June 28th, 2017

Pupil and parent evaluation

Digital Prototype Evaluation Survey

At the end of the digital prototype pupils and parents were asked to complete an online survey to collect their views.  This report is a summary of the responses.


80% of pupils and parents thought the digital prototype helped with their learning with 25% of pupils and 55% of parents saying by a lot.  15% of parents and pupils saying it didn’t help at all.

Ease of use

Almost all pupils and parents reported they found the device easily to use, and the resources in OneNote easy to find once they were shown how to find them.

Digital Inking and digital resources

Almost all found the digital inking easy to use and very helpful for physics equations, 50% of the pupils still preferred at the end of the prototype to write on normal paper, 25% of them preferred to use the keyboard to enter digital information and 25% use the digital pen to enter the information.

20% of pupils preferred just digital notes, 30% preferred paper notes and 50% stated no preference.

Software & IT

60% of pupils had no issues with their device with 40% having some issues that were almost all fixed. Issues included pen functionality, sometimes it did not write properly and sometimes the buttons did not work.  One pupil had an issue with charging the Surface as the charger was missing.

Wi-Fi issues occurred for some pupils using the Surface in classes other than physics due to weaker wireless connectivity in some areas of the school.  One pupil had an issue with the auto saving features of Word online not saving files properly, this was resolved through discussions with Glow support.  Sometimes the pupils did not notice that the Wi-Fi was not connected and this mean that sometimes new work was not synchronised from OneNote to their device or they needed to renter their Glow username and password after an update. Sometimes Windows updates meant devices were updating rather than available for use.

Almost all pupils and 70% of parents found it helpful to be able to install software on the surface.  In addition to Office 365 software (Word and Excel), some pupils installed Serif Draw for graphic communication, Music Writing Software such as MuseScore, iTunes, Avid Sibelius, Flash card software for revision.

Wi-Fi Access

All pupils and 85% of parents felt it was really helpful to have Wi-Fi access within school.  Their reasons were;

  • Allowed use of IT if the library PC’s were booked.
  • Allowed them to look up information in class
  • Enabled them to look up information instead of asking the teacher.
  • Ability to look at a range of notes from different subjects whilst they were in school.
  • Internet access during study periods.
  • With everything from Physics on OneNote.  It allowed them to access materials within form tutor time.

Pupil comments about Wi-Fi access. 

  • It’s very beneficial to have access to Wi-Fi in school, especially during times where you’re doing homework or revision for a certain class (like in form tutor time). This is because if you’re stuck and your teacher isn’t there to help you, you can try and look up help or find notes online. You could of course go to the department for help if it’s urgent or necessary, but having the internet to help you as an alternative is also a good option. It’s also good for accessing past papers online in school for revision at any times and being able to write digitally on to the past papers.
  • Allowed access to internet notes in my study periods and helped ability for self-study.
  • I could use online resources for homework and classwork as well as making notes (e.g. Quizlet, OneNote online)
  • It got to connect to the internet wherever you were, so if you ever got stuck in a subject and the teacher was busy then you could just look it up.

Some parent comments about Wi-Fi access

  • Seamless learning – also teaches pupil to access responsibly
  • Internet access is required for modern research and learning.
  • Helpful as easy access to internet information at any point when required.
  • Ability to access the information during school hours when e.g. Form time was quiet.
  • To use the Internet to answer a question if the teacher is busy
  • My daughter could go into the SQA website while at school and access past papers without having to go find a computer to use.

Use of Surface

70% of pupils used their Surface at home for a range of school work with 25% using it only for physics, 5% did not use it for any school work at home.  50% of the pupils said they used it at home every day and 30% every other day.  85% of parents reported their children used it most days.

Other subjects

70% of pupils used the Surface in English, 30% in Maths and Chemistry, 20% in Graphics Communications, PE, Geography, French or Design.

30% of pupils reported that no other subjects provided digital resources for their learning.

Uses in other subjects included, digital textbooks such as dynamic learning in Geography, researching information, writing assignments and reports, finding past paper questions, for getting feedback on written or digital work in class to reduce time wasted at home, for translation and Linguascope listening in languages.


60% of pupils felt they received more feedback in Physics than in other subjects and all stated they read the digital feedback in OneNote.

85% of pupils watched the learning videos embedded in the OneNote and found them helpful for their learning.

80% of pupils used the OneNote resources to catch up on work missed when absent or for revision.

80% of parents were aware of the digital feedback being provided in OneNote.

75% of parents knew their child could use the resources to catch up on missed work.

90% of pupils and 60% of parents felt the digital resources helped them to be more independent and control the pace of learning.

Only 50% of parents were aware that pupils also had been issued with a physics textbook.

Digital Skills

75% of pupils and parents felt digital skills had improved.

75% of pupils and 60% of parents felt they were now more likely to work independently.


75% of pupils used the Surface for exam revision in all subjects.  20% used it just for physics revision and 5% didn’t use it at all for any subject.  Activities included, BBC Bitesize, Scholar, downloading past paper questions,   A few copied notes for all of their subjects onto OneNote replacing all their paper resources, pupils practiced typing essays for English and History, Quizlet was used for online quizzes.

Pupil comments regarding revision included:

  • Used the past papers on OneNote for Physics revision, with the advantage of being able to write straight onto them. Also accessed the notes on OneNote. For other subjects like chemistry, I mainly just used the surface at school or at home for quick access to past papers. For English, I got from the internet different notes on the novel I had to do an essay on and the Scottish set text poems for revision. The surface was mainly used for physics though.
  • I copied notes for all of my subjects using the Surface and did a lot of past papers for them all which was easier to do on the Surface as I didn’t need to get paper and a pen and instead was just able to us the tablet itself.
  • I used it for history – typing essays and finding information. I also used it for English – typing essays I also used it go on the SQA website to do past papers.
  • I accessed past papers for my other subjects, also accessing Scholar and OneNote
  • I looked through course notes through OneNote which really helped me as everything gave examples and I had Mr Bailey to look through my work and mark it but also to give me feedback.
  • I used OneNote for physics and English, Linguascope for French and Quizlet for biology, English and chemistry.

