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Showing posts from 2015

Auto-Grading an Office365 Excel Survey Assessment

So it's pretty common that folks use Google Forms to create an automatically graded assessment.  Now, I have to admit, as a mathematics teacher I don't do a lot of fixed-response assessments like this that need automatic grading.  But that doesn't mean it isn't a useful option.

In fact this post arises not from automatic grading but rather a situation in our Psychology course.  The teachers were doing a study with their students and wanted to collect the data easily and run a T-Test with as little work as possible.  (A t-test, roughly speaking, determines whether two groups are different from each other.)

We set up an Excel Survey for the students to enter their results and then in a second sheet in the spreadsheet containing the Survey, we laid out the T-Test.  As the results came in, the T-Test continually re-evaluated.  Success!

I figured if it can work for a T-Test, it can work for a simple multiple-choice, True/False or simple word response. So I head over to my O…

Playing with Permissions in the OneNote Class Notebook: In French

This follows on the hacking work done with OneNote Class Notebook - including adding a digital portfolio and a private planning area for teachers in the Content section.

My amazing colleague Anjuli Ahooja is an active participant with Science On Stage.  As a result of a workshop in Europe last year, she began a collaboration with a school in France.

Two of her classes have been combined with a class of the French teacher.  In order to have collaboration easily between the two different physical and temporal spaces, we use the OneNote Class Notebook.   Each of Anjuli's students here in Canada was teamed up with a French student -- this couple will work together on a project.

We ran the OneNote Class Notebook app to create the initial OneNote Notebook, setting Anjuli and the French teacher as co-teachers (so that they can see all the content in every student's section as well as modify the Content Library teacher section) and enrolled each of our (English) students as students s…

5 things about the Microsoft Band

(So I ran into Minnia Feng, the Community Organizer for the Microsoft Expert Educators when I was in Redmond last month and she mentioned I'd taken her "5 item listicles" by the horns.  Long story short, I believe than when I'm faced with a constraint, I become more creative and prolific viz. Twitter.  So I'll continue with the idea of keeping it, or pushing it to five)

Everyone was in a hullabaloo about the Apple Watch recently but I have to admit I'm not a great fan of the Apple ecosystem. ITunes drives me to distraction moving anything in or out and the inability to hack into the AppleTV is an ongoing irritation in my house.  So the Apple Watch didn't catch my interest.

A friend from Seattle (Michael Smith, IT Director at Forest Ridge School) had showed me the Microsoft Band in November and I was curious but I only wear a watch when I'm on police duty anymore.

But then... Ben Schorr (@bschorr on Twitter) mentioned that he could push notes from the…

Yammer : 5 reasons to explore a new space

Continuing on the Microsoft Expert Educator suggestion to make 5-tips-articles here's one on Yammer.

Yammer is part of Office365 and is free to schools, faculty and students as part of their free Office365 subscriptions.  On first glance, and in general discussion with faculty and students, its best approximation is a social networking conversation space like Facebook.

So why not just use Facebook?  For Facebook there is the explicit danger of using a personal space for professional work between & amongst students and teachers, Instead, Yammer is built in to the Office365 structure (so security and consistency of passwords).  And, for the data hungry, Yammer allows you to do analysis on the posts (everything can be downloaded into Excel) -- we're looking forward to a longitudinal analysis of student writing as we move year-to-year..

5 ideas on how to maximize Yammer's effectiveness:

1) Use Yammer school wide for announcement and discussions.

Email is notoriously misused…

Art and #OneNote ? My 5 responses

So a colleague posted this on a Yammer conversation the other day and I didn't want to try to post to it without some explanations, for which Yammer did not provide sufficient space.  And since Microsoft encouraged us to post "5 point articles" I feel constrained to continue in that fashion :)


I'm not sure I ever would have suggested digital inking to create art in OneNote... there are FAR better tools for that!  Brief sketches, initial designs perhaps but a full art curriculum deserves far more than OneNote can offer (and that's OneNote's biggest advocate talking!)
Amongst OneNote's strengths (see a 5-point rundown here) are its sharing abilities and ease with multimedia. My ideas, then, are based on that understanding ... how easy it is take take anything and share it -- and then build on it. I am not sure it necessarily enhances Art but it does bring Art and the learning of Art into a richer environment.
These also require no more than what is availabl…

Top 5 reasons to use #OneNote in your classroom

Microsoft asked if we could put together 5-point tip lists.  As it happens, I had started to scribble down some thoughts on a recent snow day (a Rumspringa for teachers) and never got it completed so while I'm on March Break I have the time to finish it up.

This is just basic, free OneNote -- without any special add-ons like Onetastic or the OneNote Class or Staff Notebooks.

1. OneNote is sharing

Even before the amazing classroom space of the OneNote Class Notebook was created, OneNote was always about sharing.  You create a notebook and share it (via an emailed or web-based link) with anyone you want to either view or edit.  They don't need to have OneNote installed and, depending on how you share it, they don't even need to sign in.

I've used it with in and out of school with colleagues to develop and deliver Professional Development, with various groups of students to work on Model UN debate planning, and at conferences to both share resources (in the place of paper …

The 5 Next Steps a Teacher takes with the #OneNoteClass Notebook

We've had almost four years with our OneNote ClassBinder, having rolled it out to every class from 7 to 12, math to languages to phys-ed every year.  In the first year we had 85% of classes voluntarily use it -- that's the power of handing teachers the open structure of OneNote!  (People always ask about training... here's my notes on that topic.)

The easy part is already done by OneNote and the OneNote ClassNotebook Creator (get them both free here http://www.onenoteforteachers.com/ !) OneNote gives you a wide open canvas for any type of content and the ease of automatically syncing across any device.  The ClassNotebook Creator creates the structure that teachers & students need to use OneNote effectively, without having to think about it.

So, here's the Five Next Steps once you have the OneNote ClassNotebook Creator run:

1) Put the important stuff "Above the Fold"
Take over the introductory page and make it your Announcements/Course Plan page -- put wha…

Hacking the OneNote Class Notebook Part II : A digital portfolio

So as soon as I posted the previous blog on changing permissions, I was asked how I would create a Digital Portfolio section inside the student's section; that is, a section that the teacher can add content to but the student can't change.  (Yes, it's not the full spirit of a DP but it has aspects of the footprints of a DP.)  It's a bit of a challenge to get at the files (and there's likely a quicker way) but here's how I get at it...

Go to your site. As I mentioned in the previous blog, when you first look at OneNote notebooks in Sharepoint/Office365, they appear to be one single file.  They're not, though ... what we're seeing is analogous to a zip file and we need to see the individual files inside.  Each section in the Notebook is an actual file so we can base our permissions on each tab.

So... how to get to the files?  There likely is an easier way... but here goes.

Head on over to your site and click on the Gear for Site Contents.

You're look…