ClassroomScreen.com is a free online tool which brings together a host of useful tools for the classroom into one screen display.
Choose your own background, bring up a timer, set a traffic light for any activity, choose pupils with a random name generator, add text instructions on screen, set visual noise level measure, draw on a whiteboard, have pupils click on the classroom response tool on the screen for any question you ask to display quick feedback. And if teaching another language just a quick flick and the language changes to suit. So much in one screen, and you can move the tools around, switch them on or off as needed and change the background to suit the activity.
Created by Netherlands teacher Laurens Koppers to meet his own classroom needs for such an all-in-one tool, he has included a Padlet feedback page for teachers to share how they are using the tool and to request features. It is not possible to save your screen but it is designed that it should not take more than 30 seconds to put up the screen, and gives an option to save a list of names to upload speedily any time it’s needed.
Built into Classroomscreen you can access the how-to tips and guide to how different parts work by clicking on the 3-line hamburger icon to the top left. Want to see how to have dual screen? Want to use as an exit poll for your classroom? Want to add an image in the text box? Want to use on an iPad? Just click on that hamburger icon and choose Tips and Tricks. There’s a link to a how-to introductory guide to ClassroomScreen.com in the video below:
Microsoft Teams for Education brings together in one tool (accessible either online, via desktop software or mobile device app) class conversations/discussions, file storage (with online collaborative editing or tools already familiar to teachers and learners such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel), video-conferencing, OneNote Class Notebook, assignments calendar along with a host of settings controls for teachers to manage their Class Teams space the way which works best for their class or classes.
Why would I want it for my classes?
Imagine a OneNote Class Notebook for every class with no additional setup administration – everything is controlled from the Microsoft Teams for Education team settings panel. There is a social-media-like conversations section for each class (with a range of different settings which the teacher controls to best suit what will work best for them and their class). Teachers and pupils do almost everything without leaving Teams such as setting tasks/homework as assignments or through Class Notebook – perhaps completely reducing the need for much photocopying. And nothing is lost or forgotten.
School Data Sync for automatically creating classes in Microsoft teams for Education in Glow
For schools using the data management system Seemis (as all Falkirk schools do) the classes are automatically set up as Class Teams once a school has requested School Data Sync is enabled (this can be requested by a member of a Falkirk school’s leadership team by logging into Glow and then clicking on this link). And by doing this any changes are automatically updated throughout the school year as soon as changes are made by the school to Seemis records. Click on this link for more information about School Data Sync for Glow users
Microsoft Teams for Education should save time and simplify everyday classroom organisation in sharing resources with learners, assigning and providing feedback on learner tasks, which a teacher can do from various devices and in a range of additional ways from normal, whether handwriting on OneNote, or typing feedback (with the option to use inbuilt dictation tools) or through audio or video, or using customisable sticky graphics tools. And, of course, benefits for learners also include the integration of Learning Tools and Immersive Reader in OneNote Class Notebooks bringing a range of accessibility tools to all of your learners in your class to use whatever supports them best.
Click on this link to see a video where a teacher explains on the Microsoft Educator Community how they use Microsoft Teams for Education with their class – including assigning tasks for learners and providing feedback on work completed.
Click on the video below for an introduction to getting started with Microsoft Teams for Education. This is the first of a series of videos in the playlist linked from this video – the other videos cover different aspects of using Microsoft Teams for Education
Okay, okay, so how do I start to use it?
Microsoft teams for Education is part of Microsoft Office 365 for Education so you can access it from any part of Office 365 (whether you are already in Outlook email, or OneDrive, Sway or other parts of office 365): simply click on the 9-square waffle at the top left of Office 365 and choose the Teams tile. Any Class Teams which are already set up for your school, and to which you have access, will appear in the teams navigation column. And you can add additional Teams manually (such as for groups of staff or for school clubs or groups).
You can also log in directly to the Microsoft Teams portal https://teams.microsoft.com/ – simply use your full Glow email address (which will likely be something like: email@example.com).
Looking for support in learning how to make use of Microsoft Teams for Education?
