"From Ingenuity Comes Triumph"


On This Page…


  • What is Office 365?
  • Signing in to your Office 365 Account
  • Welcome to the Home Page
  • What is OneDrive?
  • Using your OneDrive
  • Working with File Options
  • Sharing Files with other users
  • Using the Office Online Web Apps
  • Signing Out
  • Additional Help?
  • What about Security?
  • What about Accessibility?

What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a web-based service that provides anywhere-access to documents and Microsoft Office tools and applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. It is available to all Watkins Glen School District employees and Students with a network account through the district’s Microsoft license. It provides collaboration tools to share and edit documents similar to Google Docs for Education on multiple devices including tablets and iPads.


These services are available as an option for all district employees and students . There will be no changes to your H drive. You will not be required to use Office 365. The advantage of using these two services are:

  • If you are running out of space on your H drive, you can transfer some files to your OneDrive for safekeeping.
  • If you want to work on a document with a team or committee, you can set up sharing so that everyone can collaborate and contribute
  • If you do not have Microsoft Office at home, you can use the Office Online web apps for basic document editing
  • If you want to easily access documents at home and at work, across devices and across platforms, OneDrive makes it easier**.

Web Application Alert! This guide is intended to get you started using Office 365 but is not comprehensive. The best way to learn how to use it is to try it and use it. Additionally, since it is a web-based application, Microsoft may make changes, add enhancements, or remove features at any time without notification or warning. Turn off your browser pop up blocker.

**devices need to meet minimum specifications determined and subject to change by Microsoft. The district has no control over compatibility with devices.

Signing in to your Office 365 Account

1. In your web browser, go to http://portal.microsoftonline.com
2. On the Sign in page, enter username@gstboces.org

NOTE: this is NOT your email address. All Office 365 Accounts in the Watkins Glen Central School District are username@gstboces.org. Because the license is purchased through GST BOCES, Microsoft does not differentiate when creating the account user name.

Your User name is the part of your email address before the @elmiracityschools.com
For example, if your email address was gorwell@wgcsd.org  > Log in with gorwell@gstboces.org
After you enter your user name and click out of the field, it will redirect you to the GST BOCES login page.
  • If you are logged onto a district computer, it will automatically sign you in with the account that you are using on the computer. This is called Single Sign On and is a feature of Office 365.
  • If you are not logged onto a district computer, enter your Office 365 user name and network password again when prompted:
**This logon may look different depending on the device and web broswer you are using.

Welcome to the Home Page

After you sign in to Office 365, you will see a series of icons for the features of Office 365:


If you do not see these icons, click on the Office 365 logo in the upper left to return Home:


What is OneDrive?

OneDrive is your document storage. Each User has 1TB of space to store documents. This is equal to 500 times the current size of your H drive. Use your Office 365 OneDrive to save documents that you want to:

  • Access at home and at school
  • Collaborate with other users

You can upload any type of document to your OneDrive like Office documents, pictures, movies, flipcharts, etc. in order to access them anywhere on any device that is compatible with Office 365.


Using your OneDrive

Click on the OneDrive icon to access your OneDrive and you will see the Documents in OneDrive:

  1. Create new Office documents or folders
  2. Upload documents to your OneDrive
  3. Click the 3 dots to access file options
  4. The green star means the file is new
  5. The lock means the document is not shared
  6. The people mean the document is shared
  7. Search your documents and their contents
  8. Access deleted files from the Recycle bin

Working with File Options

Click the 3 dots to view information and access file options

  1. Office documents show a live preview of the document in this window
  2. Click the down arrow to download a copy of this document to your computer, print it to PDF, or get the code to embed the document into a web page
  3. Click to edit the document in Word on your computer or using the Office Online Apps if you do not have a copy of Office installed
  4. Open the Sharing dialog to share the document
  5. Access more file options including:
    • View and Edit Properties
    • View the version history
    • Download a copy
    • Delete the file

