MS Teams for Education: How Remote Learning Tools Change Classrooms

By Gary Utley on October 8, 2020

Remote learning is rapidly becoming a viable option for students who don't want to, or can't, join an in-person classroom. From online training bootcamps to everyday K-12 education, technology is changing. Parents are using Zoom conferences to talk to teachers, students are collaborating through OneDrive and overall, many are getting used to a world in which they don't have to be in person to connect.

Among all the solutions that are emerging, MS Teams is providing one of the most robust remote learning environments available. Here's how MS Teams and other remote learning tools are changing classrooms.

Engaging Students at Home

Students of all ages can have difficulties engaging with their classwork at home. It's not a problem unique to young adults or children; even PhD students and professors find it hard to really "connect" when they can't interact properly with others. MS Teams makes it easier for everyone to remain connected and feel like they have a relationship with each other.

Through MS Teams, students are able to engage with their teachers through text, audio or video calls. Remote learning tools help students reach out when they need help, and they can even be used for in-person classes.

The world is increasingly digital. Students need to connect to classrooms from rural areas. They may travel abroad but still need to participate in classes from their home school. Or they might be attending an international program. By giving students more options for remote learning tools, MS Teams and similar platforms are increasing student options. 

Connecting Students to Each Other

An education isn't just about academics; it's also about developing social skills and learning to work together as a team. Remote learning tools need to provide face-to-face connections and confidence, ensuring that students are able to work creatively with each other. Through MS Teams, students are able to collaborate through other Office 365 utilities — and work face-to-face through video calling, screensharing and whiteboards. 

Students need to be able to develop social skills as well, and one of the fears during remote learning is that students won't be able to interact enough with each other. Remote learning tools in the future may need to operate similarly to team-building exercises, under which students are able to work together on shared, common tasks. MS Teams facilitates this extraordinarily well by creating an entire ecosystem through which students can communicate and learn.

Preparing Students for Modern Work

A classroom isn't the last time students are going to "go remote."

Employment is increasingly switching to remote work. Even employees with jobs that demand "in-person" presence are frequently working at home as well. 

By using remote learning tools, classrooms can also help students prepare for their modern work life. MS Teams is a great example. Students who learn MS Teams and the MS Office ecosystem are going to be well-prepared for the modern office. They're going to have years of experience in tools employers need. And they're going to know how to interact and relate to each other through these tools, something that today's employees may still struggle with.

Making Remote Learning Fun

Products such as Microsoft's Minecraft: Education Edition can support remote learning through fun activities. Children learn better when they are taught through multiple avenues, and interactive games are particularly alluring. Microsoft has a number of utilities that can be used to engage students, including Flipgrid (a social learning platform) and MakeCode (an interactive computer science program). 

Making learning engaging and fun isn't just limited to students. Even PhD candidates may find themselves learning more effectively through platforms like Flipgrid, which are meant to engage. MS Teams has a variety of features to make communicating and collaborating a little "friendlier" and less intimidating, such as the option to use emojis and GIFs.

The future is remote. That's true not only for education but also for a number of important industries. When students are able to learn remotely, they're able to prepare themselves for the future. They're also able to prepare themselves for a wide breadth of opportunities that might not otherwise be accessible to them.

While there are many platforms available for remote learning, MS Teams has a distinct advantage: It's part of the Microsoft ecosystem. And that means that MS Teams "plays well" with every application by Microsoft, with Office 365, with Microsoft phones and tablets and much more. MS Teams is well-supported through desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, Android and iOS. And altogether that makes it a robust and versatile technology that excels at teaching students.

Want to learn more about the advantages of MS Teams for education? Contact us now. 

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