Category Archives: Microsoft Teams

Curate not create

For me the last term like many teaching has been sitting at a computer working from home. I found that this has required more community support than ever. I posted about collaboration and community in May, but felt there was more to say about the approach going forwards.

After the change in emphasis at the end of June it is unclear exactly what school will look like in August but whatever it looks like curation and community will remain important.

This blog was started to share my experience of using blended and flipped learning approaches and I have learnt much over the past six years that I have been an MIEExpert (Microsoft innovative educator expert).  This past year I also became a physics teacher coach with the Institute of Physics Scotland, supporting the teaching of physics in my local area and across Scotland during since April.

When remote learning started the IOPS coaches saw the need to further improve the curation of resources.  The IOPs physics coaches team led by Stuart Farmer (Education Manager, Scotland) consist of myself, Allan Reid, Brian Redman, David Vincent, Drew Burrett, Jennie Hargreaves, Malcolm Thomson, Martyn Crawshaw, Matthew Burke, Murat Gullan and Tim Browett.

The physics teacher community have always been good at sharing resources and have Talk Physics to upload documents and an active email discussion group called SPUTNIK. (To sign up to SPUNIK please contact Drew Burrett).  Much has been made of the difference between remote and face to face teaching, I would argue good learning and teaching is the same in either situation, a good summary of good teaching can be found in the evidence based education report.

There are of course challenges in remote learning, many teachers and their students had little IT equipment at home and little experience in using Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom.  The Scottish MIEExpert and the IOPs team have provided support to their schools, LA and across Scotland with how to videos and webinars for educators, parents, and pupils to help.      I am pleased to have helped leading sessions attended by almost 200 teachers on Teams, Forms and Sway. This blog has had 11,000 views and the videos on my YouTube channel have been more than 22,000.  I have also contributed to the posts and 5,000 views on the Scottish MIEExpert blog .  

The IOPs team have carried out over 20 online sessions and received excellent reviews of their online CLPL sessions with a rating of 4.8 out of 5.  Recordings and details of the presentations from many of the IOPs online webinar session can be found on Talk Physics.

When considering remote learning, aspects of direct instruction can be replaced asynchronously by videos and narrated lessons.  Many teachers across Scotland have been creating and sharing how to create these using PowerPoint recorder, Loom, Flipgrid etc.  I myself have made over 60 videos during lockdown for my students.  To replace questioning and provide instant and delayed feedback Microsoft/Google Forms quizzes have been used.  More challenging has been replicating the discussion and collaboration remotely particularly for digitally shy learners, with some using Teams, OneNote or Flipgrid for this.  Successful learning remotely had to get digital accessibility, instruction clarity and teacher clarity right often by taking the learners point of view to check and consider the pedagogy.  To facilitate this the IOPS team created a spreadsheet to link resources for each part of a lesson, introduction, activity, practice, assessment, consolidation for each of the learning outcomes within all the senior phase courses.

With practical work and the observations, contradictions and analysis that leads to an important part of physics, the IOPs team were keen to share how experiments can be designed so they can be completed at home.

For assessment Google Forms and Microsoft Forms can be used.  The Microsoft Forms quizzes have been curated in Wakelets with over 150 so far shared from teachers across Scotland.  The quizzes are linked in the spreadsheet but can also be found here:
AH Physics: 
Higher Physics:
N5 Physics:

My belief and that of the IOPs team is our role is curation of resources from across Scotland, saving time in teachers reinventing the wheel.  This allows teachers to have more focus on the pedagogy and worry less about the what have I got and how do I do that.  This approach has been shared with other science disciplines in the recent senior phase webinars organised by Education Scotland and taken up as good practice.

Moving ahead to blended learning these resources will be crucial and we hope that teachers across Scotland will contribute their resources for the benefit of all.

The spreadsheet resources for sciences can be found at:

Microsoft Whiteboard

This is a blog post about how you can use Microsoft Whiteboard with Teams.  (

This video shows some of you the choices that you currently have for using Microsoft Whiteboard.

There are two options main options, firstly to share a Whiteboard from a Teams meeting and secondly to create a Whiteboard and then share that link.

Sharing Whiteboard from a Team meeting

Within a Teams meeting you can access a whiteboard by clicking on share and choosing the Whiteboard option usually on the right.

When you choose share Whiteboard you get this screen.

If you use Whiteboard in Teams the options are fairly limited with 4 pens to choose and a rubber.

The Microsoft Whiteboard app is available for Windows or IoS, it is not yet available for android devices.  It can be downloaded from the app stores or

Clicking the open in app option produces more options.  Lots of pen choices in the menu at the bottom, highlighter, ruler, insert images, and an insert menu for lots of file options.

