Using Microsoft Teams for Distance Learning

Using Microsoft Teams for Distance Learning

 

We are in the midst of a new and unusual time in life. Some things are paused while others continue on as usual–or not at usual. School is not “as usual” right now. Much of our world has turned to Virtual Learning or Distance Learning while we navigate our way through this pandemic. My teaching job is no different than many others. What makes mine different than some is the use of Microsoft Teams. It seems a majority of school are using other platforms. When we decided on Teams, I looked and looked for some resources that would help me teach my students how to use Microsoft Teams and to help them navigate the platform, but couldn’t not find any. So, I sat down and created a few resources that have helped me and my colleagues tremendously and I hope you find them helpful as well. Click on the link to take you to my TPT Store to check out each resource.

Microsoft Teams Icons and Etiquette

This resources has visual aids that help you…

  • a visual aid that introduces students to the Microsoft Teams dashboard and defines the most commonly used icons
  • a visual aid that teaches students how to “pin the teacher”
  • icons images that can be printed and used with students as they learn to navigate the system
  • a student- friendly poster about Microsoft Teams meeting etiquette. This poster can be used with any platform, not just Teams.

How I used this resource for virtual  learning…

  • I printed all the icon images and glued them to a wooden stick. On one side is the “on” icon and the other is the “off” icon. We began with the simplest of all– the mute and the unmute icons. We played all sorts games where the students had to listen to simple directions with the mute button on and when directed, turn the sound back on and answer a question or follow a direction.
  • we sent home the etiquette poster as well as the Microsoft Teams dashboard posters for families to keep nearby incase they needed a reminder of each icon is for.
  • as a class we looked at the “how to pin the teacher” visual aid and at first, learned just how to pin me and then practiced pinning and unpinning. By the end of the first 2 days, students were pros!

Visual Reminders for Virtual Learning

This resource has visual aids that…

  • help remind students appropriate online manners to be a successful learner in two forms with a variety of different versions.
  • posters and table tents are included

 

How I used this resource for virtual  learning…

  • I created table tents from the templates and gave them to students to have by their workstations. I used heavy yardstick and taped them to the table tops so they are a tool not a temptation.
  • I printed the poster and hung it in the classroom as another reminder.
  • As a class we say, “Headphones on! Eyes on the Screen! Empty Hands!” and then the kids show me their empty hands and I know we are ready to start. This has been extremely helpful!

 

Me on Microsoft Teams Activity

 

This resource has visual aids that…

  • an iPad version and a lap top/computer version- both with the Microsoft Teams dashboard
  • an iPad version and a lap top/computer version-generic version

How I used this resource for virtual  learning…

  • we talked about the screen we will see each day and what we see of each other (head shot mostly) and also talked about how important it is to sit properly so you can be seen.
  • I distributed the templates– students chose the one that fit their learning situation– iPad or laptop.  I asked them to find one square and draw themselves making sure we could “see” their faces.  After they completed their own picture, they added some classmates and colored their device.

I hope you find these resources helpful if you are using Microsoft Teams for your teaching! Good luck and stay safe!!

Looking for other distance learning ideas? Check out this post: Covid in the Classroom Safety Posters

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