There’s a great virtual event on the horizon for us that work in the education sector.
Microsoft are putting on a set of free webinar all about Microsoft Teams and other technologies around these which will help you to get more out of the Microsoft cloud platform (all the free options).
If you can’t make it, if you register anyway you will get sent a link of all the records, so register no matter what but you can also choose from any of the sessions below. I’ve put the time they are running in the UK but also the local time for Microsoft Redmond.
You can also just sign up for single events should you want to.
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
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
Once a class Team has been archived it will be moved to a drop down in your Microsoft Teams client which is called Archived.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.
It was a pleasure to speak at the Microsoft Showcase School event at Downe House School.
Having worked with the school on their migration from file shares to using SharePoint Online in Office 365 Education we were both keen to pass this information onto schools and how it was done, the opportunities of using just SharePoint Online or Microsoft Teams.
With a great navigation implemented, teachers and students can easily access their files in the browser and is allowing the school with their digital transformation.
Thanks to all those who turned up to the first of many webinars I am planning with the next one later in March around Microsoft 365 Education. If you missed this session and would like to listen to it. You can now do so on YouTube.
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be speaking at BETT in one of the side sessions put on by the team at GDPR in Schools.
I was recently catching up with the team there and discussing what we have done at BFC Networks and with Provisio365 around data protection, handling personal information from school MISs and how we are going to manage existing customers where we have full access to their Office 365 Education environment.
It is important for both suppliers and customers to know what kind of data you have access to, how it is handled and what else might they have access to.
Other speakers includes Head of Data Strategy from the Department of Education, The Common Framework and also the team behind the GDPR in Schools Data.
If you are supplier and interested to see how other businesses have done it and how we have done it for both our customers, Office 365 Education and also our products to help customers to be more complaint, please come and join the session on Friday morning at BETT.
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.
It was a delight to be able to represent both BFC Networks and Pugh Computers at the recent Cynhadledd Technegol ColegauCymru Annual Technical Conference (Welsh Colleges Annual Technical Conference).
It is the only time during the year I get to speak solely to a college audience and with the conference in the valleys of Wales but it also gives me the opporunity to enjoy the drive through the beaultiful Welsh Valleys.
This year the theme was based on Security with GDPR being a hot topic so having given a few ideas of different sessions it was decided to talk more about the importance of Azure AD whether you are Office 365, Google or neither. As other organisations move to the cloud, you need to be secure and know how your users are using your domain name to access content from other Office 365 enviornments
I’m delighted to presenting at the next UK Community Day on the 23rd March. Do you want to come and join us with a great set of speakers including Steve Smith, Neil Hodgkinson, Penny Coventry, Heath Groves and Brett Lonsdale? If you do come and register now on the site and we hope to see you there as we take SharePoint to the Battle Royal – SharePoint vs SharePoint Online!
SharePoint Community Day
Come and join us at our SharePoint Community Day taking place on the 23rd March, where our range of speakers pitch SharePoint On-Premises against SharePoint Online and cover all the bits in between.
This exclusive day will de-mystify a lot of the mis-understanding between SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online and what options are available depending on what direction your business is heading.
The Community Days are delivered by speakers that are renowned industry experts and MVP’s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Yesterday I posted about my first experience of Office Forms and attached a form at the bottom for users to play with to answer my questions. The form had three questions which were three different types of question types available which include Choice (used multiple choice), Text and Rating and I wanted to share the results so you could see what it looked like. I spent the day watch the numbers grow and it also changes as more answers came through. So thank you to the 32 who responded even though many of you may know nothing about the English Premier League and Aston Villa.
The first question was multiple choice but I also left in an option for you to fill in your own. People filled in the normal 4 answers but there were 5 other options added. These 5 were added but not available to others to see.
The results first started as a pie chart but once we had 6 different types of answers it moved to being the bar chart.
Next to each question you can see a two way arrow in the top right. When selecting this you get a table of answers. Of course lots of these are anonymous but if the user is logged in, you can see who said this from their Azure AD display name.
The second question was free text but did not have a requirement around it (where you needed to answer the question). From the 21 people who did answer, on the home page (the first image of this post) you can see the last 3 responses but again when selecting the arrows you can see all answers.
The final question was a rating (and thanks to those who rated Aston Villas season as a 2.68 our of 5 as I feel it was a lot worse than that). By selecting the arrows you can see each users response.
I mentioned yesterday that you could download a Excel spreadsheet of all the answers. I still wish there was an option which asked if you would like to send it to your OneDrive for Business but just being able to get it in Excel is great.
In here we can see each of the users responses, time and who they were (with their User Principal Name as well as their Display Name). The spreadsheet is already formatted with a table and easy to navigate. The multiple choice question has each of their answers in the single cell while the others have their answers as well.
The spreadsheet is a lot better to see who answered what across the form. When selecting the arrows in the browser you can’t easily navigate to see what the user gave across all their answer so this spreadsheet does help with that. Just to take this data and add it to PowerBI now.