking forward to a longitudinal analysis of student writing as we move year-to-year..

5 ideas on how to maximize Yammer's effectiveness:

1) Use Yammer school wide for announcement and discussions.

Email is notoriously misused…

Art and #OneNote ? My 5 responses

So a colleague posted this on a Yammer conversation the other day and I didn't want to try to post to it without some explanations, for which Yammer did not provide sufficient space.  And since Microsoft encouraged us to post "5 point articles" I feel constrained to continue in that fashion :)


I'm not sure I ever would have suggested digital inking to create art in OneNote... there are FAR better tools for that!  Brief sketches, initial designs perhaps but a full art curriculum deserves far more than OneNote can offer (and that's OneNote's biggest advocate talking!)
Amongst OneNote's strengths (see a 5-point rundown here) are its sharing abilities and ease with multimedia. My ideas, then, are based on that understanding ... how easy it is take take anything and share it -- and then build on it. I am not sure it necessarily enhances Art but it does bring Art and the learning of Art into a richer environment.
These also require no more than what is availabl…

Top 5 reasons to use #OneNote in your classroom

Microsoft asked if we could put together 5-point tip lists.  As it happens, I had started to scribble down some thoughts on a recent snow day (a Rumspringa for teachers) and never got it completed so while I'm on March Break I have the time to finish it up.

This is just basic, free OneNote -- without any special add-ons like Onetastic or the OneNote Class or Staff Notebooks.

1. OneNote is sharing

Even before the amazing classroom space of the OneNote Class Notebook was created, OneNote was always about sharing.  You create a notebook and share it (via an emailed or web-based link) with anyone you want to either view or edit.  They don't need to have OneNote installed and, depending on how you share it, they don't even need to sign in.

I've used it with in and out of school with colleagues to develop and deliver Professional Development, with various groups of students to work on Model UN debate planning, and at conferences to both share resources (in the place of paper …

The 5 Next Steps a Teacher takes with the #OneNoteClass Notebook

We've had almost four years with our OneNote ClassBinder, having rolled it out to every class from 7 to 12, math to languages to phys-ed every year.  In the first year we had 85% of classes voluntarily use it -- that's the power of handing teachers the open structure of OneNote!  (People always ask about training... here's my notes on that topic.)

The easy part is already done by OneNote and the OneNote ClassNotebook Creator (get them both free here http://www.onenoteforteachers.com/ !) OneNote gives you a wide open canvas for any type of content and the ease of automatically syncing across any device.  The ClassNotebook Creator creates the structure that teachers & students need to use OneNote effectively, without having to think about it.

So, here's the Five Next Steps once you have the OneNote ClassNotebook Creator run:

1) Put the important stuff "Above the Fold"
Take over the introductory page and make it your Announcements/Course Plan page -- put wha…