Parental comments

  • Although surface was used during year for classwork I believe most of revision appeared to be written in note former and taken from a variety of sources.
  • Accessing the past papers, making use of BBC Bitesize, accessing the listening tests for Spanish, accessing internet to help with research on history topics etc.
  • Accessing past papers and BBC Bitesize and Scholar
  • Revising through each page in OneNote for each unit to prepare for the exam

Future recommendation

80% of pupils and parents recommended that future pupils should be issued with digital devices.

Some pupils would prefer a mix of digital and paper resources.  A few parents stated a textbook would have been easier to flick through (they must have been in the 50% unaware that textbooks had been issued).

Some pupils and parents felt they were distracted with the internet and games and this impaired their learning.  One parent believe that the digital device reduced the time spent with the teacher.  One parent commented that whilst helpful to catch up with work, they were not convinced that exam results would improve.  Another felt that once the surface was provided my child lost interest, it was too easy for them to stray off from the work they are meant to be doing and they lose interest.  If the teacher is working with the children there is more chance of them learning and the teacher is more likely to see what stage the child is at, since getting the surface my child lost all interest with Physics.

Pupil comments

Positive comments

  • I do think the devices are good for having the digital notes, doing questions/past papers and independent learning, etc. However, I do think it would also be beneficial in class to still have jotters for class-written notes and any worked examples, while still doing what we did during Higher Physics on OneNote. I personally feel more of a mix between normal learning and digital learning would be best suited for me.
  • The Surface made it much easier to access notes and when it came to assignments it was a lot better with the tablets as we didn’t have to book a library or anything and saved a lot of time making it easier to focus on the schoolwork. The teacher feedback was also very good as the teacher was able to see everything we did on each note so we always received fast feedback
  • The surface is a great device for obtaining feedback on your coursework for Physics from your teacher. You can ask for help at home when on study leave or on school holidays. The surface will help improve your digital skills for the future.
  • Able to work simply at your own pace. Teachers can mark work in OneNote quickly and easily. Easy to access other online learning resources.
  • Extremely easy to access useful learning resources such as OneNote and Scholar, and unlike paperwork, work on the tablet cannot be lost or misplaced
  • Access to digital notes and past papers is extremely useful and using the devices allows pupils to develop more independent learning skills.
  • I believe the surface allowed me to have a better understanding of the coursework and I think future pupils can have the same experience as far as understanding the coursework goes
  • I think the Surfaces where very effective for home learning and revision and allowed me to study more independently
  • Helpful with learning and much faster and more portable than school computers which are atrocious.
  • The tablets are good for continuing were you left of from at home and you were easily able to get the formula sheet when needed and was also able to get any other question sheet easily which was helpful
  • It was far easier to access school work if I was ill or if I was behind everyone else in a lesson, it also helped because it was easy to access and had lots of resources.
  • You get help from your teachers even if you’re at home and this helps a lot and you won’t need to wait till you in class to ask for help. This can speed up people learning and help them to do better in the subjects also its very easy access school resources.

Negative comments

  • I feel they are a useful tool in learning, but they were sometimes a distraction in class.
  • They are broken too easily and will be expensive to fix.
  • They become distracting for people and make it harder to concentrate the best thing about it was being able to access work at home, but people usually get distracted by things like the internet and games.
  • I personally got distracted sometimes during class with the OneNote and would not finish/do the work given.
  • I found using it in general was difficult for me.
  • Don’t do it again people just want the Wi-Fi to connect their phone and not for learning.
  • We didn’t have the source S folder on our tablets, so if we needed something from there we could not do the work on our tablets.

Parental Comments

  • My daughter has always been on top of her class work and always studied independently but the digital device has been a great help as she could see what they have been doing in class easily and catch up on work if she missed a class.
  • It was a very useful tool. It enabled revision of all different subjects when away from home. The Physics resources provided were extremely helpful.  I think it increases engagement more than learning from a textbook.  It allows access when at school to lots of different online tools e.g. Linguascope.
  • It allows access to a great range of resources which otherwise would be missed.
  • Appropriate for use and learning in the modern era. Will provide opportunities to locate information and to test knowledge. Plus the added advantage of increasing IT skills, beneficial to the job market.
  • It was extremely easy to contact the teacher from home and pupils prefer electronic devices rather than sheets of paper
  • Provides equality of access to digital equipment and improves digital literacy
  • Gives pupils a more independent learning approach which is not classroom specific
  • Surely it is the way forward with cost being the limiting factor. If it frees up teacher’s time for other learning activities then it may be easy to justify the cost.
  • Digital learning is the future and I feel being exposed to this early can only help with my child’s learning.
  • Has given access to wider resources to study and also allowed him to do some background preparation for forthcoming lessons in class.
  • I think this is the way forward for preparing pupils for self-learning, on going to college or university.
  • It’s a great piece of kit that my child has found very useful in all areas of their schoolwork.
  • This has been a fabulous resource provided by the school and believe it helped my son to apply himself much more and become much more likely to study in a more fun way

Negative comments

  • They were too much of a distraction in class.
  • I believe that possibly because of the type of learner my son is, he would have been more suited to completing the course in a more traditional manner. I realise of course that this is not the same for all children and there will be I’m sure huge advantages to delivering subjects on digital devices.
  • The kids need to be disciplined in using it. There should be restrictions for using apps.
  • I don’t think these are a good way of teaching, I feel the teacher should be working with them and not letting them do as they please at their own pace on the Surface.
  • The content was found to be harder to access than a text book and jotter which could be flicked through.

