Tag Archives: Education

How to add Teams assignments to the student and teacher calendar

In this quick video, Tony shows you how to add assignments in Microsoft Teams to student and teacher calendars. 





When you next go to set a task in Assignments in Teams, look for the option to Add assignment to calendars.  

Assignments settings - adding assignments to student and teacher calendars

Here you have four options: 

  • None – The default setting and will not add the assignment to any calendar. 
  • Students only – Only adds the assignment to student calendars. 
  • Students and me – Adds the assignment to student calendars and your (the teacher) calendar. 
  • Students and team owners – Adds the assignment to student calendars and any teachers that teach that class. 

Add assignment to calendars dropdown menu

Once set, the assignment is sent as an event invite to your Outlook mailbox, the same way a Teams meeting, or calendar invite would be sent out.  

Outlook invite for Assignment event

You can then accept the invite and it will appear on your calendar the day the assignment is set for.

Assignment in calendar example

Automatically set up calendar events for assignments. 

As it may be difficult to remember to set up calendar invites each time you create an assignment, there is a way to automate this process.  

Simply head to the Assignments tab in Teams and hit the cog button to open Assignment Settings. 

Set automatic calendar invites for Teams assignments via the Assignment settings tab

Under the Calendar section, there is an option to Add future assignments to calendars.  

Select your preference from the dropdown menu (None, Students only, Students and me, or Students and team owners).  

From now on, all future assignments you set will be sent out as calendar invites to that selected group.  

Not only is adding calendar events for assignments a great way to remind you and the students of upcoming homework deadlines, but it can also be useful when planning workloads and help you avoid setting multiple big assignments for the same dates.  

If you would like to learn more about how we can help your school or MAT achieve more with Microsoft, please contact a member of our team today.

A quick round-up of Bett 2022

After two years of virtual demos and online networking, we were thrilled to be back at Bett Show in March, talking with schools and trusts face-to-face about blended learning.  

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to see us on our shared stand with our partners SalamanderSoft.  

Cloud Design Box Keith and Tony Bett 2022

The long-awaited three-day event – dubbed EdTech’s biggest reunion – brought together some of the most prominent names in the education community.  

Tony, Darren, Joanne, James, Keith and Joe had a brilliant time demonstrating our product and speaking to schools and MATs about their blended learning needs. 

Tony Phillips with the Cloud Design Box team at Bett 2022

Meanwhile, we also managed to catch up with some of our partner companies – Arbor, AspiraCloud and Microsoft Education.  

AspiraCloud at Bett 2022

Our Operations Manager Darren – a former teacher of Modern Languages and ICT – was particularly excited to talk with Microsoft about Reflections in Microsoft 365 and how it can be used to measure student wellbeing. 

Cloud Design Box was also part of The ANME Trail – hosted by the Association of Network Managers in Education. Visitors could walk around the trail collecting stamps to be in with a chance of winning all sorts of exciting gadgets. 

Cloud Design Box Joanne at Bett 2022

“Bett is a highlight in our calendar every year, so it’s a great feeling to be back at the show in 2022. It’s an extremely busy but exciting week for the whole team. It gives us the unique opportunity of catching up with our partner companies and speaking to schools and trusts about the challenges they face in an increasingly digital world,” enthuses Tony Phillips, Founder of Cloud Design Box. 

“We know that some didn’t make it to Bett this year due to the change in date and potentially due to Covid-19, so we’re hosting virtual demos for those who may have missed us at the show but want to extend Microsoft 365 in their school or trust.” 

Cloud Design Box Keith demonstating Cloud Box Product at Bett 2022

If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

 

Lost learning – How teachers can identify gaps in learning with Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms can help teachers to identify gaps in learning and keep track of students’ progress on specific topics.  

Over the last few years, many students have inevitably lost hours of learning due to higher absences, adjusting to learning from home and dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.   

On top of this, some individuals have struggled to access learning remotely due to a lack of access to devices or internet connectivity.   

This major disruption has caused a huge problem for schools as teachers battle to clearly identify gaps in individual students’ learning and keep track of progress. 

