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    Subject: Student meetings in Teams (not using Schoology "Teams Meeting"

     

    Many of us have found that creating a Microsoft Teams meeting in Schoology is not ideal for teaching purposes. If you’ve used other video conferencing apps, you will know that there are features that make running a (what we’re now calling) “Realtime Class Meeting” go smoothly. Three of these are:

    • Having a lobby/waiting area, so you can control who joins the meeting
    • Being able to “mute all”
    • Limiting who can present their desktop or windowed program in a Teams meeting

     

    What I found is that you can create a Teams meeting within the Teams program, not on Schoology. This puts it on your Teams calendar (which the Schoology method doesn’t do), but more importantly, lets you set the “Meeting Option”, which I can’t find a way to do with Schoology-created Realtime Class Meetings. So, here’s the steps I used. If you find a way to skip any of these steps, please let me know!

     

    To set it up, I:

    • Started the Teams program
    • Under “Calendar”, I clicked on the time and date of the meeting. That brings up “New Meeting”. I put another person in the Attendees box, then hit “Save”. You have to add an attendee to make this work! Perhaps use your favorite admin?!
    • I then go back into the meeting and remove the attendee (if you really want to), but then click “Meeting Options”. That brings up a web page where I set the options so “Why can bypass the lobby?” is set to “People in my organization” and “Who can present?” is set to “Only me”.
    • Back in the meeting setup, Teams creates a link to the meeting, like it does when we used Schoology to create the meeting. I was able to post that link to Schoology, and the kids were able to use it to connect to the meeting, once I had started it.

     

    About 10 minutes before the meeting, I went to the Teams program and “Joined” the meeting. Some notes from that:

    • The first time I did this, I was a “Presenter” instead of “Organizer”. Not sure why, or what difference it makes to me.
    • Under “Show Participants”, I was able to see kids waiting to join. I had to approve them in, which I wanted but they didn’t like very much. Some kids dropped out of the meeting for whatever reason (tech problem?) and when they rejoined, I had to re-admit them, which meant they missed some content if I wasn’t admitting fast enough.
    • I now had “Mute All” as an option on top of the Participants list. That was very handy. They can still unmute themselves.
    • With the “Who can present?” option set to “Only me”, kids were now not able to show their computer screens. While I was presenting, there was a button that looks like I could change the presentation to a student.
    • At the end of the meeting, I was able to disconnect students, not re-admit them from the lobby, and close the meeting down.
    • The chat window is still an issue. I don’t see a way to shut off chat.

     

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