In the Wakelet collection below, I share the benefits of embedding media directly into OneNote to simplify workflow and bring content to life.
Click on the image below to access the collection
I am an Additional Support Needs teacher at Lanark Grammar School. I am also an MIE Fellow for Scotland, MIE Expert, Master Trainer and MCE (Microsoft Certified Educator). I am also a Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador and Grid Guide and a Wakelet Ambassador and Community Leader.
I was awarded MIE Expert of the Year for Scotland 2019-20 and I also won a global competition ran by Flipgrid to attend E2 Education Exchange in Sydney, Australia.
You can find me on Twitter: @cgerrard02
Hello, I am a Computing Science teacher at Falkirk High school, this post is about my experience of moving to remote learning and my journey through it until the summer break. I have been an MIEExpert for 3 years and gained MIE Trainer status during this period of remote learning.
Before moving to remote learning Microsoft Teams was used by a small number of teachers across our school. I lead the schools eLearning staff working group and had been providing training to these colleagues on using the main features of Glow (Teams, OneNote Notebook, Forms, Sway, O365 and Immersive Reader) that we thought would be most useful in our setting. We had planned to roll this training out across the entire school this year with eLearning staff and our pupil Digital Leaders supporting and leading the way. This did happen, just not how we had planned.
In the two weeks prior to starting remote learning I provided training sessions to staff on the basics of using Glow and Teams so that all staff had a grounding on it and could use this whilst working from home. I also synced all Glow pupil groups within our school to enable staff to quickly create the teaching groups and teams they needed. All Staff rose to the challenge and engaged with digital learning tools in a way that I have never seen before in my 20 year teaching career. I remember one of the last things I said to my Head Teacher was that “My silver lining out of all of this will be the staff engagement with Digital Tools and Technology for learning.” My view has slightly changed on that front – I’ll explain later.
I have been using OneNote Notebook for a number of years and then Teams when it launched in Glow with most of my classes. I had used O365, Immersive Reader, Forms and Sway before but not extensively. Additionally, some of the tools I’m using now I had never heard of before remote learning.
When setting up my Teams I wanted to make things as easy as possible for pupils to locate work and navigate their virtual learning space. With this in mind, the first assignment I set all of my pupils was a ThingLink on Navigating our Team. This gave them pictures of their Team with links to explain each part so that they could gain an understanding of how our virtual classroom was laid out and would operate. ThingLink is a digital tool that I had not heard of prior to remote learning but is one I will definitely continue to use. I had great feedback both from pupils and staff on it and great engagement from both when using it.
All of my Teams have been set up the same way. I have added different channels to hopefully indicate what each one is being used for rather than all communications being in the one General channel. It can otherwise quickly become clogged up making it difficult to locate work, etc. I also set my General channel for staff only commenting as this is where I post Assignments and Announcements to. This should mean that it is easy for pupils to see the weekly work and important announcements.
I am using Assignments to issue weekly work to all pupils. This means that each child gets their own editable document (Word, notebook page, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, etc.) that they can work on, complete and submit for marking and individual feedback. Pupils can clearly see what assignments they have outstanding and completed. Using the Grades tab they can also see their progress and scores for all submitted tasks. All of my Teams have a OneNote Notebook which gives each child a space to work.
My organisation and layout of my notebooks has developed through remote learning. I now have clear Success Criteria, Tasks and Exit Passes to help the children see exactly what they need to do for each lesson and for me to gain feedback about how they felt about that lesson.
I have been teaching programming to my new S4 class. We started this when we “Moved On Learning”. At our school we code in Python and normally use our desktop PCs or Laptops in the lab, however, not all of my pupils have these devices at home. Some are using a tablet or their phone to complete work. Some have opted to download Python onto a device while others are using PythonAnywhere which is all done online. The actual Python coding is identical in both environments but the platforms themselves are quite different, therefore, I have been recording myself doing the tutorial tasks in both platforms and embedding these into a Sway each week. The pupils then watch the tutorial for the platform they are using.
I was delighted when pupils were attaching their programs to their assignments when it showed me the code in the assignment window. I did not expect to see the code within the Teams assignment. This meant that I could view their code, mentally run through it to check that it would work but it also made discussing their code easier. Because I could see the code line numbers it made our discussions easier because I could state the line number in which they needed to revise. There were occasions where it was necessary to “show” pupils what I meant as communicating via keyboard was not always easy and I have started using Trinket for this type of thing. I can create Python code in Trinket and share it via a link with pupils to edit and experiment with which has helped them to see the differences between their code and mine. Trinket is another digital tool that I was unaware of prior to remote learning but will definitely continue to use.