In Forms, we can quickly create quizzes and surveys to gauge how confident students are feeling about specific topics.  

Forms are a great tool to use when catching up on lost learning because teachers can: 

  • Easily duplicate and reuse forms – which saves teacher time as it removes the need to create new forms for each class and they can be shared within departments or across the entire school. 
  • Quickly create engaging surveys with a range of options and tools.  
  • View data, graphs and charts on individual students or whole classes – so you know exactly who needs more support with a specific topic.  
  • Download raw data in Excel for records and in-depth analysis.  

Here’s how to create a quiz in Microsoft Forms to tackle to problem of lost learning:  



  

Create a quiz in Microsoft Forms. 

  1. Select New quiz to create a new quiz. From here, you can add a title and description.

Create a new quiz in Microsoft Forms

Tip: Create a template quiz that can be reused for all your classes. 

2. Select Add new to add a question. You can pick from either Choice, Text, Rating and Date. Or, alternatively, select the down arrow to bring up advanced question options like Ranking, Likert scale or File upload.  

Add a question to a Microsoft Form

You can be as creative as you like, but to create a form for the purpose of addressing lost learning, we’d recommend using the Choice, Text and Rating questions to effectively gauge students understanding of a topic.  

Add a Choice question to your Microsoft Form.  

Choice questions are versatile and can allow students to communicate their understanding of a topic or be set up as a comprehension task with right/wrong answers.  

  1. Select Add new and then Choice to add either a multiple or single choice question to your quiz.  
  2. From here, you can type out your question and add different options.  
  3. Choose whether it’s multiple or single choice by toggling on/off Multiple answers.
  4. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it).
  5. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 

Add a choice question to a Microsoft Form

Add a Rating question to your Microsoft Form. 

Rating questions allow students to rate their understanding of a topic.  

  1. Select Add new and then Rating.  
  2. From here, you can type out your question.  
  3. Select how many rating levels you would like from the drop-down menu.  
  4. You can also choose whether to use numbers or stars from the Symbol drop-down menu.  
  5. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it). 
  6. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 
  7. Add labels to the rating scale (I.e. 1 = Not confident at all and 5 = Completely confident) by selecting the three dots (…) and then Label. 

Add a rating scale to a Microsoft Form

Add a Text question to your Microsoft Form. 

Text questions give students space to write their own answers, instead of relying on pre-written answers.  

  1. Select Add new and then Text. 
  2. From here, you can type out your question. You can also add an image or video to support your question.  
  3. You can choose how much space a student gets to answer the question by toggling on/off Long answer.
  4. Toggle on/off Required to decide whether students are required to fill out this question or not (we’d recommend selecting required if you want all students to answer a question as they may skip it).
  5. Add a subtitle for extra context by selecting the three dots (…) and then Subtitle. 

Add a text question to a quiz

Change the theme of a Microsoft Form. 

To make your quiz look more visually appealing, you can change its theme. 

  1. Select Theme to open up the theme options. 
  2. Choose from a pre-set theme or customise your own theme with a specific colour or image.

Change the theme of a Microsoft Form

Change the settings of a Microsoft Form. 

  1. Select the three dots (…) in the top navigation bar of Microsoft Forms.  
  2. Here you can alter the settings of your quiz, for example, whether you wish to show results automatically, who can fill out the form and options for responses. 

Change the settings of a Microsoft Form

Share a Microsoft Form with your class.  

  1. Select Share in the top navigation bar of Microsoft Forms. 
  2. From here, you can create a link to your form to share your response. 
  3. You can also share the form as a template, which is great if you want to use the quiz across multiple classes or share it with colleagues for reuse.  
  4. Forms can also be collaborated on – you can create a link to your form for colleagues to view and edit.  

How to share your Microsoft Form

Here’s an example of how you can get your class to fill out the quiz: 

Announcing your form on Microsoft Teams

Once students start to fill out the quiz, you can see their answers in the Responses tab on the form.  

