Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Using Delve to Board up your School

So I mentioned that one of the apps inside of Office365, Delve, is my best friend in a previous post - mostly because it's an intelligent agent that helps me prioritize (and find) things I should be working on.  If you haven't clicked on the Waffle in Office365 and then clicked on the Delve button, you should stop reading and try it now!

Beside the intelligence behind what you see, Delve has another layer to help you and your students keep things together: the Board.  The Board helps you deal with a "Shared with Me" that has gone out of control (well, to be fair, it goes out of control because you're using the Cloud effectively, so that's a good thing).

When you see documents in Delve that "go together" you can pin them to a Board, allowing you to create a page of documents all on a particular project.
What you see below you is what I see this morning when I click on "Me" (Cal Armstrong) ... it shows the two documents we used school wide for our special day-before-March-Break (Attendance & Coverages), our Spreadsheet on Relationship Mapping at at our School, and then three attachments on an email that came in first thing this morning.   None of these are what I want... I need to see the documents for New Faculty.  So I click on NEW FACULTY under BOARDS at the lower left.  It's there because (a) I made the Board and (b) I've used the Board in the past.  New Faculty are shown the Board first thing so that it appears for them, too.

This is after clicking Me this morning at about 11am.  It'll be different now.
The reason we use a Board is that our new faculty have a whole bunch of documents that are going to be important for them... but some are stored in the general Faculty Site, some are Athletic documents stored in the Athletics Site, some are HR, some are on the Residential Site (we're a boarding school), some are (incorrectly) stored on individual's OneDrives (yeah, we still do that)... well, you get the picture, there are a lot of important documents in various spaces and our new faculty are least likely to know where to look.
So, instead, in Delve I (and several other admins) tag the documents "New Faculty" as we prepare for a new year (and throughout the year) and since Boards are public, the new faculty see the Board in their Delve and they can see all the documents they may need.  As we add new documents, they automatically appear in the list the next time the teacher clicks on New Faculty.  From Delve, they can open or email the document .... or jump into a Yammer discussion on the document.
Slightly edited for convenience

Now, it's important to remember in Delve that you only see the documents you have rights too.  If you don't have permission to read it, you don't even know it exists.  So if I pin a new document on the New Faculty Board, but the principal hasn't released it to the Faculty yet, only she and I see it.  When she opens up the sharing, it will automagically appear.

So... if you're working with a group of people and want to keep disparate documents located in a variety of locations (Course Site, my OneDrive, your OneDrive, the general Faculty Site, etc) just create a Board and tag each document with the Board's name.  When you're done, just click Remove From Favorite and the Board disappears.
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