Transforming learning using Lync and Office 365 collaboration

Guest Post by Naomi Manning – Expert Educator

One of the exciting things I worked on at the very end of last year was a project with Year 9 students at Ormiston College in Queensland and Year 8 girls at Abbotsleigh in Sydney. It was a new style of learning that was student centred video conferencing and saw Ormiston students teach the Abbotsleigh students new concepts and Abbotsleigh completed new projects and provided feedback on the teaching materials all via Lync, Office Mix and OneNote in Office 365.

The students initially connected via Lync video conferencing, to have the Ormiston students explain the Photo Essay task to them. Lync was very successful for this connection as the girls could connect seamlessly with another class and communicate with them in class time, without the complications of signing them up to other online accounts.

The Ormiston student tutorials were created using Office Mix. This was very engaging due to the inclusion of webcam videos in the presentation and including other interactive content as well as the use of the stylus pen for annotation in the presentation. The Abbotsleigh students taught material they had not seen previously, and they loved learning from other students. Abbotsleigh girls then worked on the project, taking photos based and writing justifications on the ideas they heard and learnt from the OfficeMix presentations and using scaffolds provided.

Students then shared their project via OneNote in Office 365. The Ormiston students gave the Abbotsleigh girls feedback on their Photo Essays in the OneNote, that was extremely beneficial for the girls to receive. The Abbotsleigh class also provided feedback to the Ormiston students on their teaching materials. It was an empowering and enjoyable process for the students.

It was a fantastic opportunity to explore how we can go beyond the classroom walls. Students loved creating content for an authentic audience and giving and receiving feedback. It was a great first step towards a transformation project using Lync and online collaboration using Office 365 to transform long distance connections between students and collaborative learning.See Tamara’s video on this project here


Guest Post By:

Naomi Manning – ICT Integrator, Abbostleigh School

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Naomi has worked in different educational contexts over the years, but is currently one of the IT Integrators at Abbotsleigh. This role has involved supporting staff with integrating the use of Information Technologies into the curriculum to enhance their learning experiences. We use a range of Microsoft technologies including Office 2013, Windows 8 on all staff and student machines and Lync. All staff and students have a touch screen and we are moving towards using these more effectively with use of the stylus and Apps to enhance student learning.