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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a communication platform developed by Microsoft that offers video chat, text chat, file sharing, and more. Teams is available for download on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It is a useful tool for “face-to-face” communication without requiring in-person meetings, and boasts a number of integrations through Microsoft AppSource, allowing for the use of other applications in remote lesson planning. This community-centered tool makes it much easier for an instructor to manage their classroom, while also allowing for deeper learning through in-depth digital cooperation. Though designed for remote use, Teams’ collaborative features are usable within in-person or mixed settings as well, allowing students to have consistent access to the same work and resources no matter where they might be. Teachers can use Microsoft Teams to set up a classroom "team" where they can engage in online meetings with their students, teach lessons, facilitate class activities, post assignments, create quizzes, grade students’ work, and provide feedback. Students can use the video conferencing tool to collaboratively work with peers to complete all the class activities, assignments, and quizzes.

Tool Snapshot

Price

Free for educators and students at an accredited academic institution.

Type of learning

Behaviorism & Social Learning

Ease of Use

★★★★✩

Privacy

★★★★✩ 

Accessibility

★★★★✩

Class Size

Up to 300 students

Login Required

Yes

ISTE Standards for Students

Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator, Global Collaborator

COPPA/FERPA Compliant

Microsoft Teams complies with these standards

Price

Microsoft Teams is a Microsoft product that is free to educators and students at schools with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Other plans for students and educators are not free if they do not have access to a school subscription plan. Direct purchase price ranges between $2.50 and $8 per user per month, depending on the type of user.

A Chart of Microsoft Teams’ varying price plans, taken from the Teams webpage
A Chart of Microsoft Teams’ varying price plans, taken from the Teams webpage. 

Type of Learning

Behaviorism: Teachers can create activities or quizzes in Microsoft Teams using many apps connected with Microsoft Teams, such as Quizlet, Skooler, Edpuzzle, and MindMup, that provide students with immediate positive and negative reinforcement. For example, teachers can provide students with interactive online quizzes that allow students to do the quiz and receive immediate feedback regarding their answers. Students can learn from their mistakes and have the chance to do the exam again.

Social Learning: Teachers can create class "teams" within Microsoft Teams, which allow students to interact with their peers socially. Students can work collaboratively with their classmates through Microsoft Teams, learn from each other, engage in group activities, share their thoughts and experiences, and provide feedback to each other. These types of activities allow students to collaborate in real-time with their peers and assist them in improving their social learning.

Ease of Use

Educators and students need to watch tutorial videos and follow the instructional tips to use the Microsoft Teams smoothly. Also, new users can use the downloadable guides to learn how to use Microsoft Teams and benefit from the tool's features. Microsoft Teams also supplies a webpage with answers to users' commonly asked questions and the information they may need to know about operating the tool effectively.

Privacy

Microsoft Teams is a Microsoft product and is, therefore, included under Microsoft's Privacy Policy. Microsoft provides a specific privacy statement for young people and additional protection for student personal data. Microsoft does not sell, use, or share student personal data for advertising. However, they may collect information about a student for educational or school purposes or as a parent or guardian authorizes. Also, Microsoft products comply with Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) standards. As defined under FERPA, Microsoft is designated as a 'school official' with 'legitimate educational interests' in customer data. When the school is an accredited academic institution and is signed up for Office 365 for Education, teachers will be able to access Microsoft Teams. Schools can manage Microsoft Teams account security and privacy settings. Teachers should work with their school or district IT team to make sure their and their students’ Microsoft Teams data is protected. 

Accessibility 

The Microsoft Teams website is fairly accessible. It lacks headings and specific locations for screen readers to jump to but is still easy to navigate with a screen reader nonetheless, and website elements contain alt text. The application features a number of keyboard shortcuts in order to access its features, though these can be difficult to memorize due to the sheer number of them. The Teams application also features live closed captions for English, language translation in chat, and a number of other features such as eye or voice control (on Windows 10 and iOS Android, respectively). Microsoft Teams is accessible to all individuals with and without disabilities worldwide, regardless of their necessities.

Class Size

Microsoft Teams allows users to have an unlimited number of team members to collaborate in teams depending on the team type. However, in Microsoft Teams for Education, the team type is a class team that allows educators to meet for free with up to 300 students. 

Login

Login is required by all potential users via the email address or a Microsoft account. Users must also connect an active phone number to their account in order to access the application. Educators and students at schools with a Microsoft 365 subscription can sign up for Microsoft Teams for free.

ISTE Standards

Microsoft Teams in 120 seconds video

Transcript

Microsoft Teams & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool. Microsoft Teams allows educators to download and integrate all Office 365 apps, such as OneNote, Whiteboard-chat, Forms, Math (Preview), and other apps. Also, some other outside tools and apps can be downloaded and connected with the Microsoft Teams, such as Quizlet, Skooler, Edpuzzle, MindMup, and other tools that can be found on the "Apps" page and be added to the user's "My Teams" section.

