Corinne Hoisington is the Professor of Information Systems Technology at Central Virginia Community College.
As we move into the school year, Microsoft Teams will be your central hub for collaboration in real-time. Microsoft Office 365 Suite allows you to meet online and integrate your course into many other educational apps.
Microsoft can help you reduce student email, improve your teaching resources, and increase student engagement, regardless of whether you teach face-to–face or remotely. You should also be teaching Teams if you teach Office 365!
What sets Microsoft Teams apart?
How does Microsoft Teams differ to Zoom?
Microsoft Teams and Zoom are two of the most popular competitors on the market. Both offer excellent solutions to the need for collaboration. Zoom is a simple video-first platform that allows you to create a live online classroom using any device. It includes screen sharing, recording and chat as well as file-sharing and file-sharing.
These same features are available in Teams, but it integrates with Office 365. It offers live closed captioning in 67 languages for free and privacy with background blur.
Teams allows for event registration via automated emails for webinars. It also integrates with hundreds third-party apps such as Flipgrid or Pear Deck. A key feature is also the Together Mode virtual auditorium tool.
The Impact of Teams’ “Together Mode”.
It can be difficult to feel connected in a virtual class that is held in a grid view. As our eyes wander around the screen, we might feel tired and disoriented.
Virtual meetings between people from different backgrounds can’t give you the feeling of a classroom meeting.
The new Microsoft Teams feature, the Together Mode, uses artificial intelligence (AI), segmentation technology to create a new experience for meeting participants. This allows you to meet with other participants in a common background. It gives you the feeling that the meeting is taking place in the exact same room or outdoors as the one shown above. The Together Mode is associated with less brain fatigue, according to studies.
Take advantage of Integrated Apps
Teams meetings are a great option for large-scale online campus events. They can accommodate up to 1,000 people. You can also join the meeting and watch the presentation or discussion from up to 25,000 people.
My personal favorite is the 200+ apps that your class can use within Teams. These are just a few of the game-changing examples:
Flipgrid for video discussions
Pear Deck to practice critical-thinking skills
Microsoft Forms are for self-grading surveys and surveys
Stream video streaming
Use Teams in Your Course – and Beyond
Consider integrating Microsoft Office instruction into your existing curriculum. Students will be able to see how technology is used by businesses. Most employers use Office within of Teams to connect with their communities and collaborate with their employees. Students will be able to use Teams in their classroom to replicate that professional experience and set them up for success in college as well as in their careers.
Take a look at my class using Microsoft Teams to see my top features.