While many schools are planning to reopen this fall, social distancing may require staggered schedules and hybrid learning. Whatever the circumstance, with learning platforms like Microsoft Teams, educators can ensure they don’t miss a beat.

Teams makes schooling seamless, whether it’s in the classroom, remote, or a hybrid model. And now, Microsoft has created interactive demonstrations of the platform, with one customized for teachers and another for parents and students. The free tutorials guide users through the tool to prepare them for whatever the next school year may bring.

Whether you are a teacher eager to refresh your digital skills, a parent who wants to check your child’s progress or attend a parent-teacher conference, or a student who would like to get organized or be more creative, these tutorials highlight useful aspects of Teams for everyone.

For teachers

A deep understanding of Teams is beneficial for teachers in any learning environment. The clickable demos are a helpful step toward creating an integrated, inclusive setting for your students and their families. An aptitude for tools like Teams may also be valuable for professional development as hybrid learning environments become more popular.

Through the demo, you will discover how to create more engaging and productive classes. It will walk you through options for sharing notes, assigning work, providing feedback, and presenting a live lesson. You can also learn how to meet with your entire class, a small group of students, or arrange for one-on-one conversations with students or parents, similar to how you would in-person.

Through the Class Materials feature, you can create read-only files that students can access without altering, giving you complete control over your class content. It works with presentations too, letting you control the screen and audio and open the discussion to students as needed. The Files and Assignments tools can help you and your students stay organized, making it easy to keep track of rubrics, class notes, recordings of presentations, and more.

The Insights tool provides built-in observations about your online classroom, including findings about the progress of students and the class across metrics such as attendance, participation, and grades. This allows you to identify students who may need more help and inform future lesson plans.

For parents and students

While students will likely use Teams more than their parents or guardians, it’s important that everyone understands how to navigate the platform. Parents can use Teams to attend meetings with teachers, view grades, review teacher feedback, and help students track their assignments if needed. The demo can also walk you through numerous Teams features that foster your student’s success.

The demo showcases how Teams encourages student creativity, too. With the Class Notebook feature, students can use text, color, and multimedia to customize their notes. Teams also offers multiple ways for students to communicate with teachers and classmates. The demonstration can walk you and your child through each option, explaining when a video call, meeting, general post, or personal message may be appropriate. There are also GIFs, stickers, and emojis to make conversations more personal.

The demo also shares options for students with language or learning differences. Through the Immersive Reader, both students and parents can access real-time translations to documents in 67 languages, allowing them to read in a way that fits their needs. It also provides tools for students with dyslexia or visual impairments, such as hearing written text read to them, breaking up text by syllable, or adjusting the appearance of text through different spacing, sizing, fonts, or backgrounds.

For everyone

Whether you are a teacher, student, parent, or guardian, Teams can help you better prepare for adjustments to the learning environment. These interactive tutorials will enhance teaching and learning, helping everyone engage and communicate from anywhere. Experience it for yourself and begin touring your new digital classroom.