Find the time which suits everyone with FindTime

FindTime2FindTime – a quick way to find a time which best suits everyone when you are trying to arrange a meeting with a group of people.

There will be many times teachers are trying to organise a meeting time for a group of colleagues (sometimes in their own school, and often with colleagues in other schools, and sometimes with people outwith schools altogether) , but when you send out a message some people may reply only to you, some people may explain how they could make one time if they re-arranged something else, some say that a particular date is their preferred time, and some they just can’t manage at all.

FindTime1How do you make sense of all of these replies?

FindTime is one way of neatly taking all of that into account where you simply make some suggestions for meeting, add the people to be invited (just by adding heir email address), and everyone simply clicks on times which best suit them from the link in the email (they don’t need to log into anything), which times they can’t manage, and which they could possibly do if they re-arranged something else. And FindTime also gives you the option to hold suggestions in Outlook calendars and confirm to all attendees what the outcome was once it’s been clearly identified as the best option.

Here’s a video introducing the purpose behind FindTime

Here’s an animated video which shows the purpose behind FindTime, and the simple steps involved in making it work for you:

So how do you get started with FindTime?

FindTime works with Office 365, so for Glow users the person who creates the meeting invitation simply has to use their Glow account to set up the meeting, but thereafter anyone can be invited to the meeting, with no need for others to be Glow users of for anyone to log into anything. The email invitation sent out includes links specific to each invited individual so they simply click on the link in their email to make their choices.

First time setup for the organiser

First time set up just needs the add-in for FindTime to be added to the Outlook calendar, in Glow Office 365. So do the following:

  1. Log into Glow and navigate to Office 365 (Calendar).
  2. Then open a new tab in your Internet browser and go to https://findtime.microsoft.com/.
  3. Click on the button which says “Install for free – requires office 365” – untick the box which asks if you wish sent news of updates, and then click on the button which says “I’m ready.”
  4. In the login screen which then appears add your Glow email address where it asks for your Microsoft Office (that will be your Glow username followed by @glow.sch.uk). That will take you to the normal Glow login screen so simply sign in as normal. A button will appear to show that the add-in for FindTime is now installed.

How to start a meeting invitation

  1. The organiser of the meeting is the only one who has to have a Glow Microsoft Office 365 account – everyone else just needs to have an email address, which does not need to be within Glow nor Office 365. Navigate to the Internet browser tab where you have Glow Microsoft Office 365 Calendar (note that this also works from within Microsoft Office 365 Outlook email too, so the steps below work whether email or calendar part of Office e365).
  2. Choose the drop down arrow beside “+New” and choose “Calendar event.”
  3. Click on “Add-ins” and choose “FindTime. The first time you do this only you click on the “FindTime “link now” box which appears. Thereafter you’ll see the FindTime option each time you choose that from the add-in menu.
  4. Underneath where it says “People” you’ll see a box which says “Add people” where you simply type email addresses of each of the people who are going to invite – once each name is typed you click on “Use this address” which displays under the email address” to add each email address one by one (don’t user the + sign beside the box as this will only add from your address book).
  5. Now select the meeting options in the FindTime panel (it’s suggested to specify the meeting duration, then select as or as many days/times options as suit you). Then click “Next” – here you can click on the cog for “Meeting settings” to specify whether you wish to have notifications, to hold possible dates in diaries, or to automatically schedule the dates which suits everyone (probably you’d want to decide that for yourself so may no choose that last option).
  6. Finally click on “Insert to email” and send to those you are inviting to participate.

And once you get the invitations?

Each user simply clicks on the link in their email and makes their choices (preferred option, and yes or no for each suggested time/date) before clicking on the “Submit” button. And that’s all they have to do. The organiser can go to https://findtime.microsoft.com to review meeting details of any meeting they have organised, and edit or send out details to participants as required. They can also see the details from with their calendar entry for the selected time/date in Office 365.

 

Learners engaging with their learning with Yammer

YammerlogoYammer – so what is it and why use in school?

Yammer is an online discussion/collaboration tool which provides schools with a secure online environment where all pupils in a class can ask questions of their peers, where they can seek answers and help each other, bounce ideas around and deepen their own understanding of what they are learning in class. It is available to all users of Office 365 for Education, meaning all Glow users, pupils and staff, have access to this tool. And it can be accessed by signing in online in a browser or using a mobile device app.

Yammer provides an ideal tool through which learners can learn about the use of social media, in a protected environment, where the pupils can be guided to model behaviours for use in an online discussion tool, which will apply to any social media tool pupils may meet outwith their schooling. So if a teacher is looking to help pupils learn about safe sharing, and what not to share online, being supportive and respectful of views of others, and a place for pupils to engage in deepening their understanding through questioning and responding to others, then Yammer provides a great environment for a school.

yammeronwaffleHow do pupils and teachers get started using Yammer?

  1. Glow users simply sign into Glow then navigate to any part of Office 365, such as the tile for Office 365 (School Site) and then click on the 9-square waffle icon to navigate to the range of tools available in Office 365 – and choose the Yammer tile.
  2. The very first time a user clicks on the Yammer tile they will be invited to invite further users – don’t invite others but instead just close that window (click on the greyed-out cross at the top-right or click on the background page behind the invitation panel.
  3. You will be presented with the terms of use of Yammer – read these and then click on the button to acknowledge you agree to abide by them.
  4. You’re then in Yammer and can start browsing some of the Yammer groups open to all users. Or, if a pupil is ready to join the private class Yammer group set up by their teacher, then the first time the pupil simply searches for the class group name, clicks on the link and requests to join by clicking on the “join group” button – that sends a message to the teacher who accepts their pupils into the group.

