FAQs

I want to create an account.

We’re glad you want to join us! The Microsoft Educator Community was designed to be a free online community of millions of educators and educational partners around the world coming to together to collaborate, learn and share with the help of Microsoft technology. 

Creating an account is easy! Follow this link to get started creating your Microsoft Educator Community account. 

 

Can I invite others?

Yes! Please do share with your colleagues – the more people join, the better the community will be for everybody! Send your colleagues this link education.microsoft.com  

I don't have a Microsoft Account

With the new Educator Community, we offer the option to log in with your Office 365, Microsoft account, Facebook, Twitter or Skype accounts – so you have options. You can still browse the site without an account but to participate in Skype sessions or to create content you must have a registered account through any of the log in options listed above. 

I don't have a Skype account

Don’t worry, it is not required until you are ready to connect with one of our experts or educators directly. In order to join Skype Lessons, Virtual Field Trips, Mystery Skype or Guest Speaking Sessions you’ll need to set up a Skype account. We also recommend that you include your Skype account ID in your profile so others can easily connect with you.  You can create a Skype account at www.skype.com. 
Want to sign up for Skype with your school email? Click here

Can I use my personal Skype account?

Yes, you can join with whichever Skype account you want based on your personal preference. 

Editing your Profile

You took the first step and registered for the Microsoft Educator Community. Congrats! Now you’re ready to enhance your profile.

You can edit your profile by following this link to your edit profile page. 

 

Adding a profile picture

You can add or edit your profile picture or avatar from your edit profile page. Click here to get started.

Note: there is a recommended size of 360x360px

 

What fields in my profile is visible to others?

On your Edit Profile page you can see your Profile Status under Basic Information. You can edit this to Public, Private, or Authenticated only. 

Public profiles have several fields that are visible to all other users. You can identify these fields because they are marked with an eye icon next to them.

The Authenticated Users Only designation means that only users with registered Microsoft
Educator Community accounts can view your public profile. To see what information is included in your Public profile refer to the eye icon next to these fields. 

 

Why does it ask for my social media details?

Under the Social Summary tab in your profile, you can provide links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and blog. This is to allow other users to connect with you on your preferred platform.

It asks for my Skype ID – What is that?

If you have a Skype account, you would have created your Skype ID when you created your account.

To check, log into Skype.com with the email address you created the account with and check your ID.

Or create your Skype account in a few simple steps here.

 

What is Mystery Skype?

Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.

It's suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.

Check our Mystery Skype OneNote to see all the wonderful things you and your class can do together to play Mystery Skype and organize your session.

 

Where do I find lessons?

All of our different lesson can be found here. This includes Lesson Plans, Skype Lessons, Virtual Field Trips, and Video Tutorials. 

What is a Lesson Plan?

Do you have a lesson that really inspires and gets children thinking? Share it with other educators as a lesson plan! Check out this great Lesson Plan.

What is a Skype Lesson?

You can take your students around the world without ever leaving the classroom, collaborate with another class on a specific project you are working on, or hear from an expert Guest Speaker by utilizing Skype Lessons. Check out this great Skype Lesson.

What is a Virtual Field Trip?

This is a great option to meet experts ‘out in the field’ such as museum tour guides, explorers, marine biologists, zoologists, and scientists to educate your classroom and take them on virtual adventure. Check out this great Virtual Field Trip

What is a Video Tutorial?

Video Tutorials are a great way for educators to share their expertise with each other on topics like leveraging technology in the classroom or new and exciting teaching methods.  Check out this great Video Tutorial

How do I register for a lesson?

For tips on how to register for any of our Skype Sessions please click here

How is a Skype Lesson different than a Lesson Plan?

Great question! Skype Lessons are taught in real time using Skype to teach the lesson. Specific times are scheduled between guest speakers and classes so the class is getting an incredibly unique and valuable educational experience with an expert.

Lessons Plan are available offline at any time. Educators have created these Lesson Plans for you to access at your convenience. This can be anything from a video to a PowerPoint you can access when you need it. 

