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Cloud Services Thread, Embedding Office 365 into existing VLE in Technical; We are currently investigating Office 365 and weighing it up against Google Apps. The current discussion point is how to ...
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    Embedding Office 365 into existing VLE

    We are currently investigating Office 365 and weighing it up against Google Apps.

    The current discussion point is how to embed it inside our existing VLE. From our initial tests using an iFrame to achieve this is a little hit-and miss as long as you use the 'Outlook.com/OWA' URL without the subdomain, thus allowing Outlook.com to work out where it wants to be.

    I realise that Office 365 isn't designed to be contained within an iFrame but we need to encourage staff to login to the VLE in order to check their email. I realise that my last statement will be circumvented by people collecting email on their mobiles but this is the motivation behind the question.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Couldn't you just sneakily have a link off the VLE onto this? But it only appears when you login to the VLE?

    Ok the clever ones will work it out but the others wont!

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    jamesbmarshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibrows View Post
    The current discussion point is how to embed it inside our existing VLE.
    What's the VLE?

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    witch's Avatar
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    I would be very interested in this too - we are thinking of migrating to Office 365 and would like to use it within our current VLE, Moodle

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Couldn't you just sneakily have a link off the VLE onto this? But it only appears when you login to the VLE?
    Ok the clever ones will work it out but the others wont!
    I wish it were that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbmarshall View Post
    What's the VLE?
    Frog

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    MicrodigitUK's Avatar
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    Have you seen this?

    http://blog.frogtrade.com/2012/04/20/another-big-name-signs-up-for-frog12

    Frog have live@edu widgets that iframe OWA (they might be in the widget store). They should work the same with Office365 OWA.

    The only thing that will not work is the SSO (singal sign on) kit in Frog for live@edu. This is because office365 now uses ADFS.

    Frog are looking into implementing ADFS for office365. But this might take some time.... I am not migrating from live@edu to 365 now becouse of the SSO. But can say Frog live@edu SSO works realy well.
    Last edited by MicrodigitUK; 17th November 2012 at 01:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MicrodigitUK View Post
    Thanks, there are a couple of references to Frog supporting Office365 on their website and other blog posts but no idea as to time scales.

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrodigitUK View Post
    Frog have live@edu widgets that iframe OWA (they might be in the widget store). They should work the same with Office365 OWA.
    Thanks I will have a play on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by MicrodigitUK View Post
    The only thing that will not work is the SSO (singal sign on) kit in Frog for live@edu. This is because office365 now uses ADFS.

    Frog are looking into implementing ADFS for office365. But this might take some time.... I am not migrating from live@edu to 365 now becouse of the SSO. But can say Frog live@edu SSO works realy well.
    Although I haven't tried it yet I am hoping to use the SSO with Active Directory.
    Last edited by Sibrows; 17th November 2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Making sure the last sentence make sense!

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    It sounds like others have pointed you at the specific info you're looking for with regard to embedding OWA into Frog, but I'm intrigued by the 'weighing it up against Google Apps' aspect. How's the case for Google Apps for Education being made in your organisation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibrows View Post
    Frog
    Frog have announced that they are going to be integrating Office 365 as well as Live@edu; although I don't know what timescales yet. It might be worth you reaching out to Frog for the latest "official" line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edintheclouds View Post
    It sounds like others have pointed you at the specific info you're looking for with regard to embedding OWA into Frog, but I'm intrigued by the 'weighing it up against Google Apps' aspect. How's the case for Google Apps for Education being made in your organisation?
    I can answer that because I recently presented a few options to our SMT with regard to our next 5yr strategy, we took points from staff using MSOffice and those tied into Google Docs. SMT wanted to stick with google docs, not because of the potential savings over MSOffice but because it benefits education more than Office.

    The reason they found that it had more educational benefits was because teachers in the consultation wanted to be able to do things like allow students to submit essays electronically so they can add comments and let the students work on through those points, they want to be able to see if the student did the essay the night before, if it was plagarised,or if they have thought about it over time, they want to follow students live in lessons and they want revision histories. I'm sure it's possible to do these things in Office 365 but basically need to buy the A3 plan so that every student has access to full office at home: Compare Office 365 Plans and Pricing for Schools - Office 365 you'll need to combine this with sharepoint.