I have also been using Forms to create surveys and quizzes. Sometimes I have set these as the weekly work tasks on their own but also embedded these into Sways and OneNote Notebook pages depending on the task. This has allowed me to combine a variety of resources (theory, pictures, video and quiz) enabling all of the elements of that task to be in the same document making it easier for pupils to complete the work set for them.
I have had positive feedback from pupils when issuing praise stickers for completing work, being kind or helpful to others in the team and have received praise from pupils myself. Which I must admit nearly made me cry. It was really nice to get this from pupils as it let me know that everything I had been doing was working, helping and appreciated.
Other Digital Tools that I have been using to support teaching and learning during this time are Wakelet, Flipgrid and Canva. I had been using Wakelet this year with my Higher Computing class. We had been adding online resources to it as we came across them building up a bank of revision materials as the course progressed. During remote learning I have been using it as a central point for storing staff training “How To” videos that I have produced. I have added the Wakelet as a tab in our whole staff team so that everyone can access it easily. As part of the staff CPD Training that I offered I created a Wakelet on making a virtual emoji classroom and shared it with staff to help them to create their own virtual classrooms. I have used Flipgrid to record ‘shorts’ (videos of less than 10 minutes) and shared these with pupils in my Teams. These short videos have normally been instructions on how to do something or a welcome to our team message from me. I have not used this app with pupils recording their own videos but this is something that I would like to be able to use in the future. I stumbled upon Canva during an online CPD session that I was taking part in during remote working. Canva is a design app that allows you to quickly design and create great looking publications either working from templates or from your imagination. I have used it to create certificates of appreciation for my pupil Digital Leaders, pupils submitting work, infographics, a twitter header image and various Teams announcement banners. All of your creations can be animated, downloaded as pdf, image or video and shared with a link directly into my Teams, etc.
My other roll during remote working has been training and supporting staff within my school with Glow, Teams, using Assignments, O365, ThingLink, Forms, Sway, Voice Overs in PowerPoint and OneNote Notebook. This has been great fun and very rewarding with staff sharing their successes and creations with me. Again reinforcing my original ‘silver lining’ from lockdown. However, I did say earlier that my view of that has slightly changed and it has – I’ve been so impressed by our pupils; taking part, sharing, asking questions and trying things out, however, in equal measure also by their parents and folks at home, supporting them (and me). I have received some lovely messages from them which has been greatly appreciated.
I have also achieved MIE Trainer status during remote learning. I had completed my own training for this way back in 2018 but had never tracked the training and support I had been providing to staff until now. Something else from remote learning that I will continue to do.
My silver lining now – the way in which pupils, parents and teachers have collectively engaged with Digital Tools and Technology for learning.
You can find me on Twitter @FHSComputing
My name is Sarah Wyllie and I am a Business Education Teacher at Marr College in South Ayrshire. I have been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) for 1 year and managed to gain my MIE Trainer badge during lockdown. I have really enjoyed being a member of Team MIEE Scotland – I am so thankful for their support and encouragement throughout the year. Alongside my colleague, Alan Simpson, we have been working to develop the digital skills of staff and students at Marr College. We set up ‘Digital Drop Ins’, which have continued online, and also a team of enthusiastic Student Digital Champions.
Looking back on my experience during lockdown I can only describe it as a complete rollercoaster. The highs of students and staff overcoming obstacles, pulling together in difficult circumstances, and growing in confidence in using digital tools. Seeing some students really embrace the change and adapt to their ‘new normal’ was inspiring. The lows were just never feeling quite good enough, not having enough hours in the day (or night) to get things done and worrying about engagement and accessibility. I have learned a lot along the way…
1 – Making Resources Easy to Access
Having a platform that acts as a one-stop-shop for students has been invaluable. We use Microsoft Teams to post announcements, answer questions, share resources, have live meetings with the class, set assignments and provide feedback. Students can access everything on Teams using their Glow login. As a Business Education teacher, I have been using Teams for a few years now but over the last couple of months I have learned so much more about how to make the most of Teams.