Download Office365 with Glow

February 10th, 2017

I am delighted to advise that all staff and students in Scotland can now download Office 365 using their Glow details.  This includes all staff and pupils in Angus.  This means users have 15 licenses to use the latest Microsoft Office products, 5 for PC or MAC, 5 for tablets (Windows, Android or iOS/iPAD) and 5 for Phones (Android, iPhone, Windows, Blackberry, Nokia).

Office 365 Education is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your schoolwork. The service includes Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), 1TB of OneDrive storage, Yammer, and SharePoint sites. You can now install the full latest Office applications too for free.  With the number of licenses available all devices in the home can have the full versions.

All you need is your Glow username and password.  This takes the form in Angus of gwXXsurnamefirstname@glow.sch.uk  where XX is the year of Glow registration.  There are different formats to the Glow username or email address in some other local authorities.  If you don’t have these details ask for them at your school.  In Angus at the moment your Glow login will be different to your school log or email which begins with three/four school letters, i.e. car for Carnoustie, web for Websters, gra for Grange etc.

How to install


Method 1: Log into Glow.  Click on the Office 365 tile (left).  https://www.office.com/1/?home=1 You can find this in the Angus Launchpad the second icon down on the left (circled) or perhaps your own one if your school have added it already.  This will load the Office home page below then click on the Install Office 2016 link circled.  Then follow the instructions.


Method 2: Visit the Microsoft Office 365 Education page (https://products.office.com/en-GB/student/office-in-education) and enter your details in the box.  The academic email address is your Glow username gwXXsurnamefirstname@glow.sch.uk but remember to include the @glow.sch.uk .  Follow the instructions and you will get the download link coming up.  Do not enter your school IT email details such as carsurnamea but the Glow email.


When downloaded you will need to enter your Glow username including @glow.sch.uk to activate the software.  You will then be directed to the Glow Login page and have to enter your details again.


Once you have entered your details and activated the software on the file menu choosing the account menu it will show your license.  Linking to Office will allow you to upload files directly into your Glow OneDrive 1TB cloud storage using the save as option.  This allows pupils and staff to work on files at home or in school.




If you see this page the Office 365 login page at any time also enter your full Glow details including the @glow.sch.uk and you will be redirected into Glow.



Repairs, Reflections, Reinvigoration, Relaxation

February 10th, 2017

It has been a few weeks since I have posted to the blog and time has flown by in this long and intensive term at school.  This post looks at practical issues of repairs, reflects on progress and my endeavours for the weeks ahead.


To date we have sent one device back to Microsoft due to an issue with the touch screen not responding in a small section.  This device was replaced and promptly returned to us in a short time.  Another device has a similar issue but hasn’t yet been returned since I didn’t want to leave the pupil concerned without a device at this moment.

With 60 devices being used by pupils it was inevitable that accidental damage was likely to occur.  After nearly getting to Christmas without any mishaps the first casualty with a badly cracked screen was reported. The device has been sent back to the supplier at the start of December but has yet to be returned after many weeks.  There seems to be a bottleneck somewhere in the system which is unfortunate as a delay means a pupil is without a device.  It is been very frustrating for my local authority IT team dealing with the only provider of Surface devices on the national procurement framework.  The most recent communication asked for the device to be delivered to them when it was sent in December.  Very frustrating that the device doesn’t seem to have got to Microsoft to look at yet.  There have since been another two devices damaged but I am waiting until the repair situation is clear before sending off these other devices.


I would like to report that all the classes using the devices contain pupils that are excelling at their learning, but as always life is much more complicated than that.  The results from the prelims have produced the usual reflections on progress by myself and the young people.  I do believe that the prelim is useful to give the learners experience of the conditions of the final examination, room, type of questions and challenge of completing to time.  So with a mixed bad of results I am reflecting on the learning during the last 3 months:

The most successful learners have taken responsibility for their learning (one might say this was even thus).  Most of these are using the Surface in many subjects and like the resources available in OneNote and the ability to access a range of resources.  Their use of the technology is a great example of confident individuals and successful learners.

Having the resources electronically has meant that for those that answered electronically I was able to provide feedback to them whilst they were revising in OneNote, clarifying what they needed to improve.  In the past this was harder needing to taken in pupil work and write comments then return jotters or get pupils to self mark work with the risk that they didn’t fully comprehend where they needed to improve. Feedback could also be given in the final days up to the prelim.  There is an ability in OneNote to see what work has been added using the Class notebook add in review student work option.  When reviewed the work is marked as read if the pupils add work it then goes back to unread.  This process worked well although would have been harder to keep up if all the pupils had been working this way rather than only 25 of them.

The ability to provide learning resources in a range of different mediums can be a powerful tool for learning.

Some pupils are distracted by the technology they have to be asked to stop playing games connect to social media or their phones.  It is impossible to see all of this action/inaction as the teacher although I can see the outcome of the learning, check understanding and see progress or otherwise online.

Some pupils reflecting on their poor performance have said that it is due to the method of learning, the Surface and the technology.  It is difficult to tell if this is a genuine reason or just an excuse and is not something that any of them have really mentioned in class or in conversation with them.  Perhaps it is the learning regime that particularly requires them to take responsibility for their learning and they’d rather blame the tech or myself rather than themselves?  I have been having regular learning conversations discussing strengths, weaknesses, attitude and effort but have found some still lacking the effort or growth mindset approach required.

