Microsoft Office is a free resource to all staff and learners in Scotland, available inside your Glow account, that gives you access to a large variety of up to date, excellent, Microsoft tools. For staff and learners, the tools within O365 are very similar to Office tools available on your P.C./laptop such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel and so on. If you are already using these, O365 within Glow will give you these tools but also the power of online sharing and collaboration.
As O365 is accessed via an internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), the projects you create will be saved within the cloud and so documents can be accessed from any location and any device, providing you have your Glow details to hand. For example, if I start creating a word document at school and went home and logged onto Glow, I could make changes at home on the same document online. This is a great tool for learners who can start projects in class or at home and complete them elsewhere.
One of the most powerful tools that I have found is the ability to share documents and collaborate with others by clicking on the share button at the top of a document. Staff and learners can share their document with as many other 0365 users as they would like and this allows anyone who has permissions to make changes to one document at the same time. An example of this in the classroom is a P5 class I taught were creating a powerpoint on a body system as part of their My Body topic. The children were in groups of 4 and had 4 iPad’s to work with. One child created a powerpoint online and shared it with his 3 other group members. They then decided who would work on which slide and collaboratively created one powerpoint from different devices. Everyone is the group was engaged, involved and learning. Another great functionality of sharing is that learners can share with the teacher who can show it on their interactive boards…no need for wires and cables or pen drives.
Recently, Glow announced that staff and learners can download the latest versions of O365 onto multiple of their own personal devices. This is a fantastic incentive to use Glow.