OneDrive on the iPad

There was a day in BV where the iPad would not work inherently with the iPad to view and edit the users working files (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Well, that day o365-in-ipadis gone!  If you have your working files in OneDrive, then you can also work with them on an iPad (and other devices, but that is a different post)!

If you still have your working files on the HDrive, what are you waiting for.  Move them to the cloud!  Directions


O365 for Students – Overview

This is an instructional video to assist BV students on how to use Blue Valley OneDrive so that they can access their electronic documents at home as well as at school. Note: the video shows you how to login from our old website.  You can access the link on the new website from Student Login / Office 365 (

This is a link to brief overview of some of the main features of Office 365 (o365) created to assist BV students.  o365-for-blue-valley-students


Technically Yours,

WEB2oOLS Compared: What is the Best Way to Post my Class Content

In BV, we have choices!  That can be awesome and overwhelming all at once.  It is my goal to help direct you to the best WEB2oOL for your scenario.  I have examples below of some various Class Content Display options!  I have left off Class OneNote intentionally as this is a 2 way communication WEB2oOL between teacher and student!  This only compares these as “1 way street” WEB2oOLs.  Arguably, you can make all of these a 2 way street, but let’s start here!



  • Teacher can drag and drop files onto a canvas that is organized by sections and pages (just like a notebook) and up the content goes. So easy!
  • Almost any file type is accepted and it stays in the native form (as Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
  • Students can view on any device as long as the teacher has shared by invitation.  On their personal computer (Mac or PC), they can use the “Open In OneNote” feature for easy access later.  On a phone or tablet, they can open in the OneNote app.
  • It will expose students to a fairly new WEB2oOL that can help them with their own digital organization.  I am not aware of another 2oOL that acts quite like OneNote.
  • You can supply a guest link for parents to use, no sign in required.
  • Here is an example to illustrate the benefits.  This one is shared by 2 teachers:grospitch-onenote


  • Max file size is 19MB. I can’t decide if this is truly a disadvantage, as this is really large.  But we already hit the limit with one teacher who was using OneNote.   You can overcome this by uploading those larger files to OneDrive and sharing as a link.
  • If viewing as a “Guest Reader”, files won’t download in IE which is BV’s default browser. The workaround is to open in Firefox or other web browser. I advise my staff to send an email invitation for students and then they can post a guest link for parents.
  • The best user experience is to send the students an invitation.  So teachers need to invite each of them.  A workaround is to have them each add themselves and send.  NOTE:  don’t try to send too many at once. I have witnessed some “crashing” if you try to send one invite to 30 students at once.

When have I suggested this? This works great to display content in any classroom. BVW’s math department is using this the most.  They use one section to post a calendar and then others for notes.  Most of them post the PDF’s of their smart notes and some post class videos.  Social studies is also another good area to use this as they have large quantities of files that they like to share, many of them are PowerPoints.  What is great about it for the teacher is that they can drag and drop content into an organized container.  The learning curve has been with the students, but once they learn how to add it as an app on their phone and other devices, they are liking it as well.

Google Drive Share Folder 


  • You can drag and drop all files into this folder for students to see if you have this drive synced locally.
  • You can share to anyone with a link, so outside of BV is included (parents for example) with no sign in required. Drive offers a wider scope of sharing options.
  • Wider file type acceptance on viewing videos “upstairs”.
  • Real time collaboration is much smoother with larger groups of individuals.


  • When viewing from a computer, files open in a “PDF” style format.  For most file types this is OK; however, PowerPoint files “flatten”, so you can lose the “click-able” functionality.  The workaround is to advise students to download and view.  On a mobile device, the get converted to the comparable app (Docs, Sheets and Slides) which again, losses the “click-able” functionality.
  • Max file size is confusing.  Documents can be up to 50MB, Spreadsheets up to 2 million cells, Presentations (Slides) up to 100 MB, all other files up to 5 TB. So basically, most anything will go up, but there are limits once it is up there when you convert to Docs/Sheets and Slides. Here is a resource:

When have I suggested this?  Our Journalism teacher was provisioned a shared folder for her students and was storing over 1.6 TB of data.  They really needed 24/7 access.  Using the folder uploader in Google Drive in Chrome, I was able to move this content for her class. It took over about 2 weeks time, as I had to leave it uploading overnight for a few of the folders to move up.  The students mainly use InDesign and Photoshop, so there was no reason to keep documents in their native format.  They were already using Google Drive for some other file sharing, so it was the perfect choice.

BV OneDrive Share Folder


  • You can drag and drop all files into this folder for students to see if you have this drive synced locally.
  • Files open and remain in their native form (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • We are on Windows 10, so the synced folder is set up and integrated into the applications. This shared folder is already in the correct location if synced and set up correctly.


  • You can only share by link with BV accounts.  You can send an invite to “outside of BV” accounts.  Recipients will be prompted to create a free account.   There does not appear to be a way to share a folder of content to a guest reader like you can in OneNote or in Google Drive.
  • Only certain types will play “upstairs”.  I have verified that MP4 will play in the “upstairs” player.  When it does not play, the experience was not good for the user. It says there was an error trying to play the video instead of explaining that the file type is not supported.  But downloading and playing does work.
  • Max file size is 10 GB.  Not sure that this is a disadvantage?

