The workload for teachers is larger now than ever before. From teacher shortages to a new emphasis on remote learning, it has become imperative to streamline the teaching process with digital tools and learning resources.
Microsoft Teams is a good example of a platform doing just that. Although it is not primarily for teachers, the platform has a lot of intelligent features that are great for improving the teaching experience. However, how can you use Microsoft Teams in a classroom given it’s not specifically for it?
Continue reading our Microsoft Teams for the classroom guide to learn how to use it in a classroom, pair it with Zenva Schools, and more!
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Why Should You Use Microsoft Teams In A Classroom?
Before we detail how to use the primary Microsoft Teams features in a classroom, you need to know why you should want to use it for a classroom.
Here is why you should use Microsoft Teams in a classroom.
- It can increase collaboration between teachers with several helpful tools. Additionally, it can improve remote communication with students with tools like the conferencing tool.
- It can engage students with teaching resources more because it has several tools to streamline processes. For example, it can speed up the assignment process, make assessing students easier, and more.
- It can provide insights and analytics for assessing student ability levels and determining whether they need extra attention or not.
What Microsoft Teams’ Tools And Features Should You Use In A Classroom?
Although there are Microsoft Teams features that are better than others, there are numerous different ones that you can use in a classroom.
Here are all the Microsoft Teams tools and features teachers can use in a classroom.
- The Microsoft Teams Assignments tool is great for assigning tasks to students (you can allocate teaching resources and courses, for example). It is also great for tracking progress on assignments and grading them.
- The screen sharing tool allows you to share your screen during a presentation to students; this can make remote teaching a more engaging experience.
- The immersive reader tool is mainly for improving communication between teachers; it allows teachers to personalise their chats to engage in conversations with other teachers.
- The whiteboard tool is effective for visualising information for students by drawing it on a digital whiteboard. It also allows teachers to collaborate effectively with teachers.
- The “raise your hand” tool is an inclusive way for students to make their voices heard without disrupting others. It is a small icon that will inform teachers that students have questions; the lesson will progress smoothly because students can use this tool instead of shouting over the teacher.
- Together mode is a special viewing mode that lets teachers see the entire class at once. The mode makes it easier for teachers to keep an eye on the students while conducting a presentation. Additionally, it is a new way for teachers and students to discuss ideas and concepts virtually.
- Microsoft Teams has numerous accessibility features, so the platform is suitable for disabled students. You can access ASL visibility features, an immersive reader tool, and more.
- LMS Integration features are good if you want to improve the teaching standards of your school even further by combining Microsoft Teams’ features with an LMS.
- Teachers and students can create and use custom backgrounds on Microsoft Teams. For example, you can blur your meeting background if you don’t want anyone to see it or if you want students to focus on you rather than your background. Additionally, you can select a free image to use as a virtual background ( you can also upload your own image).
- The insights section allows teachers to access important student analytics. For example, teachers can look at student engagement data (which determines how much a student engages with a subject or task).
How Do You Use Microsoft Teams’ Top Features In The Classroom?
Although you now know what Microsoft Teams’ key features are, you need to know the best ways to use them in a classroom before you start to use them.
To make it easier, we separated the features into three critical uses to explain the desired outcome for each one and how to achieve that outcome.
Below are the best ways to use Microsoft Teams in a classroom.
You Can Use It To Collaborate With Other Teachers And Team Members Easily
A great use for Microsoft Teams in a classroom is engaging with other teachers to collaborate and share ideas.
There are many Microsoft Teams features you can use to improve remote communication between you and other teachers. For example, you can enter video conferences that offer ways to boost communication, like together mode, which allows you to see the teachers and staff members in the video call in a clear format (this feature is also helpful for large classes of students).
Additionally, if you need to visualise something in a teacher meeting, you can draw it on a virtual whiteboard; this is an effective way to brainstorm ideas while also being fun.
Another way that Microsoft Teams can make it easier for teachers to collaborate is with the sharing tool. You can use this tool to share assignments with other teachers so they can see what you are teaching your class. You can also share assessment results if you both teach the same class for different subjects.
You Can Use Microsoft Teams To Engage Students By Streamlining Assignments And Organising Classes
As well as being an effective tool for teachers, Microsoft Teams is great for engaging students, because it has many tools that can improve their learning experience.
For example, there are tools for video presentations that make them more fun and engaging for students. The screen sharing tool is an example of this; it allows you to share your screen during a presentation to students, making information like coding charts and graphs easier to understand (of course, visuals are vital when teaching any subject).
Staying with visual teaching, the whiteboard tool on Microsoft Teams is effective for visualising information for students; teachers can select the tool and draw what they are trying to explain on an easy-to-see digital whiteboard. For example, they can draw a coding flowchart to visualise it in a simple and easy-to-understand way.
Another way that Microsoft Teams can make the learning experience more engaging for students is to make it more inclusive.
For example, the “raise your hand” tool is an inclusive way for students to make their voices heard without disrupting others in the class. A small icon will inform teachers that students have a question; a hand icon will appear next to any student who has a question. It also does not have the drawbacks of a chaotic, real-life classroom in this regard.
The tool allows lessons to progress smoothly; students can use this tool instead of shouting over the teacher, making the lesson progress quicker. For example, if you’re presenting a coding assignment to students, they can use the tool so you don’t have to stop the presentation and potentially miss important information.