Here is an example of how Microsoft Teams might fit within the SAMR model: 

Technology is often used to replace other low-tech tools (e.g., pencil and paper). While substitution has some benefits (e.g., students enhance their skills and knowledge of technology), we encourage you to consider how you might use Microsoft Teams to modify or redefine learning.  

A screenshot of a Tweet that features an image about a table that includes the SAMR model and different types of instruction with some examples of tools that can work with every type of the SAMR model. The title of the table is Alignment for Student Choice on Assignments in Office365
Tweet Link

Learning Activities

Math

Teachers can use the Math Solver or Math (Preview) apps connected with Microsoft Teams to teach math to students. Teachers and students can discuss math topics, understand mathematical concepts, practice math problems, and share their solutions for specific math problems. Also, teachers can create math videos by recording themselves in the videoconferencing tool to guide students through the problem-solving process and allow them to access this online video when doing their homework.

Science

Teachers can design science experiment diagrams representing some science content and link the theory with the practice to improve the students' understanding. Also, teachers can create a blank diagram and ask students to collaborate in filling in information related to the lesson topic. Also, teachers and students can use tools connected with Microsoft Teams such as Mindomo, MindManager, Conceptboard, and MindMup to create mind maps and concept maps to visualize relationships between science concepts and provide a structure for discussions.

English/Language Arts

Students can use translation features provided by Microsoft Teams to enhance their English skills. Students can use the translation and read-back features to translate prompts, questions, and assignments into their first language and complete their assignments and projects. Microsoft Teams assisted English language learners during remote learning.

Reading

Teachers can use the Reading Progress tool in Microsoft Teams to provide reading fluency practice opportunities, differentiate reading instruction, and utilize repeated reading strategies to improve students' reading comprehension skills and build confidence. Teachers can have additional time to listen to students reading passages, analyze students' performance, and identify problems to differentiate effective reading instruction.

Social-Emotional Learning

Students can use Microsoft Teams' Feelings Monster and Reflect check-ins tools to recognize, name, and share their feelings and emotions. These tools assist students in developing self-awareness, enhancing relationship skills, building emotional vocabulary, and expressing themselves clearly. Teachers can understand their students' social-emotional skills to provide them with a supportive classroom and a meaningful educational environment.

Resources

How to Use Microsoft Teams

  1. Go to the Microsoft Teams site.
  2. Click “Sign up for free” and register for an account, or log in with an existing Microsoft account.
    An image of the Microsoft Teams web page, with red arrows pointing at the two “Sign up for Free” buttons.
    An image of the Microsoft Teams web page, with red arrows pointing at the two “Sign up for Free” buttons.
  3. Click “Download the Windows app,” or “Use the web app instead” if you would prefer not to download the client.
  4. In the app, click “Find and invite people” to connect with others.
    1. Click “Share an invite link” to get a shareable link that can be used to invite others to connect with you on Microsoft Teams.
    2. Click “Sync mobile device contacts” to automatically connect with people on your mobile contacts list that also use Microsoft Teams.
      The Microsoft Teams client, featuring a number of buttons that pertain to different functions. A red arrow points towards the  "Find and invite people” button at the bottom left of the client.
      The Microsoft Teams client features a number of buttons that pertain to different functions. A red arrow points towards the  "Find and Invite people” button at the bottom left of the client.
  5. In the app, click “Calendar” to set up meetings.
    1. Click “Meet now” at the top right corner of the application to start a meeting immediately.
    2. Click “New meeting” to schedule a meeting in advance.
    3. In both cases, send out the invite link to others so that they can join.
    4. If joining a meeting hosted by someone else, ask for their invite link.
      An image of the “Calendar” page of the Microsoft Teams interface. A red arrow points to the top right corner of the interface, where two buttons labeled “Meet Now” and “New Meeting” can be seen.
      An image of the “Calendar” page of the Microsoft Teams interface. A red arrow points to the top right corner of the interface, where two buttons labeled “Meet Now” and “New Meeting” can be seen.

Research

Buchal, R., & Songsore, E. (2019). Using Microsoft Teams to support collaborative knowledge building in the context of sustainability assessment. Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA). https://edtechbooks.org/-IomX

Almodaires, A. A., Almutairi, F. M., & Almsaud, T. E. (2021). Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Microsoft Teams for Remote Learning. International Education Studies, 14(9), 108-121. https://edtechbooks.org/-XSMy

Therón, R., García-Holgado, A., & Marcos-Pablos, S. An experience with Microsoft Teams to improve the interaction with the students. In 2021 XI International Conference on Virtual Campus (JICV) (pp. 1-3). IEEE. https://edtechbooks.org/-Lee

Authors

This page was created by Sultan Bin Tuwaym and Michael Lee.

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