 

What does it mean to host a Virtual Field Trip?

Hosting Virtual Field Trips is a great way to show your unique expertise and help guide a class through an adventure without leaving their seats! To host a Virtual Field Trip you must be an approved guest speaker. 

To get started visit the Find a Lesson page here. The purple ‘Create’ button on the right hand side will allow you start creating your Virtual Field Trip. Make sure to include all of the required information and if this Virtual Field Trip has an expiration date. 

 

How do I create a Lesson Plan, Video Tutorial, Skype Lesson, or Virtual Field Trip?

• Navigate to the Find a Lesson page.
• Scroll down and select the purple “Create” button.
• Select which type of content you want to create. 
• You can also create content from the Content section of your profile. 
• On the Create Content page you can enter in all of the information about the content you are creating. Remember to add in as much information as possible as all content is reviewed for quality. 
o Here you can add supporting resources for your content like PowerPoint, Video Files, and Images.
o You can even embed video from the internet like a YouTube video.
o Remember the more info the better!
• You can always “Save as a Draft” and finish later.
• Once you’re done with the basic information of your content Save as a Draft and then select Enhance Content.
• On this page you can select Add Module at the top of the page to utilized enhanced content features such as videos, resources, and Sway & Mix embedding. 
• You can also add in additional colors, change font sizes, and add in any additional information you would like.
• Once your content is done click Save to secure your changes.
• Click Edit Details to return to the page where you can Submit for Review at the bottom of the page. 
• All content submitted is reviewed by a site administrator and will be reviewed within 72 hours. 

 

How do I add a discussion?

Speak up! This educator community is built on the idea of sharing and learning from each other.

• Start on the Join the Discussion page
• Using the “Add Discussion” button you can select the country you want to add your discussion in.
• Fill the discussion form and even add supporting resources for the discussion
• Click “Publish” and you’re off!

 

How do I add a community?

If you would like to add a new community, click the orange Help button at the bottom of this page and submit a help desk request to let us know what the new community should be called.

How do I access my drafted content?

You started to create content but haven’t finished it yet? You can always pick up where you left off by accessing your drafted content. 

Click here to access the Content section of your profile. Here you’ll find all your content: Published, Draft, In Review, Expired, and Archived. Feel free to use the filtering tool to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

 

How do I follow another educator?

If you want to follow another educator you can click the star next to their name. 

I requested to follow some other users - how do I see who I have followed?

All of your Connections can be found here. Here you can filter by people you are following, users who are following you, new requests to follow you, and your pending requests to follow other users. 

I'm not getting the registrations and responses that I wanted for my Skype Lesson or Virtual Field Trip.

Microsoft Educator Community has been set up to allow other teachers to find you, but that doesn't mean that you can't go to find them. In the past teachers have run searches for similar projects on the site, or spread the word of their own projects through blogs, twitter and forums to help improve traffic.

How can I get more people to look at my Lesson Plan, Video Tutorial, Skype Lesson, or Virtual Field Trip?

Teachers have found that advertising their projects outside of the Microsoft Educator Community has helped to bring in more interested and engaged teachers.

My educational authority doesn't support the IT required; webcams/ smartboards/ projectors.

Getting the permission and the technology required to bring Microsoft into your classroom can sometimes be a difficult act. We really respect and appreciate our teachers pushing through barriers to make sure that their students get to enjoy Microsoft Education too. If you are having trouble convincing an educational authority to allow you access, show them some of our video clips, our testimonials and case studies. Alternatively, they can send any queries through the orange Help button at the bottom of this page. 

I'm not sure where to find teachers who would be interested in joining my Skype lesson, or connecting with me on topics I am interested in.

It’s easy! You can find educators and classrooms across the globe here. Here you have the ability to filter by subject, age group, language and a variety of other options that will help you find the right people and classrooms who would be interested connecting with you on the topics you have selected. 

I'm looking for a guest speaker with a tight deadline in mind.

There are thousands of teachers and lessons on the site already. The best way to get the response you are looking for is to make your search as specific as possible; i.e. do you know the subject? Age group? 

