Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

The Class/Staff OneNotes in Teams - Nudging Permissions

So Microsoft Teams EDU is a new layer added to Sharepoint/Office365 to make the space workable. Sharepoint/Office365 is ridiculously powerful, but like all ridiculously powerful applications, they need mediation to make them open to the average user.  (For regular OneNote Staff Notebooks, see here: Nudging the OneNote Staff Notebook Permissions)

When you create a new Team, you choose its type -- Classes (for, you know, classes), PLCs, Staff Members and Anyone.  For PLCs and Anyone, you just get an open OneNote Notebook without any specially permissions sections.

When you choose a CLASSES or STAFF MEMBERS teams, a Class or Staff Notebook (respectively) is made with a Collaboration Space (open to all), a Content Library (read by everyone, editable by the owners) and individual private spaces for each member.  Now, I was asked if it's possible to nudge permissions on these Class/Staff Notebooks as I've done in the past.
Well... yes and no.
The Teams layer does its best to avoid h…

Teach Math Online with OneNote & Skype (& Teams) (part 2)

The first part of the story is here: Part 1.
The course I'm teaching runs every day in August, and Sept 1st.  The students return to school after Labour Day and then write their exam at the end of the week (we wanted to make sure we had a properly invigilated exam).
I started the course on August 1st in Biloxi, MS, on my way back from Twitter Math Camp in Atlanta -- yes, a bit circuitous because I was on the motorcycle enjoying my holiday (Mississippi was the last of the lower 48 I had yet to visit and I was on my way to riding the Natchez Trace).  I mention this because I wanted to make sure folks know I started teaching this course under some technical constraints.  It will be easy to look at what I normally have (below) and say "I can't do that/I don't have that" but it's clear you can do it with much less. Being on the bike, I needed a smaller device than our school tablet and also one that (to be frank) if it got destroyed I wouldn't feel ridiculousl…

Teaching Math Online with OneNote & Skype (part 1)

So, although I tried to avoid it, I ended up helping design and am now delivering an online course in mathematics this summer, specifically the Ontario Ministry course MPM2D (Grade 10 Academic).  Fortunately, for the design of the course, I worked with one of the most organized and creative teachers we have on staff - so that part turned out going really well.  (Part 2 of my reflection is here : Link)

We started off with a shared OneNote so that we wouldn't have to meet face-to-face that often - as it turned out, we met three times for lunch over the month of July and that was enough (we'd worked a lot together earlier so we know each other pretty well).  We ended up breaking the course into half and she took on quadratics and I took on all the other (smaller units) -- the course is predominately parabolas followed by Linear Systems, Analytic Geometry and intro to Right Angle Trigonometry.

OneNote worked really well -- she's a (relatively) new Mom so her additions were don…

Nudging the OneNote Staff Notebook Permissions

So I'm already prepping for next year and putting together the Staff OneNote ... I managed to convince the three Academic Directors and the three School Directors (vice principals) to merge their separate OneNotes into one.  (Yay, small victories!)  If you haven't played with Staff Notebooks, visit https://www.onenote.com/staffnotebookedu -- it's free for schools & teachers.
That's great!  Except when you make a Staff OneNote, and assign a co-teacher, they don't get a Section Group for themselves to work in.  And the Academic Directors have to do some School (social/advisory) work and vice-versa.
I set the Staff OneNote up with me as the Leader and added all of the Faculty.  So that gave Section Groups to everyone except me. 
Now, I had to add the six Directors to be able to add material to the Content Library.  To do that, I brought back my blog post from last year So you want to hack your OneNote Class Notebook Fortunately, Staff Notebooks work pretty much th…

Escape Room / BreakOut in OneNote

So when I was visiting Anna in Edinburgh during March Break, she showed me how she used Password-Protected OneNote sections within the OneNote ClassNotebook to help students check their work -- she set the password to the correct answer, so they knew they had it right when the Section opened up.

I figured I could use this for Math Review, so I set aside a couple of hours (turned out to be 3 hours but a fair chunk of that was solution-time) the other night to put an Exam Review together for my Grade 10 Mathematics course.  I pulled together as many multiple choice questions and short answer questions on the topics as I could Google and tried to balance each Section with a mix of topics and then threw in a couple of pop-culture questions, too.  The students worked on the problems in each section and used the answers as passwords to unlock the next section until they got to the Prize section.
Result?  Near total continual engagement for the 60 minutes class! Across three classes!  They lo…

Reviewing Math in OneNote - 2 ideas make it easier

So we have a period of time in our course where we have two summative activities and then a final exam. Basically, a lot of time to review as we try to pull ideas together and strengthen skills & understanding.  And, as always, working on collaboration and feedback.

Idea #1

Every day I start the class reminding them that we study and prepare for mathematics assessments by doing math.  Well in advance, I give them a tonne of problems from across the entire year.  Some multiple choice, some short answer, some deep-thinking questions.  Some textbook questions. Some practice tests, some practice exams.  I've been teaching this course for the past four years, so I've got a good collection of these -- and with worked solutions.