    Moreover Google apps integrates more seamlessly with android and IOS than does Office365 because to get the higher end features from 365 you basically need to run it in conjunction to MSOffice. Google apps will run in conjunction, but the difference is that the higher level features of Google apps are outside of MSOffice. Google apps uses plugins for MSOffice if you just want a basic automated upload to the cloud, and it has Drive if you want to sync your home drive. All the boring but necessary things like SSO and active directory sync are in Google apps of course. All in all it works very well with MSOffice (including outlook if you have to) and it is as seamless to transfer things as office 365.

    I've not found a single area where Office365 excels. When you weigh up all of the features within apps but also look at the external features provided by youtube, Google+ (which is sandboxed for education domains), Picasa for sharing photos, Drive - then you'll soon see that Office 365 is several years behind Google in terms of technology (technically they are 6yrs behind!). The really cool bit is that it has Open API's so that anyone can create apps that link into Google Apps - see here Google Apps Marketplace
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 19th November 2012 at 08:00 PM.

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    Sibrows (20th November 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by edintheclouds View Post
    How's the case for Google Apps for Education being made in your organisation?
    At the moment I am trying to get my head around which solution would fit the school better before I get into making a case. For us a deal breaker will be that it doesn't fit into the VLE.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbmarshall View Post
    Frog have announced that they are going to be integrating Office 365 as well as Live@edu; although I don't know what timescales yet. It might be worth you reaching out to Frog for the latest "official" line.
    We have asked the question but are yet to get a firm answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I can answer that because I recently presented a few options to our SMT with regard to our next 5yr strategy, we took points from staff using MSOffice and those tied into Google Docs.
    Thanks for your thoughts. Can I ask how much of a learning curve the teachers had to go through to get up-to-speed with Google Apps and if that has been a barrier at all. I am not for one moment suggesting that there wouldn't be a learning curve with Office 365 but, if truth be told, it is closer to my comfort zone with Exchange. With the above point about it not fitting into our existing VLE we weren't currently looking to use the Sharepoint or Office WebApps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibrows View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts. Can I ask how much of a learning curve the teachers had to go through to get up-to-speed with Google Apps and if that has been a barrier at all. I am not for one moment suggesting that there wouldn't be a learning curve with Office 365 but, if truth be told, it is closer to my comfort zone with Exchange. With the above point about it not fitting into our existing VLE we weren't currently looking to use the Sharepoint or Office WebApps.
    If you use MSOffice then there isn't a leaning curve at all - you just install the plugin for office and it automatically synchronises files directly into Google apps as soon as a file is changed in office. Outlook works the same, and Google drive just syncs the homedirectory. More adventurous users will want to create and edit files directly in Google docs, which is pretty simple. You will find resistance with whatever you do but Google apps isn't really a barrier when staff start seeing some of the advantages (live sync spreadsheet reports from SIMS etc). Theres also some nice integration with Moodle Google Apps Integration - MoodleDocs

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    . I'm sure it's possible to do these things in Office 365 but basically need to buy the A3 plan so that every student has access to full office at home: Compare Office 365 Plans and Pricing for Schools - Office 365 you'll need to combine this with sharepoint.
    I'm always careful not to get drawn into the emotional Microsoft vs. Google argument, or in trying to "sell" one solution over another; however, I must point out here that you definitely do not have to purchase the A3 plan in order to use Office 365 for education successfully.

    The A2 plan, which is free for staff and students, includes access to the Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint) which are supported on a wide range of browsers and operating systems. This isn't limited to in school, but anywhere you have an Internet connection.

    That's all I have to say about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbmarshall View Post
    I'm always careful not to get drawn into the emotional Microsoft vs. Google argument, or in trying to "sell" one solution over another; however, I must point out here that you definitely do not have to purchase the A3 plan in order to use Office 365 for education successfully.
    That's not what I said. To get the same level of functionality from Office 365 that is available on the educational edition of Google apps you need to combine it with Sharepoint and a locally installed office. To get students access of a locally installed office at home you need A3. The online version of Office web apps don't include that level of functionality. You might be able to use it successfully without A3 - but why do this when it is so basic compared to Google apps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    That's not what I said. To get the same level of functionality from Office 365 that is available on the educational edition of Google apps you need to combine it with Sharepoint and a locally installed office. To get students access of a locally installed office at home you need A3. The online version of Office web apps don't include that level of functionality. You might be able to use it successfully without A3 - but why do this when it is so basic compared to Google apps.
    What features are missing other than collaborative editing, I have found the Office webapps to be more featureful than GAPS, it may have changed since I used it last though.

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