Some pupils do not know how to revise despite the best attempts of myself and the school.  I have often reminded them that reading is not sufficient to enhance learning and some doing, writing notes, summaries, answering questions is required to check learning.   I have tried to encourage my pupils to use the recommendations of the Learning Scientists (http://www.learningscientists.org/)  to enhance the effectiveness of their revision.  Despite this some pupils haven’t listened or followed this advice and some still think just reading is effective, sadly their results show it isn’t.  A few of them who have underachieved are putting in the hours if they are true in what they are saying but are obviously not using effective strategies.

Some pupils say they feel better when they are writing the information into their jotters and an electronic jotter for them does not seem to be as effective in their minds.  Past the initial first few weeks, I have said to a number that I don’t mind where the work is completed as long as it is carried out.  Perhaps in hindsight I should have made more checks and evaluations to ensure/reassure pupils.

Following some self reflection a few pupils are still saying that they don’t know what they should be doing and some think they have had no homework.  This is despite my regular asking for them to complete work in their OneNote, I have been able to see who has not completed the work and talk to them, but this has not had a significant effect for some on improving their effort or completing work    In addition resources have been shared in the OneNote for those that have completed the classwork including extra past paper questions.  Is the location of these clear enough?  Are the tasks really unclear?  I didn’t think so but need to investigate pupils thoughts further.

A few pupils feel that they are not being taught (one of the expected responses at the start of the prototype) and some have commented that they don’t learn by reading information (I would agree, reading only is not enough). Usually in class there are a range of tasks and questions to complete after a short period of reading.  Sometimes in class there is teacher exposition to the whole class, but there has been more conversations with groups or individual  of pupils.  Although some pupils remain reluctant to ask questions and take part in learning dialogue.

It has been challenging to keep up having the resources ready for the learners, there is so much that I would like to do and not enough time to do this.  I have an ideal lesson structure for this type of learning, but have had to compromise as I just don’t have enough time to prepare all the resources I would like to.  I do not feel that at any time the resources or teaching have been less effective than I have used in the past, but is that true?

Some pupils are working closer to the flipped learning model preparing for class, but many are not and the main reason for this is myself.  On reflection perhaps I have not been brave enough to totally flip the learning and leave the pupils accountable for their learning at home.  Is now the time to do this?  Or do I return to a more traditional learning model?


This week has seen the latest Angus Teach Meet which had a digital theme.  The culmination of a few months of  planning it was a great evening with about 50 other teachers listening to 15 other teachers sharing their practice for 5 minutes on a wide range of topics.  Despite the pressure of organisation, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and hearing from a range of speakers about their use of technology to enhance learning.     The evening was very invigorating and has made me even more determined to find solutions and possibilities to enhance learning experiences and get as many pupils as I can back on the path to success.


This long weekend provides an opportunity to get some required relaxation, make this reflection and spend time with the family.  A dog walk in the snow to the beach provides space to clear the mind.  Teaching can be an intense job and I am continually conscious of the responsibility to always do the best I can for the learners in my care to help them do as well as they can.  This often leads me to ask my pupils to give more and say that they deserve their best effort.  In the long term I find this produces results but there are always some who fail to give enough or are too scared to. So to relaxation with the family, baking cakes, watching TV, taking son and daughter to football training and matches and daughter to cricket tournament.


Week 3 OneNote and Classnote books

November 22nd, 2016

This week I thought I would add some comments to the blog on OneNote and the class notebook add in.

I have been using OneNote workbooks with my classes to provide the learning materials.  This has involved creating and adapting learning materials for the National 5 and Higher physics pupils.   The workbooks are divided into sections based upon the topic.  Here is a snip from OneNote 2016, the lesson structure (pages) on the left.  The topic at the top (electricity) and my notebook list at the side.


For some lessons I have added into OneNote:

  • Office Mix presentations
  • Prints from word or PDF
  • Embedded YouTube
  • Links to Scholar materials (scholar.hw.ac.uk)
  • Printed Powerpoint slides
  • Used Sways
  • Used Microsoft forms for quizzes

The class schedules have been entered as assignments using Microsoft Classroom although most tasks are completed within OneNote rather than being handed in on Classroom.  You can see the list of assignments (tasks) in this snip.


The OneNote class notebooks were created in Microsoft classroom and are therefore part on an O365 group.

It is possible to add assignment tasks using Microsoft Classroom and these can be pages from OneNote as seen from this snip.


When this method is used the pages are sent to an assignment section in the pupil workbook.  At the moment I am not really using this method as I find it better to preserve the OneNote structure of lessons in order in their topic group rather than having the OneNote page in a separate group.

Class notebook add in

An essential tool for teachers is the class notebook add in.  It can be downloaded for Office 2013 and 2016 versions from www.onenote.com/classnotebook .  Remember OneNote 2016 can be downloaded completely for free from www.onenote.com.

The class notebook add in allows you to send pages from your content library to individual pupils or to the class as a whole.

This adds the toolbar


These icons can be clicked to distribute a new page, the content library or a new section.

The review student work makes it easier to toggle through pupil work and assess or leave feedback.

The distribution of work is really straightforward but I would make the following recommendation.  Try to be more than one lesson ahead.  Sending additional resources is straightforward but must allow time for syncing and or pupils won’t always get the information in time. The distribution of resources takes these steps:

  • From content libary to each pupil’s notebook
  • From your computer to the cloud (sync might need to be forced)
  • From the cloud to pupil devices

These stages can take time particularly if the resources on the page or pages are large in file size.  In addition a forced sync shift F9 or right click on notebook name is needed to initiate the syncing at times and bandwidth limitations can make this slow for a full class doing it at once.


Therefore I would suggest work ahead and have resources for future lessons downloaded before the end of the previous one so pupils can work on things straight away.