This is now really easy with OneNote Class Notebook.  First, I create a Section in my Content Library of my current course called Exam & Summative Review and use the ClassTools Distribute New Section to create one in each of my student's Section Gr…

When OneNote (& the Class Tools) makes your life easier...

So it happened that the day I was going to give a test, I couldn't, so I needed to quickly get together some review questions for the students to work on. (Sorry, I wasn't ready to start the next unit with them, and besides, it was the first class after the long Easter weekend... shoot me, I'm a nice guy.)
Into my archive files I go...
I found a test from back in 2003 that was highly algebraic -- just the skills they needed for the test and nothing else.  No "thinking" questions, as it were.  We'd spent the last week or so on word problems and questions that try to stretch and make connections.  I just wanted to makes sure their algebraic skills were strong & sound.
Here's where life gets easy, thanks to OneNote ClassNotebook.  
I used the PRINT -> Send to OneNote 2016 option in Word and it sent a printout of the test to my OneNote teacher section (called Content Library).
With the page in the Content Library (in the right spot! I like that things …

Using Office Lens

A brief aside.

I had dropped by a workshop first thing this morning and was sitting at the front and wanted to grab a shot of the screen; at first I used my camera -- I wasn't thinking.  As soon as I looked at the image, I realized I should be using Office Lens.  Look, it was early morning and I wasn't quite awake.
Office Lens is an app for both Android (link) and iPhone/iPad (link) - and its main purpose is to capture physical content, clean it up and add it into your OneNote.

When you start the app, you get a camera ... but with a bouncing, resizing white rectangle superimposed on your image.  It's a smart rectangle, so it's looking for the piece of paper, the whiteboard, the business card, the content that is sitting in front of you.  Once you have it framed by the white rectangle, you tap the photo button and it grabs the image, cleans it up (brightens, sharpens), crops and... if the image was taken from an angle... Office Lens will transform the image so it appears…

Fife - The Grand Tour Day 1 Introduction

So my tour started in Edinburgh and the Hilton Grosvenor was kind enough to host me.  It was in a great old building with long narrow hallways with low ceilings -- the signs were helpful but I still managed to hit my head several times.  However, once you opened your room's door, the space opened up, the room was large and modern and the ceiling was wonderfully high.  But "Mind Your Head" became a useful motto for the entire trip -- for reasons not always associated with concussions.

My first visit was to Queen Anne High School, in Fife, about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh, on the other side of the River (pay attention, that will be important later).  They are building an absolutely beautiful bridge to aid in traffic - it should open in May. I was fortunately delivered there by Ian Stuart (@IanStuart66) who had been an educator and is now working as a consultant with notosh, helping schools think differently. He had graciously spent time arranging the visit and was kind…

Observations

I had the opportunity to visit a school just outside of Edinburgh yesterday. While my overall intent was to look at the use of OneNote and Office365, what resonated with me so strongly was the fluidity with which both educators approached their classes.  I admit, I was taking notes furiously.  So much so that I often felt rude because I wanted to make sure I captured both what they said but also what they did and how they did it.
It reminded me of once reading how they built the first bread machines.  Random thought, I know.  The engineer in charge of making a machine that replicated a human baker had, of course, interviewed bakers to get an idea of how they manipulated and molded the dough.  While the bakers had tried to describe in words what they did it was only by watching them intensely and for a long time that they noticed that the bakers hadn't adequately described the "twisty-stretch" that was one of the most important manoeuvres in bread production.
And that was…

The #OneNote Grand Tour - Evolving Questions

So while my hometown undergoes a rare March Break blizzard, I'm enjoying 13C and sun in beautiful Edinburgh. It's quite enjoyable to be relaxing in a coffee shop watching the Scottish go about their daily tasks while I get caught up on emails, blogs, tweets and the like.  (Don't worry, I was a tourist yesterday).
Today I start my school visits and so before I head out, I thought I'd best outline my curiosity.

When we laid out the initial structure of the OneNote, there's no question it was pushing on continuous feedback -- we wanted a way of taking advantage of digital ink, audio and video to support student learning both while in the classroom space but especially when the students are not physically present.  We are a very active school with extracurriculars (sports, service, international travel) that it was important to be able to engage students in the formative cycle even if they couldn't be present in class.  So, one of my questions will be "How has…

The #OneNote Grand Tour - Part 0

In the summer of 2012, I started a new position at Appleby College.  Moving from math teacher to "indeterminate job title"1 meant that for the first time in 20 years, I would not be in the classroom.  The goal of the school was to make technology use meaningful at the School by working directly with the folks in IT, while retaining the link to the teaching faculty.  And the first result of that project was our OneNote Binder which engendered what would become Microsoft's OneNote ClassNotebook.
I'll never forget sketching out on the whiteboard the structure that Jason Llorin, our programmer, would bring to life in my OneNote.

Fast forward to the spring of 2016.  Our School, through the generosity of our parent community, has a travel grant that teachers can apply to for support in doing their own independent research.  And so I submitted one to look at how our initial work with OneNote has travelled around the world.  We want to see how others use it in different coun…