Office Browser apps now have real time co-authoring. This means you can work with a group of people to create a document and no longer need to save it to see the changes others have made. Their changes appear on your screen as they type. You can now collaborate in real time in the office environment you know and love. What a great way to save time, allow for deeper learning and develop collaboration skills in students.
 
Not sure if you a have access to the Office browser apps? You have access to your own Office Web Apps if you have one of the following:

  • Office 2013
  • Office 365
  • A Hotmail / Outlook email account
  • Skydrive account

Don’t have one of the above? That’s ok, people can still share documents with you for you to edit and collaborate through. All you need for this is an Internet Browser.

Some things educators can do with Office Browser Apps:

  • Co author and co edit school planning documents
  • Co create learning activities
  • Take collaborative notes at staff meetings
  • Create committee presentations as a group
  • Prepare lessons on any device and download once you get to school
  • Welfare reports on specific students. (used the ability to share with specific people to share information and check in on student progress)
  • Draft writing of report comments
  • Gather data collaboratively without emailing around versions of a file
  • Save paper – share documents through the cloud

Some things students can do with Office Browser Apps:

  • Write collaborate notes during classes
  • Write work together
  • Plan work together
  • Write collaborative study summaries
  • Create presentations collaboratively
  • Peer assessment of each others documents and presentations
  • Fill in data and analyse as a group
  • Share notes with those sick or away from school
  • Write notes collaboratively as an external expert skypes with the class

What are the new improvements? :

Word

  • No need to save
  • Greater clarity with images and text
  • See who has joined the document and watch their cursor as they work
  • ‘Find and replace’
  • Headers, footers and footnotes
  • Page numbers
  • Table styles
  • Page breaks
  • Show comments
  • Formatting for tables

Check out the video below to see some of the great enhancements to word

Excel

  • Sheet protection
  • Reorder sheets
  • Drag and drop
  • Rename workbook
  • Auto fill capability
  • Data validation
  • Freeze panes
  • Charting – as data updates graphing updates too.

 
PowerPoint

  • When adding a new slide, slide layouts can now bee seen as thumbnails
  • Seamless coauthoring
  • Smart Art can be edited by all
  • Image croping
  • Better graphics, formatting and editing ability

How can I get to Office Web Apps:

  • Skydrive Account (with 7GB of free storage)
  • Office 2013 Subscription account
  • Office 365 Account – your school may have this as part of your infrastructure
  • If someone shares a document with you

How safe are Web Browser Apps?

All Office Web Browser Documents are private until shared. There are three possible ways to share web browser apps

  1. Email - Send an email to a person you would like to share with and decide if they can just view or edit the document. You can also require them to log in with a SkyDrive account if you like.
  2. Get a link - Share the document with anyone who has the link and decide is they can view or view and edit the document. You can also share the document with the whole public.
  3. Post to - Post the document straight to Twitter, LinkedIN or Facebook etc and decide if readers can edit or not.

 
How will you first use the improved Office Web Apps? 


See more from Microsoft on co-authoring at the Microsoft Office Blog.

Want to be a Guest Blogger? If you would like to  share how you use Microsoft in your classroom, please email aus-edu@microsoft.com and tell us your idea for a post.