At the top of the screen is also the settings menu with a range of options including post to Teams (a link) and send the link to OneNote.

Microsoft have this video showing all the available features in the Whiteboard app.

Post to Teams

For within the Whiteboard app you can open up the whiteboard and choose share in Teams, pick a team and a channel of where you want the link shared. 

Here is what the post looks like.

   Share a Whiteboard from Whiteboard app

New whiteboards can be created within the Whiteboard app, they can be renamed and then we can invite students to share the whiteboard app.  When students are invited there is an option to allow them to edit or view.  So using this approach provides an option to have a read only Whiteboard.

At the moment there is no straightforward option to change a Whiteboard from collaborative to read only, this is being worked on by the Microsoft Team.

Within Glow the setup does not seem to allow the addition of invites by O365 groups or by Team details.

Using more than one device

If as a teacher you join the Team meeting with another device then you can use that one to access the Whiteboard and add resources, inking, etc.  For example join the Team meeting on a PC then use your iPAD to add inking.

Using OneNote

An alternative option to using Whiteboard is to use the OneNote within Teams as a whiteboard.

You could use the the collaborative section within a Team OneNote as a whiteboard for collaboration or could use a page within the content library within a Team OneNote for a read only option.

Using inking in other Office 365 apps (PowerPoint, Word)

An additional option for a read only display would be to use PowerPoint and inking or Word and inking.

IoP Scotland CLPL

The Institute of Physics are running a number of online learning sessions and offer a range of support for physics teacher.

The Scottish curriculum support resources can be found on Talk Physics in the Teaching Physics in Scotland Group.  This includes a spreadsheet of shared resources including videos, questions, quizzes and simulations useful for remote learning and available for both Google and Microsoft platforms.

There are weekly virtual physics staffroom meetings the next one is tomorrow, Friday 22nd May with one arranged for the following week Friday 29th May.

To get the meeting details please go to:

Physics teacher Stewart Gray will be talking about how we can use Isaac Physics to support physics teaching and adapt it for the Scottish curriculum.

Finally for the next week we are having our second meeting on using Microsoft tools for teaching physics remotely.  This event will focus on the Microsoft Teams platform, with emphasis on:
• Channels & Posts
• Assignments
• Insights & Grades

You can book this meeting using at:


Teams Meetings

If you are looking to arrange Teams Meetings it is important that you use the correct settings.

Within Glow Scotland pupil video during a Teams meeting is switched off at all times.  Teacher video can be switched on. Both teacher and pupil are able to use audio and both are able to share and present their screen depending upon the settings.

It is not currently possible to record Teams meetings as within Glow this functionality is not switched on.  You may see mention of Microsoft Stream in videos shared on the internet.  This feature is also switched off in Glow.

There are several ways of arranging a meeting, using the meet now feature, scheduling in Teams, scheduling via Outlook.

Stewart Brown of Athelstaneford Primary School shows these here.

In general it is not recommended to use the Meet now feature with students.  This is because there are fewer controls in this option in terms of who is a presenter and who is an attendee.  There could also be potential issues with the meeting remaining open or pupils re-joining a meeting after you the teacher leave it.

I would therefore recommend you schedule any meeting.  In either scenario you need to make pupils attendees rather than presenters.  Otherwise you can find pupils can remove other pupils and mute other pupils too.

Here is a video that looks at stopping that.

Teams meetings they can be within a particular Team or channel or can be scheduled directly from Outlook.

If you schedule in a channel then pupils will be able to chat during the meeting and could posts gifs etc unless the channel setup prevents member (Pupil) chat or posting of gifs/memes etc.

If you schedule via Outlook as shown in this next meeting then since the chat in Teams is not enabled for pupils there is no possibility for pupil chat in this situation.  This may well be good for larger meeting like assemblies but might be less useful in teaching situations.

Mrs Barr of St Margaret’s Academy shows:

  • Setting up the meeting using a calendar
  • Sharing the meeting with others
  • Running the Teams meeting

This is a video from Mrs Barr showing how you would join this meeting.

When ending the meeting as a teacher you should click the three dots and click end call rather than use the hang up (red phone) button.  This ends the meeting for all participants.

Microsoft have this advice on their Teams site.

Further advice for teachers on Connected Falkirk from Malcolm Wilson’s and his Falkirk colleagues.

My Microsoft Team

We are using Microsoft Teams as a school for our distance learning.  Being in Scotland we have access to Teams through Glow Scotland a Scottish wide Microsoft tenancy I believe it is the 2nd largest tenancy in the world.

Teams Settings

Within Teams there are some setting for your Team that you might want to turn on or off.  GIFS, memes etc.  Although I have GIFS and memes turned on in my senior channels as they are good fun.  Here is a video about using stickers and memes from Microsoft.  
Particularly the rights to delete and edit messages.

