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The Powerful Microsoft Teams Tips for Teachers (2022)

Today, I will cover essential Microsoft teams tips for teachers and some of these tips will help you keep your students engaged and some will help you get organized. If you are brand new to teams, make sure you read this article which introduces you to the whole team’s environment once you’re ready.

Let’s start with my tips.

Launch polls during a meeting

  • If you’d like to add polls to your meeting, go to your calendar and open the meeting you want to add the poll and click on the plus sign.
Microsoft teams tips for teachers
  • Add the app forms to your meeting. It’s going to ask you for permission. Just click on add and now you can create a poll before or during your meeting.
  • Let’s save this to see on how it looks. Let’s create a new poll.
  • Add a question. add in our options and then decide on some important factors that affect our poll. Do we want to share the results automatically after voting so everyone can see the results? Or do we want to keep these anonymous so only we can see the results? If you don’t want coauthors for your poll. Remove this and then save your poll.
  • I can see this poll while it’s in draft mode. The moment I launch the poll, others can see it as well.
  • Now, you can create multiple polls before the meeting and during the meeting.
  • In this case, I want to launch this during the meeting but one thing to mention, though, is that others can close your poll or delete your poll if they have presenter rights.
  • If you don’t want your students to mess with this, make sure in the details of your meeting, in the meeting options that you have the right people selected who can present.
  • If only you should be responsible for polls, switch to only me and save the options.
  • Let’s go and take a look on how this looks during a meeting. I’m going to go ahead and join this meeting. I have the polls option now.
  • From attendee’s view, they can’t see any polls and only I can see it. I am going to launch it.
  • What happens is all the participants are going to get a pop up on their screen and they get to submit their results.
  • Everyone gets to see the results.

Use together mode

  • If you have five or more students, you can use together mode to bring them in the same screen in the standard gallery view. Let’s go to more options on the meeting and select together mode.
  • If the together mode is hidden, then go to the “Settings” tab after clicking on your profile and check the “Turn on new meeting experience”. If this is not available, wait for the feature to be available soon as it gets rolled out in phases.
  • This is going to seize each of you in a separate chair. You can change the scene that you wish.
  • The together mode is great to bring the people in the same scene and also make more people visible on the screen.

Disable chat

  • If you find that your students are completely distracted by the chat and they’re not paying attention to what you’re saying because they’re having their own fun in the chat, you can disable it during your meeting. Just go to more options and select meeting options on the bottom.
  • You have allow meeting chat. You can switch this to disabled. At the moment, press save. They’re going to stop having fun because chat is going to be closed and they have to pay attention to what I’m saying.
  • We can see here chat has been closed.
  • We also have an option called in meeting. This enables to chat only during the meeting. You can go back and turn it on any time you want to.
  • For more information about disable chat in meetings, read this article.

Annotate your screen

  • Zoomit is a free app that helps you annotate your screen as you’re presenting. It also helps you easily zoom in and zoom out to download it.
  • You will find the download link on the Microsoft website. It’s going to take you to the download page. You just have to download it and then run it and then zoomit will be available in your tree.
  • You’re going to see a list of shortcuts that you can use as you’re presenting.
  • You are probably going to pick a few that you’re going to stick to and they’re pretty easy to remember.
  • I have already downloaded it and I have to share my screen to cover the aggregate function on excel with my students to zoom in.
  • I’m going to use control one (ctrl+1) to bring attention to a specific part of a formula. I can use control, select the leftmost key and draw a rectangle to draw an arrow, use control shift.
  • Now, you can change the thickness and the color of your annotations by holding down control and scrolling. You make your ink either thinner or thicker.
  • If you’d like to change the color, you can use the shortcut key be to switch to Blue G, to switch to green and so on.
  • If you want to get rid of all your annotations and reset the zoom, just press escape. If you’d like to use the annotations without zooming in, you can use control + to activate the ink and then use the other shortcuts to annotate your screen, press escape to leave the annotation mode.