2 – Students Like to See and Hear You
Feedback from students was that they missed being able to hear and see their teacher – just as we missed being able to hear and see them. There were several ways we tried to combat this:
- Meetings – we held weekly live meetings with our classes using Microsoft Teams. We used this to signpost learning for that week, answer any questions from students and check in on pupils. Feedback from students was that they really valued this. It also gave them the opportunity to connect with one another. At the end of each meeting we would play a live quiz using Quizizz – students loved this part of the meeting! The winner each week was posted on Twitter and in the praise channel.
- PowerPoint Recorder – being able to record my screen and share this as a video has been incredibly helpful. For example, Administration & IT students learn how to use different types of software and so screen recorder has helped us record demonstrations to share via Teams, students can pause the demo video and watch it as many times as they like. Record slideshow also allowed me to narrate my presentations, annotate on the slides, have my face visible in the recording and export this as a video to share with students.
- Audio and Video Feedback – using OneNote allowed me to provide students with different types of feedback, including audio and video feedback. Students could then replay this when needed.
- Help Videos – both staff and students needed support in learning how to use these digital tools. Using screen recorder to make help videos seemed like the best option but sharing these videos in an accessible way took a few attempts! I used a variety of different techniques including: Wakelet, Flipgrid, YouTube, Twitter, Satchel One (Show My Homework) and embedding videos on the school website. You can view our Teams Help Video Playlist below.
3 – Accessibility is Key
What can I say about the wonderful array of free Learning Tools available in most Microsoft software? A few of my favourites are Immersive Reader, Dictate and live captions on PowerPoint.
If you have not investigated Immersive Reader then you should take a look today, you will be amazed. To find out more view the video below and visit Chris Gerrard’s helpful blog all about the many different accessibility tools on offer. As a school we are also very fortunate to have access to Read and Write software which we were also able to make available to students from home.
4 – OneNote
I have been using OneNote for a couple of years now – and love the range of features it offers. It acts as an electronic jotter or ring binder for students, keeping all their notes and tasks in one place. When classes initially stopped during lockdown, I was so thankful for OneNote because I will still able to access all my student’s work from home. Students can type directly onto the page, can upload files and can print directly to a OneNote page.
As a Business Education teacher, the ability to print directly to a OneNote page has been incredibly useful for Administration & IT as students need to be able to print their work, in a particular way, to gain marks. Even in the classroom this has dramatically cut down on the amount of paper and ink used in the department while still ensuring students develop printing skills.
Other useful features include: digital inking, dictate, immersive reader, embedding other resources, clipping tool and audio and video feedback. You can also add digital stickers – I even attempted to make my own stickers to highlight common mistakes made by students.
Staff OneNote Help Video Playlist
5 – Keeping it Fun and Staying Connected
Though we could not all be together as a class – it was important to try and feel connected. As a department we tried to do this in different ways. We had weekly meetings with S3-S6 classes, shared fun Friday quizzes using Quizizz or Kahoot and we used our ‘ice breakers’ channel to learn more about each other, for example playing 2 truths and a lie.
We also used Thinglink to create a ‘virtual classroom’ to share with students. We added this as a new tab in Teams and embedded them into our class notebooks. Our S3 Administration class even used their PowerPoint skills to create their own ‘virtual’ workspace! To view one of my Thinglinks click on the image below.
Look out for our Business Ed @ThingLink_EDU virtual classrooms this week . Keep an eye on your @MicrosoftTeams and @OneNoteEDU click on the links to access the resources and listen to recordings . @MarrColOfficial #MicrosoftEdu #TeamMIEEScotland pic.twitter.com/qWyQ0fUcEl
— Marr Business (@MarrBusiness) June 15, 2020
Transitions were also very different this year. We were keen to welcome our new S1 students to the department. I used Joomag to put together a welcome booklet for them – with a gallery of images and staff videos.
In school I run a newsletter group aiming to celebrate successes at Marr College. During lockdown this was a way to share positive news with parents, students, and staff, maintain a feeling of community spirit and allow students to share what they had been learning. I used Microsoft Forms to collate student stories and included the option for them to upload pictures of their activities if they wanted to. This was also a way to check in with students. I really enjoyed seeing our students’ responses – it always gave me a boost. You can view some of our school newsletters by clicking on the image below.Our students, parents and staff at Marr College have made amazing progress in developing their digital skills. I have received lovely messages of support from staff and parents and I am excited to see where we go next! To view any of our resources please see the links below.