Here you can see an overview of everyone’s responses: 

View a summary of form responses 

Or, alternatively, you can click through to each individual student to see their responses and even how long it took them to fill out the quiz.   

Finally, you can export the data to Excel – which is great for combining with school-wide data and creating in-depth reports.  

Microsoft Forms is a brilliant tool for creating quizzes and surveys that can quickly identify gaps in student learning.

If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

Lost Learning – How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams

Teachers can easily and quickly reassign homework tasks to individual students in Microsoft Teams Assignments when students have missed out on learning.

Over the last few years, many students have inevitably lost hours of learning due to higher absences, adjusting to learning from home and dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.

On top of this, some individuals have struggled to access learning remotely due to a lack of access to devices or internet connectivity.

This major disruption has caused a huge problem for schools as teachers battle to clearly identify gaps in individual students’ learning and keep track of progress.  

The ability to reassign missed assignments can help students catch up on lost learning at their own pace.

Here’s how you can easily reset an assignment or reassign a piece of homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams.




  1. Go to Assignments in Teams to view the assignments you have previously set.
  2. Select Create to open three options: Assignment, Quiz or From existing.   Create an Assignment from existing assignment in Microsoft Teams
  3. Select From existing to use a previous assignment. This brings up a list of all the classes you teach – you can scroll through or use the search bar to find the one you need.
  4. Select the class and hit Next. All the previous assignments from that class will appear. Lost Learning Assignments - Find an assignment to reuse in Microsoft Teams
  5. Select the assignment you wish to reassign and hit Next.

As you can see, everything is already populated for you – the title, instructions, relevant resources, rubric etc. – so there’s no need to waste time re-adding information.

However, if you need to edit or add additional guidance to the task, you can easily do that.

Reassigning an Assignment in Microsoft Teams

To reassign the assignment to an individual student: 

  1. Head to the Assign to section and select where it says All students to bring up a drop-down menu where you can choose Individual Students or Groups of students.Lost Learning in Microsoft Teams 4 - Reassigning assignments to individual students
  2. Select Individual students to bring up a list of all the students in the selected class.
  3. Choose the student(s) that you wish to reassign the assignment to, and then hit Done. 
  4. You may also wish to change a new due date. You can alter this in the Date due section. 

Once you’re happy, tap Assign to assign the task to the selected students – only these students will get a notification about the homework task. 

You can view this in Assignments in Teams and keep an eye on which students have completed and turned in the work.

ATTACHMLost Learning in Microsoft Teams 5 - Viewing re-assigned assignmentsENT DETAILS

Assignments in Microsoft Teams makes it easy for teachers to save time when supporting students with lost learning and missed assignments.

If you would like to find out more about how Microsoft 365 and Cloud Box can help your school or trust overcome the challenges of lost learning, book a demo with a member of our team.

Lost learning – How schools and trusts can overcome the issue with Microsoft

Lost learning is one of the many challenges schools face in 2022. In this blog, we share our top tips using Cloud Design Box and Microsoft education packages to encourage students to catch up with learning independently.  

Many students have lost learning due to:  

  • Higher levels of absences (of both staff and students).  
  • Adjusting to learning from home.  
  • Dealing with abrupt changes in restrictions.  

What’s more, depending on individual circumstances, some children have had to face challenges with internet connectivity, access to devices and the ability to participate in home learning.   

This major disruption has led to lost teaching hours, lost learning hours and lost assessment data. And, because each student has had a unique experience during Covid-19, it’s difficult to quantify and track gaps in learning.   

So how can we address this widespread problem of lost learning? 

We can start by looking at strategies to help teachers identify gaps in learning for specific students. When we combine this with strategies that encourage student independence, students can identify gaps in their own learning and access the tools they need to catch up.   

The approach should focus on saving teacher time, driving up the quality of learning resources, encouraging students to take ownership of their own learning.   

On top of this, the progress should be easy to monitor.   



Tools we can use to address lost learning:

Create accessible, centralised resources in SharePoint. 

Create a centralised, long-term resource bank in SharePoint for teaching resources, policies and other documents that can be reused and repurposed every academic year.   

