A guide to disconnecting when needed…

We are all guilty of not being able to switch off from work sometimes. This can be even more so when we have apps such as Outlook and Teams downloaded on our mobile phones, notifying us every hour of the day, even on weekends. But what is this doing to our wellbeing? It is very important to remember to set boundaries with the digital world, and this includes turning off your notifications!

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offers different ways to access, receive, and manage notifications. These settings include how, when, and where your notifications appear, custom settings for channels and chat, appearance and sounds, turning off specific messages, and so on.

To manage your notifications, select Settings and more Teams more icon in the top right of Teams, then select Settings Settings button  > Notifications  Activity button.

Top tip: completely turn of all notifications if you’re on a holiday or just some well needed time off from work, and switch them back on when you return to work. 



Schedule your notifications on Outlooks and take charge of your quiet times. Having notifications of emails from Outlook on your days off can be very annoying, or distracting if you’re trying to get work done!

The settings process for managing Outlook notifications will differ depending on what device you use.

Outlook Do Not Disturb feature:

Outlook app sidebar screenshot

You can even schedule when you’d like Do Not Disturb to be enabled:

Outlook app do not disturb settings on a phone: Screenshot



Equipment for remote teaching


Equipment for remote teaching

“CIMG1702” by quattrokid73 is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

When teaching online, recording videos, and communicating with students it is important to consider the audio and video quality to ensure that your instructional content is accessible to students in a consistent and high quality format. A good quality headset will block a lot of background noise and bring focus to your voice. Swansea University have a non-exhaustive list of recommended devices.

(Swansea Resource)


Future Teacher Talks Webinars



A road signThis website contains monthly webinars on various topics surrounding online learning as part of the a wider Future Teacher 3.0 project. There are a selection on monthly webinar topics dating back to March 2017, some of which have since been revised. Each webinar begins with a short introduction and then in many cases engaging and interactive presentations from guest presenters.

The webinars are fully interactive and there are opportunities to actively participate and contribute. Examples of more recent webinars available include; online learning – what works ?, the flipped classroom, collaborative teaching and learning. Each topic contains the presentation and associated resources and the webinar recording, as well as a transcript of the text chat from participants during the session. Many of the additional resources have been produced using Xerte Online Toolkits introducing you to another technology.

(External Resource)


Teaching Online – series of 11 video episodes on YouTube



Composite image, two profile heads facing each other, overlaid in front of a bookshelfThe Teaching Online series of episodes on YouTube shares 11 short videos (approx. 3mins each) presented by Dave Cormier. Dave Cormier is an educational activist, researcher and online community advocate. These videos serve as guiding principles for teaching online. It comprises of the following episodes:

  1. Moving to teaching online is not a technology problem
  2. Teaching online is about information abundance
  3. Complicated vs. Complex
  4. Learning to evaluate good/bad information on the internet is a core literacy
  5. Pedagogies of care
  6. Thinking of content as teacher presence
  7. Keep it simple
  8. Keep it equitable and accessible
  9. Keep it engaging
  10. Designing for what the web can do for you
  11. Gather together

These episodes are talking head videos, where Dave shares some of his insights into each area. There are no demonstrations of specific tools or examples included, the videos deal more with principles.

(External Resource)


Introduction to the series – Fast e-learning switch



Image of a man holding a newspaper with a 'The World is Changing' headlineFirst in a video series to help academic staff make the “fast switch to e-learning” in response to the challenges presented through this COVID-19 epidemic. This is an introduction to the approach in a series of videos produced by Vrini Rossi, they have been co-created and are developed using low the solutions. The videos are freely available and are hosted on Vimeo, however have been recorded by screencast-o-matic.

This video considers appropriate environment in which to make your videos, considering the challenges of home working. Vrini asks you to consider making notes while you watch the videos to help with understanding, using this as a vehicle to help students develop engagement and consolidate their understanding by sharing their notes. It is worth noting that this video does not have any captions or a transcript available.

(External Resource)


Future Learn The Online Educator: People and Pedagogy



A hand holding a bubble with many iterations of the word 'learning'.This course hosted on Future Learn was developed by The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology including Leigh-Anne Perryman, Martin Weller and Lesley McGrath. The course explores four myths: that learning design is about technology and content; that innovation and accessibility are incompatible; that researching online learning is an ethics-free zone, and that educators’ online identities are irrelevant. On this course you will develop personas to help course design, apply accessibility guidelines, examine your digital identity, discuss the relationship between technology, content, people and pedagogy in online courses and consider ethical considerations in online teaching.

This is a free 4 week course that equates to approximately four hours study per week and is suitable for anyone involved in online education or training, including teachers, trainers, course designers and researchers.

(External Resource)


[:en]CPD Technology Enhanced Learning[:]


Blackboard & Canvas (not quite ready)

Group of people working together with a laptop and note padThe whole TEL Course on Blackboard and Canvas is useful generally to support all areas of learning and Teaching online. It includes a range of material which spans more of the topics in the Resources for Teaching including many Creative Commons external resources and links as well as Swansea Universities guidelines and support. There is a whole section on Connect, Communicate and Collaborate which provides a range of tools and activities designed to help you practise with asynchronous and synchronous learning and Teaching methods. You can work through the activities at your own pace, engaging fully with all the activities in this section will enable you to experience online learning for yourself, and this will give you a wealth of detail to draw upon and some practical ideas to challenge your students.

You will need to request access (from SALT) to the Blackboard Resource until July 2020. The Canvas resource is still in development, but will be ready soon.

(Swansea Resource)


Future Learn How to Learn Online



Screenshot of the webpagefor the Future Learn Learning Online course.This course draws on the expertise of the The Open University – a global leader in online learning. You will explore online learning and the wide-ranging benefits it brings to learners. You’ll discover the skills required for online study and evaluate your own study skillset. You’ll also examine how students form online communities and how they benefit from flexible study arrangements while still being supported by dedicated tutors.

Online learning takes advantage of technology to simulate or improve upon traditional methods of teaching. You’ll be introduced you to some of these teaching methods, including looking at two periods of European history, teaching chemistry through the online OpenScience Laboratory and using free apps to practise writing Chinese characters.

(External Resource)


Assistive Technology (SU)



Close up of someone typing a document on a laptop
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Swansea University have invested in a suite of assistive technology applications which can assist students with productivity in their studies. Whilst assistive technology historically has been focused on assisting students with disabilities, these products contain many features that will be of benefit to all students.

All software programs can be found on the unified desktop under “AssistiveTechnology”.This link, accessed via the University’s website, details the software and equipment available to staff and students and includes information on off-campus access during the current Pandemic.

(Swansea Resource)


Assistive technology for all



Image depicting different types of assistive technologiesThis blog post aims to help educators who are new to using assistive technology (AT) with students. It gives an overview of what AT is, best uses of it and examples of how it benefits all learners. The article also covers assessment process involving AT, as well as considerations around support for AT.

The authors also list many AT tools, some of which are already in-built (or ‘baked in’ as they term it) to many familiar software tools and apps. There is also a useful list of resources and support for AT provided, including both mainstream and more specialist AT applications.

(External Resource)