At the beginning of 2020, with COVID-19 starting it’s spread across the world, EdTech startup Teach Stream worked with schools across West Sussex to identify the potential pain-points in delivering live interactive lessons safely and securely to potentially hundreds of students at a time. Since then, the platform has been embraced by schools and teachers, with thousands of users on the platform each day.
With hopefully the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic behind us, education still faces enormous challenges going into the 2020/21 academic year, where blending learning will undoubtedly become commonplace. Schools can expect a future of continued uncertainty, with students and teachers being absent for weeks due to council lockdowns and self-isolation. Schools using Teach Stream have been preparing their plans for their return in September, using the system alongside existing classroom technology to deliver a blended approach, where 50% of the class is present, and the rest are remotely working.
The Teach Stream platform is specifically designed for secondary schools and comes with a wealth of features to make it easy to implement across your school.
Teach Stream is built with simplicity in mind, a solution which ticks all the boxes with minimal training requirements. As part of this principle, no downloads or configuration is required to start using Teach Stream. Simply schedule your lesson from your web browser, invite your students and start teaching.
“We have been using Teach Stream at The Weald with all year groups with great success. It allows us to deliver lessons and interact remotely with students in a highly effective manner. The controls are simple but adapted perfectly for school use. Teachers have a choice of projecting presentations, using an integrated whiteboard, interacting via a chat function or bringing students into lessons on audio. Control of access to students by staff is easy and quick. It just works, which is critical. Students and staff love the simplicity.”
Peter Woodman, headteacher at The Weald School
Safeguarding is more of a concern than ever, and Teach Stream puts students’ privacy and safety first. One of the core differences between Teach Stream and alternative meeting-like platforms is students don’t have the option to send their webcam, greatly enhancing the privacy of students. To ensure that learning is tailored and interaction is still personal, student audio can be requested by the teacher for enhanced interaction.
Teach Stream gives the power back to the teacher, allowing the clearing of the chat discussion, along with muting and removal of selected students should the need arise. In addition, students don’t need to sign up to the platform, instead, when students join a lesson, they must verify their school email address via a confirmation code, helping ensure traceability and preventing unauthorised access to your lessons. With the ability to record lessons and have other teachers join as moderators, you can be sure Teach Stream can meet your safeguarding requirements.
Teach Stream comes with all the features of a typical meeting platform, including the ability to screen share, share webcam and communicate via chat messages. Teach Stream provides an interactive whiteboard and teacher-controlled audio discussion, making it easy for students to collaborate.
Lesson follow-up is essential, and Teach Stream provides functionality to make it as easy as possible. Recording is available during a Teach Stream lesson which can be downloaded after the lesson has finished along with a downloadable attendance and discussion log. These resources make it easy to track the attendance of a live lesson and follow up with questions or concerns raised.
“At The Forest School, we have been thrilled to reconnect with hundreds of our students across a range of subjects in just a few weeks, adapting our planning to deliver fun, interactive and exciting lessons through the Teach Stream platform. Feedback across the board has been phenomenal: from relieved parents, re-energised students and delighted teachers, all of whom have witnessed the impact on our students' enjoyment, learning and progress in such a short space of time.
“We have enjoyed working with the Teach Stream team who have been extremely receptive to our needs; developing, adapting and tailoring the technology to support teachers' delivery and enhance the learning experience for our students. We would highly recommend Teach Stream as part of a blended approach.
“Our staff have been extremely flexible and creative when using the Teach Stream platform to deliver lessons ‘live’ to our students. As a result, we have managed to re-engage some of our more reluctant learners and enthuse and secure better progress for all.”
Mrs L Kirkland, assistant headteacher at The Forest School
Looking into the future
As we look into the 2020/21 year, we expect to see a hybrid model of physical and remote learning throughout the country and Teach Stream has all the features required to help schools deliver their blended learning curriculum in the UK.