- Marr College Staff Digital Technology Wakelet
- Staff Teams Video Playlist
- Staff OneNote Video Playlist
- Student Teams Video Playlist
- Student OneNote Video Playlist
- Marr College Digital Technology Website
Hi I am Mandy Davidson Acting Principal Teacher Curriculum Support (Wider Achievement) RME/RMPS/Care at Lenzie Academy.
I came to be a Microsoft Expert because it was the easiest way to find out how the limited technology I had could be put to the best use. Nobody around seemed to know the answers to my questions or to even know a person who might. Discovering the Microsoft Educator Centre and meeting individuals like Malcolm Wilson (@claganach) and Sarah Clark (sfm36) and Ian Stuart (IanStuart66) helped me see what could be done if I kept trying. My first sway for the MIEE application focussed more on what I hoped to do than what I had already achieved. I was amazed when I was given the place on the roll of honour! The more I’ve talked about my role as an MIEE, the more I have realised that there is a barrier between many of my peers engaging with this massive CPD opportunity and ironically it is not ” time” that none of us have had prior to lockdown. The barrier is recognised by many departments in my school and no doubt schools around the country, who display posters detailing the different approach between having a fixed mindset and having a growth mindset. Yet the very teachers who encourage their pupils to” prepare to fail ” as a learning opportunity, to accept they are always learning and quote the line “it is not I can’t but I can’t yet”, will shake their heads when I suggest that they too can become a Microsoft Expert. I always say I use a computer like a drive a car; I can do the basics and familiarity makes it easier, but I’m no mechanic!
The more experienced we become as a teacher, the more comfortable we become with our areas of expertise and the more concerned we are about what we don’t know. In some subjects where the content changes little over the years, the comfort and the fear may be even more of a contrast . The perception that the students around us need to know that we are the experts, in order to accept our delivery of lessons, fuels the fear that we cannot experiment with new platforms in case it all goes wrong. Looking at the fixed mindset image above ask your self honestly how many of the fixed mindset phrases have you used when discussing using technology to teach?
Lockdown has forced many teachers to turn to technology in order to continue to provide education remotely. The opportunities created by using Teams, Forms, Sway and PowerPoint with narration have been publicised and many teachers are now engaging with them. Countless organisations are offering advice, how to videos and it can all be overwhelming for someone with a fixed mindset who has hitherto been very comfortable with their individual face to face approach to teaching.
So my advice as a Microsoft Innovator Education Expert is quite simple. Use the MEC tile that already exists in Glow. If you cannot find it on your launchpad then add it from your apps library. Then explore and develop your own growth mindset! Start from an area with which you are familiar, it could be Teams or other Office 365 tools and watch the videos and complete the quizzes.
They really are not scary and although you have to gain 80% to pass, there are resit opportunities so what do you have to lose!
Once you pass some quizzes you will gain badges in your personal profile.
Each badge is worth a number of points and all can be used as part of your CPD evidence for GTCs
Some badges also come with certificates whilst others are part of learning paths and the certificate is awarded at the end of a significant amount of work. Each certificate details the time spent on acquiring them.
Engaging pupils Collecting badges can become addictive once you realise that, just spending a little bit of time working through the video tutorials, can save you hours of time in creating and distributing quality learning opportunities. Before you know it you will have acquired 1000 points and you become recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator and you join a fast paced growth mindset community from where your learning will really take off!
The MIE Community In Scotland exists in the virtual world so even if there is nobody at your school that has any expertise in using Microsoft tools, you can gain support at the click of a mouse, from teachers just like you, who have learned the short cuts and possibilities available through Glow and are willing to share. Twitter is the platform outside of glow where you can gain insight into how you can stretch your understanding, as most of us have twitter accounts and there are regular tweetmeets for #MicrosoftEduChat #TeamMIEEScotland and #MSFtCelt ( team Scotland together with the Welsh team). What makes us experts is not that we know the answers but we are not afraid to ask the questions – how do you do that? Is that on glow too? Can I have a copy?