Here is a Microsoft video on Team settings.  My own video is below:


I have set up my Teams with a general channel that can only be posted to by the Owner/teacher.   This is set in the manage channel setting click on the three dots to the right of it.

In the general channel I make announcements rather than posts and have some custom backgrounds for each Team.   Here is a Microsoft video on announcements and messages.

Each channel also has a tab that links to the Class Materials document library in SharePoint for those on Android devices that cannot currently access the files on the Android app.



I have also added the Insights app to the Team.  Here is a video from Microsoft showing how the data from Insights can be used.   You only need to add this to one channel within your Team.  Microsoft are planning to increase the features including one that allows owners to see student activity across a number of teams.

There is an option to export data from Teams into Excel.  Here is a quick video showing you how this can be done from the Insights tab and the Grades tab.
A very quick and easy way to get a list of names of students who are both inactive or have outstanding assignments or no assignments handed in.  The export from Grades also allows you to read the comments and marks you gave in an offline context.  One of the possibilities using the export to Excel feature is that you can do additional analysis that may not be available directly within Teams.  For example you can look at inactivity over a different period of time as shown in my video or a section of time.  Microsoft are adding more directly reported features to Insights but this allows you to do the analysis you want.

Creating a Team from an existing team as a template

You can create a Team from a template.  This copies the channel structure, teams settings, apps and tabs – content, such as files, is not copied across to the new Team.
This can be selected in the creation process.

Announcements and custom backgrounds

I like to use announcements for my posts and have created custom backgrounds for them that I uploaded to the post.  These were created in PowerPoint where I shaded a rectangle and added some background images appropriate to the topic being learnt.



The Team has a chat channel where students are allowed to informally chat and post anything they like as long as it is appropriate.

Add channels by clicking on the three dots to the right of the Team name.

The chat channel is to encourage some socialisation and the more informal conversations that happen in class.  You might notice I have used an Emoji 💬  in the channel name this is a fun way to get visual engagement.  It is recommended that you name the channel with normal characters first for Team stability in underlying SharePoint then you can edit the channel name to the right of the channel.  Remember you can’t rename the general channel.  On Windows devices pressing windows key and . together get you the emoji keyboard.  Teams channels are ordered alphabetically and by unicode number for emoji.

Whilst on the subject of keyboard shortcuts, make sure you know windows-shift-S for snipping things using the Snip and Sketch tool  which is how I collected the images in this blog .

Each week I create a new channel.  I start off creating this new Weekly channel as it hidden from the members, but unhide it when I want it to go live. Remember to do this otherwise pupils can’t see it.  You unhide the menu in the edit this channel menu and click the box.

Within the weekly channel I start with an announcement with the work that is set for that week. This information can be copied directly the Team assignments set for that work often about 4 per week.

The announcement includes hyperlinks to all of the resources that are loaded into the Class Materials folder in folder created for Week 1 linear motion (in this case).

The same files are duplicated into the file tab within the week 1 channel.  Unless changed this folder is not read only.  To do that click on the three dots and select open in SharePoint.

On SharePoint the library click the documents menu at the side.

On the right of the folder click the three dots and manage access.

The panel on the right is then shown and change from can edit to can view.

Although this blog has a lot of digital specific details, the most important part of distance learning is the pedagogy.  The work I am doing is almost entirely asynchronous so that it can be done at any time.  There are some live chats or voice calls to check up on pupils and answer questions.

The Education Endowment Fund have published a research evaluation about digital learning.  The key findings from their rapid research review are:

  • Teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered
  • Ensuring access to technology is key, especially for disadvantaged pupils
  • Peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes
  • Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes
  • Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils
We know how important feedback is to learning and therefore I feel this is an important area digitally for two reasons. Firstly without face to face interactions and questioning we lose our ability to make judgements as to where the students are and to diagnose misconceptions and misunderstandings. Secondly without effective and regular feedback students do not get recognition of their efforts. We may then find that engagement may dwindle for all but the most dedicated students – hardly closing the attainment gap!  Using Microsoft Form quizzes can provide that provide instant feedback. A short quiz can be used as a diagnostic assessment, branching functions can be used to provide more questions for learners that struggle and to add in a video or something to read as a substitute for the teacher classroom scaffolding. For each question feedback comments can be provided too indicating where to improve or what to think about.

The structure I have for most of the lessons or tasks are:

  • Recall quiz from previous week or prior knowledge
  • Introduction video
  • Activity
  • Questions
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Consolidation

Some quizzes and assessments are reissued to pupils to do again if understanding is not shown or I can see they were completed in a very short time.

