I’m initially composing this in mid-March 2020 and primarily in response to numerous people that have been asking me for a single blog post of resources to assist with all aspects of Remote Learning in education (similar to what I wrote and updated for Minecraft:Education Edution).
The impact of #COVID19 / Coronavirus is being felt globally and so I’ve decided to pool resources from across the internet specifically connected with M365 for Education and breaking it down into the following sections:
- Classroom Teaching Resources
- Network & Infrastructure Considerations
- Tips & Tricks
- Everything Else!
I’ll update this continuously whilst there is emerging news and requirements – it is not a complete list right now, and I aim for it to be a living document, so check back regularly!
UPDATED 24th April: Added OneNote Best Practice Guidance for IT Admin and Teachers under “Network & Infrastructure Considerations”
UPDATED 11th April: Added Guide to Breakout Rooms in Teams under Classroom Teaching Resources; Calendar of free Education Webinars under Tips & Tricks; Numerous links to articles / documentation explaining security and privacy in Microsoft Teams under Network & Infrastructure Guidance; Video Tips for Students using Office365 under Tips & Tricks; Mike Tholfsen’s guide on Microsoft Teams Meetings – what to use now and what is coming soon under Classroom Teaching Resources; Blog on Remote Work Trends (including Education) – fascinating insights into Teams usage during COVID lockdown under Everything Else!; Update the COVID19 Tracker below
UPDATED 2nd April: Added changes to School Data Sync (SDS) processes for rapid creation of Teams under “Everything Else!”
UPDATED 31st March: Added Mike Tholfsen’s collection of shortlist URL for educators under “Classroom Teaching Resources”;
UPDATED 30th March: Added links to Teams Call Quality reporting with PowerBI Dashboards under “Network & Infrastructure Considerations”;
UPDATED 27th March: Added guide for using Teams in low bandwidth scenarios under “Network & Infrastructure Considerations; Guides to checking in on Student Social and Emotional Wellbeing under “Everything Else!”; YouTube playlist of all RemoteLearning videos from Microsoft Edu under “Videos”; YouTube playlist of quick tips for teachers in Office365 under “Videos”; Microsoft blog highlighting integration with various LMS and Microsoft Teams under “Classroom Teaching Resources”; Updated the COVID19 confirmed cases as of 27th March
UPDATED 25th March: Added Teams Attendance app under “Everything Else!”
UPDATED 24th March: Added MakeCodeLivestreaming Classes under “Classroom Teaching Resources”
UPDATED 21st March: Added great case study of teaching with Teams & OneNote under “Classroom Teaching Resources”; Added Video Case Study under “Videos”;
UPDATED 20th March: Added information Shifting to distance learning: A 5-day guide for school leaders under “Classroom Teaching Resources”; Integrating your existing Learning Management System (LMS) with Microsoft Teams under “Classroom Teaching Resources”; Remote Learning with FlipGrid guides under “Classroom Teaching”; Canvas LMS integrates with Microsoft Teams under “Network & Infrastructure Considerations”; Integration between Schoology LMS and Microsoft Teams under “Network & Infrastructure Considerations”; Updated the COVID19 confirmed cases as of 20th March.
UPDATED 19th March: Added information on Family Learning Centre under “Everything Else!”; Minecraft:Education Edition internet play is possible with Join Codes under “Classroom Teaching Resources”
UPDATED 18th March: Added information size limits of members in a Microsoft Team, on a video call etc in “Network & Infrastructure Considerations”
UPDATED 17th March: Added information around School Data Sync for rapid Teams deployments based on data in your SIS/SMS under “Everything Else!”; Added information on OneDrive File Requests for larger assignments under “Tips & Tricks”; Added information on Digital Signatures to prove document ownership under “Tips & Tricks”; I’ve also added a new VIDEOS section of relevant content.
This is a great visualization powered by Bing and PowerBI tracking the current impact of COVID19 – check the latest data here and the snapshot below has been updated as of 20th March (approx 73K more confirmed cases in three days!)
The spread of COVID19 is rapid – see latest numbers below as of 11th April:
Classroom Teaching Resources
Whilst there are a huge amount of tools inside of Microsoft 365 for Education, perhaps the most “in demand” in times of remote learning is Microsoft Teams and the great news is this is available at no cost as part of the A1 Education offering from Microsoft.
- Get started with Microsoft Teams for remote learning
- Probably the best starting point for educators and school leaders wondering where to go – definitely start here!
- How schools can ramp up remote learning programs quickly with Microsoft Teams
- This is a really helpful blog post for getting started with links to “On Demand” webinars that are useful for educators wondering how to get started e.g.
- Special: Online classes & lectures with all your students: Explore how you can create a persistent online classroom with meetings for up to 250 participants. This webinar is designed to help first time users of Teams get started and host classes and lectures with online meetings.
