December 21, 2020 Microsoft Teams for remote education Introduction A sudden shift to remote learning due to pandemic added a new dimension to education sphere. Technology empowered teachers and frontline workers to connect strongly with students. We know that Microsoft Teams gained a massive acceptance and popularity by helping many industries both public and private all over the globe to keep things in motion. Similarly, its response in transforming education by offering schools a gateway for real-time interaction between teachers and students is universally positive. According to many surveys conducted recently, Microsoft Teams for Education has been instrumental in enabling students and staff collaborate, create content and share resources using a myriad of useful features in Teams. Teams incorporates variety of Office 365 (M356) apps such as MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more that allow seamless sharing of presentations and exchange of files and documents. It also facilitates live lectures and discussions online through Microsoft Whiteboard. Unlike physical classroom learning, students can access recorded sessions through Microsoft Stream whenever they want and prepare lessons at their own time using Teams. Furthermore, let us discuss why Microsoft Teams, serving as the right platform for effective online learning, is built for education. Microsoft Teams for educators As online learning became a new reality, teachers and faculties had to quickly upgrade their skillsets for teaching through collaborative platforms. Microsoft Teams helps educators and students to maintain learning continuity by streamlining communication. In an intuitive platform, teachers can take remote classes, share assignments, conduct meetings with students, staff and parents and perform other activities all in one central and secure location. Moreover, apps and integrations in Teams reduce administrative workloads and smoothen workflows. The useful learning features and resources in Teams helps teachers to drive student’s active participation in class and increase engagement. Educators can also gain insights into school and classrooms to track the ongoing activities and measure overall performance of the school. Now, let us take a quick look at some important and upcoming features of Microsoft Teams to create even better classroom experience and enhance student engagement online – Teams is soon going to allow 49 participants in a grid view of 7×7 at once to strengthen bond with students.Teams will offer educators virtual breakout sessions for students to meet and collaborate in small groups.New meeting options in Teams will let teachers have more control on classrooms. In meeting lobby, teachers will be able to allow only assigned students to join a meeting and students will be restricted to start meeting by themselves.By adding partner integrations with Kahoot, GO1, Nearpod, Piazza, Gaggle, Moodle, Canvas, and others, Microsoft will make it easier for educators to use Teams. Teams key features to recreate physical classroom experience Microsoft is committed to help students by creating an enriching digital learning experience for them to discuss, discover and acquire knowledge without any hassle. Educators and students, both, all over the world have embraced Teams as their favorite teaching-learning platform because of its many appealing and powerful features. They are: Assignments – Use this to assign, track, and grade class assignments. Screensharing – Use this to share your screen or presentation in real time. Immersive reader – Use this to easily read conversations and chats in a more personalized format. Whiteboard – Use this to collaborate in Teams using a freeform, and infinite digital canvas. Raise your hand – Use this to get your teacher’s or instructor’s attention without interrupting the conversation and other students. Together mode – Use this to view the whole class creatively in virtual space for discussions and presentations. Accessibility – Use this to get America Sign Language visibility features, live closed captions (US only), and Immersive Reader. Integration – Use this to create custom educational experiences with Mi. Custom background – Use this to blur yourbackground, choose a free image, or upload your own to personalize your own learning space. Insights – Use this to access student engagement data from an intuitive dashboard that displays rate of assignments turned in, activity metrics and grades and more. Summary Microsoft Teams for Education is a spectacular platform to bridge quality gaps in remote education. As a saving grace, Teams has made it possible for educators and students to relive the classroom experience and continue their learning journey even during this difficult time. So, let us incorporate remote learning in our classrooms and help our youth to thrive and be future-ready with Teams.