Alternatively, rather than go to Glow first, users can search with an online search engine for Yammer or go straight to https://www.yammer.com where they can then simply log in using their Glow/Office 365 email address and password.

How do you set up a Yammer group just for pupils and teachers in a class?

  1. A class teacher can quickly set up a private class group in Yammer. Click on “+ Create a new group” and then give the group a name – include in the group name something which identifies the school as well as the class name.
  2. Choose “Private – Only approved members” and untick the box which gives the option to “List in Group Directory” – that way only pupils who know what to search for will be able to find a teacher’s Yammer class group, and only pupils who the teachers knows are members of their class will be granted access by the teacher. Setting up that way avoids the teachers having to add a list of usernames – they simply tell their class what to search for, and to click on the “join group” button when they find the group.
  3. A teacher can see the list of pupils waiting to be added to their class yammer group by going into the Yammer group and then clicking on “Members” at the right-hand side. This will show which users have requested access and are pending approval by the teacher.
  4. It would be recommended to have additional teacher colleagues added as joint administrators – beside their name on the list of members just click on the cog icon and select “Make admin” to elevate that teacher to be a joint administrator of that Yammer group.

What can you do in a Yammer discussion?

You can ask questions, respond to requests from others, add comments or create polls to garner views of others. Attachments can be added to any discussion post – so pupils can perhaps discuss or share comments about a resource. You can even use the “praise” button to acknowledge the input of other users. A Yammer group provides a place to share resources, and links to related sites elsewhere.

MIEYammer

20 Ways to use Yammer in Education – a post describing 20 different ways in which Yammer can be used by schools, whether simply sending out messages to everyone in a class, setting up groups for specific groups, using the praise button, promoting an event, holding an online debate, developing a mentor programme, using Yammer to teach online safety specifically in relation to safer use of social networking, and more.

screendiscussionYammer – the next step for social networking for schools – describes some of the ways in which Yammer can be used in schools, whether for group work, study support (where learners can support each other), content sharing and use of the praise app to acknowledge and encourage.

How are schools using Yammer?

KirknewtonPSKirknewton Primary School in West Lothian has provided an excellent description of how they are using Yammer with pupils. This blogpost gives screenshots of different aspects to how they use Yammer, as well as the rationale to the choice of tool and the purposes behind it to better support learning and teaching. This has included using Yammer to support collaborative writing. Mrs Anderson, Principal Teacher at the school said “As a teacher and parent I feel that it is very important that we educate children about the safe use of social media – using Yammer has been a fantastic way to do so, in a safe environment. Feedback from parents has been positive.” “The impact on learning and teaching is evident in the content of the group and the enthusiasm of pupils (which is evident in the online interactions).” 

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/glowgallery/portfolio/kirknewton-primary-school-sharing-approaches-to-glow-yammer/

BearsdenPSBearsden Primary School in East Dunbartonshire – teacher Athole McLauchlan describes in at this link about the use of Yammer with pupils in the school https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/glowgallery/portfolio/using-yammer-as-a-social-media-channel-for-learners-and-learning/

Mid Calder Primary School – this link is to a post describing how Yammer is used for pupils to share ideas.

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/wl/mcps/2016/04/19/anytime-anywhere-learning-yammer/

Studentsbeingcreativewith yammer

Students being creative with Yammer – a blogpost by Kevin Sait of Wymondham High School describing how they got pupils started using Yammer and how the use developed in different ways, including as a safe environment in which to teach safer use of social networking tools, supporting learning in second languages (where discussion took place entirely in the language being learned), and pupil-created groups to showcase work, including art and writing.

What safeguards are in place for Yammer users in Glow?

Yammer groups can be set up to be private (such as for a class of pupils so that the Yammer group can only be accessed by pupils in that class with their teachers). There are also Yammer groups open to users across Glow and educators within Glow nationally act as Moderators for Yammer users, welcoming new users, helping guide users to use appropriate language in a supportive way.

Everything in Yammer is identifiable to the individual user. There is a simple “report a concern” option for all users (either use the question mark icon on a page or anywhere you see a “Report a concern” button) which will alert the national Glow administrators to concerns raised, and who will provide the support required to resolve any issues.

There’s also a filter to ensure inappropriate language can’t accidentally be posted.

And of course the educational-focussed environment shared between learners and educators means there is a visible supportive environment. Users can set email alerts either to all posts in a specific Yammer group, or to individual posts where alerts would be sent for replies or comments just to that post.

MobileAppsYammer Mobile App

Yammer has an app for mobile devices – search on the app store for your device. Then once downloaded simply log in with your Glow/Office 365 email address (that’s where your Glow username has @glow.sch.uk added to the end, after your Glow username). For many users the use of the app will be the most convenient way to access Yammer.

What help is available?

Day One Guide for the Glow Yammer Network (accessed using Glow account – but also available as a document download from the public-access site Yammer Guide for Glow Users) – a very helpful guide of do things to do, and things to avoid, as well as guides to getting the most out of Yammer, specially in the early stages of getting used to using Yammer in a school.

Yammer Guide for Glow Users – a Glow-specific help guide to getting started with the use of Glow. This includes guidance and suggestions for managing Yammer in an educational context.

So how are you using Yammer in your school?

Do share in the comments below how Yammer is being used in your school

 

 

Share your presentations and documents online with Docs.com

DocscomDocs.com from Microsoft provides a free way to share your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway and PDF documents.

These shared documents can be viewed by others just by sharing a link (whether in social media, print form or by text or email message). You can embed any shared document on a website or blog. You can choose to keep documents unlisted  so that others can only access them if they have the direct link, or make them public for anyone to view.