So as an experienced RME teacher what are my favourite tools for teaching and learning? Microsoft Teams is key as you can literally teach an entire course through a class team. I facilitate a Religion Beliefs and Values remote learning Team, as with the minimal support required for the Level 5 award the pupils who have opted into this team just work their way through their investigation and reflection. The fact pupils can literally complete all work on their phone helps to engage many of them more than a jotter and a text book. Forms to gain pupil voice or quizzes for formative learning are quick and effective and last of all my love of Sway with the ability to include so much information in an accessible format where readers can focus on what they need to learn. With these tools I have increased my engagement with pupils that I only used to physically see once a week and for whom the instant and personalised feedback encouraged greater participation and deeper reflection. Now I am shielding physically away from my closed classroom, this interaction has continued and the record of all interactions are now documented in the new Insights tab.
As the PT of Wider Achievement I can facilitate a number of Youth Achievement Awards via Teams and together with our school Youth worker Caroline Shirreffs we are currently supporting senior pupils creating their Personal Development plans for their Platinum Award. Being able to have online meetings has actually given us more time than we would have managed to gain in school as these pupils have such busy lives! My YPi teams who collaborate via Teams chat and create group presentations show the scope is as limited as the learner’s imagination.
You may have thought you did not have time to learn about all these tools but the time it saves makes up for the investment. You just need to be a bit braver and click on the MEC tile. A whole new world of opportunities await!
Find me on Twitter @AllM14891126
You’ve no doubt seen lots of teachers sharing their interactive virtual classroom images – a visually-friendly way to connect with your learners via an online platform where they can click on elements in the picture to view details of learning activities, or view videos, or read books chosen for the class, or click on a link to online resources to support their learning.
You can set up an interactive virtual classroom image in several online platforms and using a variety of digital tools. This blogpost is specifically looking at how to do so if your school uses Microsoft Teams.
What you need to set this up in Microsoft Teams
You will need the following to set up your interactive virtual classroom image:
- PowerPoint in which the interactive virtual classroom image will be built
- Images which you are free to use (this post will show where to access these) to create the background and items in the classroom.
- Your Bitmoji character (though if you don’t want t use a cartoon-style Bitmoji character you can alternatively use the inbuilt stock character images in PowerPoint online, or a cartoon-style image you have created with another digital tool).
- The links to the resources you will be adding as interactive links to the image (whether that’s videos or online resources, whether somewhere in the class files in Microsoft Teams or shared somewhere external to the class Team).
- Microsoft Teams for your class – where you will share the pdf with clickable links (you can also choose to use PowerPoint online from your OneDrive if you prefer to share it as a PowerPoint show).
How to set up you virtual classroom image in PowerPoint
View this super detailed step-by-step video by Brian White showing how to create the virtual classroom slide in PowerPoint online – this includes how to use the Bitmoji plugin in the Chrome browser, how to search within PowerPoint online for transparent backgrounds, how to add items for the class scene, how to add a video from YouTube as an embedded video, and how to create the link from a shared PowerPoint link which makes it a play-only view for pupils to interact with it – by adding &=&action=embedview to the end of the weblink from your shared PowerPoint link.
— Patricia Foley (@folesspanish) May 15, 2020
This video on the Mrs M Shares YouTube channel gives a step by step guide to creating your virtual classroom in PowerPoint, with lots of advice about adding items to your classroom scene.
Interactive elements will be the links you attach to the individual items so when clicked on by your learners they will automatically be taken to what you have added. This might include websites, online resources, YouTube videos, or login to platforms your class uses.
Here’s a Bitmoji Virtual Classroom Tutorial Step by Step using PowerPoint video on Mrs Sekhon YouTube channel
How to remove the background from an image
There are different ways you can remove the background from any image so that when you place it on your background image it does not show anything from the background of the image you wish to place on the classroom background.
Using PowerPoint to remove background from an image
This how-to guide from Microsoft shows how to remove the background from any image – this also includes a guide to how you can choose which elements of an image to keep and which parts to remove. This guide includes a video but also illustrated text step-by-step guide.
Using RemoveBG to remove the background from an image
You can also use the free online tool RemoveBG to remove the background from any image (this also works from mobile devices)
Need more help?