The more granular you can get the better you will be able to find the right guest speaker to meet your needs. In addition, while we know that all our guest speakers are eager and excited to meet with you, please keep in mind they are doing this on a volunteer basis and may take a day or two respond. 

 

I want to connect with someone in a specific country or who speaks a certain language.

When searching for a lesson or teacher, you can select a country, language and age of students to search from. You can customize your search to suit your needs.

I've taken part in an amazing learning experience. How can I share it with others?

Excellent news! We love hearing how people are using the Microsoft Educator Community, and the adventures they are taking part in. If you have created videos, blog posts or photographs we would really enjoy seeing them and sharing them with the rest of our followers. You can send links to us through twitter (@microsoft_EDU and @Skypeclassroom) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/microsoftineducation and https://www.facebook.com/skypeintheclassroom). In addition, if you have Skype specific photos or stories to share, many of our users post with #mysteryskype and #skype2learn. 

What does it mean to be a guest speaker?

Guest speakers are experts in their field and offer lessons to classes using their expert knowledge. An example could be a book author talking to a class about writing books, or a Computer Programmer talking to a class about coding.

How can I become a guest speaker?

We’re so glad you want to be a guest speaker! You’ll need to send us a request to be one before you get started. Click here to go to the Skype in the Classroom section of your Edit Profile page and then select the ‘I am requesting to be a Guest Speaker’ check box, go to the bottom of the page to save your changes. Your request will be reviewed by a site administrator. Remember only users with filled out profiles will be approved to be a guest speaker, so tell us about yourself and your expertise. 

How can my organization become a partner?

We’re always looking for great organizations who are looking to partner with the Microsoft Educator Community. This is a great way for educators around the world to learn about your organization and for you to help give students a new and exciting way to learn. 

For more information please contact Lauren Roberts or Kelly Anderson

 

What happened to the Microsoft Educator Network?

The Microsoft Educator Network has been integrated Skype in the Classroom. The Microsoft the Educator Community enables you to find all that you need to get training, find lessons, and connect with other educators across the globe, all in one place.

What has happened to my profile information from the Microsoft Educator Network?

Once you register for the Microsoft Educator Community you can navigate to Account Recovery page to enter your email address in and recover your information the Microsoft Educator Network. 

Where are my badges from the Microsoft Educator Network?

Only certain badges were brought over from the Microsoft Educator Network. 

You can see all of the badges available within the Achievements tab of your profile.

 

What has happened to my content from the Microsoft Educator Network?

In the new Microsoft Educator Community not all of the content that was created in the Microsoft Educator Network was migrated.

To see if the content you created previously has been moved over check out the Drafts in your Content section in your profile. Filter to “Draft” content and submit that content to be published. The MEC team reviews all user generated content prior it being published.

 

What happened to Skype in the Classroom?

We have integrated Skype in the Classroom with the Microsoft Educator Network to create to the new Microsoft Educator Community. What started out as a small project with a few hundred passionate educators has grown substantially over the last 4 years. The Microsoft Educator Community is designed to help you grow your professional career, collaborate with others around the world, and prepare your students for the future.

Skype in the Classroom users who have been migrated to the new site will gain access to thousands more educators and experts from around the world, as we have combined the Microsoft Educator Network and Skype in the Classroom Communities together.

 

What happened to my profile information from Skype in the Classroom?

We have moved over everyone who was an active user. If you joined a while back and have not logged back in for a long time, you may not see your profile. Don’t worry- you can easily create a new one. This ensures all the content on the site is up to date and you’ll get a good response rate from other users.

I created projects in the Skype in the Classroom site which I cannot find in the new site

At this point, we have only moved over projects which were active and not older projects or projects which have ended.

Please contact us through the orange Help button at the bottom of this page and fill out our submission form if you think there is some content missing which should not be.

You can easily recreate your lesson in the new site as well – check out the Finding, Creating and Joining lessons section of this page. But we are here to help! So please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Additional Skype in the Classroom support

A need little more help? For additional support on how to utilize Skype in the Classroom check out these helpful presentations

How do I schedule a Guest Speaking Session?