- Special: Online meetings with student groups or anyone via their email: Discover how you can keep students engaged with online meetings for small groups. This webinar is for educators who need to create ad-hoc meetings with selected groups of students and will cover virtual office hours, tutoring sessions, and other group meetings.
- Special: IT Admins – Online education and business continuity: Learn how to deploy and manage Teams for students, faculty, and staff. This webinar is designed to assist IT Administrators in setting up Teams for online meetings, collaboration, and more.
- This is a really helpful blog post for getting started with links to “On Demand” webinars that are useful for educators wondering how to get started e.g.
- Complete list of “On Demand” Educational Webinars for educators and school leaders.
- Making remote learning effective and engaging with Microsoft Education resources
- Another “summary blog” from the Microsoft Education team that has many resources and links to be explored to ensure effective and engaging learning is taking place. Definitely worth reading!
- Getting Started with Remote Learning in Office 365
- Content from the Microsoft Educator Community to train educators on how to deliver engaging, effective online learning.
- Minecraft: Education Edition now supports internet play!
- With Join Codes, students and teachers can continue to easily collaborate together inside the same worlds across the internet – read what’s required here.
- Shifting to distance learning: A 5-day guide for school leaders
- Guidance on moving learning online across three clear phases
- LMS and Teams: better together for distance learning
- Learn how Microsoft Teams complements what you’re already doing on your LMS and brings a sense of immediacy in communications through video calls and instant messaging.
- FlipGrid Remote Learning Guides
- Updated guides to using FlipGrid – an awesome tool for asynchronous video feedback and remember it supports SSO with your Office365 username/password
- Microsoft Empowers Hong Kong Teachers and Students with Real-Time Interactive Remote Learning
- Great case study showing how remote teaching can look, accompanying video here (turn on CC subtitles for English)
- MakeCode.com offering free live streaming classes.
- Looking for a great way to promote STEM with free resources online? Check out these sessions!
- Microsoft Teams meeting creation now available in Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, Brightspace, and itsLearning
- During this time of remote learning, many LMS have quickly integrated into Microsoft Teams. Moodle integration is announced here.
- Collection of Microsoft Education short links (aka.ms/)
- A great collection of resources from Mike Tholfsen across the Microsoft Education solutions, guides on to accessibility, Teams, Wakelet, OneNote etc.
- Want to do Breakout Rooms in Teams?
- Check out my awesome video showing you how you can easily manage this as a teacher – video here.
- Mike Tholfsen’s tips on Microsoft Teams Meetings
- A guide on what to use now and what features are coming soon!
Network & Infrastructure Considerations
It’s important that educational institutes have configured their environments to work smoothly under increased load – the following guides are best practice and an awesome starting point:
- There is a Teams community for IT Admins in education institutesyou can join
- Join the Microsoft Enabling Remote Learning Community, a community for educational institutions around the world looking at remote learning programs with M365 and Teams. Share resources, get your questions answered, and connect with Microsoft engineers about your remote learning needs. Learn more and sign up here.
- Microsoft commitment to customers during COVID-19
- An important read from Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 that includes information around Microsoft scaling services during this time of peak demand.
- Success With Teams
- The IT Admin’s best guide for tweaking Teams to maximize performance.
- Office365 IP Addresses and URL Ranges
- It’s important that your users, both at school and home, can access the services inside of Office365 – this is a comprehensive list of the internet addresses you should be whitelisting to ensure peak performance.
- Minecraft:Education Edition IP Addresses and URL Ranges
- is part of the M365 A3/A5 SKU and something that many schools are using. this FAQ includes the domains you should whitelisting
- This FAQ also shows how to set up multi-player Minecraft:EE across the internet – this relies on the home internet connections being able to support this configuration but could be worth exploring during this time of remote learning requirements.
- FlipGrid URL and Port Ranges
- is a very popular asynchronous video platform included in Office365 and allows for a fun and educational way to keep in touch visually during this time of remote learning. Ensuring the correct ports and URL are whitelisted will help things run smoothly – this guide explains it all.
- Windows Virtual Desktop
- Many Higher Education and K-12 institutes rely on Windows 10 as a platform for teaching. With the use of computer suites and Computers on Wheels (COWS), moving to remote learning can be a challenge. Exploring whether Windows Virtual Desktop powered by Azure is something that could fill this gap.
- Limits & Specifications in MS Teams
- Understand all the top end numbers around Teams e.g. how many owners per Team (100), how many members in a single Team (5000), how many on a standard Meeting (250) etc – read them all here.
- Canvas LMS Integration with Microsoft Teams
- announcement from Instructure on how this works. More technical documentation here.
- Schoology LMS Integration with Microsoft Teams
- another popular LMS integrations with Teams and documentation here.
- Use Teams for schoolwork when bandwidth is low
- Awesome tips whether you’re on mobile data, dial up or in poor bandwidth areas with guides for both Teachers and Students.
