a woman using a laptop

Find out how to deliver enhanced education through ‘blended learning’

Carla  Gonzalez Fernandez

Carla Gonzalez Fernandez

Microsoft, Education

Read Time, 3 min.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our education customers have done amazing things to keep students engaged while learning from home. From eLearning innovations, to lifting the spirits with photo and cooking challenges – teachers and students have shown extraordinary resilience during a difficult time.

Schools and universities have witnessed the exceptional value that online learning can bring. And now, as the world begins to take small steps back towards normality, they are likely to move forward with ‘blended learning’ from now on. Which means enriching the learning experience with technology whether students are at home or at school.

Plus, Microsoft Teams remains available to educational institutions for free, through the Office 365 A1 package. This provides a completely free, customisable hub for blended learning, including video meetings, online versions of the Office 365 apps, as well as compliance tools and information protection.

A more effective blended learning environment

As many schools begin a phased return to traditional teaching methods, Microsoft Teams can help to bridge the gap. But more importantly, it can provide a holistic blended learning experience, on a single platform accessible via phone, tablet, PC or browser.

To help make this process as simple as possible, we’ve created a best practice guide for school leaders and IT to help them use Microsoft Teams more effectively.

It means teachers and staff can create their own virtual classroom, add selected students, share lessons, create assignments, collaborate virtually in real-time, do grading and provide personalised feedback – all through a single hub.

Here are some tips for teaching with Microsoft Teams if part of the class or some students are still at home:

  • Host interactive discussions with your class by sharing your screen, presenting your lesson and encouraging students to ask questions using the chat feature.
  • Show films by sharing your system audio with the class.
  • Moderate the class discussion during lessons by muting students, making them presenters, or removing them from the classroom if necessary.
  • Record lessons in case some students can’t join the session or if they’d like to go over it again.
  • Let your students know and when you are available for questions so they can reach you.

And some extra tips that can be used in or outside the classroom:

  • Create and grade quizzes and assessments in Teams using Microsoft Forms.
  • Encourage your students to use Immersive Reader in Teams to help them read messages, understand assignment prompts, follow along and contribute.
  • Create a ‘fun channel’ with things like a virtual science fair or poetry group.

Support and training available to you right now

We’ve created a series of webinars that can be accessed on-demand for teachers to get started on Teams. And we’re always adding new resources in our Microsoft Educator Centre.

Here are some other free resources, available to you right now:

Ensuring remote learning remains inclusive and accessible

At Microsoft Education, we provide several free tools to help those students who would ordinarily need special assistance with their reading, writing, maths and communication.

You’ll find a fully-categorised list of Microsoft accessibility tools on our website. You may also find this blog useful – it’s written by Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility officer, Jenny Lay-Flurrie, and it’s titled Tips for your at-home students with disabilities.

We’ve also made interactive click-through guides across reading, writing, maths and communication. Plus, there’s a demo on Microsoft Immersive Reader, which is designed to help students improve both reading and writing – and it’s been integrated into lots of apps already.

Keep in touch

We recognise that blended learning can present a new set of challenges to schools and teachers. That’s why our team is always available to answer your questions via our Remote Learning Community.

3 hours

Discover three one-hour courses to help you enhance your teaching with technology

This learning path will show you how to complement traditional classroom teaching with digital tools like Microsoft Teams

Helping you enhance your remote – or blended – learning initiatives

This collection offers a best-practice guide to setting up, running and improving remote – or blended – learning programmes

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • a person sitting in front of a laptop computer

    SSVOZ: Making distance learning a personalized experience

    When this period of remote learning is evaluated – without a doubt, some of the techniques we’ve used will have a more permanent place in the classrooms of the near future. Antoon Fens, IT Coordinator at Stichting Stedelijk Voortgezet Onderwijs Zoetermeer (SSVOZ), explains the critical role technology has played for education in the Netherlands, during […]

  • a woman sitting at a table in front of a laptop

    3 key ways Microsoft Teams enriches higher education teaching and learning

    Whether remotely, in class or hybrid , Microsoft Teams helps to simplify and structure higher education’s day-to-day digital environment – integrating seamlessly with all the solutions you’re already using. “My teaching is now entirely based on Teams. The interaction with students and the teacher is a better level than traditional teaching” – Pasi Vahimaa, Professor, […]

Government

  • Ineco

    Ineco improves employee productivity with modern tools and AI

    Struggling with software doesn’t help people get more done. Likewise, if sharing files and collaborating on documents is difficult, productivity takes a hit. Ineco, a Spanish public sector company, understands this, which is why it set out to change the way employees interact with technology and one another. By deploying Microsoft 365 to its over […]

  • a large old building with many windows

    Raad van State: Creating a virtual courtroom through a remote-working solution

    “This situation has proven that with the right means, support and trust, you can remove half of the desks in your building – and in that sense, I don’t think we’ll ever see 700 people at the same time in the office again.” Ron Lamers, Project Manager at Raad van State, is talking about the […]

Healthcare

  • a person sitting in front of a laptop computer

    The ‘Big Bang’ approach to digital transformation – and how to make it work

    These days there’s no such thing as ‘business as usual’. Change and disruption are the new normal. Just think of the changes affecting your organization right now, with new technology and techniques driving new attitudes and expectations from employees and customers alike. Everything is changing. And the one thing all those changes have in common […]

  • Healthcare professionals operating on a patient

    Maasstad Hospital: Working as one medical team during a crisis

    In times of crisis, an organization looks to its leadership for guidance. As COVID-19 spread through Europe in early 2020, Maasstad Ziekenhuis Hospital CEO Peter Langenbach had planned to lead his hospital’s crisis response as he would any other – being present and visible, leadership traits instilled in him during his time in the Dutch […]

Manufacturing

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

Digital Transformation

Security & Privacy

  • a close up of a brick wall

    What I’ve learned about public sector digital transformation and trust.

    “Oh that must be challenging.” …is what people sometimes say when I tell them about my role in public sector digital transformation. Indeed, they then give me their impression of public services as too large and slow-moving. Well, in some ways they’re right. The public sector has a solemn duty to help citizens lead healthier, […]

Tips

  • iPhone showing Outlook Mobile emails

    Stay connected and organised at work, at home and on the go with Outlook Mobile

    Outlook Mobile was launched with a mission to deliver the best on-the-go email and calendar app.  An app combining the best possible customer experience with enterprise security – all designed uniquely for a mobile-first experience. Today, Outlook Mobile is used on more than 100 million iOS and Android devices and continues to receive high ratings. […]