Videos are hosted on Office Videos as we don’t have Stream on in our Glow Scotland tenancy.  I also have the videos uploaded in my  Mr Bailey YouTube channel as some pupils find this easier to access.

I have been making videos for a number of years so am able to reuse some from the past and also the experience of making them.

Most of the videos are recorded using Microsoft PowerPoint recorder where I narrate over slides, sometimes incorporating animations and short online videos.

Here is a Microsoft video on using PowerPoint recorder.  This includes some feature not available in Glow.

All Glow users can download Microsoft Office on their PC for free.  If you log into Glow and go to there is then an option on the top right to download.  Many LA also have a tile on the launchpad to download Glow as shown in this video which you can on 15 devices.

The PowerPoint recording menu is switch off, go to File menu then Options and customise ribbon.  On the right side click recording.

Here is a video on that from Mrs Clarke.  

Mrs Phillips a Scottish #MIEExpert shows how to use PowerPoint Screen Recorder.  

I use Forms quizzes in a number of ways in my Teams.  The majority of these are set as Teams assignments.

Take a look at my last blog post on Feedback in Forms for more details on how you can get Feedback in Forms.

The following week starts with a recap test on the previous week to check for understanding.   Some quizzes are reissued to pupils to do again if they do poorly especially if I can see a small time of work.

If you are attaching files for pupils to edit and put in answers within assignments then you should make sure that they are:

docx not doc for Word

pptx not ppt for PowerPoint

xlsx not xls for Excel

So make sure you upload the correct file format and if you want to make the file editable choose the students edit their own copy option in the three dots to the right.

Remember if you upload PDF files then these cannot be edited if if they are editable ones.  So only use PDF files for notes or instructions.  If you want to change PDF to word you can do this in Microsoft Word.  Here is a video showing how you can change a PDF to Word using the Office app on your phone.  

Alerts / Notifications for Teams Assignments

It is possible to set up notifications for when pupils upload work to Teams Assignments.  Thanks to Donna Shah for sharing this.  This is done in the underlying SharePoint site for the Team.

Go to the SharePoint site by choosing the files tab and then selecting behind the three dots on the right open in SharePoint.  You then see the view below.

From here choose the Site Settings.  Then click on the student work folder.

Within the student work folder are two folders submitted files and working files.  The working files folder is the one we are going to use to set an alert/notification when a student add a file to Teams assignments.  Here the student can still edit the file, when they click hand-in the file goes to the submitted files folder and the student can no longer edit it.

Choose from the three dots of the right of the working files menu, the alert me option.

We choose email, alert when new items are added, all changes would also alert when pupils edit items.  Then we have chosen a daily summary by email at 3.00 pm.

Tags for Assignments

Adding tags for assignments can help you find them quickly and filter.  This from Lucy Lock shows how to add tags.


Marking Assignments

Sometimes when reviewing students hand-in work in assignments the files don’t load properly.  To overcome this I have added a link to the underlying SharePoint site adding a link to the Student work folder and then you can go to the submitted files folder, find the correct pupil and click the handed-in files.  Here is a video showing how to add that Student Work shortcut the SharePoint navigation menu.  You can see this on the left in the picture below.

Making Work clear to students

Here is my announcement post.  Within the announcement posts I include hyperlinks to all of the resources that are needed for these tasks.  I feel that this helps make the learning much clearer.

Note the Form link in the video above is not correct.  The hyperlinks for the Forms quizzes if setting using an Assignment need to be shared from the Form that sits within the Groups part of Forms as shown below.  Then open the Form and share.  Here is a Microsoft video on Forms and sharing.

Opening the files document in SharePoint allow you to click the dots on the right of the file and click copy link.


Here is the announcement post with all the links.  The same details are copied into the Assignments tasks including the hyperlinks as well as attaching the files to complete or Forms quiz.

This is what it looks like on the Assignment.  By scheduling the assignments they can go live at the start of the week.

For each channel I have also created a SharePoint Webpage called To do list and have linked to this SharePoint page using a tab.  I got this idea and some of the other I use from a Remote Learning webinar with Dr David Kellerman on what he is doing with Remote learning at UNSW Australia.

I have this saved as a template page and then adjust the content accordingly.

I add into the page:

  • Videos hosted in Glow Video.
  • Slides PDF documents
  • Forms Quizzes
  • Question documents

This SharePoint page is added as a weblink tab at the top of the weekly channel.  At the moment resources loaded via SharePoint seem to be quicker to respond than those through the Teams interface.

Within SharePoint I have added a menu link to the Student Work folder link as sometimes I use that a few times Teams Assignments has struggle to load files handed in.  So adding a link to the hand-in work directly in SharePoint means you can view the files there.
The file location is TeamName/Student%20%Work (the %20% is just the space) between Student Work.

