Microsoft Classroom: Webinar Demo

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Thanks to Pugh and BFC Networks for allowing me to present on Microsoft Classroom today.

During the call we went through a few different aspect to help understand what you can do with a Microsoft Classroom class.

  1. What is Microsoft Classroom?
  2. What is an Office 365 Group?
    1. Conversations
    2. Calendars
    3. Files
    4. Notebook
    5. Connectors
  3. Microsoft Classroom
    1. Assigning
      1. Documents and Links (video)
    2. Completing
    3. Submitting
    4. Grading
    5. Conversations
  4. School Data Sync

I also mentioned during the call about a new podcast called the MS Edu Podcast where we talk about all the latest from Microsoft that help in the education sector.  You can get more of thing on the site.  Click Here –> MSEduPodcast

First Look at Microsoft Classroom

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As Microsoft increase their competition against Google and release more features for Office 365 Education, we get to see another new feature that is currently in preview for US based customers.  Along with Office Forms, we now get Microsoft Classroom, a great example of how Software Integrator can build on top of the Office 365 platform but mainly Office 365 Groups.

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Microsoft Classroom integrated communication and collaboration through Office 365 Group but also their ever growing in popularity OneNote Class Notebook into a single web application available at http://classroom.microsoft.com.

With Google pushing hard with Google Classroom, the ability to assign work, communicate and collaborate for Microsoft customers as part of the free offering has become an increasing demand but of course, Microsoft have a great platform that offers so much more.

With OneNote, OneDrive, Office Online, Exchange, Office 365 Groups, the desktop and mobile apps available for the platform, educators are going to get a great experience that fits everyone in the classroom.  Bringing all of these in will allow teachers to select what they want to do with their class but with its integration with Microsoft School Data Sync (ability to have all your classes created for you as part of your MIS timetable) it is also easy for teacher to just get going with their class.

Whether it is file assignment and scoring, communication through email/Exchange or working collaboratively in OneNote Class Notebook a teacher can get straight into or even create their own classroom for extracurricular clubs, sports teams and other classes not on timetable.

The landing page of Microsoft Classroom looks a bit bare when you first log in but don’t worry, once you are assigning work, you’ll see everything on this page.

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As you create your classes you will see them down the left hand side in the Assignments navigation panel.  This will load a few different things onto your page and loos very similar to the design of Office 365 Groups.

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From here I can get quick links to a few different areas including the Groups Calendar, Conversations, Class Notebook and Files.  When I arrive onto a class landing page, I can see the Assignments set with details around those and give announcements for the class.

When I go to manage the class I can change the class name, give it a course number, start and end date and set a colour, logo (the chess piece) and top banner.

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Creating a new assignment is easy with the ability to assign this work to multiple classes at the same time.  I can set a title, end date, description before adding an attachment should I wish.

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You can pull in several types of attachments including links to a page within OneNote Class Notebook, upload a new file, select one from OneDrive and also any files stored in the Office 365 Group.  We also have a built in search engine (I’m assuming Bing) to link to those results for either a website or video (video sources including YouTube).

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When selecting Calendar, Conversations, Files it will open a new window to the Office 365 Group while Class Notebook will give you a link to the Notebook.

The version I have available is very different to the video below – take a look at the video and you’ll see some extra features and branding which will help take it to the next level.

Disable Yammer License in Office 365 Education

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A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about changing licenses from the Office 365 Education license to the Office 365 Plus Education license.  This PowerShell script will help you to make these changes.

In the last week, further integration of Yammer and Office 365 has accord where we can now disable the Yammer license.

I’ve had many customers ask if there was a way we could just allow teachers and admin staff access to Yammer and we haven’t been able to do that until now.

Below are a set of script that will help you to either remove the Yammer license from all users (doesn’t matter what license they have been assigned), keep the current options they have enabled and then removes the yammer option.  The second script will just remove it from users who have a student license.

Remove Yammer license from all users

 

Remove Yammer from Student assigned accounts only

 

Change All Faculty and Students to Office 365 Edu Plus Licenses

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We have seen many changes to Office 365 but Office 365 Education changes even more as Microsoft given more free services to education establishment worldwide.  Back in September 2015, Microsoft gave some of the E3 features to Office 365 and renamed the license from Office 365 E1 for Student (Faculty) to Office 365 Education for Student (Faculty), still free.

During the announcement around making the Office client available through Office 365, better known as Office 365 Pro Plus, Microsoft made it easy for students and teachers to get the software by asking for their email address and check their licensing records to then give them Office 365 Education.

You may have noticed this added over 1.5 million licenses to your tenant allowing you to change all your users to this new license.  This license is now called the Office 365 Education PLUS for Student (Faculty) license.

So you now have the ability to give all your students and staff Office 365 Pro Plus as you have these licenses added to your tenant, but to assign them to each of your users is time consuming and you may already have disabled other plans such as Skype for Business.  Something that can be time consuming.

The below script runs and checks to see what services are assigned to each user, removes the current license and then add the Plus license with the same disabled features as previous.  It will also check to see if their currently have a faculty or student license and ensure the right one is licensed.

You will need the Azure AD PowerShell install to make this run and also connected to your tenant (Connect-MSOLService).

 

Office 365 Education Starter Manual: 2013 Edition

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A while back when Office 365 Education was released I wrote a starter manual for the manage of your tenancy, some tips and tricks and best practices for you to implement the product into your school, college or university.

whitepaper

As Microsoft have now released the new Office 365 with the Office 2013 stack I through it was only right to update the document, add and remove and bring it up to date for 2013.

You can either download it here (Office 365 Education Starter Manual) or view it at  (SlideShare: Office 365 Education Starter Manual).