Video Appointments: FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions

Check below for common questions regarding the Video Appointments feature of Meet the Teacher.

Can you blur or replace the background in a video call?

This is not possible as yet. We are aware that many schools ask for this feature and we hope to introduce it later this year, at which point we will let administrators know. For now, we would advise teachers to, if possible, take their appointments with a blank wall behind them if they are concerned.

Can I run a test conference to see how it works from a teacher & parent perspective?

If you want to test how a video conference works you can do this by setting up a simple conference - there is a step-by-step help article for administrators on how to do this here - Configure an conference to be held over video call - then you can get a teaching colleague to help you, or log in as them yourself if you have access, whilst for the parent side of things you can:

  • get an existing parent to agree to help you test things out, or
  • use a colleague within the school who is also a parent, or
  • make use of the fact (if you are not using an SSO for your parent authentication) that you can log in as any parent: see Logging in as a parent for more details.
  • You can temporarily change that parent's email address to your own (via Data > Parents) so that they are not sent any confirmation emails during the test.

If you plan on having teachers access the system from within the school network, it's important to test a video call where the teacher is using the school's internet, and the parent (being used for the test) is not using the school's internet, such as over 4G. 

We also recommend that your IT follow this guide: Network Requirements for Firewalls and Web-Filters

Finally, don't forget that we have useful articles for your teachers and parents: 
Video: Teachers - How to run your appointments over video call
Video: Parents - How to attend appointments over video call.

Can multiple teachers join the same video call?

Yes, up to 3 teachers, in different locations, can be part of the same video call with the parent. The teachers have to be booked together in a single appointment, and the class needs to be set up in  Configure Conference > Class Teachers with multiple teachers, ensuring you select the An appointment will all teachers at the same time option. Please see the following help article How to use the Class Teachers page for more information.
Note that a call can have a maximum of 4 people in it at any one time. In cases where a school has assigned 3 teachers to take joint appointments for a class, the parent can still invite a guest, but once the number of participants in the call reaches 4 no further people can join it (unless one of them leaves).

Can multiple parents join the same video call from different locations?

Once a conference is set to be held via video parents can grant a additional parent/guardian access to their appointments. The guest need not be already on your system as they are invited, and gain access, via an email link. The details of how they do this are explained at the foot of the parent guide here, which you can supply direct to your parents - they do not need to be logged in to view it.
Note that a call can have a maximum of 4 people in it at any one time. In cases where a school has assigned 3 teachers to take joint appointments for a class, the parent can still invite a guest, but once the number of participants in the call reaches 4 no further people can join it (unless one of them leaves).

Do we have to make any firewall changes?

If you plan on having teachers connect to Video Appointments from within the school network, please ask your IT team to consider the Network Requirements for Firewalls and Web-Filters guide.

Can Teachers and Parents test their camera/microphone set up?

Yes. they simply log in as normal, go to any video parent conference  you have made available to them and on which they have an appointment, and press the green   Join Video Appointments button to test their camera/microphone at any time - up to and including the time of the appointment.

How do parents join the video call?

Parents simply access the system on the day of their appointments and press the  Join Video Appointments button at the top of their screen. There's also a link sent to parents in their email confirmation to join the video call.

How do we see if a parent attended the video call?

You can view attendance via the  Manage Appointments page and in Attendance Reports
When a parent attends a video call, their attendance is automatically changed to  Present for the appointment.
If they do not log in to an appointment it is left as  Unknown. A status of Absent will only show if an admin or teacher has specifically set that status on an appointment.

What are the bandwidth requirements?

Video calling should adapt to the available bandwidth. The recommended bandwidth for video calls for popular video conferencing solutions tends to be around 1-3 Mbps per call, and we would recommend considering this as a guide. For example: with 50 simultaneous video calls being made on a school's network you could expect to use 50-150 Mbps bandwidth.

Can video calls be recorded?

It's not possible to record calls. Please note that anyone can use screen recording software on their smartphone/computer, and as such it's impossible to prevent any party from recording the call at their own end.

Can a live transcript/subtitles be shown?

It's not possible to show subtitles.

I'm having trouble connecting, what should I do?

Please see our Video Appointments: Troubleshooting Issues guide.

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