If you’d like an interactive way to get a feel for the main features of Microsoft Teams then there is a neat Teams Demo site at the link below. Simply add a fictitious name into the first box and then follow the prompts to see what happens when you follow the steps. This will give a good outline of the main features of Microsoft Teams (but not that this is not education specific so makes no reference to additional classroom-specific features in Microsoft Teams for Education (so, for instance, there is no mention of learner assignments or of the education-specific version of OneNote, OneNote Class Notebook which is included in Microsoft Teams for Education).
How to manage a OneNote Class Notebook created within Microsoft Teams
To manage a OneNote Class Notebook created within Microsoft Teams for Education (for instance to switch on/off collaboration space or to enable the teacher-only section) click on the three dots ellipsis … beside the team name in Microsoft Teams – click on “view team” – choose “settings” tab then “OneNote Class Notebook” and make choices as you require.
If you choose to manage aspects of a OneNote Class notebook through the management panel for OneNote you will find OneNote Class Notebooks which have been created in Microsoft Teams show up under “Co-owned notebooks”
How to manually add an additional teacher or pupil to Microsoft Team class
To manually add additional teachers (or pupils) in Microsoft teams for Education click on the 3-dots ellipsis … beside the team name – select “add members” – choose teacher tab (or student tab for pupils) and add the usernames for the members of staff or pupils you wish to add.
If you are using iPads in a classroom setting then you may find the free online Apple Teacher professional learning programme provides you with support for making more effective use of more features of iPads for learning and teaching.
Just go to https://www.apple.com/uk/education/apple-teacher/ and sign up for the Apple Teacher programme – you can use any existing Apple ID you may have already, or you can create an Apple ID from the site to get onto the Apple Teacher programme.
Once you are signed in you then have access to all of the interactive Apple Teacher Starter Guides which aim to guide you through various features of using an iPad in an educational setting. So whether you are looking for support in using iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages and Numbers, or simply basic features of iPad settings, further productivity settings, tools and features or ways to develop creativity with an iPad, all of which which you may find helpful in the classroom, these materials support you to become more confident and productive to use an iPad to support learning and teaching.
Each module within the Apple Teacher programme includes an associated interactive assessment quiz – as you pass each quiz you earn a badge to chart your progress. When you have completed all 8 assessment quizzes your achievement is recognised with you being awarded the designation of Apple Teacher, conferring on you the right to use the official Apple Teacher logo that you can share with the world!
If you use Twitter, or other social media platforms, you can follow the hashtag #AppleTeacher to share in the uses of iPads by colleagues worldwide.
Virtual Reality, or VR, provides a means to have an experience of a location or object (whether real or imaginary) through a mobile device, often viewed through a headset, in such a way that when the viewer moves around they see the virtual view moving with them. So the images are usually 360 degree images and can be in 3D so that when viewed on a mobile device within a headset with twin lenses it appears to the viewer as being as close to being there as possible. When you move forward, tilt your head, look up – it’s as if you are doing the same in the virtual reality experience.
What are the options for the classroom?
The least expensive option for using Virtual Reality in a classroom would be Google Expeditions using Google Cardboard viewers (while they can be viewed without a twin-lens 3D viewer the viewer will lose the feeling of 3D) which are held by the hand up to the eyes. More expensive options are available with a variety of VR viewer headsets (such as Microsoft HoloLens, Gear VR or Oculus Rift headsets) and accompanying sensors (often handheld) so that the experience can involve touching or interacting with objects within a VR experience – as you approach or touch something in virtual reality it will react in a way as it in real life.
Google Expeditions with Google Cardboard Viewers
Google Expeditions are virtual reality experiences designed with a classroom guided exploration in mind. The teacher downloads the choice of virtual reality location using the Google Expeditions app and starts the expedition. Then when the pupil on the same wi-fi connection starts the app on their device they will see the teacher-directed expedition awaiting them.
In Google Expeditions the teacher application provides suggestions for questions or directions to guide learners as they explore the virtual environment. The teacher can see on their mobile device app where the learners are exploring on their screens, and can make suggestions as the learners explore.
How do I use Google Expeditions with iPads or Android tablets?