Microsoft Teams also has numerous accessibility features, so the platform is suitable for disabled students. You can access ASL visibility features, an immersive reader tool and more. Teachers can turn these features on via the settings menu.
You Can Use Microsoft Teams Streamline Processes And Reduce The Overall Workload
Although Microsoft Teams can help teachers by increasing collaboration, the main benefit for them is streamlining teaching processes and reducing their workload.
Here is how you can use Microsoft Teams to achieve this goal.
The Microsoft Teams Assignments tool is the primary way teachers can streamline teaching processes. It is good for assigning tasks to students. For example, you can allocate online classroom resources (like those found on Zenva Schools) easily and smoothly.
To use the tool, you need to access the assignments tab. From here, you can assign a task to an individual student (if they require a higher difficulty level).
You can also use the assignments tool to track student progress on assignments and grade them when they finish a task.
Additionally, the insights section allows teachers to access important student analytics. For example, teachers can look at student engagement data (which determines how much a student engages with a subject or task). They can also look at assessment results to judge a student’s current ability level on a topic.
How Do You Pair Zenva Schools With Microsoft Teams In A Classroom?
Microsoft Teams’ features can benefit a school in numerous ways. However, to get the best experience with Microsoft Teams, you should pair it with an advanced teaching resource platform like Zenva Schools.
Zenva Schools is excellent for providing intelligent and varied digital technology courses for students while giving teachers high-level analytics and professional development features. However, how does Zenva Schools combine with Microsoft Teams to make an excellent system for teachers and students?
Here are three ways you can pair Zenva Schools with Microsoft Teams in a classroom environment.
You Can Use Zenva Schools To Aid With Team Collaboration On Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has several tools that are useful for teacher collaboration; Zenva Schools can add to this and benefit from the tools on Teams.
When you are on a video call with other teachers, you can share your screen to take them through the teaching resources on Zenva Schools. For example, Zenva has excellent professional development options that you can show other teachers using the tools on Microsoft Teams – allowing you to progress together.
Additionally, you can add teachers to view classroom monitoring on Zenva Schools and then discuss it on Microsoft Teams; this is perfect for discussing and determining how all the students are progressing on a specific Zenva Schools course or topic. Thus, no matter the distance, you can always stay up-to-date and work collaboratively to achieve that year’s teaching goals.
You Can Use Several Microsoft Teams Tools To Engage Students With Zenva Schools’ Courses
If you use Zenva Schools on its own, you can assign students a course and let them get on with it. However, most teachers prefer a hands-on teaching approach. Thankfully, using Zenva Schools and Microsoft Teams in tandem is a brilliant way to achieve this approach.
For example, you can use Microsoft Teams’ presentation tools to present the Zenva Schools’ teaching resources to students. Thus, instead of self-paced, students can be made to work together with the entire class and have the coveted input from you, their teacher.
While presenting the Zenva Schools teaching resource to the students via Microsoft Teams, you can also use many of the mentioned tools to make the process more engaging.
For example, the whiteboard tool is great for students, because it can help visualise complex coding concepts for them (like an advanced coding language function).
You can also use accessibility options on Microsoft Teams to engage students with disabilities with the courses on Zenva Schools. As Zenva Schools offers its own accessibility features (text-based summaries, closed-captions, etc.), this will offer students the total package and make it much easier to learn the content regardless of their situation.
You Can Use Microsoft Teams To Streamline The Way You Assign Zenva Schools’ Teaching Resources And Assess Students
Microsoft Teams makes it very easy to assign tasks and assessments to students; this ease of use applies to the courses on Zenva Schools.
Using Microsoft Teams’ assignment tool, you can link a Zenva Schools course and assign it to a class. You can accompany this with a description of the course, a deadline for completion, and more. You can also individually give intermediate Zenva Schools courses to students who need something more challenging.
Additionally, you can use the assignment tool on Microsoft Teams to monitor students’ progression during the task; Zenva Schools will also show you this information on their analytics page, so you can compare the two statistics to get the most accurate information.
While Zenva Schools offers quizzes and similar to assess students, Microsoft Teams allows you to expand this with its own assessment tools. Thus, after assigning courses, you can proceed to render your own assessments that fit your school or district’s personal curriculum requirements.
A Final Summary On How You Should Use Microsoft Teams In A Classroom
Microsoft Teams is a versatile platform with multiple features that can benefit teachers and schools in a classroom. Additionally, its value increases when you pair it with Zenva Schools.
The video conferencing feature is, of course, a fantastic way to recreate the feel of an in-real-life classroom digitally. However, with tools to assign tasks, LMS integrations, and more, Microsoft Teams makes it very easy to organize your classroom.
However, Microsoft Teams is primarily not a content provider – which is where Zenva Schools comes in. Zenva Schools is able to offer a plethora of digital technologies courses that you can use to assign in Microsoft Teams. With its own classroom management features to boot, Zenva Schools makes sure you’re staying organized every step of the way.
This is not to mention the professional development opportunities for teachers as well who need a little extra help to prepare themselves for the classroom. With Zenva Schools’ content and Microsoft Teams’ collaboration tools, it makes it easy to get everyone up to speed!
All in all, the two platforms can collaborate and complement each other in multiple ways to achieve these aims, and using both of them together is extremely easy and rewarding in improving the classroom experience.
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