Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Using Delve to Board up your School

So I mentioned that one of the apps inside of Office365, Delve, is my best friend in a previous post - mostly because it's an intelligent agent that helps me prioritize (and find) things I should be working on.  If you haven't clicked on the Waffle in Office365 and then clicked on the Delve button, you should stop reading and try it now!

Beside the intelligence behind what you see, Delve has another layer to help you and your students keep things together: the Board.  The Board helps you deal with a "Shared with Me" that has gone out of control (well, to be fair, it goes out of control because you're using the Cloud effectively, so that's a good thing).

When you see documents in Delve that "go together" you can pin them to a Board, allowing you to create a page of documents all on a particular project.
What you see below you is what I see this morning when I click on "Me" (Cal Armstrong) ... it shows the two documents we used school wide for our special day-before-March-Break (Attendance & Coverages), our Spreadsheet on Relationship Mapping at at our School, and then three attachments on an email that came in first thing this morning.   None of these are what I want... I need to see the documents for New Faculty.  So I click on NEW FACULTY under BOARDS at the lower left.  It's there because (a) I made the Board and (b) I've used the Board in the past.  New Faculty are shown the Board first thing so that it appears for them, too.

This is after clicking Me this morning at about 11am.  It'll be different now.
The reason we use a Board is that our new faculty have a whole bunch of documents that are going to be important for them... but some are stored in the general Faculty Site, some are Athletic documents stored in the Athletics Site, some are HR, some are on the Residential Site (we're a boarding school), some are (incorrectly) stored on individual's OneDrives (yeah, we still do that)... well, you get the picture, there are a lot of important documents in various spaces and our new faculty are least likely to know where to look.
So, instead, in Delve I (and several other admins) tag the documents "New Faculty" as we prepare for a new year (and throughout the year) and since Boards are public, the new faculty see the Board in their Delve and they can see all the documents they may need.  As we add new documents, they automatically appear in the list the next time the teacher clicks on New Faculty.  From Delve, they can open or email the document .... or jump into a Yammer discussion on the document.
Slightly edited for convenience

Now, it's important to remember in Delve that you only see the documents you have rights too.  If you don't have permission to read it, you don't even know it exists.  So if I pin a new document on the New Faculty Board, but the principal hasn't released it to the Faculty yet, only she and I see it.  When she opens up the sharing, it will automagically appear.

So... if you're working with a group of people and want to keep disparate documents located in a variety of locations (Course Site, my OneDrive, your OneDrive, the general Faculty Site, etc) just create a Board and tag each document with the Board's name.  When you're done, just click Remove From Favorite and the Board disappears.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

400,000 and 3.5 million

I wrote this on Facebook for my family and friends...

In the summer of 2012, I drew a diagram of a nested set of folders on a whiteboard and turned to Jason Llorin, our OneNote programmer, and asked "can you make me that?" And he could, and he did.
In 2013, I presented a paper & a poster to a conference on the results of that experiment at our school and ended up after my presentation being asked to have lunch with a guy from Microsoft Research.
I am immensely proud that my School said to Microsoft after that initial meeting in 2013 "here, take what we have and bring it to the world". And they did.
Through a lot of hard work of a lot of people at Appleby College, students, staff and faculty, we made a start to a technology that today Microsoft announced has been used by 400,000 teachers and 3.5 million students.  The OneNote Class Notebook.
We have laid the groundwork for a whole new approach to education, digitizing content and providing workflows that build on the past but provide for the present and future of technology, with a nod to a strong and vibrant pedagogy. Our faculty and students have continued to provide feedback on how to make things better and our approach is still the world leader in OneNote implementation.
At its heart, and the reason why I drew the diagram in the first place, was to bring to my classroom what I first read in Wiliam & Black so long ago: " Discussion, observation of activities, and marking of written work can all be used to provide those opportunities [of communicating their understanding], but it is then important to look at or listen carefully to the talk, the writing, and the actions through which pupils develop and display the state of their understanding " OneNote gave me a way of seeing and capturing through ink, text, audio & video my students' learning and then providing them feedback in multiple media without being impeded by physical space or time. I no longer lost them when they left the room with their notes -- and they no longer lost me when they changed classes.
And now, thanks to Appleby College, the whole world has the same opportunity.
 — at Appleby College.

My research poster at WIPTTE2013 ... likely also the first use of Aurasma Augmented Reality on a research poster.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why Delve is my best friend

There's no question that I think the best part of Office365, the best part of Microsoft, heck, the best part of the entire technology community is OneNote.  Hands down.  But what's #2?

#2 is Delve.  Delve is the user face for every bit of intelligence that is developed from  "Office Graph", Microsoft's background data analyzer on the Office365 system.   People will never see the Office Graph... okay, programmers may... but they'll see the results of what essentially is a blend of Watson (from Jeopardy fame) and Rosie (from the Jetsons) when they turn to Delve.

