OneDrive for Business is part of the Office 365 package for educational institutions. It provides wonderful collaborative capabilities, particularly when combined with Office 2016.
Microsoft has been working to improve the sync engine for quite a while and a new client for Windows and Macs has been released for those who signed up for the pre-release trial. An overview is available from the OneDrive Blog.
Selective syncing with a local drive and enhanced sharing capabilities are just two excellent new features.
Collaboration with multiple users within the desktop program (rather than just in the web version) is now possible with Word, PowerPoint and OneNote if the document is stored in OneDrive. Not only can you see who is co-editing the file, you can click on their icon to open a Skype video conversation (and more). This overview explains many of the enhanced features.
The enhanced features will enable even better anywhere anytime learning and work.
I tried a new Surface Pro pen at a roadshow a few weeks ago and was amazed at how much better it was compared to the pen provided with the Surface Pro 3. (Yet I thought the Surface Pro 3 pen was awesome up until then.)
I just bought a SP4 pen with the nib set and now I am even more impressed. The feel is much closer to that of writing on paper. It is not as slippery; there is more friction which makes for a more natural writing experience.
The pack comes with four extra nibs
B - high friction
HB - medium friction (one installed in the pen, one spare)
H - low friction
2H - very low friction
Many, but not all, of the features also work on the SP3. For example, just turn the pen over and the top acts as an eraser.
Microsoft has now made this pen and device SO good. When combined with OneNote, OneDrive, the Edge browser (for annotating web pages), and more, this device changes all of the old rules of computing.
The end of the academic year in Australia, so things are busy as all educators know. There is also the planning for the continuing quest to technology enhanced learning in 2016. Thus, PD and training courses to build, and much more.
However, I have had some time to reflect and have written four new articles on whole organization change. I will submit them to publishers in the next few days. Hopefully they will help some others on the path to improving education through whole organization change.
Snip, and the additional solution I will be outlining, are Windows only solutions. In fact, to get the most out of these solutions requires a device that has what I term a "real" digital pen. This is a pen that is fine grained, pressure sensitive, and feels and behaves like a real pen or pencil (as compared to a crayon - like the stylus with the chubby end that can be bought for some tablets). The device should ideally have "palm aware" technology. This means that the device should respond to finger touch when the digital pen is not present, but should not respond to finger touch or the palm of the hand when a pen is present. This allows writing and drawing while resting the palm of the hand on the computer. I use a Surface Pro 3 to make these types of tutorials, as this device (and the others in the Surface ecosystem) have these capabilities.
Once you try them it is impossible to return to the old keyboard and mouse only devices. I still use a keyboard and mouse when they are the best solution to the task at hand, but i also need the pen based capabilities at times.
Anyone on the journey of working for whole organization change regarding technology enhanced learning and blended learning may find this of interest.
While my organization is still at early stages, a lot has been learned.
The Next level Learning Education Roadshow was on the Gold Coast today. What a great event, with great presentations and lots of teachers and tech attending.
The new Surface devices were on show, along with a range of other brand devices. The SurfaceBook is amazing. Larger than the Surface Pro 3/4, yet light and thin. The form factor is so good for those who want the 'regular' laptop experience along with the advantages of a tablet. It is a bit larger than the SP3/4, which may be handy on some occasions.
While I knew about the new pen and the different 'nibs', it wasn't until Jason Trump asked if I had tried writing with it that I actually did...I thought it would be a similar experience. How wrong I was! The stylus is now even more amazing as it interacts with the screen in a more 'paper/pencil' like fashion. It isn't 'slippery' like the SP3 pen. Better yet, apparently the new pen behaves the same way with the SP3; it is backward compatible regarding key features. It can also come with nibs of different 'hardnesses', just like pencils.
This really will change things dramatically for some. I thought digital ink had come of age with the SP3; this takes it to another level.
The past few weeks have been very busy with a range of things all falling into the 'urgent' and 'must get done now' categories. Hence, there has been little time to update this BLOG.
One of the main events was FlipCon, a national conference on flipped learning. The event was hosted at Saint Stephen's College, and as the College organizer and Director of eLearning there was lots of background work to be done to ensure the 250 who attended had a trouble free experience.
The conference saw two of the pioneers of flipped learning, Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann, present keynote addresses and conduct workshops. The conference organizers, IWBNet, were impressed that the venue worked particularly well. The technology and wireless network coverage and reliability was excellent, the facilities were first rate and everything 'just worked'.
The conference also 'fit' the philosophy at Saint Stephen's College, as it is just another facet of our drive toward whole organization change and harnessing the power of technology enhanced learning.
The delegates from every state of Australia and New Zealand were amazed at the College - both the physical environment and the 'feel' of the College. Many comments were made about how wonderful the students were.
The rooms (really 21st Century Activity Based Work environments) gained much positive feedback from delegates. It is difficult to shift the paradigm to blended learning while constrained by traditional learning spaces.