Is Microsoft Teams Built for Education?
We all know that technology develops at a cracking pace. Moore's Law states that the power of processors doubles every two years, and with that doubling comes increased opportunity and capacity for new innovations and more amazing things to take place.
Then and Now
I upset quite a few people in 2019 when, after Microsoft had acquired what is now known as ‘Teams’ and started promoting its use in education. I shared publicly that it wasn't fit for education - and boy was it not fit for education. Jump forward to the start of the pandemic, and Microsoft had already started making the functionality and features within its now flagship tool a far better fit for use in schools.
Jump forward again to 2022, and Teams has been a ground-breaking, deal-breaker tool for teaching and learning regardless of whether that is in person, online, or a hybrid mix of the two.
Microsoft Teams for Education
There are so many features available in this flexible and versatile tool. If you are a school, District, or Trust using Microsoft, you should be leveraging its power and versatility.
Want to hold parent’s evenings online? No problem, Teams has you covered.
Want to hear every child in your class read to you so you can check their reading fluency? Don’t worry. With Reading Progress in Teams Assignments, the tool can do all that for you and give you the information you need as a teacher, ready to support your learners with any problems they might have.
Reading Coach even builds on Reading Progress by identifying the 5 words each individual student struggled with the most and presents them again with tools to support the learner in practising independently. Based on your preferences, you can even use tools to further help learners if required, such as text-to-speech, syllable breaking, and a picture dictionary.
Want to digitise your paper worksheets? You’ve got it. OneNote Class Notebook in Teams can help you. You can easily organise your virtual filing cabinets, demonstrate live to the class on your OneNote pages, virtually if students are remote, writing on the interactive flat panel in your class, remote learners can see what’s happening on your screen, as can those in the classroom and with third party cameras such as those by Logitech, you can even make it so children learning from home can see their peers in class and their teacher too.
Interactive Displays and Microsoft Teams
Other technologies, such as the interactive flat panels, have developed in line with the versatility of Teams in the classroom too. The new i3SIXTY 2 from i3-Technologies, for example, works brilliantly with Teams and has the flexibility you need from your learning, assessment, and collaboration platform built into its very core, with a mobile stand, which means it can be used anywhere, transported easily, rotated for different learning scenarios. It truly does demonstrate why touch is truly important for the digital classroom too.
Just like you might want to use Kahoot, Quizizz or Quizlet, Reflection or Wellbeing check-in tools - that’s right, you can add them ALL to Teams, either as a tab in your channel or as a specific app for the classes you run in Teams; Teams does have it all!