Teams’ morning commute experience hasn’t been finalized, but will involve asking users to write a short list of things they want to accomplish that day, Ms. Janardhan said. It also will ask how users are feeling before they start work. If they say they are feeling overwhelmed, the virtual commute assistant will ask if they want to block time off in their calendars to focus on work or de-stress.
I’d love to block out some time in my calendar to de-stress but I don’t think this one is aimed at a school day.
The last thing I want to do in a commute (real or virtual) is “write a short list of things I want to accomplish that day”.
I’ve spent the best part of 40 years commuting in one way or another, mostly on trains and latterly by car, so I have experience.
Driving to work I listen to the radio, or podcasts or music. I keep an eye out for the seasons, nature & roadkill. I think, let my mind drift. I might write, in my head, a haiku.
Occasionally I might think about school if I realise the days plan is flawed, or I worry about need to get something done. Wondering how I’ll manage that between 20 to eight and the bell at nine.
I might have a great idea or notion about something I could teach, and work out how to fit it in.
I do not want to systematically want to go through the day taking more time up with routine or timetables, I want this slack time for myself & serendipity. If I am locked down again, or get into a position where I work from home, I’d rather manage my transition from breakfast to work without a piece of software asking me questions.
You cannot connect with students or understand their learning if you can’t see them. And nobody can be expected to share ideas that are important to them to group of hidden faceless peers. If you want students to talk, you’ll need cameras on.
A lot of good pushback on this in the replies. I certainly didn’t find the lack of camera a problem during our spring/summer lockdown. At that point Teams in Glow did not let pupils use cameras. I liked that as it meant I didn’t have to think about it.
Cameras off could help with privacy, bandwidth and possible feeling a bit more comfortable the teacher is not watching your every move and counting the toilet breaks.
Yeah, I think people somehow keep forgetting that there is literally a whole pandemic.
I don’t hear from a kid for a week and they pop back in and I tell them I missed them and am thrilled to see them.
Btw, you think you are making eye contact but you are not. You can’t make eye contact online. You would have to look straight at the webcam which entails getting your eye off the screen. As soon as you start seeing more than 2-3 people on the other side, you’re really not seeing anyone eye-to-eye.
I didn’t find the lack of video for pupils a problem during daily lockdown classes. This post goes over the reason why video might be a problem and lists some ideas for compensating.
also keeping in mind some people are voice shy, and some people have noisy home environments
Although from a higher ed perspective it all rings true from a primary perspective.
A pretty smooth, IMO, hour. Almost no time wasted waiting for pupils to see a slide. Preparation was a lot quicker too. A text file to remind me what was next and to copy text from. a folder for images, audio via Farrago.
I really hammered the size of the movie and images. Handbrake and imageoptim both multi platform, open source & free, are great tools.
I had suggested that the pupils watch the two videos before the meet, not all had but they were so short I don’t think it did anyone any harm to watch twice.
It was interesting too in the mix of audio, text and image posted to chat that the class used to join in.
I’ve not seen this rather crude method of running a meeting described but it has lead to the smoothest meeting of the nearly 30 I’ve had over the last 6 or 7 weeks.
I had a wee lightbulb moment this week. I’ve been running daily Teams meetings with my class and having a lot of problems with pupils not seeing the content of slides presented. My way of handling these meetings has been to use a PowerPoint slide deck to step through what I want to discuss and teach. It gives me some structure, allows be a board and to explain some thing visibly.
It has lead to a lot of pupils telling me a they can’t see the slides.
I had planned to do a bit of flipping so this week I used the day’s slides as the basis for a screencast or two each day. These were posted first thing in the morning so pupils could watch before the meeting at 2. Then if the slides failed I’d just continue and hope the pupils memories helped untested what I was saying. This didn’t work all that well. Not all the pupil read the morning post or watched the video. The videos were all short, 2 or 3.
The other problem is that pupils don’t all turn up every day, so if you try to teach a series of lessons it gets complicated. This is further complicated by having a multi-composite with a wide range of maturities and levels. For those that do come every day I imagine the repetition gets a bit tedious.