Upload from various sources

You can upload your files from your computer, tablet or mobile device, or from Sway, Office Mix or OneNote online accounts, or your OneDrive cloud storage.

Create collections

Documents can be grouped into collections by you – so a teacher in a classroom might group resources according to curricular area/subject, or stage or for a specific group, or for an event. So when you share the link to that collection all of the related files, resources and presentations will be displayed together.

Sign in with Glow account

You can create a new account or sign in with a Facebook, a Microsoft account or Office 365 – and importantly for schools works with Glow accounts, meaning that for Glow users it’s just one username and password to access and make use of this tool, as well as all of the other resources and tools within Glow.

Analytics and Journal

Your Docs.com account provides you with analytics to give an overview of which documents have been viewed and how frequently. And you can also add journal entries to describe documents you have shared.

Getting started

getstarteddocscomGet started with Docs.com in 3 steps – a short Powerpoint presentation, shared with Docs.com which can be viewed online, to show just how easy it is to get started with sharing a document online using Docs.com

Create links from document

You can even auto-extract links from a document and have Docs.com create separate links within a collection on your Docs.com site. Click here for a guide to doing this.

Share OneNote Notebooks

Sharing OneNote notebooks is a particularly useful feature of Docs.com. The following video by Darrell Webster shows how useful this feature is for teachers to share with others, and how to use Docs.com to share any OneNote notebook

So how are teachers using Docs.com?

PCleavesDocsComDocs.com, an educator’s wonder tool – a description by educator Pip Cleaves of how she uses her Docs.com site to share resources she has created or curated from various sources and collated in categories to support learners and other colleagues.

Build it in 3D with Tinkercad

TinkerCAD-logoWhat is Tinkercad?

Tinkercad is a free online tool for creating images which can be rotated and viewed on screen as if in 3D from different angles, and which can also be used to send to a 3D printer to create real physical objects. Tinkercad is designed to be used by any age, whether for a simple or complex object, to make a toy or a design prototype, jewellery or ornament for the home. And even if you don’t make the physical object there is a lot of design skills and satisfaction which can be gained just by using the tool to design a virtual object.

If you can imagine the object in your own mind Tinkercad provides the tool to let you create it in reality. And as it is browser-based it only needs a user to be on the Internet to be able to sign up for a free account and to start a design, and continue anywhere they can get connected online – there is no software to download.

How do you get started using Tinkercad?

Here’s a video which gives an overview of Tinkercad:

A search on YouTube for “Tinkercad tutorial” lists a vast array of videos by Tinkercad users showing how they have created a wide range of objects, so that others can be inspired to get their own creative juices starting to flow. Tinkercad also has its own YouTube channel with a range of videos showing how to use the tool for a multitude of model-making requirements so that there is no need to start from scratch – someone will have created an object from which another user can adapt to get what they are imagining.

TinkerCAD-tutorial

Tutorials in using Tinkercad – there are video tutorials showing how to get started using Tinkercad and how to use the tool to refine and customise the models being created. These tutorials are interactive in that you are guided through the steps while you are using the tool so everything is shown on screen at the point where you need the guidance.

There are many videos showing how to make basic models, as well as objects which could form the basis for objects by others and which therefore just need customising to suit the user’s needs.

How are other people using Tinkercad?

Tinkercad has its own blog which provides illustrations of how other people are using Tinkercad, and shares advice about the process users went through, and what they did with their creations.

http://blog.tinkercad.com/

How might Tinkercad be used in the classroom?

Project IgniteTinkercad Project Ignite provides ideas specifically aimed at using Tinkercad in the classroom. This provides a means for teachers to create a class without the need for pupils to sign up with an account, but instead use a teacher-created sign-in code. And of course there are hosts of projects, with supporting resources, for engaging classroom activities using Tinkercad.

https://projectignite.autodesk.com/

DensRoadNurseryDens Road Nursery in Dundee have a blogpost on the Create blog detailing how Tinkercad has been used in their early years setting.

 

What if I don’t have access to a 3D printer?

Tinkercad produces files in a format which a 3D printer can translate into a 3D physical object. But if you don’t have access to a 3D printer then you may wish to consider sites such as Shapeways which lets you upload your file and they will calculate and quote a cost so that you could decide to have it created and sent in the mail to you. http://www.shapeways.com/create

How are you using Tinkercad?

How are you using Tinkercad? Do please share in the comments below this post

Personalised Learning for Teachers about Digital Technologies for Learning

MicrosoftTeacherTrainingBadgesMicrosoft in Education is a site which provides free on-demand personalised learning for teachers in exploring the use of digital technologies to support learning and teaching – learning at a pace which suits each teacher on the topics they find most useful to them, at the time they need it.

The online hub provides a Training and Professional Development section which is divided into Quick Tip Videos,  Courses (which can be filtered by age range of learners, tools, skills to be developed, etc), and Learning Paths which provide a more in-depth look at use of digital technologies compbing different methods of delivering the information and sharing of skills as well as exemplars.

There is a wide range of free instant-access online courses. Some of these are short tool-specific how-to guides to learning the basics of getting started using specific digital technologies such as Sway, Skype, OneNote, Powerpoint, Minecraft, Office Mix or many other tools. Some are just short quick-tip videos highlighting a specific feature of a particular piece of software.

Some courses are longer and look at how digital technologies can best be used to support learning and teaching in different contexts. These combine text guides, video explanations and examples, as well as quizzes to help understanding.

