Day 109 of 365 Ideas for Microsoft 365 is mostly for fun, but also adds an element of privacy. Teams now has almost 2 dozen backgrounds you can use for Teams Meetings, in addition to the blur background they added a few weeks earlier. But you can add your own images as well. First, let’s make sure you know how to choose a background during a meeting.
Adding background effects during a meeting
This is just like having a green screen, except you don’t need an actual green screen, and it’s automatic.
Click on the ellipses, then “Show background effects”. A sidebar will open and load your options. (The more personal options you add the longer it will take to load.) There’s plenty to choose from, but if you have any pictures from inside your school or classroom, students might appreciate that. Alternately, a Science teacher could use an image of a lab; a History teacher could use images of a landmark related to today’s content and an ELA teacher could use an image related to the setting of a novel or short story from class. Why, a Math teacher could even just upload an image of graph paper, with or without a coordinate plane!
Adding your own custom images to your library of Backgrounds
These directions are only for a Windows 10 device. Start by opening Files. This image shows the order of what folders you need to click on to get to the backgrounds folder where you will save your background images to. In other words, open your C: Drive, then click on Users. Where mine says “dadx…”, you will choose your own user name.
At that point you will need to check the box under the View tab that says “Hidden items”. Once you get all the way to Backgrounds you will see some of the ones that are already part of Teams. You will save your additional backgrounds in the folder “Uploads”.
If you want to make sure your image is the right dimensions, and therefore will not be distorted, I like to open PowerPoint and insert the image as a background on a slide. That gets it into the right dimensions. Click File, Export, change file type to JPG or PNG to save the slide as an image.
Also, you will see a mirror image of your slide when you see yourself in a meeting. You probably won’t notice that unless there is writing in your picture. Don’t worry, everyone else will see the correct image, not the reversed image. If you try to fix it so it looks right on your screen, then it will be backwards on everyone else’s!
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