If you have more than one class it can be confusing to remember which classes have been sent the resources and keeping the content library up to date.  Pupils can pull over resources from the content library but I find it better to place the resources directly into their workbooks with a copy in the content library as a backup.

The syncing time and lack of planning have caused a copy of issues this week when I didn’t send the resources early enough in time or distributed to the wrong class notebook as I have two higher classes.  You can check the pupil area in OneNote 2016 to see what you have sent.  It caused an issue for quick starting of an assessment this week that I deliberately didn’t send too early to the pupils and syncing took sometime as well as me not sending it at all for a class.  Pupils found completing the assessment on the Surface using digital inking really straightforward and it made marking leaving feedback really easy.

Week 2 Classroom and OneNote, Teachmeet

November 5th, 2016

During this week pupils have been getting more used to how to use the Surfaces, the inking and O365 applications.

I found out this week that there were still a few pupils that hadn’t got their Physics OneNote setup correctly on their Surface.  The initial setup involves going to Classroom, then the OneNote tab, opening the OneNote Online, then clicking edit to open it in OneNote.  This allows OneNote to know the file location, once done this does not need to be repeated although on the Surfaces it was repeated to link make sure both OneNote 2016 and OneNote app had the class notebook.

It was a little surprising to find out that the installation hadn’t been completed after the setup sessions and using it in class to do work.

Pupils are now getting to grips with the Windows inking in OneNote and this is generally working well although there have been an odd event of non working pen and a few forgotten pens.  Many of the non working pen incidents haven’t been due to the pen but because pupils have tried to write in the content library section of OneNote which is read only.  Pupils can only write or type in their OneNote section.

I am becoming more adapt in distributing content in OneNote after a few times where I sent the same pages twice.  This duplication has allowed us to practice how to delete pages from our notebook and many pupils have learnt to rearrange the order of the notebook if they wished.

This week I have started to leave written feedback in the OneNote and marked some digital work.  This worked pretty well although due to my initially setting up the notebook incorrectly with pupils from another class in with one of my classes I have now deleted the additional sections.  Reviewing work was straightforward with the OneNote class notebook add in.  https://www.onenote.com/classnotebook


Additional frustrations have been encountered this week with 3 pupils turning up to class without their Surface.  About 4 have also turned up without a charged Surface or a charger.  Some have been used my charger and at least there are plugs in the classroom that can be used for this circumstance.

There have been a few cases of having to remind pupils of appropriate use, one for shoe shopping, another for playing music, another for using the narration tools to say silly sentences.

More positively some have been using the Learning tools to read out information or the narrate function to turn speech into text.

The last task of this week was to ensure that pupils know how to hand in work using Classroom.  To check this I set a task today that involved them opening a Word file from classroom then editing it in Word Online writing in answers and then clicking the hand in work section to send the completed work to me.  I can then check and mark the work, sharing an assessment score.  I can hand the work back if it is incomplete with advice.  I can have a conversation or provide feedback to the pupil too.  The hand-in feature also advises if work was not handed in or is late.  I plan to use the hand in feature to check pupils have done the prior learning before class.  The work that can be added can be in Word, OneNote, a FORM quiz or a link.

At this point the Higher classes has a week of work still on their Classroom.  The N5 classes only have one lesson so I need to work to get more of their learning online with the intention that both groups have 2 weeks of work to look at.

At present their has been little flipped learning and this has been deliberate whilst pupils are learning to use the technology and where to access it.  This will now be gradually increased over the next week or so.  I have however had a number of pupils showing me work they had done earlier to prepare for class or to catch up on work missed so am seeing advantages in having resources more readily available to pupils.  In addition the digital learning has better allowed me to push pupils who have completed their work early into the new section or more complex past paper questions.

Early this week I discussed the prototype, OneNote, OneNote learning tools and the use of the Surface with Angus colleague responsible for pupils with Visual impairments.  As a result of the discussion we are going to trial a Surface device with a S3 pupil.  So I will have something to post in the future about accessibility of the Surface for pupils with visual impairments.

Digital Teachmeet

On Thursday I attended the Falkirk digital teachmeet at St. Mungo’s High School, Falkirk.  St. Mungo’s is now a Microsoft Innovative School and the digital teachmeet was excellent CPD.  I shared 5 minutes about the digital inking in the Surface Pro and how my pupils were using them and OneNote.  Other teachers discussed the O365 applications.  Here is a presentation of what I showed live recorded in Office Mix.


There was lots of great practice and information to pick up from my fellow Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts.  Not sure which Tweeted picture is the worst!

You can read more about the event on the Falkirk digital TeachMeet page.

If you are interested in digital learning I would recommend that you follow the above on Twitter.  The event was fantastic and I hope to be involved in organising an Angus digital Teach Meet sometime in the future and invite some of those speaking in Falkirk up to share their ideas.

Angus Teachmeet

I am involved in organising with Kellie Smith an Angus Teach meet on Tuesday 29th November after the Angus Learning Festival at Brechin High School from 4.30 to 6.00 pm.  Please come along to listen or do a 2 minute presentation to share some ideas. Ideas can be any good ideas or practice, not just digital learning and technologies, although my presentation will be on that theme.

Sign up using this link https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=oyzTzM4Wj0KVQTctawUZKWdhPNwe8ftPowdGcOI9yIZUOUIyUElPQk9ENzRRT1lLWEpNUDYzWEtXMS4u


Week 1: Setup, initial thoughts and feedback

October 29th, 2016

A week has passed since the nearly 60 pupils in three classes were issued with Surface Pro 4 tablets as part of the digital prototype.

This week has been a very busy week setting up and using the devices as well as pupils preparing and sitting some SQA unit assessments.

