With the return to school after “unusual” Spring & Summer terms, teachers have a lot to get their heads around. New work practices, new routines, new pupils and sometimes, when the budget allows, new technologies.
There has been a huge swing over the lockdown period of everyone jumping online in order to stay in touch and catch up; whether it’s taking part in family quizzes or, for the teachers amongst us, delivering online lessons or pre-recorded learning material. While trying to adapt to new ways of teaching, we have also had to learn how these new technologies work so that our learners feel comfortable and we maintain the allure of the sleek professional.
Add into that the GDPR & safeguarding elements involved, and the humble teacher has added yet another few strings to an already incredibly wide bow.
Most schools will either be using Google Classroom and the associated applications or Microsoft Teams and the 365 Suite.
In this blog we will be looking at how you can utilise the Teams app on your IMPACT screen, and how you can create a virtual classroom to help you deliver online lessons like a pro. If you are a Google school then please see our blogs showing how you can use the Google suite of applications alongside the IMPACT annotation tools for seamless lesson delivery.
Installing the Teams App and getting started
Using the free Clevertouch MDM remote management software, your IT department can easily deploy the Microsoft Teams .apk file to any or all of your IMPACT or IMPACT Plus screens (once they have been enrolled into the MDM software using the onscreen code - read more about adding your interactive Clevertouch displays to your MDM here).
This can be done at the time of installation or subsequently using the “Clevertouch MDM” icon from the “apps” section of your Clevertouch screen.
Administrators can tag screens when enrolling onto the MDM to make pushing out apps more manageable and target specific screens. Groups can be set up for individual departments or faculties as required and this will allow targeted app deployment at the touch of a button. Get in touch with your Clevertouch representative for free MDM training from one of our expert trainers if required.
Once you have the app installed on your screen, navigate to the “app” section from the main menu and log-in using your Microsoft 365 account details. It’s as easy as that. You are now ready to participate in a Teams meeting using your Clevertouch interactive screen.
Creating a virtual classroom
For most teachers, the ideal situation is for both home learners and those present in class to participate in a session together. In order to create this virtual classroom, you can log into a Teams meeting from 2 devices simultaneously using the same log-in credentials – the teacher’s laptop or desktop PC and, of course, your IMPACT screen.
To utilise the IMPACT screen and all of its in-built capabilities, simply login to the on-screen Teams app, join a Teams meeting and share the IMPACT screen with all participants. This way teachers can share all of the content they create during a lesson, and all of the resources that are saved either to the screen’s internal memory, a USB stick or a cloud account.
The teacher, who should also login using the same credentials on their classroom PC or laptop, can then also share that device’s desktop and share resources from there too. When sharing from the IMPACT screen, it’s also handy having the teacher’s PC join the meeting as you can see at-a-glance what is being sent out to all other attendees. Furthermore, using the laptop’s inbuilt webcam or a camera plugged into the classroom PC with a microphone enabled, the teacher can then be seen by pupils and meeting participants whilst teaching from the IMPACT screen. The teacher then has the option to switch between sharing their IMPACT screen or their laptop/PC screen to everyone in the meeting. It’s a win-win situation for the teacher and the learners.
Preparing to share the screen from an IMPACT Plus
When sharing the IMPACT screen with learners, teachers then have the floating pen annotation tools to make meaningful marks that can add real value to in-lesson discussions.
As well as the IMPACT floating pen annotation tools, teachers can also utilise the native Teams Whiteboarding function as shown below. This allows teachers and learners to further share their ideas within the virtual classroom. And of course, the whole session can be recorded using the inbuilt screen recorder, saving lessons for uploading to video sharing websites to review later or for those absent from the session.
So there you have it! Another great way to use your IMPACT screen to deliver lesson content to learners, be they in class or at home. Of course, you could always use this method to bring your staff together for remote training sessions, governor meetings or even host a PTA event!
Clevertouch and Microsoft Teams – Learning together even when apart.
While trying to adapt to new ways of teaching, we have also had to learn how these new technologies work so that our learners feel comfortable and we maintain the allure of the sleek professional.“