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Office 365 for Education

User Scenario:
Using Office 365 for staff professional development

This user scenario is a summary of ideas for use in your school or education institution.

Traditionally, records of qualifications and teacher’s professional development activities often go unrecorded or are filed away somewhere. Poor recordkeeping can lead to teachers not being acknowledged for their professional development activity and achievements, and these records really should be immediately accessible. Despite this, teachers have often neglected this duty because it is very time-consuming.

Cobus van der Graf is the deputy head teacher who has staff professional development as a part of his management responsibility. He understands how important it is for each member of his staff to set up and maintain a Continuing Professional Development Portfolio.

He knows that Office 365 can help save time on these administrative tasks and free up more time for quality learning and teaching interactions. He has some ideas about making the process of carrying out and recording staff professional development activity over the course of the school year. He aims to use Office 365 tools and services for the following activities:

  • He ensures that each teacher compiles a portfolio of evidence of achievement and details of all professional development activity, such as certificates. This is stored on OneDrive* for easier access.
  • Proof of a workshop attended, in the form of photos and video, can also be shared in an individual album to enhance this portfolio. It can be done using a mobile device and uploaded to OneDrive to ensure instant capturing of participation at the time of the training activity.
  • Photos can be turned into a slideshow on OneDrive. If video evidence is available it can be edited using Windows Movie Maker and stored as media in the same OneDrive folder. With 25GB of individual space, there will be room for this sort of evidence of achievement.
  • To keep track of professional development through the year, the Task function in Outlook (at the bottom left of the Outlook screen) and shared calendar entries in Outlook.com** can be used to record time spent on certain activities following the annual professional development review between Cobus and each member of staff.
  • When professional development opportunities arise, Cobus sends an email via Outlook.com to the staff. They can then accept or decline the invitation. Cobus sends regular reminders and uses shared calendars showing all professional development opportunities.
  • The staff then organise their professional development activities using Calendar in Outlook.com.
  • Teachers can create subject groups for group discussions using instant messaging, Newsfeed and Lync meetings.
  • Cobus and the Heads of Departments use the teacher portfolios stored on OneDrive by each staff member to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual teachers and departments. This directs the planning of further targeted professional development opportunities during the year.
  • Teachers can participate in surveys created using Excel Online. The links to the surveys are sent via email in Outlook.com and posted in Newsfeed in the staff SharePoint site.
  • Good practice in learning and teaching is recorded by blogging using SharePoint blogs to compare classroom experiences and share ideas to further help with staff development. These blogs are shared using the school staff distribution group set up by the administration staff for the teachers to use.
  • Teachers can create a folder in Outlook.com with a list of weblinks to particular educational online articles they have read to further their knowledge. They can share these folders using email and group distribution lists and contacts information.
  • A folder can be created in Outlook.com to keep record of educational correspondence such as Department of Education circulars, minutes of meetings, etc. This could also be done using an Exchange shared mailbox for school professional development email.

*Formerly known as SkyDrive.
**Formerly known as Outlook Web App.

Email, contacts and calendar - Further Reading

» Email, calendars and contacts
» Scenario: Connecting other accounts to email
» Scenario: People and contacts
» Scenario: Setting up and using distribution groups
» Scenario: Staff communication and info gathering
» Scenario: Staff professional development
» Scenario: Using and sharing calendars

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