Using Teams to stream live lessons has become a hot topic lately due to COVID-19 so here are a few tips on how you can easily achieve live streaming of lessons using your existing Office 365 tenant.
- You must have a pre existing Office 365 tenant, if you haven’t you can sign up for one here
- You must have Guest Access enabled on your Office 365 tenant to allow students to join via a link and not have to sign in
- If you haven’t already got the Microsoft Teams desktop app installed please download and install it onto your device from here
Enabling Guest Access
You can then set the guest access settings as you see fit. I normally disable the functionality to make private calls, set Screen sharing mode to disabled, allow meet now set to disabled and set the Giphy content rating to Strict
Once you have done all this click Save.
Microsoft do say that to enable Guest access can take upwards of 8 hours to take effect but in my experience it is much shorter than this normally.
How to setup a daily live lesson in Teams
Open Microsoft Teams and sign in with your tenant email address and password
Create and schedule the lesson
If you do not see Calendar click the three dots at the bottom to expand the menu.
Click on Calendar at the left-hand side of the screen on the navigation bar
Click on the down arrow at the side of New Meeting and select Scheduled Meeting
Enter the following information –
1 – A name for the meeting; for example, “Year 2 daily live lesson”.
2 – Invite the teacher of the class into the meeting
3 – Set the date, start time, and end time of the meeting
4 – Set the occurrence to the required schedule, for example, daily or weekly
5 – Click Send
You will now see that the lesson is scheduled on your calendar.
Click on the meeting to go back into the meeting details.
You should now see at the bottom of the meeting details screen a “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting” link.
Right click on the link and click Copy Link.
Then click Close
The link you have copied can now be given to students electronically either via E-Mail or via a web link to enable them to join the meeting.
When its time to start the live lesson
When it is time to join the meeting open Teams and go to Calendar, find the live lesson, and click Join
Make sure you enable your Webcam and Microphone, buttons to the left means they are disabled, buttons to the right means they are enabled, then click Join Now
Webcam and Microphone Enabled
Admitting students to the live lesson
If there are students already waiting in the lobby you will be asked to admit them into the live lesson.
If no students have joined yet, click on Participants, and wait for students to join.
When a student Joins you can admit them by clicking the tick button, they will then be able to communicate with the teacher and other participants
Can I stop the students seeing the rest of the room behind me when I’m working from Home?
Microsoft Teams has a feature to blur your background, you can enable this by clicking the button highlighted below when joining the live lesson
Also as of recently you have the option to set a custom background or the ability to upload your own background.
Just click the three dots during the live lesson, Click Show background effects and then select a predefined background.
Or for more control you can click Add new to add your own custom background.
Can I record the sessions to playback later?
Yes, recording a Teams meeting is as easy as clicking the three dots on the menu bar at the bottom and selecting Start Recording
The recording will start and you will see a blue privacy notice at the top of the screen.
When you are finished recording just click Stop Recording. The meeting recording will then be saved to Microsoft Stream or as a file in the chat window.
What about using a traditional whiteboard in Teams?
Again that is already built into Teams and can be accessed using the Whiteboard link at the top of the main meeting Window
If you are asked to Launch in app or Launch in Teams we recommend you keep the default and launch Whiteboard inside the Teams app.
Once Whiteboard is loaded you can write either with your mouse or with a graphics tablet if you have one, Amazon do good deals on Wacom tablets here
What will the student experience look like?
Students are be able to join the live lessons with just their name and will not need to login
When a student clicks on the provided link, the joining experience will be as below.
If Student is using a Windows laptop or PC they will have the option to join via the Teams desktop app or via the browser, we would recommend using the Teams desktop app but if they aren’t able to install software onto their device they can use the in-browser experience.
If the student has installed the Teams desktop app the experience should be seamless and just requires them to click Open your Teams app or Launch it now as highlighted yellow below, enter their name and click Join Now
If Students are joining the live lessons via an Android or Apple iPhone they will first need to download the Microsoft Teams app from the Apple or Android app stores before they can join a live lesson.
If they are using the in browser experience Students will be asked to enable their Microphone and Camera, provided they have a capable device.
Once the Microphone and Camera are enabled Students will be asked to enter their Name and Click Join Now
Until the Student is admitted into the meeting by the Organiser, they will see the below screen.
Once the Organiser admits the Student, they will be able to see other participants and communicate with the teacher
Teams connects but the performance is terrible when in school, the video and audio freezes and skips, what can I do?
This might be due to Microsoft Teams being blocked by your school firewall or web filters. Ask you IT Department to unblock the following URLs