Thursday, February 20, 2014

Introducing SkyDrive to Students

We recently opened up Outlook email to all of our upper elementary and middle school students.  This service has been available to our high school students for a few years, but this is a novel event for our younger students.

It's been my joy the past couple of weeks to help our 4th through 8th grade students activate their emails and to get them started on SkyDrive (soon to become OneDrive).

Not familiar with SkyDrive? Microsoft may not be happy with me saying this, but it's essentially Microsoft's answer to Google Drive.  Any user can create, edit, and share Office products in the Cloud.

The various reactions to this update have been interesting.

My fourth graders think this is great!  Most of them don't have email addresses yet, and they are thrilled that they can email each other! I had one girl email me to ask if her first grade sister can also have an email address. (No, she may not.) This young lady has also discovered SharePoint and is following me (though I am completely ignorant of SharePoint.

My sixth graders are enjoying it as well, but they have been using Edmodo already this year. Many of them already have personal email. The social aspect of being able to email each other is no longer a novel thing.  They are currently figuring out SkyDrive and how to create and share documents. I know their science teacher will start to push them to use SkyDrive in the future.

My middle schoolers are annoyed by the whole thing.  They all had email when they walked into my class in January, many of them were gmail accounts. For a number of reasons, Google Drive works more smoothly than SkyDrive, so being forced to use SkyDrive doesn't make them happy right now.


I've been a Google Drive user for nearly two years now, and I know that many people in the ed tech world use Google products as well.  Let me tell you that switching back to Microsoft is not an easy transition for me.  However, with that said, I'm happy to connect with any other teachers out there that are using SkyDrive so we can figure this thing out together.  

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