The video below shows how Google Expeditions can be viewed on iPads rather than smartphones. Many school may already have iPads or Android tablets, and the Google Expeditions apps will work on these too. However the Google Cardboard viewer is designed with the size of a smartphone in mind. If you wish to use the app on an iPad or Android tablet then when running the setup at the point where you see the two images side by side there is a small icon at the top right which lets you change the twin view to single view. Having done that the view will no longer be 3D and will no longer be held up to the eyes of the viewer but simply handheld.
Where can I find Virtual Reality Experiences for my classroom?
Google Expeditions provides a superb source of Virtual Reality experiences ready to be downloaded for use on devices in the classroom.
Discovery VR provides a wide range of downloadable virtual reality experiences in an educational context. Each is available for specific devices and come with notes for use by the educator with their class to guide their learners in the exploration of the experience.
In a nutshell, it’s an online environment where a teacher can assign tasks, track who’s completed tasks with ease, or provide feedback to support learners, share in seconds OneNote pages to every individual pupil’s section which can only be seen by the teacher and that individual pupil, have peer-to-peer conversations for collaborative work between learners or for teachers to provide individualised support to learners through teacher-pupil discussions. It joins up features available in Office 365 for Education – the OneNote Class Notebook, messaging, calendar, feedback, groups and email especially for classrooms. It works via a browser, or computer or mobile app for smartphone or tablet.
Click on this link for an interactive step-by-step guide to Microsoft Classroom, what it looks like, how it works and how a teacher might use it with their learners. This interactive guide takes you through the steps combining video, audio, screenshots as well as inviting you to click on the sections to see what happens and move to the next step to find out how Microsoft Classroom works for a teacher.
Teachers and pupils in Scottish schools have access to Microsoft Classroom using their Glow login details. Just log into Glow, choose any Office 365 tile then, from any part of Office 365, just click on the 9-square waffle and choose the Classroom tile. Alternatively go to Microsoft Classroom website and use your Glow login details to log in straight from there https://classroom.microsoft.com/
The Microsoft Educator Community has an introduction to Microsoft Classroom guiding users through the features, setup and management of Microsoft Classroom. Educators are encouraged to sign up on the Microsoft Educators Community as recognition is then given for completion of a course and assessment in the form of badge and certificate https://education.microsoft.com/GetTrained/introduction-to-microsoft-classroom
When setting up the app on a mobile device it will usually ask for the Office 365 for Education – that will be the full Glow email address.
How to make use of existing OneNote Class Notebooks in Microsoft Classroom
Schools which have already been using Microsoft OneNote and have existing OneNote Class Notebooks can associate Microsoft Classroom with existing Class Notebooks. To do this ensure you have the desktop version of OneNote installed on your computer, and have added the Class Notebook Add-in. Then to associate an existing Class Notebook with a Microsoft Classroom click on > Connections > Map Class Notebooks.
Is there a feature you’d like to see in Microsoft Classroom?
Gathering feedback, taking quizzes to reinforce learning, undertaking surveys of views, signing up or registering for an activity – just some of the ways forms can be used by schools. And now there is the option to use Microsoft Forms – available as a free online tool which uses a Microsoft Office 365 account (available to all Glow users) to set up the form either by going to https://forms.office.com or, if already logged into Office 365, via the Forms tile in the office 365 navigation tiles waffle. Office Forms can be created by either learners or educators.
Forms work nicely on any smartphones, tablets or PCs. Setting up requires the creator to be logged in to Office 365 but those completing the created form can be completed by anyone without requiring any kind of logging in (if that setting is chosen by the form creator), or they can be anonymous (if that is the setting the creator of the form wishes to use), or if they wish to restrict responses to their class and to ensure their identity they can use the login details of office 365 users too (if that’s how the creator of the form wishes the form to be completed). So the form creator gets the choice to suit the purpose and audience of their form.
Feedback is immediate, real-time, to the form creator and the results can be displayed in different ways to suit the need of the form creator.
For Sway users you can embed a form created with office Forms live in a Sway presentation information can be shared about a topic being studied and a quiz included alongside the content.
