The transition to Office 365 has not been without its hiccups, so I have decided to work with the Macquarie Office 365 Support team to clarify how we should be using the various platforms we have available to us, and share tips as I learn them*. But to start with, some mythbusting: Contrary to rumour, GoogleDrive will not ‘disappear’ any time soon.
While staff are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new suite of Office 365 tools (and there are some good ones, see below), it looks like we’ll have Google Drive for at least the next couple of years – hooray!
Why two platforms?
To ensure that staff and students can continue to collaborate as efficiently as possible. Students will continue on the Google email, calendar and drive platforms for the next couple of years at least.
So, what platform should I, as a staff member use to collaborate?
It’s your choice, you can continue to use GoogleDrive or work with Office365 Groups, OneDrive or Sharepoint. Where possible, try to be consistent.
Collaboration using Office 365
Collaboration using 365 takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s possible. Here’s three options via the web browser: https://portal.office.com, sign-in as usual, then:
|For collaboration on internal projects (internal staff only / no students or external partners)||For collaboration on internal projects (internal staff with students and/or external partners)|
|Click Mail to access Outlook on the web|
|In the left hand navigation pane, next to Groups, select the Create button. (If you don’t see the Create button, hover your mouse over the navigation pane). Once created, you can add ‘files’, ‘add members’, and instigate ‘conversations’.||Option 1: in the top left corner you’ll see a blue box with nine white squares, click this to bring up options, and then select Sharepoint. Use the ‘+Create Site’ in the top left hand corner to create a new site. Once created you can add files, and ‘share your site’ with any collaborators.|
|TIP: You can also create a Office365 group from OneDrive. The steps are exactly the same.||Option 2: Navigate to OneDrive (from the blue box with white squares). In the main frame you’ll see ‘Files’ and above that the option ‘+new’ to create a folder – to share, right click and you’ll be able to add collaborators by entering their email addresses. Individual files can also be shared in Files by right clicking on the file.|
Gmail vs. Office 365 comparisons
Did you know that Outlook has similar functionality to Gmail? They just have different names. So the IT team have put together a handy comparisons table to help you better navigate Outlook, check it out here.
Tips for online collaboration using Google and Office 365 are available, in addition to the usual Macquarie resources for staff. But if that’s too many clicks away, then a simple browser search for the action you need to complete e.g. how do I share a folder on 365? This approach usually brings up easy to follow steps.
In the near future all Macquarie staff will have access to Lynda.com, a platform of ready-curated educational resources on almost any topic you can think of from project coordination, to writing code, and desktop design. It also has short videos that take you through Google and 365 platforms screen by screen – follow Teche for news on the launch of this open tool for all staff and students!
* Please note, I’m a Mac user, and options may be slightly different for PC users. Check out the additional resources for Mac, Windows and mobile users here.