On Monday in all three classes we used the Surfaces for the first time, most pupils had done some setup at home over the weekend and played about with the devices at home to gain some familiarity.   The first task for all the pupils was to watch me show the pupils how to setup the OneNote 2016 app.  This was done using the Microsoft wireless adapter and a HDMI to VGA connector that allowed the image on my pupil test Surface to be projected onto my classroom whiteboard.  Pupils then used the resources on OneNote to answer some questions on work we had started last week using the on screen inking for the first time.  To maximise normal class learning I had decided, with the agreement of my Head Teacher, to use form tutor time, 30 minutes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to set up the Surfaces and issue tasks to the pupils to carry out.  This would free up more time in class for physics learning and preparing the pupils for their planned assessments.

These pupil tasks are set in Microsoft Classroom which I am promoting as the place they should go to first to find out what they need to do whether at home or in school.

The video tweeted by Scott Letts shows how assignments are set in Microsoft Classroom.

I had made video screencasts to show the pupils how to setup the initial accounts on the Surfaces and this was one of the initial tasks for all the pupils.

Tuesday form tutor time

In form tutor time Tuesday, pupils were asked to setup their Surfaces adding Glow/O365 accounts.

Adding a Glow/O365 account

Adding a MS account

They were then asked to make sure their OneNote 2016 accounts were setup, if they hadn’t already done this.  This involves going to Glow logging in, then choosing the Office 365 tile.  Opening Classroom with the leaf, then choosing the class and the class notebook option. Then click open the class OneNote, this will open the online version of OneNote, you then need to click on the open in OneNote open in the middle at the top.  Choose the 2016 OneNote version.  Now the file will open in the desktop application.  It will then download to the Surface.  After that you can just open OneNote 2016 directly.

It was also recommended that they install:

1.      OneDrive : This is where you should store all your files.  Open this app and enter your Glow details with @glow.sch.uk to set it up to always send your files to the cloud storage.  https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9wzdncrfj1p3

2.      Office Lens: Add this app to take picture of the board and send them to OneDrive or OneNote. 


3.      Mindmap app is good for mindmap learning get it from the Store. 


4.      Flashcards Pro is good for making flashcards you can get it from the Store. 


5.      Setup Glow email for the calendar and emails are sent to the Surface.  Go to settings – accounts – email – email calendar and contacts and add account entering your Glow details.

Pupils were also directed to O365 Apps they could install on their phones to keep up to date with the tasks to do and to aid communication.  Adding some apps on your phone could help you keep track of tasks and get notifications.

Yammer – for discussion and sending messages. 



Classroom – to get information on the tasks and deadlines. 



Wednesday form tutor time

During Wednesday’s form tutor time, they were asked to take a picture and send it to OneNote.  This was easiest to do using the OneNote app rather than the OneNote 2016 version they had already setup since the OneNote W10 app has a camera feature in built or you can use the Camera tool and then Share this to OneNote.  This meant pupils also had to connect this software to their Glow account.  Pupils need to open the correct page in OneNote before sharing or taking the picture.  In class this could be a way to share/store a picture of an experiment, some work, of the whiteboard. 

Thursday form tutor time

On the Thursday the pupils were asked to answer a survey to check if they had set up the Surface, if they had any technical problems, if they were familiar with how the learning was going to be in the weeks ahead.  I also asked them about what they thought so far.  Microsoft Forms are included in Glow and have great analysis charts and tools that can be exported to Excel for free.

win_20161027_10_49_42_pro win_20161027_10_51_18_pro

Here is a copy of the survey Form they used.  Here are some of the answers:










Using digital technology for assessment reflection and next steps

In class time after the assessments I asked pupils to carry out some evaluation, reflection and discussion to determine next steps and how to improve.  I used a Form to do this, which I created by adapting a paper evaluation we have been using for several years.

n5-effot h-forms-evaluation



This evaluation will be used as part of my learning conversation with the pupils.  This learning conversation can now by augmented by digital conversation as well as verbal feedback and discussion in class.  Pupils were encouraged to determine their SMART targets for the forthcoming month, it is hoped that their increased ownership of this target will provide a greater impact.

Week 1 summary

Lots of progress this week, Surfaces set up, pupils using OneNote and inking into their devices.  Most pupils able to take pictures and insert them into a class notebook.  Most pupils able to use Word Online to write information.  Almost all pupils knowing Classroom is where they find the tasks to do and able to access the tasks and can submit tasks back to me for review.

The IT generally working pretty well, the network firewall setting was changed for the Surface Wi-Fi such that it now allows access again to Yammer and O365 videos.  I installed OneNote Learning tools on all the machines and changed their user accounts to admin accounts whilst the pupils worked on their assessments.

We made sure Surface pens were paired correctly to allow for the buttons to work correctly for the shortcuts.  Troubleshooting videos were made to help the pupils if this happened to them.

Lots of learning and reflections on learning too to help improve their physics.

Next week more resources will be uploaded to OneNote and pupils will increasingly be asked to carry out tasks at home to prepare for class.  The amount asked will increase as we progress through the week and into the following week.  I hope to have tasks uploaded 7 days in advance, we have all made great progress but are not there yet!

Next week I am visiting St Mungo’s High School in Falkirk who are a Microsoft Innovative School.

I am looking forward to the visit to meet with teachers using O365 software in their classes and meeting digital contacts in person.  I have been asked to present and sharing our Carnoustie Surface experiences.

Surfaces are go!