Last but not least I have populated my OneNote class notebook in the Team sharing resources with pupils here.

Microsoft Forms and feedback.

This is a post to show teachers how to add feedback in Microsoft Forms and to show where pupils will receive and see that feedback.

Create a Microsoft Forms Quiz

Add questions, in each multiple choice question there is an option to add feedback to students choosing particular answers.  This is seen after a pupil submits the quiz.

For short answers there is an option to put in the correct answer for automatic marking.  For long answers there is not automatic marking response or feedback.


Now create the assignment with the forms quiz.  Choose quiz in the create assignments option.

Select the Forms Quiz you made earlier.

Add instructions, set which students, dates etc.  Then click assign or schedule if setting at a later date.

Pupil view

Assignment post appears in general channel and can be opened by clicking view assignments or can be accessed from the assignments tab.

Pupil clicks on attached Form Quiz.

Pupil completes Forms quiz

Clicks on submit.  After clicking on submit the Thanks screen appears and there is an option to view results.

The view results screen indicates points awarded and can indicate feedback for question responses “message for respondents selecting this answer” if the teacher added them into the form.

Correct answers for short answer questions are shown.  If the pupil answer differs this will be marked incorrect, it may be an acceptable alternative.

For long responses there is no feedback or mark at this stage.

If the pupil goes to the Grades tab in that Team they see that they have handed in this work.

Now the pupil waits for the teacher to put in their comments and feedback and return the work.

Teacher adds feedback

In the assignments tab, teacher can see pupil has handed in work.  To open the Forms quiz, they can click on handed in or Open in Forms.

In the Grades tab, teacher can see that work has been handed in as they see a score.  They can then click on the three dots …

If using from Grades, click Open Student Work to enter feedback and correct marks.

Don’t click return work or you will not have sent in any comments or checked their work and will not be able to add later.

When Microsoft Forms is open you can leave overall feedback by clicking the box to the right of the band that includes the pupil name.  This is the feedback that goes to the pupil assignment summary view.

You can click on the other questions and accept answers if they were correct and not marked correctly for short answers changing the points awarded.  You can leave feedback by clicking on the feedback option for each question.

Here is a view of some feedback for the overall section at the top and question 1.

For short answer questions we can correct the automatic marking if the pupil response was correct but not exactly the same as the correct answer.  If pupils are still to hand in you can go back to the Form and add other correct responses.  You need to go to Forms  then Groups then choose the Team Form you have set.  You can then click it open and edit the correct answer option for this question.

Longer questions are not automatically marked so you need to read the response and allocate marks accordingly. You can leave additional feedback under these questions.

Now you need to Post Scores for pupil to see the feedback you enter.  If you do not Post Scores the pupil will not see any of the comments.

A confirmation message comes up when Post Scores is selected.

The teacher view in the Grades tab now shows returned.

In the assignment tab the pupil moves from the To mark list to the Marked list.  Clicking on the toggle feedback option shows the summary feedback you entered in the Forms quiz and you see the total marks.

Pupil view to get feedback

Grades view in Team shows assignment has been returned to pupil and a points score.

To see the detailed information the pupil click assignment and goes to the completed assignments.

Or they can click on the view assignment post in the general channel.

Pupils see this, the points and the feedback added.  This feedback area can be blank if none was added by the teacher.

The feedback added here is from the overall feedback section (see teacher view).

Pupil clicks back on the attached Forms quiz.

Feedback is shown (if teacher has added more).

Here are some annotations of the feedback and where it comes from.


A video showing the process above, how teachers can provide feedback in Microsoft Forms.

A video showing how to view pupil feedback in Microsoft Forms.

Review answers, overview, by question or by person

When you open the Form, click on the responses tab.  The first view is the overall response view. Information is presented in pie charts or bar graphs.

Clicking on review answers you have a choice to review by people or by questions.  

The review by questions screen that allows you to look at responses for the same question and leave feedback too.  You could copy and paste some of the feedback between different students.

Using Power automate for pupil check-in

These instructions are created thanks to Al Friend from CastleBay school in Barra and the #TeamMIEEScotland team where this was shared.

This uses a Microsoft form to add an entry into a shared Excel spreadsheet.  The form includes a rating question asking how the pupils are and if the mark is 3 or 4 out of 10 then it sends an email is sent upon submission to certain staff members.  If the mark is 1 or 2 out of 10 an email is sent upon submission to other staff members.

Our pupil care and support staff team, heads of years, deputes and senior leaders have access to the shared Excel file so can check the entries during the day and contact the young people or their families accordingly.

Instructions for creation.

  1. Create the Microsoft Form .  We have found this only works with a personal form.  Power Automate doesn’t give the group forms as an option to choose from.

