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June marks the one-year anniversary of Microsoft Teams in Office 365 Education. In this first year, educators around the world have been using Teams to further classroom engagement, strengthen professional learning communities, and streamline staff communication.
We’d like to thank everybody who has provided feedback on the Teams experience. Your input has been instrumental as we build Teams to reflect collaboration needs in the classroom and the diversity of the teaching experience.
Now let’s hear some of the stories that made Teams what it is today.
Hear it from our educators
The power of the Teams for Education experience is best told by educators themselves. Their stories illuminate how Teams is helping to transform the learning experience at schools, universities, and learning institutions around the world.
University of New South Wales (UNSW) uses Teams to increase student engagement
Dr. David Kellermann, a lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, teaches a class with hundreds of students, including several who participate via webcast. With the intention of creating an inclusive learning experience that would encourage students to collaborate with each other across the class, he sought a solution to this communication hurdle.
Dr. Kellermann’s class made the move￼ to adopt Microsoft Teams. Beyond simply improving the communication experience for web students, the fluid, interactive nature of Teams also created an inclusive and engaging learning environment. After a year of using Teams, Dr. Kellermann found that 100 percent of his students, “felt part of the learning community.”
Jim Yanuzzelli – teacher from Old Bridge, New Jersey
After starting a pilot program with Teams in his social studies classroom, Mr. Yanuzzelli has witnessed his entire classroom shift from a “teacher-centered focus” to a “student-centered focus” — giving him more time to devote to teaching (with less time spent organizing lessons).
“Teams Assignments is a great starting point to develop a digital classroom with Microsoft. Curation of material in a single place for teaching and learning will also allow for a smooth transition into learning the other features of Office 365 Education.”
With content, conversations, and assignments all in one hub, students sign into Teams, respond to the “do now,” and begin collaborating and connecting with each other right away.
Mr. Yanuzzelli further leverages Teams by using popular education apps like Quizlet directly in Teams to create social studies reviews. He can then place them directly in the class team chat, making it easy for students to access and use.
“Teams is the 21st century classroom tool that is transforming my classroom. It allows for student centered lessons that engage and empower students. It gives students the ability to have choices in their learning and a voice in delivery.”
Read more about how Mr. Yanuzzelli transformed his classroom using Teams
Today, due in no small part to feedback like this, we’re excited to announce new experiences in Teams to help you further collaborative learning in the classroom.
Introducing rubric grading in Teams
Many of you have shared that you want the ability to create, store, and apply rubrics to assignments to make it easier for your students to get feedback. These feedback mechanisms not only help students learn and improve their work, but they’re also a consistent and transparent way for teachers to grade. So now, inside of Teams, we’re enabling rubric criteria and skills-based grading of your assignments.
- Students will also be able to see how they’ll be assessed upfront, before they start working on the assignment.
- Teachers can save a lot of time with a grading tool that’s easily applied to multiple assignments at once.
In February, we announced that Chalkup joined Microsoft. The new rubric grading features are a first step in our efforts to bring the best of Chalkup to Teams, and we’re excited to welcome Chalkup teachers and students to Microsoft Education.
Microsoft Forms and Assignments in Teams: better together
Teams now makes it easy for educators to distribute a quiz or survey powered by Microsoft Forms. In Assignments, you will soon be able to add a Form to a new assignment for your students to fill out and return. Additionally, you’ll be able to see and leverage features of Forms reporting functionality, like auto-grading, feedback, and scores, directly in the Assignments grade book. From here, you can also keep track of scores across many Forms-powered quizzes through Assignments in Teams.
Additional new features in Teams:
- Page locking in OneNote assignments – For teachers creating OneNote assignments, the pages of the student will now automatically “lock” as read only when the due date/time passes. The teacher can still edit and annotate these OneNote assignment pages with feedback.
- Mute all students: There’s a time for conversation, and there’s a time for focus. You can now pause students from posting in the conversation tab.
- Join codes: Create a simple code for members to join your Class, PLC, or Staff team. This makes it easy for many people to join your team all at once. Display the code in ‘projector mode’ so that everyone in the classroom can see it and join the team.
- Reusing a team as a template: Teachers can reuse an existing team as a template when creating a new team, then customize what they want to copy over: channels, team setting, apps, and even users.
- Archive teams: Safely store your Class, PLC, or Staff team content in read-only mode. Easily reference archived teams while you are setting up your Teams experience for the next school year.
- Mute all students and reusing a team as a template will be available soon.
- Rubrics grading, Forms in Assignments, archive teams, join codes, and page locking in OneNote assignments will begin rolling out to worldwide production in the coming weeks.
Get the most out of Teams with free teacher training materials
With a dedicated group of teachers to lead us, we created teacher- and classroom-ready training packages for Teams. Aiming to support the hard work that educators already bring to the classroom, we designed our Teams training to fill in the gaps: providing both comprehensive teacher training and real classroom applications.
Access the Teams training packs here.
Teams at ISTE
Microsoft Education will be at ISTE June 24th-27 in Chicago, and we’re incredibly excited to showcase these new experiences and more! If you’re attending ISTE, come to our sessions on mastering the basics, rubrics grading, and designing teacher PD with Teams. Also, come find us at Hack the Classroom and get hands on experience with Teams.
Did you know that you can use Teams for free? Teachers and students with an education e-mail address can get a free online version of Office 365 Education, which includes Teams!