MicrosoftEducatorCommunityAnd by signing up to the free Microsoft in Education Community a teacher can access a wider range of resources shared by other teachers around the globe, and when working through the range of courses on offer a teacher can gain visual recognition through digital badges of their accomplishments. Working through the online resources, with badges to record progress, can provide an extra degree of motivation when there is a tangible record of what skills have been acquired, and perhaps a spur to just complete another one (and another, and another!!).

So whether starting out, or just looking for an illustration of a particular application in a classroom setting, reading about how others are using digital technologies to support learning, an online space to discuss with colleagues worldwide what’s worked (or look for advice when you might be looking for a solution to something which has not worked in your situation), or wanting to further explore how to integrate digital technology to best support learners in your school, there is something here for every teacher.

Sign up for free now at the Microsoft Educator Community at the link below:

https://education.microsoft.com/

 

Getting Going with GoNoodle

GoNoodlemontageGoNoodle is a free online resource bank of action videos and associated activities to support and encourage learners  to get active while helping engage with information being learned in the classroom (or anywhere) or prepare for a change of activity, or even set the scene for reflective thinking!

There is a GoNoodle blog which is full of ideas to inspire teachers with learners across any age group, with specific ideas suggested for topical events in the school calendar, or to support learning in a specific curricular area.

A teacher simply signs up for a free account (there is the option for additional premium features) to access the dashboard where the teacher can set up videos for different classes – they can customise their playlist of videos to suit their classroom and needs of their learners.

There are hundreds of movement videos to get young learners dancing, running, stretching, and more. And there are many which seek to help deliver health and wellbeing messages reinforced with rhythmic actions.

Below here you’ll find a some to give a flavour of what to expect.

GoNoodle: 101 – an introductory video to GoNoodle

Engaging less confident learners with GoNoodle

Changing classroom behaviour with GoNoodle

Sway for engaging online presentations

Sway_logoMicrosoft Sway is a presentation tool which is free and works on any device. It can start with a simple word-processed document (or from other sources such as Powerpoint or PDF) where you’ve put your ideas and, with just a few clicks, you can upload the document, highlight text you wish to emphasise, which parts to make into new sections, where to add images, embedded video links and images, and add emphasis in an engaging way.

Click on this link for a quick guide and introductory tutorial showing how you can make an engaging presentation using Sway

The following video takes the brief introduction above and develops that so that you can create a presentation in Sway using the new layout set up specifically for presentations. This video shows how to use groups, grids, captions, and focus points to ensure your chosen message comes across in they way you wish with the emphasis on the content you deem to be most important.

Want to make a tutorial presentation using Sway? The video below shows how you can structure a Sway presentation to use embedded videos, images and text to explain the steps in any process for explaining to others.

How to use Sway for a school project. The following video shows how Sway can be used to create a project on any topic in an educational context.

Click here for links to video guides to using Sway from Microsoft.

Click here for a guide to using Sway specifically in Glow Office 365 – this also links to a variety of examples of the use of Sway in a school context

 

To share your Sway

To share your Sway presentation with others you simply copy the weblink URL which Sway provides for you, and share that, whether via social media or email (there are specific buttons at the share part of Sway which provides you with the appropriate link for each method of sharing. This can also be used to embed in a Glow WordPress blog – just add the short link in the body of a blogpost and it will automatically embed. Note that if you are using your Glow user account to share your Sway link the Sway presentation must have ben made public for others to see it, it cannot be embedded elsewhere online (such as a blog) unless the Sway presentation is public and can be seen by anyone on the Sway settings.

Below is an example Sway “Sway for Education: Sway in the Classroom” which provides examples of how Sway can be used, and also shows in itself what a Sway presentation can look like.

How to make your Sway presentation even better

Here’s a Sway presentation below by Nathan G Freier of his top 10 tips and tricks to make your Sways look great.

Examples of Sway in Education

Sway – The star of your 2015 Classroom – a post on the Microsoft Australian Teachers Blog. This provides a host of ideas for how Sway can be used in a classroom context, as well as examples of created Sways.

School Newsletter from Lockerbie Academy – an example of a school newsletter which can provide a different way of presenting information, news, updates and more about school life. The link can be shared with parents/carers in a short text or email and looks more engaging compared to a printed version.

Stirling High School Newsletter – this Sway (as well as the associated pdf version) was created by pupils

OneNote at Kirklandneuk Primary School – a great example of a presentation Sway (about the use of OneNote) which incorporates many Sway features including picture decks, Twitter posts integration, links, images and more.

The Sway below is a neat collaboration by pupils in different high schools working together to create a story – digital story telling “The Street of Shadows” by pupils in Largs Academy and Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire

The Sway below is the result of a project by primary 1 pupils at Westquarter Primary School in Falkirk about “Why We Do Research”

Connecting Classrooms via Live Video Link

Adobe_ConnectConnecting classrooms via video link has been found by many teachers to add an extra dimension, an enthusiasm and real audience, to complement learning in a classroom setting.

Whether that’s a face-to-face video call to another classroom in another part of the same local area (perhaps primary schools where pupils will work together in a similar geographical location, maybe connected by the same high school to which most pupils will attend), or to an acknowledged authority with specialist knowledge or skills who could inspire learners.

Teachers using a live video link to connect classrooms can, to some, seem something quite ordinary and commonplace, and to others is still something which generates a worry about perceived technical complexities. Not so long ago most schools would have been unable to even consider a video call simply because of lack of suitable equipment, infrastructure or bandwidth. Now, where there is good bandwidth, there are often several options available to make video-conferencing possible with relative ease.