Here is the form we are using.  A mixture of multiple choice, a rating, long answer questions.

2. Create the Excel file that will store the data.  Ours in created in the documents storage in SharePoint in a Staff Microsoft Team.

  • Create the headings.
  • Insert Table to turn them into a table.
  • Not all of the headings we have are used by Power Automate.

3. Create the Power Automate Flow.  Here is the outline of the Power Automate (Flow).  We will go through each section.


Step 1 and 2 shown below.

Name the Flow (1)

Choose the when a new response is submitted from Microsoft Forms (2)


For the condition int (rating) part put the cursor into the brackets of int( ) and then click on the green field that holds the rating value. and choose from the Dynamic Content tab.

The link to the spreadsheet in the email can be copied from the document library.  You can of course put in the pupil names if you wish into the email, we choose to make the email anonymous and ask staff to check the spreadsheet for the name.

Repairs, Reflections, Reinvigoration, Relaxation

It has been a few weeks since I have posted to the blog and time has flown by in this long and intensive term at school.  This post looks at practical issues of repairs, reflects on progress and my endeavours for the weeks ahead.


To date we have sent one device back to Microsoft due to an issue with the touch screen not responding in a small section.  This device was replaced and promptly returned to us in a short time.  Another device has a similar issue but hasn’t yet been returned since I didn’t want to leave the pupil concerned without a device at this moment.

With 60 devices being used by pupils it was inevitable that accidental damage was likely to occur.  After nearly getting to Christmas without any mishaps the first casualty with a badly cracked screen was reported. The device has been sent back to the supplier at the start of December but has yet to be returned after many weeks.  There seems to be a bottleneck somewhere in the system which is unfortunate as a delay means a pupil is without a device.  It is been very frustrating for my local authority IT team dealing with the only provider of Surface devices on the national procurement framework.  The most recent communication asked for the device to be delivered to them when it was sent in December.  Very frustrating that the device doesn’t seem to have got to Microsoft to look at yet.  There have since been another two devices damaged but I am waiting until the repair situation is clear before sending off these other devices.


I would like to report that all the classes using the devices contain pupils that are excelling at their learning, but as always life is much more complicated than that.  The results from the prelims have produced the usual reflections on progress by myself and the young people.  I do believe that the prelim is useful to give the learners experience of the conditions of the final examination, room, type of questions and challenge of completing to time.  So with a mixed bad of results I am reflecting on the learning during the last 3 months:

The most successful learners have taken responsibility for their learning (one might say this was even thus).  Most of these are using the Surface in many subjects and like the resources available in OneNote and the ability to access a range of resources.  Their use of the technology is a great example of confident individuals and successful learners.

Having the resources electronically has meant that for those that answered electronically I was able to provide feedback to them whilst they were revising in OneNote, clarifying what they needed to improve.  In the past this was harder needing to taken in pupil work and write comments then return jotters or get pupils to self mark work with the risk that they didn’t fully comprehend where they needed to improve. Feedback could also be given in the final days up to the prelim.  There is an ability in OneNote to see what work has been added using the Class notebook add in review student work option.  When reviewed the work is marked as read if the pupils add work it then goes back to unread.  This process worked well although would have been harder to keep up if all the pupils had been working this way rather than only 25 of them.

The ability to provide learning resources in a range of different mediums can be a powerful tool for learning.

Some pupils are distracted by the technology they have to be asked to stop playing games connect to social media or their phones.  It is impossible to see all of this action/inaction as the teacher although I can see the outcome of the learning, check understanding and see progress or otherwise online.

Some pupils reflecting on their poor performance have said that it is due to the method of learning, the Surface and the technology.  It is difficult to tell if this is a genuine reason or just an excuse and is not something that any of them have really mentioned in class or in conversation with them.  Perhaps it is the learning regime that particularly requires them to take responsibility for their learning and they’d rather blame the tech or myself rather than themselves?  I have been having regular learning conversations discussing strengths, weaknesses, attitude and effort but have found some still lacking the effort or growth mindset approach required.

Some pupils do not know how to revise despite the best attempts of myself and the school.  I have often reminded them that reading is not sufficient to enhance learning and some doing, writing notes, summaries, answering questions is required to check learning.   I have tried to encourage my pupils to use the recommendations of the Learning Scientists (  to enhance the effectiveness of their revision.  Despite this some pupils haven’t listened or followed this advice and some still think just reading is effective, sadly their results show it isn’t.  A few of them who have underachieved are putting in the hours if they are true in what they are saying but are obviously not using effective strategies.

Some pupils say they feel better when they are writing the information into their jotters and an electronic jotter for them does not seem to be as effective in their minds.  Past the initial first few weeks, I have said to a number that I don’t mind where the work is completed as long as it is carried out.  Perhaps in hindsight I should have made more checks and evaluations to ensure/reassure pupils.

