Microsoft Teams has long been popular with businesses for communicating, collaborating, and hosting virtual meetings. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, most districts quickly pivoted to Teams for remote learning, as many had already subscribed to Microsoft products.
Most schools have returned to in-person learning, but the pandemic experience has changed the way that many educators approach lesson planning, content delivery, and assessments. Districts are reimagining education and continue to use the Teams platform to streamline communication and administrative tasks and utilize the virtual meeting functions for hybrid learning in K-12 classrooms.
However, school administrators, faculty, staff, and students must use systems outside of the MS Team environment, such as SIS databases and attendance software, as these types of programs fall outside the scope of Teams’ basic functions. By integrating a learning management system (LMS) in Microsoft Teams, districts can “supercharge” the platform so it brings together planning, teaching, learning, assessing, and communicating in one place.
Districts should continue using Microsoft Teams
When schools were forced to quickly adapt to remote learning systems in the spring of 2020, teachers, students, and their families had to become savvy users of shared workspace technology, almost overnight. Districts had to reconfigure their resources to enable online learning. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds helped accelerate this process of school IT modernization.
For districts that already subscribed to Microsoft Office 365, Teams proved to be a cost-effective way of modernizing their systems with the added benefit of being a familiar product to most users, thereby reducing the need for extensive training.
The IT upgrades improved accessibility, cost efficiency, and communication capabilities, which have helped strengthen school culture by increasing parent, family, and community involvement. Though most schools have returned to full-time in-person learning, the continued use of Microsoft Teams as a regular part of a district’s suite of systems ensures that virtual learning will always be an option should safety or learning concerns make remote education once again necessary.
Integrating an LMS in Microsoft Teams will improve functionality
A major feature of Teams is the ability to modify the platform with applications so it can meet the unique needs of the businesses and organizations that use it. In education, a comprehensive LMS incorporates many functions in one space. Educators can work within one program, rather than having to run several programs, when they develop lesson plans, deliver instruction, create assignments, and assess student work.
An LMS will ideally include chat, messaging, and email functions that will enable grade-level and school-wide teams to collaborate and communicate. Communication functions that extend to students and their families will help build a supportive learning community necessary for a positive, productive school culture.
Administrative tasks, such as taking attendance, calculating and recording grades, and creating calendars to align unit planning with curriculum maps, can be completed within an LMS. This streamlines work and keeps data available in one space, rather than siloed. This allows for comprehensive reports and more thorough data analysis.
Beedle offers a full-featured LMS in Microsoft Teams
The Beedle LMS application was designed by teachers to specifically integrate with Microsoft Teams. The creators understand that educators need systems that will work with programs that they currently use, such as Microsoft Assignments, but have the efficiency of the newest technology. Beedle has a user-friendly interface, which minimizes onboarding costs, and includes a standalone application for parents to facilitate communications between school and home.
Beedle’s lesson-planning templates have drag-and-drop functionality, and educators can access and reuse previous plan components that are stored in a team’s library. Students can access assignments, and parents can check on due dates to make sure their child is keeping up. The sharing functions within Beedle enable collaboration and coordination between team members as they create and share live documents.
As a complete system, Beedle integrates teachers’ tasks into the app with attendance and digital gradebook functions, a taggable journaling function, and the ability to create and sort class lists. With Beedle’s communication functions, team members will not have to leave the platform to chat or email other team members or parents.
Implementing Beedle does not demand many resources from a district’s IT department. Installation is simply a matter of downloading the app, which is then ready to be used. Management and maintenance of Beedle are performed within Microsoft Teams, utilizing its security systems to protect district data from cyber attacks.
Districts seeking cost-effective ways to modernize their programs and upgrade their IT infrastructure, particularly those already using Microsoft products, will benefit from integrating an LMS in Microsoft Teams. Of the learning applications available, Beedle is best equipped to meet a district’s needs by combining planning, content delivery, assessments, and administrative tasks in one program. It is uniquely geared toward streamlining teaching and learning, while simplifying IT to reduce overall costs and improve data security.
Beedle is an all-in-one solution for teaching and learning in Microsoft Teams, giving schools the power to leverage Teams for improved resource and lesson planning, class management, insight organization, and more!
If you’re in a Teams district or school and want to unlock the true potential of Microsoft Teams, contact our specialists to maximize the worth of your Microsoft Teams investment today!