Our friends over at Microsoft Education recently introduced a set of educational products and services, inspired by teachers and students, including a new Windows experience called Windows 10 S; new experiences in Microsoft Teams for modern classroom collaboration; new features in Minecraft and mixed reality to spark creativity; a range of Windows 10 S PCs for K-12 classrooms; and the perfect Windows 10 S device for college students, Surface Laptop.
There is a lot of great information in their announcement but I wanted to focus on Microsoft Teams.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. Schools benefit from integration with their familiar Office apps and services because Teams is built on Office 365. Teams delivers enterprise-grade security and compliance, and is extensible and customizable to fit the needs of every school.
This summer, educators will be able to create collaborate classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, and communicate with school staff all from a single experience in Office 365 for Education.
- (Class) Microsoft Teams gives teachers a single digital hub to create a more collaborative classroom experience for their students. School Data Sync saves teachers time by automatically creating classes and keeping student rosters up to date. Class Notebooks are built into every class, allowing teachers to easily organize their lesson plans and provide personalized learning support for each student. Teachers can also quickly create, review, and grade assignments all from within Teams. Class integrations with Office 365 and apps like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid, and Kahoot! mean students can create and collaborate anytime, anywhere. And with persistent conversations, teachers and students can organically share feedback to foster a more supportive and engaging learning environment.
- (PLC) Teachers can connect regularly with their peers and continue their own development through professional learning communities (PLCs) in Teams. PLCs automatically come with PLC Notebooks so teachers can share best practices and collaborate on lesson plans to improve the academic performance of their students. With persistent conversations, teachers have a collective history of their discussions and content to keep everyone up-to-date even as new teachers join the team. In addition to having easy access to the Office 365 apps they use every day, teachers can customize their PLCs by adding other resources to their team to keep everything they need right at their fingertips.
- (Staff) Staff teams allow school administrators and teachers to easily share information and work together on school-wide initiatives. With Staff Notebooks, staff can publish school policies for the whole team to access or create individual professional development plans. With persistent conversations and integration with Office 365 apps, staff can leverage the same powerful tools and connected learning experiences they create for their students for their own collaboration.
And education customers can always create a team to work together on any project-based or team-based activity, such as organizing after school student groups. Schools can leverage the integration with Office 365 services to coordinate events and keep track of team files right in the app. Since every Team is backed by Office 365 Groups, schools can even extend their conversations to their broader communities through Yammer or Outlook.
To ensure schools can continue to provide safe and productive learning experiences for their students, we will also be introducing a new set of moderation controls for education customers later this year. Teachers will be able to delete inappropriate or offensives posts made by students or even mute a student for a selected period of time. These new features add to the controls available in Teams today that allow IT admins or team owners to manage the types of interactions and content users can share within Teams. Existing controls apply to visual content use such as emojis, gifs, and memes and the ability to create or modify teams and channels.