You may or may not notice, but Microsoft Teams is slowly taking over in the education side of things. Granted, as a user of both Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams, there are many things both apps could implement from each other.
As teachers, we are are on the frontlines of this sudden shift to remote learning. Within a matter of weeks, we have had to quickly adapt our in-person lessons into online learning for our students. Adding to that, we have stumbled with supervisors and directors who don’t understand that this is not an easy job. However, we have come up with ingenious ways to make it work, adapting out content, sometimes even doing it on the fly (it is a sudden situation, as you might have experienced).
One of these difficult instances is what you’ll be using to teach this semester or year, and if you’re like me, Microsoft Teams is the tool I’ll be mostly using.
With a little bit of commitment and determination, you can make the most of Microsoft Teams, which is a robust, yet incidental tool for education. Here I have outlines some ways to help you get the most out of Teams during remote learning:
Schedule Your Classroom Meetings Ahead Of Time
The main dish. Use the Teams built-in meetings features to effectively hold classroom meetings by scheduling your classes via the built-in calendar. Doing so students will be notified before each class starts.
Collaboration Is Key
Teams is great when it comes to keeping the students in one place. You can use virtual whiteboards, Collaborative notes, and channels to have students work in assignments and participate in class.
Meaningful feedback is important. Assignments in Teams have built-in rubrics. It is specially helpful if transparency is part of your teaching ethos. It also allows you to give more meaningful feedback. As a plus, rubrics are a transparent and easier way for teachers to grade.
Create Teams With Your Peers
Although your main focus with Teams is the students, you can also use Teams with your peers. Using it to share ideas, files and tips is a great use for all the tools Teams offers. This provides a one-stop shop for educators. Staff Teams and Teachers teams will allow you and the school or college to easily communicate and collaborate during remote learning.
Don’t Forget About Inclusion
Make sure students familiarize with the built-in best in-class (pun intended) tools and technologies that improve accessibility to all students such as Immersive Reader, message translation, and Live Captions for meetings.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Remote learning is an odyssey for most of us, but with tools like Microsoft Teams, some things do get easier. So, try a few test assignments, create some forms. Add chat channels, create groups, add more apps like Trello or Quizlet to your classroom, but most importantly: stay safe!