Mosaic LiveTiles: Office 365 to Create Dynamic Learning Portals in Education

I have recently been exploring how to create the `connected learner’ for both students and educators. A platform which provides a customisable space using an intuitive interface design for anywhere, anytime and any device learning. This is where I was fortunate enough to stumble across Office 365 SharePoint and Mosaic LiveTiles Templates. I have been using Office 365 since the beginning of the year to create a shared space for staff and student collaboration. The tools are fantastic for online learning, however the interface is very business orientated and lacks easy navigation. Using the application Mosaic LiveTiles, I was able to create a dynamic interface for my Office 365 sites in the form of a simple drag and drop editor.

Free to download in education, Mosaic LiveTiles enables you to tailor your Office 365 SharePoint sites to create dynamic learning portals for your colleagues and students using an intuitive touch interface.

How to use Office 365 and Mosaic LiveTiles Templates in Education:

  • Create a professional learning community portal to collaborate with teachers on a project
  • Design an Office 365 site, tailored to meet the needs of your learning area
  • Department sites
  • Pastoral care program site
  • Library site
  • Student site for collaboration on projects
  • Website for your organisation
  • Parent Portal

Example Sites

21CLD Home Page

Ict peer coaching

English Department Site

Collaboration 21CLD Site

How to Create a Learning Space using Office 365 and Mosaic LiveTiles Templates:

There are two ways to create customisable sites. If you have no background with using Office 365 SharePoint, create your first site using the set up wizard in Mosaic. Make sure your IT team has install Mosaic in your organisational account.

Using a pre-configured site in Office 365 SharePoint using Mosaic 

  1. Login to Office 365
  2. Go to `Site Contents’
  3. Click on the Mosaic application and start the process.
  4. Use the `Site Set up Wizard’. This will take you through the process of creating a site and sharing with colleagues or your students.

Using Mosaic LiveTiles to Customise a Previous Site

  1. Add the Mosaic LiveTiles application to your site contents
  2. Customise site with applications

There are many applications available. For a classroom site, think about the tools that will best meet the needs of your students. For example, do you require a document repository for shared documents, a discussion board for students to collaborate and communicate ideas, a shared OneNote for resources, note taking and collaboration, a custom list for classroom activities or classroom calendar for reminders about tasks?

Customise your site using the drag and drop editor

You can choose a template or create a blank page.

  1. Click on the `file’ icon and edit your page.
  2. Using the drag and drop editor, drag the tiles onto your page.
  3. Click on the cog wheel to configure your tiles.
  4. Link your tiles to the applications in your Office 365 site.
  5. Save your page to your site.
  6. Make site your homepage.
  7. Share your site with your students

A series of short 1 minute tutorials have been created to get you started with your first Mosaic site. These are available on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUK7gHLwrQC9VXtEkj1QnAlw

Mosaic LiveTiles was created to assist teachers using Office 365 SharePoint sites without having an IT background. This is not a replacement for a Learning Management System, but rather a customisable space to create modern and intuitive learning spaces. For further information, please visit Mosaic LiveTiles website. http://www.mosaiclivetiles.com/about/

Yammer in Education- Sharing those `aha’ Moments

Social media has become such a large part of how we communicate and connect with people world wide. Just as we use social media platforms to engage and share with people in personal life, how often do we use effective online communication in our schools? Sure, we rely heavily on email as our main form of communication (something I call email fatigue), but often those `aha’ moments are never shared. Yammer in education is proving to be an effective platform for facilitating communication and collaboration among educators. Teachers have little time to open their classroom doors to showcase instructional practices and the `real’ learning that happens in the classroom.  However, Yammer in education allows educators the opportunity to de-privatize classroom practice so that they can share their struggles, celebrate their insights, and make visible those `aha’ moments. To put this to the test, I started an Office 365 team site within our English Department and used the built in feature of the newsfeed (now Yammer), and the result of the online collaboration has been surprising. Teachers are using the Yammer feed to share ideas, thoughts, links to resources and reflections, and sometimes, just sharing those `aha’ moments.

Newsfeed 3

Sharing Learning Intentions

Newsfeed 2

An `Aha’ Moment

Newsfeed

At the core of an education in the 21st century is the need for continual ongoing conversation about what good teaching looks like. It is often those `aha’ moments that connects someone’s good idea, to collide with someone else’s idea, to make something great! It is about providing a structure to support and develop the `connected’ learner. For more information visit Yammer: https://about.yammer.com/product/office365/