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Hangout with CSVPS 6s and Laura Dawkins

This past week we returned back to school after a much needed break and we prepared for an important meeting with PhD Student Laura Dawkins from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter.

Today was the day, after a few test “hangouts” we were ready  to chat live with Laura.  The class was excited, the laptop was setup and linked through our Apple TV to the projector.  I put the call through to Laura across the pond in the UK where she took time out of her evening to chat with us about launching a balloon into near-space.

Despite all efforts to ensure an issue free chat, we had choppy video and audio.  Of course, had I not run a few test there would not have been issues.  We kept the connection live and began troubleshooting.  First, was to play with audio and video quality, it was possible that we were maxing out our bandwidth though I couldn’t believe so.  Without repair, I went on to the WiFi connection to the Apple TV and dropped our link to the big visual.  With that our connection instantly improved.  Next time, hard wire the laptop and leave the wireless connection for the Apple TV.

As Julie put it in her blog entry (

“During the chat our students had the opportunity to ask all of their questions, and more.  They spoke professionally and thoughtfully about their topics.  Laura was a great resource and we were so grateful for the time she took to speak with us.”

The group was engaged and attentive, ready for more.  The conversation went on and on.  The kids asked their questions, Laura responded sharing her experience and insight for our students and their project.  I must say that I was afraid that the conversation would end up feeling very scripted because we had prepared ourselves with questions.  But that was not the case and the conversation felt quite fluid with the students interjecting with questions not prepped because the discussion opened itself to their curiosities about the launching of weather balloons and space.

Here is our chat…

After a nearly 40 minute conversation, we had many of the answers we sought to the questions we were asking.  The chat also confirmed much of the initial research we had been conducting about the materials we would need and the knowledge that it would take to accomplish the task of launching a balloon into near-space.

Thank you, Miss Harper and Grade Sixes for let me be a part of your class and leading you down this path of exploration.

Thank you, Laura for taking time out of your personal time to chat with a group of students from Canada

Synchronizing OneNote iPad App with PDSB Office365 Account

With the relatively new introduction of Office 365 in the Peel District School Board, many are searching out way to link their mobile devices with this new cloud based resource.  One App that compliments Office365 is the iOS app OneNote, a virtual notebook, great for students, educators and the like to organize and keep track of notes and integrate images to support those notes taken.  It is certainly a competitor to the likes of Evernote and Google Keep.

For those in organization where an Office 365 sharepoint account has been created, OneNote (iOS, and Android) can connect to the service providing a virtually seamless interface between the mobile and non-mobile devices that many used for note taking.

A few steps to make this connection,

  1. Download and install the iOS or Android verisons of OneNote for your mobile device from the AppStore or Google Play.

a. iOS iPhone version –

b. iOS iPad version –

c. Android version – (Works on phones cannot confirm with tabs)

*The following instructions are based on the setup using an iPad.

2.  **Initiate setup using a Microsoft account (i.e., a Hotmail email account) and your board Office 365 sharepoint account will not allow you to get OneNote going for the very first time.  I just happen to have a hotmail account from back in the day before Gmail.

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3.  Once you have done this, you will be able to add the Office 365 sharepoint service that your organization (for PDSB educators, your account associated with Office365) has created for you.

4.  The first step is to add the service itself.  By touching your Avatar image in the upper left hand corner of the screen you will be provided a pop-up dialogue box giving you the option to “Add a Service”.  Click “Add a Service” then select “Office 365 SharePoint”.  Next key in your email account and associated password.  For PDSB educators this is your and your typical email password. Then click sign-in.  It will verify your account and return to the main OneNote screen.

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5.  At this point not much looks different.  Clicking your Avatar in the upper left corner will now reveal that you have two services associated with your device.


6.  The next step is to add an account so that the work you are doing is actually connected with your Office 365 SharePoint account and not your Hotmail based cloud. Again by touching your Avatar image in the upper left hand corner of the screen you will be provided a pop-up dialogue box giving you the option to “Switch Account”. Select “Switch Account” and then “Add an Account” and follow the steps to add your Office 365 account.  This seems redundant but it is so far the only way I have manage to get my OneNote notebooks to sync without issue between my mobile devices and the web based account.

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7.  Clicking your Avatar in the upper left corner will now reveal that you are using on your device in your organization based (PDSB) Office 365 SharePoint account


8.  Now you are almost ready to use OneNote in conjunction with your organization based (PDSB) Office 365 SharePoint account.  I have yet to discover a way to create a new notebook on my mobile device while working under my sharepoint account.  It seems as though one must first login to the web-based OneNote and create the notebooks that you will want to use.  You can see that while associated with my Office 365 account I do not have the option to “Create Notebook” where as when I am working using my Hotmail based account I do have the option to “Create Notebook” and unfortunately these two services cannot be merged.


Organization-based account with no option to create notebook.


Microsoft-based account with option to create notebook.

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