Author: Dawn Adams

Breakout Rooms

Microsoft have released breakout room functionality within Teams Meetings.  This allows meeting organisers to create breakout rooms, and allocate meeting participants for small group working within the main meeting.

Glow’s guidance (https://glowconnect.org.uk/teams-in-glow/teams-meetings-with-learners/) is that for learner safety we recommend that additional staff members are present within meetings and that learners should not be unsupervised within Teams meetings.  The introduction of breakout rooms makes this more challenging to achieve, and there is the increased risk of learners being unsupervised with video enabled within breakout rooms.  On that basis we strongly recommend that breakout rooms are not used with learners unless staff members are able to be constantly present in all breakout rooms created.

The existing guidance (https://glowconnect.org.uk/teams-in-glow/managing-a-teams-meeting/) is also that the end meeting option should be used by the meeting organiser to remove all participants at the end of a Teams meeting.  Please note that this will not end any associated breakout rooms.  The separate ‘close rooms’ option within the Breakout room control panel must be used to close the rooms, and remove participants from the breakout rooms before ending the main meeting.

We need to talk to teachers and families with school age children about getting help with Glow!

We need to talk to 8 –12 teachers, and 8 –12 families with school age children from 23rd November until mid-December 2020. The session will be by phone or video call. It will last for no more than one hour. Teachers and families can choose a day and time that suits them.

We will give a £20 Amazon eGift card as a thank you to each teacher and family that takes part.

You do not have to be a Glow user to take part.

  • Calls with teachers will take place in their own time outside of working hours.
  • A parent or carer must apply and must be there during a call with children.

This is for a study about getting information, help, and support, for Glow. It  will help us design better support services for Glow. It is for a project on The Digital Learning and Teaching programme at Education Scotland.

Teachers: apply here

Parents or carers: apply here

Further Information

Teams Meetings – Only Me Lobby

Do you organise Teams Meetings to support learning with pupils or work with other staff? Here are some useful updates that will help you manage access to your meetings.

The Only Me lobby control is now available from Meeting options. This will help you manage access to your meetings by holding participants in a lobby ready for you as a meeting organiser to admit them. It will also help if you need to remove someone from the meeting as they cannot re-enter without being admitted again.

From 26th November the Only Me lobby control will be the default option when creating new Microsoft Teams meetings and will also be applied to all existing meetings already set up in Glow. Please note that this will mean these meetings can only be started by the meeting organiser and all participants will be held in a lobby.

It is possible to change the lobby options in advance of and during a meeting but remember there are a few things to consider before doing this. This could be used if you are unable to attend a meeting you’ve already organised or if you are having a meeting with a large number of staff but no pupils.  Find out how to access and change the lobby settings: Teams Meetings Options

Get more help on managing meetings using the Only Me lobby: Managing a Teams Meeting

Updates to SharePoint Team sites

Glow users have access to SharePoint Team sites where they can customise content to collaborate with colleagues or with their classes.

Microsoft will be making changes to the format of the classic SharePoint Team sites to make them more dynamic and mobile-ready. These changes are expected to be implemented in March.

Whilst the format of the classic SharePoint Team sites may have changed all the content will still be there and it can be easily reverted back to the classic SharePoint homepage if required. If a user has customised the classic team site in the past then this will not be updated to the new modern home page.

You can find out more on Microsoft’s website.

Guidance on Glow Blogs Theme Retirement

We are continuing to carry out improvement works to enhance the performance of Glow Blogs, and will be retiring a number of themes on 30 January 2020.

Themes are an important part of the Glow Blogs experience helping you to display your latest content in a creative and interesting way. Users may apply themes to help make their Glow Blog look a certain way so that visitors get a better experience. Glow Blogs can be used to create a school website, homework blog or as an e-portfolio for example. There are other themes to choose from, and retiring some themes will help us to upgrade the platform and allow us to add more new themes and features in the future.

The themes we will be retiring are set out in an article on Glow Connect. These are not compatible with newer versions of WordPress, and if you currently use one of them we would urge you to take action now to change your theme. If no action is taken these blogs will revert to the TwentyFourteen theme on the 30th January.

To help change your theme we have created a handy how-to guide.

As with any change, we would recommend that you test themes in another site before applying to your live site, especially if it is public. Please remember if you change your theme from one that is being disabled you cannot change it back again. More guidance including help with themes can be found on the Glow Blog Help site.

If you have any questions please get in touch with your local Glow Key Contact – https://glowconnect.org.uk/glow-contacts/