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No disruption to learning @ FBEC!

During lockdown we successfully rolled out Microsoft Teams to staff and students at FBEC.  This was a challenging time for all, but once students (and staff!) got the hang of it, it proved to be a very useful and efficient tool to deliver not only teaching to students, but also a sense of routine.

For those of you who haven’t got going with Teams yet, in this article we are going to explore and answer some of the most common questions asked about using Teams.

What is Microsoft Teams and how does it work?

Microsoft Teams is an online collaboration tool.  It combines the text and video services you will recognise from an instant messaging service such as Skype; the online storage space of OneDrive and the Microsoft Forms survey and quiz creation tool.

As Teams is an Office 365 product, all staff and students have access to our schools’ Teams setup and also have full access to the online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook; which they can use to teach, or learn, from home with.

The benefit of Teams is that it brings all these Office 365 tools into a single area.

How do we set up Teams in our school?

Here at FBEC, we have setup Teams that resembles classes on student timetables so if a student, full class or worse case we go into lockdown again, staff and students are setup to continue following their full timetables.  Teams can be accessed via an internet browser, or by downloading the desktop app, and students login using their school email address.

What can teachers do to make Teams into a virtual classroom?

Teams allows teachers to share learning in a controlled environment.  They may share a PowerPoint with a voiceover, or a video and use the conversation tool to share that update with the class.  Follow this with a self-marking form and the assessment of learning can be streamlined for all.

We also use the assignments tool, where a teacher can set particular work and review it when it is submitted, enabling pupils to receive personalised feedback in a timely manner and staff to manage their workload too.

All lessons going forward are live lessons, which means lessons are delivered through the video conversation tool.  Students video and microphones are disabled by the teacher before the lesson starts and students are encouraged to ask/answer questions using the chat facility.

How do we keep children safe in Teams?

Before roll out, our IT Support team vigorously tested the platform and made any necessary restrictions to keep our students safe.  Restrictions such as not allowing students to create their own Teams, preventing private meetings and blocking external guest access.  With children and young people accessing Teams at home with their parents or carers nearby, it is as much about people management as platform management.

For more general online safety information, resources, activities and guidance you should visit the ThinkUKnow website. They have an #OnlineSafetyAtHome pack, which is available for you download.  All of their home activity packs will remain available on their parents and carers website for you to download at any time you choose.

Is my data safe? Is Teams GDPR Compliant?

Quote straight from Microsoft:

“As a customer of Office 365, you own and control your data. Microsoft does not use your data for anything other than providing you with the service that you have subscribed to. As a service provider, we do not scan your email, documents, or teams for advertising or for purposes that are not service-related. Microsoft doesn’t have access to uploaded content. Like OneDrive, customer data stays within the tenant. You can check out more about our trust and security related information at the Microsoft Trust Center. Teams follows the same guidance and principles as the Microsoft Trust Center.” 

Basically, is your data safe? YES!

If you’d like to talk to someone about our Teams service, please contact us via the school email address, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and your enquiry will be passed on to the relevant team. 

The Eden Learning Trust is an exempt charity. It is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company registration number 10980753. Registered Office Address: The Eden Learning Trust, Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College, Merrington Road, Ferryhill, County Durham, DL17 8RW. © Copyright FBEC 2020.