💡On Friday I abandoned the slides. Not sure why I didn’t think of this before, caught in the headlights? Instead I had a text file of notes and in a folder a few images and a video. These were uploaded into the chat at the appropriate time. The video was only a minute or so long and very small. I can also copy and paste text to the chat.
This worked a good deal better, the pupils could all see the content, reply with text and their own images while we talked. I’d been using the chat to collect writing in previous meets but this was a lot better.
An easy way to export the chat would be useful.
We did have problems with some pupils getting dropped and a few who lost the ability to talk. Most solved by quitting the meeting and app and starting again.
So my plan is to do just this for meetings in the future. Not sure how much I’ll be doing going forward as we go back into school next week to start organising for the new year. That will cut down on time for meetings and preparation for those meetings.
I am hoping getting rid of the PP will save me a bit of time too. Making ‘good enough’ explanatory videos doesn’t take very long. I either record talking over a few keynote slides or the screen of a whiteboard on an iPad. Try for one take, little editing. I then run them through handbrake to reduce the file size.
Things that have worked best for me, or I think are worth testing more:
Short sections, a wee bit maths, literacy, chat, quiz. I’ve not tried anything else.
Giving time to pupils to do a few minutes writing, calculating or drawing in meeting. I play a wee bit of music during these intervals.
Upload short videos or images to support discussion.
On the Minecraft front, I’ve had the server up and running for an hour every day, usually only 3-5 pupils this wee. Interestingly one who never comes to meeting, so proving useful in a small way. The Virtual Banton continues to expand. Now seems to have a railway in the sky and a zoo. I don’t spend much time there, occasionally popping in for a chat to to get some sort of idea on what is happening. I do listen to the talk though
Writing more poetry this week using Long Trip by Langston Hughes as a model. We worked on the poem everyday writing on Thursday & Friday. I play music for 5 minute writing blocks. This seems to work. Last week’s poem Our Magic Box Biggies is on the biggies blog, and this week’s will be up there soon.
Teams for iPad got an update promising hands up, but none of our iPads show this yet despite having the update.
It would be handy to copy the text of a conversation (or export it) in teams. Copying one message at a time is not much fun. I need to try the notes facility and see if it works for the pupils.
A we seem to be going back next session to a mix of home and school I think I’ll be starting to try out OneNote again. Last time wasn’t fun but if it works it will really help with organisation.
The plan to Flip our teems meeting a bit was a partial success. Quite a few of the class didn’t read the message so just turned up. So we had to go over things anyhow. I think I’ll keep going, despite the extra prep. The videos are pretty quick & dirty, just recording of voice over keynote slides. (I use screenflow for this as opposed to the built in recording ’cause I prefer it).
Presentations continue to lag on teams, despite a 800kb deck today. I could even see this on my iPad beside the computer! I don’t really think it is a bandwidth problem. Quite a few pupils went silent, leaving the meeting and rejoining helped with that.
I made a real effort to spend some time in Minecraft with the pupils this week, didn’t really happen as every time I found time someone could not log in leading to conversations in teams. Quitting the app and swiping away and trying again seems an iPad solution.
So far I’ve been following a pretty standard pattern for our class team meetings. 1 hour a day 5 or six items running from a prepared PowerPoint.
I think most of the pupils enjoy it or at least the ones that have turned up come back.
I try to give as much time to them to talk as I can, but it is difficult getting contributions when we don’t know who is going to talk. I do a fair bit of round the class and some shout out when you have an answer!
My main problem is the slides failing to show up on the pupils screens. I don’t think I’ve managed a meeting where everybody has seen the slides in a timely fashion. My screen is white/black is a common cry.
We had a meeting this morning where less than half the class turned up, so only 12 in the meeting. I gave up trying to use the slides as there were too many problems. This was with a 1.9mb powerpoint so I am not sure where the problem lies? I have generally a very basic approach to slide decks. No transitions, very few images, lean & mean.
I’d really like to know how to get the slides to work a wee bit better. I even tried turning my video off to see if that would help, but it didn’t make much difference. As I’ve no idea about the pupils connection it is difficult to even guess.
I had though earlier that flipped learning might be the way to go, and do link or embed some videos on our blog. I got the impression that they were not much watched. I am now thinking that it might be better to make my own videos and ask the class watch them just before the meet. This will of course mean more prep.