There is a very helpful guide to “How to create Bitmoji classroom” on Shana Ramin’s “Hello Teacher Lady” site
How to share your Interactive Virtual Classroom in Microsoft Teams
You can choose whether to share your interactive virtual classroom as a simple image (which will have no interactivity) or PDF (which will retain any interactive links you added) or PowerPoint
To create an image from PowerPoint click on File > Save as > choose location on your device > from dropdown “Save as type” choose “PNG Portable Network Graphics” format
To create a PDF from PowerPoint click on File > Save as > choose location on your device > click on “Options” and specify single slide you wish to use
When uploading to Microsoft Teams you can choose to share in the Posts/Conversations by clicking on the paperclip attachments icon – you will then be asked where you wish to share the uploaded item so choose to save in the “Class Materials” folder as this is read-only for your learners.
You can alternatively choose to upload the PowerPoint into your OneDrive and when choosing the share link ensure the permissions are set to “anyone with the link” (and ensure edit rights are disabled). To ensure the PowerPoint link opens as a play-only view for your learners to interact with it you can add &=&action=embedview to the end of the weblink from your shared PowerPoint link from OneDrive before you share it in the Microsoft Teams Posts/Conversations (this method also permits sharing outwith Microsoft Teams, such as on website or social media).
This video by Patti Duncan shows how you can save your interactive virtual classroom created in PowerPoint as a PowerPoint show and upload to Microsoft Teams so that anyone viewing it in your class will go straight to “present” mode and not have the option to do anything other than view the PowerPoint and click on the links you’ve added.
Want to find out how others are using interactive virtual classrooms in Microsoft Teams?
There is a Facebook group (called Bitmoji Classrooms for Teams) just for teachers sharing about their use of interactive Bitmoji virtual classrooms in Microsoft Teams.
Here’s some educators sharing about their virtual classrooms created using PowerPoint
Missing my classroom @castlemilk_high so I had a go at creating a virtual one on Powerpoint Definitely spent longer than i should have on this… #virtualclassroom #digitalskills pic.twitter.com/sjn34j03MK
— Castlemilk High Technologies Faculty (@CHS_TechFac) May 29, 2020
— Miss Ross (@MisssRosssBusEd) May 28, 2020
— Eddie (@Edducation_) May 4, 2020
— Katelyn Reulet (@kreulet2) April 23, 2020
Want to add even more interactivity?
You can also upload the image from your PowerPoint slide to ThingLink to add hotspots which, when clicked by your learners, give you the option to add the links as popout windows so that the learners don’t leave your virtual classroom space. ThingLink also gives the option to have text read aloud using Immersive Reader, and also to let you add audio recordings of your voice if you choose.
Creating Visual Learning Materials with ThingLink – a free online course on the Microsoft Educator Centre guiding you through learning how to use ThingLink to bring images, video and 360-degree virtual tours to life with added popup links, voice and text notes, and more. ThingLink creations can be shared via Microsoft Teams anywhere a link can be added.
— Amanda Pickard (@AJOBPickard) June 2, 2020
— Malcolm Wilson (@claganach) May 21, 2020
Helpful collection by #TeamMIEEScotland #MIEExpert @FHSComputing of resources for making your own interactive virtual classroom image come to life (showing how to create in PowerPoint > add @ThingLink_EDU interaction > share with your class in your @MicrosoftTeams class space) https://t.co/eB6L27C0LJ
— Malcolm Wilson (@claganach) May 21, 2020
Being a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) has allowed me to develop my digital skills over the past five years. However before this current crisis I had only used Microsoft Teams with a few classes. One of the first things I did was review some of courses on Teams and Forms on the Microsoft Educator Community to reacquaint myself with some features and to learn new ones.
- Transform Learning with Microsoft Teams
- Creating collaborative environments with Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Forms: Creating Authentic Assessments
Guided by what makes good teaching and learning and readings such as this one on tips for effective learning at a distance by Paul Kirshner and his comments on the differences between distance teaching and emergency remote teaching. The Education Endowment Foundation published a paper called distance learning rapid assessment.
My philosophy is that good learning and teaching is good learning and teaching whatever the context and it is about using the digital tools to support our pedagogy choices.
Firstly it is important to have clarity, I mean this both in terms of what you want the students to learn and how and also the clarity of the instructions that you are providing to your students.
Some of my tips for clarity are:
- Use more than one channel in your Team. Posts about assignments are made in the general channel. It can be a good idea to make the general channel so that only owners (teachers) can make posts and have other channels for questions/chat. This means instructions can be clearly seen. The latest post is always at the bottom of a team. If the instructions move up the page you can move them back to the bottom with a short reply to the original post (you can even delete the reply if you want afterwards).
