Microsoft Teams for Remote LearningReading Time: 4 minutes
Learning has become incredibly accessible. Educational institutions and organizations worldwide have made continuous efforts to provide more flexibility in their programs and courses, namely by offering remote learning and teaching. Many tools are available nowadays for remote learning. It is not only limited to schools and can take many forms like virtual classrooms but also professional training and tutorials, health and safety seminars, assessments and surveys, etc. This article focuses on what Microsoft Teams can offer for a great online learning experience.
One key reason for choosing distance learning is the flexibility it provides. We all learn differently, develop skills in different ways, have different strengths and lifestyles. These challenges can be addressed with remote learning. Microsoft Teams is an online platform in which everything is found in one single space. Any learning material or working documents are saved and available at any time.
Depending on individual learning, teaching and working style, this hub is easily accessible from a computer, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone (operating with Windows, iOS and Android). The online platform accommodates various media type, complex and big data, and even low internet connections. Depending on the different levels of learning, specifically designed lessons are made available for tutors dealing with specialized needs and disabilities, or simply to achieve inclusiveness in a classroom despite distance learning.
With Microsoft Teams, teachers and instructors can feel just as connected in a virtual setting as a physical classroom. They have access to all the necessary tools and functionalities to support a learning experience together. One essential component is how the platform enables effective communication. They can see and listen to one another in real time. Instructors can make announcements and post messages to the whole group, have video chats or chat privately by selecting individuals.
In terms of content, educators can create immersive classrooms with integrated tools for interactive lessons with other applications integrated to the platform like PowerPoint, Skype, Flipgrid, Sway, instructional material and handouts. Microsoft Educator Center offers a range of ideas and resources on planning lessons, like learning about music, programming and reading, but also presentation and tutorial templates. As for evaluations, they can assign homework, tests, quizzes and papers, and grade those assignments online. They can do it all without having to leave Teams.
Remote learning with Microsoft Teams can help you stay organized and on top of your studies with everything in one place. Under the Teams configuration, each course corresponds to a channel. In that channel, you have tabs on top to give you easy access to all the material and communications related to that course. These are files, email inbox, chats, websites, applications, virtual libraries, assignments and notifications.
For instance, an alert lets you know when a document has been recently added for the course. It can also inform you when your next graded assignment is due. If you are working on a group project, you can create a document only the classmates from your team can work on. Then, any change made to that document from any member of your team is automatically saved. This way you know exactly who has been working on what and at what time. To get in touch with any of them, mention them in the chat by typing the @ symbol followed by the username. If you have missed a live lesson, you can watch it as many times as needed once your instructor posted the recorded class.
Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that can accommodate any level of education (K-12 learning, higher education), in any environment (educational institutions and private organizations), comprehensible for learners and instructors, as well as parents and professionals. You have all the tools to succeed!
This application is a highly useful tool for school administrators and educators responsible for managing remote learning. In fact, they can arrange meetings and work on announcements. They can launch school-related initiatives and projects among themselves from a distance using Microsoft Teams. Along with commonly used Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One Note and One Drive, etc., these apps can be easily synced from your IT department to ensure a streamlined work process. Therefore, you can have all the tools and documents accessible in one secured place with the cloud.
With Teams Calendar, schedule a group meeting with a video chat and exchange files that you are working on as the meeting is happening to make sure you are all on the same page. Indeed, Teams enables productive remote collaboration but also provides individual support.
Wouldn’t it be great to invite passionate keynote speakers and special guests to inspire learners as part of the remote learning experience? Third-party participants to the Teams platform is also a possibility. Therefore, you can schedule a live event; host live events like conferences and seminars (webinars); attend them; and even moderate a Q & A session.
Remote Learning with Minecraft
In addition, a special edition of Microsoft online learning has been designed with students in mind: a game-based education! The very popular and possibly greatest video game of all time, education edition, focuses on fostering valuable skills for today’s economy, like creativity, teamwork and problem-solving. Indeed, the approach is project-based and can apply to a variety of subjects ranging from visual arts to history. Much like a game, this version builds challenges along the way but also helps create a sense of inclusion by enabling a multiplayer mode for a given project.
What’s more, for students and teachers Microsoft Teams for remote learning is for free for unlimited number of users. Applications offered cover Office 365 web apps such as Outlook with a mailbox capacity of 50 GB, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. The useful digital notebook OneNote is a part of the package as well. Also, these services include Teams, OneDrive with unlimited personal cloud storage of data. You also get access to SharePoint (an intelligent intranet system) and HD video conferencing. Users can have access to creating, managing and sharing video. Finally, they have access to School data sync and Sway, online tools to design newsletters and presentations. Last but not least, tools for developing mobile apps without writing code for faculty and staff are also available. Those are just a few examples among many other free services.
To know more about Microsoft Teams, read our posts on the topic.