Microsoft School Data Sync End of Year Process


Its that time of year again where we are looking at the end of year processes for IT which includes archiving user data, moving those users, upgrading system and taking a little break from staff knocking at the door for help <– never an issue but it is nice to have a break ;-).

Microsoft School Data Sync users your classes for that academic year so we have an end of year process we need to complete for us to be ready to add the following years classes to the system.

When you set up your current profile you would have been asked for an end of year date.  At the end of this date, this changes your profile into a new state ready for the archive process.  I often pick a date towards the end of August, after results day in the UK so any Teams are still available as they were throughout the year for the teachers wanting to check anything for GCSE or A Level students.

The day after the date you have set the profile changes into a locked state, and you are presented with the ability to archive the profile with three different options as part of this archive process.  These are:

  • Mark Classes Expired
  • Archive Teams
  • Remove Students from Classes

Mark Classes Expired

This will change the alias and email address of the Office 366 Group (that underpins Teams) to include expmmyy allowing anyone using this information with third parts to easily filter the classes

Archive Teams

Once a class Team has been archived it will be moved to a drop down in your Microsoft Teams client which is called Archived.  This will help you to separate between your previous year classes and current academic year.

Remove Students from Classes

This is the most important decision to make for your staff, do you want students to be able to see their work from previous years?  Is it important for them to go back to previous years to help with revision?  It might be worth checking with your lead educator around ICT across the school to see what the preference is.

Good luck with the changes, if you have any questions please let me know via Twitter @alex_pearce or add me on LinkedIn (Alex Pearce) and happy to help where I can.

Collection of all Microsoft User Voices


#UPDATED 8th June 2017

Microsoft have been using User Voice to gage your input and development ideas for their products over the last few years but there are lot of them out there than you realise *trust me there are a lot more than I had realised and I’m sure I’ve missed a lot too.

Having heard and spoken to different product teams they sit down as a team every week or other week and look at the new requests, the votes and comments added and decide if it is something that should be added or prioritied for the product.  Not all product teams do the same but I hope this list helps for you to add the right feedback you want for the developments you want in Microsoft services.  If you know of any that I missed please tweet me and I will update the list.


Windows and Management



Visual Studio and Development




Microsoft Execs Visit Great Barr School


I don’t normally talk about my own school in my blog posts but there are a few things I do want to bring up.

Thursday last week was a very big day for me as I had 5 visitors from Microsoft visiting the school.  To me, having any Microsoft employee visiting the school is really big but these guys weren’t any Microsoft employees as we have 2 Microsoft Corporate Executives.

They were visiting the school to see what we had done with our IT and also gave me a opportunity to show our Learning Gateway (SharePoint, Exchange, Moodle, OCS/CWA, TSGateway).

We have deployed a whole new domain, SharePoint, OCS, Exchange, Office 2007, Vista etc aiming to turn the school around with the Technology and E-Learning within a few months.  Well we’re achieved this, even though we have done a lot we have so much more to do and we are now looking at Moodle for course delivery.

It was great to have these guys visiting and you can read Ray Fleming (from Microsoft) report of the day at his blog – Click Here

Anoop Gupta and Michael Golden were the two Executives visiting and we were delighted to have them at the school.  We even had them competing with a class group on Nintendo DSs on Brain Training.  How quickly can you do 100 simply maths questions.  Anoop did his in 2 minutes 15 seconds, that’s 1 question every 2 seconds!  So quick!!


Thanks for coming to visit us at Great Barr School

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Microsoft Surface: In the UK at last


I was at the Microsoft Headquarters in the UK at the beginning of the month and they had just taken delivery of a demo Microsoft Surface.


Microsoft Surface is a new interactive screen that is the same height as a coffee table and allows the users to move objects around on the screen. You can also add objects to the screen and should it be programmed to it can recognise objects places on top like mobile phones, ID cards or casino chips.


I’ve heard that the first one in the UK is going to a school so very interested to see how it is used.

Here is a rubbish photo I took while I was there.  This example program is a pool of water and if you touch it slightly you get a little ripple of water.  Push your finger on it and you get a bigger ripple as the touch screen technology and detected the amount of pressure.  I did think at this time what would happen to the water if I punch the screen but I decided not to in case I hurt my hand.


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