Signing into the Outlook iPad app for the first time

The iPad-version of Outlook is a superior experience when it comes to your mail and calendar needs. It has a clean look, it is very efficient and easy to use, and its integration with Office 365, Google Drive, and Dropbox makes it unbeatable. If you want to read more about the features of the Outlook app, read the article titled, “Outlook: The Best Mail App On the iPad.”

Installing Outlook on your iPad and signing into it using your existing email account is very simple. The Outlook app will work with Google, Yahoo, iCloud, and of course your current Outlook-based school or work email which is often called Exchange.  Start by installing the app on your iPad or iPhone, then open the app.

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The next step is to choose your current email provider. IMG_0077One thing to keep in mind is if you use Outlook at school or work then you will choose “Exchange” which is Microsoft’s business-class communication software. If you have a @Hotmail.com or @Live.com email account, you will choose “Outlook.com” which is Microsoft’s brand name for personal email.  These directions will show you how to set up an Exchange email account, which is what we use in the school district where I work.

After selecting Exchange (again, we use Outlook on our school computers but it is called Exchange for this app) you will be asked to enter your email address, email password, and a description (name) for your email account that only you will see. The description is useful if you add multiple email accounts to Outlook so that you can view all your mail in one place. In the example below I named my email account FHS Mail because I work at Fremd High School. IMG_0078

Sometimes your school or work’s email server has some unique security settings that require you to add a little more information before your mail actually works. If you tried to enter your email address and password but it did not work, click on Show Advanced Settings and fill in the remaining fields. You might need to contact your tech support people to find out what goes in each box. For Fremd teachers, you would enter “owa.d211.org” for the server name, “d211” for the domain name, and your school username (like you were signing into a computer) for the username. Then click OK.

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Advanced settings for signing into Exchange which is the server used to run Outlook for our school email.

The last step is to tap OK to accept notifications whenever an email arrives or a meeting is about to begin. IMG_0080

Now that Outlook is set up on your iPad, don’t forget to drag the icon onto the Dock in the bottom of the home screen so you can quickly access your email and calendar at any time.

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The iPad Dock holds five apps to give you quick access to the apps you use the most.

 

Outlook: the best mail app on the iPad

IMG_0076Whether you use Google, Yahoo, iCloud or Outlook for your email, there is one iPad mail app that stands taller than all the others: Outlook. Its integration of mail, calendar, contacts, and file storage in one single app will help you be more productive and efficient. Who wants to spend MORE time responding to email? No one.

What makes the free Outlook app different than Apple’s built-in Mail app? For one, your email and calendar are integrated into one app. You can switch back and forth between your mail and your calendar by choosing Mail or Calendar at the bottom of the screen. This  might not seem like much, but when someone emails you to ask if you are free on a given day and time you can switch back and forth with one tap instead of leaving Apple’s Mail app, going back to the iPad home screen, tapping on the Calendar app to see your availability, then closing the Calendar app, going back to the home screen, and then opening your Mail again. One click is faster than four or five or six.

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Because your mail and calendar are contained in one app you also save space in the iPad Dock, which are the five main apps you always use. You can only choose five, so being able to use up one space with Outlook instead of two spaces with Apple’s Mail AND Calendar is quite useful.

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The iPad Dock only holds five apps. My five are Outlook (mail and calendar), Chrome (Internet browser), Schoology (LMS), Drive (document storage), and Settings (iPad).
Outlook integrates with online document storage: Office 365, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box

Second, Outlook integrates your online documents with your mail.  You can send a document saved to Office  365, Google Drive, or Dropbox account from within the Outlook app. When someone emails you to ask for a file, you can find it and email it without leaving Outlook. Again, fewer clicks, less time, and fewer mistakes. Document integration is by far the best feature of Outlook.

Third, your entire contact list is easily searchable. It combines the contacts you have added yourself with your entire school district or company’s global address list which is the list of every person you work with.

Fourth, and this is for people who use Outlook for their work email already, is that the email on your iPad now looks the same as it does on your computer.  Email looks clean and is easily sortable, conversations can be grouped into threads, and the button layout is pretty much the same whether you use the app,  the online version of Outlook (OWA), or the desktop version of Outlook 2013. The Outlook app is simply easy to use, especially for people who use it daily.IMG_0086

For directions on how to add your email account to Outlook on the iPad, read the article titled, “Signing Into the Outlook iPad App For the First Time.”

(I use Pixlr.com to do quick image editing including smudging out names and adding text. It’s free.)

 

BigBlueButton: adding video conferencing for teachers and students

schoology big blue button 2Look for a big blue button in the bottom left corner of your screen the next time you log in to Schoology. This is a real thing: BigBlueButton is an online conferencing system that lets teachers host audio conferences and video conferences with their students.

During a conference, teachers can moderate the flow of the conversation by “calling” on a student which allows them to speak to the group, and students can even take control of the presentation. Students can also participate in a side conversation using the chat box. Documents can be uploaded and users can annotate on them live during the conference.

An interactive white board is also available where students can see what their teacher is writing on the screen and hear the teacher explaining the lesson in real time. Afterwards teachers can post a recording of the conference session to the class page so students can review it at a later time.

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Learn more from Schoology on how to install BigBlueButton, an enterprise feature within Schoology’s learning management system.

You can also go to BigBueButton’s website to view tutorial videos to find help with video conferencing with your class.