The immediate problem? With everything saved in OneDrive, Office Sites, OneNote, Yammer and Office365 Video students and teachers have a ridiculously long list of files and folders available to them.  And not only do they have their own files & folders, they have people sharing files, folders and OneNotes with them, too.

This isn't just a Microsoft thing ... I also have a 120Gb GoogleDrive that's nearly full, and I depend on the Search in GDocs to find things.  But straight-out Search is inefficient since it doesn't reflect connections or priority.  It treats every document as equally important and doesn't give any context to the contents or the authors involved.  Delve does.

So every day, I go to Delve to start working.  It shows me the documents I should be working on based on (a) what I've been working on recently, (b) what others have been working on with me recently (including any new documents) and (c) what Delve has found to be important that I wasn't even aware of.

Delve knows who I'm working with, who I'm working with A LOT, and who I prioritize over others. 

How you, say?  Well check out my "People" list to the left of the image below.  Delve has picked these people as important -- the first is our Academic Director (yeah, we work a lot together) and the 2nd is our Head of School.  I've never worked on a document with him (ever) BUT any document that Innes has shared has been viewed by likely 90% of my colleagues within 2 minutes of him emailing something out -- people read his stuff, and they read it quickly after he posts it.  And OfficeGraph is reading all those activities in the background, measuring who is connected to whom and how quickly they react to things (as a mathematician, this data analysis just makes me go squee!)  So any document that Innes works on that is shared with me, boom! it shows up near the top.

So, instead of going to a huge list of files and typing in a search term and looking through a still-long list of files, I turn to Delve.  When I first open Delve up (now, this is on my desktop so it shows a lot more files) it shows me all the files I will likely be working on.  

Notice (well, let me point it out to you) that it looks through the attachments on my email, my OneNotes, the folders on sites that I work on... and gives me one-click access to start working on them.  And then, if I want, I can filter by people on the left or do searches by people or content ... but again, I don't get a simple list back... I get a prioritized list based on the above connections and behaviours.  

And the more I use Office365, the more OfficeGraph analyzes my behaviour in the background and Delve shows me what I need to work on.
What comes next?  The Delve App ... but more on that later.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

#My24Hrs Part 2

Teacher content displayed on projector
So it was optimistic of me to say I'd be able to post twice in the same day... so here I continue from #My24Hrs Part 1.

So as it turned out, I didn't have a lot of time to run around to classes.  I managed to pop into one geography class and saw what I would expect to see -- students working with each other, teacher roaming around the room after putting up a motivating question on the projector, and OneNote in high use.
Using Split Screen
(Window&CursorRight and then Window&CursorLeft)
so that students can pull ideas across applications
I did manage to stop by our Admissions Office for a meeting and recorded our admissions coordinator over how she uses OneNote with students (students volunteer as Tour Guides so all their material and scheduling is done in a shared OneNote with them).  I thought the most telling comment, from someone deeply engaged in the administration of information is that, while she might have liked a lot of training on OneNote, she didn't actually need it to get a lot of things done.

And then there was the things I just did in the course of #my24hrs

  • OneNote was everywhere, of course.  And it wasn't always just the teacher projecting it on the screen; students have it open at their desks, they share their tablets when working in groups, it's on desktops and phones.  It's really interesting to walk into a classroom and see information flow quickly between and amongst teachers and students like the passing of paper, but instantly, digitally and without anything physical.
I love how the pen is at the ready, but she uses the keyboard
to quickly get content down.

  • chatting with the PhysEd teacher about her Office365 Video channel for her Grade 9 Girls PhysEd.  She has a series of videos put together to have them practice their self-defense and workout routines.  Videos are taken from multiple directions so they can get their stances and motions correct.  They use their tablets and mobile devices to both access and add videos to the channel.  And, since we control the permissions to the channel, the videos are safe from the outside world.

  • talking to the Business teacher about using Office365 groups with the International Business class so that each group has their own independent work/conversation space.  
  • The organization that OneNote offers is
    extraordinarily helpful to students
  • spent an hour setting up the externally-shared OneNote Class Notebook for my webinar on Wednesday.  This has been a huge step forward, being able to assign an external individual as a "student" or "staff" member on a section.  We've used this to do a Class Notebook merging one of our Science classes with one in France for a project (instead of one student "owning" a tab, a Canadian and a French student worked in a tab).  But, since I was doing a webinar on OneNote Class Notebook, I wanted the participants to be able to experience it as a student 

    Just because we're almost paperless doesn't mean
    we don't use paper.  It means we use the right tool
    for the job at that moment.
  •  Discussed the new look of Delve with an administrator.  She was mentioning to me how much she depends on the intelligence of Delve to make her work easier -- she's never at a loss when looking for things and she encourages her colleagues to stop sending her links or files.  Once the material is shared with her and people begin to work on it, Delve shows her that there's progress and prioritizes her next steps each day.