How to Enhance the Features of Microsoft Teams for Education
By 2021, more than 240,000 schools were using Microsoft Teams for hybrid and remote education. As is, its features for education are already quite robust. For instance, teachers and administrators can access their files no matter what device they're using, host and attend meetings, and integrate their curricula into learning management systems like Canvas or Blackboard.
While many educators are familiar with the basic features available in the collaboration and file-sharing platform, they may not know about the extended Microsoft Teams features for education.
Lesson Planning in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams offers many options for lesson planning that reduce teachers’ workloads and support them in connecting information and ideas.
Teachers can use the Intelligent Search & Discovery feature in Microsoft Teams to find content that colleagues have already created. This way, they’re not starting from scratch when developing new lessons. Instead, they can identify relevant lesson plans devised by their peers and find information and resources made by experts in other fields.
Teachers can also seek feedback by sharing drafts with other teachers and talking through that feedback using chat or video calls. Some educators appreciate working through curriculum design on a shared document. Teachers can later share their lesson plans with students in the OneNote Class Notebook, an “online notebook that lets teachers create a content library for handouts, lesson plans, and creative activities.”
Beedle’s Collaborative Lesson Planning
Beedle extends these lesson planning features for teachers. Its integrations offer a way to track learning objectives using the assignment tab and simplified methods for adding assignments to the calendar. If two teachers for the same subject want to share lesson plans, they can easily do so with the collaborative feature link.
A significant benefit of Beedle integration is that teachers can reuse the same lesson plans year after year. They can also customize lessons for online, hybrid, or in-person classes.
Connecting with Students Is a Microsoft Teams Feature for Education
After teachers finish their lesson plans, they can easily and efficiently share them with students.
Creating Classroom Teams in Microsoft Teams
Teachers benefit considerably from creating a Class Team in Microsoft Teams, as they can chat with their students, share files, and develop interactive lessons. They can also access many valuable tools, including:
- OneNote classroom notebook
- Read-only content for students
- Data about students’ participation and completion
- Early access for educators to set up the page
Using Beedle Journal Entries for Students
An integration that can make Class Teams even more helpful is the Beedle Journal, which enables students and teachers to share comments and feedback. For instance, if a student is having a recurring issue with math or science, a teacher can make a note about it in their Beedle Journal. Students can then check this note whenever they work on a certain type of assignment.
Journal entries can also be sorted for download, tagged for easy reference, and shared with other teachers and students.
Record-Keeping and Data Collection in Microsoft Teams
Data collection about students is useful for teachers and schools, but collecting this information can be complicated without extended Microsoft Teams features for education.
Insights in Microsoft Teams
Teachers need information about how their students are interacting with their content online. They can use Insights to see how regularly their students are logging into the Class Teams account, interacting in class discussions, and turning in assignments. Microsoft Teams collects this data in the Insights tab, which is automatically loaded into Class Teams.
Some teachers may find it helpful to review data from all their classes at once using the Insights app. To download the app, teachers should:
- Select “More added apps” from the app bar in Teams.
- Search for “Insights,” select it, and save it.
- Pin “Insights” to the app bar by right-clicking on the app icon and selecting “Pin.”
Recording Attendance with Beedle
A valuable insight for educators involves attendance, as it’s a significant predictor of student success. To simplify attendance-taking, educators should integrate Beedle’s attendance recording.
In Beedle Classroom, students can schedule the days that they will be out of school, rather than having these absences recorded as unexcused. Teachers can also mark students present or not and add comments about their attendance. Later, teachers and parents can review student attendance records to see if there are any issues.
Many Microsoft Teams features for education appeal to teachers because they simplify their lesson planning and record-keeping and easily connect with students and parents. To fully extend the usefulness of Microsoft Teams, though, many schools are using Beedle.
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!