Implementing Microsoft Teams in an era of remote classrooms

14 Apr 2020, MOQdigital

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Even before the beginning of self-isolation, remote learning was beginning to ramp up. In 2018, the United States’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that online classes had been growing faster than the overall student body since 2003. 

Australia, meanwhile, has a rich history of distance learning, which has flourished into over 1000 online education providers generating over $3 billion AUD.

Although there is already substantial e-learning infrastructure in place, schools are now forced to begin to transition to distance learning at a rate that outpaces any projection. Teachers need a reliable low-cost tool that can help them reach students and share lesson plans without formal training – and Microsoft Teams may hold the answer.

When It comes to Education, it’s hard to beat “Free”

First, Microsoft Teams for Education isn’t just low-cost – it’s free for schools and universities. Its features also handily beat other free or low-cost tools in terms of allowing teachers to reach their classrooms. Depending on bandwidth and preferred learning styles, classes may be conducted via video conference, voice calls, and chat. Teams is also available on nearly any device – laptop, mobile phone, or tablet.

Whether you’re teaching a massive survey class for hundreds of university students, or tutoring a small group of younger students, Teams has a format that can work for you. For the former, teachers can create a persistent Team that includes all their students, broadcast to all of them simultaneously using video, and then create individual channels for homework and topic discussion. For the latter, Teams provides email integration that can let you schedule small group meetings on an ad-hoc basis.

Finally, Microsoft Teams for Education is simple for IT administrators to set up. If you already have Office 365 A1, the Microsoft Teams is included. If you don’t, note that Office 365A1 is also free for educational institutions. In short, getting set up with Teams is both free and fast.

Distance Learning – Now and in the future

In the eventual aftermath of COVID-19, thousands of students and teachers will still be displaced from their traditional classrooms, lesson plans will have been disrupted, and the world might simply be a different place. What this means is online learning might still be the norm – or at least closer to the norm – even if worries about the pandemic are settled.

Here at MOQdigital, we’re helping teachers, schools, and students adjust to a new normal. Our services help schools rapidly set up distance learning programs and settle technical issues, ensuring that all students can enjoy the continuing benefits of education from home.

For more information, contact MOQdigital today.