Although the occasional use of video-conferencing may appear to be, in itself, a reason for using it as a skill to be learned, as with any digital technology it will only be of great value in the learning process if there are clear learning outcomes from the experience planned by the teacher. So a music teacher or instrumental tutor working from afar via video link with a learner elsewhere will have their focus on what is to be taught and what the pupil is to learn, rather than on the video link being seen as a one time gimmick. That applies whether the class members are asking questions of an author, or a museum collections specialist, or an engineer – it’s not the novelty of using a video-conferencing tool which has to be at the centre of planning, but what will be done in the video link conversation.

What tools can I use to video-conference?

There are a number of tools available to link via video, whether online conferencing tools, mobile device apps or installed software on desktop computers. Schools will generally often find that specific tools have been configured for their networks as video-conferencing involves access to network firewalls/ports. And this may be different in schools or for other users in another geographical location. Therefore it would always be good to check in advance of any planned activity what can work best in any particular situation.

This post concentrates on two tools for video-conferencing which are available to all Scottish schools via Glow, though there will be other web tools, desktop applications or mobile device apps which could be used.

SkypeviaGlowSkype

Skype for Business, formerly called Lync, is part of Office 365 available to all Scottish schools. Note that for Scottish schools using Skype via Glow this is available for staff accounts only (they can invite pupils to a Skype meeting but pupils cannot set up a meeting themselves). If a school wishes to use their Glow account to connect with a body outwith Scottish schools then a staff member can log in with their staff Glow account and simply add an external email address (rather than require to have a partner Glow account set up for that external body).

Skype/Lync is one of the suite of tools included in Microsoft Office 365 through Glow.

How to use the Glow Skype/Lync Video-conferencing tool:

1. Log into Glow

2. On the RM Unify tiles click on Office 365 (Calendar)

3. Navigate to the date and time on the calendar when you want to have a video-conferencing session take place – double-click on the space in the calendar for that date and time.
4. Enter a name for the video-conferencing session beside the title “Event” e.g. Event: Video-conference with all classes
5. Next to the title “Attendees” type in the Glow usernames of those with whom you will be video-conferencing (select the user from the prompt which then appears.
6. At the top of the screen click on “Skype meeting” then “Add Skype meeting”– that will enter the necessary links into the body of the calendar entry at the foot of the screen (don’t edit or amend that, though you can add a message or notes before or after the links and text)
7. Now click “SEND” at the top left of the screen – that sends an email to the participants whose Glow usernames you have entered into the Attendees box.
8. When it comes time to present the meeting (actually it can also be done at any time) participants click once on date in calendar – and click “Join”
9. Click on “Join Using Lync Web App”
10. Enter your name (or class name if it’s a class participating – it’s the name which will appear on screen for everyone else to see) then click “Join the Meeting”
11. First time you may need to click “Run” at the foot of the screen (it may remember that next time you use it). “Allow” any plugin as required
12. Click on the video camera icon to broadcast video (or leave off if you are simply watching a presenter).
13. Click on the microphone icon to control whether audio is broadcast or muted.

NB In the event that you or a previous user on that PC has used an installed desktop version of Lync you may need to force the use of the Lync Web App. Here’s the “fix” to do so (there is no simple button to do so):

1. Open a web browser window
2. Copy & paste the URL for joining the meeting that you received. Do NOT press ENTER
3. Add the following to the URL: “?SL=1” (without the quote marks)
For example, if the URL to join the Lync meeting is:
https://meet.lync.com/glowscotland-glowmail/gw09wintermerry/2FJSJ85F
Change it to:
What to do if you are broadcasting to others who do not have a webcam
If a “viewing-only” user does not have a webcam connected then ensure a headphone or microphone is plugged into the audio socket otherwise Lync may not permit a user to view a meeting
There is also a mobile device app available for users of Skype/Lync which can be used on smartphones or tablets.
Skypewitha link onlySkype with a link – no account required – this post by Jonathan Wylie details how to use Skype to video-conference with others with no Skype account):

Web version of Skype

The web version of Skype may be used via an Internet browser to access Skype https://web.skype.com. More can be found about this facility from Skype’s own blog: http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/14/please-welcome-skype-for-web-beta/

Adobe_ConnectAdobe Connect

Adobe Connect is one of the suite of tools included to Glow users, referred to as Glow Meet within Glow.

How to set up a Glow Meet video-conferencing session using Adobe Connect through Glow:

1. You will require to have a Glow username and password to access this tool. Log into Glow at https://glow.rmunify.com. Scroll through the tiles on RM Unify until you find the tile called Glow Meet (for Hosts). Click on the tile called Glow meet (for Hosts). Note that you may see prompts to update software on your PC if updates or add-ins are required – accept these prompts.

2. You will require to have been granted host rights to be able to create a new meeting. Click here for details of how to request this if, having clicked on the Glow meet for Hosts tile, you do not see “Create New Meeting” button at the top left of the Glow broadcasting window which opens. Click on “Create New Meeting” button if you are setting up a meeting. If you are accessing a previously set up meeting then you click on the “open” button beside the name of the meeting previously created).

 

3. Enter a name for the video-conferencing session beside the title “Name*” e.g. Falkirk PS Glow Meet. Enter a short version of this in the box marked “Custom URL” – this will be the web link you share with others. This will require to be unique so be aware the system may prompt you with an alternative URL. Leave all other settings as they appear without adding or making changes. Click the “Next>” button at the foot of the page.

