Microsoft Teams is poised to empower students, educators and staff virtually everywhere, with new features rolling out across 181 markets and in 25 different languages. The latest experiences in Microsoft Teams, the digital hub for teachers and students in Office 365 for Education, are designed to help schools achieve more together: by fostering deeply engaged classrooms, strengthening professional learning communities, and tailoring more effective school communication.
“With technology in the classroom, we focus on the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Microsoft Teams really does all of them.”
– Rob Dickson, Executive Director of Information Management Systems, Omaha Public Schools
Empowering the next generation
Microsoft Teams operates on the belief that effective classroom technology is digital advancement delivered with purpose – to inspire creativity and cultivate curiosity. The classroom experience in Teams empowers the generation that embraces technology as their first language, encouraging their developing voices and helping educators implement learning strategies for their future success.
Rob Dickson, Executive Director of Information Management Systems with Omaha Public Schools (OPS), has been leading the digital transformation of classrooms in his district for the past four years. Representing the several educators and students at OPS, who began using the new classroom experiences in Teams since our May announcement, Rob said:
“Our students interact and socialize with a larger circle of influence than what we’ve ever had as a society. And when you look at how we prepare students for that type of environment, digital citizenship and literacy really come to the forefront. With technology in the classroom, we focus on the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Microsoft Teams really does all of them.”
Omaha Public Schools is just one of the 25,000 schools and districts that have already started transforming the classroom experience with Microsoft Teams since our March release.
Your most efficient class workflow yet
Microsoft Teams saves time and simplifies everyday logistics, leaving educators free to dedicate themselves to their students.
- School Data Sync automatically populates classes with student rosters connected to the school’s information system.
- OneNote Class Notebooks are built into every class, allowing teachers to organize interactive lessons and deliver personalized learning right from Teams.
- Apps integrate into the classroom experience, so teachers can quickly access the Office 365 apps they already use – like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Planner – and customize their classroom with education apps.
- End-to-end assignment management in Teams enables teachers to move quickly and effortlessly from creation and distribution to grading and feedback.
By relying on these features in a single hub in Office 365 for Education, teachers save time on administrative tasks and create a more engaged, collaborative classroom with ease.
Engage the voice within every student
“Microsoft Teams has given every student – even the quietest ones – a voice in my class.”
– Cherie Scholten, Fourth Grade Teacher, OPS
While working with a class of fourth-graders in Microsoft Teams, Eileen Fisher, Instructional Technology Trainer and Elementary Innovation Facilitator for Omaha Public Schools, saw first-hand how the right technology can empower greater student engagement. Eileen said:
“The students were asked to share their favorite character and to include a GIF, emoji, or customizable sticker to represent it. The result was a completely engaged class, immediate feedback from peers, and the ability for the teacher to reinforce digital citizenship skills along the way.”
The rich, persistent conversation experience in Teams makes learning more visible and accessible to the entire class. Teachers can engage students in project-based learning with text, video, and voice using integrations like Microsoft Stream. Class themes and colors, emojis, stickers, and GIFs – thriving components of student social interactions – allow teachers to harness natural behaviors for a fun and fluid learning experience.
Educators can also feel confident in building a safer, more productive environment through Teams, with controls that allow them to delete posts, mute students or pause class conversations. These controls add to the existing enterprise-level security and compliance features in Office 365 that allow administrators to manage how their schools and districts communicate and collaborate in Teams.
Stay connected in a single hub for teamwork
“Microsoft Teams has evolved the way we communicate as a staff throughout the school.”
– Ryan Von Bergheim, Assistant Principal of St. Thomas’ Primary School in Western Australia
These new features in Microsoft Teams extend beyond classroom collaboration. Educators can use Teams to share best practices in professional learning communities (PLC) with features like built-in PLC Notebooks. Staff can collaborate on school-wide initiatives in Staff Notebooks and communicate with their peers easily. And any group of students, educators, and staff can come together for team or project-based activities, like student clubs or organizations.
Ryan von Bergheim, Assistant Principal of St Thomas’ Primary School in Western Australia, has already seen the impact Teams can have on helping his school staff communicate more effectively. He said:
“Microsoft Teams has evolved the way we communicate as a staff throughout the school. It has allowed us to reduce the number of emails being sent by having one central location to have conversations and store files. We have assigned Teams for a range of staff groups including: leadership, clusters, co-teachers and even our social club. Having specific Teams for different groups of teachers has been invaluable for us and we are looking forward to continuing to use Teams to further streamline communication within our school.”
Start using Microsoft Teams today
The new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams represent more than just workflow efficiency and digital convenience. They help educators unlock student potential and prepare them for the world of tomorrow.
These features have begun rolling out to Office 365 for Education customers worldwide and we can’t wait to hear how educators transform schools and classrooms with Microsoft Teams. If you don’t have Office 365 for Education, you can get it for free for your faculty and students with a valid school email address.
Join the Microsoft Educator Community to get more tips for using Microsoft Teams in your school and classrooms.