Microsoft Teams is great for holding video meetings with a class or for a meeting, but what options are there where you want to broadcast a live stream to a larger group of people? Can you broadcast and manage a live stream that anyone can join? Let’s take look at the options.
Maybe you want to hold an assembly but you don’t want to have to worry about adding hundreds of students and managing 150 cameras, or making sure every has muted their Microphone. That’s where Microsoft Teams Live Events comes in.
How do Live Events work?
Hosting a Live Event is fairly straight forward, but it does have a few quirks that you will want to be aware of. This isn’t as simple as setting up a Zoom meeting.
You create a new Live Event from the Teams calendar but unless you are already licensed, or a Microsoft 365 admin, this feature won’t show immediately. To enable the Live Events feature, take a look at this guide.
UPDATE: You can now start and run a live event with just one person. Great news!
You also need at least two people, an presenter and a producer, to run each Live Event. The presenter is the person shown on screen, and the producer manages what is shown on screen. If you have multiple presenters, and a video or PowerPoint presentation, the producer can flick between which is shown on the live stream.
Live Events can be public, school-wide, or limited to select groups of people. It’s also possible to setup Q&A sessions, get attendee reports, and provide recordings of the presentation. It’s at this point that things are starting to get a bit complicated.
Microsoft Teams Live Events Licensing & Costs
Normally Teams Live Events requires an additional license to run, but starting early May, Microsoft Teams live events will be available to education users with a Microsoft Office 365 A1 faculty license, at no extra cost. That means users with A1 faculty licenses, which is free to most schools and educational establishments, can host and broadcast live events. In early May, live events will be automatically enabled for users with an A1 faculty license until July 1, 2020.
After the 1st of July schools will have to pay for Teams Live events. You only have to buy licenses for those presenting or managing a live event, but it can still get costly very quickly.
Is Teams Live Events Ready for Schools?
For me, Microsoft Teams Live Events is the best solution within Microsoft 365 for live even streaming, but it is still too complicated for most teachers. The features we really need are:
- Simple single button start for a live streams.
- Options to allow students, staff and parents to join from a link with or without authentication.
- Hold meetings which teachers can easily and confidently manage participant access and permissions.
We currently have Microsoft Teams meetings, Microsoft Teams Live Events, Microsoft Stream Live Events, Skype, Skype Meet Now, and I’m sure there are more. Each of these services provides a subset of the features that schools need to run in the digital space, but none of them are perfect. With upcomers like Zoom snapping at their heals, Microsoft really needs to get this right.
Alternatively, you may want to look at Microsoft Stream Live Events, which offers a similar feature with its own quirks. Microsoft really needs to consolidate all of its video meeting services.