- Use announcement within Teams, make the tasks explicitly clear and logical for your students. Try to minimise the number of documents that you want students to access for one task. Add hyperlinks within your Teams announcements to the resources that you want students to use whether documents or videos rather than instruction pupils to go to the files section and open file X.
- Avoid making a post to remind about the work that just says complete the work stated in the earlier post. Instead either move the first post down by replying to it or copy the instructions from the first post and then make amendments for the new post. Sometimes it can be hard to scroll up the team channel to find where work is.
- Consider making channels for different weeks of work or topics to help improve the clarity and to put all the questions asked in the same place.
- Make the learning intentions and success criteria of tasks clear and place these within the wider context to help them scaffold learning to prior knowledge.
- Give short assignments using teams assignments, these can not only have dates so students can plan their work, but better allow you to see how students are progressing and allow feedback. My students have indicated to me that they prefer more shorter assignments than one larger one.
- Be aware of the files that you attach for any student task. What size are they? What format are they? For example a PDF file is difficult to edit and cannot be edited directly in Teams. Make sure documents attached to assignments are the x version of the Microsoft files, docx, xlsx, pptx etc. rather than doc, xls, ppt.
- Be aware that a number of learners are using phones as their main device. Simplifying instructions can help how many clicks they need to follow to read instructions and complete work.
- Within the Teams assignments I also include all the hyperlinks to the file documents in the same way that I do for the announcement posts in the channel. These links can be copied from place to place.
Here is an example of one of my Team announcement post with a custom background, hyperlinks to videos and documents and in this case 4 assignment tasks.
My approach to planning learning has been to plan student work on a mostly asynchronous basis.
- Retrieval practice quiz using Forms and sometimes a quiz on prior learning.
- Introduction video (created using PowerPoint recorder) and shared via unlisted YouTube.
- Activity task (Quizlet, Quizizz, Animations/Simulations such as PHET, and at home experiments)
- Diagnostic assessment (Microsoft Form)
- Consolidation task (Forms, card sorts in Excel, Padlet etc.)
Synchronous activities include:
- Responses to questions posted on the Teams channel.
- Weekly catch-up Team meetings with students, answering questions, providing advice and support, modelling tricky problems modelling on paper or using the Whiteboard app or OneNote.
- Live quizzes on platforms such as Kahoot, Quizlet, Quizizz.
I am a physics and science teacher working in Angus on the beautiful and sunny east coast of Scotland.
In addition to being a teacher, I am a consultant physics teacher coach with the Institute of Physics Scotland and as part of that role have been running webinar training sessions for physics teaching using Microsoft tools. Details of support being provided for physics teachers by the IOPS can be found in the Scottish Physics teacher group on Talk Physics including shared Microsoft Forms quizzes, videos, introduction videos, simulations and activities.
I tweet on andrewkbailey13
My personal digital learning blog can be found at https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/an/digitallearningprototype/
This includes posts on:
I have been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert since 2016 and am now a Microsoft MIE Master Trainer.
The go-to presentation-creation tool for many teachers and pupils is PowerPoint. So as your pupils are already familiar with using Microsoft PowerPoint then consider using Microsoft PowerPoint Online available to all Glow users in Scottish schools as part of Microsoft Office 365. PowerPoint Online is available anytime, anywhere with online access so can be accessed at home or at school.
You can upload an existing PowerPoint presentation from your computer or other device to your OneDrive in Office 365 in Glow (and then edit online from then onwards) or you can simply log into your OneDrive and create a new PowerPoint presentation completely online. You can choose to keep the presentation private to you in your own OneDrive (the online cloud storage with massive capacity available to every Glow user in Scottish schools). Or you can, at any time, choose to make a PowerPoint Online presentation visible to other users of your choice – and you can choose whether to allow them to just be able to view it or show it without being able to make changes, or you can give other users the access rights to be able to jointly edit the presentation with you, either at exactly the same time as you or at different times to suit each user.
Have a look at the Sway presentation here for a step-by-step guide for learners to create a PowerPoint presentation in PowerPoint Online in their OneDrive in Microsoft office 365 via Glow and to share this with other Glow users to be able to jointly edit the same presentation.