4. This will display the “Select Participants” screen. At the bottom left click on the “Search” button. In the search box which will then appear above the Search button enter the Glow username of others to whom you wish to assign access to this meeting. Since you can also grant access during a meeting to people who have the link this can be left to be only for those with whom you may share administration of the video-conferencing session, or presenter during the session. You can find usernames of others by going back to the RM Unify tiles webpage and finding them by searching on via the RM People Directory tile. When the sought username appears on the “Select Participants” page then click on the “Add” button at the foot of the page. Your new user will now appear on the right-hand panel “Current Participants” for the meeting you are creating. You can assign the appropriate role level of permissions to each user by clicking on the username on the right-hand panel, then clicking on the “Permissions” button. Once complete then click the “Next” button.

5. On the “Meeting Information” page which then appears, highlight the URL which is displayed (such as the example https://meet.glowscotland.org.uk/falkglowmeet/), right-click and copy your meeting URL. This will mean you will require to share the link to the Glow Meet with other users by sending it via email or adding it to a page others will be able to access.

Using Glow Meet Adobe Connect

1. Click on the link to the Glow Meet which you previously created (or which you shared by email with others, or shared on an online space elsewhere which others can access). First time you may need to allow any plugin as required or updates to software.

2. If you are the host of the meeting you will be able to accept the prompts which will pop up as guests to the meeting request access. You can assign different roles to participants by clicking on their name and choosing to enable their webcam, or microphone, or to increase their rights to be presenter (or joint host). You can change these rights again in the same way.

3. To broadcast your webcam click on “Start my webcam” and “Start sharing”

4. To be heard by others you will need to ensure you have clicked on the microphone icon along the top of the screen (you can mute it by clicking on the same icon – this will then show a diagonal line across the microphone icon. Note that other users will not automatically have this option unless you have enabled their microphone, or they are presenter or host.

5. To check audio settings (always worthwhile doing this in advance of a meeting) then click on “Meeting” on the top-left menu and then “Audio Setup wizard” and follow through the steps.

6. Click on the video camera icon to broadcast video (or leave off if you are simply watching a presenter).

7. Click on the microphone icon to control whether audio is broadcast or muted. Note that participants will not automatically have the option to switch on their microphone. All participants will be able to send text messages using the “Chat” window.

8. At the end of a meeting, to finish the meeting, and to disable future access to participants without a host opening the meeting, then click on Meeting – End Meeting

To Record a Glow meet in Adobe Connect

1. To record a Glow Meet in Adobe Connect click on “Meeting” – “Record Meeting”

2. This will display a message to all participants that the meeting is being recorded, and a red circle at the top-right of the screen, until the recording is stopped.

To View a recorded Meeting

1. Go to the Glow Meet (for Hosts) tile on the RM Unify tiled screen.

2. Click on “Meetings along the top of the screen. Note that only hosts will be able to view this.

3. Click on the link to the Meeting you created

4. Click on “Recordings” along the top of the screen

5. Click on the link to the recording of your meeting. The page which is then displayed will show a “URL for Viewing” – this will be the link you should copy and share with others, wither by email or by adding to an online space accessible by others to whom you wish to share the link.

Tips

1. Don’t try to share video which is hosted elsewhere by sharing your desktop – instead share the link to that video in the chat box so that others can watch it straight from the link.

2. Try out your PC setup before a proper arranged video-conference session by ensuring your webcam has been plugged into the PC beforehand, that it is recognised as the webcam and the microphone. Check your speakers all work – going through the “Meeting” – “Audio Setup wizard” is essential for all taking part, in advance of the pre-arranged meeting.

Further information from Education Scotland to support the use of Glow Meet Adobe Connect can be found here: https://glowhelp.wikis.glowscotland.org.uk/Glow+Broadcasting

More than just video

SD_AdobeConnect3Adobe Connect is more than just conferencing by video – you can share uploaded files (such as a Powerpoint presentation, which a presenter can then guide viewers through); there’s a chat facility to get text message feedback throughout a presentation (and that includes the facility for messaging between individuals or to the whole group); there’s a polling tool to seek responses on specific questions (and this can include multiple choice, many choice responses and free text responses); there’s a facility for quick yes/no responses; and hosts of meetings can vary rights of participants as they enter the room or at any time in the meeting so that microphone and/or webcam can be enabled; there’s a “raise hand” tool to give the opportunity for participants to attract the attention of a presenter (it presents a pop-up box to the presenter); there’s a whiteboard tool to draw or share ideas in visual form; and there’s the option to share the desktop of a presenter to demonstrate something such as how a piece of software on the host PC works.

Available on Mobile Devices

There’s mobile device apps available to provide the facility for participants using mobile devices to access Adobe Connect meetings – this may open automatically when clicking on the shared meeting room web address (URL) or simply by copying that web address and pasting in the URL box within the app.

How can I make a video link more engaging for learners?

Many teachers around the world have shared about creative ways they have used video-conferencing tools. Some will use Skype while other will use another tool. The ideas are generally always transferable to any video-link tool – the learning activity is central to the use of the tool. So, whichever tool you use, the following may provide inspiration for how you could use a video link with your class.

Skype in the Classroom – Microsoft has produced a superb site for supporting teachers looking to user their Skype tool in an educational setting. It provides training in how to make it work, ideas for how others have used it at different ages and stages, as well as across the curriculum, provides a forum for teachers sharing ideas or finding connections for their class project, and has topical links to fit in with events happening in current affairs. Microsoft also have a page of tutorials on using Skype/Lync.

Mystery Skype is described as “an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to build cultural awareness, critical thinking skills, and geography skills by guessing the location of the other classroom through a series of yes/no questions.   It is suitable for all age groups and can be adapted for any subject area.” The post by Jonathan Wylie “Mystery Skype – a curriculum for schools” describes how it works and provides links to a host of resources to support teachers making use of Skype whethevr the age, stage or curricular area. Mystery Skype Excites Fifth Graders is a newspaper article describing the use of Mystery Skype by teacher Brad Luce.