- View Microsoft Teams utilization in Power BI using CQD data
- Once your remote teaching really kicks off with Teams, you’ll want insights into how users are connecting, for how long, and on what devices. This series of PowerBI Reports will give you all that and more!
- Understanding Security and Privacy in Microsoft Teams – numerous links below
- Best Practice Guidance for OneNote
- If you’re wanting to ensure that your OneNote experience hums along as best as possible, then this collection of tips and tricks is a must read.
Tips & Tricks
- When doing online teaching with Teams, be sure to set student roles as “attendees” and not as “presenters” – guide to doing this here
- If everyone is a presenter, then tehy can mute others, take control of what is being presented, kick users out of the meeting etc. Ad hoc meetings, and “Meet Now” do not support roles, so the recommendation is that you use recurring meetings and set students as attendees – as per this guide.
- Mike Tholfsen’s Wakelet compilation of everything needed for remote online teaching
- FlipGrid Modelling Great Use of Teams in K12
- A collection of innovative ways to use Teams, demonstrated by FlipGrid!
- Flipgrid Modelling Great Use of Teams in Higher Education
- Let’s not forget about tertiary education!
- OneDrive File Requests
- This awesome feature allows users to collect very large files anonymously from users – perfect for larger digital submissions – read my blog post explaining many use case scenarios in education.
- Digital Signatures To Prove Authenticity
- Office365 provides strong capabilities to digitally verify who created a document. If you’re needing to prove the identity of someone e.g. an online assessment being submitted to OneDrive File Requests, you could request students add a Digital Signature with this documentation.
- Complete Calendar of Free Education Webinars
- Needing guidance on how to use tools in Office365? We have a large number of webinars you can access for free here.
- Video Tips for Students using Office365
- A series of videos aimed at students who are using these tools for remote learning.
- FAQ – Support Your Remote Workforce
- It may not just be your educators that need to work from home and teach online – your administrative and support staff are likely to have to make changes to their regular work habits as well.
- This wide ranging post also covers considerations like network load, call quality and the steps Microsoft is taking to maintain performance across the data centres.
- Don’t forget the parents and guardians! At times like this it’s natural to focus and concentrate efforts on educators and students when it comes to remote learning, but don’t overlook the role of parents and guardians as well.
- We know that home and caregivers form the third leg of the critical “School / Student / Home” triangle that completes the education stakeholders, and this guide is intended to support parents and guardians in understanding how Office365 supports remote learning.
- Minecraft:Education Edition free through to end of June 2020
- Read this blog for the details
- Then worth reading my Ultimate Getting Started Guide with Minecraft:Education Edition if you’re ready to go!
- School Data Sync
- This free tool included in Office365 creates a connection between your SIS/SMS and Office365, allowing to to automatically create Teams for each class/course and keep the teachers/students synchronized over time. A very useful tool if you need to quickly create a lot of classes at one time – perfect for COVID19 response! Read the full documentation here. (Note: this is being used in both K-12 and Higher Education institutes).
- Family Learning Centre
- Another guide for parents on how they can support their children during Remote Learning scenarios
- Adding an Attendance App into Teams
- If you’re moving to Remote Teaching and want an attendance app to monitor attendance, then consider this app for integrating into Teams
- Check-in with Students: Emotions, Wellbeing, and Remote Learning
- Great tips and a checklist for educators to support them in checking in regularly with students to ensure their social and emotional wellbeing.
- Important Changes to School Data Sync (SDS)
- If you plan to use SDS to rapidly provision Teams you need to understand these changes and the NEW actions that a teacher needs to take.
- Remote Work Trend Reports – Meetings
- Fascinating insight into how the world is working with Remote Meetings in Teams (including lots of references to Education).
Sometimes seeing is believing, and I’m going to embed some easy videos to consume directly inside the blog:
- Online classes and lectures with all your students. Part 1 class setup
- Online classes and lectures with all your students. Part 2 schedule online meetings
- Dutch kindergarten students explaining how to use Teams for remote learning, including on an iPad and iPhone (there are English subtitles)
- My video showing how you can use Join Codes in Minecraft:Education Edition to connect wtih friends over the internet – full details here.
- Video case study of remote teaching using Teams and OneNote in Hong Kong – make sure you turn on the CC subtitles for English translation:
- Playlist on YouTube of all Microsoft Education Remote Video Guides:
- Quick Tips in Office365 YouTube Playlist:
It’s super important that communities come together at this time to support each other, support our wonderful educators and school leaders and ensure that our students are feeling loved and supported during these rapidly changing times.
If you’ve got awesome links that I can include feel free to make a note in the comments or drop me a DM on Twitter over at @samuelmcneill
I have just written a fresh Microsoft Tips and Tricks 40 item guide, which could probably be a good addition to your list For some reason i can’t contact you on Twitter. Can we communicate by email?