So my classes timetable for tomorrow looks like:
12:45 – 1:45 Minecraft
1:45 – 2:00 time to watch a couple of wee videos uploaded to Teams.
2:00 – 3:00 Team meeting
In other news:
I thought hands up in Teams had reached the iPad, but it seems not.
I am beginning. To see a drop off in participation, or in the sending me ‘work’ via Teams, e-Portfolios or email. I don’t think the May holiday helped, although I had a few pupils posting and even opened Minecraft up for a while on Monday. Maybe changing things up a bit in the meetings will help.
The Institute of Physics are running a number of online learning sessions and offer a range of support for physics teacher.
The Scottish curriculum support resources can be found on Talk Physics in the Teaching Physics in Scotland Group. This includes a spreadsheet of shared resources including videos, questions, quizzes and simulations useful for remote learning and available for both Google and Microsoft platforms.
There are weekly virtual physics staffroom meetings the next one is tomorrow, Friday 22nd May with one arranged for the following week Friday 29th May.
Finally for the next week we are having our second meeting on using Microsoft tools for teaching physics remotely. This event will focus on the Microsoft Teams platform, with emphasis on:
• Channels & Posts
• Insights & Grades
We are using Microsoft Teams as a school for our distance learning. Being in Scotland we have access to Teams through Glow Scotland a Scottish wide Microsoft tenancy I believe it is the 2nd largest tenancy in the world.
Within Teams there are some setting for your Team that you might want to turn on or off. GIFS, memes etc. Although I have GIFS and memes turned on in my senior channels as they are good fun. Here is a video about using stickers and memes from Microsoft.
Particularly the rights to delete and edit messages.
Creating a Team from an existing team as a template
You can create a Team from a template. This copies the channel structure, teams settings, apps and tabs – content, such as files, is not copied across to the new Team.
This can be selected in the creation process.
Announcements and custom backgrounds
I like to use announcements for my posts and have created custom backgrounds for them that I uploaded to the post. These were created in PowerPoint where I shaded a rectangle and added some background images appropriate to the topic being learnt.
The Team has a chat channel where students are allowed to informally chat and post anything they like as long as it is appropriate.
Add channels by clicking on the three dots to the right of the Team name.
The chat channel is to encourage some socialisation and the more informal conversations that happen in class. You might notice I have used an Emoji in the channel name this is a fun way to get visual engagement. It is recommended that you name the channel with normal characters first for Team stability in underlying SharePoint then you can edit the channel name to the right of the channel. Remember you can’t rename the general channel. On Windows devices pressing windows key and . together get you the emoji keyboard. Teams channels are ordered alphabetically and by unicode number for emoji.
Whilst on the subject of keyboard shortcuts, make sure you know windows-shift-S for snipping things using the Snip and Sketch tool which is how I collected the images in this blog .
Each week I create a new channel. I start off creating this new Weekly channel as it hidden from the members, but unhide it when I want it to go live. Remember to do this otherwise pupils can’t see it. You unhide the menu in the edit this channel menu and click the box.
Within the weekly channel I start with an announcement with the work that is set for that week. This information can be copied directly the Team assignments set for that work often about 4 per week.
The announcement includes hyperlinks to all of the resources that are loaded into the Class Materials folder in folder created for Week 1 linear motion (in this case).
The same files are duplicated into the file tab within the week 1 channel. Unless changed this folder is not read only. To do that click on the three dots and select open in SharePoint.
On SharePoint the library click the documents menu at the side.
On the right of the folder click the three dots and manage access.
The panel on the right is then shown and change from can edit to can view.
Although this blog has a lot of digital specific details, the most important part of distance learning is the pedagogy. The work I am doing is almost entirely asynchronous so that it can be done at any time. There are some live chats or voice calls to check up on pupils and answer questions.
Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered
Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged pupils
Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes
Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes
Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils
We know how important feedback is to learning and therefore I feel this is an important area digitally for two reasons. Firstly without face to face interactions and questioning we lose our ability to make judgements as to where the students are and to diagnose misconceptions and misunderstandings. Secondly without effective and regular feedback students do not get recognition of their efforts. We may then find that engagement may dwindle for all but the most dedicated students – hardly closing the attainment gap! Using Microsoft Form quizzes can provide that provide instant feedback. A short quiz can be used as a diagnostic assessment, branching functions can be used to provide more questions for learners that struggle and to add in a video or something to read as a substitute for the teacher classroom scaffolding. For each question feedback comments can be provided too indicating where to improve or what to think about.
