Teaching with Teams

Checking in with Senior Lecturer Kim Rowston

Kim Rowston is a lecturer in Education (Technologies) in the Faculty of Education and Arts. Normally located at ACU's Strathfield campus, Kim’s taking classes to a new location: anywhere they need to be.   She shares some of her tips, tricks and advice for moving with the times to stay ahead of the curve using ACU’s Digital Workspace.

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Kim’s advice for getting started with video conferencing

As a lecturer in technology subjects, Kim had a group of students who were perfect to come along on the journey, helping through technical snags and teaching her this: “Be honest with your students during this process. Transparency builds respect and trust.”

Kim has been using Teams as her primary digital workspace, and connects it to collaborative apps like Google Apps, Twitter, Padlet, Poll Everywhere and Sli.do via a web browser tab. This means everything she wants to show her students is at her fingertips, and theirs, with the aim of fostering student-directed learning experiences.

Trying out different tools, plug-ins and tabs in her Teams teaching environment has allowed Kim to experiment with how her class experiences and interacts with her material.

“I love trialling new technology. It is time consuming and often very frustrating, but the benefits of finding a new tool or platform that can support, engage or connect with students always outweigh the negatives.”

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Surprising features

There have been some features and benefits to teaching with Teams which Kim never foresaw.

“Ironically,” Kim says, “the use of video conferencing during tutorial sessions has fostered more personable connections.”

Students have been looking at each other and listening to each other more than they had in the classroom by virtue of the interface, and consequently they’ve been demonstrating renewed agency in their own learning.

“MS Teams has enabled the ability to transfer to online learning without the disconnect often associated with that mode.”

Where the lecture theatre held the audience at arm’s length, digital platforms like Teams have suddenly brought everyone to the front row and given a megaphone to even the shyest of students. In Kim’s experience, they’re eager to use it.   

“Multimodal teaching approaches may never be seamless, but as an educator, you are modelling best practice through your attempts to authentically integrate technology to facilitate meaningful learning environments. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from experimenting using different platforms.”


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Want to learn more?

Training is available to help you get started with Teams, and runs at 12pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until 29 May 2020. Add a session to your calendar here.

Check out Teams how-tos, instructions and support articles on the Service Central knowledge base

Further resources to support teaching continuity

Kim has been making the most of ACU’s Digital Workspace as a teacher by using Zoom and Teams to present and manage her classes. Staff can find more resources and tools to support their teaching practice by visiting the Teaching Continuity webpage. 

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