Sharing Files with other users

There are several ways to share files in OneDrive:

  • Click the lock or people in the Sharing column next to the file to share
  • Click the 3 dots next to the file to share and then Share at the bottom of the file options
  • Select a file or folder click the icon above the file list
These will open the Sharing dialog box:
1. Lists the names of the people the document is shared with.
2. Shows the permissions those people have on the document.
Click the down arrow to change permissions to either:
  • Can Edit
  • Can View
  • Stop sharing
3. Click Invite people to share the document with more people
Click Invite people on the left to share the document with more people:
4. Begin typing the name of the person you want to share the document with.
If the person is in the Watkins Glen School District or the GST BOCES regional network directory, it will suggest names from the directory. You can also type an email address.
5. Select the level of permissions you want to give the people you just entered.
You can allow them to edit the document or only to view the document.
6. Add a message to let the person know you are sharing the document and why.

It is always a good idea to include a message to tell people what the document is and why you are sharing it so that they do not assume that the message is a spam or phishing message and delete it.

7. Require sign-in checkbox
If you are inviting someone who may not have an Office 365 account and you do not want the person to have to create an account, uncheck this box. Caution: Unchecking this box will make your document editable or viewable by anyone that has a link to your document and should not be done with any document with personal or sensitive information.

Using the Office Online Web Apps

Office 365 includes Web App versions of the Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These Web Apps can be used on devices that do not have the Microsoft Office suite installed.

There are several ways to access the Web Apps:

  • Click the Office 365 icon in the upper left to return home and select one of the icons for the web apps: Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online or OneNote Online
  • In OneDrive, select a document and click the icon above the file list
  • In OneDrive, click on the icon above the file list and select a file type
  • In OneDrive, click a file name to preview the file and select Edit Document > Edit in Word Online

The Office Online Web Apps have a familiar look and feel to them:

  1. The ribbon at the top of the document gives you access to most of the same editing tools you use in Microsoft Word. Click a menu option (Home, Insert, Page Layout, Review, and View) to open each individual ribbon.
  2. The name of the file is in the center of the document at the top. Click on it to rename the document.
  3. If the device has Word installed, you can open the document in Word instead of Word Online to access more editing features
  4. Access the Sharing dialog box direct from a document by clicking here.

What’s Different?

  • You do not need to save documents that are created or edited in Office Online. New documents are given a name and saved directly to your OneDrive. Click the name of the document in the center of the document at the top to rename it.
  • Select File > Save As to download a copy of the document from your OneDrive to your local device or to download the document as a PDF.
  • Click your name on the top left to return to your OneDrive at any time.
  • Advanced editing and page layout features are not available in the Office Online Web Apps. Office Online Web Apps work best with the simplest documents that are edited and shared.

Signing Out

When you are done using Office 365, you can sign out by clicking on your name in the upper right corner and selecting Sign out.


Additional Help?

Office 365 and OneDrive are very easy to use, especially if you have used other online services like Google Documents or Google Drive. Workshops on the use of Office 365 will be provided through the Model Schools catalog. the Districts Instructional Technology and the Helpdesk should be able to assist with basic questions.


What about Security?

The documents that you place on your OneDrive account are secure. The OneDrive account is a OneDrive for Business account that is covered by an agreement that forbids the unauthorized access or “mining” of data for advertising or marketing purposes. Even with this in place, the district and GST BOCES do not recommend placing any documents with confidential student information or other documents that would be covered by FERPA or HIPAA protections on your OneDrive account. You should also become familiar with the sharing features to ensure that you do not share files with a person or groups of people that you do not intend to share the document with.


What about Accessibility?

Office 365 and OneDrive are web-based resources and thus require Internet access in order to use. You should be able to use Office 365 and OneDrive with any web browser, but different web browsers may act and work differently. Pop ups should be disabled in your web browser for Office 365 and OneDrive to work properly.