The structure I have for most of the lessons or tasks are:
Recall quiz from previous week or prior knowledge
Some quizzes and assessments are reissued to pupils to do again if understanding is not shown or I can see they were completed in a very short time.
Videos are hosted on Office Videos as we don’t have Stream on in our Glow Scotland tenancy. I also have the videos uploaded in my Mr Bailey YouTube channel as some pupils find this easier to access.
I have been making videos for a number of years so am able to reuse some from the past and also the experience of making them.
Most of the videos are recorded using Microsoft PowerPoint recorder where I narrate over slides, sometimes incorporating animations and short online videos.
Here is a Microsoft video on using PowerPoint recorder. This includes some feature not available in Glow.
All Glow users can download Microsoft Office on their PC for free. If you log into Glow and go to www.office.com there is then an option on the top right to download. Many LA also have a tile on the launchpad to download Glow as shown in this video which you can on 15 devices.
The PowerPoint recording menu is switch off, go to File menu then Options and customise ribbon. On the right side click recording.
The following week starts with a recap test on the previous week to check for understanding. Some quizzes are reissued to pupils to do again if they do poorly especially if I can see a small time of work.
If you are attaching files for pupils to edit and put in answers within assignments then you should make sure that they are:
docx not doc for Word
pptx not ppt for PowerPoint
xlsx not xls for Excel
So make sure you upload the correct file format and if you want to make the file editable choose the students edit their own copy option in the three dots to the right.
Remember if you upload PDF files then these cannot be edited if if they are editable ones. So only use PDF files for notes or instructions. If you want to change PDF to word you can do this in Microsoft Word. Here is a video showing how you can change a PDF to Word using the Office app on your phone.
Alerts / Notifications for Teams Assignments
It is possible to set up notifications for when pupils upload work to Teams Assignments. Thanks to Donna Shah for sharing this. This is done in the underlying SharePoint site for the Team.
Go to the SharePoint site by choosing the files tab and then selecting behind the three dots on the right open in SharePoint. You then see the view below.
From here choose the Site Settings. Then click on the student work folder.
Within the student work folder are two folders submitted files and working files. The working files folder is the one we are going to use to set an alert/notification when a student add a file to Teams assignments. Here the student can still edit the file, when they click hand-in the file goes to the submitted files folder and the student can no longer edit it.
Choose from the three dots of the right of the working files menu, the alert me option.
We choose email, alert when new items are added, all changes would also alert when pupils edit items. Then we have chosen a daily summary by email at 3.00 pm.
Tags for Assignments
Adding tags for assignments can help you find them quickly and filter. This from Lucy Lock shows how to add tags.
Sometimes when reviewing students hand-in work in assignments the files don’t load properly. To overcome this I have added a link to the underlying SharePoint site adding a link to the Student work folder and then you can go to the submitted files folder, find the correct pupil and click the handed-in files. Here is a video showing how to add that Student Work shortcut the SharePoint navigation menu. You can see this on the left in the picture below.
Making Work clear to students
Here is my announcement post. Within the announcement posts I include hyperlinks to all of the resources that are needed for these tasks. I feel that this helps make the learning much clearer.
Note the Form link in the video above is not correct. The hyperlinks for the Forms quizzes if setting using an Assignment need to be shared from the Form that sits within the Groups part of Forms as shown below. Then open the Form and share. Here is a Microsoft video on Forms and sharing.
Opening the files document in SharePoint allow you to click the dots on the right of the file and click copy link.
Here is the announcement post with all the links. The same details are copied into the Assignments tasks including the hyperlinks as well as attaching the files to complete or Forms quiz.
This is what it looks like on the Assignment. By scheduling the assignments they can go live at the start of the week.
For each channel I have also created a SharePoint Webpage called To do list and have linked to this SharePoint page using a tab. I got this idea and some of the other I use from a Remote Learning webinar with Dr David Kellerman on what he is doing with Remote learning at UNSW Australia.
