Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform for groups. It has integrated messaging, private chat, file sharing and video conference capabilities. It is part of office productivity suite, Microsoft Office 365. Scores of offices and business have moved online with the work from home model. During this lockdown period to contain the spread of COVID-19, schools have shifted to online classes. Microsoft has made the platform totally free for schools and education. For the purpose of this article we shall use the free version Microsoft Teams for smartphones and tablets.
Download and Installation
Microsoft Teams is an cross platform service. Here are the links for download.
Installation of Android App is straightforward.
Note – The Sign In has to be done with the email address created by the company or school. The school will provide you with username and password.
Microsoft Teams is free to setup for schools. The link for setup is here.
As soon as you login, the first prompt will be to change your password. Change your password to something strong and keep it safe. Do not share your username and password with anyone.
How to join a classroom
As a student, your profile will be created by the school. You have to just login and check out the calendar. All the classes will be scheduled by your teachers and will be visible there.
As a student you just have to join the necessary class at the appropriate time. Also from your side, check out that all you classes are visible by enabling various teams (classes). Each subject will be marked as a team.
Each team has got its own channel. Consider it as a virtual classroom where students can interact with the subject teacher.
Scheduled class will be visible here too. This is also a group chat for this classroom. There are two other subsections in a classroom, Files and More. Anyone can upload files and share it for the classroom. More sections contains Class Notebook, Grades and Assignments. To access Class Notebook, student will need to download OneNote which is used to create and read PDF files.
Features of Microsoft Teams
- Classroom chat and private chat with any student or teacher.
- Assignments, worksheets, PDF notes and so on are all available at one place instead of using multiple apps and options.
- Once the class is over, a recording of the class is always available for any student who has missed the class or for revision.
- While there can be only one classroom meeting at a time, multiple students can use the app. For that you need to log out of one account and login the next account. On the left side, the menu shown by three lines will bring your profile and options. Click on settings to reach the logout option.
- Microsoft Teams also has the feature to make VOIP calls to other students as well as leaving voice mails if the called party is not online.
- Teachers can also create quiz and survey through Microsoft Forms. Teams is a complete replacement for Skype for Business.
Why Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is not just an app, it is a platform tightly integrated with business collaboration solutions for large enterprises. Teams has evolved over a period of time understanding the needs of customers. It is reliable, secure and easy to use. Best hardware technology and supporting software platform means best utilization of internet speed and your tablet or smartphone is not at risk of overload.