Microsoft Teams and Zoom for Teacher Education

At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, National Star reinvented its Teacher Education programme and approaches to provide the same high quality of staff education delivery to ensure same level of successful qualifications.

‘I have found it very easy to adapt to the virtual classroom environment. In the beginning it took a little time to research the software and how to use it effectively, but it has worked well in practice and has allowed me to continue to deliver quality programmes to all my candidates.’ – Louise Swann, Teacher Education.

A combination of Zoom and Microsoft Teams are used to provide virtual learning environments (VLEs) and classrooms.

Louise Swann (Teacher Education) adapted the Teacher Education syllabus, originally intended for in-person delivery for up to 18 participants in a single teaching facility. The syllabus was adapted to work via an entirely virtual classroom approach for up to 12 participants which included audience participation, group work and assignments.

Using a combination of Microsoft Teams and Zoom, Louise tailored the education programmes to embrace the functionality of both services to enable the interactive classroom experience remotely. By using a combination of assignments functions, wipe boards, group breakouts and quizzes, National Star has successfully delivered seven courses ranging from Level 3 to Level 5.

The functionality and security of both Microsoft Teams and Zoom have rapidly evolved over the past year or so. Zoom is now more secure and enterprise focused, whereas a lot of the initially limiting functionality of Teams has also been addressed.

Naturally, there are pros and cons delivering Teacher Education via virtual learning environments. The main disadvantage cited was the in-person presence of a larger group in a single room, but conversely, the convenience of attending from home provides flexibility for staff to spend more time with family.

Delivering courses via virtual learning environments over the past year has added a new dimension to National Star’s Teacher Education function and when the COVID restrictions end the candidate will be able to choose whether they attend virtually or in person.

Technical considerations

  • Laptop with camera
  • Microsoft Teams account
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