Welcome to 2016! You may remember the release of Office 2016 and the new features it brought focused on collaboration. In the new year we will continue to plan, develop and release new features to help you collaborate—especially inside the classroom. Before these new features are released, let’s take some time to look at what’s already available to help you to collaborate in and out of the classroom!

OneNote Class Notebook—the ultimate collaboration tool

If you have not yet started using OneNote, you are missing out! OneNote can be used anywhere, on any device, with anyone and it’s free! OneNote Class Notebooks are described as an Office 365 wizard that allows teachers to quickly set up the ideal OneNote collaborative environment for the classroom, including public and private spaces.

Check out what some teachers have to say about OneNote:

Get started collaborating in the classroom with OneNote Class Notebook Creator!


Sway—the best digital storytelling app for interactive class materials, presentations, projects and more

Sway is a new digital storytelling app from Office that is great for project or problem-based learning. Teachers can create interactive web-based lessons, assignments, project recaps, newsletters, and more—right from a phone, tablet, or browser. Students can collaborate and use Sway to create engaging reports, assignments, projects, study materials, and portfolios. Sways are easy to share with the class or the world and look great on any screen.​​​ Sway is currently available on the web, on Windows 10 PCs/tablets, as well as on iPhones and iPadsClick here to learn more about Sway for education.


Office Online—all the tools you need on the web

Did you know that WordExcel and PowerPoint are available online for free? So are OneNoteSwayOutlook Mail,Contacts and Calendar! With Office Online, students can work in the same document and see changes happening in real-time by other students.

  • Have a sign up form for dates to bring snacks? Send a link to students so they can all open it up and add when they want to bring their snack.
  • Want students to work as partners on an essay about Grace Hopper and her contributions to Computer Science? Students can create, share and edit a document in real-time and see the edits their partners are making as they make them.

Office Online saves as you go. Everyone on your team can see changes to text and formatting as they happen, so you can all stay on the same page as your work evolves. There’s even Skype chat integration to have discussions about your document as you work. If you haven’t tried it yet, go to to get started!


OneDrive file storage in the cloud—automatically save, store, share and collaborate

OneDrive is a cloud storage where you can save documents on the web and be able to access them from any device. OneDrive makes it easy to use Office Online: Word, PowerPoint, Excel or OneNote on the web! Best of all, if you’re not in the document at the time your peers make the edits, you’ll get an email notifying you of the changes. Every change is synced in the document, automatically saved on OneDrive and made visible to the team, so you can catch up on what you’ve missed.

Collaborate in Office part 1 2 

Skype in the classroom—guest speakers, virtual field trips or classrooms from around the globe

Skype in the classroom is a free global teaching community. Play Mystery Skype and partner with a classroom from around the globe teaching students about differences and similarities with other cultures. Connect with a guest speakerand video stream them into your classroom to inspire students and teach them about new careers. Go on a virtual field trip to South Africa to learn about the endangered African penguins or head over to the lab to learn about plankton and why they are so important. Stuck on developing curriculum ideas? Check out this long list of live Skype lessons.

Sound awesome? Register to take part here!

Sound like cool tools you would use in your classroom? Office 365 for Education is free for schools! Find more information about this here.

—Joanie Weaver, program manager for the Office Core team


Published: 2/1/2016 21:25