Not only does this save time each year by not having to replicate or reupload resources, but it also means that everyone has access to everything they need to work – whether that’s a student or staff member. 

Here’s how teachers can use SharePoint to address the problem of lost learning →

How to use SharePoint to encourage students to catch up with lost learning

Create ‘topic notebooks’ and revision guides in OneNote. 

OneNote can be used to create and organise digital learning content for students – that can be shared in a centralised area.  

Teachers can create a mini-website/digital topic notebook for each topic that can then be shared via a link or in Teams. 

One notebook could be used to cover a term’s worth of learning content, that the student can then look back through and revise from. 

How to create topic notebooks in OneNote to help with lost learning →

Create topic notebooks and revision guides in OneNote
 

Reset lost assignments in Teams for individual students or small groups. 

With Teams Assignments, teachers can re-send out assignments to individuals or small groups of students who may not have been able to complete the homework when it was initially set.  

This saves teachers from having to send out a notification to whole classes and allows students who missed out to fill gaps in their learning. 

How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams →

How teachers can reassign missed homework to individual students in Microsoft Teams
 

Use Forms to identify gaps in learning and track student progress. 

Forms are a great way to pick up on gaps in learning as teachers can create engaging surveys and quizzes on a specific topic for students to complete.   

Data is then collected instantly and can be turned into graphs and charts so any gaps in knowledge can be easily identified and recapped. 

How teachers can identify gaps in learning with Microsoft Forms →

How schools and MATs can use Microsoft Forms to help tackle lost learning

If you would like more information on how these Microsoft tools can work together to help address the issue of lost learning in your school or trust, book a demo with a member of our team.

Bridging the digital divide – how Cloud Design Box is supporting launch of the DEIS Connect Project

Cloud Design Box has been working with St Kevin’s Community College in Dublin to support them in becoming one of the first DEIS (Delivery Equality of Opportunity in Schools) schools in Ireland.  

The DEIS Connect Project aims to bridge the digital divide in schools and provide digital devices for all learners. It was launched by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin on 4 February 2022.  

All 1st and 2nd year students have been given an iPad for use in school and at home, with laptops distributed to all 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th years at the college.  

The DEIS Connect initiative is a clear demonstration of DDLETB’s commitment to delivering a high-quality learning experience for all of our students and school teams,” states  Mr Adrian Flynn, Director of Schools at DDLETB.

We are very proud of St. Kevins CCs achievements in leading the path in embracing the best of what technology-enhanced learning has to offer. We look forward to further developing this initiative throughout the DDLETB DEIS network.”  

Our team have been working with the school and the DDLETB (Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board) to create an online solution for blended and remote learning at St Kevin’s. 

The hybrid approach to learning is one of the first of its kind in the country, allowing students to access learning resources at any time from their devices.  

Equipped with our Cloud Box platform and new skills from staff training sessions we’ve delivered, teachers at St Kevin’s can access everything they need to create and store quality online learning materials, provide feedback to students and track learner progress. 

 An Taoiseach Micheál Martin at St Kevin's Community College

“The Cloud Box platform is a fabulous benefit to our school. It’s a great place for staff to collaborate, and it links directly with our MIS data – which is invaluable to me as the ICT coordinator. Now that we have become a 1:1 school, with all students having access to devices, this software is completely invaluable to us – all the students’ Teams and content libraries created from the very start,” enthuses Mr John O’Callaghan, ICT Coordinator at St Kevin’s.  

“Cloud Design Box has been extremely approachable and easy to work with, from the initial build of the platform and while finetuning the software and going above and beyond to meet our needs.” 

St Kevin’s celebrated the launch of the project on Friday 4 February with a visit from Micheál Martin. 

Watch the launch day video here: 



 

 Mr Tony Barry, Principal of the school said on the launch day: 

“DEIS Connect will expand the capacity and opportunity for all learners to engage in the use of digital technology in both teaching and learning. It is an innovative solution to tackle the digital divide and to benefit learners,” 

“Every student coming to St Kevin’s now and into the future regardless of means will receive a digital device to assist them with learning – to prepare them for further education, college and to ensure they are workforce ready.”

