Microsoft Teams for Morning Show- Work Smarter Not Harder


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In my district (Hillsborough County Public Schools) some of our schools’ face challenges producing their Morning Show with limited time, resources, and outdated Closed Circuit TV systems. As an alternative, I decided to find a way to use Microsoft Teams to “broadcast” the Morning Show. It seemed simple enough to me since Teams is already implemented district wide and every teacher has access to at least one computer in their classroom.

To begin, let’s focus on what I think are the two most fundamental factors:

Production and Promotion

Production is where you determine how and with what tools you will produce the event itself. It can be produced live (in real-time) or pre-recorded for later viewing on demand, or both. Promotion is where you determine how and with what tools you will connect with your viewers.

Promotion can be done via Outlook, Teams, Stream, SharePoint, Canvas and more. Both Production and Promotion introduce additional factors, chief among them are Hardware, Talent, and Teams, described below:

  • Hardware: all the technology (computers, cameras, microphones, projectors, flat panels, mixers, streamers, etc.) you have at your disposal, and this is where money can be spent (Roland V-4EX or V1HD+ & Mackie 1402 4LZ4).
  • Talent is everyone that contributes to your production including the sponsor/lead teacher, the on-camera newscasters (students) but also includes the off-camera talent that runs the hardware and supports the production process.
  • Teams: all the functionality in the M365/Teams environment which includes the Web app, the device specific “desktop” applications (Win, Apple, etc.) and ALL the Mobile apps too. This includes the Teams Meeting settings where the meeting owner will determine what features will be used during the event and even which features will be available to the viewers. This also includes the relationships that exist between Teams, Stream, OneDrive, SharePoint and more.

I’m sure you can imagine how closely intertwined all these factors are. I quickly discovered the more Hardware you have, the more Talent you need to run it all, and the more functionality you can use in Teams. Let’s explore each of these factors in a little greater detail below.

Template for Success

Hardware

Use Teams for the morning show and get it out there for everyone to join.

  • Schedule the Morning Show meeting in advance and share the scheduled meeting join link with your audience via Outlook and or Teams.
  • Schedule the Morning Show meeting once in advance, share the scheduled meeting join link ONCE with your audience and re-use the SAME scheduled meeting join link (over and over).
  • Add computers (laptops) as additional sources and or presenters. If each computer has a built-in web cam & microphone, they will appear in the Teams Meeting as different sources. This is a simple way to include reports from classrooms around campus.
  • Add external cameras with built-in microphones. To accomplish this, it is often necessary to employ the use of a Video Mixer (Roland V-4EX or V1HD+) that allows you to switch between audio and video sources on the fly. It also allows you to run a PowerPoint presentation (or anything else) from a secondary source via the mixer.
  • Add external microphones. To accomplish this, it is often necessary to employ the use of an Audio Mixer (Mackie 1402 4LZ4) that allows you to manage multiple audio sources independently on the fly.

Talent

The sponsor/lead teacher is usually the one setting up all the hardware, scheduling and running the Teams meeting and managing all the talent. This is a BIG job and will probably take some time getting used to all the options (above). Start small and add one layer at a time as your comfort level increases. In time, you will organically find the configuration that works best for you and the resources you have available (at the time). Students can be the anchors, delivering the “news” each day, but they can also create content, run the Cameras and Audio & Video mixers, and even manage the Teams meeting itself (under direct supervision). Don’t overlook this source of talent and give students opportunities.

Teams

Teams Meetings offer so many features, there is literally nothing you can’t accomplish. This also means there are many decisions to be made along the way in Teams. Chief among them is the Mode in which you will conduct the event:

  • Live
  • Pre-recorded
  • Both

A live broadcast is just like it sounds, the talent is on camera in the Teams meeting AND the viewers are watching the broadcast in “real” time. This is the easiest mode of production; however, it can also be risky because there is no “safety net” when/if errors occur. Alternatively, pre-recording the event allows your production team the luxury to improve/correct their presentation and even edit their final product in post-production before it’s ever released. Even if you decide to go live, you can still record the event for those who might miss the live broadcast. Whichever mode you choose, the recording can then be easily shared with your audience via Teams, Outlook, SharePoint, Canvas, and more.

So that’s it for now and it looks like a LOT. I hear you, but if you approach it like eating an elephant (one bite at a time) you will be broadcasting your Morning Show via Teams like a boss in no time.


Bradley SmrstickBradley Smrstick

HCPS: Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology

MIEE Master Teacher Trainer

Minecraft Global Ambassador

NCCE Professional Learning Specialist

BSmrstick@ncce.org

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