In January, we focused on using Slack to create and monitor classroom “teams” https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/slack/, but Microsoft Teams is another technology option. If your institution subscribes to Office 365, you already have access to Microsoft Teams at no additional cost. Furthermore, Microsoft Teams recently celebrated their first anniversary and they reported some very impressive statistics:
- 200,000 organizations are using Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Team users span 181 markets across the globe
- In the first year, over 3 million Microsoft Teams were created
- Microsoft Team is available in 39 languages
- 60% of Microsoft Team users reside outside of the United States
- Almost 70% of Skype for Business enterprise customers are using Microsoft Teams
Like Slack, Microsoft Teams can bring classroom team communication and collaboration into one place. In addition, the instructor can participate in and monitor the group activity. The conversation experience in Microsoft Teams can make learning more accessible to your entire class. You can easily manage your class workflow while engaging the voice of every student. Instructors can engage students in project-based learning with text, video, and voice over integrations. If you are trying to connect with your students through social media, Microsoft Teams allows you to integrate emojis, stickers, and GIFs. Educators can also feel confident in building a safer, more productive environment in Microsoft Teams. The instructor has the ability to delete posts, mute students or pause class conversations.
As mentioned in our January post, employers and recent college graduates have informed us that we need to increase the number of team activities within our courses. As educators, we tend to focus on individual student grades and grading group activities can be difficult. As a result, new graduates can be unprepared for the large amount of team activities and projects that are imbedded into daily activities within many organizations. Microsoft Teams can help educators achieve the goal of implementing and monitoring classroom team projects.
Watch the following video link to observe how organizations have successfully implemented Microsoft Teams into their work culture: https://youtu.be/nKU-FMzZFF0
In addition, the Microsoft Teams Interactive Demo: http://teamsdemo.office.com/ provides a hands on demonstration which can help determine if Microsoft Teams can work for you. As a reminder, there are many options available to choose from, but you will need to determine what will work best for your team structure.
Best of all, you may already have “free” access to Microsoft Teams if you or your institution subscribes to Office 365. To learn more about the many features of Microsoft Teams, visit https://products.office.com/en-us/academic/compare-office-365-education-plans.
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