Over the last few weeks, schools have been working tirelessly to enable distance learning for their students and faculty. We’ve heard directly from many of you about engaging students in lessons, encouraging student to student collaboration, and facilitating staff professional development all while remote and we are inspired. We also know these last few weeks have not been easy as uncertainty continues to grow worldwide and the need for our tools to be safe and reliable has never been greater. In all of this, we want to say thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve Microsoft Teams for distance learning, especially at such a critical time.

While we work on these improvements, we encourage you to explore the many ways you can use Teams today for online classes and meetings. We have created several resources to support you and your class during remote learning. In this blog we have outlined how students, educators, and IT can maximize Teams for distance learning.

  1. Getting started
  2. Resources for educators
  3. Learning Management System (LMS) integrations
  4. Guidance for IT admins
  5. What’s coming soon

Getting started 

Resources for educators

A how-to video or short webinar are convenient ways to learn directly from trusted experts. Below are a few that we recommend to help you quickly ramp up on Teams meetings.

Quick tips videos: Alice Keeler’s Teams meeting “micro-PD”

EdTech expert Alice Keeler has developed a helpful set of “micro-PD” YouTube videos in a Playlist so you can quickly ramp up on Teams meetings. Each video is :30 to :45 seconds long and designed for you to master tips for teaching in Teams in under a minute. See for yourself in the video below!

You can access Alice’s entire Teams meetings micro-PD playlist and for more training, here is her entire Microsoft Teams for Education micro-PD playlist. Bookmark both so you can reference at any time.

Webinar – Online lectures and classes with all your students

Dominic Williamson from our product team goes over how to use Teams meetings for distance learning for both K-12 and Higher Education students in this webinar.

Webinar – Using Teams Meetings in the classroom and what’s coming soon

Gordon Chang from our product group demonstrates Teams meetings and discusses the future roadmap in this webinar (you can also review the PowerPoint slides).

LMS Integrations

We recently announced that Teams meetings can now easily be integrated with the world’s leading Learning Management Systems (LMS). Learn how you can create a Teams meeting right from within Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology and other LMSs.

Are you an LMS developer who wants to enable Teams meeting creation from within your LMS? We’ve got you covered. Learn how to install the Teams app inside of your LMS here.

IT admin guidance

We want you to be aware of and familiar with the different policy settings for Teams as you deploy. Here are two essential articles that all IT Admins should reference to get the most out of Teams meetings.

What we are working on

We have been listening closely to educators and have already integrated your feedback into our product plans. Here are the features we are currently recently announced, and we have many more being active worked on in UserVoice for Teams and education that you can get the latest status on. Just look for the “Working on it” status in UserVoice items

Enhancing meetings for Instruction 

  1. End meeting for all participantsRolled out
  2. Custom video backgroundRolling out
  3. Attendance reports for meetingscoming in April
  4. Raise handcoming in late April
  5. 3×3 video supportrollout begins in late April
  6. Only Educators can start the meeting. Students can’t join meeting before the educator – coming in April

IT Administrator settings

  • Setting for the default role of meeting attendee – a policy setting to allow the default for meetings to be Educator is “organizer” and students are “attendees”. This means the educator doesn’t have to set this through “Meeting Options” every time – coming in early May

  • Students can use Chat during a private meeting scheduled by the teacher, not outside of it. If 1:1 student chat is disabled, students will still be able to Chat in a private meeting that the educator schedules – coming in late April

As we work to improve the Teams meetings experience for instruction, our top commitment is reliable service delivery to each school and university using Teams. We are also prioritizing features that ensure student safety by making it easier for educators to manage their online classes in Teams meetings.

Thank you again for making time to share your remote learning experiences with us! It is through your feedback that we can build a more useful education tool. Please continue to share your feedback and ideas through UserVoice and feel free to track all of these features on the public roadmap. We’ll continue to share updates on what we’re working on and what you can expect in the weeks to come.

This post was originally published on this site.