Following some self reflection a few pupils are still saying that they don’t know what they should be doing and some think they have had no homework.  This is despite my regular asking for them to complete work in their OneNote, I have been able to see who has not completed the work and talk to them, but this has not had a significant effect for some on improving their effort or completing work    In addition resources have been shared in the OneNote for those that have completed the classwork including extra past paper questions.  Is the location of these clear enough?  Are the tasks really unclear?  I didn’t think so but need to investigate pupils thoughts further.

A few pupils feel that they are not being taught (one of the expected responses at the start of the prototype) and some have commented that they don’t learn by reading information (I would agree, reading only is not enough). Usually in class there are a range of tasks and questions to complete after a short period of reading.  Sometimes in class there is teacher exposition to the whole class, but there has been more conversations with groups or individual  of pupils.  Although some pupils remain reluctant to ask questions and take part in learning dialogue.

It has been challenging to keep up having the resources ready for the learners, there is so much that I would like to do and not enough time to do this.  I have an ideal lesson structure for this type of learning, but have had to compromise as I just don’t have enough time to prepare all the resources I would like to.  I do not feel that at any time the resources or teaching have been less effective than I have used in the past, but is that true?

Some pupils are working closer to the flipped learning model preparing for class, but many are not and the main reason for this is myself.  On reflection perhaps I have not been brave enough to totally flip the learning and leave the pupils accountable for their learning at home.  Is now the time to do this?  Or do I return to a more traditional learning model?


This week has seen the latest Angus Teach Meet which had a digital theme.  The culmination of a few months of  planning it was a great evening with about 50 other teachers listening to 15 other teachers sharing their practice for 5 minutes on a wide range of topics.  Despite the pressure of organisation, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and hearing from a range of speakers about their use of technology to enhance learning.     The evening was very invigorating and has made me even more determined to find solutions and possibilities to enhance learning experiences and get as many pupils as I can back on the path to success.


This long weekend provides an opportunity to get some required relaxation, make this reflection and spend time with the family.  A dog walk in the snow to the beach provides space to clear the mind.  Teaching can be an intense job and I am continually conscious of the responsibility to always do the best I can for the learners in my care to help them do as well as they can.  This often leads me to ask my pupils to give more and say that they deserve their best effort.  In the long term I find this produces results but there are always some who fail to give enough or are too scared to. So to relaxation with the family, baking cakes, watching TV, taking son and daughter to football training and matches and daughter to cricket tournament.


Proposal details: Flipped learning.

Proposal – To use technology to facilitate the process of flipped learning within a science classroom.
The purpose of a flipped learning approach is to transfer the lower order learning from the classroom to outside the classroom.  This creates an opportunity to use the face-to-face time in class on higher order activities, thus supporting the learners and making the learning more learner focussed.
In a flipped classroom the role of the teacher is to facilitate the process of developing sufficient surface knowledge to then move learners to conceptual understanding.  More teacher time is available for discussions, one-to-one or in small groups, where the teacher and peers can spot and correct misconceptions.  Time is freed to answer pupil questions that occur from the initial learning, and to help provide scaffolding for the harder concepts in science.
Pupils can learn at their own pace, have greater awareness of their progress and can follow instructions that can be personalised and targeted for them based upon the enhanced learning conversations taking place.  Since the learning is visible to the teacher, rather than being carried out at home, better and timelier feedback and support can be provided.  I intend to use technology to provide an additional means to provide feedback to learners.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and Nesta recently produced a research report on flipped learning in 2015 which focussed on the teaching of mathematics in secondary schools in the UK.

Benefits of flipped learning

This flipped learning research report (NESTA and nfer 2015) provides this overview of success and barriers to success:

Barriers to flipped success

An important enabler not mentioned above is the role of parents/carers in understanding the process, so they are supportive of pupils completing work and using technology at home to carry out the learning prior to the lesson.  Parents and carers of pupils involved in the prototype will be contacted and issued with information to help them support the pupils.

The model of flipped learning is often seen as pupils watching a video outside of class for their instructions, but this can be done through a broader range of materials including reading of texts, PowerPoints, animations etc.

Following consultation with partners across Scotland, I am proposing to use the suite of Office 365 tools within Glow to deliver the flipped learning to the pupils.  Thanks to Ian Stuart, Malcom Wilson, Derek Robertson, Cara Matthews, Jennifer Offord and many others for their help, advice and information.

My prototype involves issuing each of my senior pupils with a tablet device that they can use both in school in my class and other classes and facilitate the shift of learning to home.

The existing wireless infrastructure in Carnoustie High School requires some upgrades to facilitate the learning including an upgrade in my classroom and the installation of Wi-Fi into a common learning area in the library.

