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Nikkie's discussion posts

  • Nikkie 18 Jul 2016 12:28pm () in Equity devices in BYOD schools

    Hi there, thought I'd share too because it's the holidays and I have time to read AND reply!

    We are a full primary school in Papakura, Auckland We introduced our version of BYOD in 2014 in two trial classrooms. We built a working model for teachers, parents and other stakeholders to see what this looks like and then in 2015 for our 5 Year 7 and 8 classrooms. In term 3 last year we introduced this to our Year 5 and 6's and starting this term we will have a 1:1 class in year 4 to help illustrate for our teachers and parents what this might look like at this level. In terms of equity we have many strategies in play.

    Our spending has not changed over this time (and I'm hopeful it won't change in the long term!) now we can target our spending a bit more to work with our strategically targeted areas. In this instance it is our Year 3 and 4 area this year.

    We still have a significant number of student accessible, school owned devices for students to use. At last audit we had more than 320+ such devices. This does not include TELA laptops or devices used primarily by teachers or admin staff. Our roll is around 640 so this puts us at 1:2 before any BYOD devices are included. These include COWS, desktops, our IT suite and ipads in our junior school and an increasing number of tablet/laptop hybrid devices which are fast becoming our preferred way of getting things done. Multi-modal input is what our kids love. Keyboard, touch and pen works best but is still out of the reach of many. It amazes me how much our preferred device has changed over the last 3 years! What once was something my colleagues begged for (more desktops in a pod) they now want removed because they are not mobile/flexible enough :-)

    In response to parent feedback we do provide suggested specs and packages for BYOD. We always provide more than one option, a basic laptop, a mid priced one with additional features (touch, tablet hybrid and sometimes pen if we can find one) and a higher priced one with all the bells and whistles.

    One thing we did notice was that some of our students, often those with less experience with devices lost many precious minutes adjusting to different devices. Slightly different log in methods, small things like power buttons and headphone sockets in different places, accessing shared drives for documents etc all caused delays. These were the students who needed that precious time for learning not fussing to get the thing going. Our board stepped in and provided a basic device (HP Stream) which these students are allocated for the year.

    Jonathan, tying this together and supporting all of this is Office 365. We use 365 all day, everyday. I can't tell you if it's better than google but I can tell you that it most definitely meets our learning and professional needs (and then some!). We've been using 365 since 2014 and it's been growing with us, and helping us grow too. We have created a wide array of collaborative sites for teachers and students and use OneNote Notebooks for a range of purposes including digital modelling books, collaborative planning and our appraisal documentation. Happy to share more with you if you'd like to hear more.

  • Nikkie 13 May 2014 10:36pm () in Our school's adopted Office 365

    Rowan, I think OneNote would be a really easy way to achieve what you are thinking about here. Tracking and editing changes is simple and multiple authors (if collaborating) are easy to identify. I’m definitely not a OneNote expert by any means but I can see this would be doable. I’m not sure if we are allowed to promote services here but in another thread (Office 365 Q and A) I came across Arnika Brown (a teacher) who provides PLD (free!) for teachers around Office365. She would be worth contacting to get you up and running.

    Anthony, clarify eek! My understanding of this sites stuff is still very surface level at this stage but I will try and explain as best I can. Sites is SharePoint. Pretty much a way to centralise and manage stuff! It’s a collection of pages configured to meet your specific need. I’m using our class "site" to store and track documents mostly. This is a central place for us to store and collaborate on documents etc so that we don’t run into version problems. A site is much more than this though, there are apps (kind of like widgets) you can add to your site to increase functionality like image galleries, lists (of all kinds), newsfeeds, site mailboxes as well as your standard calendars, notices and reminders etc. You can make your site accessible to people outside your organisation, limit to those inside or make it completely public. I’m sure this is not a complete explanation. Hopefully an expert will jump in and fill in the gaps.

    I don’t know google sites but I’m guessing these are similar?




  • Nikkie 12 May 2014 3:32pm () in Our school's adopted Office 365

    Hi Rowan, this Office365 business can be a bit lonely on here so I thought I'd share a little of the journey which we are just beginning.

    We don't have GAFE so I cant comment on this directly. I guessing though there are many similairties and a few differences. No one system will ever meet all of our diverse needs so I guess you just have to jump on board and see where it goes.

    We are very new to Office365 and have only just begun introducing this to staff and students. I think it would be fair to say though that we can all see great potential here.

    In terms of collaboration, it's easy, logical and very straightforward. We can, for example, have many people collaborating on the same doc, spreadhseet, one note, powerpoint etc at the same time (I haven't been able to work out the upper limit yet, we got up to around 40). At the moment with my class I am focussing on the sites function and together we are finding cool ways for our site to be a place for storing stuff and sharing things about our learning. Im finding sites a good place for us to start because I can manage the interactions here easily. I teach a Year 7/8 class so keeping a close eye while we develop our digitial citizenship skills is very necessary. We have a blog which is a subsite of our main site and this helps keep everything handy (document libraries, image libraries etc) so that everyone can post easily.

    Sharing and marking work is really easy and there are a few different ways of doing this. Probably easier to show you than tell you! We are using a very basic drop a doc into a folder arrangement at present until we all get a little braver. O365 feels familiar and this means everyone is more likely to have a little poke around to see how things work.

    Hope this helped a little.




  • Nikkie 20 Mar 2014 9:21pm () in Anybody here?

    Thanks for sharing your ideas Carla, this definitely gives me a few more ideas. I appreciate the insights into how this is managed too (logins etc). I hope the implementation at your school goes smoothly. Have you visited any other 365 schools to see what they are up to?

  • Nikkie 16 Mar 2014 10:07pm () in Anybody here?

    Thanks for replying Melody, glad to hear how this is being used in your school. How was Office 365 introduced in your school? Did you develop one aspect at a time? Or was it more flexible approach?

  • Nikkie 15 Mar 2014 8:14pm () in Anybody here?

    Hi all, I've been watching this thread for a long time hoping there would be some discussion. It's so quiet I thought I might as well ask. Smile

    We are very close to deploying Office 365 in our school and I'm hoping there are some other schools out there who might be able to join us on the next phase of making this all work for us.

    What features and functions are you using most? Which aspects did you develop first with staff? With students?

    We have lots of ideas but now need to develop these into a practical plan. Would love to see and/or hear about what some of you are doing already. Equally keen to hear from anyone just starting out on this journey.