When have I suggested this?  We had a teacher who needed to share a folder of PowerPoints that were very large (300 MB).  OneNote would not work due to the individual file size limitation.  And Google Drive flattened all content and would not play upstairs due to the large file size. OneDrive was the best option in this scenario.

When will I suggest this?  If keeping files in their native form is important (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).   For Business and ELA courses, for example.

o365: How to Find Synced OneDrive Files on a Mac

Now that you have synced your OneDrive files on your MAC, you may be wondering how to find them.  Once it is fully synced, you will find the OneDrive icon in the upper right part of your screen, just as you see in this image.


I have a large OneDrive Library, so mine took quite a bit of time to fully sync.  Additionally, this icon did not show up immediately.  I shut my MAC down after giving it several hours to sync and the next morning, it was there.  Now it syncs brilliantly on my many devices (phone, surface pro, iPad and my PC laptop).  #DeviceHarmony

If you have not synced it yet, here are those directions: sync-onedrive-for-business-as-local-drive-on-a-mac

Happy OneDriving!

o365: Sync OneDrive for Business as a Local Drive

Did you know that you can sync OneDrive for Business as a local drive on your laptop/computer?  This means that you can work on files on your laptop from anywhere – and you don’t even have to be connected to the Internet.


This is similar to Dropbox and Google Drive, but BETTER!  Why is it better? It recognizes the Microsoft products that we use (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) when we open them and you can make changes to them easily.   The best part is that you can do this on any device!  Watch the video to learn how to do this.  I also provided a step by step document, if you prefer.

Written Directions: sync-onedrive-for-business-as-local-drive-on-windows-10

MAC Directions: Sync OneDrive for Business as Local Drive on a MAC

So you must be thinking, “BVW TIS, are you saying that I can open a Word file on my phone, modify it, close it and it will have those changes made on the file that is also on my laptop?”.  To that, I reply, “Yeppers” (assuming you have Internet access)!  You just need to have those apps downloaded on that device (they are free in your app store).  So it seamlessly “syncs” both upstairs (in OneDrive for Business) and downstairs (as a local drive on your computer).

I imagine many of you are shaking your head thinking, “DropBox does this too (if you have installed Word, Excel, PowerPoint)”, and you are correct.  However,  you do not get 1 TB of free space with DropBox and you can’t host your OneNote Notebooks here and open them from a phone or tablet.   I still love DropBox and plan to continue to use it for my personal files.  However, the advantages of O365 to manage my work files is substantial.

Downsides/warnings to OneDrive for Business and syncing as a local file:

  • Shared with me folders will NOT sync down to your local drive, yet.  They have that feature in OneDrive, but not OneDrive for Business.  You can share still, but only the original “sharer” can sync their files.  Other will go “upstairs” to modify them.
  • Watch out when sharing.  I suggest that you go upstairs to share.  You get more options upstairs as well.
  • Sync speeds seem to vary.  While at home, it is fairly quick.  But at work I need to watch that I am on the current and most up to date version of a file.  I have it synced as a local drive to several devices.  So I strongly suggest that you sync to one device only (at first).  You need to get used to what is happening.  I would sync to your staff assigned laptop.  Always modify documents off of that laptop.  Download OneDrive for your phone (free app) and you will have access to your files as a next step.  When you start to feel more comfortable, modify a document on your phone and then check that the modifications applied to your synced laptops.  It works GREAT, but not always instantly.  Depends on wifi/nw speeds.
  • As compared to your files on your HDrive, these are NOT “backed up” nightly.  However, there is a version history that works in the same way.

Happy OneDriving!


I have suggested this tool to so many people over the last few weeks that I feel that you ALL should hear this.  Get 2GB free of “cloud space” at dropbox.  You can also earn up to 16GB FREE.  SO WHY YOU ASK???

  1. Bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere! That is their slogan, tells it all.
  2. You can ACCESS YOUR FILES on your phone, your ipod touch,  your ipad, your android tablet, etc – no more transferring them from device to computer with wires!
  3. Free app on droid and i platforms!
  5. Yes, it installs on your PC or MAC.
  6. PERFECT to back up precious family pictures, what would happen if your computer crashes or your house burns down, your photos are PRICELESS!!!
  7. Drag and drop files!  Not single uploads like many others
  8. You can “share” a folder with others and they have access to the contents of that folder!

You all know me… I am a WEB2.OL junkie… this really is one that I would NEVER want to live without.

Get it here (yep, I earn free space if you use this link, but I am worth it!):

BONUS— our students can use it to easily transport files to/from home and THEY CAN install it on our computers (that is why I tagged it “No Install Required”).  It says the don’t have admin rights, but proceed on and they do.


BV Google Drive

Teachers and Students have access to Google Drive with their Blue Valley email and computer password.

Create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms and more, all stored in “the cloud”.  You can collaborate with others on the same files.  You easily build and use forms to collect data (be done with replies / reply to all email clutter).  This form collects your data in a spreadsheet… all for you!

Basic Overview of Google Drive:

The “NEW Google Drive”

Google Drive for Mobil Devices

BVWTIS’s FAVORITE:  Google Forms

Changes to Google Forms (Spring 2015):