To ensure equity within experience for all pupils it is proposed to use Microsoft OneNote as the electronic folder for the learning.  The advantage of OneNote is that it can be synchronised to each pupils’ device and therefore it is not necessary to have a Wi-Fi connection at home to carry out the learning.

Class details

There are three senior classes with which I wish to implement the prototype.  Class C a National 5 Physics class, class D a class of both National 5 and Higher Physics pupils and class E a class of Higher Physics pupils.  Implementing the prototype across these three classes will allow for teacher preparation time to be shared between the classes since all are following the same model and the composition of the classes allows the prototype to be evaluated in different contexts for differing ages and stages of learners.

Why I you want to be involved?  

To shift and further enhance my practice by embedding technology with the intention of improving outcomes for the learners in my classes.  The emphasis on the project is enhancing the learning and teaching and the experiences of the pupils, science is a 21st century subject of vital importance to the national economy and I wish to make pupil experiences and use of technology better reflect the use of technology in the world of work and beyond.

Involvement in this prototype helps me make a contribution to meeting the strategic themes for Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland; Empowering leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching; improving access to digital technology for all learners; ensuring curriculum and assessment relevance in a digital context; and extending the skills and confidence of teachers in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology.

What I hope to achieve – for your own practice and for improving outcomes for children?  

Improved attainment for learners at all levels particularly at national 5 and higher levels.

A shift in learner activities to an increased number of higher order activities and a shift in the quantity of teacher to pupil talk, allowing my time to be best used to support all the learners and provide them with feedback where it is needed.

The hope is that the young people become more confident and successful learners and improve the skills required for life-long learning.

How I could Evaluate

HGIOS 4 includes a number of quality indicators that can be impacted by this prototype and therefore used in evaluating the impact on the learners.  These include:

1.5 Management of resources to promote equity.
Teachers make effective use of a range of resources, including digital technologies, to provide  appropriate support and challenge for learners.

2.2 Curriculum
All staff take responsibility for developing literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and digital literacy across the curriculum.

2.3. Learning, teaching and assessment
Learners’ experiences are appropriately challenging and enjoyable and well matched to their needs and interests. Learners exercise choice, including the appropriate use of digital technology, and take increasing responsibility as they become more independent in their learning.

3.3 Creativity and Employability

Digital innovation
Children and young people work individually and in teams creating both digital and non-digital solutions. As their digital literacy becomes more sophisticated they embed computation to solve problems. Increasingly they apply the core principles underpinning digital technologies to develop their own ideas. Their skills are up-to-date with technological advances informed by a range of sources including the expertise of the young people themselves.

Digital literacy
Children and young people are innovative, confident and responsible in the use of technologies and staying safe online. They critically examine and make informed choices about the use of digital technology to enhance and personalise learning in school and where appropriate, beyond the school day. They anticipate and respond to new opportunities and threats caused by developments now and in the future.

How I plan to engage children, young people, parents and partners?  

I plan engage the young people, parents and colleagues through discussion of the expectations placed upon them by the learning approach being undertaken in the classroom.  Regular evaluation of pupils will allow me to reflect on the practice and listen to their views and opinions.

I am engaging with partners across Scotland to learn best practice and share ideas, challenges and solutions.

Technical Details – Recommendation from IT Services

In response to the request for digital prototypes within Carnoustie High School‘s physics labs, we propose the provision of Windows based tablets running Windows 10 O/S.  Devices would not be connected to the school network and would instead utilise Wi-Fi to access the Glow digital environment directly.    As you know this provides email, storage and workspaces for pupils and staff.  Additionally, it provides Office 365, WordPress and collaboration tools as well as broadcast services via Adobe Connect.

This would move away from the traditional approach of email and storage being provided on the school hardware/network to the Glow environment in a cloud based solution.  Utilising the storage provided by Glow would mean that pupils can also access their data from home or other remote environments where internet access is available at times to suit them in line with the flipped learning idea and this would be a move towards the learning environment described.  Within the school the devices would be in a group that was filtered by IP address enabling the internet access to be controlled. This would not apply if the device was connected off site and some “parental controls” type software may be needed on the devices to ensure the risk appetite was acceptable.  Additional costs for MS Office licensing have not been supplied as this would be provisioned via Office 365 within Glow.

One other issue would be around printing as this proposal would mean that printing was unavailable on printers within schools that were connected to the school network.  If this is required pupils could connect to their Glow account using other school IT and print accordingly.


Flipping 2.0 Practical Strategies for Flipping your class, Jason Bretzmann (2013).

How Good is out School (HGIOS) 4th Edition, Education Scotland. 

Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland – Scottish Government.