On each Guest Speaker’s profile there is a button under their profile picture to “Request a Guest Speaking Session.” Clicking this button will either bring up a calendar for you to schedule a session with the host based on their availability or prompt you to send them a custom message if the host chooses not to share their availability. Click here to search for guest speakers!

How do I schedule a Mystery Skype?

On each user’s profile who is participating in Mystery Skype there is a button under their picture to “Request a Mystery Skype.” Clicking that button will either bring up a calendar for you to schedule a session with the host based on their availability or prompt you to send them a custom message if the host chooses not to share their availability. To search for other classrooms to play Mystery Skype with, go to:  
https://education.microsoft.com/skype-in-the-classroom/mystery-skype or click here.


 

How do I register for Skype Lesson?

On each Skype Lesson & Virtual Field Trip there is a purple button that allows you to register and schedule a time with that host for a session. Clicking that button will either bring up a calendar for you to schedule a session with the host based on their availability or prompt you to send them a custom message if the host chooses not to share their availability. Looking for a Skype Lesson that can enhance your classroom’s learning experience? Check out our Top Teacher Picks and Skype in the Classroom Highlights to find Skype Lesson favorites and ideas to help get you started. 

How do I register for a Virtual Field Trip?

On each Skype Lesson & Virtual Field Trip there is a purple button that allows you to register and schedule a time with that host for a session. Clicking that button will either bring up a calendar for you to schedule a session with the host based on their availability or prompt you to send them a custom message if the host chooses not to share their availability.

I registered for a session, now what?

After requesting a session, the host of the session will be notified by email they need to either confirm or decline your request. Please allow our hosts 3 business days to respond to your request. 

A host never responded to my request for a session.

If a host has not responded to your request in 3 business days, you can go to your Registration Dashboard and send them a reminder email. Click ‘Sessions I am attending’ and select ‘Pending’ from the drop down options on the right. For requests that are more than 3 days old a button will appear to Send Reminder Email. By clicking this button, an email will be send to the host to remind them to respond to your request. 

If you have not heard from the session host after sending a reminder email, feel free to email support@mec.zendesk.com, and our Support Team can contact the session host.

A host approved my session, now what?

Once a host approves your requested session, we will share their contact details with you so you can reach out to them to get everything set up. They also have access to your contact information, so they may reach out to you directly. We recommend you connect in plenty of time before the scheduled call. If this is your first Skype call or you’re using new equipment, we recommend a test call beforehand. 

A host declined my session.

If the host of a session has declined your request they may reach out directly to you via the email address associated with your account. From there the host may direct you back to their registration page to select a new time or may work with you via email to schedule a different time.

How can I see what sessions I’ve registered for?

On your Registration Dashboard you use the dropdown to see your Upcoming Confirmed sessions. For all Pending and Upcoming Confirmed sessions, you can click Cancel Session to notify the host you are unable to attend a confirmed session. We know your schedules are busy but we’d ask that you try to give at least 3 days’ notice to allow the host to effectively manage their time and schedules. 

How do I edit my availability?

You can edit your availability from the Skype in the Classroom section of your edit profile page. Select the date you want to edit and the times of the day you’re available for Skype sessions. You can also add times to your calendar that you are Away and unavailable for Skype sessions.

For more information on how to set your availability click here.


 

How do I utilize Skype?

We always recommend testing out your computer prior to participating in or hosting a Virtual Field Trip or Skype Lesson. Make sure your internet connection, camera, and microphone are all in working order.

Our Skype Guide Lessons are a great resource to demonstrate how Skype can be integrated into your curriculum.

Need a little more help?  Check out the Skype website for additional support.

 

Can I use Skype for Business?

It is possible to use Skype for Business for your Skype Sessions. Just follow these steps! 