October 22nd, 2016

This week it was back to school.  The network upgrade had been carried out and the Surfaces delivered from IT.  I had found that the OneNote 2016 desktop version had not been installed during the holidays but with support from the school technicians and our IT department we managed to install the application on all of the 60 devices.  This was quite a long undertaking since it was not possible to download an install package so each Surface had to be done separately.  The installation process did allow us to check the devices were able to connect to the network.  The network connection has been done using the MAC address of the device and no logging in is required by the pupils.

The devices were also setup with an administrator account that the pupils can use.  This is in addition to the default password protected administrator account that was put on the device.  Whilst we know the pupils can delete the other account since they have admin accounts, this will give them the flexibility to install software that might be helpful to their learning.  Several of the pupils are looking forward to using the Surface for music, art and technical drawing lessons.  The admin account with the password will allow us to access the device if required for checking or if the pupil locks themselves out.

Parent information evening

On Thursday evening we had invited the parents and their children into the school for an information evening.  I was delighted that Margo Williamson, Strategic Director Angus Council and Steve Roud our IT Service Manager were able to attend.  Their support and leadership together with that of my head teacher Donald Currie who was present too and depute Archie McInally have been key in the progress made to date with the prototype.  I was also pleased to have Andy Nagle, Senior Education Manager at Microsoft in attendance.

View and download presentation from docs.com


There were a number of questions from parents at the evening some of those asked included:

Q: Do you think that it will take the pupils time a long time to learn how to use the technology?

A: Most young people are very familiar with new technologies and whilst some might take longer than others, I believe they will pick up how to access the materials and use the technology in a short amount of time.

Do you think that the pupils are mature enough to learn in this way?

A: Other parents present answered that they felt their children were mature enough and should take responsibility for their learning.

Why were senior pupils chosen rather than pupils in S3 where it matters less?

A: Senior pupils were chosen because we felt the prototype would have the maximum positive impact on these pupils.

Why is this being done in Physics?

A: The digital prototype was open to all teachers in Angus to bid to be a part of it.  Physics pupils are involved because I am a Physics teacher and I made a bit to carry out a digital prototype since I strongly believe that learning in school should reflect learning in the 21st century.

What is the evidence for this type of learning?

A: There are lots of schools using flipped learning approaches in their work.  National publications such as described in the proposal.  Locally we have experience in Webster’s High School of flipped learning in Higher Biology.

Can pupils get paper materials if they want?

A: Yes

Are you worried that the technology will distract from their learning?

A: The purpose of the digital prototype is to use technology to enhance the learning, if the technology is getting in the way of the learning then we will amend the prototype to ensure that this doesn’t happen to ensure the technology is used to benefit.

You talk about pupils having discussions with each other to help their understanding.  Will this prevent my child from making progress with their learning?

A: I believe that discussion between peers and with the teacher is a key component in learning.  These type of discussions are encouraged in my classroom since research has shown that pupils own understanding benefits from teaching and helping others.  With flipped learning peer discussion continues to be important.

We asked parents to let us know if they had any concerns or questions and that their and pupil feedback would be really important.  It was stressed that whilst this is an innovative project, we are not losing sight of the main objective which is to enhance the learning and teaching and ensure pupils attainment is as good as it can be.

Many of the parents were very positive about the prototype and shared how excited their child was about being involved.  A number had only children at university where flipped learning and increasingly independent learning was required and felt that doing this in school could only be helpful in the future.

One parent sent a lovely email of support:

Dear Mr Currie,

I would like to express my appreciation to Mr Bailey for tonight’s presentation and to yourself for being a supporter of such a fantastic addition to my son’s learning.
From the moment he was told he was to receive the Microsoft surface pro 4 he has been eagerly anticipating its arrival. I feel this is a wonderful opportunity for the students to engage in Physics in a new and exciting way. Whilst not always understanding the technology myself,  I recognise that it is the future for our children and am grateful that CHS and Angus Council Schools and Learning has supported this innovation.
Please thank Mr Bailey for his research , effort and enthusiasm in making this happen.

Next Steps

After the evening I have decided next week to have some familiarisation and setup sessions with the pupils in form tutor time to minimise the disruption to their physics learning.

I would also like to explore more about what research is available regarding flipped learning in schools.

At the moment I have set up the Microsoft Classrooms and OneNote notebooks for each of the three classes.  I have populated the Higher classes with a decent amount of material but need to add more for the N5 classes.  The intention is to add these resources so that pupils can do the flipped learning at home this next week and then apply their learning in class the following week.

The next week will be one that involved lots of testing and learning whilst endeavouring to ensure as much progress as possible with the pupils learning.

OneNote is free for education

October 22nd, 2016

In the prototype I am using Microsoft OneNote on the Surface Pro 4 devices.

Whilst Microsoft OneNote comes installed with Windows 10, the native app has less functionality than the OneNote 2016 version. The differences between OneNote and OneNote 2016 are detailed on this page which also states that OneNote is free.

Despite the statement on the page above that OneNote was free, there remained some uncertainty regarding whether the 2016 version that is often delivered as part of the Office suite (Often 2010 or 2012 still in schools) was free.  The council IT department were of the belief that a license was needed to install OneNote and a number of teachers familiar with OneNote several Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts #MIEExpert such as myself believed that it was only the app that was free. I therefore contacted Microsoft by Twitter to get confirmation and received this response.

To eliminate confusion between the 2016 version and the native app it is now possible to remove the native applications from Windows 10.

The only feature I know that is in the Windows 10 OneNote app but not the 2016 ve

The link to the 2016 version is a bit hidden on the onenote.com page so I made a video to show where it is.

The ink to math tool is the one of the few functions not yet in the 2016 version.

The Learning tools add in available for the 2016 version makes the 2016 version the logical choice for education purposes. The learning tools are really helpful for pupils with additional support needs such as dyslexia.

Almost ready!