Five Ways to use Skype in your Classroom – an article by Kathy Cassidy which describes five ways to use Skype, specifically looking at how it supports literacy, mathematics, mapping, as well as bringing in expertise across the curriculum – and just for a bit of fun!

6 Creative Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom – a post by Kristen Hicks on the Edudemic site which describes different ways in which video links can support learners in a variety of contexts. The post also includes links to additional resources which would be helpful when making use of Skype.

 

What, Why and How of e-Portfolios for Learners

DigitalPortfolioHeaderWhat is an E-Portfolio?

A digital portfolio or e-portfolio can take several forms, and have different purposes. Whether it’s a place to share a learning journey, record notable achievements, provide a platform for a learner’s reflections on progress, or to link to records/artefacts/evidence stored elsewhere of skills, examples of work or achievements, or chart future goals and stepping stones to objectives. It may provide opportunity for feedback by peers of learners or educators, and it can provide a means for a learner to collate aspects of their digital footprint as they journey through life.

wikipediaeportfolioWikipedia provides a detailed description of e-portfolios and examples of the different forms and purposes for having an e-portfolio which may include documenting skills and learning, recording and tracking development within a course, planning educational journeys, evaluating and monitoring performance or a course, and helping to find a job.

Why have an E-Portfolio?

The purpose is the key – it’s all too easy to get bogged down in technical set-up issues rather than have a focus on why it’s going to be used by learners. And, while in educational settings the purpose may sometimes be laid down as a requirement, whether by school leadership, or local education authority or by governments, the teacher and the learner need to be clear about the purpose of having the e-portfolio so that it does not become a chore or seen as a burden but instead supports the learning process of the learner. Prasanna Bharti has described at The EdTech review how e-portfolios can help learners

DrHelenBarrettDr Helen Barrett at the site www.electronicportfolios.org provides a comprehensive source of information about e-portfolios – why they should be created, what should be in an e-portfolio, and what tools might be used to create an e-portfolio. The site describes several models, provides answers to frequently asked questions about e-portfolios, and details how different tools/platforms (whether online tools or mobile device apps) can be used.

EdutopiaBethHollandDigital Portfolio: The Art of Reflection by Beth Holland – a post which gives a useful background to what the focus of an e-portfolio should be, not on the technical how-tos, nor on a digital portfolio as a summative-only “curate>reflect>publish” model but instead on the process building on developing asking the essential questions to make reflection at the centre of the process.

VickiDavisE-portfoliosVicki Davis has produced “11 Essentials for Excellent E-Portfolios” – this article describes the necessity to be clear about the purpose behind learners having an e-portfolio, and the importance of it being embedded as part of the learning process, including a focus on reflection and ownership by the learner. The article describes a variety of tools which could be used to create an e-portfolio.

eportfoliosareawesomeePortfolios are Awesome – a presentation by Lisa Johnson about the why, how and what of student digital portfolios. This presents in graphical form links to a host of articles about why digital portfolios are important, things to consider (including ownership, who gets to see it, feedback, how it’s organised, when and how it will be populated, and what tool to use), and examples of e-portfolios.

How to Make an E-Portfolio?

What tools can you use to create an e-portfolio? There’s a whole range of tools which lets the user record their learning journey, record their achievements and reflections – whether that’s a paper record, a digital form of a paper record (whether simply Microsoft Word stored locally) or a digital tool which is stored in the cloud (and which can be kept private to the individual, or shared with limited others such as parents/carers or teaching staff, or made public for all to see online).

The choice is determined by the purpose and audience (who will get to see the e-portfolio) – and may be determined in a school context by a school policy or Local Education Authority providing the tool, guidance, and support.

In making your choice (if you have a choice) consideration should be given to moving on from one educational establishment or local education authority to another. Take into account when making your choice of platform the ease with which the content on the tool used can be shared or exported in a form which can provide ease of continuity into another school or Local Education Authority.

Wikiclick on this link for more about wikis – an online repository which can grow and expand and be interlinked in different ways for different purposes. Jacqui Murray has provided a detailed description of how she used wikis with her pupils for their e-portfolios. This describes the purpose behind the e-portfolio for her primary-aged pupils and explains the steps to making use of a Wikispaces wiki (Wikispaces are the wikis available to all Glow users) – which can be either private so it’s only accessible to the learner, or shared with their teachers or made public (it all comes back to the purpose and the audience).

Microsoft OneNoteclick on this link for more information about Microsoft OneNote – essentially an electronic ring-binder with different sections or subsections, in which there can be multiple pages. And each page can include text, video, audio, images and links – and all works across platforms, online or mobile devices.

Blog – there are several blogging platforms available which are suitable for use in an educational context. Click on this link for more about blogging tools for schools. Glow users in Scotland have access to WordPress blogs. Also look at the blog examples on Dr Helen Barrett’s Electronic Portfolios site: http://www.electronicportfolios.org/. Microsoft Office 365 has a blog option within SharePoint (available to Glow users – however note that in Glow a SharePoint blog cannot be made public outwith Glow, instead there is the option to use WordPress blog or a Wiki from Glow, both of which can be made public, or kept private, or have parts private and parts public).

Word-processed document – there are a variety of word-processing options including Google Docs and Microsoft Word in Office 365, some of which may include a template which can be adopted to get started creating and maintaining an e-Portfolio.

