Faced with an unprecedent global crisis that disrupted classrooms around the world, educators demonstrated perseverance, agility, and creativity in quickly adapting to an online classroom environment. As remote and hybrid learning continues into 2021, we know that maintaining secure and productive classrooms remains one of your top concerns. Creating safer distance learning environments is a two-fold effort involving both the policies and safeguards enabled by IT Admins in schools and districts, as well as the daily best practices of educators. With that goal in mind, we’ve pulled together five tips you can start using today to help keep your classroom meetings safe, productive, and fun.
Tip 1: Decide who can do what, ahead of time
Before your class begins, it’s important to choose how you’d like your students to join and interact during the class.
When setting up a meeting for your class in Teams, adjust the online meeting options to determine who can bypass the lobby, who can share content, and if you’d prefer attendees to be muted when you begin class.
Tip 2: Make sure the right people have access
Every classroom is different. Today, a guest speaker may be joining your class.
To avoid any uninvited guests, we recommend setting Always let callers bypass the lobby to Only Me most of the time. When you know a guest will be joining you, you can edit the strictness of this setting. This way, students and others joining your class meeting will automatically wait in a virtual lobby before you admit them.
Tip 3: Control who can present their screen or share content
It’s “show and tell” time for one of your students, so they need to be able to share with the rest of the class.
As a rule, everyone should join as a standard attendee without the ability to present or share content. That way, you control the agenda of the class. However, if you have a guest presentation planned, you can grant the presenter role in Meeting options. Need a student to present while class is going? No problem! You can grant presenter permissions to specific attendees during the class and change them back to attendees after their presentation is done.
Tip 4: Mute all meeting attendees or specific individuals
Let’s face it, sometimes you need to focus class on one voice, or mute disruptive background noise—barking dogs, traffic, you name it!
Here you have a couple of options: If you need to make sure there are no interruptions, you can mute all the attendees to make sure the whole class stays focused on the lesson’s content. Or, mute specific attendees at any time.
Tip 5: End the class for all attendees
It’s safer for students if they do not have access to a meeting after it’s over, especially if you’ve already left the call.
At the end of class, make sure that you end the meeting for everyone. Instead of selecting Leave, make sure to select the dropdown arrow and click End meeting.
Thanks for following along! Please let us know how else we can support you and your students in your distance and hybrid learning journeys.
More resources for educators
- Five tips for safer online classrooms & collaboration with Microsoft Teams
- Find out how to get started on Teams, all in one place at aka.ms/TeamsPP
- Check out this article about how to keep students safer using Teams for distance learning
- Quickly get up to speed on running Teams meetings with this one-page guide: https://aka.ms/TeamsEduMeetingsTeachers
- More helpful videos on the Microsoft Education YouTube channel