Creating your form
Either go to https://forms.office.com and log in with your Office 365 account (for Scottish schools that will be your Glow account) or, if already logged into Office 365, choose the Forms tile in the office 365 navigation tiles waffle.
Click on + Newto start creating your new form (you can click on the title of any previously created form in order to edit that, and if you wish to base a new form on an existing form you can click on the … ellipsis to the right of the form title and choose copy – then you can edit the copy to create a new version.
Just click on “Untitled form” to edit the name of your form, and click on “Enter a description” to add explanatory text as you may wish to include to explain the purpose of the form and perhaps mentioning the intended audience. Then click “+Add question“
Choose the type of question.There are five types of answer formats:
multiple choice questions (where you can choose to accept only one answer or multiple responses)
free-text (and you can choose either short or long text)
ratings (you can choose number or star rating)
quiz-questions (where you can provide immediate feedback to anyone filling in the form as to whether the respondent gave the correct answer or not (click on the tick icon to indicate which answer would be the correct answer – and just click on the speech-bubble icon to add comments to any response choice, which may give encouraging comments or suggestions for what to do next in response to the answer given, or any kind of feedback you wish to display when a particular choice is chosen)
You can choose whether there can be multiple responses or only one answer accepted, you can require that specific questions have to be answered before a user can complete the form, and by clicking on the …ellipsis you can choose whether a subtitle (which could provide explanatory text for each question) is displayed, and whether you wish to shuffle the order of questions so that each time someone sees the form the questions are displayed in a random order.
Add as many further questions as you wish. You can re-order the questions by clicking on the upward or downward facing arrows above each question, and you can copy an existing question (and edit that copy), or delete an existing question.
Previewing your form
To see what the form will look like for people about to fill it in you can click on “preview” at the top navigation bar. You can see how the questions will be laid out on a computer, and you can also choose to see how it will look on a mobile device.
Sharing your form
Once the form is complete click on “Send form” – this will open a side panel with various choices. It will provide a link to share with those you wish to respond to the form. It will create a QR code for quick scanning by users using a mobile device, and it will provide html embed code if you wish to embed the form within a website page or blogpost. This screen also gives you the option to choose who will be able to fill out the form – you can choose only people within your organisation (for Scottish schools using Glow that would be Glow users only), and within that you can choose whether or not to record the names of those responding in the results, or you can choose to make the form available to anyone with the link (where no sign-in will be required for people responding to the form).
If you click on “See all settings” at the foot of this side panel you will get further choices:
Looking at the results of your form
When you wish to look at the responses to a form you have shared then simply open the form and click on the responses tab along the top of the screen. You will get an overview of the number of respondents, the average time taken to complete by respondents, and whether the form is still active or expired 9if you’d set it to have a deadline). There is also the option to download to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (which comes complete with auto-filter drop-downs to easily sort the information generated to suit your needs).
Steven Payne, an educator in Western Australia, shared the results of a mock use Microsoft Forms – showing the results, and the way in which they can be displayed, which the creator of the form can see once respondents have completed the survey.
Jim Federico commented in a tweet that Microsoft Forms being built into Office 365 for Education means no add-ins are required, and includes question types which auto-grade.
Kurt Söser, an educator in Austria, has provided a step-by-step guide to his experience setting up a quiz with Microsoft Forms and using it with his learners.
Vicent Gadea, an educator in Spain, described co-assessment using Microsoft Forms “1st time was complicated then was very powerful for us.”
Koen Timmers, an educator in Belgium, has described in a step-by-step guide, illustrated with screenshots, how to set up a form using Office Forms, and shared what the responses look like for a form he created.
Making use of Forms in the classroom
There is a range of online form tools available, each of which can generally be used in similar ways, so it can be helpful to look at how others have used these tools when thinking about how online forms can support classroom activity.
Yammer is an online discussion/collaboration tool which provides schools with a secure online environment where all pupils in a class can ask questions of their peers, where they can seek answers and help each other, bounce ideas around and deepen their own understanding of what they are learning in class. It is available to all users of Office 365 for Education, meaning all Glow users, pupils and staff, have access to this tool. And it can be accessed by signing in online in a browser or using a mobile device app.