Mobile device apps – there are a number of apps available for different mobile device platforms. Dr Helen Barrett has produced a site which looks at the use of mobile devices for e-portfolios, including examples of apps for different device platforms. As with any choice of tool for creating an e-portfolio the portability of the data would need to be borne in mind – how easily will it be able to be exported to another mobile device platform, how easily can the information (whether in full or part) be shared when a learner moves establishment or beyond formal schooling? Many e-portfolio tools take this into account and some provide the information to undertake the necessary steps, some have inbuilt sharing or export tools.

There are many other tools which could be used to create an e-portfolio – it would just be recommended that the purpose is central to the choice, and that it takes into account requirements laid down by school leadership, local education authority or government to have best chance of that all that’s collated by the learner can be moved as the learner journeys through their educational path at different stages, and that it best supports the needs of the learner.

What other resources are there to help create and maintain an E-portfolio?

Cybrarymane-portfoliosJerry Blumengarten has collated a host of links to resources about e-portfolios, including links to articles explaining the purpose behind an e-portfolio, as well as many different tools and how they can be used to create e-portfolios.

ShamblesgurueportfoliosShambles Guru has collated a series of resources about using digital portfolios – these links by educator Chris Smith include tools for creating e-portfolios as well as articles about the purpose and effect on learning and teaching when learners make use of e-portfolios.

HuffPostEportfolioHuffington Post Education post by Tom Vander Ark “Every Student Should Have a Digital Portfolio – this post sets out reasoning behind the recommendation that learners should have an e-portfolio, and then lists and describes a range of e-portfolio tools which can be considered for creating and maintaining an e-portfolio.

JisceportfoliosGetting started with e-portfolios – a post on the Jisc site which sets out the rationale for having e-portfolios at university level, with suggestions of tools to use, tips for creating an e-portfolio, voids and examples of e-portfolios.

Why Wikis – the wonderful world of wikis in the classroom

wikiwordle2What’s a Wiki?

Probably the best know Wiki is Wikipedia, ranked in the top ten of all websites, attracting hundreds of millions of visitors a month to the reference articles by tens of thousands of contributors. And, in a nutshell, that’s an illustration of what sets a wiki apart from other websites, blogs and online spaces – a wiki provides the facility for creation and editing of an online space by multiple users, with a transparent trail of edits for all who visit, making changes (and who made them) visible to all, and providing the facility to set alerts to changes made on the wiki so that anyone can be notified of changes as soon as they are made.

Why Use a Wiki in the Classroom?

Anywhere you might wish to have a collaborative online space for an educational purpose then a wiki can provide the means to support this. Whether it is for an online space to share resources with learners, or somewhere the learners themselves can jointly pool their research findings, links to articles elsewhere online, or with attached documents, presentations, videos, images and more. Not only can the wiki content be modified, but so can the look, feel and structure be manipulated to meet the needs of the group of users. So it might be a piece of creative collaborative writing, or it might be a place to bring together several pieces of writing on the same topic by each pupil in a class.

You can decide with a wiki who is going to be able to see the wiki – perhaps just the individual pupil and teaching staff, or a group of pupils and their teacher, or a whole class or school. Or you can make the wiki public for all to view. And equally you can decide who you wish to be able to modify the wiki – just one person, a small group, a class, the whole school or the entire world!

Here’s just some ideas for using a wiki in the classroom:

  • Outdoor learning or class trip observations, individually or jointly with others.
  • Science experiment planning, the process and record of observations – you can add video, pictures and audio descriptions.
  • Historical project – bringing together different pages perhaps by different learners on their chosen area of a local study, or a combined research topic on a historical theme.
  • Creative writing – individuals can use the revision feature of the tool to demonstrate to their teacher and others how their writing has developed. Other learners can be invited to add comments to encourage and offer suggestions.
  • A teacher can collate all resources on a single topic into one online space, bringing together documents in different formats, video, audio, images and links to related resources elsewhere.
  • Set tasks for learners, and the wiki can also be the space for them to submit their work – the wiki can be set to only be viewable by those in the class, or each pupil can have a space private to them and their teacher, with only the teacher’s main wiki space able to be seen by only the whole class.

TeacherGuideWikisThe Teacher’s Guide on the Use of Wikis in Education can be found on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog – this provides many examples of the uses of wikis in a classroom setting and more advice on how wikis can be used in education.

Cybrary Man wikisCybraryman’s Wikis page – a comprehensive page of links by Jerry Blumengarten to hosts of educational wikis, guides to making use of wikis in a classroom setting, advice, examples and much more – worth a visit to be inspired to use a wiki in your classroom.

 What wiki-creation tools are there for classroom use?

wikispacesWikispaces provides a wiki platform for all users, and a specific wiki platform for  educational use, called Wikispaces Classroom. It is described on their site as “A social writing platform for education. We make it incredibly easy to create a classroom workspace where you and your students can communicate and work on writing projects alone or in teams.

GlowWikisGlow Wikis are available to all Glow users in Scotland, and Glow wikis are provided by Wikispaces, giving Glow users all of the functionality of a Wikispaces wiki (including Wikispaces Classroom which gives the option for additional classroom-specific tools) using their Glow username and password. Glow Wiki Help provides step by step guidance to getting started and how to develop a wiki in a classroom setting.

PBWorksPBWorks Education Wikis – free wiki platform for use in education (with premium version available for additional features). Lets you create student accounts without an email address, provides automated notifications of chnages to your wiki, easy to edit, gives you the option to grant access to those within or outwith your school, and of course to share pages, documents and any other content on your wiki – and it all works via mobile devices

Examples of wikis used in schools

https://stfrancisoa.wikis.glowscotland.org.uk/stfrancisoa1 Example wikis created by learners in St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Glasgow




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