Use two devices

  • Using another device is a great way to check students experience. It’s also great if you’re sharing your desktop and you want to keep your eye on chat. The way you can do this is to first login from the device you will be using to present just so you get everything set up for the meeting.
  • If you have a second laptop or tablet available, logon to teams with the same username and then join the meeting again.
  • This works for any meeting. Just make sure you deactivate your audio and camera on the second device and then join. You can then bring up the chat and keep your eye on screen resolution, zoom level and student experience.

Download attendance list

  • As long as the meeting is active, you can download the list of participants while you’re in the meeting. Go to show participants. Under more actions, you can download the attendance list.
  • This downloads an Excel file on the downloads folder. When you open the file, you get the full name of the person, the action. Whether they joined or left and the timestamp for that action.

Use the whiteboard

  • You can share the whiteboard with students to allow them to participate more in the meeting. To share the whiteboard, go to share options during the meeting and select Microsoft whiteboard.
  • Now, the first time you opened the whiteboard in the meeting, you can decide if only you can edit or if you want to collaborate with the students on the whiteboard.
  • Each student can go and add their input on the whiteboard. They can add notes here, adjust size, move these around, change the color and so on.
  • If at any point in time you want to turn off the ability for them to be able to edit the whiteboard, go to settings.
  • Turn off the option that other participants can edit. This way, only you are in control of the whiteboard and you can add some information for them and leave this on the screen so that everyone can see.

Check assignment options

  • Let’s add a new assignment to a team. Select a team and select the general channel and in the tabs, select Assignments. Currently, there aren’t any assignments created so I will create one.
  • We can choose to create a quiz or an assignment or use an existing one.
  • Give your assignment a title and add in any instructions you want. You can also upload additional resources, put in how many points you want to have.
  • If the class assigned to is currently assigned to all students, an important option that’s quite hidden. It says, don’t assign to students added to this class in the future. You can change this.
  • In case a student enters the class later on after the assignment has been created they will get notified that there is an assignment for them to do. I’m going to select assigned to all students added to this class into future and click on Done.
  • Next, you can define the due date and the time due., and you even have more options because if I go ahead and click on Assign, it’s going to create the assignment right away.
  • Now, I can save the assignment and assign it later but I can also schedule the date and time. Let’s go to Edit and schedule the assignment to go live at some point in the future.
  • Place a check mark that says schedule to assign in the future and then select your post date.
  • Let’s make this assignment go live on Friday and for post time, let’s go with 4:00 p.m. Due date is Sunday midnight.
  • You also get to decide whether you want to close this off so that late turn-in aren’t allowed. If you check this box, they can’t turn it in. If you leave it unchecked, they can turn it in after the due date. Once you’ve adjusted these, click on Done.
  • In addition to this, you also can decide where to post the notification about this assignment. Default is general.
  • You can edit that because this assignment is about Power BI, I’m going to post it to the Power BI channel.
  • Click on Done and then schedule this.

Update assignments settings

  • Once you have an assignment set up, you can adjust the default for future assignments. Go to More Options and select Assignment Settings.
  • You can change the default due date for all your future assignments. I’m going to change it to 6:00 p.m.
  • If you want new students to receive assignments that you created before they joined the class, switch it to yes.
  • You get to also change the default channel that you put notifications in about assignments.
  • Now, remember you can control these individually from each assignment but this allows you to set some defaults so you don’t have to change these settings all the time.
  • Enable turn in celebrations is on in this team. This is what they see when they turn in an assignment. If you don’t want them to get the celebration, you can turn this off.

Switch names to anonymous

  • Finally tip number 10, make student names anonymous when you’re grading. Let’s say I’m ready to grade some assignments, I’m going to jump to the assignment tab and go to the Power BI dashboard.
  • Now in this case, only two people have turned in the assignment.
  • Let’s assume that everyone has turned it in and I’m ready to grade these. To make sure I’m not biased towards anyone, I can hide the names. To hide the names, go to options on the top and hide the student names.
  • This is going to shuffle and hide the names. This way you can review the assignment, give your feedback, put in your grades and once you’re done, you can show the student names.

I hope you found some new Microsoft teams tips for teachers that you can apply to your future classes. If you have tips of your own, please share these in the comments. I’d love to know and I’m sure other teachers will benefit as well. If you want to improve your skills and stay up to date.

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