Free to schools, Microsoft Office 365 is great for providing educators and students new ways to connect, collaborate and engage. With free email, instant messaging, group video and voice chat, and online document viewing and editing; it’s not surprising that we are quite excited to see how schools are taking advantage of cloud based learning.
Oakswood Junior has set up an online numeracy support group. Making use of Lync students are using the chat feature to provide support to one another on homework issues. Lync can be accessed by students at home and in school and teachers are using the status tool feature as an ‘Assessment for Learning’ strategy to monitor progress. Hence, if students set their status to red they require assistance, if they show green they know the answer and are available to help others and if they display amber they are still working on the learning activity.
Oakswood Junior is also using Lync to bring classes together. Two year 6 groups are working collaboratively on projects even though they are located in different parts of the school building. Taking the meaning of group work to a whole new level, students from the two classes use the group video tool feature to work on problem solving activities and joint presentations.
Ravensdale Junior is no exception. Teachers have used the class and group site features of Sharepoint 2012 to deliver lessons to students of different abilities. The class discussion tool is often used as a starter activity to get all students contributing to questions and ideas that shape the basis of the lesson. Wiki pages are used to help deliver differentiated learning resources, and students are given opportunities to work in real time on assignments and group projects using the office web apps. Students at this school have created their own learning journals using the online features to share their classroom experiences with parents at home. Ravensdale Junior have found that this method of working motivates students to achieve their very best as work is published online for all to see.
These are some great examples of how Office 365 can be used by schools to help impact and inform learning.
You can find out more about Office 365 by joining for free at www.pil-network.com