January 23, 2020

How Microsoft Teams Can Enhance a Learning Environment

Daphne Williams
A team of teachers meeting in a classroom and talking

What Is Microsoft Teams?

The rapid advancement of technology has upgraded almost every aspect of our daily lives, and the schools our children attend are no different. Innovative technology tools streamline differentiation, empower our students, and enhance engagement rates—all while building 21st Century Skills. When you begin implementing tools that live all over the internet, it can become overwhelming to keep track of them all. That’s why Microsoft Teams, a digital hub found on Office 365, is one of our favorite tools in education. Microsoft Teams enhances a learning environment while simultaneously streamlining technology tools into one easy-to-use workspace.

Why Teachers Love Microsoft Teams

Having an array of digital resources at your fingertips is an invaluable addition to any modern classroom differentiation. Online documents, favorite websites, discussions, announcements, gradebooks, and videos can all be found easily by students in one central location. Keeping students on one platform gives the teacher more control over the digital environment. Teachers decide which web pages, videos, and educational conversations are happening during classroom instruction. When these resources are in Teams, all students are supported with their ability to access the content.

One of the most loved features in most of the Office 365 platform is Immersive Reader, with built-in accessibility features for dyslexic students, English language learners (ELL), and struggling readers. Students who may shy away from participating in verbal discussions are empowered to engage when given the extra support of Immersive Reader’s built-in accessibility features.

Technology can even help improve a once tedious process: grading! Using Teams, teachers assign lessons to their students with ability to discreetly differentiate assignments. Teams will auto-grade assignments, or teachers create their own customized rubric to quickly grade written assignments. Integrations, such as Turnitin, will autocheck for plagiarism, and Grade Sync automatically submits grades into your SIS—saving teachers even more time! The Teams App also allows even the busiest teachers to grade on the go.

Why Districts Are Choosing Microsoft Teams

But bringing Teams enables the ability for district-wide collaboration as well—opening up an opportunity for digital teacher support, virtual meetings, and training portals built specifically to suit that district’s interests.

Microsoft Teams helps to alleviate the email clutter that working in an organization can often bring—leaving a safe environment for teachers to ask questions or collaborate on non-urgent items at everyone’s convenience. Professional Learning Communities help teachers from multiple school sites support one another in collaboration, sharing resources, rubrics, and offering advice to new teachers.

College and Career-Ready Skills

Technology encourages self-paced learning, self-management, and many other skills that can enable a student to be prepared to enter the ever-changing job market. With Microsoft Teams, students are given many opportunities to engage in collaborative assignments and engage in constructive conversations amongst their peers. At the same time, students are learning a platform that they can take with them into the job market. With over half a million organizations using Microsoft Teams, it is one of the top tools used in Fortune 500 companies today.

Bring Office 365 to Your School

Office 365 is a free, browser-based tool for teachers and students, which means they work on any device and don’t require downloads. To learn more about using Microsoft EDU in the classroom, visit the Microsoft Educator Center for free professional development.

New in Windows 10, GoGuardian Teacher™ classroom management solution is now available for Microsoft Edge.