Yammer provides an ideal tool through which learners can learn about the use of social media, in a protected environment, where the pupils can be guided to model behaviours for use in an online discussion tool, which will apply to any social media tool pupils may meet outwith their schooling. So if a teacher is looking to help pupils learn about safe sharing, and what not to share online, being supportive and respectful of views of others, and a place for pupils to engage in deepening their understanding through questioning and responding to others, then Yammer provides a great environment for a school.
How do pupils and teachers get started using Yammer?
Glow users simply sign into Glow then navigate to any part of Office 365, such as the tile for Office 365 (School Site) and then click on the 9-square waffle icon to navigate to the range of tools available in Office 365 – and choose the Yammer tile.
The very first time a user clicks on the Yammer tile they will be invited to invite further users – don’t invite others but instead just close that window (click on the greyed-out cross at the top-right or click on the background page behind the invitation panel.
You’re then in Yammer and can start browsing some of the Yammer groups open to all users. Or, if a pupil is ready to join the private class Yammer group set up by their teacher, then the first time the pupil simply searches for the class group name, clicks on the link and requests to join by clicking on the “join group” button – that sends a message to the teacher who accepts their pupils into the group.
Alternatively, rather than go to Glow first, users can search with an online search engine for Yammer or go straight to https://www.yammer.com where they can then simply log in using their Glow/Office 365 email address and password.
How do you set up a Yammer group just for pupils and teachers in a class?
A class teacher can quickly set up a private class group in Yammer. Click on “+ Create a new group” and then give the group a name – include in the group name something which identifies the school as well as the class name.
Choose “Private – Only approved members” and untick the box which gives the option to “List in Group Directory” – that way only pupils who know what to search for will be able to find a teacher’s Yammer class group, and only pupils who the teachers knows are members of their class will be granted access by the teacher. Setting up that way avoids the teachers having to add a list of usernames – they simply tell their class what to search for, and to click on the “join group” button when they find the group.
A teacher can see the list of pupils waiting to be added to their class yammer group by going into the Yammer group and then clicking on “Members” at the right-hand side. This will show which users have requested access and are pending approval by the teacher.
It would be recommended to have additional teacher colleagues added as joint administrators – beside their name on the list of members just click on the cog icon and select “Make admin” to elevate that teacher to be a joint administrator of that Yammer group.
What can you do in a Yammer discussion?
You can ask questions, respond to requests from others, add comments or create polls to garner views of others. Attachments can be added to any discussion post – so pupils can perhaps discuss or share comments about a resource. You can even use the “praise” button to acknowledge the input of other users. A Yammer group provides a place to share resources, and links to related sites elsewhere.
How are schools using Yammer?
Kirknewton Primary School in West Lothian has provided an excellent description of how they are using Yammer with pupils. This blogpost gives screenshots of different aspects to how they use Yammer, as well as the rationale to the choice of tool and the purposes behind it to better support learning and teaching. This has included using Yammer to support collaborative writing. Mrs Anderson, Principal Teacher at the school said “As a teacher and parent I feel that it is very important that we educate children about the safe use of social media – using Yammer has been a fantastic way to do so, in a safe environment. Feedback from parents has been positive.” “The impact on learning and teaching is evident in the content of the group and the enthusiasm of pupils (which is evident in the online interactions).”
What safeguards are in place for Yammer users in Glow?
Yammer groups can be set up to be private (such as for a class of pupils so that the Yammer group can only be accessed by pupils in that class with their teachers). There are also Yammer groups open to users across Glow and educators within Glow nationally act as Moderators for Yammer users, welcoming new users, helping guide users to use appropriate language in a supportive way.
Everything in Yammer is identifiable to the individual user. There is a simple “report a concern” option for all users (either use the question mark icon on a page or anywhere you see a “Report a concern” button) which will alert the national Glow administrators to concerns raised, and who will provide the support required to resolve any issues.
There’s also a filter to ensure inappropriate language can’t accidentally be posted.
