Microsoft Teams is a new functionality in Office 365 (currently not available in the EDU tenants); it’s a chat based workspace and much more than that. As a team of people, you can collaborate on a specific topic or your assignment for school. You can chat, video call, share documents, create tasks and much more. It’s an extension on the already release Office groups. I will explain the service more later in this blogpost.
Yes, it’s for ‘normal’ users difficult to understand all the different tools Office 365 is currently offering for team collaboration. We started a long time ago with team sites, then Yammer, then Office Groups was announced and now again a new tool, Microsoft Teams. Depending on your needs you should choose the right service. Gladly Microsoft is more and more integrating the several services and you can scale up from one service to the other. Below a table which service you could use,from my opinion. I have marked them separately (when you have a team, you will have a group…, but I only mark the service). More + signs the functionality is better. And off course this will change over the time
The great thing I love of this new service is the integration of a lot of Office365 services. As a student or teacher, I have one overview of all information regarding an assignment or classroom in one place! In this example I use Microsoft Teams together with an intern we have at our company. We collaborate with him via Microsoft Teams, a great scenario!
The first thing after you created a new team, you see the conversation window. In this window, you can chat with your intern / or students in the group. But this is not only chat, you can see changes of documents or other things you do in your team. The great thing about this conversation view, is if a new teacher is involved, she or he, can see the history! One other thing you can do, is setup a direct videocall to your student or teacher (with integration of Skype for Business). Below a screenshot of the start screen of teams (sorry it’s with Dutch content)
Every team can have several channels / subjects. If you create a new channel a ‘sub team’ is created, with their own conversation, files, etc. So you can order your information. The files are saved in a SharePoint site, and every channel has its own folder.
I love OneNote in Education. Within a Microsoft Team you have automatically a OneNote file for your team where you can share your notes. We share the plan for the intern in OneNote, so we can collaborate on his plan. Off course I connect this OneNote with my Full OneNote client on my laptop, so I have it directly available.
One other great future for education is Planner. With this service you can great an interactive action list for your students. With boxes, you can sort your action items how you like and move tasks between the boxes.
The great thing about Teams is that you can integrate other services really easy. On the plus sign, you can add new services. Below some samples:
Office documents: You can integrate Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote in your team
Planner: you can integrate new or existing Planner in your team
SharePoint: you can integrate your intranet of other SharePoint Online sites
YouTube; you can integrate learning materials from YouTube
Power BI: if you use Power BI for reporting you can integrate
PDF: you can show PDF documents directly in your team
Stream; the new Office 365 video service
Website: you can integrate your websites or scheduling system