I have this saved as a template page and then adjust the content accordingly.
I add into the page:
Videos hosted in Glow Video.
Slides PDF documents
This SharePoint page is added as a weblink tab at the top of the weekly channel. At the moment resources loaded via SharePoint seem to be quicker to respond than those through the Teams interface.
Within SharePoint I have added a menu link to the Student Work folder link as sometimes I use that a few times Teams Assignments has struggle to load files handed in. So adding a link to the hand-in work directly in SharePoint means you can view the files there.
The file location is TeamName/Student%20%Work (the %20% is just the space) between Student Work.
Last but not least I have populated my OneNote class notebook in the Team sharing resources with pupils here.
This is a post to show teachers how to add feedback in Microsoft Forms and to show where pupils will receive and see that feedback.
Create a Microsoft Forms Quiz
Add questions, in each multiple choice question there is an option to add feedback to students choosing particular answers. This is seen after a pupil submits the quiz.
For short answers there is an option to put in the correct answer for automatic marking. For long answers there is not automatic marking response or feedback.
Now create the assignment with the forms quiz. Choose quiz in the create assignments option.
Select the Forms Quiz you made earlier.
Add instructions, set which students, dates etc. Then click assign or schedule if setting at a later date.
Assignment post appears in general channel and can be opened by clicking view assignments or can be accessed from the assignments tab.
Pupil clicks on attached Form Quiz.
Pupil completes Forms quiz
Clicks on submit. After clicking on submit the Thanks screen appears and there is an option to view results.
The view results screen indicates points awarded and can indicate feedback for question responses “message for respondents selecting this answer” if the teacher added them into the form.
Correct answers for short answer questions are shown. If the pupil answer differs this will be marked incorrect, it may be an acceptable alternative.
For long responses there is no feedback or mark at this stage.
If the pupil goes to the Grades tab in that Team they see that they have handed in this work.
Now the pupil waits for the teacher to put in their comments and feedback and return the work.
Teacher adds feedback
In the assignments tab, teacher can see pupil has handed in work. To open the Forms quiz, they can click on handed in or Open in Forms.
In the Grades tab, teacher can see that work has been handed in as they see a score. They can then click on the three dots …
If using from Grades, click Open Student Work to enter feedback and correct marks.
Don’t click return work or you will not have sent in any comments or checked their work and will not be able to add later.
When Microsoft Forms is open you can leave overall feedback by clicking the box to the right of the band that includes the pupil name. This is the feedback that goes to the pupil assignment summary view.
You can click on the other questions and accept answers if they were correct and not marked correctly for short answers changing the points awarded. You can leave feedback by clicking on the feedback option for each question.
Here is a view of some feedback for the overall section at the top and question 1.
For short answer questions we can correct the automatic marking if the pupil response was correct but not exactly the same as the correct answer. If pupils are still to hand in you can go back to the Form and add other correct responses. You need to go to Forms then Groups then choose the Team Form you have set. You can then click it open and edit the correct answer option for this question.
Longer questions are not automatically marked so you need to read the response and allocate marks accordingly. You can leave additional feedback under these questions.
Now you need to Post Scores for pupil to see the feedback you enter. If you do not Post Scores the pupil will not see any of the comments.
A confirmation message comes up when Post Scores is selected.
The teacher view in the Grades tab now shows returned.
In the assignment tab the pupil moves from the To mark list to the Marked list. Clicking on the toggle feedback option shows the summary feedback you entered in the Forms quiz and you see the total marks.
Pupil view to get feedback
Grades view in Team shows assignment has been returned to pupil and a points score.
To see the detailed information the pupil click assignment and goes to the completed assignments.
Or they can click on the view assignment post in the general channel.
Pupils see this, the points and the feedback added. This feedback area can be blank if none was added by the teacher.
The feedback added here is from the overall feedback section (see teacher view).
Pupil clicks back on the attached Forms quiz.
Feedback is shown (if teacher has added more).
Here are some annotations of the feedback and where it comes from.
A video showing the process above, how teachers can provide feedback in Microsoft Forms.
A video showing how to view pupil feedback in Microsoft Forms.