Scots College, an independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys Years 1 – 13, recently deployed Office 365 as their school wide staff and student productivity tool. After hosting their complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminar (http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windowsintheclassroom/), Assistant Principal of the Senior School (NCEA) and ICT Manager, Alistair West saw Office 365 as "a key factor on our BYOD strategy".
"In order to facilitate going fully mandated BYOD, we needed a system whereby students could create, edit, collaborate and access files online on any device or operating system. Office 365 is the best solution we have found for that. We are using OneNote for management meetings, our appraisal system and SkyDrive Pro for sharing and collaborating on documents."
"So far we have held staff training sessions on SkyDrive Pro, sharing files and folders, collaborating on documents and using the Newsfeed. A student BYOD/Office 365 session will be held later this month. Some staff have begun using the sharing features of Office 365 to provide real-time feedback to students working on reports/essays. Gail Moynagh (Teacher of Mathematics and Science), has been using the drawing tools in OneNote on an interactive whiteboard to share her lessons with students. In one instance, a student was at home sick, he could log in, open the shared OneNote and see notes appear in real-time."
When asked on how she was using Office 365 in and outside of the classroom, Gail explained, “The massive advantage I see in it is the ability for collaboration with ease between staff and staff, staff and students and students and students. The features of the NewsFeed seem like they will be an excellent way to get information to users quickly and easily.”
"One of the many strengths we are seeing of Office 365 is that it is using resources that our staff were already familiar with (e.g. Word, Excel) and we are just making the next obvious step into doing this in the cloud," Alistair explains. "This makes it more approachable and less overwhelming for staff that are not confident with the use of technology. However, it appears to have huge opportunities for our savvy users as well and we are just beginning to really see its full potential."
"We are just beginning to see how Office 365 can facilitate 24/7, anytime, anywhere, personalised learning."
You can book your complimentary Windows in the Classroom Seminar here: http://www.microsoft.com/nz/windowsintheclassroom/.