Monthly Archives: July 2014

iPads and Office – a friday feature exploration

So – truth be told, I’ve pretty much stopped using Microsoft Office for a while now. This makes me a great person to try a new install though right?

What have I been using?  Well, I will preface this by saying that I am an old school Macintosh user. That being said, I have used OpenOffice, the iWorks Suite (Keynote, Numbers and Pages) and more recently the Google Docs apps.

Google Docs
Google Docs

Some people still want MSOffice though. They even want it on their iPads. The question that I got recently, was whether or not the Office365 that we had as part of our Stony Brook campuswide MS agreement could get you access to the iPad apps.  My answer was no – but I’m going to upgrade my machine today and make sure this is true.

So first I’m going to go to the software area of the page. Note I’m doing this on my desktop machine, not the ipad. I see a link about Office 365 which doesn’t say anything about the Word, Powerpoint or Excel. I’m going to create an account anyway – the drive space looks interesting/useful. The login page is here:

Use your campus e-mail. For me that’s and hit enter.

A small Authentication Required window drops down.  Don’t use your NetID, but use your e-mail address again, and your NetID password.

Now that I have started up the Office 365 account online on my desktop, I want to see if this login info will work on the ipad. I’m going to Microsoft Word for iPad in the App Store and downloading the app. The app is just something that says… hey get Office 365 and login here – not much of an app, but we have a login now – let’s try it. I get this screen:


ipad app login



















I’m going to pick “organizational account”.  Login with my e-mail and NetID password.. and I get something that prompts me to buy Office 365 Home (boo) or “View for Free”. Trying ‘View for Free” opens up the Word application. Trying to create a new document confirms that this isn’t going to work. I can only read files, not create or edit files.

Interestingly enough, back on the desktop, there is an option to create a new file in OneDrive and clicking on this takes me to Word Online…. and I can see the new document I just made back on the iPad and open it (but not edit it). hum.  Seems odd.

So – the end result is that if you get your free SBU Office365 account setup and download the Word for iPad app, you can connect together your OneDrive cloud storage, which gives your access to a full cloud based Word application on your desktop, but only a reader on your iPad. To me this = fail. At least you know what you are getting now. Including the cloud versions of Word, Excel PowerPoint, OneNote and Excel survey, which weren’t mentioned on the original SBU page as being included for the desktop. ***  

*** read the comments for a work around involving using the iphone app, rather than the ipad app.

Stony Brook University’s first local Summer Institute

Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation
Faculty using low tech response cubes during a presentation

Attending the Summer Institute here on campus this week, primarily in the role of technology support and as a representative of TLT, was a really great experience.  There were many informative presentations given to prime the participating faculty for the workshop work that they would be diving into, including one given by Jennifer Frederick from Yale University’s Center for Scientific Teaching. The possibly confusing point here, is that while these Summer Institute sessions are all aimed at the departments involved in STEM education, and so therefore you are addressing a room filled with Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Computer Scientists, Chemists, Engineers, etc….  “scientific teaching’ is not about teaching science, but rather teaching using effective methods that have been proven using scientific methodology.

It makes a lot of sense. These are primarily researchers. Don’t stand in front of them and tell them what they are doing wrong in the classroom and how to change it.  Show them what years of data have  to say about different aspects and strategies in teaching. Show them where they can find out data about the schools that their students are coming from (a great reason to hold these events at an individual institution or region is how you can really drill down to local issues – did you know that no schools in the Bronx even offer Physics in high school? (other than a charter school that doesn’t count because the students that go to that school don’t actually live in the Bronx)).

As soon as studies and data started to be presented to the faculty participating, I could feel them losing up and the defences coming down.  They became more comfortable and realized that they were home among their peers.

Structure of the Summer Institutes


  • Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, and discussions
  • Work in small groups to develop instructional materials for a general topic area
  • Design and adapt instructional materials that integrate active learning, assessment, and diversity and that have clear learning goals
  • Present and revise instructional materials based on fellow participants’ review and feedback

Three tenets of scientific teaching were explored everyday.

Active Learning (or Teaching)

Common activity teaching techniques that were demonstrated and then used in the faculty presentations included:

Think – Pair – Share
Student Response Systems (traditional clickers and low tech response cubes)
POE (Predict Observe Explain)

IMHO the event went very well and CESAME did a great job bring it to SBU.  I hope everyone involved was happy with the outcomes and that the participants feel a bit revitalized the next time they are stepping into a classroom.