The link below take you to a classroom activity for pupils to use PowerPoint Online to create (jointly with other pupils on different devices at the same time) a robot character. The step-by-step guide to this activity can be adapted for other curricular-specific tasks which would benefit from a group of pupils working collaboratively on the same PowerPoint presentation, whether simultaneously or at different times:
Whether you wish to give a presentation on a teaching topic, or your learners wish to use a presentation to demonstrate their understanding of a topic, there are several ways in which a presentation may be created and shared. And while Microsoft Office Powerpoint may still provide many templates and formats which have become standard over many years for doing so, there are many who have found more engaging ways to share information with an audience, whether simply in using Powerpoint in more creative ways, or in using other slide presentation tools which are now available.
What help is there to inspire creating more engaging presentations?
In the past presentations may have followed certain templates and made use of bullet-points, with presenters perhaps falling into the trap of simply reading the text from the bullet-points (which everyone could have read for themselves).
Chris Betcher has written about how he has encouraged pupils to change how they think about using Powerpoint to deliver their presentations, describing in this post how using only visuals with no text has transformed how learners view their presentation skills.
Cybraryman Powerpoint Resources – Jerry Blumengarten has collated and described a host of resources which support educators in their use of Powerpoint, either as a teaching tool or for pupil use, including links to tutorials, templates, and tips and ideas.
Pecha Kucha and Ignite were devised to make the presentations more interesting visually, as well as imposing specific limitations on time and number of slides – the aim being to encourage presenters to focus on what they want to say and present that information in a creative way but succinctly! Pecha Kucha comprises 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds. Ignite consists of 20 slides in 5 minutes, with each slide lasting 15 seconds.
Pecha Kucha: Tips, resources and Examples is a post by Catherine Cronin which describes features of different kinds of presentations, provides links to tutorials and tools for creating presentations, and also provides links to examples of student-created presentations in different styles. Jerry Blumengarten has also put together a host of resources about the use of Pecha Kucha in education at his Cybraryman Pecha Kucha page
There is Life Beyond Death for Powerpoint - an article by David Roberts on Times Higher Education which sets out how the use of images instead of text can revitalise a lecture in higher education. While this article is in a higher education context the principles of the findings can be applied to other areas of education.
10 Tips to Design Effective Presentations - a post by Med Kharbach on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog, which provides tips and hints to designing more effective presentations. It also links to a presentation on the topic by Anitra Nottingham.
What tools are there for creating presentations?
There are many tools for creating presentations. here are just some of them.
Microsoft Office 365 Powerpoint – the ubiquitous Powerpoint presentation tool available online (and free to education users). Simon Haughton has described how he has encouraged primary pupils to create more interesting presentations using Powerpoint. Click here for the Cybraryman Powerpoint Resource page for educators. Chris Smith has put together a host of resources about using Powerpoint in education at his Shambles site.
Movenote - a free online tool which has a two-screen view with option to have a slideshow format presentation displayed in the larger of the two screens accompanied by the presenter on video in the smaller screen.
Slideshare - free online service where you can upload existing Powerpoint presentations and then share with others online or embed on websites or blogs elsewhere.
Google Apps for Education Slides Presentation Tool - free tool as part of Google apps for Education which lets users upload existing Powerpoint presentations, or create from scratch within the tool itself (and includes templates as well as facility for importing further templates). These can then be shared by link (or kept private to the user or selected others) or embedded online elsewhere.
Prezi - free tool (with premium upgrades available for more features or greater storage, and with a free account for those with school email addresses) which hosts your presentation online in the cloud (though can also be downloaded for offline presentation). Prezi presentations are created on a zooming canvas – meaning you can zoom in on a part of a word, image, link or video or take your viewers on a journey by following a path, rather than simply presenting a series of slides in traditional format. Tom Barrett has collated ideas by educators of interesting ways to use Prezi in an educational context. Jerry Blumengarten has collated a host of links to resources related to the use of Prezi in education at his Cybraryman Prezi page.
Powtoon - a free online tool which lets users create a presentation with animated images, animated text which appears as if written by hand and much more.
Zentation - a free tool where you upload a video to YouTube, upload a Powerpoint presentation and match the two together using Zentation online tool.
Powerpoint and other Presentation Tools – a page full of links to resources supporting the use of Powerpoint and many other alternative slide presentation tools at the Shambles website.