Mr Tony Barry at St Kevins Community College DEIS Connect Project

The whole team at Cloud Design Box is thrilled to be involved in this project, which has provided an entire community with the tools they need to thrive in todays digital environment.  

If you would like to find out more about our Cloud Box platform, book a free demo today.  

 

Free webinars: Improve MAT communication and save SLT time with Arbor and Cloud Box  

Cloud Design Box is partnering with Arbor to deliver two free virtual training sessions designed especially for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs).  

Arbor works with over 2,500 primary, secondary and special schools and is the UK’s fasted-growing MIS community.  

Arbor MIS – which is featured in both of the upcoming webinars – gives schools of all sizes the tools they need to free staff from busywork, work more collaboratively and stay connected on the cloud – so that your whole team has a shared view of what’s going on.  

Improving MAT communication using Microsoft Teams and Arbor.  

The first session takes place on Thursday 10 February and is aimed at MATs who want to improve communication across all their schools.  

The Cloud Design Box team will show MATs how they can easily share documents, important announcements and news across the entire trust with SharePoint and Teams.  

SharePoint home page with My Assignments web part showing students upcoming assignments.

Meanwhile, Andrew from Arbor (former Headteacher and MAT leader) will take this one step further and demonstrate how Communications in Arbor allows schools to share announcements and news to specific groups.  

 

Click to sign up to improving MAT communication using Microsoft Teams and Arbor

Saving curriculum leader time with Cloud Box and Arbor.  

On Tuesday 15 March, we’ll discuss how curriculum leaders can save time creating and sharing learning resources with both the Cloud Box and Arbor solutions.  

The demonstration will be split into two parts and cover how senior leaders can save time with Teams by creating and sharing quality, long-term resources and using the analytics tools to monitor what work is being set and completed.  

Following this, Arbor will demonstrate how their Communications module can be used to share information and resources with specific groups of students.  

Click to sign up to saving curriculum leader time with Cloud Box and Arbor (March 2022)

Both webinars are free to attend and open to anyone working in a school, academy or multi academy trust. To find out more about all our upcoming events, please see our events page 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated Guidance for Starting Online Lessons in Microsoft Teams

We have recently updated our video guide on how to start online lessons in Microsoft Teams. As January approaches, many schools will be forced into full or partly online lessons due to sickness and self-isolation. Microsoft Teams as evolved to become easier to use for teachers over the past year and the video below reflects this:



You can also read/watch our previous guides for more in-depth information.
Office 365 User Adoption Podcast Episode 10 – Virtual Lessons using Microsoft Teams

Teacher Guide to Presenting Remote Lessons using Microsoft Teams

Add students’ upcoming assignments to your school’s SharePoint home page

We have launched a new SharePoint web part exclusive for Cloud Design Box customers called My Assignments, allowing students to see all their current and upcoming assignments from their SharePoint homepage.  

Your school’s SharePoint homepage should give students a quick overview of what’s going on in the school community, and their classroom.  

Popular features of a school intranet include the latest news, an announcement from the headteacher and maybe even a word of the day/week to get students thinking.

But, a common question we get asked by our customers is Is there a way to show upcoming assignments on the homepage? and thats why we created this new web part.  

Schools can now add My Assignments to their SharePoint’  pages 

SharePoint home page with My Assignments web part showing students upcoming assignments.

The student can see what assignments are coming up, what class theyre for and when theyre due. The ones that are overdue are highlighted in red.  

Whats more, the student can click the assignment and be taken directly to that assignment page in Microsoft Teams.  

My Assignments SharePoint web part showing students upcoming assignments.

The My Assignments web part has been designed to make it easier for students to keep track of assignments and take more ownership of their learning.    



If you’re a Cloud Design Box customer, you can edit your SharePoint home page and add the My Assignments web part to the page. Please get in touch with support if you need assistance with this.  

If youre not a customer but want to find out how we can help your school or trust achieve more with Microsoft 365, get in touch with a member of our team right now