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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Using OneDrive for Business to Back Up Computer Files

You probably don't even have to look at a calendar these days to know that the end of the school year is quickly approaching. One of the most important things on everyone's To-Do list is to back up their computer files. Flash drives, CDs, or external hard drives are still "acceptable" options for back-ups, but these forms of removable media can be costly and can easily be lost or damaged, which may result in a total loss of your files.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND using OneDrive for Business (ODFB), the cloud storage solution that is included with your Office 365 account. If you've tried to use ODFB in the past and were frustrated by some of its limitations, you'll be pleasantly surprised by many of the recent updates.

There are two options for saving your Files to ODFB. Users can simply upload all desired files into the OneDrive app in your Office 365 account, or users can sync their OneDrive to the computer and move files around with the familiar File Explorer window. The videos and step-by-step directions below demonstrate both options.

Option 1: Uploading Files
Note: To upload folders, you must use the Google Chrome internet browser. Users have experienced errors when trying to upload many files at once using this method. For this reason, this option is only recommended to users with a few files that need to be saved into OneDrive. 

Uploading Files to OneDrive for Business
  • From your Office 365 ODFB window, click Upload > Files or Upload > Folders
  • Browse and select the desired files and folders you want to upload
  • Click Open

OR, Upload by Dragging Files to OneDrive for Business
  • Open ODFB in a browser window
  • Open Windows File Explorer in a second window
  • Select desired file(s) and drag them from File Explorer into ODFB window

Click here to view Video

IMPORTANT: If you receive an error message when using the Upload tool to upload folders, please be sure you check the folders and files carefully to be sure that all files were, in fact, uploaded. The following video demonstrates exactly why this method is not recommended for all, and how you should check to be sure all of your contents was actually uploaded to ODFB.

Click here to view Video

Option 2: Syncing OneDrive for Business to Your Computer  *This the recommended method for most EMS ISD employees.
The second option is to Sync your OneDrive for Business folder to your computer. This will make a local copy of everything currently in your ODFB on your computer hard drive. It also places a link to those files in the Favorites of your File Explorer window.

Sync OneDrive for Business
  • Open ODFB in a browser window
  • Click Sync, follow the steps to begin the sync

Accessing ODFB Files from Computer without signing in to O365 Account
  • Open File Explorer
  • In the Favorites section, click the OneDrive link

Saving Files to ODFB to Back Up Your Computer
  • Open the ODFB folder on your computer in one window
  • Drag the desired files from your computer into this window, including files saved in:
    • Documents
    • Music
    • Pictures
    • Videos
    • Desktop
  • Allow the files to completely sync to OneDrive, which will be indicated by the green checkmark

Click here to view Video

If you have any questions about how you can use OneDrive for Business to back up your computer files, please contact your Campus Repair Technician or your Instructional Technologist. We're happy to help!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sneak Peek at New Canvas Interface

There's a new look coming to our EMS ISD Canvas Instance this summer. It's going to look different, but act very much the same. This new design was created to allow more a more content-focused experience for students and educators. This new, responsive layout will adjust based on the screen size and the type of device being used.

There are some new features available in the new interface that teachers and students will really like. Canvas users (teachers and students) can ...
  • create nicknames for their courses (ex: 1st period)
  • set a color for specific courses on the Dashboard view
  • quickly access specific content from within a course

This video provides a sneak peek at the new design and highlights a few of the changes.

We have a "test site" that's a great option if you'd like to get in and play or check out the new interface for your self. You can sign in with your Canvas username and password at

Monday, April 4, 2016

Managing Your {Office 365} Clutter

Clutter is a feature in Office 365 that is designed to help filter low-priority email out of your inbox. Clutter learns your preferences over a period of time based on your choices and interactions with email messages. As new email comes in, it takes messages you're most likely to ignore and puts them into the "Clutter" feature for you. You can "help" Clutter identify less important email by manually moving messages from your Inbox into the Clutter folder and vice versa. 

Want to learn more? This video explains how Clutter works!

Although Clutter was designed to help you save time, many district employees have recently reported that important messages are also being moved to Clutter. Some have even reported that District and Campus Administrators' messages are landing in the Clutter folder. If you see important messages in your Clutter folder, you can click and drag them into your Inbox to "teach" Clutter that you want to see messages like this in your inbox. Sometimes it takes a while for Clutter to learn your preferences. If you'd rather not have to worry about it, you can turn off the Clutter feature altogether.

How to Disable Clutter in Office 365
Don't see the video below? Click here to view online.

Want to learn more about Clutter? Check out this post from Microsoft: Use Clutter to sort low priority messages in Outlook