Like half the teachers in Scotland I’ve been spending a lot of time in Teams recently 1.
One of the problems I’ve had is pupils not seeing the slides when I use PowerPoint. It is not a PowerPoint problem as we have the same problem with screen sharing and the Whiteboard. Ironically the problem shows up for the children who are in school. I presume a bandwidth problem.
I’ve been working around the problem by taking screenshots as we go through a presentation and pasting into the chat. Somewhat to my surprise this works well.
On a mac ⌘-shift-4 give me a cross hair and if I hold the control key down then I release the mouse the image goes to the clipboard and can be pasted into the Teams chat with ⌘-v.
I’ve found this really quick to do. In fact last session when I ended up using the chat as a presentation tool this time around Teams seems more reliable, but this is stll good for the pupils on the end of a poor connection.
1. Despite my love of tech I can’t say I’ve enjoyed it particularly, I much prefer the physical classroom, I presume the other half of Scots teachers are in Google Meet. ↩
Use "Get link", then use "People with existing access" to get the direct link to the file. Then, the url will be direct path to https://org.sharepoint.com/personal/user_org/folder/filename.ext?d=oiuqjaweorihjlkj Now, just remove everything after the ? and put in download=1 and magic happens. https://org.sharepoint.com/personal/user_org/folder/filename.ext?download=1
This works fine with files in Glow OneDrive even for publicly shared files.
I’ve started to use it on my class blog to share files. Here is a simple example. A PowerPoint on my onedrive, publicly shared, the first link is the standard share link, the second has the download parameter.
Teams behaved a bit better today. I got nearly the whole class in. I found that when pupil could not get access inviting them to join the call nearly all worked. This failed for one pupil.
Teams seems to use a lot of resources, a fair bit of beachballing and my fan started when searching for pupils to call in. I presume that Teams being an electron app and uses a lot of resources.
Glad I’ve got a small class, pulling in 33 one by one would be tedious.
On another positive note joining the meet with computer and iPad and then sharing screen with iPad continued to work well. I even manage to show the class team on the iPad screen in the meeting which was handy for explaining things. This is much better, I might even try PowerPoint again if things continue to improve. 1
Teams still seems a bit, what my class calls, laggy. Some pupils had difficulty uploading files to assignments. I found even small images were slow to post.
I’d set out a light weeks program in a blog post for the pupils and emailed the parents. In both post and email I’d try to make it clear we were trying to really get every pupil involved from the start.
Planned our first Team meeting for 2pm as that was the same time we used in the first lockdown.
A number of schools, pupils and parents have reported the technology running slowly or not at all.
This didn’t cause me as much problems as some. I upload most of the files I want the pupils to use to the class blog. I figure this avoids password problems. Also Teams slowdown.
It did seem to cause problems in our meeting. Only about half the pupils managed to get on. The others could access Teams but not get onto the meeting. Hard to know if this was related to the reported problem or not. It was certainly frustrating seeing the messages from the class repeatedly trying to get in.
Worth noting that I joined the meeting on my mac and iPad. The iPad on mute and used as a screen share. This has improved a lot since the first lockdown. Joining on the iPad second it gave me a choice to swap to it or join without audio. The latter let me share the iPad screen, and from what I could tell it was not to laggy (as the pupils say). Laterally in the first lockdown I abandoned screen sharing or using PowerPoint and just share files in the chat as we had a pretty bad experience. This gives me hope for an improved experience.
Last time I felt I spent very little time learning new stuff or seeing what other people were doing. As I recall my head was down. I believed that I cut out social media pretty much. I just had a look at my 2020 twitter stats:
And was surprised to see I was wrong about that.
It feel like there is a lot more pressure on this time round. I think, as teachers, we put enough pressure on ourselves, not sure the idea of teachers, schools and LAs having to produce data to justify themselves is a great idea. I gathered my own last time, and held myself to account blogged about it, that felt tough enough.
I certainly hope that whoever tries to hold us to account understands the situation, the amount of prep needed to teach online, whether preparing for a live lesson or creating asynchronous ones.
How do we prevent the next generation from being so utterly misinformed?
Urgent questions we need to address as a society and as educators...but remote learning takes a lot of time to put together so need to park this for now 😂😥 pic.twitter.com/PckIWiIik1
A good place to learn about detecting online disinformation is @holden’s site Hapgood. Aimed at undergraduates it would be great for teachers to help our own understanding.
How this translates into secondary and primary education I don’t know. In primary I’ve used the Save The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus site. Used to use Mozzila’s long gone hackasaurus to fake web pages to add pupils to BBC webpages. I find it hard to move pupils off the goole search results to an actual site, never mind comparing two.
Technology seem to be making things increasingly easy for us while hiding the possibilities of developing real digital understanding…
An algorithmic worldview now permeates education systems and is encoded into the digital platforms that proliferated during school and college closures in the pandemic. COVID-19 has been treated as an experimental opportunity to scale up the use of algorithmic technologies, generate fresh forms of capital investment, and grow market share—while presenting a model vision for the future of the education sector itself.