October 4th, 2016

After 6 weeks of discussions and setup the Surface devices are close to being issued to the pupils.  Progress to date includes:

  • The setting up of the special wireless network for the prototype.  The network will recognise the MAC address of the devices and logging into the network should be as simple as opening the browser and clicking connect.
  • The upgraded Wi-Fi access points are scheduled to be installed in the October holiday after an initial mix up with an engineer coming into the school but not being able to carry out the work due to a lack of permission.
  • The drawing up of an acceptable use policy (AUP) for the pupils who are part of the prototype.  Once again I was helped by colleagues throughout Scotland, Malcolm Wilson @claganach at Falkirk who shared their agreement and @sheenaboyle who shared Balfon High School’s agreement for their iPAD pilot.  Following consultation with colleagues we decided to use an agreement very similar to the shorter AUP from Balfon High.  The agreement we have gone with can read here.
  • Each pupil within the prototype will be issued with a Surface Pro 4 tablet which has a pen, keyboard and ruggedised case for protection shown below.  After a period of deliberation it was decided that a more robust case would be worth the investment to provide increased protection for the device when in transit from home to school.

sfpro4_closed_pto3_blk_grandeUAG Case

  •  The Surface devices have been upgraded to the latest firmware and the Windows 10 Anniversary addition.  I felt this was an important task to be done before giving the devices to the pupils since when I tried this update on the first Surface received it took several hours to do and the inking features of  the Windows 10 update are a key feature of the prototype.   Therefore an image was created and this was installed on each device by IT.
  • Discussions regarding insurance and repairs of the devices have taken place with AC risk assessors and a procedure agreed in the event of loss or damage to the device.
  • A letter has been written and handed out to the pupils involved to take home to their parents/carers to introduce the aims of the prototype and the user agreement.  Parents and their children have been invited to an information evening on Thursday 20th October at 7 pm in the school.  At the evening I will share information about the prototype, flipped learning and demonstrate how some of the online learning will take place.  We also plan to issue the devices to those attending the meeting.

Things still to do

  • I plan to use Microsoft OneNote for the prototype but have found that the desktop version of OneNote 2016 has not yet been installed on the Surfaces, I had expected this to be part of the image installed on each device.  I am not yet certain why this didn’t happen but anticipate it might be to do with the differences between software licenses for educational and corporate requirements.  Whilst OneNote is included as part of Windows 10, this is the app version which has fewer features at the moment than the Office version OneNote 2016.  This page compares the features.  OneNote is free to download from Microsoft .  Sadly this means that the software will have to be manually installed onto all 60 devices before they can be used as intended.  I hope that this can be done before issuing to pupils otherwise it will need to be done in a lesson.
  • Other software that I need to add to the image is the OneNote Learning tools.  These learning tools are helpful for all learners and particularly those with additional support needs.  onenote-learning-tools-add-in
  • At the moment the Surfaces have been setup with an administrator account with a name like CarSurface01 .  I do wish to provide the flexibility for pupils to install software that helps learning which means they need an administrator account, however it will be more convenient for them to have their own log in as this will then allow them to customise the password and use the Windows log on details such as Windows Hello.  I feel it is important that pupils can make their devices secure for only their access.  I also want to retain the possibility of access so think the best way to do this is to leave the existing account with a password on the device and create a new account for the pupil.  Since the pupil account will be an admin account it would be possible for them to delete the other account but I will ask them not to do this!  This will then allow a back door into the device if required.  The AUP includes a clause where the device can be requested to be handed in for checking and this other account would allow that to be done if needed.
  • I also need to prepare the presentation and information for the parents, and prepare the induction, health and safety, e-safety and care of the device lesson for the pupils.
  • Remove barriers within school to using my classroom PC to create learning materials.  I have found that in school I am still unable to upload my Office Mix presentations and videos.  Use some of the Glow services including Skype.  I am also aware that many staff lack access to OneNote as it is not installed on PC’s by default and this means it isn’t used for collaboration or learning as it could be.

Finally the most important thing yet to be done is to create more of the learning resources that the pupils will be using.  This will include setting up the Microsoft Classroom, the OneNote notebook including more Office Mix narrated presentations and quizzes.

In summary lots of progress has been made but there remain a number of significant actions to do ideally before the pupils are issued with the Surface devices.  To date it has been rewarding and frustrating dealing with the challenges of making progress with the digital prototype whilst maintaining my full time teaching commitment (S1 Science, S3 Physics x 2, N5 x 1, N5/H x 1, H x 1, AH x 1).  The pupils are very excited and enthused about being involved in the prototype and this makes me determined to do my best to provide the best learning and teaching resources to help them with their learning that I can.

Using MS Forms for homework

September 3rd, 2016

This week I have tried out using Microsoft Forms (forms.office.com) for my pupil homework.  Forms is available within Glow .  It can be accessed found in theForm snip waffle in any of the Glow apps.  Or can be logged into at forms.office.com using Glow details remembering to add @glow.sch.uk to the end of your username.

A sample from a N5 Physics one can be found here.

The ability to export the data from the form allows me to assess each pupils understanding or the understanding of the whole class.

Comments from the pupils have been positive.

Form comments

From this week I have learnt that it would be better to have maybe two FORMS with fewer questions rather than one long one.  This allows pupils to read the formative comments that are shown upon submission.  It also allows them to complete part of the work rather than having to do all at one session.  Statistics are provided regarding the length of time pupils take and correct responses for multiple choice or multiple response answers.

With an ability to embed images it would be better and hopefully this feature comes soon.

I have still to decide the best way to provide feedback on the responses.  Perhaps a OneNote page once we are up and running fully with OneNote.   Perhaps a post of Yammer of feedback or perhaps some audio feedback.