Microsoft Teams remote learning: Tips for a smarter digital classroom

Are you an IT pro working for an educational institution or school district? While corporate IT departments have geared up for work-from-home employees over the past year, your task has been even more formidable. You have to set up systems and solutions for WFH employees (teachers and school administrators) and learning-from-home students. We all know how successful Microsoft has been in getting companies to sign on with Teams. But several schools have adopted Microsoft Teams for their teachers and students to ease remote learning challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft Teams remote learning

Here are some tips from Microsoft on how your teachers and students can get the most out of their Microsoft Teams’ remote learning experience.

Manage audio permissions:  As every IT department is all too well-aware, corporate video meetings have been sandbagged by audio noises and interruptions. But Microsoft Teams used for remote learning can be even more annoying with a gaggle of young students getting together for a class. With Teams, you can decide to mute all students or give them the ability to unmute themselves.

Manage chat messages: Many teachers are embracing the Microsoft Teams chat functions during class to enhance learning, but kids will be kids. You can quickly mute a student from chatting if you see inappropriate messages.

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Presenters and attendees: Like Microsoft Teams in a corporate setting, in a remote learning situation, there will be times when a student will be a presenter. And just as in a corporate environment, a presenter has some elevated controls. Typically, this won’t present a problem for the teacher, but nothing is typical these days. As the teacher, you can decide to control who has a presenter role and when. Some teachers have been opting to give all students presenter credentials, but this has sometimes backfired into causing too many distractions. You can always change presenter and attendee roles during class on the fly.

Class dismissed: And finally, here’s a tip many teachers forget when using Microsoft Teams for remote learning — much to their embarrassment. When class is over, make sure you select End Meeting. If you don’t, your kids may all stay online unsupervised. And any teacher or administrator who has walked into a real-life classroom full of unsupervised students knows this can be a bad thing.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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