- Make it clear to the lesson host prior to the session and ensure you carry out a test call
- The other user can send you a request from ‘consumer’ Skype to your Skype for Business using your email- you need to look out for it in the ‘New’ tab – it’s not always obvious! 
- If adding a lesson host on consumer Skype for Skype for Business, search for their Skype ID, and select the ‘Skype Directory’ tab as shown below
- Most of our lesson hosts use consumer Skype, but some are open to using Skype for Business 
- As an alternative, you could also set up a Skype for Business meeting and send them the link to join. That way (if they haven’t used Skype for Business before, they’d need to download a browser plug in- same as you’d do when joining an online webinar)
- Note that sometimes the other person appears offline when they are not, only when you open their profile does it then sync and show their online status

Additional Skype in the Classroom support

A need little more help? For additional support on how to utilize Skype in the Classroom check out these helpful presentations.

How do I approve or decline session requests?

Hosts can approve or decline all request sent to them through their Registration Dashboard. From here you can use the dropdown to see your Pending sessions. We know that you are busy, but we do ask that you try to respond to requests within 3 business days to ensure teachers can effectively plan their student’s time in advance.  

 

How can I see what upcoming sessions I’m hosting?

On your Registration Dashboard you use the dropdown to see your Upcoming Confirmed sessions. Click the View Details button to see information about the attendees for that upcoming session.

You can also access your Registration Dashboard by clicking on your profile picture to access the navigation dropdown.  

 

I’ve already approved a session but I need to cancel. How do I do that?

On your Registration Dashboard you use the dropdown to see your Upcoming Confirmed sessions. Click on View Details to access your session details. From the detail view, you can Cancel the session and add a message to the attendee explaining the reason for the cancellation.

We would also encourage you to reach out via email to the attendee to try and schedule a new time that works well for both you. You can find the user’s email address in the Skype registration emails or by clicking View Details next to the session within your Registration Dashboard.

 

A user has proposed a new time for a session that is outside of my availability that doesn’t work for me. What do I do?

Using the Registration Dashboard, click on View Details.  The user’s email address is listed in the Attendee List for you to reach out to them directly via email to let them know the time doesn’t work for you. 

Once you and the attendee have decided on a new date and time for the session go to your Registration Dashboard and click View Details again. On the Session Detail page, select ‘Change Date’ under the Date Requested to update the new date and time.

If you do not want to allow users to propose times that are outside of your set availability, you may want to check your Availability Settings in the Skype in the Classroom section of your edit profile page.

How do I edit my availability?

You can edit your availability from the Skype in the Classroom section of your edit profile page. Select the date you want to edit and the times of the day you’re available for Skype sessions. When an item is green this means you are available at that day/time. Gray indicates that you do not have availability specified on a given day/time, and dates that are marked with an X indicate that you are not available. 

For more information on how to set your availability click here

 

How do I edit my availability setting?

We understand that not all hosts have the same flexibility and scheduling preferences, which is why we give you the option to choose from four availability settings. Your availability setting can be updated from the Skype in the Classroom section of your edit profile page and lets us know how you prefer to be contacted for Skype sessions.

There are 4 availability settings you can choose from:

Only available at the times I’ve set - I want to set my availability and only allow members to contact for the times specified as available.

My availability is flexible – Availability can be set, but members will also be able to propose times outside of my specified availability.

Do not display my availability – I choose not to set availability on the website. Allow members to send me a message and I will follow up via email or Skype to arrange the details.

Away -  I’m going to be unavailable for a period of time. I will update when I return to the community.

 

I’m a Guest Speaker, but I don’t want users to request sessions from my profile. What should I do?

From your Edit Profile page, you can remove the Request a Guest Speaking Session button from your profile by unselecting the box that says “Allow guest speaker requests from my profile. By unselecting the field, the Guest Speaker Request button will be removed from your profile and replaced with a link for user’s to view your Guest Speaker Content.

How do I update my availability to “Away”?

If you plan to be away from the community for a period of time and need to update your availability to Away, there are two options on your Edit Profile page to help you do so.

In the My Availability section, you can set specific dates and times that you will be unavailable for Skype sessions. This option is helpful if you are planning to be away for specific days or a short period of time.