And of course the educational-focussed environment shared between learners and educators means there is a visible supportive environment. Users can set email alerts either to all posts in a specific Yammer group, or to individual posts where alerts would be sent for replies or comments just to that post.
Yammer Mobile App
Yammer has an app for mobile devices – search on the app store for your device. Then once downloaded simply log in with your Glow/Office 365 email address (that’s where your Glow username has @glow.sch.uk added to the end, after your Glow username). For many users the use of the app will be the most convenient way to access Yammer.
What help is available?
Day One Guide for the Glow Yammer Network (accessed using Glow account – but also available as a document download from the public-access site Yammer Guide for Glow Users) – a very helpful guide of do things to do, and things to avoid, as well as guides to getting the most out of Yammer, specially in the early stages of getting used to using Yammer in a school.
Yammer Guide for Glow Users – a Glow-specific help guide to getting started with the use of Glow. This includes guidance and suggestions for managing Yammer in an educational context.
So how are you using Yammer in your school?
Do share in the comments below how Yammer is being used in your school
Docs.com from Microsoft provides a free way to share your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway and PDF documents.
These shared documents can be viewed by others just by sharing a link (whether in social media, print form or by text or email message). You can embed any shared document on a website or blog. You can choose to keep documents private to you so that you can access them only when signed in to Docs.com, or make them public for anyone to view.
You can upload your files from your computer, tablet or mobile device, or from Sway, Office Mix or OneNote online accounts, or your OneDrive cloud storage.
Documents can be grouped into collections by you – so a teacher in a classroom might group resources according to curricular area/subject, or stage or for a specific group, or for an event. So when you share the link to that collection all of the related files, resources and presentations will be displayed together.
You can create a new account or sign in with a Facebook, a Microsoft account or Office 365 – and importantly for schools works with Glow accounts, meaning that for Glow users it’s just one username and password to access and make use of this tool, as well as all of the other resources and tools within Glow.
Your Docs.com account provides you with analytics to give an overview of which documents have been viewed and how frequently. And you can also add journal entries to describe documents you have shared.
Get started with Docs.com in 3 steps – a short Powerpoint presentation, shared with Docs.com which can be viewed online, to show just how easy it is to get started with sharing a document online using Docs.com
Sharing OneNote notebooks is a particularly useful feature of Docs.com. The following video by Darrell Webster shows how useful this feature is for teachers to share with others, and how to use Docs.com to share any OneNote notebook
Microsoft in Education is a site which provides free on-demand personalised learning for teachers in exploring the use of digital technologies to support learning and teaching – learning at a pace which suits each teacher on the topics they find most useful to them, at the time they need it.
The online hub provides a Training and Professional Development section which is divided into Quick Tip Videos, Courses (which can be filtered by age range of learners, tools, skills to be developed, etc), and Learning Paths which provide a more in-depth look at use of digital technologies compbing different methods of delivering the information and sharing of skills as well as exemplars.
There is a wide range of free instant-access online courses. Some of these are short tool-specific how-to guides to learning the basics of getting started using specific digital technologies such as Sway, Skype, OneNote, Powerpoint, Minecraft, Office Mix or many other tools. Some are just short quick-tip videos highlighting a specific feature of a particular piece of software.
Some courses are longer and look at how digital technologies can best be used to support learning and teaching in different contexts. These combine text guides, video explanations and examples, as well as quizzes to help understanding.
And by signing up to the free Microsoft in Education Community a teacher can access a wider range of resources shared by other teachers around the globe, and when working through the range of courses on offer a teacher can gain visual recognition through digital badges of their accomplishments. Working through the online resources, with badges to record progress, can provide an extra degree of motivation when there is a tangible record of what skills have been acquired, and perhaps a spur to just complete another one (and another, and another!!).
So whether starting out, or just looking for an illustration of a particular application in a classroom setting, reading about how others are using digital technologies to support learning, an online space to discuss with colleagues worldwide what’s worked (or look for advice when you might be looking for a solution to something which has not worked in your situation), or wanting to further explore how to integrate digital technology to best support learners in your school, there is something here for every teacher.
Sign up for free now at the Microsoft Educator Community at the link below: